Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 20 May 2022

I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as the new Head of Northampton High School. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a formidable team of phenomenal students and hugely dedicated staff, who collectively make Northampton High School a hub of energy, ambition, and excellence. I am thrilled to be joining such a special community whose values chime closely with my own.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself to you. I grew up in Hong Kong and then moved to the UK at the age of ten where I attended The Cheltenham Ladies’ College as a full-time boarder for

seven years. My personal experience of learning within an academic and nurturing environment has proven to me the power and importance of an all-girls education as it affords girls the opportunity to grow intellectually and personally, and to acquire the skills and resilience that they need for the ever-changing modern world.

Prior to teaching, I read Geography at King’s College London and then completed my PhD by the age of 24 in Urban Rivers and Engineering. I qualified as a teacher through the Graduate Teacher Programme and embarked on my career as a Teacher of Geography before going on to become Head of Department, Senior Tutor, and Director of Sixth Form and Outreach in three leading all girls’ independent day schools. For the past nine years as part of the Senior Management Team at Queen’s Gate School in London, I have thoroughly enjoyed leading the school’s vision, growth, and development, including achieving a recent successful ISI inspection outcome, maximising pupil numbers and voice, and establishing community outreach programmes.

For leisure, my husband and I enjoy travelling especially to the Caribbean, Far East, and the Indian Ocean and visiting family in Hong Kong. I also enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, running, reading biographies and gardening. My husband has strong family roots in Northampton, and we are looking forward to moving here and meeting everyone who is part of the school family.

At the heart of my vision for Northampton High School is a commitment to high standards, inclusivity, and kindness. Everyone plays a pivotal role in our school community and together we share the vision to do the best we can for each and every one of our girls. I look forward to developing our shared purpose and progressive spirit by continuing to live to our mantra of ‘we believe in our girls, and they believe in themselves’. We aim for each Northampton High girl to achieve the very best academic results and benefit from the finest careers guidance and higher education advice. They will recognise their own strengths and receive impactful learning that will capture their curiosity and develop a lifelong love of learning and discovery. It is a great privilege to nurture young women, to see them grow and flourish in a vibrant learning community and I am proud that my role is to identify the strengths of each individual and empower them to achieve their aspirations. I also believe that the strength of the GDST network is what sets Northampton High School apart from its competitors. We will always put the girls first so that they know exactly what they need to excel and take charge of their own futures, and benefit from being part of a family of powerful and exciting schools.

We have several exciting plans being developed ahead of the 2022/23 academic year, but we will limit the number of significant changes, focusing on getting everyday routines and habits consistent and ensuring high quality teaching and learning. The School already enjoys a reputation for academic excellence at both the Junior and Senior levels, and we will endeavour to place pastoral care as the foundation for success in and outside the curriculum.

With a high turnover of school leaders in recent years, I know that parents will now want a period of stability and consistent leadership at the school. My commitment to our students, parents and staff is to be a visible and approachable Head leading with kindness, compassion, and courage; one who truly champions our girls and their many successes and is committed to the long-term success of the school. In doing so, I am keen to bring my energy and buzz to the school and harness the views and knowledge of our parents. I will therefore be holding regular parent forums in my first term at the school. Crucially, I believe that the close link between School and home is of vital importance in ensuring the progress of your daughter during her time with us.

I am delighted to welcome Miss Emily Hair as our Head of Junior School. I would also like to thank Mrs Adèle O’Doherty for her hard work and dedication as Acting Head this year and I will be working collaboratively with her, the Senior Leadership Team, and the School Governors over the whole of the summer term as we prepare for the new academic year.

In closing, it is an absolute privilege to have been asked to lead Northampton High School into the next phase of its growth and improvement and I am especially excited about meeting girls, staff, parents, and alumnae in the coming months to really get to know the heartbeat of the school and the community as a whole.

I look forward to meeting you all very soon.

Dr May Lee

News from Head of Junior School

Our girls develop a level of self-confidence that is to be admired and respected. On many occasions this week I have been struck by our girls’ ability to confidently articulate their views, to celebrate their achievements humbly yet confidently and to approach new challenges with a firm ‘We can’ attitude.

Our Year 6 girls attended an important event in their journey of transition to Senior School on Tuesday evening. Meeting their form tutors and new girls that are joining from other schools presented an exciting yet unnerving opportunity to them but I was very proud to observe how they supported each other and presented themselves at this event. As we know as adults, sometimes you have to fake confidence until it becomes a genuine feeling and I saw several of our girls quickly shift from a convincing presentation of false confidence to authentic confidence, feeling comfortable to be independent from their parents.

On Wednesday, I had the honour of accompanying a selection of our Year 5 and Year 6 girls to an Inclusivity Forum at which they maturely, sensitively and confidently articulated their individual views and ideas on the topic of inclusivity and ensuring we achieve true inclusivity as a school community. A challenging concept for many adults to grasp yet our girls were confident enough to seek clarity when they were unsure and confident enough to take their time to form and then share their views.

I caught a focused group of Reception children painting their recently hatched butterflies. They were confident in their ability to paint a realistic representation of what they could see.

I truly treasure our Friday celebration assemblies. It is an opportunity to be together to celebrate the achievements of members of our school community and also, of course, for each child to add their House point tokens to their House totals, a much anticipated and valued moment in our week! Watching and listening to our children have the confidence to choose to share their achievements from outside of school demonstrates their self-confidence and how comfortable they feel within our school. Standing up in front of the whole of Junior School to explain your achievements takes a level of confidence that many adults would envy. I’m proud of the impact our provision and environment has on developing our girls to be confident, self aware and resilient enough to truly believe ‘We can’. 

I’d like to encourage you to take time over the weekend to stand back and observe your child’s level of confidence – I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Enjoy your weekend.

Miss Hair
Head of Junior School

Junior Sports: Year 5 & 6 Cricket vs MK Prep

On Wednesday afternoon, the Year 5 and 6 girls had their very first competitive cricket match against MK Prep.  We knew the opposition would be strong so took the opportunity for the girls to learn different aspects of the game as they played.

The girls were able to refine their bowling technique as well as increase their understanding of the different fielding positions. They were successful in reducing the number of boundaries scored and grew in confidence throughout the game. When batting, the girls received some very fast, accurate balls which proved difficult to strike, however improvements were made.

Despite losses for both teams, there were lots of positives, and hopefully an increased understanding to take forward to the next matches.

Mrs Jennings
PE Teacher

Year 5 Hobbies Morning - 25 May

The Year 5 Hobbies Event will be held on the morning of Wednesday 25 May. This event is for Year 5 parents and family members only. Refreshments will be served from 8.15am in the Entrance Hall with presentations of 1 minute speeches in the Junior School Hall at 8.40am. Between 9.00am and 10.00am, the Year 5 classroom will be open for families to view the displays, and to discuss individual hobbies with the pupils. Please access our displays via the external classroom door. From 10.30am to 11.30am, there will be the Junior School class visits.

We look forward to seeing you for this exciting morning. If you have any queries, please do speak to your daughter or Miss Brandon-Jones.

Jubilee Celebrations

Don’t forget that on Friday 27 May we are celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee together. All children are welcome to come to school wearing red, white and blue or purple as the event’s official colour or to dress up.

We will have a day of exciting activities in groups with mixed age groups to learn about and celebrate this special, national event.

Cinema Event - 13 June

Wow, tickets for this event are being booked fast! On Monday 13 June we are hosting a cinema event showing Encanto. The event is open to all children from Nursery to Year 6. It will start straight after school at 3.30pm and finish at 5.30pm.

Nursery parents can buy their child’s ticket from the school office through card payments. Parents of children Reception to Year 6 can book their child’s place through Parent Pay.

Summer Fayre - 8 July

These tickets are also selling fast! On Friday 8 July, we are inviting all Nursery to Year 6 children to buy a ticket to enjoy our Summer Fayre, 3.30-5.00pm.

Activities include an entertainer, inflatables, crafts and face painting. Parents and family members can buy tickets to our exclusive adult-only zone at this event and this is proving very popular. Tickets for Nursery children and adults can be paid for at the school office, and for Reception to Year 6 through Parent Pay.

Sun Screen and School Cap Reminder

Please could we remind parents that pupils need to bring a school cap into school every day and all day sun screen applied before school. Thank you.

Meet the Bus Drivers - Stephen

Each week, we look forward to introducing you to one of our school minibus drivers. They will talk a little bit about themselves, and what they enjoy most about working at Northampton High.

This week, we are delighted to talk to Stephen Greenhow, who drives the Kettering route.

Tell us a little bit about your career: Amongst other jobs, I have spent 9 years in the British Army, and 10 years as Site Manager at Earls Barton Junior School.

What do you like to do in your spare time: I enjoy working on projects in the garden, watching the Cobblers and the Steelbacks, and going to folk festivals.

What is your best memory of being at Northampton High so far: Receiving compliments from lovely parents and working in a good team.

What do you enjoy most about working at Northampton High: The continuity of work and job satisfaction.

To find out more about our school transport offer, please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Manager

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Pre School

We have continued with the theme of Mini Beasts, and this has been extended through the week to follow the direction that the children have taken from the adult starting point.

The Pre School story of the week is ‘Norman the Slug with a Silly Shell’. The girls remembered the story, and when in Forest School found some new shells for Norman. These included bark and a saucepan. One of the children suggested that Norman could be put into water, because maybe he would like to be a fish.  This sparked a conversation about how Norman would feel if he was put into water.

With the sun shining, we have been able to explore shadows, looking at how they change when the sun is at different heights in the sky and what happens to our shadows when we move.

The children had found a new pet snail that they called Slugo; the plan was to bring Slugo back to the Pre School garden and to make him a new house, but the children lost him before they returned from Forest School.

All of the children have taken part in creating flowers that will decorate our reading garden area next to the parents area, using different creative materials to decorate flowers of various sizes.  Language was used alongside the creations to describe the different sizes and shapes of the flowers and leaves. The children have selected their own books to read independently.

The younger children have been reading ‘The Very Greedy Bee’ which has lead the children’s PE lesson being based on movements that different bugs make. This was done along to the song ‘Sleeping Bunnies.’

The mud kitchen has been explored by many children this week, with making cupcakes being the most popular activity.

Mrs Bing and the Nursery Team 

To view more photos please click here.


Exciting news this week, as after the weekend two of our cocoons have turned into beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies. The girls have really enjoyed observing the changes in the life cycle and were happy to then release them into the wild to find a new home.

Using our story ‘The Tiny Seed’ by Eric Carle, the class have made a leaflet on ‘How to Grow a Seed’.  They have painted a front cover, labelled parts of a plant and given advice on keeping a seed safe.

We have also set up an experiment to find out the conditions needed for cress to grow healthily and next week we will look at the results.

In Maths, we have been using the ‘First’, ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ to tell subtraction stories. We enjoyed singing ’10 Green Bottles’ and ‘There were 10 in a Bed’ to help us to take away and count backwards.

In our outside area we have had the sand replaced with some chip bark and we can now use this for lots of different activities. This week we have had minibeast dressing up and musical instruments in there, along with wooden bricks to build minibeast homes.

Mrs Farrar & Mrs Shaw
Reception Class Teachers

To view more photos please click here.

Year 1 - French Focus

This week Year 1 have been continuing to familiarise themselves with the language for different family members through the French nursery rhyme ‘La Famille Tortue’.

Students showed off some excellent pronunciation of these words and then tested their recognition aurally and in writing through a series of different games. The class particularly enjoyed moving around the room to see who could get rid of the most cards by placing the correct word next to their nearest picture when the music stopped – a variation of musical chairs.

Mrs Purvey-Tyrer
Year 1 Class Teacher

To view more photos please click here.

Year 2 - French Focus

Year 2 have been learning all about les légumes dans mon potager this week, in preparation for some (virtual) planting of a vegetable patch and a discussion in French about their favourite vegetables.

At the end of the lesson we all said “merci beaucoup et au revoir” to Mo in Year 13 who has been creating resources and working with Year 2 in French for most of the year. Mo is now focussing on A Level preparations and we wish them all the very best; we will miss you Mo!

Mrs Dadge
Year 2 Class Teacher

To view more photos please click here.

Year 3 - French Focus

In French this week we have been learning about animals. We have enjoyed combining our knowledge of numbers with new vocabulary. We can now recognise and say the French for 8 animals and we have pointed out the similarities between French and English. The class has been excellent at pointing out that, like in English, plural nouns end with an ‘s’ in French. We are getting more confident with our writing accuracy as well as our French pronunciation. 

We have participated in a range of activities which include writing sentences to describe how many animals were in a picture, telling each other in French which animal they were making the sound of or drawing the animal our partner said in French. We have also listened and sung the famous ‘Dans la ferme de McDonald’!

Miss Scott-Evans
Year 3 Class Teacher

To view more photos please click here.

Year 4 - French Focus

This week we have extended our vocabulary on holidays. We started the lesson with Pictionary, different means of transportation were said in French and we had to draw what it was. We then moved on to write and say which means of transport we would use to go to different places. We can, for example, say that to go to Paris we will use the plane.

We finished the lesson with a trap door exercise; we had to create sentences about places and means of transportation to get there by choosing different options. Our partner then had to guess our sentence by saying it. The player who could guess their partner’s sentence with the least amount of guesses won the game.

Mrs Shaw & Mrs Smith
Year 4 Class Teachers

To view more photos please click here.

Year 5 - French Focus

Year 5 are enjoying their planets topic in French. Having discovered the vocabulary to describe other real planets, they are now getting creative and designing their very own planets.

This week they brought their designs to class and are preparing to write about them, by translating descriptions of other planets and practising the key vocabulary on quizlet.

Miss Brandon-Jones
Year 5 Class Teacher

To view more photos please click here.

Year 6 - French Focus

This week 6H have been learning to talk about their timetable. In recent weeks, we have covered school subjects and telling the time, so they can now say which days they have certain lessons and at what time.

They enjoyed finding the errors in the ‘faulty translation’ task and did a good job translating sentences on their mini whiteboards. Next week they will write about their own timetables and opinions of subjects.

Mrs Fordham & Miss Taylor
Year 6 Class Teachers

To view more photos please click here.

News from our extracurricular offer: GAP Club

It has been a very productive week in Gap Club.

We have begun preparing for the Queens Platinum Jubilee by using watercolours to paint corgis and we have made Union Flag bunting and lanterns. We have designed a 3D reproduction of Buckingham Palace on the display board, complete with its very own collaged Royal Guards.

Gap has been helping with a special project for the front of school for Miss Hair. It has really been a hive of activity and we are all looking forward to the end result.

Mrs Howell and the GAP Club Team  

To view more photos please click here.

German Club

This term, Year 5 and 6 pupils are attending German Club in Senior School.

Today we discovered how to say hello and goodbye and to give and ask for names in German. Pupils then used this knowledge to hold conversations with each other as well as creating a cartoon dialogue.

We also played noughts and crosses on a linguascope to practise the colours from last week – these had been very well remembered!

Mrs Morgan
Subject Leader German & Teacher of French

News from Outside of our Classrooms: GDST Poetry Extravaganza

On Thursday, we were really pleased to welcome Nottingham Girls’ High School and Kensington Prep to join us for the first GDST Poetry Extravaganza.

It is always a pleasure to work creatively with the pupils from different schools in our community – their focus, drive and determination, coupled with their ability to think outside of the box, guarantees that the work they produce is of the highest standard, and this week has proved to be no exception.

Following on from an inspirational workshop delivered by the writer, Jo Stokes, the pupils in Year 6 have explored four topics that are close to their hearts – themes that are often discussed within the classroom setting – and, we are sure, across the dinner table at home.

From celebrating diversity, saving the planet, feeding the world and reaching for the stars the pupils have had meaningful and insightful discussions about these important issues and encapsulated their thoughts and feelings in a number of thought-provoking poems, delivered with such conviction that they could not be ignored!

As said by Samuel Coleridge, “Poetry is the best words in the best order”, and the girls from Northampton, Nottingham and Kensington Prep have certainly proved this!

Mrs Fordham
Class 6 Teacher

Awards for this week

Ballet Dancer of the week – Aleya 

Musician of the week – Risara

Linguist of the week – Annie

Swimmers of the week – Jasmine, Amari, Shanaya, Leah, Luisa

Star Learners of the week – Zara B, Isabella B, Shanaya, Holly, Lucy, Annabel P, Cordelia, Alice

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

Diya – achieved a Distinction in LAMDA

Jessica, Zoe and Maya – achieved a Pluto and Mercury Award in Gymnastics

Playground Helpers – a big thank you to Eloise C, Lucy and Cristina for taking responsibility to tidy the toys and games away

Birthdays for this week

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

Elodie, Anne A, Charlotte, Nyra, Dulcie

Upcoming events and key dates

Uniform Swap Shop – open every Friday 3.15-3.45pm

Junior School Swimming Gala:

Year 5 Monday 23 May – 10.30-11.45am arrival from 10.15am
Year 6 Monday 23 May – 10.30-11.45am arrival from 10.15am

Swimming watch weeks for parents to watch the swimming lesson – Dates and times:

Reception – Tuesday 21 June

Year 1 and 2 – Friday 24 June

There will be no Ball Skills Club on Tuesday 24 May and Tuesday 7 June. There will also be no Walking Betty Club on Wednesday 25 May. Please can parents pick up at 3.30pm or book a space in GAP Club on these days.  

10 June – Sports Day for Year 3 – Year 6 (all day)

13 June – 3.30pm-5.30pm Cinema Event

13 June –  Athletics Rally in Nottingham
22 June –  U11 Tennis and Cricket Rally
29 June – Gym and Dance Extravaganza
8 July – 3.30pm-5.00pm Summer Fayre

Class assemblies for this term – we warmly invite parents to attend their daughters’ assembly staring at 8.35-8.50am, with refreshments with the head of school from 8.20am:

Wednesday 18 May 2022 2N
Wednesday 25 May 2022 5N
Wednesday 15 June 2022 1N
Wednesday 22 June 2022 3N
Wednesday 29 June 2022 Reception

Community Nursery Sessions

Term Dates

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