Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 18 December 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

“If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.”  Seamus Heaney

Unsurprisingly, this has been a rather unusual end to the term, and to a challenging year for all. It hasn’t dampened spirits, however, and over the past few hours students and staff have enjoyed virtual celebrations from their respective classrooms, offices or homes. Treats have included a showing of Mrs Hodgetts-Tate’s ‘Chemis-tree Extravaganza’, Year 2’s ‘Zoom Nativity’, a ‘Shakespeare Christmas Sketch’ and a staff performance of ‘12 Days of Christmas’, for which I was persuaded to play the recorder for the first time in over a decade – and it showed!

We have also enjoyed U3 House Storytelling, an outdoor performance of ‘Frosty the Snowman’, virtual Christmas Concerts in both the Senior and Junior Schools and ‘Northampton High’s Got Talent’. Many of these were devised and run by the students, but our amazing Creative Arts Faculty have also had much input, too. I thank all involved, including alumna Teni, for reminding us just how amazing the community at Northampton High School is.

The end of term would usually include a ‘Celebration of Giving’, too, and Mrs O’Doherty reflected on this as she introduced this afternoon’s virtual event. Considering the ways in which we have (metaphorically) ‘wrapped our arms around others’ during the term, she spoke of the gentle ways in which we have cared and of the bigger fundraising events, too, including ‘Jeans for Genes’, a MacMillan ‘Coffee Morning’, and Medical Detection Dogs.

The biggest event of the term, though, was ‘Challenge 24 for Pancreatic Cancer’, which culminated in a whole-school ‘purple day’ on 19 November. Having been rocked by the news that Mr Chris Bailey, Head of Junior School, had been diagnosed with the disease at the start of term, the entire community came together to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK. To date we have raised almost £10,000 and Chris sends his thanks and his love to all. He is “missing everyone and thinking of [us] constantly”.

In Mr Bailey’s absence, the Junior School is in the very capable hands of Mrs Marissa Davis as Acting Head, and I was delighted to welcome both her and Mrs Agnes Chiano, director of Finance and Operations, to the Senior Team this term. Sadly, there have been a few goodbyes, too, including Mrs Caroline Perry and Mr Alfonso Garcia from the Languages faculty, Miss Eden Brown from PE and Mrs Sue Eggleton from the Junior School. I will reflect more on their time with us and all that they have given in my newsletter to parents after Christmas, but for now I know that you will join me in wishing them all the best in the next stage of their lives.

As I draw to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to thank students and staff for everything that they have done to keep themselves and others safe this term and you, too, for all your support. As things stand, we expect to reopen for live teaching on Monday 11 January as planned. This means that we will avoid the staggered start that is being suggested for schools due to open earlier in the month, although this could change again. I will monitor the situation and await further information on this, the rollout of mass testing and other changes over the festive period, and update you in a timely manner.

In the meantime, my warmest wishes to all for a happy and safe holiday and a peaceful New Year,

Caroline Petryszak

Festive Wishes

The girls have once again been fantastic this week. They have thoroughly immersed themselves into a variety of fun activities, prepared so thoughtfully by their teachers, and there has been merriment all around. It has been a joy to see such a great week of sparkle and enjoyment.

There will be some tired girls and staff at the end of this week for sure, but the collegiate, warm spirit around the school has been palpable and this is another example that Northampton High’s Junior School is such a special place to be. My sincere thanks go to everyone in our school community – girls, staff, parents and all those many people that help and support us.

Have a relaxing time with your family, and enjoy together one of the most precious gifts – that of time.

My very best wishes to you all.

Marissa Davis
Acting Head of Junior School

Dates for your diary

Monday 21 to Tuesday 22 December – Foundation+ holiday club

Monday 4 to Friday 8 January – Foundation+ holiday club

Friday 8 January – INSET Day

Monday 11 January – Start of Spring Term

Monday 11 January – Start of Multi-Sports Clubs

Monday 18 January – Start of Spring Term teacher-led Clubs

Wednesday 27 January – Mrs Purvey-Tyrer’s Art Club will begin


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

Lucy T – gained her green and black belt
Daisy S – gained her red and black belt

Phoebe S – after competing in a national competition over the weekend, Phoebe won first place for her classical ballet solo performance

Maya J – cooked for the homeless twice at her Grandad’s house with her family. “We cooked rice and curry with vegetables on the side.”

Sophia B – Entry Level Award in Performance (Level 3). Acting Entry Level – Solo – Distinction

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Junior School Christmas Performances 2020

(this video has been uploaded to YouTube as ‘unlisted’, meaning it is only accessible via this link)

L5 students perform 'Frosty the Snowman' for Reception students!

Last Friday afternoon, Reception students were rewarded with a special treat, as they made their way down to Forest School for a special live performance of ‘Frosty the Snowman’ performed from L5.

One of the many advantages of being an all-through school is that we can host events involving students as young as 2 years old all the way up to our students in 6.2, and our L5 Drama students had a fantastic time putting together their play for the enjoyment of our Reception class. A fantastic time was had by all, with the play doing a wonderful job of getting people in the Christmas spirit, and we are delighted to share it with you here. We hope you enjoy!

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Ele-Mental Chemis-Tree Virtual Extravaganza!

At Northampton High School, Christmas is always a special time of year. We relish hosting fun activities and exciting events for our students to enjoy, and in recent years, one of our most anticipated events is the Ele-Mental Chemis-Tree Christmas Extravaganza! Masterminded by Mrs Hodgetts-Tate, the event takes staff and students on a journey through the world of Chemistry, consisting of mind-blowing experiments and jaw-dropping potions, all tied up in a Christmassy theme.

In any ‘normal’ year, the Senior Hall would be packed out with staff and students for the event, and although that unfortunately cannot be possible this year, this hasn’t stopped Mrs H-T and Mr Turney from bring us the event this year. Taking place in the classroom, this year’s event is virtual, and we are delighted to share it with you here. Featuring experiments such as the ‘Whoosh Bottle’, the ‘Ethanol Rocket’ the ‘Dichromate Volcano’ and more, this year’s event is one not to be missed.

A huge thank you to Mrs Hodgetts-Tate and Mr Turney for putting this event together for our entertainment – we hope you enjoy!

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Backchat: Latest edition released

We are delighted to share with you the latest edition of ‘Backchat’, the student-produced magazine.

This edition has been edited by Natalie and Verity, and features contributions from students across all of the Junior School. The girls have done an excellent job in putting this together, and to read the magazine, please click here.

Mr Viesel
Teacher of English

Nursery Kipper Room and Elmer Room

This week in Nursery the girls have taken part in lots of festive fun activities. Ballet this week was Christmas-themed, hiding like cheeky elves and floating like Christmas fairies.

We have created Father Christmas’ snowy footprints, searched for the hiding snowmen, made reindeer food, had a visit from the man himself, Father Christmas, and created many other Christmas crafts. The excitement is clear to see around Nursery for Christmas.

We finished the week with a trip to Forest School and Christmas dinner wearing our Christmas fancy dress.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021!

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Nursery Pre School

The festivities have been in full flow this week with lots of the girls declaring they feel excited at our morning group time when we talk about the day. Our festive fun day involved lots of dancing, playing games and even a visit from Santa and Rudolf.

The exploration area has been in full swing with even more glitter and dried fruits which makes the area smell very festive.

We hope you all have a lovely Christmas and find some time to relax!

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This week we have been thinking about the festival of Christmas. The girls have engaged in many creative activities and developed a wide range of different skills. We have had a festive fun afternoon – a film afternoon with tickets, numbered seating and a snack!

The girls have enjoyed investigating ice and objects that float and sink. We have been making repeating patterns in many different ways.

At the end of the first full term, we have been very pleased with how the girls have settled confidently into their class. All enthusiastically undertaking the activities on offer and keen to show new skills learnt.

Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable Christmas break and a Happy New Year.


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Year 1


It has been a busy and exciting final week of term in Year 1. We have been creating Christmas crafts and taking part in lots of Christmas activities.

We have been completing addition and subtraction Christmas Maths puzzles and in English we have been creating Christmas shape poems. We have also written a letter to Santa, thinking about what we would like for Christmas, but also something that would make other people happy too. In Swimming, we were pretending to be Santa and reindeers using woggles to drive the sleigh.

We really loved our last day, watching a film, the final assembly and listening to each year group’s poetry and music.

What the girls have said:

“I have enjoyed Christmas Colouring.” Grace and Eve
“I have liked doing the Christmas Maths.” Shanaya
“I loved Christmas swimming.” Caoimhe
“I liked writing our Christmas poem.” Emily, Isabella and Elouise
“I liked dancing the Jingle Bell Rock.” Rhoda

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and we look forward to seeing you in January.

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Year 2


Our lessons in school this week have all been themed around Christmas. In Maths, we have completed some different investigations which tested several of our Maths skills. In English, we have written a letter to Father Christmas and created some Christmas shape poetry. In Art, we have had lots of fun creating some Christmas crafts using glitter glue and finger paints.

We had a couple of fun afternoons too which included watching a pantomime performance – we loved joining in with the all the usual audience phrases! We also got to watch the final copy of our fantastic Nativity Show – we hope you love watching it too! Wishing you all a safe and restful holiday.

What the girls have said:

“We loved watching our Nativity video.” All of Year 2
“We liked the Maths investigation and finding out who the naughty Elf was.” Cristina and Eloise
“I liked seeing Tipsy the Elf on his sledge.” Avani
“I liked reading and finishing the ‘London’s Burning’ book.” Kinara
“We liked fun swim.” Holly, Leah, Evette and Amelia
“We liked watching the Panto.” Lucy, Thea, and Amber

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Year 3


This week in Maths we have been continuing with work on multiplication and division as well has completing some Christmas Maths activities. In English we have been recalling the story of ‘The Pied Piper’ and writing our own dilemma plays to perform to the class. We all enjoyed our film afternoon and even finished the day with a little dancing!

What the girls have said:

“I enjoyed performing and watching the plays in English.” Cordelia
“I liked computing because we got to choose what we did. I did 2Race against my friends.” Varnikha
“I liked having our film afternoon. The film was very funny.” Lily
“I really enjoyed completing the activities in our Christmas folders.” Angelie

Look ahead to next term:

After Christmas in Maths we will be extending our knowledge of multiplication and division, using 2-digit by 1-digit calculations. In English we will be starting an exciting new text, which will take us back to the Stone Age. This will fit in well with our Stone Age to Iron Age topic in Humanities. More curriculum information for next term can be found on Firefly.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. Thank you very much for my gift and the accompanying kind words. Your daughters have been a pleasure to teach this term and I look forward to sharing more learning with them next term.

Merry Christmas!
Mrs Dadge

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Year 4


In Maths we looked at 7 times table multiplication and division facts. One of the useful strategies we learnt is that multiplying by 5 and 2 is the same as multiplying by 7.

In English we described the four main characters in our class book: The Thieves of Ostia, using evidence from the text. We also thought about the setting. Set in Roman times, this is an excellent book to develop the girls’ historical understanding.

In Humanities we learnt about Roman Gods and created posters about them.

What the girls have said: 

“I am really enjoying reading ‘The Thieves of Ostia’ and I am engrossed in the story.” Tami
“I liked the film we watched on film afternoon called Santa Clause. I liked the bit where the Dad kept trying to shave his beard off and it kept growing back. I had popcorn and apple juice.” Ishani
“I enjoyed Humanities this week. We learnt about Roman Gods and I made a poster about Pluto, the ruler of the underworld.” Avleen

Looking ahead to next term:
English – Winter’s Child text: making predictions, conventions of speech
Maths – 11 and 12x tables, factor pairs, multiplying 3 numbers
Science – States of Matter: Solid, Liquid or Gas?
Humanities – Geography: A contrasting UK locality. Where is Whitby?

Please note, entries for the GDST writing competition need to be finished and handed in to me (or shared with me) by Tuesday 12th January. We all made a start on it for Prep (saved in OneDrive) and some girls have already been working hard on their entries. It is not compulsory, but if your daughter has some free time before we come back to school please remind her that this is something she could be doing. The theme is ‘Belonging’.

The girls have worked extremely hard this term and all deserve a rest and lots of fun with their families. Wishing you all a peaceful, enjoyable and relaxing break. Merry Christmas.

Mrs Shaw

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Year 5


Happy Christmas! It’s been a really full on, fantastic term. This week I asked the Year 5 girls what they had enjoyed so far. We looked at our Flickr photos and reminded ourselves what an amazing time we’ve had!

What the girls have said:

“We don’t feel new or shy any more. We have got used to people. We feel warm and happy and comfortable and we like the attention that people give us. We feel special, just like everyone else in our school.” Lucy and Emilly S

“This term we really enjoyed doing PSHE lessons. We did a Diwali presentation and about the celebration and the story. We really liked learning about people with different cultures, backgrounds and behaviours. We learned a lot especially about respecting everyone.” Rithika and Rianna

“We have really liked learning new skills in PE and Games. We’ve played matches and been in all the different positions in hockey, and in House Hockey we saw each other improve and supported all the teams.” Esme and Ellie

“Our favourite thing was Forest School. We like all the different activities that were available to us, but we really liked taking Betty and being creative with the nature around us.” Lydia and Safiya

“Art has been a real highlight this term and we enjoyed it hugely. We have been focusing on David Hockney – he used acrylics and cool textures to make his art look interesting and inspiring. We loved how he used 3D effects to make his art come to life.” Lottie & Amelia

“One of the things that I am most proud of is the dramatic increase of effort in my work and how much I have improved, especially in Maths. I think my most enjoyed lesson was doing the Art and decorating and painting my photo frame.” Florence

“We have liked Geography lessons about Brazil and South America best because we like learning about different countries and cultures. We also liked learning about our local area and having the debate about if we wanted to put more buildings near school. We are really excited for History next term as well!” Matilda and Emily F

“Our favourite lessons were English. At the beginning of the year we started with Philippe Petit walking in between the Twin Towers. We read the book in sections and we all got really intrigued to see what was going to happen at the end of the lesson. We also enjoyed ‘Robot Girl‘ and ‘The Highwayman’ poem because they were interesting and made us curious.” Darcy and Sophia

“It was really fun when we were making our space things that we could spin so the Earth was orbiting the sun, the moon was orbiting the Earth and the Earth was spinning on its axis.” Mollie, Aiyana and Alice

“Our favourite part of Year 5 so far has been the DT lessons. Throughout the lessons we made photo frames, testing our carpentry skills! We are very pleased with the end result and are planning to give them as Christmas presents.” Evelyn and Phoebe

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and I look forward to seeing you all in January.

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Year 6

As we approach Christmas it has been a time for us, as class teachers, to reflect on all the girls have achieved this term. We have been impressed with their positive attitudes and resilience towards the range of activities they have been set, and it has been a joy to watch each girl develop as an individual.

This week the girls have immersed themselves in multiplying and dividing fractions, creating their own eco-islands, designing and making water colour Christmas cards and sewing felt stockings to adorn their Christmas trees at home.

Highlights of the week have included:

“My highlight of the week is when we made the stockings for decoration because I learnt how to do blanket stitch!” Odelia

“My highlight is that we did our Christmas cards to give to our parents, a friend or family member. We painted a Christmas tree at the front of the card and then wrote a nice Christmas message.” Sima

“I really enjoyed choreographing a dance with my friends to ‘All I want for Christmas’. It was great working together and it made us smile and laugh lots. We really felt Christmasy!” Lois

“I enjoyed sewing the stockings and adding lots of beads and a bell.” Amelie

“The highlight of my week was completing my clay fish. I mixed acrylic paints to create a teal colour. My fish is an unknown species, and I am going to keep him in my bedroom to store my bits and bobs!” Florence

“I really enjoyed creating our eco-island. Our island is called Sateareo and it is just off the coast of Australia. It is a tropical biome and self-sufficient through the creation of our own food and natural sources of energy. As a culture we believe in being kind to the environment and working together to create a better world for us and future generations.” Isla M

Next term we look forward to continuing to see the girls develop and grow in all areas. A Curriculum Map for next term has been added to our Firefly pages and this page has been recommended to you, as parents.

We wish you all a happy and safe Christmas and look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year!

Karen Fordham and Nicola Taylor

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High Sports: Autumn 2020

We are delighted to share with you the latest edition of of our High Sports publication for the Autumn Term.

In this edition, we look back over the summer months and reminisce about Guided Home Learning, in particular our first ever Virtual Sports Day, moving onto the autumn and how the world of sport at Northampton High has adapted to the current environment. We look at individual and team successes, and discuss our wellbeing curriculum that will continue into the spring term.

You can view the newsletter by clicking here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Travel and COVID reporting over the Christmas period

As this week has seen a reduction in the number of days that we are required to self-isolate, the introduction of the ‘Test to Release for International Travel’ system and a requirement for schools to remain contactable at the beginning of the holidays in order to support NHS Test and Trace, I would like to take this opportunity to outline our procedures:

Travel over the Christmas period

I am sure you are aware, the Government introduced a ‘Test to Release for International Travel’  system yesterday for people who need to self-isolate on arrival in England because they have travelled to a country not currently on the travel corridor list.

The scheme, which only applies to England, gives travellers the option of reducing their quarantine period to a minimum of 5 days providing they take a private COVID-19 test and this gives a negative result.

As this scheme has been put in place by the Government, the GDST recognises it and will allow staff and pupils to return to school after foreign travel, providing that the requirements of the scheme have been followed in full and schools are provided with a copy of the test results for each pupil / member of staff.

In the event that a person tests positive they, and members of their household, must self-isolate for 10 days from the date when they took the test, or when their symptoms started.

In the event that a person receives an inconclusive test result, they must continue to self-isolate for 10 days, but other members of their household who did not travel are not required to self-isolate.

The ‘Test to Release for International Travel’ contains a useful graphic explaining how the system works; it also gives various examples of self-isolation periods and when you can take a test.

Parents are asked to inform us as soon as possible if travel is likely to affect their daughter’s return to school on Monday 11 January.

COVID reporting over the Christmas period

If a pupil or member of staff develops coronavirus symptoms in the 48hrs after they were last in school, I ask that I be informed directly using or I ask that you do this immediately, even if it is over the weekend. I will need to know the following:

* The date the symptoms started

* When the COVID test is booked for

* For staff and senior school students, a list of close contacts during the last 48 hours in school

At the time of writing we are seeing the turnaround of tests, locally, within 24-48hrs. As soon as you have the test results, please send a follow-up email to let me know whether it is negative or positive.

This will allow me to follow up any close contacts as soon as possible and let them know about self-isolation, should this be necessary.

If a pupil or member of staff develops coronavirus symptoms more than 48hrs after the end of term and subsequently tests positive you would need to follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.

We would then ask that you let us know before the school reopens in January, using the same email addresses as above. I hope that none of this will be necessary.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy break!

Caroline Petryszak

Car Park Safety

We would like to politely remind staff, parents and visitors to be mindful of the 5 mph speed limit in the school car park.

Pedestrians have right of way, so please continue to remain vigilant of people crossing the roads at the crossings and other points. When driving from the Senior School side towards the exit, please be mindful of cars exiting the Junior School car park.

Thank you for your continued assistance in this matter.

Mr Stubbs
Operations Manager

Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

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