Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 17 September 2021


One of the great privileges of being Head of a school is the ability to wander at will around the corridors and classrooms to visit colleagues and pupils. After the first whirlwind week of settling everyone in I have, therefore, enjoyed taking time out to see what the pupils are up to over the last few days.

A hugely enjoyable aspect of leading an all-through school is walking from my office, through the Senior School English corridor, up to the dining room, and then wending my way along the Junior School classrooms until I reach our Nursery. I did just that earlier this week and along the way, I experienced GCSE or A Level literature texts being brought to life, philosophical debates in TaP lessons, and then the murmur of activity in Year 6 and 5 classrooms giving way to the more vociferous excitement of Year 4 selecting their clubs with Mrs Shaw; Reception class creating playdough sculptures and playing with water. A strange silence was to be found in Pre School and, as I made my way to their outdoor area, I could hear hushed whispers coming from inside the teepee; as I quietly spoke with their teacher to find out what they were doing, the most wonderful excited squeals of “there’s a crocodile!” filled the playground and the girls spilled out of the teepee laughing and running in their imaginary play!

Onwards to Nursery, where I found the floor covered in wooden blocks and a group of girls having a ‘tea party’ and inviting staff to “have a cuppa tea”. It would be impossible not to head reluctantly back to my next meeting without a huge smile on my face; to extend the experience I alternate my walks to take in Maths, Science, Creative Arts, or Humanities (and if time permits all of them).

Clubs started this week too and I had a frenetic and fabulous time with pupils from Years 5 to 11 coming along to learn how to knit and having a (k)natter. Clubs have been a topic that Year 7 pupils have spoken most enthusiastically about in our Headteacher’s tea parties this week too, with the only issue being whether they can fit in all they want to do! This brings me to one of our key strategic objectives this year, which is to really consider the importance of character education in schools and supporting our pupils to develop characteristics and skills such as collaboration, kindness, empathy, and resilience. You will hear more about this from all areas of the school during this academic year as we pinpoint and shine a spotlight on the characteristics we believe are of value in our community.

In the meantime, enjoy the weekend and I hope you get the opportunity to hear about the many highlights of the school week from your daughter.

Mrs O’Doherty


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

Amelia – youth sailing course Levels 1 and 2

Angelie – cricket matches

Annie – ‘Gymnast of the Week’ trophy

Asmi – paragliding certificate ‘Youngest Paraglider of the Day’

Caoimhe – pony club road safety certificate and badge

Darcy – Ibstock dance festival

Eliza – gymnastics badges 8 and 7, moved up to level 4 in swimming, Taekwondo blue, red and black tag

Ellie H – pony club show rosettes

Emily F – windsurfing, paddle sports and hockey, Sea Cadets sailing certificate Stage 1, go-karting 2nd place

Emily S– piano exam Grade 1 Distinction

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Esme – pony camp tack and turnout rosette 1st place

Grace B – tennis mini – red runner up and went on a really big tennis court with a high net; swimming course

Harriet – ballet exam Bronze Medal, Distinction with 90 marks

Lily – pony club rosettes

Lucy – ‘Gymnast of the Week’

Matilda – sailing and windsurfing course

Poppy – Sports Day certificates

Rianna – piano exam Grade 1 Distinction

Risara – dance show tap-dancing runner up

Rithika – musical theatre exam Grade 2 Distinction

Romy – National Poetry performance camp trophy came 1st in key stage, performed at The Globe

Sophia – Ibstock dance festival – song and dance 1st place; beach cleaning to save the seas

Zara – achieved her purple belt in Taekwondo


Congratulations also go to Year 2 for achieving their Forest School Level 1 Summer Award and to Year 3 for achieving their Forest School Level 2 Summer Award.


Messages for parents

Ballet: We are delighted to announce that extracurricular ballet lessons are able to resume this term. Lessons will take place at lunchtimes as before. Please contact Mrs Caroline Windsor for further information.


Break Time Snack: Please can we please ask that the snack your daughter brings in to have at break time does not contain nuts. Thank you.


Dates for your Diary:

Friday 24 September School Macmillan Coffee Morning
Saturday 2 October Open Day 10:00am until 1:00pm
Wed 6 – Friday 8 October Year 5 Residential to Grafham Water
Monday 11 October Individual photographs
Wednesday 13 October Parents Evening – 6pm-8pm
Thursday 14 October Parents Evening – 3.50pm-5.50pm
Thursday 14 October Sports Team photographs
Friday 15 October End of half term
Monday 1 November Start of half term

Class Assemblies

We are pleased to welcome back parents and grandparents 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 22 September 4N
Wednesday 29 September 6H
Wednesday 6 October 2N
Wednesday 13 October 5N
Wednesday 17 November 4H
Wednesday 24 November 1N
Wednesday 1 December 3N

Nursery - Kipper Room and Elmer Room

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It has been lovely to see old and new faces and how the girls have joined together to support each other with the transitions. They have done extremely well in settling back or starting back at Nursery – well done, girls!

While exploring the different Nursery environments indoors and outside, we have been focusing on getting to know the girls’ individuality and their chosen preferences, to provide activities and opportunities for their own unique experiences based on their individual needs to enhance their learning.

We have been going on walks combining their learning of shapes and listening. The main focus was teaching them life-long skills of keeping safe outdoors and giving them a sense of freedom, but also teaching them about how we have to follow rules in order to keep ourselves safe. We talked about road safety on our walks when making the most of the school grounds and the need to hold hands when near roads or cars. They learned the rule ‘hold hands, stop, look and listen’, to help develop their understanding of what we need to do when crossing a road.

The girls have all gone in different directions based on their individual interests. We have had girls who have preferred being outside, developing their physical skills on the bikes. Other girls have chosen mark-making as their way forward, creating pictures using a range of different resources. Animals seem to be a popular interest with some of the girls, which has been the starting point to use in different ways to extend their learning.

A pumpkin and courgette brought out some of the girls’ inquisitive side and was a starting point for many conversations.

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What the girls have said:

“We have to hold hands.” Danaya
“Car.” Amber
“Zebra, tiger, elephant.” Miracle

Looking ahead to next week:

Next week we will be continuing to ‘learn all about me’.

We are going to introduce ‘show and tell’ on a Monday to help the girls gain independence and confidence, while also learning to listen to their friends and to develop their communication and questioning skills. Please could your daughter choose something from home they wish to talk about to the class? It could be photos of an experience they have had at the weekend or a favourite toy.

Please would you bring in a picture of your daughter brushing their teeth at home and write anything they say whilst doing this on the back, or we are happy to give you a speech bubble so we can put these on our display.

Nursery - Pre School

All the girls have settled well into Pre School and have engaged in exploring the new space and resources available to them, although it is still early days and reminders of where things are, including the toilets, are still required.

We have started the term with ‘All About Me’, and so far we have talked about our appearances using the story ‘Monkey Puzzle’ to encourage descriptive language.  Some girls made self-portraits while looking in the mirror, deciding which colours were most appropriate for them. Others used playdough to make representations of themselves.

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In PE, we explored the different ways our bodies moved and how the animals in the story moved too. In French, we sang ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ and learned the French names of other body parts too.

Next week we will be exploring our senses and the changes of the season.


What a fantastic start everyone has made to Reception Class. The class have been finding out about all the new areas and activities for them. They have all settled into eating their lunch in the dining room, Swimming, PE, and lots of other exciting tasks. They have had many different routines to remember and have risen to the challenges with big smiles and enthusiasm.

A very positive beginning to the school year, well done, everyone, and have a lovely restful weekend.


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Year 1

I am so proud of Year 1 and how well they have settled into their new classroom and routines. They are already able to organise their belongings in the morning and are quickly settled and ready to learn. They are all tired after working and playing so hard, and ready for the weekend after two full weeks back in school.

Highlights this week have been handling a collection of ‘old’ toys, amazing Mr Watson with their confidence in French lessons, and playing in Cave Baby’s cave.

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What the girls have said:

“I like doing Maths in my workbook. It’s fun doing counting.” Mille
“I like logging on and logging off in Computing.” Zara

Looking ahead to next week:

Maths – we will be comparing numbers and objects and introducing <,> and =
English – we will be sequencing events in a story and showing that we know that sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop.

Year 2

This week in Maths we have been continuing to look at place value and the importance of the position of the digits in a number. We have learnt to partition numbers into tens and ones and written different addition number sentences to make the same answer.

We had an exciting start to our new English book when we had to investigate a crime, stolen porridge, and write a description of the thief, Goldilocks. The girls have used a thesaurus to find even more exciting adjectives.

In Science, we were investigating how shadows form, unfortunately, we chose the only rainy day so had to use torches rather than the sun!

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What the girls have said:

“It was exciting when we came into the classroom and the porridge had been eaten!” Emily
“I have enjoyed partitioning numbers in Maths.” Grace

Looking ahead to next week:

Maths – comparing and ordering numbers. Revising counting in 2s, 5s, and 10s then trying to count in 3s
English – continuing to look at ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, focusing on the structure of the story and how each character may be feeling
Science – how do we see? Can we see in the dark?

Year 3

We have had such a great and busy start to Year 3 already.

Our first couple of weeks have seen the introduction to our Humanities and Science area of focus: Stone Age-Iron Age and Rocks. The girls are enjoying learning about the different time periods and what prehistoric life might have been like. We have learned some facts about Stonehenge, one of the most famous Bronze Age stone circles in the world, and we had a lot of fun building replicas using custard cream biscuits! We have been carrying out some rock investigations in Science too and learning more about their properties and some of their uses.

In Maths, our focus has been place value and we have started working with ‘hundreds’ numbers.

In English, we have been reading ‘The First Drawing’ by Mordicai Gerstein. With this, we have been exploring cause and effect conjunctions, modal verbs, and, through writing some diary entries, we have been practising regular and irregular plurals.

In Art, we have been making some natural paints and using some natural implements to paint with too.

It’s so wonderful to be back in school together and continue our new learning journey in Year 3.

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What the girls have said:

“I loved learning about our new topics.” Kinara
“I like learning about hundreds numbers in Maths.” Eloise C
“I liked doing the investigations with rocks to see which was best for the job!” Evette

Looking ahead to next week:

Maths – place value
English – focusing on exclamation sentences and apostrophes
Science – types of rock

Year 4

In Maths, we have been rounding to 10 and 100, then we introduced thousands and began thinking about the place value of 4-digit numbers.

In English, we read the first few pages of our text ‘Tar Beach’ and worked on creating expanded noun phrases to describe the setting. We also looked at word classes.

In Science, we learnt more about how electricity is made and the two types: mains and batteries.

We have had a great couple of weeks. The girls are now getting used to the new routines and settling in well.

Thank you to all parents for your support with this.

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What the girls have said:

“I really enjoyed Computing. It was fun to learn about not going on links.” Diya
“I really enjoyed researching the artist Faith Ringgold in Art. I found out lots of interesting facts about her.” Lily
“I really enjoyed doing Maths with Mrs Smith and playing all the fun games.” Angelie
“I really enjoyed PE. In Hockey, we pretended the balls were dogs so we had to treat them special.” Luisa

Looking ahead to next week:

English – using conjunctions (e.g. because and so) to write a character description
Maths – partitioning and comparing 4-digit numbers, 1000 more/less
Science – predicting and testing complete and incomplete circuits

Dates for your diary:

Wednesday 22 September – 8.35am 4N Class Assembly
Wednesday 6 October – Forest School

Year 5

Welcome back! What a wonderful first couple of weeks we have had. The girls have settled into Year 5 routines so well – they are working confidently, behaving sensibly, and seem determined to try their best in everything they do.

In our PSHE lesson on Friday I set the girls the task of thinking about what makes a good learner. The girls worked independently to come up with words and definitions which we are going to sort into order of importance this week. I was expecting them to say ‘work hard’ and ‘listen carefully’.

I was hoping for ‘be kind’ and ‘be positive’. What I wasn’t expecting were 57 different learning characteristics and definitions! The girls truly understand what it means to be a good learner, and I can’t wait for them to enjoy making mistakes, taking risks, persevering, and succeeding this year.

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What the girls have said:

“In Art, I really enjoyed doing a still-life picture of an apple and adding oil pastels. It was really fun sketching the apples and doing the blending with the pastels. I am really proud of how my sketching went and now I have added the pastels it looks even more like a real apple. I especially like how I have blended the colours.” Ellie

“Being in Year 5 means that I am more independent and we are working hard, and the most exciting thing that’s happening is our Macmillan Coffee Morning which is next Friday. It’s one of my first charities in school and we are going to be selling cakes and helping Cancer Research. Everybody is making a poster and we are going to put them around school and they will have information on them.” Maya

Dates for your Diary:

Friday 24 September – Year 5 Macmillan Coffee Morning 7:30am – 8:30am
Wednesday 29 September – Forest School (come in Forest School clothes and bring PE kit for the afternoon)

Year 6

We are happy to report that Year 6 have started school with a positive growth mindset and boundless enthusiasm, and we look forward to sharing their successes with you as the year unfolds.

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Pupil comments:

“At Forest School, I liked how we got to make a basket and drop the golf ball inside it. We had 3 tries and a girl in our group managed to get it in. In Science, we classified sweets using their differences and made Yes/No keys.” Lottie

“We have had a really busy week and we have really enjoyed visiting lots of different classrooms in the Senior School, and having lots of different teachers. The PE lessons have kept us really active and they have been great fun.” Felicity and Lucy

“I enjoyed Classics Club because I learnt a bit of Latin and we are now writing and producing our own plays. I liked using 2Race in Purple Mash during Computing because it was quick-fire Maths questions.” Matilda

“Forest School was a great adventure. We really enjoyed spending time with Betty and getting to know each other by playing team games, including caterpillar races. We also enjoyed making straw baskets and bubble pipes.” Lydia and Flo

Next week we look forward to broadening our understanding of addition and subtraction through problem-solving, further exploring the use of powerful language through our writing inspired by the book, ‘The Arrival’ by Shaun Tan, and using and creating keys to classify vertebrates and invertebrates in Science.

GAP Club

We are all thrilled to be back in the GAP Club Room.

The girls have enjoyed being creative in GAP Club. They have been painting, collaging, dressing up and playing in the role play area. The older girls have also planted violas in our pots.

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What the girls have said:

“Playing ‘Dobble” with Mrs Shah and being back in the room.” Tendo, Year 6
“Dressing up and playing with the big girl.” Ella, Reception.
“Playing with the younger children.” Tami, Year 5

Looking ahead to next week:

The girls have decided they would like to participate in animal-themed activities.

Raise Her Up - GDST Podcasts

We are delighted to let you know that the GDST launched its podcast series, ‘Raise Her Up’ on 8 September.

This podcast builds on the success of last academic year’s GDST Talks programme and will feature fortnightly episodes, focusing on broad topics around wellbeing, health, parenting and equality which as parents and educators we are bound to encounter. Forthcoming episodes feature expert guest speakers covering subjects such as gender equal parenting, Generation A, the teenage development journey, navigating the ‘new normal’ post-Covid, and dealing with eco-anxiety – amongst other topics which we hope you will find relevant, informative and engaging.

The trailer and first episode, on ‘Learning To Live With Covid’ are available here; going forward, new episodes will be available fortnightly Wednesdays on this same link, as well as on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Google and any other platforms usually used for podcasts.  You may find it easier to subscribe so that you are more easily able to access new episodes.

We would welcome your feedback on any topics you’d be interested in learning about; please email the podcast host Cathy Walker on to share your ideas.

Mrs O’Doherty

The Orchestra - Autumn Term Recruitment

We were delighted to hear the Orchestra playing this week as the lunchtime rehearsals for the Christmas Concert began. The Music Department was on hand to support our musicians as they worked through each piece to familiarise themselves with their parts. A broad range of year groups was present and we are very keen to recruit new members to achieve the right balance between instrument sections. We are particularly in need of more brass and woodwind!

We are an inclusive musical community with exciting opportunities on the horizon this year. The Orchestra is open to all musicians from Year 5 onwards, with older pupils supporting the younger ones as part of our approach to celebrating our shared musical experience. Not only do we have our concert at All Saints’ Church to look forward to, we are also re-launching our postponed musical ‘Seussical’ and the Orchestra will be playing in this production. Please do encourage your daughter to join us!

Mr Nathan
Director of Music

Paralympic Games - Tokyo 2020

The highlight of the Games so far seems to be the interview given by our former Northampton High student Ellie Robinson after the women’s S6 50m butterfly final.

How passionately she talked about her pride in finishing fifth and what a tough year it had been for her; it was the emotion that came out when she said she would have crawled to the pool if she had to, because she wanted to finish the Games on her terms. We are so very proud of you Ellie!

Please click here to view the video of Ellie’s speech.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

NMPAT return to Northampton High!

We are delighted to announce that Northampton Music and Performing Arts Trust will be returning to our school with their weekly Saturday Morning Music Centre. The centre provides groups and ensembles for a range of instruments:

  • Strings
  • Woodwind
  • Brass
  • Guitar
  • Ukulele
  • Rock and Pop

The Centre takes students from Year 3 upwards, and no prior experience is needed. Sessions run from 9.15am-12.15pm every Saturday morning during term time within our own school Music department.

If you are interested in joining, sessions will start on Saturday 18 September. There is a link attached for you to register, and there are more details provided, including a link to the Saturday Centre’s Facebook page.

The first term is fully funded, and we are delighted to inform you that Northampton High students will receive a 50% discount off any fees due for future terms from January 2022 onwards.

Mr Hume
Director of Finance and Operations

Car Park Safety

In our continued efforts to monitor and improve safety around the car park area of the school site, we are delighted to have installed new digital speed limit signs.

Thank you to all parents for your continued support in helping to make this area as safe as possible.

Mr Stubbs
Operations Manager

Macmillan Coffee Morning - Friday 24 September

We are excited to hold a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday 24 September! Cakes and biscuits will be available for 50p each, with hot drinks available to adults between 7.30am – 8.30am.

if you would like any more information, please contact Miss Brandon-Jones. We hope to see you there!

Miss Brandon-Jones
Year 5 Teacher

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