Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 22 March 2024

Character development, education and growth mindset

The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC) made significant and lasting contributions to nearly every aspect of human knowledge, from the intricacies of logic to the nuances of biology, ethics and aesthetics. At the core of Aristotle’s philosophical inquiry lies a fundamental question: what constitutes a good and fulfilling life? He observed that it entails the acquisition and cultivation of particular virtues of character.

Aristotle delineated virtues such as courage, patience, generosity, friendliness as important characteristics that would benefit not only an individual’s wellbeing, but society as a whole, epitomising the age-old adage that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. The unification of the behaviour of disparate parts can be seen within our school community.

At Northampton High, we have designed a coherent approach to nurturing pupils’ academic and personal development, exemplified by our well-respected ‘Northampton High Approach’ Learn-Reach-Coach programmes. Across the whole school, our pupils know and can explain the educational ethos of this programme; collaboration, curiosity, perseverance, independence and risk taking, recognising these intellectual characteristics serve as guiding beacons, helping to keep them focused throughout their school career.

The ‘Northampton High Approach’ lies at the heart of much that we aim to do in our curriculum, classroom and culture. Here, our pupils develop their self-worth, self-confidence and self-knowledge, evidenced through active participation in competitive events, group participation (a shining example being the recent Year 3 and 4 ‘Ocean Commotion’ production) and by presenting to fellow pupils in assemblies.

However, Aristotle also recognised that we cannot change our behaviour just at the drop of a hat. But change is possible, eventually. Moral goodness, says Aristotle, is the result of habit. It takes time, consistent practice (like mastering a musical instrument), encouragement and good role models from whom to learn. Aligned with this philosophy, our ‘Northampton High Approach’ instils a set of dispositions and behaviours that empower our pupils to successfully approach problems and challenges in the classroom and everyday life. The overarching goal for the whole school is to ensure that these intellectual characteristics are developed. Thus, when pupils are faced with an answer that they do not immediately know, they display these characteristics in order to manage the situation intelligently.

Coupled with our emphasis on fostering intellectual characteristics, we also aim to develop pupils with a growth mindset. This is a mindset that we can grow and improve our abilities over time, the opposite of a fixed mindset which may stop us from even trying. If we have the belief that we can improve (which we can), we are more likely to put in the effort actually required to learn and grow. That does not mean that everyone has the potential to achieve top grades in everything with the right amount of effort (a damaging mindset), but that from whatever our initial skill level or starting point we can make meaningful steps forward in learning and our personal development.

This is of course good news! And it is also backed by science researcher and writer David Robson in his recent book ‘The Expectation Effect’. In this he makes a clear case for how expectations shape our experience in many aspects of life and can be self-fulling prophecies, for better or for worse depending on those expectations. We can bring about change, not through ‘magical’ thinking but by reframing our thoughts which change our habits and behaviours.

The challenge we all face is to develop a more ‘can do’ as opposed to a ‘can’t do’ attitude particularly in those areas we may find more personally challenging. If our young people at Northampton High can cultivate good habits of minds now, it really can make a difference to their ability to learn and develop greater resilience in an ever changing world.

As Carol Dweck aptly puts it, ‘People with a growth mindset know that it takes time for potential to flower’. It is not about immediate perfection but rather the steadfast commitment to confronting challenges and effectuating incremental progress. This philosophy resonates deeply with the enduring ethos of learning and growth that permeates every corner of life at Northampton High.

Dr Lee

Easter Holiday Sessions for EYFS and KS1 children

Dance Festival - Tuesday 26 March

All children (Reception to Year 6) are performing in our Dance Festival on Tuesday 26 March.

You will have received emails about how to book your tickets to watch this performance, and you should have also received an email regarding costume requirements.

If you have not yet booked your tickets please do so through this link.

We look forward to seeing you there!

After School Clubs

Please be aware the only clubs that will run on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 March are paid for, externally led clubs. Thank you for your cooperation.

Spring Art Collective

Well done to Elizabeth F-W, Holly G-S, Zoe Z, Avelyn C, Lulu P, Jesleen R and Artemisia U for their artwork submissions to the Spring Collective exhibition. They were all excellent pieces and looked fabulous as part of the whole school exhibition.

We are proud of their pieces but also that the sale of their pieces contributed to supporting the linked charity to the event.

Well done girls – fantastic work!

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool

We started the week in Nursery with our Forest School session, where we made perfumes using coloured water and a mix of flower petals and other natural ingredients we found.

We have used Spring and Easter cutters when using our Playdoh, and we have been mark making with paint on silver paper, seeing the different patterns it made. These activities have helped with our fine motor skills.

Our Phonic sounds this week are J, K, and I, and we have continued to introduce these sounds using the soundbox. In Cooking, we made ham & cheese and cheese &

vegan cheese puffs and in Maths, we have been practicing our counting skills using our small world characters to help us.

This week in Preschool, our focus has been modelling good deeds. We have created a tree of good deeds, which we hope will sprout lots of new leaves to celebrate all the good deeds our girls have done. These leaves could include being kind to our friends, helping to keep our environment tidy and using good manners.

In Forest School, we made some potions using petals and water, and we have been continuing with our phase 1 Phonics – asking the girls to spot which word doesn’t rhyme from a group of three.

In Maths, we have been matching quantity to numeral very confidently. We ventured onto the Astroturf for our PE lesson, which enabled us to develop our gross motor skills with ball control and moving through obstacles.

News from our classrooms: Reception

This week, we have been reading the story ‘Super Milly and the Super School Day’. This story is about Milly who doesn’t think she has any special powers, but when things go wrong maybe she only needs her super-kindness to help her friends.

On Wednesday, we had a visit from Ms Sira, a Dentist who brought along her pink panther to show us how to clean our teeth properly. She told us about good foods and foods that were not good for our teeth. She showed us her mirror to look inside our mouth, and gave everyone a sticker and a toothpaste pack.

In Maths we have been measuring length and height. Using Play Doh, we made three different length worms, remembering to start in the same place to compare them. We also went outside to find sticks in three different lengths.

We have been very pleased with the class and their transition into eating lunch in the dining room, they have all coped very well. Well done everyone!

Junior Sports: U8 Netball vs Thornton

It was a bright and sunny afternoon on Thursday 15 March, when a very excited U8 Netball team disembarked the minibus at Thornton College.

After a good warm up, we organised the team and the match started. We started strongly, and Zara B scored 2 goals in the first quarter, but a few injuries along the way slowed us down a little bit. The second and third quarters were evenly matched with some great passing from both teams. Thornton started building up momentum, but fantastic marking from us meant that our defence held strong, and Thornton were unable to score until late in the game. The final score was 2 – 1 in our favour, and the Player of the Match award (as selected by the opposition) was given to Rosie B.

Well done girls on your excellent effort and wonderful team spirit!

Junior Sports: Swimming Gala vs Bedford Girls School

On Monday 18 March, Years 4, 5 and 6 challenged Bedford Girls in a Swimming Gala. The results were as follows:

U11 (Year 6 ): 41-39 to Northampton
U10 (Year 5) :43-37 to Northampton
U9 (Year 4): 27-53 to Bedford

These results meant that the overall score sat at 111-129 in Bedford’s favour. Well done to everyone who took part in this wonderful event!

Year 5 and Year 6 House Netball
We had an exciting afternoon of netball for Year 5 and Year 6 on Wednesday 20 March. These were incredibly close games, resulting in one of the closest House netball competitions we have seen in a long time.


A Competition
1st – Artemis
1st – Selene
3rd – Demeter
4th – Hestia

B Competition
1st – Selene
2nd – Hestia
3rd – Demeter
4th – Artemis

Junior Sports: Year 5 and 6 House Netball

On Wednesday 20 March, we enjoyed an exciting afternoon of House Netball for Year 5 and Year 6. These were all incredibly close games, resulting in one of the tightest House Netball competitions we have seen in a long time

The final results are as follows:

A Competition:
1st – Artemis
1st – Selene
3rd – Demeter
4th – Hestia

B Competition:
1st – Selene
2nd – Hestia
3rd – Demeter

Congratulations to our winning houses and a huge well done to all players for a wonderful afternoon of Netball played in a fantastic spirit.

News from outside of the classroom: Easter Reading Recommendations

The Arrival By Shaun Tan

‘The Arrival’ is a very interesting book because it is a graphic novel with no words but includes very thought provoking pictures. Although, it does not need words to tell you the tale. It is about a man separated from his loved and treasured family when a mysterious darkness of fear wraps their city in doubt.

He must undergo a series of challenges to dock in the new world, a city full of new people and a strange foreign language. He meets new people and other refugees, who share their stories of trouble and pain in return for his legacy of alarm and hopelessness. Explore the adventures of one man woven into worry by the fantastic author of ‘The Lost Thing’, Shaun Tan.

The Catastrophic Friendship fails of Lottie Brooks

If you are looking for a lighter read, then you might enjoy the adventures of Lottie Brooks exploring everyday life in her tweens.

In contrast to ‘The Arrival’, it is a very relaxing and hilarious book. If you enjoy ‘The Tom Gates’ series, then you might want to give this book a try.

Emma B and Hazel G
Year 6 Reading Champions 

Weekly Awards

Star Learners of the Week:

Phoebe R, Ela O, Ishani S, Anaya V, Isabelle L, Nellie L-S, Grace A, Amber K, Cristina S-R, Diya B, Imogen O, Daisy P, Jesleen R

External Achievements:

Elodie K – awarded a Level 2 certificate for Skiing
Georgina P – achieved a 50m certificate in Swimming
Isabelle L – came 1st in her Modern Dance competition
Zara B – achieved a Taekwondo Yellow belt with a ‘credit pass’
Evie I  – achieved a Taekwondo Yellow belt with a ‘credit pass’
Rayna N – achieved a Taekwondo Orange belt and also moved up a Swimming group to Crocodiles
Isabella B – achieved ‘Player of the Match’ certificate in her Football match
Evette B – awarded Bronze (200m freestyle), silver (200m backstroke) and Gold (400m freestyle) medals in a Swimming competition and achieved Personal Best times in her races.
Aurelia T – moved up to Stage 3 in her StageCoach group

Birthdays This Week

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

Leah W, Amelie N and Millicent S

Sport Photographs 2024

Please click here to view and purchase our new Sport photographs.

Mrs Rose
Sports Centre Administrator

What's on at Northampton High - Spring Term

Northampton High School Swim Clubs

Pauline Quirke Academy

Northants Authors Book Fair

Term Dates

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