Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 16 June 2023

After a successful KS2 Sports Day last Friday, and an incredibly enjoyable EYFS Sports Morning, I have been pondering the benefits of competitive sports for children. I was fortunate enough to experience many opportunities both in and out of school to enjoy sports when I was growing up, and as you would expect I experienced the highs of winning and the knock backs of losing.

There has been a lot of debate about whether playing competitive sports is positive or negative for young children. Is competition good for the development of your child? Why should children compete against each other? Will playing competitive sports help them to succeed as adults? These are all very important and valid questions, but it’s how children, their parents and their schools approach competitive sports that will determine the benefits or drawbacks experienced by each individual child. By putting too much focus on the competitive aspects, such as always needing to win, being the best player in the team and being critical of mistakes, can become toxic to a child’s development. But when approached with the right attitude, and focusing on the many positive aspects of competitive sports, it can have many benefits for children.

Competing has been proven to increase the rate a child improves their skills and performance in a sport. By competing against others, especially others that are more developed than us, we must improve – often learning great lessons from playing against stronger opponents. Also, when there is a match, competition, or prize to strive for, we have more motivation to train harder in order to be successful.

Through competitive sporting opportunities children learn not to fear competition. Fear of competition or failing can be a significant barrier for children (and adults), often then stopping them from participating in many experiences life has to offer. When they realise that competition in the sporting arena is not as scary as they think, this new-found courage often carries over to other areas of their life.

Competition guides children to embrace the mantra of ‘always try your best’. When taking score, there is greater motivation to give our best effort in order to win and, when we lose, we are better able to discover what we need to improve in order to get better results next time.

Handling pressure is also developed as a skill through competitive sport. Whether we like it or not, there are times in life when we will all be under some form of pressure. Personal, career, education, social etc. Competition helps us learn how to perform under pressure and teaches us how to keep our nerve when we reach outside our comfort zone.

A challenging but important skill is handling defeat gracefully, and of course competitive sport provides a clear platform for this development. Learning how to accept defeat or situations that do not go exactly as you’d hoped is a valuable characteristic that children will develop through competitive sport. Learning that losing is a simple part of life and that it helps us to grow when we are young helps us handle the ups and downs of life as we grow older. As I hope I, and the KS2 parents modelled at Sports Day, you can try your best in a sprint or egg and spoon race and lose graciously!

There are many areas of life where children can learn how to set and achieve goals, but when goal setting is undertaken in a competitive sporting environment, it often increases accountability and motivation. Developing a child’s self-confidence can only come from achieving meaningful goals. Goals that they’ve worked hard for. It can’t simply be taught or given to them. Knowing how to learn new talents and come back from adversity, to eventually triumph, are some of the best ways to build strong self-confidence.

Discipline is a key skill in every competitive sport. Whether it is going to training regularly, playing within the rules or following the team’s game plan, it all requires self-discipline. Children who play sport learn that getting the results they want requires discipline and commitment, often demonstrated through small and simple actions that help them reach their goals.

I am very proud of our sporting offer in Junior School and I am committed to continuing the growth and development of this to ensure all of our children experience the benefits of competitive sport and grow up appreciating and valuing the impact sport can have on our physical and mental wellbeing.

I am looking forward to finishing off the cricket season over the coming weeks, enjoying the KS1 Sports Day and preparing ourselves for a positive and enjoyable hockey season next term.

Miss Hair 
Head of Junior School

Dates for your Diary

Class Assemblies (8.35am unless specified):
21 June – Year 1
05 July – Year 6 – End of Junior School Celebration event (8.45am)
05 July – Reception (3.00pm)

Other Trips:
23 June – Women’s Ashes (KS2)

Key Dates:
Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Sports Day – 6 July (9.30 – 11.30am).
Nursery to Year 6 – Summer Fayre, 7 July (3.30 – 5.00pm)
Reception to Year 6 – Open Classrooms, 12 July (3.30 – 4.00pm)
Reception to Year 6 – End of term, 14 July (11.45am)


KS2 Forest School sessions:
19 June – Year 3 and Year 4
03 July – Year 6
10 July – Year 5

School Trips for this term:
EYFS – Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Year 3 – Aquarium
Year 4 – Lego Discovery Centre
Year 5 – Everdon


Upcoming Events and Notices

Swap Shop: Our next Swap Shop event will be held on Friday 30 June, 8.00 – 9.00am and 11.30 – 12.30pm in the Junior School Library.

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Sports Day:  6 July, 9.30 – 11.30am. On arrival, please make your way to the Sports field. All parents and families are welcome and we would love to see as many of you as possible cheering on your children.

Swimming: The last swimming lessons of the academic year for Reception to Year 6 will be week beginning 3 July, therefore the children will not require their kits to be in school in the last week of the academic year.

Prize Giving: We will be holding a prize giving ceremony for Junior School on Wednesday 12 July 8.45 – 9.30am. Prizes will be awarded to children from Years 3 to 6 for various academic and pastoral achievements and recognition. Parents of prize winners will be invited to this event in the coming weeks. We are looking forward to celebrating these achievements together at the end of the year.

Women’s England vs Sri Lanka Cricket Match 12 September: You will have received an email this week sharing with you a fabulous opportunity for your daughter to attend this match at Northampton County Cricket Ground. One of our parents has very generously offered to sponsor a box for us to facilitate a group of interested Junior School families to experience this opportunity together. If you would like to secure places for your family to attend this match please email as soon as possible as spaces are limited due to the box capacity.

Swap Shop 

We are pleased to support the offer of a Swap Shop service to our parents which provides the opportunity to donate used, good quality uniform and to purchase donated items at a reduced price when compared to buying new items. When items are purchased, the donating parents receive a payment.

Swap Shop is run by a group of volunteer parents for which we are very grateful. Should you have any questions, query about stock or wish to volunteer please contact the team of volunteers using

We Are One

GDST and Thought Box have collaborated to create the topic ‘We Are One’. The objective of the ‘We Are One’ project is to encourage climate action and to convince people to make eco changes for the better. Each of the 25 schools in the GDST network had to create a video about climate change, lasting 2 minutes. 

Over the past weeks of ‘We Are One’, we studied powerpoints to help us understand climate change better to influence our video. When making our video, our Year 6 teacher, Mrs Cartlidge, set us prep to create a video in groups based on a different element of climate change.

A couple of groups emailed our Head, Miss Hair to ask if we could use places in the playground to plant seeds and flowers. Before deciding on our video topic, we researched climate change and eco-friendly products along with brainstorming ideas for the content around our video topic. 

Ellie (Year 6)

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool

In Nursery this week we have tried to maintain a cool atmosphere despite the heat. For example, our usually energetic PE lesson was replaced with a relaxing yoga session.

In the garden, a beach theme has seen lots of sand and water. The girls have built sandcastles, sorted shells, explored a rock pool and scooped and poured water with no concern about getting themselves wet! We extended water play at Forest School experimenting with water flow using guttering pipes.

The weather has been a great teaching opportunity in self-care. The girls have been reminded of the importance of looking after themselves by being ‘sun-safe’; wearing sunscreen and a hat, drinking lots of water and staying in the shade.

This week in Preschool we have been on a shape hunt around the school grounds to search for as many different shapes as we could. There were some interesting ones, we found circles in the path and hearts on the bench. We have searched for numbers in jelly using tweezers, spoons and our hands.

We have also been busy being creative and painting flowers for the Arts Festival.

The beach and water areas have also been very popular in the warm weather. The girls have made lots of sandcastles and thought of various role play ideas.

News from our classrooms: Reception

This week we have taken the story frame from ‘The Snail and the Whale’ to make up our own travel ideas. Everyone made a plan of where they would like to go and we then used the sentence starters, First, Next, Then and Finally to write our own version. Some great ideas and places were visited! We then made a class map of ideas and found the places on a globe.

We have been continuing our work on numbers above 10, sequencing, ordering and finding missing numbers. We also had a game of Bingo!

The class have enjoyed getting inspiration from the ‘Katie Series’ by James Mayhew, where Katie meets artists and visits the National Gallery in one of the stories. This week ‘Katie and the Starry Night’ led to another Van Gogh reproduction!

The class have enjoyed finding Northampton on ‘Google Maps’ and particularly the ‘bird’s eye view’ of our school. The highlight was the girls all spotting Dobbies! We have been looking at different houses, buildings and landmarks and have been thinking about our own house and its features.

In Cooking, we made a yoghurt and mint dip. The class used a lemon squeezer to get the juice and, despite originally thinking we shouldn’t eat the mint leaves, decided that the final dip was tasty.

Please can we kindly remind you to apply suncream to your daughter before school and ensure that she has her school sun cap!

Year 1 Humanities Focus

Year 1 have just started learning about the Great Fire of London.

This week we thought about how people might have acted at different points in the story – packing up their belongings, fetching buckets of water to help put out the fire, and rowing across the River Thames to safety.

Year 2 Humanities Focus

Working together in small groups, Year 2 looked at the human features of Northampton, comparing them to Tulum and Mexico using photographs and Google Earth.

They were able to talk and then write independently about which human features were similar and which were different.

Year 3 Humanities Focus

This week, Year 3 have been looking at our local area.

We concluded our work on sketch maps by going on a walk around Hardingstone and adding details to our maps. It was great to take our learning outside of the classroom and expand our knowledge on the area.

We then created sketch maps of the area surrounding our homes.

Year 4 Humanities Focus

We concluded our ‘Ancient Egyptian’ topic by looking at other ancient civilisations.

The girls worked in pairs to look at various images of the different civilisations and recorded evidence of their similarities to Egypt.

Independently, the girls then created a Google slideshow on one of the civilisations – adding images to the evidence they had found. 

Year 5 Humanities Focus

We launched our ‘Rivers’ topic by finding out about the upper, middle and lower course of a river and identifying its key features.

We have also researched some of the most famous rivers in the world and are looking forward to our Everdon field trip to study a local stream.

Year 6 Humanities Focus

Year 6 have been incredibly busy with our ‘We Are One’ climate change project.

This week, we have been learning about the causes and effects of climate change. It was great to participate in web chats with other GDST schools and welcome guest speaker, Mr Thakrar from Hindu Climate Action, to explain what steps we could individually take to help the environment.

Around school, we worked on small initiatives such as planting flowers to encourage pollinating insects, recycling waste paper to grow wild flowers and demonstrating eco-friendly toiletries. Some of the younger children were inspired to help too!

All of our efforts were documented in videos that we produced collaboratively. We will share these videos with other schools next week when we visit Wimbledon High School.

News from outside of our classrooms: Sports Day

Sports Day was fantastic! Filled with excitement and boundless energy.

The sun shone over the field all day as students, teachers and parents gathered in anticipation. The atmosphere was electric; buzzing with cheerful chatter and the enthusiastic cheers of supporters.

The day kicked off with Junior School events and a sea of colourful t-shirts flooded the track, each girl determined to give their all. From sprints to egg-and-spoon, relay races to hurdles, every event showcased the talent and sportsmanship of the children.

Records were broken, personal bests achieved, and teamwork celebrated. There was, of course, a spirit of healthy competition, but it was the sheer joy and sense of accomplishment on every child’s face that made Sports Day truly remarkable.

The event brought together the entire school community to demonstrate House pride and a shared love for sports.

News from outside of our classrooms: Year 3 and Year 4 Visit to Richmond Village

This week, Year 3 and Year 4 students visited Richmond Village care home. The girls in these classes embraced this experience with enthusiasm and were respectful and charming during the visit.

They skilfully performed a line dance, Kinara B shared her Bollywood dance skills by performing a solo, Evette B entertained with a piano solo and then collectively the group performed a song. The residents were enamoured by the girls and the visit provided confirmation of the impact of intergenerational interactions on both age groups.

We are looking forward to continuing our visits next academic year.

News from outside of our classrooms: Father's Day Breakfast

We had a lovely Father’s Day Breakfast on Friday morning and the girls were very excited to welcome their VIP’s.

Thank you for your attendance and we hope you enjoyed your special morning.

FA/Girlguiding Football Sessions

Northampton High School - Where girls learn without limits

Children's Activity Morning at Dobbies

Community Sessions

Creative Arts Festival

Wizard of Oz

Alumnae Reunion Lunch

External Sports opportunities

Term Dates

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