Junior News 28 February 2020
Following our inspection in November 2019, the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) have made some amendments to the wording of their original report. I am delighted to say that the updated report, published today, further highlights all that is special about Northampton High School.
This report reiterates our compliance with the Independent School Standards Regulations and clearly states that we have achieved the highest grade – ‘Excellent’ – in both categories of the Educational Quality Inspection: the quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements and the quality of pupils’ personal development.
“The quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent.”
“The quality of pupils’ personal development is excellent.”
More information can be found here.
Welcome back to a new half term; the girls have come back well-rested and ready to kick on with their learning. This week we have been treated to glorious sunshine, howling wind, snow and rain… all of which have been braved by our intrepid Year 3 and 4 girls and staff who have enjoyed their residential trip to Burwell house in Cambridgeshire. The twitter feed (@NHSJuniorSchool) is full of highlights of their brilliant trip. As always, the girls have been fabulous ambassadors for our school. Thank you so much to the staff who have accompanied them.
Some highlights of our learning across the school this week have included putting finishing touches to our entries for BBC Radio 2’s 500 words story competition, plotting points on a grid using coordinates, creating intergalactic artwork and launching our house singing competition.
We started the week with an assembly from Senior School colleague Ms. Heimfeld, who shared her passion for film. Ms. Heimfeld inspired us with examples of women currently having a significant impact on the film industry, including the likes of Amelia Simpson, an alumni of our school, whose NHS film competition entry was shown at the Cambridge Film Festival last year. Ms. Heimfeld invited the girls to enter this year’s NHS competition, the theme being ‘surviving the climate crisis.’ Please see the poster included in this newsletter for further information. Other assemblies this week have covered the current floods across the UK and the origins and significance of pancake day.
On Wednesday we held an information event for our Year 5 parents whose daughters will be looking to transfer through to the Senior School in the near future. This event really highlighted the power of our ‘one campus’ school; we were able to hear from representatives from across the Junior and Senior Schools, all of whom have a responsibility for ensuring that each girl’s wellbeing and academic needs are met.
Over the half term break we had a fabulous ‘learning tree’ installed in our Nursery/Pre-School dining area. The clay leaves have all been made and decorated by our youngest girls and staff, and the installation reflects the idea that learning and growth are taking place all around us. Our Pre-School girls also visited Richmond Village retirement home this week to bring a little sparkle to the residents; this is all part of our community outreach programme.
Final rehearsals are currently taking place ahead of our inaugural appearance in the ‘Northamptonshire Big Sing’ at The Derngate Theatre. Tickets for this event are still available from the Derngate box office, but it is almost sold out – be quick.
Finally, two small requests this week. Firstly, following feedback from our parent forum, we would just like to remind you to check that you can access the ‘Firefly’ learning platform. Do please let the Junior School office know if you are having any issues logging on. Secondly, a polite reminder that we are a dog-free site (except the lovely Betty, who is fully risk assessed!)
Have a wonderful weekend,
Head of Junior School
On Friday 13 March, the girls will be able to come to school dressed as their favourite sporting hero, to support the charity ‘Sports Relief’.
Each week in assembly, girls are invited to share their achievements in activities outside of school. They are listed below for this week:
Poppy M – 2nd in club championships
Cora S – proficiency award 6
Varnikha K – proficiency award 7
Isla H (6N) – completed level 1
Phoebe S – 1st for humorous verse ‘Milton Keynes Arts Festival’ and 3rd solo verse
Jemima S – merit in humorous verse and 2nd solo verse
Esme S – level 5
Mollie M – B2
Vivienne P – bronze badge
Isla H (5N) – Yeti badge 1
Shanaya P – 10 weeks hard work
Srishti S – Duckling award 2
Evie A – 4th in back stroke/breast stroke
Eliza A – yellow/white belt
Jemima S – 8th place poise and personality (qualifying for National Championships)
Class assemblies are held in the Junior School Hall at 8.35am on Wednesdays. Parents are most welcome to enjoy refreshments from 8.00am in the Community Room. Here are the dates for the Spring Term:
2N – Wednesday 4 March
3N – Wednesday 11 March
Reception – Wednesday 18 March
1N – Wednesday 25 March
5N – Wednesday 1 April
Monday 2 March – Nursery Stay and Play 8am-9.30am
Wednesday 4 March – Joseph ‘Big Sing’ at the Derngate 6.30pm
Thursday 5 March – Year 5 day trip to Bletchley Park
Thursday 5 March – World Book Day (not MUFTI)
Thursday 5 March – Open Evening 4.30pm-6.30pm
Friday 6 March – Open Morning 9.30am-12pm
Friday 6 March – International Women’s Day
w/c Monday 9 March – Science Week
Friday 13 March – MUFTI day for Sports Relief
Tuesday 17 March – Pre-School Richmond Village 10.30am-11.45am
Wednesday 18 March – KS1 day trip to the National Space Centre
Thursday 19 March – Music Composition Evening 7pm-9pm
Thursday 26 March – Pre-School transition event to Reception Class 9am-10am
Thursday 26 March – Easter Disco Reception to Year 6 4pm-5pm
Tuesday 31 March – Sports Presentation Evening 6pm
Wednesday 1 April – Whole School Photograph
Wednesday 1 April – Parents’ Evening from 6.00pm
Thursday 2 April – Parents’ Evening from 3.50pm
Friday 3 April – End of Term
Monday 20 April – INSET Day
Tuesday 21 April – Start of Summer Term
Friday 24 April – Day of Debating
Tuesday 28 April – Pre-School Richmond Village 10.30am-11.45am
Tuesday 28 April – Nursery Stay and Play 2pm-3.15pm
Friday 1 May – Whole School Birthday Assembly
Friday 1 May – Whole School Open Morning 8.30am-12pm
Friday 8 May – VE Bank Holiday
w/c Monday 11 May – Year 6 Osmington Bay Residential
Looking ahead: Sports Day for KS2 and Senior School is Friday 5 June
The following club is cancelled:
Wednesday 4 March – Science Club for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (due to The Big Sing event at the Derngate Theatre).
Parent Forum: 6 February 2020
Many thanks to all who attended the Parent Forum on Thursday 6 February. The subject for this meeting was ‘communication’ and the discussions fell under three broad categories. These were:
1) reporting and pupil progress feedback
2) marketing, messaging and operational parent communications, and
3) catering and estates.
The full minutes and action points can be found here: Parent Forum February 2020.
The next meeting will take place early next term. If you would like to propose any items for discussion, please get in touch.
Nursery Kipper Room and Elmer Room
This week the Nursery girls have noticed a big change in Nursery, instead of being the Kipper Room and Elmer Room, we are one shared Nursery space. This allows more flexible use of the learning environment to offer more opportunities to all the girls. Each day this week has begun with a walk around the Nursery, highlighting the areas within the rooms. The home corner has been developed and extended to replicate a more homely feel. The girls from both Kipper and Elmer have been creating some amazing dishes in their kitchen, from orange and aubergine cakes to cereal pasta. The ‘small world’ area has proved very popular too, with the girls making different towns and villages.
The Kipper girls have also been on a walk around the grounds looking at how the trees are changing – buds are beginning to shoot, we talked about how the trees change their appearance through the seasons and, with Spring on the way, some of the other changes we shall see in our environment. The Elmer girls went to Forest School and were practising balancing on logs, working together to support each other to get from one end to another.
On Thursday the girls were outside catching the snow. They watched the snow change and melt in their hands, and there were discussions about why this happened. We also had to walk very carefully as the ground was slippery; the girls used words like ‘slither like a snake’. Some of the girls went on the bikes and realised the bridge was too slippery to travel over. ‘We will have to go round,’ one of the girls decided and the others agreed.
Next week we are looking forward to parents joining us for the ‘Stay and Play’ on Monday morning 8.30am until 9.30am.
We would also like to direct parents to the WOW board – please share with us any WOW moments that your child has. The girls are taking an interest in what they have all achieved, developing conversations and recalling events.
This week we began with celebrating Shrove Tuesday. We held pancake races in PE and then ate the pancakes. We used our cutting skills to select toppings for them, then made playdough pancakes which we tossed. We have put shapes of people in order, ranging from baby to adult. We have made ‘e’ elephants and re-told the story of ‘Jaspers Beanstalk’ using pictures. Some of the girls visited Richmond Village on Tuesday, sharing books and their ‘show and tell‘ items with the residents. It was lovely to see the interaction between everyone.
Looking ahead to next week:
- Our sound of the week is ‘l’.
- Celebrating St. David’s Day.
- On Thursday we are celebrating World Book Day, don’t forget to come dressed as your favourite character from a book and bring in a named book to share.
- Counting using ladybird spots.
- Making snack menus.
This week we have been looking at rhyming words and at rhyming books. Perhaps you can continue this at home by thinking of rhyming sentences e.g. ‘The dog sat on a log in the fog!’ In Maths we have started using the language for subtraction and making up subtraction scenarios with people getting off a bus and bees flying out of the hive!
The girls have enjoyed brainstorming ideas for our new topic ‘People Who Help Us’, dressing up and getting in role. We have also been making repeating patterns.
What the girls have said:
“I have enjoyed learning about ‘People Who Help Us’.” Shanaya.
“I have enjoyed the rhyming.” Elouise.
“I have liked dressing up as a waitress.” Caoimhe.
“I was the Postman and delivered letters.” Grace.
This week in Year 1, we have started to create our own non-fiction book about ‘Space’. Each lesson we have looked at a new planet and found out lots of interesting information about them. We have used this information to create a fact file and will be continuing this work next week, looking at different planets and even the sun. In our DT lessons, we have been collating information about a balanced diet and completing taste tests to help us to design our own pizza. In Geography, we have looked at north, south, east and west and used these to help us navigate across a grid. In RE, we have been thinking about ‘our world’ and who is responsible for looking after it.
What the girls have said:
“My favourite part of the week was Maths because I liked learning about the symbols, greater than, less than and equal to.” Avani.
“I liked phonics because I love learning new letters.” Kinara.
“I enjoyed going to the library to choose new books because it makes me feel calm.” Holly H.
“I liked swimming because we got to go on our books.” Leah.
“I enjoyed our Space writing, because I like writing and learning about the planets.” Amelia.
Looking ahead to next week:
- English – continuing our non-fiction Space writing.
- Maths – counting in 2s and 5s.
- RE – appreciating our world and learning how to look after it.
- PSHE – Healthy Me
In Maths this week we have finished our study of shape. We looked at shape patterns, 3D shapes and spotting 2D shapes on the surface of 3D shapes. In English we have been learning a lot about the planets in our solar system and have been recalling lots of interesting facts about them to create a fact file. In Art and Design we have started our market research to explore pizzas ready to design our own. We have collected data to find the most popular toppings and we have tasted bread to help us decide on the best type of base. In Geography we have looked at compass directions and have solved some problems using directional language.
What the girls have said:
“We’ve enjoyed practising for our class assembly.” Sakinah, Jemima and Kyla.
“I liked Forest School and searching for an animal to match to its habitat.” Anna.
“I enjoyed Forest School.” Eva.
“We liked the bread tasting.” Priscilla, Shanaya and Maya.
Looking ahead to next week:
- Maths – fractions.
- English – non-fiction writing and class assembly practice.
- Art and Design – planet pizza designing.
All having fun at Burwell!
The girls have lots to tell you when we return on Friday. Please see the Junior Twitter feed for photographs.
This week in Maths we have consolidated our understanding of factors, multiples, prime numbers and square numbers. In English we began our recount unit with an exciting session on UFOs accompanied with atmospheric music from Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’… which fits in perfectly with the start of our new Science unit on Earth and Space. We spent time discussing the various ideas relating to the shape of the Earth and concluded that, although some people believe the world is flat, the evidence definitely points towards it being spherical. This week we also submitted stories the girls have written for the BBC 500 Word competition – congratulations to everyone who has taken part and fingers crossed for getting to the next stage!
What the girls have said:
“In Humanities I enjoyed making leaflets about Islam. I made a leaflet with Florence about important festivals and celebrations.” Sienna.
“I liked debating about if we should have a Queen or President in this country. Personally, I think we should have a President because I think the Queen should share more of her money with charities.” Amelie.
“I really enjoyed Science, which was all about how we know what the shape of the earth is. I liked to see the different ideas about why some people think it is flat and some people think it is a sphere.” Anya.
Looking ahead to next week:
- English – we will be analysing a short story called ‘UFO Diary’ and writing a sequel to it.
- Maths – we will be comparing and classifying geometric shapes based on their properties and sizes and finding unknown angles in triangles, quadrilaterals and regular polygons.
- We will be learning about the history of Bletchley Park as well as about codes and ciphers.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:
Joseph ‘Big Sing’ performance at the Derngate Theatre – Wednesday 4 March
Trip to Bletchley Park – Thursday 5 March
Trip to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – Monday 9 March
5N Class Assembly – Wednesday 1 April
Week 7 – Welcome back!
Welcome back everyone! We hope you have had a relaxing break and are enjoying the increasing sunshine. The students have settled into the rhythm of school with lots of energy and enthusiasm. They have also been applying themselves to some unique challenges this week including participating in the BBC Radio 2 500 word writing challenge and working on a group project to create a new “Eco-Island” in Humanities.
Two upcoming events in the week ahead:
Wednesday 4 March will be the Big Sing at Royal and Derngate Theatre. Students must ensure they have learnt the words and tunes to the songs. There is still time to buy tickets to watch the final performance!
Thursday 5 March will be World Book Day and while Year 6 students will not be dressing up this year, they will have the opportunity to read a short story to younger students at school. Please ensure they have chosen and practised an exciting age appropriate short story.
Mrs Fordham and Mr Loveday
“In Science this week we are learning about germs and illnesses. We did a worksheet on germs and it was very fun.”
“In PE we are doing gymnastics. We were doing rolls such as: forward roll, backwards roll and straddle roll. We also did forward rolls on the bench.”
“In Maths we did co-ordinates and translating shapes. We did sheets from White Rose Maths. We used four quadrants with Y – X axis. We have learnt that each square goes anti-clockwise.”
“This week Beth came back in to practise with us. I have enjoyed doing the Big Sing for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat. We learned that if your chin lowers you could probably sing a higher note. It was really fun!”
“This week in English we have been working on our BBC 500 word essay challenge. We had to type a story in under 500 words… We have been writing a wide range of different stories it was very exciting… Everyone has unique stories… I really like my 500-word story so far. It has a message in it, which is ‘you are beautiful the way you are’… There were many creative ideas going round and a lot of hard work going into these pieces of writing… We also looked at some gold and silver award-winning stories. It was hard but fun.”
“In Humanities we had two double lessons with both 6H and 6N to work in teams to design an Eco-Island. The first thing we did was we had to cut out hexagons in a game style. Each hexagon represented an island feature and so we put the different hexagons together to make an island…. We have been working to create an environmentally friendly island with an economy and resources. We had to add resources, farming, animals, nature reserves and mines… Then we had to make a PowerPoint about our island as well and why tourists should come.”
Half Term Sporting Achievement
Special congratulations to Indi this week, who has been telling the Junior School about her successful navigation of the ‘Swiss Wall’ during half term. This ski run at Portes du Soleil is unclassified and regularly ranked as one of the hardest slopes in the world. Even looking at the images online gave Mrs Fordham and Mr Loveday a terrible feeling of vertigo so well done Indi!
Through half term, the holiday club had a week of pre-historic fun. They took part in a variety of activities from making papermache dinosaur eggs, to going on a treasure hunt to look for the frozen ice eggs. The girls had to then use resources to crack the eggs and help the baby dinosaur to ‘hatch’. The girls worked together using tools initially, then one of the older girls showed the younger ones how using warm water melts the egg. We made fossil footprints from clay – where the girls used different tools to create footprints that the dinosaurs left behind. In the exploration area we had a ‘dino swamp’. The ‘gloop’ was very thick and the dinosaurs needed some help to escape.
We followed the girls’ interests and made dream catchers to help with stopping bad thoughts at bedtime, played pass-the-parcel, made turtles from the junk modelling following a shared story and even made up our own stories with our turtles.
Easter Holiday Bookings
Bookings are now being taken for the Easter holiday; Monday 6 April, Tuesday 7 April and Wednesday 8 April, with Inset Day being on Monday 20 April. We will be doing lots of Easter-based activities planned alongside crafts, messy play and outside activities.
The girls have helped to make playdough and created pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. They then had fun competing in a pancake-flipping competition. The girls also designed beautiful dresses using the princess templates and made ‘My Little Ponies’ using the playdough moulds.
What the girls have enjoyed:
“Doing the playdough on Elsa and Ariel.” Caoimhe – Reception.
“I liked the disco.” Rhoda – Year 1.
“We enjoyed making paper art using masking tape and pencils to create a wonderful creation.” Verity – Year 5.
- We will be having fun creating animals with paper ready for our role play farm.
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Northampton High School
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