Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 25 February 2022

School Governance

Within GDST schools, as with most schools operating under trusts of one kind or another, local governance is quite different from the traditional notion of school governing boards. I was reminded of this at the recent meeting of our school governing board (SGB) where there was discussion about the role of governors and what skills are useful to look for when recruiting new governors.

Traditionally, school governing boards were accountable for the financial conduct, HR and legal matters of the school; a hefty responsibility to ask of volunteers. Therefore, it was important that governors had strong skills and experience in areas such as law, finance, education and HR because scrutinising the school’s operations and advising the Headteacher were vital roles.

Within an educational trust, the accountability for all of those things lies with the trustees and a central team of experts. So what, you may ask, is the role of the SGB in that case? I can offer insight on this from two perspectives – the obvious one as a Head in a trust school, but also as a Chair of Governors within a primary school that is part of an academy trust.

I would say that the role of the local or school governing board is very much one of support and challenge. As the local body, they are able to support the Head day to day with advice and provide a sounding board for ideas. They attend school events and provide insight into the local area and businesses from their external perspective. They also offer challenge to the Head and Senior Leadership Team. When making important decisions within a school, it is important to have that external perspective in order that the conversation doesn’t become an echo chamber. Offering a different perspective or asking questions about ideas and plans enables the Head to make decisions, secure in the knowledge that it has been ‘sense tested’ from different angles. It is also important that the governing body understands the school’s position financially, academically, pastorally and in terms of pupil roll.

As a Head, I find the support of our governing board invaluable and am always grateful for their perspective on matters relating to the school or connections within the wider community. As a Chair of Governors, I am grateful for the opportunity to provide support to other school leaders and teachers, in a very different context to the High School, and to utilise my skill set in a different way. It is a rewarding experience.

At the moment we are actively seeking new members for our school governing board. An interest in education, knowledge of and/or connections in the local area and a commitment to attend and be actively involved in meetings are the main requirements. A whole range of skills and experiences would be valuable. We will need one parent governor from September 2022, but if you know of a friend, colleague or family member who may be interested in being a member of the SGB, we have two vacancies for non-parent governors.

Please contact my Executive Assistant and Clerk to the Governors, Mrs Natalie Bodily (, in the first instance if you would like more information.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head

Carry on Reading

One of the positives to come out of the last few years has been our continued love of reading. It won’t be a surprise to hear that I read my way through most of the first lockdown in 2020; on returning to school I discovered that many of our girls had taken a similar approach.

This trend in school reflects the wider reading picture in the UK. More than 212 million print books sold last year, the highest figure for a decade.

A spokesperson from Nielson publishers said, “Overall, the year’s bestsellers show book-buyers seeking out comfort, laughter, escapism, familiarity and a possibly a sense of community. One thing we can be certain about: books are definitely not a pandemic fad.”

During half term I found myself in the new Waterstones store in the Grosvenor Centre in Northampton; chatting to one of the assistants about the excellent selection of books for children and young people they commented that the footfall in the new store has become noticeably younger which is fantastic to hear.

With World Book Day coming round on Thursday 3 March, being celebrated in Junior School on Friday 11 March, I thought it worth highlighting the shortlist for the Younger Readers category of the Waterstones Book Prize 2022. Diverse, adventurous, thought provoking and great fun the winner will be hard to choose.

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston – 8-12 years – Amari Peters knows three things. Her big brother Quinton has gone missing. No one will talk about it. His mysterious job holds the secret… So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find Quinton.

Bumble & Snug and the Angry Pirates by Mark Bradley – 5-7 years – Bumble and Snug are going on a big adventure to…have a picnic! But when they accidentally get lost, they’re both cross – is their adventure ruined?

Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean – age 8 upwards – Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His dad’s acting weird, his mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together.

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold – There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traore – 8-12 years – City girl Simi is sent to stay with her long-lost grandmother in a remote Nigerian village. There’s no TV, internet or phone. Not a single human-made sound can be heard at night, just the noise of birds and animals rustling in the dark forest outside. Her witchlike grandmother dispenses advice and herbal medicine to the village, but she’s tight lipped about their family history. Something must have happened, but what?

Front Desk by Kelly Yang – 8-12 years – Mia Tang has a lot of secrets: 1. She lives in a motel, not a big house. 2. Her parents hide immigrants. 3. She wants to be a writer. It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, and go for her dreams?

More reading suggestions can be found on our school book shop site.

Miss Buxton


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

Siéna-Louise – participated in the Milton Keynes Dance and finished 1st with her ballet solo and 1st with her character trios.

Grace B – came 2nd in a swimming gala.

Emily K– won a shapes competition in gymnastics.

Annie – awarded gymnast of the week.

Poppy – swam 600m (30 lengths).

Matilda – awarded 1st place in the County Junior Drill Team for the Northampton Sea Cadets.

Emily F – became Squad Commander for the Junior Piper Northampton Sea Cadets and achieved 1st place for individual piping.

See all photos

Playground Stars

It has been a fun week on the Playground despite the wind, grey skies and a sprinkling of snow.

Year 3 girls enjoyed a fast paced game of ‘Imposter Tag’ whilst Year 6 enjoyed a fast thinking game of Chinese Whispers.

Safiya, Rianna and Emily –  gave Eliza from Year 4 some netball coaching, to help with her goal shooting.

Emily and Amelia –  set up running lanes with ropes and said it improved their times.

Annabelle  – whilst we were discussing what would be the best thing to do when someone gets in the way of a game, Annabelle had a very good idea, to politely ask for them to move out of the way and give them time to do this. All the girls agreed that would be the best way forward.

Zara – suggested it would be safer to roll the hoop rather than throw it during their game, well done.

Harriet – found a way to extend the stilts with skipping ropes so she could play on them, well done.

Harriet, Risara and Maya – thank you for getting out the toys and games and putting them away tidily.

Dates for your Diary

02 – 04 March  Burwell House Residential Trip – Year 3 and Year 4
04 March  09.30-12.00 – Open Morning
04 March  14.00 – U11A Netball vs GDST Netball Weekend
07 March All Day: Virtual Tour of the Globe – Globe Theatre Workshop
10 March  09.00 – U11A Cross Country vs GDST Spring Rally at Bromley
10 March  U11A Gymnastics vs GDST Spring Rally at Bromley
14 March  All Day: Virtual Globe Theatre Workshop
15 March  All Day: Virtual Globe Theatre Workshop
15 March All Day: Rockingham Castle Trip – Year 1 and Year 2
16 March  14.30 – U10A, U11A and B Netball vs Bedford Modern School
17 March 13.00 – 15.35 – Ceramics Workshop – Year 4
18 March 09.00 – 11.30 – Allotment Fayre – Year 6
18 March 12.30 – U9A Netball vs Bedford Modern School
21 March  18.00 – 20.00 – Art Exhibition
23 March  14.00 – U11A and B Netball vs Wellingborough and MKPS Triangular
24 March 13.00 – 15.35 – Ceramics Workshop Part 2 – Year 4
24 March  18.00 – 20.00 – Parent Talk Series: Dealing with Self-Harm
25 March 14.30 – 15.15 – Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea
25 March  14.30 – U8 and U9A Netball vs Broughton Manor Prep School
25 March 14.00 – 17.00 – Junior School Barn Dance
29 March 17.00 – 19.00 – Junior School Parents’ Evening
30 March Sports Awards Evening
31 March  13.00 – 15.35 – Ceramics Workshop Part 3 – Year 4
31 March 15.50 – 17.50 – Junior School Parents’ Evening

Just as a reminder, the GAP Club phone number is 07816 751456; please do keep this number handy so that you have direct access to the GAP team should you need it.

Class Assemblies

We are pleased to welcome back parents and grandparents/family members to our Wednesday Class Assemblies at 8.35am-8.55am. Refreshments will be served in the Community Room from 8.15am. We do hope you will be able to join us.

Wednesday 2 March 6H
Wednesday 16 March 5N
Wednesday 23 March 1N
Wednesday 30 March Reception

Nursery - Kipper Room and Elmer Room


In Nursery the girls have followed on with an interest that started in the holiday, with making crowns. The crowns come with many different designs, with the children choosing to decorate them in their own ways, some by cutting and sticking tissue paper onto them, others cutting shapes out of the crowns. The crowns were made of shiny card and the girls could choose from silver, red or blue.

The Nursery environment has changed around over the half term. The home corner has moved to the exploration area and includes an area for the baby dolls to be bathed. The children have been washing the babies, showing care when putting the bubbles over their heads; “not in your eyes”, said one girl, as she held the baby to make sure the water ran over the back of the child’s head.

See all photos

On Friday, the Pre School joined us for Forest School, where we jumped in muddy puddles, practised balancing and went on a hunt for different bugs and insects; “I want to look for worms”, Elodie told us.

Over the weekend look for the signs of spring, can you see any spring flowers beginning to show? What other signs of spring can you show your daughter to share with us next week?

Nursery - Pre School


Pre School girls have adjusted well to the move to Elmer Room. We are using our story of the week of Jack and the Beanstalk to help make the space our own and have been busy making a beanstalk from cardboard tubes which has grown up and around the book area.

We planted some cress seeds which we don’t expect to grow as big as a beanstalk, but we would love some photos of their progress.

See all photos

We have used the old Pre School room to do some large action movement songs in French, but moving forward we are planning more small group work with our key children.

Next week we will continue the Jack and the Beanstalk story and thinking about words that start with the letter B.



This week we have begun to think about our new topic of ‘Superheroes.’ The girls were able to think up lots of characters they had seen in books and on the TV, and we talked about what made them special.  Vocabulary such as ‘strong,’ ‘kind,’ helpful,’ ‘rescuing,’ ‘flies,’ ‘climbs,’  were used to describe and talk about the different Superheroes. We listened to a selection of the ‘Supertato’ stories by Sue Hendra, and next week the girls are keen to make their own masks, belts and capes to become Superheroes! We shall encourage them to think about what their special talent could be.

The girls spent time drawing all the people in their family who help them. It was lovely to see them explain in so much detail who each member of their family was and talk about what they did for them.

Our phonic sounds this week have been ‘ar’ – start the car and ‘oo’ – look at a book.

Maths focus this week were the numbers 9 and 10, and we have been making stone ladybirds with spots from 0 to 10 to add to the garden area.

See all photos

At this week’s assembly, Mrs Davis played music from the Sorcerers Apprentice, thinking about how music can make us feel. When we returned to the classroom, some of the girls asked to listen to the music again and discussed what could be happening and why the music would make you think that.

In PE, the girls tried several different bikes and scooters; some were able to pedal the bikes while others worked together to move the double bikes and scooters.

Finally, many thanks for all the Tapestry photographs showing the wonderful bean plants you are caring for at home.  We had a super Tapestry session looking at all the photos and seeing the measuring that is taking place.  Will anyone’s beanstalk reach the height of 1 metre over the weekend?!  Please keep sending us in the photos.

Have an enjoyable weekend.

Year 1


Year 1 have thoroughly enjoyed reading The Naughty Bus by Jan and Jerry Oke.  They have worked collaboratively to find out about buses and are already formulating great ideas for their own ‘Naughty Bus’ adventure stories. Miss John is busy creating a bus in our role play area which I know will go on plenty of exciting adventures. You will shortly be receiving a letter about our school trip this term to Rockingham Castle – our own bus adventure!

On another note, I am very excited to say that a full set of Chromebooks are arriving very shortly for Year 1.  This will mean that every member of the class will have their own named device to use in school.

See all photos

What the girls have said: 

“This week I’ve enjoyed doing Maths. I liked hopping back down the number track to subtract.” Priyana

“I loved the Naughty Bus story because the toy bus dropped into the sink.” Rayna

Next week:

English – writing a letter to the Naughty Bus explaining the importance of following rules.

Maths – Subtraction crossing 10 and comparing number sentences.

Have a lovely weekend, hopefully with some sunshine.

Year 2


In Year 2 this week we have started our new book – ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’. We have discussed whether we think an owl and a pussy cat can be friends and given some very good reasons. We have also thought about some of the things they might need on their trip and used commas in our lists.

In Maths, we have looked at displaying data in a block diagram and started our new topic on shape.

In our Science lesson, we identified materials and their uses around our classroom and outside.

See all photos

Next week:

Maths – continue with work on 2D and 3D shapes.

English – continuing with the Owl and the Pussy Cat, looking at apostrophes for contractions, capital letters for names and role playing interviewing characters.

Science – investigating the properties of materials.

Year 3


In Maths this week we have been measuring length. We have been looking closely at metres, centimetres, and millimetres.

In English we have been studying the book ‘Tamarind and the Star of Ishta’ by Jasbinder Bila. We have been making predictions, comparisons and answering questions about the text.

In Humanities we learned about the British Raj and the advantages and disadvantages that this period of rule brought to India. We watched some short video clips and had lots of discussions to help our understanding.

In Art we continued to add our designs to our Indian festival elephants; they are looking very bright and colourful!

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What the girls have said: 

“I have enjoyed measuring in Maths.” – Lucy

“We made cubes using shape nets to build a mini street.” – Amber, Leah, Holly and Avani

“I am pleased with how my elephant looks!” – Cristina

Looking ahead:

Next week (Wednesday-Friday) is our residential trip with Year 4 to Burwell House. Please ensure you have read all the relevant information and have studied the kit list carefully.

It is important that you involve your daughter with the packing of her suitcase so she is certain of her own belongings. Many thanks.

Year 4


In Maths we used practical equipment and pictorial representations (e.g. bar models) to add and subtract fractions.

In English we wrote a letter in role and created dialogue based on our exciting new text about being evacuated in the war.

In Humanities we looked at what makes an item or thing sacred.

See all photos

What the girls have said: 

“I have enjoyed learning about fractions in Maths.” Diya

“I loved Art as we are making pictures in the style of Hunterwasser.” Lily

“I liked our Humanities lesson, discussing and sorting sacred items.” Priscilla

“I have also really enjoyed Art, cutting and sticking the coloured paper parts to make our Hunterwasser collage.  I really like my finished picture.”  Luisa

Looking ahead to next week:

English –  using conjunctions to create a character description.

Maths – fractions activities.

Burwell residential trip Wednesday to Friday.

Dates for your diary:

Burwell residential 2 – 4 March. Please check the firefly page for further details:

Friday 11 March – World Book Day activities.

Year 5


Year 5 have had another busy week and have clearly found lots to enjoy. I am so proud of the way in which the girls have showed their resilience, independence and enthusiasm this week.

See all photos

What the girls have said:

“I had a really fun day yesterday when we did baking with Miss Page and Mrs Long. We baked cookies and cupcakes and then decorated them with chocolate and vanilla icing. We also got colourful sprinkles which made the cupcakes look more fun!” Maya

“I really enjoyed our lessons on Wednesday when Mrs Davis gave us a topic called ‘A Wonderful World’ and we had to make a presentation. In the afternoon we showed Year 3 and Year 4 what we had done and they had to vote which world they would like to go to. My world won – it was called ‘Diana’ after the Roman god of wild animals and hunting. I think a lot of the younger girls liked it because you got your own unique powers when you went there and you got to have your own pets.” Avleen

“My favourite lesson was Art this week on Kandinsky because he used a lot of different colours and shapes – he mostly used squares, circles and triangles. I really liked trying to create my own picture that looked like a Kandinsky using watercolours.” Jessica

“In History, we made a timeline for the Vikings. We read a text and then answered lots of questions with a friend. The thing that I found most interesting from the video clips that we were watching was the fact that the Viking ships had a figurehead, and it looked a little bit like an eagle, and when they took the flag down I think it meant that they were at peace.” Preesha

Year 6

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This week the girls have enjoyed investigating the uses of different components in electrical circuits and all agreed that this was a tougher challenge than they first thought.

In English they have started studying the book, ‘Suffragette: A Battle for Equality’ by David Roberts, with a focus on what is right and wrong and how society can be made fairer. They have also had the opportunity to spend time in Senior School as part of our ongoing transition to Year 7.

To view our activities for World Book Day next week, please click here.

See all photos

What the girls have said: 

“On Thursday, we had a film competition and we had to pick a theme to do with online issues. I enjoyed it because we mixed with the Year 7 girls and my group made a film about cyber bullying.” Matilda

“My highlight was learning about electricity and making circuits. I enjoyed struggling with the challenges because I found it hard and had to think carefully!” Aiyana

“On Thursday I enjoyed making a film with the Year 7 pupils about keeping safe. It was a great chance to visit Senior School and meet new people.” Tendo

“I really enjoyed taking part in the Scavenger Hunt – it was great to explore Senior School and find out new things about it!” Darcy

We wish you all a good weekend!

GAP Club


We have been thinking of how we can create a role play farm. The girls have thought of the animals they would like to include and have drawn out a plan. We began by collaging a horses head for the barn and then used wool to make pigs, we also used a big box to create a tractor and trailer.

See all photos

What the girls have said: 

“Using the Lego to make an E.” Eve Year 2.

“Making.” Nellie Year 1.

Next Week: 

Next week will will be continuing to develop our role play and starting to think about spring.

Science Week: Growth

Open Day - Friday 4 March

Turning “can we?” into “we can!” Come and visit us at our Open Morning on Friday 4 March, from 9.30am to 12noon.

This is a great opportunity to tour the school with our student ambassadors, speak to staff and see the school in action. Feel free to invite friends and family to join us.

For more information, please contact us by email or visit our website. We look forward to welcoming you.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing and Admissions

Junior Bake Off 2022

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

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