Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 17 November 2023

Getting out and about!

This academic year, a focus area I have set myself is to explore and find opportunities to take advantage of the GDST family links we have. It can be easier to focus inward and to concentrate on the demands in our own immediate context, but we all know the level of possibility available when we collaborate. The power of technology allows regular contact with colleagues at schools in our family, but I recognise that there are limitations to this and they can’t replace the learning first hand at face to face visits. Our pupils experience many opportunities to collaborate with pupils from other GDST schools, and I knew I too would benefit from leaving Northamptonshire and visiting our family of schools.

Last week, I attended the annual Head of Junior School GDST Conference at Nottingham High School. This wasn’t my first visit to Nottingham High, but I seemed to observe different learning points on this visit and my takeaways differed from my first visit. Networking with my closest peers within the GDST family was welcomed, encouraging and motivating. As within any field of work, networking with colleagues who are in the same positions within the organisation as you provides a mechanism for support and growth. Across our family of 25 schools, there is a range of school contexts my fellow Heads of Junior Schools operate within, but we are united by our shared values which makes the sharing of ideas to develop and innovate our own offers really exciting.

This week I took the opportunity to travel up to the school in our GDST family who are the furthest North, Newcastle High School. I took advantage of an invitation to attend a day of EYFS training to partner this with a tour of the Junior School and meeting with key personnel to broaden the scope of my visit.

Next week I’m visiting Sutton High, which promises to offer inspiration on innovative uses of space and creative approaches to curriculum delivery. Circumstances seem to have lead to me meeting my quota of intended visits for the academic year in just 3 weeks, but this unintended series of visits in quick succession will allow me to consolidate my reflections and consider the key takeaways for us at Northampton High Junior School sooner. I’m a ‘home-bird’ at heart though, so staying put for a few months makes me happy too! It’s all about balance after all!

Effective collaboration is two-way, and I’ve found it liberating and encouraging to share good practice from our Junior School offer with colleagues during these visits. It’s a fine balance of time and effort between inward and outward actions, and my recent visits and relationship building have provided equal opportunities of giving, taking and sharing which will benefit our school community in a variety of ways.

We are very fortunate to be part of the GDST network for many reasons, and the benefits to me individually have certainly been reinforced to me with the recent visits. There’s a sense of security from the unity that I feel from being part of this family which, in turn, offers a reassurance and happiness that are facilitators to our success.

Where to next?

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School

Upcoming Events

Monday 20 to Friday 24 November Food Bank Collection for Advent Calendars – drop off stations in Junior and Senior School
Wednesday 22 November 6H Class Assembly
Thursday 23 November Non School Uniform Day for the Christmas Fayre donations
Wednesday 29 November 6N Class Assembly
Friday 1 December Christmas Fayre, 4.30 – 7.00pm
Tuesday 5 December Trip to Hardingstone Church – Advent Assembly
Tuesday 5 December Nursery and Preschool Parent Christmas Café – Performance and Crafts, 1.30-3.00pm
Wednesday 6 December Reception, Year 1 and 2 Nativity Performance, 9.30 – 10.15am
Thursday 7 December Reception, Year 1 and 2 Nativity Performance, 2.30 – 3.15pm
Thursday 7 December Junior School Christmas Workshop Session – for Junior School Pupils and their guests, 4.00-5.30pm
Friday 8 December Whole School Christmas Jumper Day
Monday 11 December Year 3 Trip to Richmond Village
Tuesday 12 December Junior School Christmas Celebration Evening, 5.45 – 7.15pm
Wednesday 13 December Whole School Christmas Lunch
Wednesday 13 December Open Classrooms – Reception to Year 6, 3.30-4.00pm
Thursday 14 December Preschool and Reception Theatre Trip
Thursday 14 December Christmas Concert, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Friday 15 December School closes to pupils at lunchtime

Key Stage 2 Forest School Dates

Key stage 2 Forest School sessions will be on the following dates this academic year. The children will need suitable clothing and footwear including long sleeve tops and trousers to ensure their arms and legs are covered for each session.

22 November Year 5 Forest School
29 November Year 6 Forest School (morning) and Year 3 Forest School (afternoon)
17 January Year 4 Forest School
24 January Year 3 Forest School
7 February Year 6 Forest School
14 February Year 5 Forest School
13 March Year 3 Science Week Forest School
14 March Year 4 and Year 5 Science Week Forest School
15 March Year 6 Science Week Forest School
5 June Year 4 Forest School Open Session for parents
12 June Year 3 Forest School Open Session for parents
19 June Year 5 Forest School Open Session for parents
26 June Year 6 Forest School Open Session for parents


Save the Date: Christmas Fayre - Friday 1 December

Preparations for our Christmas Fayre are in full swing, with the big day just two weeks away now on Friday 1 December. We are pleased to share some more information with you, specifically with regard to the Christmas Grotto, the Raffle & Tombola and the Junior School Christmas Games. Please see below:Christmas Grotto: We are delighted that Santa will be making another visit to Northampton High School this year and will be inviting visitors into his Grotto! In an effort to reduce queuing time and allow families to enjoy the entirety of the Fayre, this year’s Grotto will be operated on a pre-booked basis. Slots are available on TryBooking by clicking here. Each slot allows two visitors per session, to enable two siblings to attend together if required, at a cost of £7.50 per child. Each child will receive a lovely gift from Santa. Tickets will be not available on the night of the Fayre, so we do encourage you to book your slots in advance to avoid disappointment.Raffle, Tombola & Junior School Christmas Games: These attractions at the Christmas Fayre will be accepting tokens only, rather than card payments or cash, as we are a ‘cashless’ school. Tokens can be purchased in advance, similar to last year’s Junior School Summer Fayre, and by doing so, we hope this will reduce queuing time and allow you to enjoy these stalls. Attractions taking tokens will be clearly marked to avoid confusion. Tokens can be pre-ordered on TryBooking by clicking here and once ordered, they can be collected from Junior School/Senior School Reception or from the Collection Desk on the night of the Fayre. Tokens will also be available to purchase at the event.Please note that the Christmas Market stalls run by students, parents and staff will take varied forms of payment such as cash, card and PayPal – so please bear that in mind when planning your visit. Our refreshment stations will only accept payment by card.We look forward to seeing you on Friday 1 December for some festive fun!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

Christmas Fayre - Non Uniform Day

On Thursday 23 November, we are inviting the pupils to come in to school in their own clothes in exchange for a donation to our bottle tombola at the upcoming Christmas Fayre.

Please could you send your donation in with your child on 23 November for them to hand in? If your donation is alcoholic, we kindly ask that you drop this off personally at the Junior School reception desk.

Thank you for your support.

Nativity and Christmas Celebration Tickets

Tickets for both the Nativity and Christmas Celebration are now available to book, and you have been emailed the links for these events.

Please note, both performances will be in the theatre and you will select your seats when you book.

If you have any questions regarding either event, please do feel free to get in touch.

School Christmas Card Competition!

Congratulations to the internal winners of our school Christmas card design competition!

Left: Olivia T (Year 4)
Top Right: Emily T (Year 2)
Middle Right: Constance H (Year 5)
Bottom Left: Annabel P (Year 5)

Well done everyone, we look forward to seeing your printed designs!

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School

Christmas Jumpers

This year, Christmas Jumper Day is on Friday 8 December – do you have your child’s jumper ready yet?! If you have any Christmas jumpers at home that your daughter has now grown out of or are no longer needed, we kindly invite you to consider donating them, by passing them to the school office to be added to our stock in swap shop.

Please also consider checking our stock to see if we have any appropriate jumpers in your daughter’s size that you may wish to buy for her this year, to save buying a new jumper from the shops.

Parents often find that these are items of clothing that are worn only on a few occassions and then the children grow out of them, so we wanted to see if we can assist with this by adding them to the swap shop service!

Thank you for your support.

New Event: Christmas Craft Workshop

Advent Calendar Collection

Next week, we will be collecting advent calendars to donate to our local food bank.

The collection point is by the front door of the Junior School entrance, if you wish to make an advent calendar donation.

Every child should have an advent calendar if they want one, and with many families relying on foodbanks this is a wonderful cause to support as a school community.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Children in Need

Today at Northampton High School, we have been raising money for Children in Need and learning about how this wonderful charity helps to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the UK.

As part of our fundraising efforts, we were delighted to hold a whole school raffle to rehome Pudsey Bear! We are delighted to share that Pudsey has now found a new home with two very lucky sisters, Elizabeth and Robyn, who were thrilled to receive this special prize from Dr Lee!

Although we have now drawn the raffle to ‘rehome’ Pudsey bear, we would still be delighted to receive your donations for this incredible cause. If you wish to donate, please click here. Thank you for your generosity!

Miss Price
Digital Marketing Assistant

Parent Quiz Night

We would like to thank all of the teams for coming along to our first Quiz Night event on Thursday evening, and for making the evening a fun, competitive (with good humour!) and enjoyable night! We hope to arrange another event later in the year and would warmly welcome families to join us.

Congratulations to the winning team ‘You’re a Quizzard, Harry’ for their convincing win. They went home with gift vouchers to share and a clutch of Northampton High goodies!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool

This week in Nursery, we have experienced lots of different weather, from strong winds, (which prevented us going to Forest School) to rain, sun and cold.

We made vegetable soup in our cooking session, and we have tasted new foods for Diwali. We have also been creative with junk modelling, painting with flowers and manipulating Play Dough.

We finished the week thinking about Children in Need and helping others, and we also took part in a workout with Joe Wicks and Pudsey Bear.

This week in Preschool, we have started our week by celebrating Diwali with Reception class. The girls joined in with a range of activities, including making Rangoli patterns and clay divas, to dancing with scarves to traditional music. We also ate some traditional snacks.

We have been looking at different types of weather through observation of outside, reading books and experimenting with textures such as the snow play activity.

The girls have been managing their own risks when walking along the sea-saw outside, seeing what happened when they reach the tipping point.

We have been looking at and identifying objects beginning with the letter ‘s’, and it has been lovely to see the girls progress with this.


This week, the class have enjoyed learning about the festival of Diwali. We have watched several clips sent in from members of the class about how they celebrate at home and on Tuesday, we joined with Preschool to engage in lots of different activities in the classroom.

Some of the activities included dancing, clay divas, Rangoli patterns, making lanterns, dressing up and trying different snacks.

This week, our phonic sounds have been ‘ff’, ‘ll’ and ‘ss’. The class are becoming increasingly more confident with phonics and blending, which is lovely to see.

In our topic, we have been learning about nocturnal and diurnal animals. In Maths, we have been practising forming numbers 4 and 5, subitising and counting out groups of objects.

Year 1 Anti-Bullying Week Focus

Year 1 explored the idea of what bullying is and what it isn’t in our class assembly. We had a good understanding that bullying is when someone is unkind over and over again, and how we need to tell a trusted adult if this is happening to us or one of our friends.

This linked well with our PSHE lesson when we were thinking about ways in which we are the same and different. We talked about how it is not okay to be unkind to somebody just because they are different to us in some way.

Year 2 Anti-Bullying Week Focus

In Year 2, as part of Anti-Bullying Week, we explored some of the information on the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s website and watched a clip from their ‘Make Some Noise’ campaign. This kick-started our discussion, and we thought of examples of verbal and physical bullying.

We then spent time talking about what to do if you think you, or someone you know, is being bullied. We decided that is always a good idea to talk to a trusted adult.

Year 3 Anti-Bullying Week Focus

Year 3 spent their PSHE lesson this week thinking about conflicts, and how we can work together to resolve them before they turn into any form of bullying.

The girls role played a story about a bully, and then thought about ways in which they could respond to letters written about situations involving bullying.

Year 4 Anti-Bullying Week Focus

For Anti-Bullying Week, the girls had a serious discussion about what they feel bullying is. They understood that bullying is when someone intentionally hurts someone else, physically or emotionally, repeatedly.

The girls understood that it is important to tell a trusted adult if they feel they are being bullied or if they think someone is being bullied, and enjoyed performing a song about it. As a class, they created anti-bullying posters to offer advice.

Finally, they filled in a pair of socks with the words of all the things that make them unique and the ways we should treat each other.

Year 5 Anti-Bullying Week Focus

This week, Year 5 joined a live lesson with the BBC and the Anti-Bullying Alliance. The girls learned how to spot bullying behaviour, and thought about 5 key words; power, intention, hurt, repetition and speak-up.

They discussed the difference between banter and bullying behaviour, and thought of some ways in which they could let someone know that their jokes are making people feel uncomfortable, for example; “I was having a laugh, but it’s not funny any more. Can we talk about something else?”.

During the final part of the lesson, the girls were given some top tips for speaking up and making some noise – we can all challenge bullying behaviour and we must listen when we ourselves are challenged.

Year 6 Anti-Bullying Week Focus

On Tuesday, Year 6 were extremely lucky to join a GDST live event with Dr. Zoe Williams. The girls learned about her background, and the reasons behind her deciding to write a book.

“I thought Dr. Zoe was really inspirational because I felt like her when I was little – everything was telling her that she couldn’t do something, but her mum was saying ‘Yes, you can!’ and my family are like that.” Amelie

“It was really interesting to hear about how Dr. Zoe followed her dreams because, even though she is now a doctor, she had moments in her life when she thought consistently negative things.” Aurelia

The girls also learned about positive self talk and mindfulness.

“Self-care is incredibly important, otherwise you will never have a fun life. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself.” Angelie

“The best bit was listening to what inspired her to write the book. She wrote it for her younger self, and said that she wished she had had it when she was growing up. We also loved how she made us say good things about the person next to us!” Asmi & Avelyn

News from outside of the classroom: Artemis House Spotlight

Hi, we are Cordelia and Anna, your House and Vice Captain of Artemis this year.

Artemis was the Greek Goddess of hunting, wild animals and nature.

Some of her special powers include perfect aim with a bow and arrow, healing diseases, turning into other animals and controlling nature.

She was the only unmarried Greek Goddess, and it was uncommon for Greek women to be unmarried. Her sacred animals were deer, bears and wild boars, and her hunting companions were fierce hounds.

So far as a House, we have designed monsters in Miss Brandon-Jones’ awesome PSHE assembly. The Year 6 girls have also been doing their DT work in House groups.

We are really looking forward to doing more fun House activities this year, and are especially looking forward to the last day of this term when we will be spending the morning in our houses doing amazingly fun activities!

Cordelia & Anna
Artemis House

News from outside of the classroom: Hockey Match Reports

Last week, the Year 6 Hockey team played a match against Quinton House School. The Quinton House goalkeeper played really well, but despite her best efforts we won 5-0. Our first 3 goals were scored by Annabelle, then Hester scored the other 2. Annabelle was selected as Player of the Match. We all did really well and worked hard as a team – well done everyone!

This week, the Year 6 Hockey team played a match against Broughton Manor Prep School. We all worked really hard and won 6-0! Annabelle scored an amazing 3 goals first, followed by Hester scoring 2 amazing shots, with Poppy adding a 6th. Luisa was selected as Player of the Match.

Weekly Awards

Star Learners of the Week – Luna D, Anne A, Mehiera J, Rhoda J, Elouise S, Cordelia B, Avelyn C, Alishba F

External Achievements:

Robyn F-W – awarded a Gymnastics Medal
Grace B – achieved a British Judo Medal and completed 20 tennis matches
Isabella B –  awarded Brownie Badges
Caoimhe H-T – awarded Irish Dancer of the the month
Annie T – achieved a Green Stripe Karate Badge
Olivia H – selected for Horse Riding Competition
Aurelia T – participated in the County Youth Choir audition and was successful in getting the main part in a show

Birthdays This Week

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

Phoebe R, Rosie B

Christmas Community Session

Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 23/24: November

Term Dates


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