Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 15 March 2024

The Evolving Narrative: Empowering Girls Through the Lens of Disney Princesses

Within the realm of children’s entertainment, Disney princesses have held a captivating position for generations. While initially associated with damsels in distress seeking rescue, contemporary portrayals have ushered in a paradigm shift.

Redefining Heroism: Embarking on Quests and Forging Paths: Gone are the days when princesses passively awaited salvation. Moana, the spirited protagonist of her namesake film, exemplifies this shift. She embarks on a daring voyage across the ocean, defying societal expectations and proving girls can be the architects of their own destinies. Similarly, Merida, from “Brave,” challenges tradition by pursuing a path independent of preordained societal roles. These narratives serve as powerful motivators, encouraging young girls to embrace their inner hero and carve their own unique paths in life.

Celebrating Diversity: Strength Transcending Ethnicity and Background: The contemporary Disney princess defies singular definition. Pocahontas, a wise and courageous leader, stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds that princesses now represent. Mulan, a fierce warrior, and Tiana, a determined entrepreneur, further dispel the myth of singular femininity. Their stories illustrate that strength, leadership, and a thirst for knowledge can manifest in multifaceted ways, empowering girls to celebrate their individuality and recognise the potential for greatness within themselves.

Beyond Physical Beauty: Cultivating Inner Strength and Values: While Disney princesses are undeniably, albeit often steroptypically, beautiful, their narratives have begun to prioritise the cultivation of inner beauty. Belle, with her insatiable curiosity and love for learning, inspires young girls to value intellectual pursuits and a thirst for exploration. Rapunzel uses her intelligence and creativity to problem-solve and escape her confinement. Elsa grapples with her magical abilities but ultimately learns to control them for the greater good. These portrayals emphasize that a princess’s true worth lies in her intelligence, courage, and compassion.

The Strength of Collaboration: Building Alliances and Finding Support: Disney princesses understand the power of collaboration. Pocahontas transcends cultural barriers by forging a connection with John Smith. Moana embarks on her journey with the steadfast companionship of her loyal pig, Pua. Perhaps most compelling is the portrayal of sisterhood in ‘Frozen’. Elsa and Anna’s unwavering bond exemplifies the strength and support found in female relationships, encouraging girls to cultivate strong friendships and build networks of support as they navigate life’s challenges.

Redefining Happily Ever After: Embracing Sisterhood and Self-Determination: The concept of ‘happily ever after’ has evolved alongside the Disney princess. ‘Frozen’ celebrates the profound love between sisters, demonstrating that fulfillment and happiness can be found outside romantic relationships. Elsa’s ascension to the throne based solely on her own merit challenges the notion of a princess needing a prince to achieve leadership. These contemporary narratives empower girls to define their own happiness and pursue their dreams on their own terms.

I am so pleased that Disney princesses have transcended their initial portrayal as passive damsels in distress. When I consider my own exposure during childhood to Disney, I am grateful that our pupils are in a generation that shudder at the very thought of identifying themselves as a damsel, let alone a damsel in distress! They are not waiting around for a hero to ’save them’ – instead they are confident in their abilities to be the hero of their own story. While acknowledging the limitations inherent in fairytales, we can utilise these evolving narratives as stepping stones to empower girls and encourage them to discover their own strength and capabilities.

If there happens to be a quiet moment over your Easter break where you are stuck for something to do, can I suggest a Disney movie session on the sofa may be something you’d like to consider! Let’s encourage our girls to use their thinking skills to analyse the content – beyond the catchy tune of ‘Let it go’ in ‘Frozen’, there are some excellent role models and messaging for them to recognise and analyse!

Mrs Thompson
Head of Junior School 

GDST Magnus Laurie Poetry Competition

We are pleased to share that the following poets’ have been chosen to be entered into the annual GDST Magnus Laurie Poetry Competition:

Robin (Year 2)
Elouise (Year 4)
Evette (Year 5)

We enjoyed celebrating their achievement in assembly today, where they were awarded a certificate and book prize.

Well done to these three poets for their excellent entries!

Science Week 2024

This year, Science Week has the theme of Time. I googled the word ‘time’ and there are so many different uses of the word, from ‘once upon a time’ to ‘time management’ and many philosophical concepts in between. I settled on a theme of ‘once upon a time’ for my whole school assembly and shared with the young audience my personal timeline that led me to this current moment.  

Along the way I shared the choices I have made and the consequences, both good and bad that those choices had, but all came good in the end. Looking back at the timeline whilst writing the assembly made me think about all the good memories in my school days, both primary and secondary and how important it is to make the most of the time you have in school, taking all the opportunities on offer. 

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of delivering a Science Week assembly to the Junior School, which is one of my favourite assemblies as the pupils are all so keen and focussed on your every word. The STEM Ambassadors in Junior School helped with the assembly, and we taught the girls how to make an egg float, tie dye some milk and stab a potato with a plastic straw – all practical experiments they can do at home in a short period of time. It has also been an absolute pleasure to spend time with Years 3 to 6 in my lab in Senior School this week, concocting Harry Potter science spells. The girls’ expressions of awe and wonder at interacting with chemistry were a joy to behold.

So far it is only Tuesday in my week and we have put time in a line, shared a timeline, thought about good times, made the most of time in school and used a short amount of time to show some awesome experiments. Many uses of the word time and many uses of time itself.

On Tuesday I had the pleasure to take some Year 13 students on their final trip with Northampton High, and we ventured to Cadbury World.  How is STEM related to Cadbury World, I hear you ask? Well, everywhere: In the manufacturing process, in the factory’s health and safety, in the psychology of the advertising and in the physics of the machinery needed to make a million Creme Eggs.  We were also treated to an interactive timeline of the development of the Cadbury factory and the movement to fair wages and a 5-day working week. Some of the girls were surprised this had not always been the case, and that ‘in the olden days’ you worked all day, every day. Who knows where the Year 13’s timelines will take them after their time at Northampton High?  

There have been mini science experiments in the Junior School foyer on a daily basis, which have captivated parents and girls alike. Lots of challenging questions being asked about how long a boat can float and how we can make a Skittles colour wheel just from water and the brightly coloured sweets.

We concluded Science Week with talks led by students past and present. Alexa Dykes – who left 4 years ago – gave the Reach Lecture on her time at the High School and her lasting message to the current students was to reach for your goals and even if you do not make it at the first attempt, to keep trying and use your time here wisely, seeking support, taking the trips, participating in the clubs and preparing yourself for future challenges. On Friday morning, Senior School was treated to a student-led assembly on #Women in STEM and their pathways for the future, and how time management and having a good time fits into their plans.  

In summary, we have ventured down the rabbit hole of time and had a wonderful time exploring!  We have investigated, trialled, explained and discovered many uses and meanings of time. I hope your daughter will be able to tell you about some of the Science Week-related experiences we have shared.

Mrs Hodgetts-Tate
Head of Science Faculty

Red Nose Day 2024

We are very proud to have raised over £400 for Comic Relief today and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated via our JustGiving page!

Comic Relief supports incredible projects and organisations that are making a difference for people across the UK and around the world. Your donations contribute to a number of causes, whether that is providing shelter for those that need it, putting food on plates, filling the shelves of baby banks, or offering someone to talk to.

As part of our Red Nose Day celebrations, we were delighted to host a whole school mufti day in exchange for a contribution towards our fundraising efforts. We are very close to hitting our target of £500 and would like to kindly encourage those who are yet to donate to make a difference by supporting this brilliant cause!

Please click here to donate. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Easter Egg Donations

This Easter, Northampton High is proud to be supporting The Trussell Trust in their mission to help those facing hardship and poverty.

Over the next week, we will be kindly asking for Easter Egg donations to support our efforts and help spread joy to those who need it most over this period. Collection points have been set up in our Junior and Senior School foyers, and we look forward to gratefully accepting your kind contributions.

The chocolate eggs will be given to the Weston Favell Centre Food Bank and distributed to families locally, and we kindly ask that all donations are made by Friday 22 March. Thank you in advance for your kindness and support.

Easter Holiday Sessions for EYFS and KS1 children

Scholastic Book Fair

Next week we will have the Scholastic Book Fair with us in school. The books will be available to view and purchase from the Junior School foyer from 8.00am – 8.30am, and from 3.15pm – 3.45pm.

Thank you in advance for your support as the books purchased not only can be enjoyed by the children at home, but also generate commission for us to spend on stock for the library. With a school full of book worms this is always appreciated!

World Challenge: Easter Movie Evening

Our World Challenge students are arranging an Easter movie night on Monday 25 March, to help fundraise for their trip. The team will be showing ‘Hop’, which follows a young rabbit who would rather drum in a band than succeed his father as the Easter Bunny. Please be aware that this film has a PG rating, so please consider whether you feel this is suitable for your daughter before booking.

All Junior School pupils from Reception to Year 6 are invited to attend, and you should have received an email from the team earlier this week. A snack bag is available to purchase alongside a

ticket, which includes a Pip smoothie, popcorn and a cookie, or alternatively you can just book a ticket. If you would like your daughter to attend, please click here. Ticket bookings will close on Thursday 21 March. Please identify any dietary requirements on the webpage if a snack bag is being purchased.

The team are showcasing the movie in the Junior Hall and it will finish in time for the late bus at 5pm. Collection will be from the Junior School Reception or alternatively your daughter can attend Wraparound Care.

Sports Team Photos

Sports team photos for our KS2 children who have represented the school teams will take place on 21 March.

The pupils need to be in their full sports kit on this day, and girls who are in the Hockey team need to remember to bring their Hockey socks. The photos for the Junior School teams are scheduled for the afternoon.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Saunders-Wall or Mrs Thompson.

Dance Festival - Tuesday 26 March

All children (Reception to Year 6) are performing in our Dance Festival on Tuesday 26 March.

You will have received emails about how to book your tickets to watch this performance, and you should have also received an email regarding costume requirements.

If you have not yet booked your tickets please do so through this link.

We look forward to seeing you there!

After School Clubs

Please be aware the only clubs that will run on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 March are paid for, externally led clubs. Thank you for your cooperation.

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool

The walk to Forest School which began our week in Nursery was reminiscent of the ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ story, with a ‘Squelch squelch’ underfoot through the school field. Once at Forest School, it was a hunt for worms rather than bears and the girls found quite a few, as well as numerous other creatures too! The Grocery shop role-play in the garden has morphed into a Florist, and the girls have had both real and artificial flowers to make bouquets with.

In the classroom, the girls have been mark-making with paint, using cars to make tracks with and sensory balls to create patterns. There has been Play Dough and moon sand to sculpt with, exercising hand muscles. The correlation between these activities and the girls writing skills has been evident within the Nursery where we have observed some fantastic detailed drawings.

This week in Preschool we have been looking at transport and the different ways we can travel. The girls were able to tell us which vehicles they have travelled in including aeroplanes, cars, buses and bikes. We have washed cars in the water tray and made paint tracks with car wheels.The girls have also been following their own interests in Preschool including building and making enclosures, making dinners for each other with spaghetti and exploring a variety of books. In French, we looked at the different types of weather and seasons. In PE, we pretended to be vehicles and used the colours of the traffic lights to determine ‘stop and go’.


This week for Science Week, we have been undertaking some one minute time challenges to support this year’s theme of ‘Time’. These have included: How many times can you write your name? How many circles can you colour? How many star jumps can you do?

At Forest School, we looked for signs of spring and also took part in some one minute time challenges. In Phonics, we have been recapping some of the latest digraphs and have used these to write captions and sentences. Our practical Maths has been about weight and capacity – we found out that the largest object isn’t always the heaviest!

On Thursday morning we enjoyed a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the school kitchen as part of our ‘people who help us’ topic. It was very informative, and amazing to see very large pans and lots of stock in the freezer and stores.

The class are enjoying our new role play, ‘opticians’, so if they ask you for some glasses you will know why! We enjoyed watching the dress rehearsal of the Year 3 and 4 play, ‘Ocean Commotion’, and it inspired some to come back and use the underwater toys to recreate it in the water tray.

Year 1 Science Focus

Year 1 continued to learn about being healthy and the importance of a good diet, exercise and hygiene.

In this lesson, they explored how much of each food group we should be eating, the benefits of the healthy food groups and discussed why we should have little amounts of sugars and fats. The children engaged with their partner to create a healthy lunchbox where they had to choose which items of food from the selection were healthy and not healthy.

The children placed each of the healthy items into their lunchbox and labelled them. Once they completed this, they wrote sentences together which showed their understanding of why we should eat little chocolate and sugary foods and also why we should limit the fizzy drinks that we drink.

They also took part in a live science lesson where they learnt about various farm animals and what they eat and drink. They related this to their science lesson when we talked about how calves drink lots of milk when they are born just like humans.

Year 2 Science Focus

Year 2 continued the Science week theme of ‘Time’ in their Forest School session this week, by creating trees depicting the four seasons.

They gathered leaves, twigs and blossom to recreate the passage of time through a year. Some of the girls then also made clocks from the natural objects they had collected from around the site.

Year 3 Science Focus

Year 3 went to Senior School this week to make Harry Potter Chemistry potions – we had a brilliant time.

We used our measuring skills to get the precise amount of each liquid for the activities. It was great fun using pipettes, measuring cylinders and boiling tubes! We also liked wearing the safety goggles because it made us feel like real scientists. The ingredients were very strange: doxy eggs, giant’s saliva, troll blood and elf’s tears. Our session finished with a demonstration of a slithering serpent rising up out of a beaker!

Year 4 Science Focus

The air was filled with revolting chemical smells this week in Science. On top of desks stood tall test tubes erupting with white foam like a volcano. When the volcano erupted you could hear bubbling and fizzing! The plastic pipette carefully spits out a single drop of salmon pink liquid into the fragile beaker.

Safety equipment is a scientist’s armour, goggles protecting our eyes from the dangerous liquids. Excitement fills the room, like at a circus, with whoops and cheers of delight as a fire is started without setting anything alight and the flame changes to purple.

Ellie A and Amariah S-A

Year 5 Science Focus

The Year 5 girls really enjoyed their ‘Live Lesson’, broadcast for Science week from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Here are just some of the things they learned:

“If you measure time, you are actually measuring intervals. You can measure short intervals playing Boggle, which has a sand timer.” Eloise C

“Some of the oldest clocks were made by a man called Thomas Thompian, who was known as the ‘father of clocks’.” Thea S

“I learned that back in the day, they had a sort of phone machine that you would dial a number into and it would tell you the time.” Cristina S-R

“An atomic clock is so accurate that it would not have gained or lost a second if it had started running at the Big Bang!” Elizabeth F-W

“We learned that a day on Venus is longer than a year – that is so cool!” Leah W

Year 6 Science Focus

Harry Potter Chemistry was incredibly interesting and exciting! We mixed house elf tears, giant’s saliva and gillyweed paste to make bright green slime, and made a drying potion from doxy eggs, pressed bat wings and hogsmead spring water!

We especially liked using the pipettes to squeeze drops of these strange substances into the potions!

News from outside of the classroom: Year 5 Bletchley Park and Hardingstone Church Trip

On Monday, Year 5 had a lot of fun at Bletchley Park, learning about the amazing people who worked there during The 2nd World War. These brilliant minds were working to decipher German codes, so that the allied forces could find out what the enemy was going to do. We found out that there weren’t just codebreakers at Bletchley Park – it was like an entire village, that needed machine operators, motorcycle riders, cooks, cleaners and security. Our students commented:

“It was cool seeing the Enigma machine in real life, and being able to press down the letters on the keyboard and see the code letter light up. The machine was worth over a quarter of a million pounds!” Eloise C

“I really enjoyed going into Alan Turing’s office, because it was fascinating to see where he once worked.” Eloise R

“Going to Bletchley Park was really fun and the person who showed us around was very nice. He told us that if you told someone about your job, you would die because it would break the law. People had to sign a secrecy form and the youngest person there was only 13 – she was the caretaker’s daughter.” Olivia H and Cristina S-R

“Our favourite bit was the Codebreaking workshop and decoding messages. The pigpen code was really cool because it was made of loads of symbols and shapes. When the Germans sent a message, they used morse code – when we were listening to it at real speed it was impossible to understand!” Avani A and Thea S

On Tuesday, we went to Hardingstone Church, to talk to them about our trip Afterwards, the organiser of ‘The Well Community Coffee Morning’, wrote to Miss Brandon-Jones:

“We very much enjoyed the visit this morning to hear about your Bletchley Park visit. As a journalist and public relations consultant of many years standing, I must say I thought the script and performance of the script was incredible, not least due to the amount of time you had to get this together. Very well done to all the girls who came.”

News from outside of the classroom: Year 2 Delapre Abbey Trip

Year 2 took a trip to Delapre Abbey on Monday. Here, we ‘stepped back in time’ as Mrs Gilbert, one of the house’s many volunteers, guided us around the house and shared her knowledge about its rich history.

We discovered that when the Abbey was first built it was a nunnery. Sophia enjoyed trying on a nun’s outfit and through role-play, we discovered that the nuns had a challenging life, having to wake up during the night to pray. Being a nun did have its benefits however, because they were the only women and girls that were allowed to learn to read during that time, because they had to read the Bible.

Next, we visited the house’s kitchen. We saw the great fireplace and learnt how food would have been cooked over an open fire. Most of the food would have been grown in the walled garden behind the house and in the impressive large greenhouses!

The highlight of our visit was when we met with ‘Mr Bouverie’ (in role, played by another volunteer), one of the house’s very wealthy former owners. We had to curtsy to show respect to this important local landowner, and we chatted politely as we sipped tea from a cup and saucer. After a picnic lunch, we explored the (very muddy) grounds and climbed trees. What a fantastic day!

News from outside of the classroom: Science Assembly

On Tuesday, Mrs Hodgetts-Tate led a special Junior School assembly on the theme of ‘time’. Not only was it extremely interesting and exciting, it was also accessible for students to try at home.

In the first experiment, we put an egg in water and watched it sink, then added a cup of salt and the egg quickly bounced up and floated at the top. After that, we tried to stick a plastic straw into a potato. It proved harder than expected, taking many tries, but then we were shown that if you put your thumb over the top of the straw it makes it much easier.

Finally we came to our favourite experiment. We poured some milk into a bowl, added different colours of food colouring and squirted washing up liquid into the mixture – the food colouring moved away from the soap! This science assembly was enjoyed by all and we would like to thank Mrs H-T for organising it.

Annabelle R and Diya B
Year 6 STEM Champions

News from outside of the classroom: Netball Match Reports

U9 Netball vs Broughton Manor School, Friday 8 March: We enjoyed a great afternoon’s netball against Broughton Manor Prep School on Friday 8 March. All the girls showcased their netball skills with some great passing and movement and attempts at shooting. They were able to mark their opposition closely, move into space when attacking and pass with pace to their teammates. It was a lovely way to end the season for the U9’s. The score was a 6-3 wi,n with Grace B named as Player of the Match.  

U10A vs Thornton College, Wednesday 13 March: On Wednesday, Year 5 played a netball match against Thornton College, and the score was 4-0 to us. We played really well and were great at getting the ball to the D so we could try to score. We still need to work to avoid contact and losing the player that is marking us, and stop crowding the ball but overall, we did brilliantly and ended the season on a high. Player of the Match went to Eloise C. Elizabeth F-W (Captain)

U10B vs Thornton College, Wednesday 13 March: The U10B team also played against Thornton College and won 4-1. They did a great job and we were very proud. The Player of the Match went to Olivia H.

News from outside of the classroom: Royal British Legion Campaign

Last weekend, Caoimhe (Year 4) and her dad slept out in their garden to raise money for the Royal British Legion in a campaign called ‘My Great Tommy Sleep Out’.

She slept all night in a tent out in the back garden, despite it being cold, and she raised a total of £250.

Well done for supporting such a great cause Caoimhe!

What's on at Northampton High - Spring Term

Weekly Awards

Star Learners of the Week:

Naavya P, Maia S, Pearl P, Robin M M, Emily T,  Amelia K, All of Year 3, All of Year 4,Thea S, Leah W, Angelie B, Tara S

External Achievements:

Robyn F-W – awarded Riding Stamps
Anne A –  swam 25m
Jasmine I – achieved a Level 3 in Swimming
Rhoda J –  attending Competitions in Gymnastics
Annie T –  has been moved up to the next group in Horse Riding
Evette B – awarded a Distinction in her Grade 4 Piano Exam
Elizabeth F-W – awarded Riding Stamps

Birthdays This Week

This week, we wish a very Happy Birthday to the following members of our Junior School family:

Sophia F, Sakinah S, Annabelle R, Shanaya S

Northampton High School Swim Clubs

Northampton Hockey Club

Pauline Quirke Academy

Northants Authors Book Fair

Term Dates

Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
T: 01604 765765 nhsadmin@nhs.Gdst.Net