Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 20 November 2020

It has been a pleasure and indeed a privilege to join the Junior School family over the few past weeks. Mr Bailey remains in all of our hearts and thoughts and I thank you for the depth of your warmth and care that you share.

The moment I stepped through the door of the Junior school, I felt, and instinctively knew, that this was a very special place where great things happen. I am only sorry that I am unable to welcome you to enter inside your school right now, but please know that I am here to support and care for the girls, our staff and for you, as parents.

My usual school days are Mondays and Thursdays and I am always happy to have a Zoom call or telephone conversation; Mrs Furniss will always find a time that is convenient for us both, so please do not hesitate to contact her. I have enjoyed meeting many of you informally in the mornings and really look forward to getting to know you and your daughter(s) well. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, ideas or just to be in touch – I welcome this.

I was thinking during my journey into school this week about the importance of what might seem like small things, but how much they matter. More than ever, just taking a moment to appreciate the simple things in life, or to just stop to enjoy a moment, is so important. There are so many examples I could share, but to name but a few;

*The sheer joy I observed from the girls when they saw their friends on the playground for the first time following the half term break
*The spontaneous laughter I heard from girls and their teacher together as I walked past their classroom, clearly really enjoying their learning
*Watching a group of girls’ enjoyment crunching through a mass of leaves (ok, the leaves had been carefully swept up into a neat pile, but it was just too inviting not to do this!)
*The camaraderie, friendship, and inclusion between the girls when playing together outside.

I could go on and on…….

You will know that the staff, together, have created such a safe and nurturing space and a magical and aspirational learning environment that cherishes and celebrates the essence of childhood. I firmly believe these are two of the most important facets that allow optimum learning and development opportunities, both for outstanding academic and pastoral care for each individual girl. I thank the staff for this, and indeed you, as parents, as we walk side by side for the good of the girls.

Enjoy your weekend.

Marissa Davis

School’s fundraising efforts close in on £6,000 after ‘Purple Day’ in support of Pancreatic Cancer UK

On Thursday 19 November, the Northampton High School community came together once more in order to celebrate our first ever ‘Purple Day’, in support of Mr Bailey and Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Throughout the month of November, which is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, our staff and students have been undertaking a host of exciting activities and challenges as part of the charity’s ‘Challenge 24’ initiative. As you will have read in previous articles, we have seen people run for 24 minutes every day, make and sell 24 jars of homemade preserve, face masks and sweetie bags, and lots more.

19 November is World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day, and we saw this as the perfect time to hold Purple Day, a day in which the school turned purple and came together to enjoy fun tasks, take on gruelling challenges, and ultimately raise awareness and show support.

The day kicked off bright and early, with our Director of Sport, Mrs Blake, setting off at 7:30am for her gruelling 24 mile run around the school playing field. Not content on just running 24 miles, Mrs Blake added the extra 2.2 miles to make a full marathon – completing the exhausting run in an amazing 4 hours and 4 minutes – a PB!

Students of all ages took part in their own fun activities, which included the Year 6 students taking on 24 physical and fun activities ranging from ‘hook a duck’ to ‘netball shots’ to our Year 5 pupils completing challenges from their homes, such as ’24 purple pirouettes’ and ’24 songs played on the flute’. It wasn’t just our current students who got involved during the day, with the Class of 2020 gathering for an online Zoom call to catch up, but to also discuss cancer, and how they can raise awareness and help educate those around them.

With fundraising activities set to continue throughout the month, we are looking forward to completing more challenges and ultimately raising more money and support for a fantastic cause. With the fundraising total standing at £5,937 at time of writing – smashing our original goal of £1,000 – we are looking to finish Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month strongly and help this amazing charity as much as they can. To visit our fundraising team page, please click here, and to view more photos from Purple Day, please click here.

Mr Nash
Marketing and Communications Officer

Latest blog entry from Mrs Petryszak

Over the past few days, several events have come together that have caused me to focus on the school that we are: our school librarian’s recommendation of ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men’, by Caroline Criado Perez, discussions around our response to Black Lives Matter and my virtual attendance at the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) Conference, 2020.

Criado Perez’s book covers a wide variety of issues relating to the theme of gender bias or, perhaps – more accurately – data bias, and it is a fascinating read. In it, she addresses issues from government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, but a theme she refers to again and again is the influence of lack of role models on girls’ self-perception and learning. This includes ‘brilliance bias’ through which she explains that by the age of six girls have often started to doubt their gender and quoting a 2017 paper on the subject:

‘A recent US study found that when girls start primary school at the age of five, they are as likely as five-year-old boys to think women could be ‘really, really smart’. But by the time they turn six, something changes. They start doubting their gender.’

Read more here

Mrs Petryszak

Undivided – Diversity and Inclusion

As you are aware, we held our first Parents’ Meeting focusing on Diversity and Inclusion towards the end of the  summer term. We have our next staff committee meeting coming up shortly, after which we will be reaching out to parents again to further our discussions and start our mutual plans to move forward. I will be in touch about this in due course.

I am confident that, as an independent school, we are fortunate to have the gift to change the curriculum for all our students and we are working to do so through conversation with pupils, parents and staff.  I would like to share with parents the latest progress from GDST on its Undivided steering group; this is, of course, just the start of our journey, but one that we will travel together over the next months and years.

In the summer, the GDST announced its Undivided commitment to diversity, inclusion and real change across the GDST family of schools, in response to feedback from the GDST community of alumnae, staff, parents and students and the challenge set by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Since then, the GDST Undivided steering group has prepared a Charter for Action; this sets out specific commitments, focusing on what the GDST (as an organisation) will deliver.

The GDST promised to consult on these proposals before they were finalised, which is why we’re seeking your views. The Charter for Action is available on the GDST website here. Please do read it and share any comments you may have for the steering group to consider at this stage.

We are also consulting with staff, alumnae and senior school students.

The Charter for Action will be firmed up early next year. That said, the GDST has already started with important work in this area, including training, student and staff surveys, and data collection to help establish baselines and set stretching and challenging targets.

The student survey will be sent to pupils in Year 5 upwards from 1st December. It will ask a range of questions to establish the extent to which pupils feel every child, regardless of their background, is included and well-supported by their classmates and their school. If you have any questions about this, please contact Martin Pilkington at

Thank you for your help and support in making the GDST an even more inclusive organisation.

Mrs Petryszak

Dates for your diary

Friday 18 December End of Autumn Term
Monday 21 to Tuesday 22 December Foundation + holiday club
Monday 4 to Friday 8 January Foundation + holiday club
Friday 8 January INSET Day
Monday 11 January Start of Spring Term


Please be aware that on Tuesday 24 November there will be no Year 1 Spanish Club or Year 3 Maths or Art Club. Year 6 Multi-Sports Club will go ahead as normal.


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

Maya – Year 3 achieved a Distinction in her Grade 1 Stage Coach exam.
Maya – Year 4
Zara – Year 3
completed 20k bike ride around Northampton with their Mum and Dad. “It took an hour and I was really tired at the end.”
Risara – Year 4 attained a Distinction in Grade 2 Singing exam.
Ayana – Year 5 was awarded a Merit in her Grade 2 PAA exam in Musical Theatre.
Phoebe – Year 5 has accepted a place at The Royal Ballet School on their Junior Engagement programme. Phoebe will start her training in January 2021 and will attend two Saturdays per month.


Nursery Kipper Room and Elmer Room

This week the girls have been very busy and creative. We did some Diwali-themed activities such as making Dyas and mandala style painting. The girls have been showing an interest in water play, and washing the baby dolls; we have extended this interest by adding messy play for the dolls to take part in before they then have a bath, allowing the girls to replicate real life.

Thursday we had our Purple Day for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day, where the girls dressed up in their own clothes – they all looked lovely. We also did our Challenge 24, where we sang and danced for 24 minutes.  We danced along to lots of different action songs such as ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ and ‘If you’re happy and you know it’. In the afternoon we went for a walk to the field with the Pre School girls.  We got our wellies and coats on to keep warm and had a good run around.

The girls have had a fully packed week! Hope you all enjoy the weekend.

See all photos

Nursery Pre School

We have been celebrating the festival of Diwali this week in Pre School.  The girls have been able to experience a whole range of different activities, provocations and experiences. We were able to sample some delicious Diwali snacks including samosas, onion bhajis and pakoras; some children were more keen than others to try them. We had coloured sand, black card, glue and a picture of a Rangoli pattern set up as a provocation.

The girls made some lovely colourful pictures of their own. We also did some chalking by the gate where the girls displayed their creative thinking by drawing different designs. They were also very enthusiastic to create their own Divas and were given a piece of clay.  They then had the opportunity to mould and decorate it anyway they wished. We also practiced our cutting skills making lanterns.

Other favourites this week were the tactile tray, where some girls spent a vast amount of time making different potions with water, cornflour and coloured dye and flour mixed with conditioner which proved very popular.

See all photos


This week we have been investigating the number 8, the octagon shape and the colour grey. The girls enjoyed printing a spider web and then making a spider to go in it. They have used clay and the thumb pot technique, to make a diva.

They have been introduced to the cube 3D shape and that it is made of 6 square faces. In our topic, we have been thinking about nocturnal animals including the ‘Long-eared Jerboa ‘and the ‘Night Monkey’. We enjoyed dressing in purple in aid of charity and mixing purple paint to make a purple peacock. Our phonics this week have been ‘v’, ‘w’, ‘x’ and ‘z’.

See all photos

Year 1


In English, we have started looking at a new book, ‘The Great Fire of London’ and we have already found out so much about this event. We have been sequencing the events and retelling the story in our own words.

In maths, we have finished our work on subtraction for now and completed some really tricky work on Friday, where we had to compare number sentences using greater than, less than or equal to.

In gymnastics, we recapped the different rolls we had learnt and tried to create our own short sequences this week, using a roll and a high and low method of travel. In our RE lesson, we have learnt about Hanukkah and have focused on the story of Hanukkah. Next week we will be finding out how people celebrate Hanukkah. In our history lesson, we have been continuing to learn about ‘The Great Fire of London’ and we have found out a lot about what London was like at the time.

What the girls have said:

“I liked learning about Hanukkah.” Caoimhe
“I enjoyed making Christmas card designs.” Emily
“I liked learning about the Great Fire of London.” Elouise
“I liked history when we put the events of the Great Fire of London in order.” Eve
“I liked computing because I feel confident logging on now even though it is tricky.” Isabella
“I liked putting my face in the water and going on our backs in swimming.” Rhoda
“I like jumping into the water.” Grace

Looking ahead:

Maths – 2D and 3D shape
English – Diary writing
History – ‘The Great Fire of London’ – why did it spread so quickly?

See all photos

Year 2


We’ve been working on our column addition and subtraction in maths this week and we’ve all done really well. In English we have been learning about the story of ‘The Great Fire of London’ and the order of events. We have been practising re-telling the story aloud to each other and creating a storyboard to show the events.

We had a great day on Purple Thursday raising awareness for the Pancreatic Cancer charity and supporting Mr Bailey. We were all dressed in purple and at Forest School we completed a purple-themed treasure hunt, which was lots of fun! We worked in pairs to try and find different purple objects and record the matching numbers.

What the girls have said:

“I liked art this week and drawing our own Christmas animal designs for the card competition.”  Lucy, Amelia and Kinara
“I enjoyed computing and sending emails.” Amber
“I liked the treasure hunt at Forest School.” Leah

Looking ahead:

English – The Great Fire of London and our senses
Maths – money
Art – The Great Fire of London

See all photos

Year 3


This week in English, we have been collecting adjectives to describe our giants and writing similes to compare their features. In maths we have been learning about multiplication and looking at sharing and grouping numbers using arrays. In science we have planned an investigation to see how different materials affect the movement of a toy car. We are looking forward to checking our predictions next week.

What the girls have said:

“I have enjoyed the work about The BFG and all the artwork we have done.” Artemisia
“I liked doing spellings this week as I like to see how well I have done.” Lily
“We enjoyed doing our 24 Challenge of finding 24 adjectives to describe our giants.” Angelie and Zara

Looking ahead:

Maths – we will be learning about division and the language associated with it
English – our last week reading ‘The BFG’ and we will be writing character and setting descriptions
Science – we will be carrying out our planned investigation about friction

I have been trying to find fun ways to help the girls to learn their spellings, so this week I have added a series of games for them to play on Firefly with their spelling PREP. I have asked the girls for feedback to let me know if the games were fun and more importantly if they helped them with their learning.

Have a good weekend
Mrs Dadge

See all photos

Year 4


In maths we have measured perimeters of rectangles and other rectilinear shapes, labelling the length of each side and marking them off as we add them up. We have to be careful not to miss any of the sides (especially Mrs Shaw!).

In English we looked at subordinate clauses and the conjunctions we can use. We had lots of discussion about the themes of our class text; loss, adventure, hope and achieving goals. In science the girls had great fun constructing a simple electrical circuit, identifying and naming parts including cells, wires, crocodile clips, bulbs and bulb holders.

What the girls have said:

“I enjoyed having a fully purple day and completing our Challenge 24 by doing 24 laps of the playground.” Risara
“I enjoyed making my Christmas card for the GDST competition. I drew a polar bear and a robin in watercolours.” Tami

Looking ahead:

English – writing in role to explore a character’s feelings
Maths – multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100 along with more Barvember (bar modelling) challenges
Science – recognising some common conductors and insulators

See all photos

Year 5


Year 5 have had a great week working from home. The girls have been carrying on with their usual lessons, and have worked really hard on multiples, factors and prime numbers in maths. We also started a new text in English ‘Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race‘ by Margot Lee Shetterly. The girls have thrown themselves into NASA recruitment and it has been great seeing pictures of their decorated rooms and their fabulous persuasive writing.

A huge well done to all of the girls (and lots of parents) for doing so well on Thursday when we did our Challenge 24 purple activities. The girls had a super afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed sharing their successes with the rest of the class at the end of the afternoon.

What the girls have said:

“This week I loved doing all the NASA lessons in English. I also like doing all the purple activities even though they got me very puffed out.” Ellie
“I enjoyed doing Purple Day activities because they included sports and art things… I enjoy art and sports so this was very fun.” Darcy
“I am really enjoying home learning it’s good to have this online. My favourite subject is English. It’s nice to be at home but I’m missing seeing my friends.” Aiyana
“This week we have been working at home. My favourite activities were being Space Recruits and making a NASA pass in English. I also liked doing purple activities at home. I did 24 jumps on my trampoline and did a 24 square grid and filled it with doodles.“ Lottie

See all photos

Year 6

This week has flown past in a flurry of industrious activity.

The girls have worked hard to identify key areas for improvement in maths, used their powers of persuasion to present convincing arguments about their chosen endangered species in English and so much more…..

In particular we would like to highlight two special events this week:

The much loved Forest School sessions once again showed how powerful outdoor learning is, and the girls loved finding evidence of native habitats in our wonderful grounds, working together to build amazing dens and even producing their own assault course!

Most importantly of all we are so proud of the way everyone rallied together to support Pancreatic Cancer UK, raising well over £100 as a year group, just through the following activities:

– 24 minute silent read
– 24 activity Challenge 24 activities for 24 seconds each, including Crazy Catch, Snappit and Hook the Duck – sharing their carefully crafted 24-word stories
– eating their ‘Purple Prize!’

On Monday, we cannot wait to see the girls responses to their 24 Challenge PREP, where they can either choose to represent the number 24 in as many ways as possible or create a purple inspired piece of Art. A ‘Purple Prize’ awaits the most original entry!

Highlights of the week for the girls include:

“I really enjoyed going to Forest School and balancing across the slack rope because it was fun falling over and getting back up again! Also, I liked how people were helping me and then I was helping them.” Anya

“My highlight was when we went to Forest School and played on the strap line, built dens and searched for habitats.” Georgia

“I really enjoyed doing swimming this week because we got to have a competition to see how many somersaults we could do in a row under water. We also got to practise starts, finishes and much more.” Verity

“I really enjoyed it when we made the clay decorations at Forest School. Also, I loved the slack rope because it keep bouncing around and making me wobble!” Isla M

“My highlight of the week was doing art because we put paint and gesso on a folded art book and then got to use lots of different media to create ideas around the theme, ‘How wild is your garden?’. We also did sewing.” Fern

“My highlight of the week is going to Forest School and climbing a tree with one of my best friends from the other class.” Natalie

Next week we look forward to starting our fish clay project in Art, finding out more about our native habitat in Science and much, much more!

Have a lovely weekend!

See all photos

Indian Cooking class available to the High School community in support of Pancreatic Cancer UK

A member of our school community is holding a special Indian cooking class, with all proceeds going to support our Pancreatic Cancer UK fundraising efforts.

Meera Tailor, parent to Maaya and Millie, has been teaching classes on Zoom during lockdown, and is delighted to be offering a special Northampton High class for members of the school community. For a donation of £20, all proceeds will go to a team fundraising appeal, as we continue our efforts to support Pancreatic Cancer UK and Mr Bailey.

For more information, please do visit the below social pages, or feel free to contact for more information.

Instagram: meerasmenu
Facebook: Meera’s Menu 

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

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