Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 18 November 2022

Forest Schools: what does the evidence say? 

Forest School, and outdoor learning in general, is increasingly popular as a part of teaching experiences and here at Northampton High Junior School we are very fortunate to have excellent resources to embed this in to our educational offer to a high standard for your daughters.

In the past two decades, there has been an increasing number of academic research into the impact of outdoor education in general, and Forest School in particular. 

Forest School is an outdoor learning environment in nature, where children are supported to develop through exploration and play. According to the Forest School Association, it will take place in a wooded or woodland environment and promote holistic development. Through regular opportunities, Forest School will give learners the opportunity to take supported risks and develop into resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

In the past 20 years, there has been an increasing number of research papers looking into the impact of Forest School on children who have taken part in it. Studies have shown that Forest Schools can contribute to greater confidence in children, as well as supporting their wellbeing and self-esteem. A study by Forest Research, a research branch of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), found that children who took part in Forest Schools gained confidence, particularly in ‘new and unfamiliar’ environments, and demonstrated ‘a greater self-belief in their capabilities’. The independence and risk-taking aspects of Forest School encouraged them to feel more confident taking risks in other settings.

Similarly, a review by education specialists Angela Garden and Graham Downes highlights studies showing that Forest Schools boost children’s wellbeing. One study by Cumming and Nash linked this wellbeing to a connection with place and the natural environment. The study by Forest Research found that as children work independently from adults, they gain ‘an increased awareness of others’ personal space,’ and can ‘form new friendships’ with others. Moreover, a study by Coats and Pimlott-Wilson, found that Forest Schools gave children opportunities for collaborative working and team-building skills which weren’t always possible in the classroom.

Forest Schools have been linked to an increased engagement with nature and a more ‘pro-environmental’ attitude among children. A study by the University of Cumbria found that children who took part in Forest Schools developed a more pro-environmental attitude than those who didn’t. At a time when discussions of teaching climate change are of rising priority, Forest Schools seem like they could naturally develop a greater concern for nature.

Forest schools have been linked to helping children develop their physical skills, such as gross and fine motor skills, as well as their understanding of the natural world.

The report by Forest Research found evidence that the activities involved in Forest School help children improve their balance, develop their motor skills and grow their stamina. They also found that it helped increase children’s knowledge of the natural world. 

Research examined by Haq Nawaz and Sarah Blackwell also found that there were ‘positive associations between outdoor education and children’s grades’ and behaviour. This is linked to the opportunities children had for problem-solving and creativity. Part of the ethos of Forest School is that environments are ‘safe enough’ but where the children can take controlled manageable risks. Risk-taking is an important part of child development, as children learn from mistakes, develop risk management skills and identify good risks to take. 

I trust you have found it interesting to read the benefits of Forest School and the reasons we are committed to ensuring your daughter’s educational is enhanced by it.

Our girls love their time in Forest School and the impact is clear to see.

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School 

November and December in Junior School

Tea Towels

The deadline for ordering your Northampton High tea towels is Wednesday 23 November. To ensure you don’t miss out please make sure you place your order on Parent Pay before the deadline.

A great memory and an easy Christmas present! 

Weston Favell Food Bank

Parents will recall us supporting this local foodbank last month and we would like to offer to support again as we approach Christmas.

Families can donate either advent calendars or selection boxes. We will have a collection station just inside the front door of Junior School from 28 November to 9 December for you to make your donations.

Thank you in advance for your support. 

Online Safety Guidance

Minecraft is a beloved classic of modern gaming. First released in 2011, this open-ended ‘sandbox’ game of building and exploration still has over 140 million players who happily return to play it at least once every month. Encouraging creativity and problem solving, Minecraft has plenty to offer gamers of all ages, and it’s available on almost all video game platforms.

In this guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as in-game purchases, addiction and chatting with strangers. Please click here to view the guide. 

Secret Present Workshop, Craft Workshop and Sparkle Party 

Have you organised your daughter’s tickets for these three Christmas events? If not then please do so as soon as possible so that your daughter can enjoy these with her friends.

Secret Present Workshop – 1 December-An opportunity for the children to choose a gift for chosen family members do that they can give on Christmas Day as a surprise gift.

Christmas Craft Workshop – 8 December-An opportunity for each class to spend time together creating some wonderful Christmas crafts.

Sparkle Party-15 December – A Christmas party that will be full of fun, sparkle and festive cheer! 

Music Prefects

Following a selection process the following girls will be our Music Prefects for this academic year. In these roles they will support the celebration of music in their year group and across the school. 

Year 3
Rhoda J
Ellie A

Year 4
Avani A
Leah W

Year 5
Diya B
Asmi S

Year 6
Harini S
Risara S
Tami S

Times Table Rockstar - England Rocks Competition Results

Our Key Stage 2 girls embraced the Times Table competition run by TimesTable Rockstar this week in true Northampton High style – committed, resilient and confident! We were really pleased to see we came third when compared to other local all through schools. More importantly for us was the individual and then class achievements.

The following girls were the top performers in each year group: 

Year 6: Preesha T
Year 5: Angelie B
Year 4:Kinara B
Year 3: Eve C

Well done to all the girls who spent time on TimesTable Rockstar during the competition period as their times table recall will have benefitted as a result. 

Tickets for Christmas Performances

Physical tickets will be issued to our families to enjoy our Christmas performances this year. 

3 tickets per Nursery and Pre School family for the performance on Tuesday 6 December at 2pm

2 tickets per performance, per Reception to Year 2 family for the performances on Wednesday 7 December at 10.30am and Thursday 8 December at 2.30pm

4 tickets per Reception to Year 6 family for the Junior School ‘Christmas Celebration’ on Tuesday 13 December at 6pm 

Charity Competition

This academic year we are supporting the charity ‘Kids Aid’. This is a charity that helps support children who have suffered trauma and provides mental health support. Our Junior School children have been invited to take part in a creative competition that matches the charities current campaign of celebrating uniqueness.

The girls have been invited to creatively respond to the question ‘What does unique mean to you?’ Pupils could submit photos, models, drawings, creative writing etc. There is a minimum entry donation of £1 which will be donated to Kids Aid. The charity fundraising lead will be organising for one of the charities creative therapists to come and judge the competition and award a prize to the winner.

The deadline for entries is 30 November. Donations for submitted pieces can be made through this page here

GDST Christmas Card Competition

This year, the GDST are running a competition that asks the girls to submit an A4 piece of artwork based on the theme, Festive Animals and Characters. This could be interpreted traditionally with designs of Santa Claus, elves, reindeer, polar bears, etc. or it could be an illustration of a family pet by the Christmas tree or even a character from a favourite Christmas film.

Our Chief Executive, Cheryl Giovannoni will then select the winner and we will announce who this is on Monday 5 December. The winning student will receive a £50 gift voucher and the winning school awarded £450 for their chosen charity. The winning design will then be featured on the GDST website and available for all GDST schools to use as their season’s greetings email to their communities. 

For those who would like to take part, entries will need to be submitted to the Junior office by Thursday 24 November. 

Festive Wreath Workshops - Adults Only

Have you booked your spaces for this workshop yet? 

We have arranged for an excellent florist (Bouquet Chic) to deliver Wreath Making Workshops for any interested parents and members of the community.

Why not book a place to enjoy making a festive creation with friendly people and a supportive and talented instructor? Spaces are £65 per person which includes everything you’ll need to make a fantastic, impressive wreath and refreshments during the workshop. There is also now an option to bring your daughters for an additional £3. These events are on Tuesday 6 December 5.30 to 7pm or Wednesday 7 December 12.15 to 1.45pm.

The deadline for bookings is 30 November.

To book please contact the school office

Medical Information

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Pre School

This week in Nursery we have continued our theme of ‘light’. We have made more firework pictures…this has been such a popular outlet for messy craft!

In Phonics, we listened carefully to some firework descriptions and, as a group, recreated the scene beautifully.

The dark den in the garden has been a great source of interest and most of the girls have been brave enough to venture inside – even without the torches!

In Ballet, the girls danced to ‘The Nutcracker’, listening out for a particular point in the music to flutter some feathers.

We visited the library and listened to our story of the week ‘Darkness slipped in’ before exploring the library to choose a book to take home and read.

Hand washing has been our focus point this week in Pre School.

With winter approaching it’s the time of year when coughs and cold hygiene, and cleanliness, are paramount to us. As always, we model and incorporate this into our routine daily but we thought it would be nice to have our school nurse come in to talk to the girls about the importance of hand washing. The girls listened and were very engaged, following the instructions and process –  I think singing happy birthday twice helped. They even reiterated some of the instructions back to us throughout the day demonstrating how hand washing should be done! Please refer to the link for guidance.

Christmas has come early to Nursery and Pre school. Self – portraits for tea towels have been drawn and if you haven’t placed your order please do this ASAP.

Christmas baubles have been decorated for the Delapre Light Trail.

For our Christmas performance on Tuesday 6 December at 2pm we kindly ask you to provide your daughter with a Christmas jumper. Please could these be brought in by 25 November 2022 in a named bag.


This week we have continued to use our focus text ‘Whatever Next’ and have created our own version based on the story. We have thought about a character, where they might go, how they would get there and what they might do.  We then used our ideas to write some sentences.

In our topic we have been finding out about nocturnal and diurnal animals and enjoyed using books and the internet to gather some information. We are beginning to learn some songs ready for our Christmas performances, and excitement is in the air.

The Space Station is very busy with a host of different missions and aliens being discovered.

In Maths we have used the numicon to find out different ways of making 5 and to practise subitising.

The week ended with mufti in aid of Children in Need and some fun Pudsey activities!

News from our classrooms: Delapre Winter Light Trail Art Focus

Over the last couple of Art lessons, girls throughout the whole Junior School have been working incredibly hard, creating pieces of artwork for the Delapre Winter Light Trail.

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2: Delapre Winter Light Trail Art Focus

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2 have been painting baubles to be hung at Delapre Abbey. The younger girls used cotton buds to create some beautiful red spotty baubles, while the KS1 girls used finger printing.

Year 1 decided that snow was very important at Christmas time, so have designed their own snowmen.

Year 2 painted individual baubles after a planning lesson and deciding which of their designs would be best.

Year 3 and Year 4: Delapre Winter Light Trail Art Focus

Year 3 & Year 4 made their Christmas Wishes, which are going to be printed on foamex boards and displayed along the walk. The girls thought hard about one individual thing that they really wanted and why, before colouring the template they had been given by the events team at Delapre.


Year 5 and Year 6: Delapre Winter Light Trail Art Focus

Year 5 & Year 6 have decorated terracotta flower pots. Their designs range from stylish winter wonderlands, to googly eyed snowmen and fantastical Christmas trees. We are not yet sure how these are going to be displayed, but they are well worth searching for along the trail!

“I did the Grinch on my pot. It was very hard but it was very successful too!” Jessica W

Just as a reminder, if you would like to visit the Winter Light Trail, we are able to offer a discount for parents. Please use the discount code SchoolP15 – which will give a 15% discount off tickets.

News from outside of our classrooms: Year 3 Northampton Museum Event

Earlier this week, Year 3 had a visitor from Northampton Museum come to our classroom and talk all things prehistoric. Having spent last half-term learning about the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age eras, the session really helped bring the girls’ learning to life.

They were given the opportunity to explore many artefacts and their first task was to become archaeologists.

They had to explore different objects and then decide which era they had discovered thinking carefully about the artefacts and their possible use, as well as the material they were made from. The second part of the session was spent exploring some real and replica artefacts; each one had story. The girls seemed to be most taken aback by the real Woolly Mammoth’s tusk that they were able to handle and feel.

It was a great afternoon full of a lot of information but what was most impressive was seeing how well the girls applied their knowledge from what they had already learned in school to answer questions from the session leader.

Year 5 and 6 visit to Richmond Village

Our Year 5 and 6 children enjoyed a visit to Richmond Village, a local care home, this week.

They had practised songs to sing with the residents and through the media of song, the generational gap dispersed and everyone involved benefitted from the interaction together.

Enrichment opportunities such as this are so important for our girls’ development as positive citizens. We really value our relationship with Richmond Village as a vehicle to facilitate these opportunities for the girls of Northampton High School. 

Forest School News

This week, in a beautiful autumnal Forest School, Year 1 enjoyed making ‘sparklers’ from sticks and leaves and twirling and whirling them through the air. After that, we had great fun with the huge pile of leaves that had accumulated; scooping them up, throwing them and watching them tumble all around.

For Year 2, Tuesday brought a very wet and chilly Forest School so there was only one thing to do… make dens! This proved tricky but the girls worked well in their teams to attempt to create a shelter that they could eat their snacks in. The children used the ‘tippy tap’ to wash their hands. This was fun too!

Gardening Club

This week in gardening club we planted some flower bulbs and seeds in one pot ‘lasagne’ style and made labels so we know which bulbs we planted.

We also have achieved level one RHS school gardening awards. Along with our certificate we received a calendar, telling us what we should plant when.

Thank you everyone who entered our guess the name of the pumpkin competition we raised £28.10 for the Wildlife Trust BCN.
Cordelia, Year 5 

Awards for this week

Star Learners of the Week – Amelia C-L, Annabel W, Sophia R-N, Eloise A, Dulcie, Pixie, Caoimhe, Thea, Daisy S, Grace P, Mia A  

Ballet Dancers of the Week – Penelope J, Pearl
Linguist of the Week – Eve C
Swimmer of the Week – Kinara

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

Aurelia M – achieved a Rainbow Theme Award
Millicent S – awarded a Rainbow Helper Badge
Rhoda – awarded a Level 7 in Gymnastics
Olivia H – competed in an athletics race
Maya A – awarded Gymnast of the Week
Lily C – awarded Level 6 in Gymnastics
Artemisia – took part in stilt walking and Tango on a Tightrope


Birthdays for this week

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

Rosie B and Agnes R



Christmas Fayre - Friday 2 December

New look for parent FireFly dashboard!

The school’s FireFly dashboard for parents has recently undergone a revamp and an upgrade! We hope that our parents will find the information platform to be user-friendly and accessible.

If you have any questions or have any feedback on the upgraded portal, please do get in touch.

Mr Rittler
IT Operations Manager

Community Sessions

Term Dates

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