Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 18 September 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I am pleased to report a really positive start to the term, with students enjoying being back together and face-to-face teaching for most.

Despite some initial teething problems, the vast majority of students are working happily on their own devices, both in school and at home, using Google Classroom to access the curriculum and to share and collaborate with each other. We have also had the pleasure of welcoming students who have been self-isolating, but otherwise well, into our lessons via video calls.

At the time of writing we have not had a confirmed case of Covid-19 in school, but it is important that we continue to mitigate against significant impact or spread, were this to happen. As such, there are a number of factors that we must all continue to action and I ask for your help in reminding your daughter of this, too. These include general hygiene, including regular hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your sleeve or elbow and wearing a face covering in corridors or areas where social distancing may be difficult. Please remind your daughter to stay in her designated teaching or break out area, use allocated washroom facilities, allocated entrance and exits, and not be tempted to visit other parts of the school other than for specialist teaching.

Your daughter should not attend school if she is displaying one or more of the key symptoms of Covid-19 (a new continuous cough*, a high temperature or a change in smell or taste**). In this situation, we ask that you arrange a test as soon as possible, calling 111 for advice as necessary; your daughter should not come to school until she has received a negative result or has self-isolated for the required isolation period. We kindly ask that you keep the school informed in such situations.

Please may I ask that you, too, adhere to the rules and expectations whilst on the school site, maintaining social distancing at all times. Parents and guardians of Junior School and Nursery pupils are asked to clear the site as soon as possible after having collected their daughters, and are reminded that the outside play equipment is out of bounds for health and safety reasons.

Unsurprisingly, with fewer clubs running and more parents keen to drop and collect their daughters at the start and end of the school day, the car park has been very busy indeed. Although I had previously suggested that Senior School parents pull over as close to their daughter’s assigned entrance as possible, this is not proving effective and, in some cases, has the potential to be quite dangerous. So, with apologies, I redact that suggestion and ask instead that you park safely regardless of location. I ask, too, that you only open your car door when you are in an assigned parking space and that you keep to the 5mph speed limit at all times. I thank you for your tolerance here and we prioritise the safety of all our students and the effective movement of the school buses.

In a rapidly-changing situation, both educationally and logistically, direct and open communications between parents, pupils and staff have never been more important and I have enjoyed seeing many of the Junior School parents on our various Zoom calls this week. I write more about effective communication below and ask that you consider this, especially in light of the current situation. The mutual partnership between us is key to your daughter’s safety, success and wellbeing, so please be assured that we are here to help at all times.

Very best wishes

Caroline Petryszak


*coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

**no sense of smell or taste, or things smell or taste different to normal

Communication with school

We welcome open communication and your involvement in your daughter’s education – we want this to be a great partnership between home, school and your child; we know that when we get that partnership right, it is a very powerful influence for success.

Email communication usually works well for our busy parents, however, as you will understand, teachers are only able to respond to emails when they are not teaching.

We aim to respond to all emails within 24 hours, unless it is the weekend in which case our staff will respond when they are back in school on Monday.

Should you wish to reach any of our teaching or support staff, please email for the Nursery/Junior School and for Senior School/Sixth Form in the first instance. Our administration team will forward your email to the appropriate colleague for swift action.

Should you wish to contact me, please email my Executive Assistant, Mrs Natalie Bodily on or 01604 547803. This is applicable from Tuesday 22 September.

As per the specific Covid-19 document for parents, please contact us via should your daughter be unwell and unable to come to school.

For any issues causing significant concern, please pick up the phone or arrange a virtual meeting – there is so much we can resolve with a face to face meeting (via Zoom or equivalent at this time) and with early intervention. Our administration team will be able to direct your call to the appropriate member of staff. Our telephone numbers are  01604 765765 (Senior School and Sixth Form) and 01604 667979 (Junior School and Nursery).


We value direct and open communications with our parents, pupils and staff. May I politely request that you address any concerns about your daughter’s education or any school issue to our staff (via our administration team) directly?

While I fully accept and understand the convenience of parents’ WhatsApp groups for routine arrangements, WhatsApp groups are less effective in addressing issues taking place at school.  We have experienced that issues discussed in WhatsApp groups can escalate individual concerns, and other parents, well-meaning as they are, are not best placed to advise you; please do feel welcome to contact the school team directly and we will gladly assist you wherever we can.

Please contact your child’s class teacher (Junior School) or Form Tutor or Head of Year/Key Stage (Senior School and Sixth Form) via the email addresses above so that we can resolve any concerns arising swiftly.

Our mutual partnership – between school, home and pupil – is a key success factor for your daughter’s sense of security and stability; we are keen to work respectfully with you to resolve any issues, however small, that crop up during your daughter’s journey with us.

Should you have any questions or need any support, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Caroline Petryszak

Covid-19 related student absence

We are happy to share a quick reference guide with our parents to help answer any questions regarding a possible Covid-19-related student absence. We hope that this will help to answer any questions you may have, but if you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please click here to read the reference guide.

Caroline Petryszak

Virtual Open Day - Saturday 3 October 2020

As you know, we would usually have a whole school Open Morning in early October each year. However, given the current Covid climate and because the health and safety of our pupils and staff is paramount, we have taken the difficult decision to close our physical doors to external visitors at this time, and to offer a virtual event.

We will therefore be hosting our Open Morning virtually this year. Prospective parents are most welcome to register their interest to ‘attend’; should you have any friends and family who would like to get to know the school, please do encourage them to book a place.

To make a booking please click here. We do hope to be able to host personal tours of our school soon. In the meantime, we would ask that families register their interest for a personal tour on the booking form, or contact our Admissions team at or 01604 765765 (option 2).

The Virtual Open Morning will comprise:

  • presentations from our Headmistress and senior staff, providing insight into life at the High School
  • films from our students and Student Leadership Team
  • a virtual tour of our fabulous facilities on our 27-acre site, as well as
  • lots of information about our school.

On the morning, we will be hosting live Q&A sessions (via Zoom) with our senior team, inviting you to ask any questions you may have about your daughter joining us as follows:

Nursery and Junior School Admissions

Please join us at 11.00am for a live Zoom meeting with our Headmistress, Mrs Caroline Petryszak, and Head of Junior School, Mr Chris Bailey.

Senior School and Sixth Form Admissions

Please join us at 11.45am for a live Zoom meeting with our Headmistress, Mrs Caroline Petryszak, and Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Julia Cantwell.

We look forward to welcoming families to our virtual event.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Admissions and Marketing


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

Musical Theatre Award: Jemima in Year 3

Dates for Diary

Wednesday 23 September 7pm: Reception Curricular Information Evening via zoom link

Nursery Kipper Room and Elmer Room

The girls have settled well back into the Nursery environment after having some time off. Over the past couple of weeks we have welcomed some new friends and the girls have made them feel welcome. The girls have been exploring the different areas, and playing with all the resources both inside and out.

We have made our birthday crowns. When it is our birthday at Nursery we will celebrate the special day wearing our own crown so everyone can share our birthday with us.

This week we had our first PE lesson where we practised throwing. One of the activities was to throw a ball into a bucket, these activities not only help us to develop our physical skills and co-ordination, but also our social skills as we encourage each other to take turns and to share each others achievements. We also count the number of balls that go into the buckets, along with grasping the understanding of ‘ready, steady, go!’

Friday morning was our first Forest School trip with Mrs Waters, this is a weekly class, so remember to wrap up warm. The girls walk to Forest School and explore the Wild Area. Mrs Waters has lots of experiences planned for the girls to try during weekly visits.

Next week will be starting some autumn activities such as exploring autumn colours and a scavenger hunt.

Nursery Pre-School

This week we have been very busy settling into our routine. The girls have been developing their independence through a range of different activities including self service during mealtimes, this seems to be a favourite and makes the girls feel very grown up. A provocation of shimmering squares and different patterns proved popular with the girls, who used them in a range of different ways.

Outside they have shown a preference for the digging area where they have been transferring the soil into different pots. Whilst playing outside we had a special moment when some Spitfire planes flew over head in sequence, which was the starting point for many conversations with the girls. In PE the girls had the chance to develop their listening skills whilst keeping fit. We played a range of different games and did lots of different exercises. On the subject of fitness we will be covering this in greater detail next week when we celebrate National Fitness Day!

You can join in at home too by doing different fitness activities with your daughter.  We look forward to hearing how you got on!


All the girls have been trying their best to remember the many new routines and expectations that are part of settling into a class group. We all very much enjoyed visiting Forest School and investigating the area. The girls have been swimming, met their PE teacher and enjoyed the outside area (especially the large sand pit).

Some of our activities this week have involved name writing, number recognition and thinking about the properties of the circle shape. We have also been printing circle shapes, painting concentric circles and mixing colours to make green. The girls enjoyed finding out about our sense of sight, by playing Kim’s game, making a telescope and looking at the parts of our eye in a mirror.

We are very impressed with how well the girls have settled into their Reception class, positively engaging in all the activities with great enthusiasm!

Year 1


Welcome to Year 1! The girls have had an excellent start to the year and have settled quickly into a new school year. They thoroughly enjoyed our wow day, to introduce our first topic of the year ‘Lovely London’. We looked at what we already knew about London and what we wanted to learn. We looked at famous landmarks in London and talked about why we liked them.

We then started to think about Paddington Bear. We had lots of fun activities to complete related to Paddington Bear and even got to make marmalade sandwiches. We have continued looking at Paddington Bear this week and have been sequencing parts of the story and creating story maps.

In Science we have started to look at materials and went on a hunt in our classroom and outside to find some different materials. In Maths we have been focusing on counting forwards and backwards and practising representing numbers.

What the girls have said:

“I loved making the yummy marmalade sandwiches!” Isabella.
“I liked going on the computers.” Rhoda.
“I really love dancing in the morning to wake up.” Caoimhe.

Looking ahead to next week:

  • Science- we will be distinguishing between objects and what they are made from.
  • Maths – finding one more and one less.
  • Geography – London landmarks.

Year 2


We have had a fantastic first couple of weeks in Year 2 and everyone has settled back into school life extremely well. We kick started the new school year with a topic WOW day.

Our topic this term is ‘Lovely London’ so we spent the day learning about all things London. We looked at different landmarks, explored the different types of transport and learned about a very famous bear’s arrival to the city. We even made some marmalade sandwiches, just like Paddington Bear would’ve eaten! Since being back, normal lessons have resumed.

In English we have continued to explore the story of Paddington Bear and in Maths we have all been working hard, refreshing our place value skills.

What the girls have said:

“I love learning about Paddington Bear!”  Kinara and Evette.
“I Liked swimming this week” Amber.
“I liked making the Paddington Bear sandwiches.” Leah.
“I have liked making new friends.” Cristina.

Looking ahead to next week:

  • Maths – place value.
  • English – adjectives.
  • DT – making a moving product.
  • Science – uses of everyday materials.
  • Humanities – Geography – Landmarks.

Year 3


English – The excitement of the classroom turning into a circus and beginning to listen to ‘Leon and the Place Between’. We have discovered nouns and verbs and how changing them can make a sentence more interesting.

Maths – Revising 2-digit numbers and learning about place value in 3-digit numbers. Finding 100, 10, 1 more and using a number line.

Science – Finding out how we see and noticing what happens to our eyes when they go from darkness to light.

What the girls have said:

“I liked it when we came back from swimming and the classroom had been turned into a circus!” Varnikha.”I enjoyed hockey when we were dribbling the ball.” Maya.
“I liked going to late prep and getting my work done. It also gave me more time with my friends.” Sakinah.

Looking ahead to next week:

  • What will Leon see next in the circus tent?
  • Comparing and ordering 2- and 3-digit numbers.

Year 4


This week in Maths we have continued learning about the place value of 4-digit numbers. In Science we learnt about the function of the different parts of the Digestive System. In English we practised our dictionary skills and handwriting (and of course did lots of reading!).

What the girls have said:

“I enjoyed learning about the Digestive System. I didn’t know that the food pipe was called the oesophagus.” Risara.
“I enjoyed doing our portraits in Art and mixing skin colours.” Ellie.

Looking ahead to next week:

We will be visiting Forest School on Wednesday and doing Science activities, discovering what place names tell us in Geography, writing a newspaper report and looking at key events in our text: The Iron Man. In Maths we will be comparing 4-digit numbers.

The girls have all settled in well and they are working hard.

Year 5


This week in English we have really enjoyed writing using the book ‘The Man Who Walked Between the Towers’. We have learnt about the Twin Towers, thought about what an amazing feat it would be to tightrope walk between them and discussed the pros and cons of such a daredevil stunt.

In Maths we have been rounding numbers and revising our understanding of place value up to 100,000. In Science we started our new topic ‘Living Things’ and looked at how we can tell if something is living using MRS GREN. We also went outside to identify plants that are seed producing and those that are spore producing.

What the girls have said:

“When I came to the school for the first time I was really nervous because I didn’t know if I would make new friends – normally I find it hard to make friends in new places. But I did it! The last two weeks I have been playing with lots of people and enjoying it. I think I’m going to like being here!” Sophia.

“I have most enjoyed PE and swimming and stuff. I think the coronavirus rules are quite good because we are not overdoing things and going mad, but we have been sanitising our hands and I feel very safe in school. Everyone has been very kind. I’m looking forward to our Geography lessons because I really like finding out about places and I do know quite a lot about different countries.” Matilda.

Looking ahead to next week:

• English – working from our text, we will be doing some persuasive writing in role as Philippe Petit.
• Maths – moving on to numbers up to 1 million, comparing and ordering them and counting in multiples of 10, 100, 1000 etc.
• Science – looking in detail at the parts of a flower through diagrams and dissections.
• Geography – learning how to use compass points and grid references.

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 29 September – Swimming.
Wednesday 30 September – Forest School.

Year 6

Year 6 have made a fantastic start to the new academic year and we have been very impressed with their positive attitude towards learning, as well as how they have presented themselves as excellent role models to the younger pupils.

Despite only being back for a couple of weeks, it is amazing the amount of learning that has been packed into such a short space of time. From the Ancient Greeks to calculating using millions, the girls have risen to every challenge.

Next week we look forward to continuing our learning about the circulatory system in Science, daily life in Ancient Greece, problem solving using large numbers in Maths and continuing on our fascinating journey through the study of our latest novel in English, ‘The Arrival’, by Shaun Tan.

Here are just a few of the girls’ highlights for the start of a new year at school:

“My highlight of the week is the first day of school. I liked the first day of school because it was really nice to see all my friends again. I also am very happy to be in Year 6 and I can already tell that it is going to be a great year. I am so happy to be back! It has been amazing!” Isla H

“I really enjoyed doing Art and learning how to use my oil pastels correctly, using different techniques. It was fun and I had a great time learning!” Anya

“My highlight of the week was when we got to make a piece of artwork for a display in the classroom. I really like pastelling the trees because there were loads of different ideas about trees, and I found it really exciting. I pastelled a blossom tree and I am very proud of my work!” Verity

” My highlight of the week would be Maths where we had a really challenging extension. It took me a while to crack the code!” Natalie

GAP Club

Welcome back!  Hope everyone had a lovely Summer. GAP Club is still available but is now situated in the Dining Hall.

Should you need a place, please follow the link in the email sent out each week on a Wednesday (to be completed by 12 noon on Friday for the following weeks bookings).

Virtual Open Day - Saturday 3 October 2020

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