Junior News – 19 January 2024
After a fortnight of cold, dark mornings with beautiful skies, I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to each of you as we embark on the vibrant journey of the spring term.
The spring term is a time of renewal and growth, both in nature and within the walls of our Junior School. It is a period marked by blossoming possibilities, academic achievements, and the flourishing of creativity. I have taken great pleasure in witnessing and absorbing the positive energy and enthusiasm that our pupils and teachers have shown in our first fortnight of 2024 together.
To those families who have recently joined us this term, a heartfelt welcome to our school family. We are excited for our journey of learning and growth together. You are most welcome and we are all here to ensure you feel integrated as quickly possible.
Throughout this term, our devoted team of teachers will continue to provide an enriching and supportive learning environment. We are committed to nurturing the unique strengths and talents of each student, fostering curiosity, and instilling a love for lifelong learning. As partners in your child’s educational journey, we encourage open communication and collaboration to ensure the success and wellbeing of every student. Please do reach out to your child’s class teacher and myself if you have any queries we can support with.
As the days unfold over the term, our school calendar will be adorned with a tapestry of events and activities. From academic competitions to cultural celebrations, there will be numerous opportunities for students to shine and for families to engage with the vibrant life of our school. Thank you in advance for your participation in these moments, as your involvement is a valued contributing factor to the thriving spirit of our community. You have had all key dates for this term shared with you, and ahead of each event we will share more details with you. This week has provided many highlights including;
- Forest School at twilight with Year 6 and their parents, which was cold but deeply heartwarming to participate in
- Year 4 class assembly, where the girls demonstrated their blossoming confidence and skills in public speaking whilst delivering important messages for us all to consider
- Facilitating Emily (Year 2) to experience being Head of Junior School for the day and enjoying her assessment of how “it isn’t all just fun or relaxing you know!”
- Welcoming our student teacher, Miss Joseph, into our teaching team and experiencing her early contributions to the group
- Angelie (Year 6) has been invited to Buckingham Palace, as her submission to the BBC 500 Word Competition has been judged in the top 50 entries. We are incredibly proud of her and can’t wait to see the photos and hear all about it!
In closing, let us embrace the spirit of spring – a season of growth, rejuvenation and endless possibilities. I am confident that, together, we will make this term a time of inspiration, achievement and memorable experiences.
Thank you for your continued support, and here’s to a flourishing and successful spring term at Northampton High School!
Head of Junior School
It was wonderful to open the term by welcoming in a group of parents for our Parent Coffee Morning. We discussed two topics; careers education and the sharing of assessment information with parents.
There was a desire for sharing historical data along with the current to make a child’s ‘flight path’ clearer to parents, and also a breakdown, along with an explanation, of the test score that allows the score to be read in a comparative context. We will now be considering how we could do this for the end of year reports.
As always, parents can contact their daughter’s class teacher to discuss the attainment and progress of their child at any point during the year. Developing our careers programme is an exciting project that will help our pupils to develop a greater appreciation and understanding of the options available to them, and also enhance further our PSHE curriculum.
We look forward to welcoming you to the next Parent Coffee Morning on Tuesday 27 February.
All children have been studying ‘dreams and goals’ in PSHE this half term, which includes aspirations for their futures and exploring different career paths.
Following on from the discussion at the Parent Coffee Morning regarding parental support, we would like to invite parents to enhance the girls’ understanding of the characteristics and experience required for certain jobs. The dates and times for these sessions have been planned as follows: –
- Year 4: Tuesday 13 February – 8.35 to 9.00am
- Years 3, 5 and 6: Thursday 15 February – 8.35 to 9.00am
We would like to give parents the opportunity to share information about their career journeys and for the girls to ask questions to focus in on the skills and personal attributes that have allowed you to be successful. If you are be able to join your child’s class for their session this half term, please contact your child’s class teacher before Friday 2 February.
If you are a parent of a Nursery, Preschool, Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 child and would be willing to visit one of our KS2 classes on the dates above please, contact Miss Hair directly (email@example.com).
Thank you in advance for your support. These sessions promise to be an interesting addition to the girls studies this half term.
Non Uniform Day - Aurelia's Choice
You will recall that an item on the list at the Silent Auction held at our recent Christmas Fayre was to ‘choose the theme for a non-uniform day’.
Aurelia in Year 3 was our lucky winner, and she presented Miss Hair with her top three choices. From these options, Miss Hair has chosen the theme of ‘Rainbows’.
On Friday 16 February, all Junior School children (Nursery to Year 6) are welcome to attend school in their own clothes on the theme of ‘Rainbows’. Perhaps they’ll wear their brightest coloured clothes, or dress in an outfit that has every item in a different colour, or even dress all in their favourite colour. We are looking forward to a bright and colourful end to the half term!
Thank you Aurelia for the fantastic idea!
Key Stage 2 Away Sports Fixtures - Parental Consent Process
There will be a change to the process we use to gather parental consent for our away fixtures programme for our Key Stage 2 pupils.
When the fixture letter is sent to the parents of children who have been selected for the team, you will note that it will ask parents to email their consent to firstname.lastname@example.org. If parents would like to collect their child from the away fixture venue to take home rather than returning to school, this information should also be included in the email please.
Please can we ask for parental support in supplying your consent as soon as you are able, to assist us with changing the team selection if required. Thank you.
Driving on the School Site
Could we please kindly remind you all to continue driving slowly on the school site and stop at all zebra crossings. There was a near miss on 9 January 2024, at around 8.12am.
Please also remember to only park in disabled bays if you are a Blue Badge holder.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
Please find below a reminder of the Forest School Kit for this term. Autumn/winter Forest School kit should include:
- Waterproof all-in-one or waterproof trousers and coat, ideally with a hood
- Warm layers, including a fleece or sweatshirt
- Thick, warm socks (these may get wet at Forest School, so it is important to provide socks in addition to school socks/tights)
- Wellies or waterproof boots
- Warm hat and gloves
Please check your daughter’s wellies are the correct size periodically, and that she can put them on and pull them off relatively easily. Thank you.
News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool
This week in Nursery, we started the week at Forest School embracing the cold. We observed the impact the weather had as we listened to the grass crunching under our feet whilst we walked. We looked at how the pond had frozen over, and there were suggestions that Jack Frost and Elsa had paid a visit! Please could we ask you to pack gloves on a Monday, as little hands do seem to suffer in the cold temperatures, and also please arrive by 9.30am to ensure we have not already set off for Forest School.
Our story of the week is ‘Tanka, Tanka, Skunk’, and it introduces the idea of syllables through the characters. Our songs this week are in keeping with the cold weather; ‘Cold and Frosty Morning’ and ‘5 Little Snowmen’ to name just two of them.
In Phonics, we listened to sounds made in the ‘Three Little Pigs’ story, joining in with our own ideas. In our Cooking session, we made wraps, choosing our own fillings whilst working hard to roll them using our fine motor skills. In our French session, we were introduced to Francine, learning some French rhymes.
We visited the library to change our books to read with you at home. Please can these be returned the following Wednesday morning each week, to enable us to change them for a new book. We have also been practicing our sharing skills in the garden, turn taking with the bikes and have also been ice painting with frozen paint brushes.
This week in Preschool, we have been looking at and reading the book ‘What the ladybird heard’. We have been focusing on the environmental sounds of the animals, and how they all swaped noises in order to confuse the people who are trying to steal the prize cow.
Lots of farm animals have been played with using the figures in both fields made of cereal boxes and wooden bricks to create pens. The girls have also explored the water tray a lot this week, discovering how water can be changed from a liquid to a solid known as ice. We carried out an experiment to see where the best place to freeze ice was.
Our letter of the week has been ‘s’ and we focused on the pure sound ‘ssssss’, and how we can write this letter in the air using various parts of our body.
It was lovely to welcome the class back after the Christmas holiday. They were all very excited to tell their news, and were enthusiastic to participate in all of the activities in the classroom!
A new role play ‘Toy Shop’ is being developed with a till and coins, price tags and receipts.
Our first traditional tale is ‘The Three Little Pigs’, which has linked to us finding out about different materials.
In Phonics, we have been consolidating ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘th’ digraphs, and have used these in reading and writing.
In Maths, we have been combining numbers to make a total, and finding different ways to make a given number.
This week, the class have enjoyed using watercolour paints, getting water and cleaning their brushes independently.
Please remember to ensure your daughter has her navy school hat, navy scarf and navy gloves, as the weather is cold and we would still like to enjoy some outside activities.
We have begun the spring term in full musical force, preparing for various performances and engagements. The whole Junior School and Junior Choir are preparing several songs to be performed at the forthcoming Mothers Day event, including two part arrangements. Singing is becoming very strong and we look forward to hearing many more vocal pieces. Please find below a weekly report from each year group:
Year 1: The girls have started the new term exploring how sounds can be produced in different ways. They started by looking at tempo, and how fast or slow a piece of music is. They listened to ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ by Rimsky Korsakov and ‘The Swan’ by Camille Saint-Saens. Using the percussion instruments, the girls played along with the music and kept the same tempo.
Year 2: This term, Year 2 will learn how songs and music can communicate different moods and emotions. This will lead to learning about major and minor tonality. This week, the girls compared how 5 different pieces of music made them feel and chose a way to move around the room which reflected each mood. Their favourite was parading like royalty to Verdi’s ‘Triumphal March’!
Year 3: The girls have begun preparing the repertoire for the play ‘Ocean Commotion’, which feature a large number of songs including solos. During lessons, scales and keyboard work are taking priority, laying the technical and theoretical foundations for further progress.
Year 4: As with Year 3, Year 4 students are also preparing for ‘Ocean Commotion’. Several of our Year 4 students hold music awards, and frequently perform during assemblies and also at our new Scholars Concert series.
Year 5 : The girls have continued to work with great enthusiasm and are showing a flair for music with many talented individuals. We have been focusing on improving our notation skills, both reading and writing music, aural recognition of rhythm and pulse, and expanding our general musical knowledge. They have sung a variety of songs in different styles and from around the world, singing in multiple parts both with and without accompaniment.
Year 6: The girls are working on composition material, keyboard skills and understanding new theoretical concepts including the circle of 5ths. We have interviewed some of our Year 6 students for the coveted ‘Flair Scholarship Award’, the performance standard has been exceptionally high; a testament to the seriousness of our Junior School musicians and their dedication to the craft over an extended time period.
News from outside of the classroom: Twilight Forest School Sessions with Key Stage 2
Mrs Cartlidge had the inspired idea of offering a ‘Twilight Forest School’ session this term for our Key Stage 2 classes.
Year 6 session this week gave us a clear indicator that her judgement was correct – Forest School is even more fun at dusk!
We are looking forward to the upcoming experiences for Years 5, 4 and 3 on 22, 29 January and 5 February respectively. Parents of these year groups are welcome to join us for these sessions and if you are planning on doing so, please let your daughter’s class teacher know ahead of the session and arrive at the Junior School office to sign in for 3.45pm.
Star Learners of the Week:
Kianna G, Molly J-H, Anaisha M, Elodie K, Annabel W, Ella K, Sophia R-N, Lily P, Isabel S-R, Grace A, Pixie R, Annie T, Evette B, Holly G-S, Eloise R, Cristina S-R, Imaan D, Hazel G, Cora S, Asmi S, Artemisia U
Congratulations to the girls who were awarded their UK Bebras Challenge 2023 Certificates:
Certificate of Merit – Zara J, Annabelle R, Sakinah S
Certificate of Distinction – Cordelia B, Angelie B, Avelyn C, Anna H, Asmi S, Aurelia T,
Georgina P – achieved a half marathon distance and wristband at the Northampton Junior Parkrun
Siena-Louise D B – achieved a Distinction at her LAMDA exam
Grace B – achieved Judo Player of the Week and invited to the Junior Championships in Swimming
Isabella B – awarded a Music Blue Peter Badge and completed a Winter Mini Challenge with Northants Library
Caoimhe H-T – has been selected to join the competition squad at Northants Trampolining Gymnastics Academy
Annie T – moved up to Stage 2 at Ski Club
Avani A – awarded blackbelt of the week at Karate
This week, we wish a very Happy Birthday to the following members of our Junior School family:
Aurelia M, Emilia B, Emma B, Eloise C, Jesleen R, Annabel W, Violet S, Amber K, Cora S, Grace R, Pearl P and Lily C
Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
T: 01604 765765 nhsadmin@nhs.Gdst.Net