Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 17 December 2021

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future”.

This quote, although attributed to someone whose only internet entries appear to be inspirational quotes, resonated with me and I am sure will with you too.

It has been a bittersweet end of term; we have held onto all of our live events and celebrations so far, bringing the community together and enjoying being face to face. So it was monumental to have to take the decision to revert two key events this week back to being virtual. It was with ‘courage for the present’ that Mrs Shaw,

visibly upset, agreed with me that it was too risky to bring in an audience, followed immediately by expressing her wish to be the one to break the news to the pupils.

It was also with courage that the World Challenge 2022 team and their leaders, Miss Knight and Miss Robinson, made sure that their fundraising Christmas Market could go ahead by carrying out risk assessments and carefully organising the event so it met strict Covid guidance. The event provided a wonderful showcase of pupil and staff talent, with a range of handmade items on sale.

We have, many times, thought ‘with tenderness’, of past Christmases when we didn’t need to worry about whether we should quarantine the class ‘Secret Santa’ gifts or whether a ‘masked’ version of ‘Ding Dong Merrily’ was better than not singing it at all; two accurate examples that would surely have been laughable had we mooted them 2 years ago!  At this stage of the term, it is a little difficult to keep hope for the future, but almost every current conversation ends with a version of ‘let’s hope we can get back to normal as soon as possible’ next year. Thus we must still be hopeful, for to live without hope is to live half a life at best.

Putting aside the imposed restrictions of the last week or so, this has been a wonderful term, filled with hard work, lots of fun and as many extracurricular activities as possible. We have had a gradual return to trips with some day trips and a Junior School residential. We are beginning to look ahead to overseas residentials, with cautious optimism, for next year. It has been a genuine pleasure to have parents and grandparents in school for Junior School assemblies, Parent Talks, Information Evenings and our Open Day in October.

Hearing the pupils singing, playing and having fun in their clubs has really lifted our spirits. On a personal note, I have had tea parties with all of Year 7, 8 and 9 and started a new tradition of Head’s Commendations, rewarding pupils who demonstrate High School spirit in so many ways. I have also recently read a book a week to Nursery children which has been a really enjoyable way of sharing with them some of my favourite books from when my son was that age.

Staff have generously welcomed my ad-hoc visits to sit in on lessons and ensure I keep in touch with what the pupils are learning about.  This is just a small snapshot of the many ways I ensure I know our pupils and gain an understanding of them.  These interactions with pupils are by far the most rewarding parts of each day – and being able to brighten their day, help solve their problems, listen to their opinions and often just laugh together about a range of things is a unique privilege.

It is with every hope (and determination) that we plan to revert to business as normal in January but in the meantime, I wish you all a peaceful, healthy and happy Christmas.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head

Merry Christmas!

The Northampton High School family would like to wish our students, parents and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope you all have a lovely break.

Please click here for a Christmas message!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Staff News

The Junior School community is sad to be saying farewell to Mrs Luikinga and Mrs Duck at the end of the autumn term.

Mrs Luikinga has been a ‘key player’ in the life of the Junior School, covering classes when teachers are poorly or on training, running our Late Prep provision, and supporting learning across the school.  She will be sorely missed by us all. We know that she has many exciting projects planned for the future and wish her happy times ahead.

Mrs Duck, our Learning Support Teacher is known by all the students in Junior School as a friendly and supportive face, often found in our KS2 library; she will be especially missed by the girls she has worked more closely with.  I know that Mrs Duck has made a real difference to pupils’ confidence and understanding of tricky concepts. Behind the scenes, Mrs Duck has worked hard with other agencies to support our learners with additional needs.  She too will be very much missed and we wish her the very best for the future.

Sincere thanks to both Mrs Duck and Mrs Luikinga, who, combined, have given 13 years of unstinting service to the school.

We are also very sad to be saying goodbye to Mrs Humphrey at the end of this term. She has been such an integral part of the pastoral team over the last few years and has built wonderfully positive relationships with so many students across both the Senior and Junior schools.

Mrs Humphrey leaves us to explore new opportunities in her career as she takes up an exciting post with the Children’s Trust in Northampton. We thank Mrs Humphrey for her support and contribution to the life of the school, and wish her every success for her future; we know that she will be missed by students and staff alike.

Annual Santa Fun Run helps raise money for Cynthia Spencer

On Thursday afternoon, we were delighted to take part in one of the more memorable school Christmas traditions – the Santa Fun Run!

Teams consisting of staff and Sixth Form students dress in the customary fancy dress, and compete in an obstacle course to see who can record the best time, and ultimately be named the winner! The final this year was contested by two of our Sixth Form teams, and huge congratulations go to Jodie, Steph, Freya, and Shreya who pipped the finalists to the post.

The main winner, ultimately, is the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, the charity to whom the proceeds from this event will be going to help. At the time of writing, an impressive £377 has been raised through generous donations, and we thank our school community for their continued support.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Virtual Christmas Concert

We are delighted to share with you the Northampton High School Virtual Christmas Concert.

We were so sorry not to be able to welcome parents, friends, and families into school this Christmas to experience the Concert ‘live and in-person’, but we are excited to bring you a virtual recording for you to enjoy over the festive season.

Our thanks go out to all of our talented students and staff for their hard work, dedication, and for delivering such outstanding performances. To view the concert, please click here.

We hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas!

Mr Nathan
Director of Music

Chemistree Christmas Cracker returns with a bang!

On Thursday 9 December, the Northampton High School community was treated to one of our favourite festive events – Mrs Hodgetts-Tate’s Chemistree Christmas Cracker! The much-loved event returned to the live stage this year after 2020’s brilliant virtual show, and a capacity audience was left mesmerised from start to finish by the awesome experiments demonstrated.

This year, Mrs H-T and Mr Turney took the audience on a magical journey though the wizarding world of Harry Potter, with each experiment representing a famous spell from the books and films.

‘Aguamenti’, ‘Lumos’ and ‘Bombardo’ were just a few of the spells cast during the show, which helped to demonstrate fascinating chemical experiments and reactions such as the ‘Hydrogen Balloon’, ‘Vanishing Water’ and the crowd favourite, the ‘Whoosh Bottle’!

Our Sixth Form students were on hand to explain the all-important chemistry to the crowd, whilst the experiments were being conducted, as they sought out willing volunteers from the audience to help with the magic by casting the spells and chants from their seats. The show was closed in traditional fashion, with Mrs Hodgetts-Tate’s ‘Marauders Map’ revealing a heartwarming Christmas message from Mr Turney.

Another unforgettable afternoon of entertainment that is certain to live long in the memory. A huge thank you goes to our enthusiastic audience, our superb Sixth Formers, and, of course, to Mrs Hodgetts-Tate and Mr Turney for all of their hard work in making the event a reality. We are thrilled to have captured the event in video form this year, and you can view it for yourself by clicking here.

Until next year; ‘Mischief Managed’.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

High Sports - Termly newsletter out now!

The autumn edition of the High Sports newsletter is now available for you to view.

‘High Sports’ takes a retrospective look back at the world of sport at Northampton High during the past term, highlighting successes in each area of the sporting world. We also look at any notable news stories, such as our visit from the New Zealand Black Ferns in November, and new for this edition, the ‘Spotlight on Sport’ showcases and follows the journey of one of our students in their specialist sport.

To view this terms edition, please click here. Hard copies will be available from school, if desired, after the Christmas break.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

High Sports

House Hockey Year 3 and 4: On Tuesday 14 December, the Year 3s and 4s had their House competition. The weather was unseasonably warm and ideal conditions for the event. The Year 6 Sports Captains did a fantastic job leading the Houses.

Results are as follows:

1st Demeter
1st Selene
3rd Artemis
4th Hestia

The following were voted Players of the Match by the opposition:

Artemis: Zara, Avani, Anna
Demeter: Lily, Lucy x 2
Hestia: Eloise x 3
Selene: Luisa x 2, Thea

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Mrs Littlewood's 'Elf on the Shelf' Challenge!

In the lead up to Christmas, we were delighted to set the Junior School students the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ Challenge!

By looking at each of the 9 pictures, students were tasked with deciphering what they thought the Elf was doing in each picture, and letting us know in the Sports Department their thoughts and findings! The work created was fantastic, with a special mention going to Lydia for this wonderful report!!

Well done, everyone!

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport


Each week in our assembly, girls are invited to share their achievements in activities outside of school. They are listed below for this week:

Caoimhe:  has got her pony club badges and her Bronze Level 2 riding certificate. She’s passed badges for poisonous plants, working dogs and grass kept pony.
Avani: yellow/black belt
Grace: 3rd in tennis mini-slam tournament
Shanaya: Christmas tennis tournament
Varnikha: 1st in gymnastics shapes competition
Ishani: Christmas party with our MP as runner up in a Christmas card competition

Forest School Autumn Award goes to Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

Playground Stars

We have had a lot of fun and games on the playground again this week with a variety of activities.

Year 3 and 4 girls have enjoyed Christmas jokes; we think the best one is: Why was the snowman looking through the carrots? Because he was picking his nose!

Kinara and Lucy from Year 3 entertained us with their circus and carnival by juggling with three balls, hula hooping, dancing, and songs; well done, and thank you girls.

Maya and Cordelia from Year 4 held a Strictly Come Dancing competition. They showed us their super-cool crab dance. We do have very talented girls at Northampton High School, so keep dancing!

Zara and Maya from Year 4 asked for a job and organised and tidied the shed. Later on in the week, Emily and Tami from Year 5 and Lily, Aurelia and Eliza from Year 4 tidied and sorted it too.
Sophia from Year 6, Emily from Year 5, Lily and Diya from Year 4 helped get games out of the shed for all the girls to play with.

Annabel, Amber, Eloise, Holly and Cristina from Year 3 rose to the challenge of writing Merry Christmas on the playground using skipping ropes and used a ball to dot the ‘i’. They also found time to make a Christmas tree from the playground toys and games.

Lydia from Year 6N and Amber from Year 3 made an amazing bauble using the toys and games.

Merry Christmas from everyone on the playground!

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Dates for your Diary

Tuesday 4 January:  INSET day
Wednesday 5 January: Start of spring term

Just as a reminder, the GAP Club phone number is 07816 751456; please do keep this number handy, so that you have direct access to the GAP team should you need it.

Class Assemblies

We are pleased to welcome back parents and grandparents/family members to our Wednesday Class Assemblies, 8.35am-8.55am. Refreshments will be served in the Community Room from 8.15am. We do hope you will be able to join us.

Wednesday 12 January 2N
Wednesday 19 January 4N
Wednesday 2 February 3N
Wednesday 9 February 4H
Wednesday 23 February 6N
Wednesday 2 March 6H
Wednesday 16 March 5N
Wednesday 23 March 1N
Wednesday 30 March Reception


Nursery - Kipper Room and Elmer Room

This week we have been getting into the Christmas spirit by doing a whole range of activities. For example, on Tuesday we had our party day; there were some lovely party outfits worn by the girls. On party day we participated in different activities such as dancing, making reindeer food, and lots of Christmas crafts to take home.

We also had our ballet lesson on Tuesday morning; the girls transformed into fairies in their party dresses and walked very nicely around on their tiptoes. On Wednesday, we did some more Christmassy activities such as decorating gingerbread men that smelt yummy. We had a range of toppings that the girls made good use of. We also took Betty, the school dog, for a walk onto the field for a run around.

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On Thursday, we continued some Christmas arts and crafts and had our PE lesson outside, riding the bikes and running around, stretching our bodies using big and small movements. Then in the afternoon, we had gymnastics where we practised our balancing and did some lovely singing.

We hope you have a lovely Christmas and we will see you in the new year.

Nursery - Pre School

The last week has been a busy one….how did we get to Christmas so soon? Time really does fly when you are having fun! On Monday, we were lucky enough to be in the audience for the KS2 Christmas performance of ‘A Midwife Crisis’.

The girls’ behaviour was exemplary…they were a credit to us and we all enjoyed the performance, as well as seeing a couple of older siblings on the stage. Despite the initial disappointment of not being able to invite parents in for our arts and crafts afternoon, the girls had fun making various decorations, pictures, gingerbread people and chocolate reindeers!

There was a lot of excitement on Tuesday during our Christmas party when Santa and Rudolph popped into Pre School to drop off some early presents…Rudolph enjoyed getting a belly rub from the girls. At Forest School, we teamed up with our friends from Reception for a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt; the girls really worked well with their older peers. We have also been to cheer on the fairies, Santas, and elves in the Fun Run.

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We have a big “Thank you!” to the parents who gifted a lovely new storybook to each of our girls.

Finally, may we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to hearing about the festivities when we return on Wednesday 5 January when we begin our new topic of ‘Traditional Stories’.



This week Ivy the Elf visited us with a letter. She was helping us to remember and use the letter sounds that we have learnt so far. We enjoyed writing her a letter back, and thinking about the Christmas words that she had given us pictures for. We then decided that we needed some stamps, envelopes, paper, and glue, to be able to write our own cards, letters, and Christmas lists.

We have finished off some Christmas craft creations and enjoyed a fun games lesson with balloons. On Thursday we joined with Pre School to go to Forest School, where we made some special reindeer food and hung some dried orange on trees for the birds.



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The week ended with a delicious Christmas lunch followed by a Christmas party; a lovely way to end a very busy term!

Many thanks for all of your Christmas gifts and we hope that you all have a lovely festive break. Wishing you good health and happiness for 2022.

Mrs Farrar and Mrs Shaw

Year 1

It seems incredible that Year 1 have already completed their first term. I have been delighted with the progress they have made and particularly their increasing ability to work independently. As I write, we are about to watch the staff charity Fun Run before heading off to Forest School. The girls have had so much fun this term, and tackled all their academic work with interest and enthusiasm. An overview of next term’s curriculum has been sent to you via Firefly.

Many of the girls’ reading skills are just ‘taking off’ and I ask that you try, in between festivities, to read a little something together each day. I have provided a couple of reading books for the holiday to support this.

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What the girls have said:

“I love learning about shapes. I now know that cubes are 3D shapes.” Millie.
“I really love French – it’s my favourite part of Thursday.” Zara.

I do hope that you stay healthy and have a very Happy Christmas.

Mrs Purvey-Tyrer

Year 2

This week we have been continuing with our money topic in Maths and finding out how to give change by playing shops.

In English, we made posters to make people aware that some animals are endangered.

Our Science lesson was the highlight of the week though, as we launched our rocket mice into the air and discovered that they went higher from the larger milk cartons because they contained more air.

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What the girls have said: 

“I enjoyed jumping from the diving boards in swimming.” Emily.
“I had fun making the rocket mice in Science and making them jump into the air.” Shanaya.

Looking ahead to the first week of next term:

Maths – multiplication and division
English – we find out what our new book is and look at non-fiction writing
Science – electricity

This has been a very busy term and the girls all deserve a good rest as they have made great progress and settled into Year 2 very well. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy your celebrations with your family and friends. A big thank you for all my lovely gifts. See you in the new year.

Mrs Dadge

Year 3

This week in school we have enjoyed many Christmas activities including some Christmas Maths focusing on our 3, 4 and 8 times tables.

In English, we looked at the Christmas story and we wrote a class poem, thinking carefully about what this time of year means to us.

We have been busy in our Art lessons too, creating some Christmas-themed crafts which we hope you will enjoy at home.

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What the girls have said:

“I’ve enjoyed doing Christmas Maths this week.” Kinara.
“We liked making the Christmas trees in Art.”  Annabel, Leah, Eloise R and Amber.
“I loved making the snowman tree decoration.” Cristina.

We’ve had a fun and busy first term in Year 3 so, have a restful break and enjoy all the festivities; see you in the new year!

Miss Scott-Evans

Year 4

In Maths we have been spotting patterns with our 6, 7 and 9 times tables and using these to solve word problems. We have also been using all our skills from this term to complete a Christmas Maths booklet.

In English, 4H completed our FArTHER sequels and copied them up neatly. We have all enjoyed doing lots of Christmas activities and crafts too.

In Science we wrote a conclusion for our eggshell and drinks investigation. We were surprised to see that the fruit juices did as much damage as the cola.

We were all so disappointed that we couldn’t share our Christmas performance with you, but the girls have still benefited enormously from preparing for this. They had so much fun rehearsing and they all made huge progress with their oracy and performance skills. Some lovely photos were taken and we hope you enjoy them.

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What the girls have said:

“I enjoyed making Christmas trees in Art.” Asmi.
“In Science we looked at and felt the eggs. I was surprised that apple juice was the worst, I thought it would be cola.” Cordelia.
“I have enjoyed all the Christmas activities, particularly the Maths booklet.” Varnikha.
“I loved the Christmas crafts, particularly making glitter bombs!” Diya.

Looking ahead to the first week of next term:

English – Independent writing
Maths – 11 and 12 times table; multiply 3 numbers, factor pairs
Science – Solids, liquids, and gases

With very best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.

Mrs Smith and Mrs Shaw

Year 5

Year 5 Autumn Term Highlights:

“I have enjoyed learning how to make a picture frame in Year 5, and then taking it home and giving it to the person I made it for. I gave mine to my Grandma and she said it was really cool how it can stand up by itself because I made a support for it.” Avleen.

“My favourite thing in English was when we were writing newspaper reports for Philippe Petit. I haven’t done many newspaper reports and it was really fun knowing what it was like being a journalist, and really interesting. I also enjoyed doing the editing for it because we wrote it in Google Classroom.” Ellie.

“I particularly liked doing the rock climbing and paddleboarding at Grafham, because even though I wasn’t that confident on the climbing wall, I did it and it was really fun!” Shreya.

“One of my favourite parts of Grafham was the canoeing because when we had paddled into the middle of the lake our instructor told us to flick our hair back in the water. It was fun because everybody on the canoe got their hair soaking wet.” Zoe.

“I enjoyed learning about NASA and learning about the four black women who helped with the Space Race. I especially like Dorothy Vaughan because she was brave and strong – she didn’t give up on anything and when someone wanted her to do something she made sure her people came with her.” Emily.

“One of my highlights of the year so far was House Singing because it was fun having to work together, and the Year 6s were really good at making sure everyone was doing the right thing. In the rehearsals I think we improved a lot, and we ended up winning which made me feel really proud.” Risara.

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“It’s been a wonderful term, full of highlights – teambuilding and tenacity during our residential at Grafham Water, phenomenal fundraising for the Macmillan Coffee Morning and powerful performances in assembly and productions.

I am so proud of the way in which the girls have embraced Y5 learning, the enthusiasm they have shown (especially in English lessons) and their acceptance of my cajoling and sense of humour. Have a fabulous Christmas holiday and I look forward to seeing you all in January.”

Miss Brandon-Jones

Year 6

It has been a great privilege to see all of our girls grow and develop this term, and we are looking forward to continuing their learning journey after Christmas.

Highlights of the week include:

“I enjoyed learning how to play Jingle Bells on the keyboard – it made me feel really festive!” Flo.
“This week I have really enjoyed doing our eco-island project. We have designed and named our own island, created rules for the community that live there and designed a flag using colours to symbolise our beliefs and values.” Evelyn.
“I really enjoyed making a calendar, even though I found it stressful when errors appeared in my Google Doc. Plaiting the threads to make a hook was great fun and I used pictures of horses.” Ellie.
“My highlight of the week was making the clay fish because it was nice to see which bit we were going to do each week. When we were finishing, the back of my fish started to sag because of all the slip that had been put on, but I am pleased with the tall head!” Alice.


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Wishing you all the best during the festive season!

Miss Taylor and Mrs Fordham

GAP Club

The Christmas theme has continued in GAP this week. The girls have created origami stars, Christmas pudding decorations, party hats and many more activities.

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What the girls have said:

“Playing.“ Annie Year 2.
“Building Lego with Ellie.” Tami Year 5.
“Making new things.” Eloise Year 1.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you in January when our new theme will be winter.

Parent Talks - Relationships & sex education: The new curriculum and Gender identity and young people

The next events in our Parent Talks 2021/22 series will take place early in the new year.

Relationships and sex education: the new curriculum will take place on Thursday 13 January 2022 from 6pm to 8pm as a webinar (online). This event is suitable for parents of pupils in Year 4 upwards, and will be led by Emma Gleadhill.

The session will provide parents with information on the new RSE curriculum, and discuss talking about sex and sexuaity with your child. To book your place, please click here.

On Wednesday 2 February 2022, from 6pm to 7.30pm, we will be hosting in school an event for Senior School parents (however parents of Junior School are welcome to attend) on Gender identity and young people. In a society where young people are more free than ever to express their true selves, this session considers how the school deals with gender identity issues, how parents can support their children and why gender identity is an important topic for us all today. There will also be opportunities to ask questions. To book your place, please click here.

Should you wish to see the full details of our 2021/22 Parent Talks programme, please click here.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head

Join Our Team - Minibus Drivers Wanted

At Northampton High, we are proud to have a pristine fleet of school minibuses, and we are very excited that this will be expanding in 2022. We are therefore looking to appoint several drivers for transporting pupils on morning and afternoon school runs, Monday to Friday.

If you are interested in joining our team we would love to hear from you.

For more information and to apply please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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