Junior News 19 March 2021
I am delighted to report that the sense of excitement and momentum, which Junior School pupils brought into their classrooms when the doors were once again open to everyone, has continued unabated.
Having introduced myself through a virtual assembly last Monday, it has been a real pleasure to meet some of the girls this week. Although our conversations have been online, there has been no lack of connection or enthusiasm as they have eagerly engaged in discussing a variety of themes. Unsurprisingly, top topics were World Book Day, Science Week and simply ‘being back in school’.
Mrs Fordham made the wise decision to postpone our celebration of World Book Day from the official date of 4 March to 12 March so that it brought the first week back from lockdown to a ‘very happy ending’. You can read her report below, along with some great quotes from the girls, and I’m sure you will be impressed when you see the photos of the imaginative costumes worn by all the ‘book characters’ from Nursery to Year 6. I should like to echo Mrs Fordham’s words in the report and Miss Taylor’s in today’s assembly, by congratulating everyone for so successfully transforming the Junior School into a magical Storyland last Friday and for reminding us of the enormous pleasure to be gained from reading every day.
This week the classrooms have been buzzing with endeavour and industry of a different nature. Junior School Science Week was launched with a special assembly given by Mrs Hodgetts-Tate, Head of the Science Faculty. ‘Innovating for the Future’ has certainly struck a chord with the Junior pupils and they have embraced the importance of sharing innovative ideas. Inspired by Mrs Hodgetts-Tate’s search for relatively recent innovations, during a tour of her own home, Year 4 pupils shared thoughts on what could be useful in the future. It is exciting to think that ‘sunoculars’, ‘flying beds’ and a ‘fridge cum television’ might be patented by future alumnae of Northampton High.
Mrs Shaw and Year 4 also talked about the Science Week competition which was introduced in Monday’s assembly. Having thoroughly enjoyed watching the video of OK Go’s giant Rube Goldberg machine, the girls told me about how they have been designing machines in class, prior to working on their own ideas for the competition at home. It was fascinating to hear what they had already discovered in terms of the value of teamwork, of having a target and of incorporating a chain reaction. It will be wonderful to see the videos of these inventions, in due course.
Meanwhile, Year 4 pupils made the following comments:
“I liked trying out our Rube Goldberg machines, we kept knocking them over so we had to re-do them. I enjoyed watching other people’s and working as a team”. Ellie
“It was really fun when you had to make it and think what might happen”. Avleen
“I loved seeing our objects knock down in a very satisfying way and seeing at the end if it actually worked”. Jessica
The four members of Year 5 whom I met were also very enthusiastic about their Science Week activities and, after touching on Rube Goldberg machines and future innovations, we had a lively discussion about what we currently use and feel we couldn’t manage without. Ellie and Lottie decided that their iPads are essential for games and as a means of checking on how friends are doing, Phoebe felt that having a laptop and phone for socialising is important, and Safiya surprised us by saying she thought the charger for her devices was the most essential item! We agreed her suggestion made a lot of sense.
This led us to talking about the full reopening of school and it was lovely to hear how much the girls feel they have both given and benefited from, since being together again. They summed this up perfectly by saying, “It’s seeing people, being with others, sharing things – not dramatically, just when you think of it”. How true it is that spontaneous exchanges are much more satisfactory in the real world than in the virtual. Before our call ended, I asked their advice for when I am first in the Junior School next term. Without hesitation I was told to make sure I know my email password, to prepare myself for noise in the Dining Room, to always ask if I don’t know something and to brush up my Scottish accent!
We look forward to bringing you the results of the World Book Day front cover competition and a full report of Science Week, including the sessions which Years 1-4 enjoyed this morning with Grace Webb, of CBeebies ‘Grace’s Amazing Machines’, in next week’s edition of Junior News. And, don’t forget to check @NHSJuniorSchool on Twitter to keep up to date with what’s happening. It was good to see Years 4 and 6 enjoying their Forest School activities and to hear Year 3 testing their Rube Goldberg machines.
Wishing you all a relaxing spring weekend with your families.
Consultant Head of Junior School
This is a gentle reminder that the speed limit while driving within the school premises is 5mph.
When approaching the Junior School car park, the cars coming out of the Junior School car park have right of way.
May we please ask for your full support in making the school site safe for all; thank you, as ever, for your cooperation.
Director of Finance and Operations
WhatsApp class groups can be very positive and constructive for parents to keep up to date with events in school, general messages, lost property and to arrange events outside of school, etc.
When used appropriately, all benefit from collaboration and sharing of information, but when used inappropriately they can hurt or exclude. Please may I politely remind you, therefore, that should you have any concerns, issues or queries involving individual girls or small groups of girls, that these are addressed directly with the school so that we are able to assist in prompt resolution.
British Sign Language Seminar
Delaying celebrating World Book Day was a gamble in the current climate, but, my goodness, it was worth it!
As always, the girls threw themselves into the celebration and the Junior School came alive with an array of characters selected from favourite books – from robots to girl detectives! We certainly celebrated the wonderful wealth of fiction available to all our girls. Their wide smiles and laughter, as they entered the school, truly reflected their love of reading; a love that we hope will continue to grow and develop throughout their lives. After all, there is nothing more powerful than escaping from the realities of life and entering an imaginary world, a world that we can all learn to lose ourselves in.
Our Junior House Captains and Librarians faced a really hard task to choose the winners of our best dressed characters and class categories but, with the help of Mrs Fordham, they eventually arrived at their final decisions. The results were announced by Miss Taylor in assembly today, 19 March, and prizes will be distributed via class teachers.
Best dressed characters:
Nursery: Ula (Super Hero)
Key Stage 1
Year 1: Eve (Robot from The Wild Robot)
Year 2: Cristina (Granny from George’s Marvellous Medicine)
Key Stage 2
Year 3: Lily (Robot from The House of Robots)
Best dressed class: 4N
We would like to say a huge thank you to every girl in the Junior School for sharing their favourite characters and books with us and we look forward to announcing the winners of the ‘Design a Book Cover’ competition next Friday!
Keep on reading and sharing your good reads with your friends, and enjoy some more photos at the below from World Book Day at Northampton High here.
Consultant Head of Junior School
Pupils tell us how they enjoy books
In Nursery we set up different play opportunities linked to stories. We had a pool and a telescope to look for ‘Sharks in the Park’. For ‘The very Hungry Caterpillar’, we could draw on a large sheet of card the lifecycle of the caterpillar through to a beautiful butterfly. There was a story sack with all the parts of the story to help us retell our own versions. We read the ‘Three Little Pigs’ a few weeks ago and the girls had the opportunity to recall what they had already learnt, and built some different types of houses.
Lily said, “I wore my cat costume, from the story of the Black Cat, and I played with Ella”.
Emily said, “I brought in my Pride and Prejudice book, I’ve read it four times already. I am Lizzy, I am going to a ball. Can you read my book to find Mr Darcy?”
Reception – “I liked it that we got to wear costumes and bring in a book of who we are”. Rosie
“I liked seeing all my friends in costume”. Zara
“Dressing up”. Evie
“That we get to dress up”. Millie
“I loved telling my friends about my book”. Siena-Louise
1N – “We loved getting dressed up as our favourite characters and talking about our books. We also really enjoyed drawing our book cover, with us on the front!”
2N – “We liked designing the new front covers”. Amber and Eloise R
“I liked making my own bookmark”. Kinara
“I liked reading my book and dressing up with my friends”. Amelia
“I liked dressing up and seeing everyone’s outfits and taking photos together”. Avani
4N – “I enjoyed reading my book out loud to the whole class”. Risara
“I enjoyed dressing up as Alice in Wonderland”. Shreya
“I enjoyed doing the World Book Day activities, especially the book cover design because it was fun trying to think of another cover for the book I was a character for”. Harriet
5N – “On Friday 12 March we celebrated World Book Day. We all dressed up as our favourite character from our favourite book, including the teachers! Miss Brandon-Jones dressed up as Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter, and was putting on a funny voice all day long. We also designed a new book cover for our favourite book. Altogether I loved World Book Day, but the best thing of all was celebrating it with my friends”. Phoebe
6H – “World Book Day was a great experience. We all enjoyed dressing up as different characters and sharing our favourite reads. It was terrifying, yet strangely enjoyable, to be greeted by the terrifying Miss Trunchbull (Mrs Fordham) at the door first thing in the morning! Most of all, we enjoyed sharing this day all together at school rather than being at home. Thank you for a wonderful day, Mrs Fordham! Everyone was so creative with their costumes and I loved the 20-minute read”. Amelie
GDST Talks: The Psychology of Sleep
On Wednesday 24 March, we are looking forward to continuing our GDST Talks series by welcoming Dr Sinéad Devine-French to Northampton High, who will talk on the subject of ‘The Psychology of Sleep’.
Sleep allows for essential emotional and physical maintenance and regulation, and has a direct impact on our capacity to learn, perform, interact and thrive. The proliferation of screens, be they for zoom meetings, home learning or lockdown boxsets – combined with pandemic-related worry, has understandably taken its toll on our ability to drift off. Since our sleep patterns and needs change across our life span, it’s safe to say that everyone – children, teens, parents and grandparents – would benefit from better sleep habits.
Dr Devine-French will be explaining what good sleep looks like, sharing a toolkit to encourage parents to help themselves and their children to achieve healthier bedtime routines for more robust wellbeing.
This event is suitable for parents with children in Years 3-13, and to book your place, please click here. As always, we would also welcome your feedback on the topics you’d be interested in seeing covered by future GDST Talks.
Marketing & Communications Officer
Foundation+ will not be available for Reception to Year 2 during the Easter break.
The summer uniform should be worn in the Summer Term, which starts on Thursday 15 April.
w/c Monday 22 March – no teacher-led clubs (Multi-Sports club, GAP Club and Late Prep will go ahead as normal)
Tuesday 23 March – Parents’ Evening online
Thursday 25 March – Parents’ Evening online
Friday 26 March – end of Spring Term
Thursday 15 April – start of Summer Term
Monday 19 April – all clubs start
Monday 31 May – Friday 4 June – Half Term
Nursery Kipper Room and Elmer Room
This week in Nursery, the girls have been busy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. We have been joining in with some Irish dancing , and there has been a green theme in the creative area with green sticking, green playdough and green water! The girls are showing an interest in mixing sensory resources, transferring them from one place to another, especially sand into the home corner kitchen where there has been a ‘Great Nursery Bake-Off’.
During PE, we have practised our balancing skills, promoting risk-taking while remembering to wait and take turns, ensuring we all stay safe. It is a hard lesson to learn when there is so much fun to be had, but the Nursery girls’ ever-increasing maturity continues to impress us.
Next week we will be looking forward to the start of Spring and looking at what changes and new things it brings.
In Pre School we have continued to participate in different Science experiments. We planted broad beans and read the story about ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. We went on a walk to see the different changes that happen during Spring. We have also explored the effects of sinking and floating. We played a sinking, floating guessing game and enjoyed seeing if the girls’ guesses were correct.
The girls participated in different activities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; these included a lot of green resources for them to use their imagination and creativity. We had rainbow coloured sand, where lots of mark making occurred and pictures of Shamrocks and Leprechauns were placed around for starting points for conversations. The favourite activity was Irish dancing, where we had a lovely performance of Emily demonstrating how her Mummy does it!
The girls fully engaged in the activities, really enjoying the dancing. This continued into the garden where they used the stage to perform.
Some of the girls comments:
“It’s happy leaf day!” Jasmine
“I liked dancing”. Sehrish
“I love the rainbow one”. Martha
To extend your daughter’s learning at home you could go on a Spring walk and talk about the different changes you can see happening!
This week we have read ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, by Julia Donaldson. We have been thinking about rhyming words and continuing a rhyming string. The girls have enjoyed our outside area and investigating all of the activities. We have begun thinking about subtraction and making up ‘first, then and now’ stories. First, I had six people on the bus, then two people got off and now I have four people left.
For Science week, we enjoyed watching Wallace and Gromit Contraption clips, to see all of their funny machines. We talked about ideas for ‘What machine would you like to invent?’ and then began to create our ideas in the workshop. Some fantastic machines were created and brilliant innovative ideas! Ambitiously we worked together as a class to have a go at a ‘Rube Goldberg Machine’. After lots of experimenting and some frustration at losing the balls, we did manage a 17-second continuous run. Fantastic effort team Reception!
This week in Year 1, we have been busy recapping our learning in Maths. We have been reflecting on our work over Guided Home Learning and have completed fun activities to see what we can remember. In English, we have looked at the story ‘Possum Magic’.
We have acted out different parts of the story, sequenced the story and then had a go at retelling the whole story in our own words. In RE this week, we have looked at the festival of Holi and how the festival is celebrated. For Science Week this week, we have been thinking about all of the great inventions that we are lucky enough to have around us and have had a go at designing new inventions, to make our lives easier.
We had lots of ideas, from robots that tie our shoelaces, nail painting robots to cleaning robots! We also had a very exciting live event on Friday with Grace Webb from CBeebies, which was lots of fun.
What the girls have said:
“I liked learning how to stay healthy in PSHE”. Eve
“I liked putting my face under water in swimming”. Caoimhe
“I loved the story Possum Magic”. Rhoda
“Science Week was really fun, and I liked designing an invention”. Elouise
“I enjoyed swimming without a woggle”. Emily
“I enjoyed learning about Holi, the festival of colour”. Shanaya
Looking ahead to next week:
We will be focusing on Springtime and Easter, completing lots of themed activities throughout the week. We will also have our ‘Fabulous Finale’ for our topic of Awesome Australia.
This week, we have been recapping lots of different Maths skills including multiplication and division, statistics and shape. We will continue with some Maths revision next week too. In English, we listened to the story, ‘Possum Magic’ by Mem Fox.
We ordered the events of the story and practised retelling it aloud in groups. We created storyboards writing sentences to match the pictures and we have been busy writing our own version of the story too. As part of Science Week, we were treated to a virtual session exploring forces with Grace Webb from CBeebies which was very exciting! In Art we have continued with our Pete Cromer inspired artwork adding some colour to our pictures this week.
What the girls have said:
“I loved computing this week!” Kinara
“I loved the story of Possum Magic and writing about it”. Eloise C
“I liked Forest School and making some water tracks”. Amber
“I have enjoyed starting to paint the background of my Pete Cromer artwork”. Thea
This week we have started finding halves and quarters in Maths, been introduced to our new book in English, ‘Escape from Pompeii’ by Christina Balit and talked about Christianity in Humanities.
It has also been Science Week and we have been looking at inventions and Rube Goldberg machines. We have also taken part in two workshops, one from the Royal Institute organised by GDST entitled Fire Chemistry and the other presented by Grace Webb from CBeebies about Forces.
What the girls have said:
“I enjoyed reading ‘Stig of the Dump’ because it is really cool how they made things for Stig’s cave and it fits in with our Science Week inventions”. Poppy
“I’m really excited about learning about Pompeii”. Angelie
“I enjoyed making my Rube Goldberg machine in Science. I liked it because I could invent things from my imagination”. Shanaya
“I enjoyed dressing up for World Book Day and having our class photo taken”. Cordelia
Looking ahead to next week:
Maths – continue with fractions
English – finding out more about Pompeii from our historical fiction text
Science – how we make our bodies move, a look at muscles and how they work
Humanities – The Ten Commandments
In Maths we have continued looking at decimals and divided 1 and 2 digits by 10. Following on from our work on tenths we are now looking at hundredths. In English, we read the first few pages of our new book and made predictions about the story.
We used evidence in the text and wrote inference sentences using conjunctions. In Science, we enjoyed Science week activities, watching various chain-reaction machines and creating our own. We also thought about innovations for the future and created our own inventions.
What the girls have said:
“I really enjoyed Art this week because it was fun drawing and making insects out of wire and filling them with different types of paper”. Zoe
“I have enjoyed English, learning about Cinnamon, our new book because it has been very interesting. Cinnamon is a princess who doesn’t talk much. I am looking forward to seeing how the tiger helps her”. Avleen
“I liked doing the chain reaction machines in Science, it was fun! When it went on the floor it didn’t work so well but on the table the dominoes knocked each other over quickly”. Ishani
Looking ahead to next week:
English – using noun phrases to describe senses, using dialogue and multi-clause sentences to express feelings
Maths – hundredths on a place value grid, divide 1 or 2-digits by 100, Easter word problems
Science – continuing using classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things
The Year 5 girls have had a great week. They worked incredibly hard during our Science lesson, measuring and comparing water temperatures in order to identify the cup that would be best for keeping my coffee warm at a festival, and are loving the fact that we have finally reached the end of our fractions unit in Maths.
We can now compare fractions, find equivalent fractions, add fractions, subtract fractions, multiply fractions and convert improper fractions into mixed numbers. One of the girls did ask me: “Miss Brandon-Jones, this isn’t exactly to do with adding fractions, but when would we actually do fractions in real life?” It turns out that mathematical concepts are a lot trickier if you can’t imagine yourself using them. There are only so many cakes and pizzas that you are going to need to cut up! Needless to say, the girls have some different highlights…
What the girls have said:
“On Tuesday we learned about Rube Goldberg continuous movement machines, and it was so unique and I liked it a lot. We were doing it for Science Week. My plan for a Rube Goldberg machine at home is to topple over a few books, send a ball through a tube down the stairs and then use every single one of my dominoes to go into the back yard, and then I think it will push my car, because it’s very small”. Rithika
“I have really enjoyed our English lessons this week. We have started to do a book called ‘The Lost Thing’ by Shaun Tan and we got to write a diary entry and a formal letter about finding the lost thing on a beach in Australia. We are all looking forward to reading the rest of the book because Miss Brandon-Jones keeps leaving us on cliff-hangers!” Lydia
“The coding we did on Tuesday was really fun because we got to make 3D mazes and evaluate other people’s. My game is called ‘Dancing Avocados’ and you have to avoid the evil pizza slices and collect the cupcakes to get points. I am really happy with my game”. Lottie
Dates for your diary:
Tuesday 23 March – Swimming
Wednesday 24 March – Forest School (come in uniform with clothes to change in to)
Another great week has ended and we are all ready to recharge our batteries after a great mind and body workout. We have faced the challenges of consolidating all we have learnt in Maths with determination, looked at the complex issue of suffrage in English and Humanities and explored the scientific concept of perpetual motion as part of Science Week, as well as innovating for the future with our creative inventions. We have also managed to enjoy a wonderful afternoon at Forest School with Mrs Waters and Betty – enjoying nature with friends, and in the sunshine, was as close to perfect as anyone could ever wish for!
Next week we look forward to ‘hopping across the pond’ to meet our new-found friends in San Diego, meeting with the Head Girl Team to continue our fruitful discussions about transition to Senior School and a virtual tour of the Globe Theatre and a magical re-telling of the famous tragedy, Macbeth.
We wish you all a good weekend and are keeping our fingers crossed for more sunshine! Looking forward to seeing you all next week for our parent consultations.
Karen Fordham and Nicola Taylor
Highlights of the week:
“I always enjoy going to Forest School, but this time was the best yet. What I enjoyed most was playing a game with my friends, walking Betty and finding mud!” Anya
“Me and some of my friends had lots of fun making a mud pies for Miss Taylor and I think she liked them!” Florence
“We had a chance to sit and chat for a while huddled around a tree, in the background I could hear the birds chirping, and the sound of nature, and found it peaceful. I look forward to our next Forest School session in the Summer term”. Sienna
“My favourite part of Forest School was when we were making our dens. Georgia and I made a den with only sticks, string and a parachute”. Fern
“I love Forest School because we can do whatever we want like modelling clay, building dens and designing obstacle courses”. Isla M
“I really enjoyed Forest School because we built dens and climbed lots of trees. I got stuck in one because I was scared but then I did it and sat down on the tree”. Ameyal
“I built a den on a climbing tree. We used a piece of tarpaulin, some clips, and a few twigs. Inside I used bamboo rods to make a bamboo sofa bed”. Sophia
“At the start we all played an Eagle game which is a bit like hide and seek, but the eagle stays in one place and tries to catch people out. When the eagle shuts its eyes, everyone has got to move”. Emily
“We made a water run and had a race to see who could fill a bucket up the fastest”. Verity
Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
T: 01604 765765 nhsadmin@nhs.Gdst.Net