Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 28 January 2022

When I wrote about the enrichment and extracurricular programmes at Northampton High in my last blog entry, I mentioned how academic lessons in the classroom leading to public exams often dominate people’s conceptions of learning in a school. This is particularly true in a national system which prioritises, or arguably even obsesses about, examination outcomes. Sadly, this is sometimes at the expense of the wider concepts of lifelong learning and personal development that we believe should be at the heart of the school experience.

I have often said that it is the non-examined element of the curriculum at Northampton High that really gives our learners the edge. Of course, we continue to focus on developing lively and fresh pedagogy for our lessons, where pupils are given responsibility for their own development within a supportive and accepting community of learners. But in order to gain the necessary independence of thought, collaborative abilities and essential subject skills that will lead to excellent exam results, we must allow them the opportunities to find out what this means for them as individuals. This is where a vibrant extracurricular and enrichment programme is so helpful; but arguably the most important ingredient in the wider co-curriculum is our House system, as this brings the whole community together in very tangible ways.

The concept of Houses in schools reflects the ideas of family, teamwork, and belonging. At the High School, pupils are members of Artemis, Demeter, Hestia and Selene; House names taken from Greek goddesses, as originally chosen many years ago in a vote by the students. While House members do not physically live and eat together as would be the case in a boarding school, the concept of spending time together and caring for each other in a special group is very much alive.

The House system globally has been given something of a boost in recent years with the Harry Potter franchise. Indeed, we were pleased to reward the winning House for the autumn term, Demeter, with a Harry Potter-themed lunch in the spectacularly redecorated ‘Grand Hall’ at Christmas, including special guests Professors McGonagall and Snape! That said, where the audience in Harry Potter might have an emotional response to certain houses, such as a feeling of resentment towards Slytherin, the reality is that ours are equitable and exhibit a gentle ebb and flow over the years. For example, you may find one year that a House is successful at sports while another excels in the dramatic arts. However, over time, everyone gets the chance to excel and enjoy successes, as well as to commiserate with each other, as part of a caring and shared experience.

To read more, please click here

Mr Rickman
Deputy Head Academic

Head's Commendation award

This morning, we were delighted to honour another group of pupils for their efforts with the Head’s Commendation award. Nominated by their teachers, pupils joined Mrs O’Doherty for a celebratory tea party ahead of receiving their certificates as a reward for their achievements.

Congratulations to the following students who were awarded Commendations this time:

Harriet S 5N:  Harriet was nominated for her fantastic diary entry

Ellie JM 5N: Ellie was nominated for her fantastic diary entry

Mya K 7N: Mya was nominated after Mya’s improvement in the speaking retest. Despite feeling nervous, Mya scored a fantastic 9/10 – well done!

Shivani C 8H: Shivani joined Year 8 last half-term and although she had never studied Latin before, she has worked tremendously hard to learn vocabulary and catch up with the language. She is a very positive student and a great independent learner, whose work ethic is brilliant!

Holly H 8S: Holly was nominated by Mrs Curtis for putting a smile on her face with the World Environment poster, and for always being stuck in and positive in her learning.

Stephanie B 13B: Stephanie was nominated for all her hard work at the end of the term. She organised the wreath-making event for Year 13 and the Christmas market for the whole school, and both were greatly appreciated and extremely successful.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer


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

Artemisia – achieved a Collection Badge at Cubs

Varnikha – achieved a Level 5 in Gymnastics


See all photos

Playground Stars

It’s been very chilly this week and our girls have used their Northampton High resilience to stay warm by making up and playing lots of games.

Mollie – organised a very energetic and fun group skipping game.

Lydia and Bethany – led games for the younger girls on the early years playground finishing off with the Hokey Cokey. It went so well they led another round for the older girls on the astroturf.

Eliza, Poppy, Ishani, Esme, Adn and Kara – made a great job of tidying the games away, the games shed has never looked so tidy.

Cordelia, Cora, Annabelle, Hester and Luisa – entertained us with their singing and musical instruments made from tennis rackets and stilts.

Vivienne – thank you for making sure one of the younger girls was ok.

Aiyana and Alice – volunteered to step in for playground duty with the younger girls and set up a bowling game for when they came out to play.

Maya, Poppy and Yilin – made up a mindful and fun game with a stress ball.

Junior Sports

Congratulations to Risara S who represented the U11 South Northants team at the Cross Country Championships at Abington Park on Saturday and had a fantastic race. She battled through a tough course in chilly conditions and came in a very respectable 29th out of 73 runners on the day. Well done Risara. This is great training ready for the GDST Cross Country Rally that will be taking place in early March.

If any student in Junior School has outgrown their trainers and they are in reasonable condition, we would love to rehome them here in the Sports Department! There have been a number of occasions when they would be useful as a spare pair to lend out when students have forgotten theirs. Any donations would be appreciated, please do get in touch if you can help.

Mrs Littlewood
Acting Director of Sport

Holocaust Awareness Week

This week in school, we have been delighted to mark Holocaust Memorial Day by holding a week-long programme of activities. We are proud to be a UCL Beacon School in Holocaust Education, a dynamic hub enhancing the quality of learning and teaching as part of the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education. This year, the school has extended its remembrance past just one day, by holding a Holocaust Awareness Week.

With a host of informative sessions taking place throughout the week, the whole school community has had the opportunity to engage in many different curriculum events. Year 8 History lessons focused on the Jewish experience in Nazi Germany, Year 9 Geographers explored how conflict affected children’s human rights, Year 7 pupils enjoyed making Matzos in their Food lessons and Year 10 pupils studied Kindertransport – just to name a few of the thought-provoking lessons that took place during the week. Alongside this, the School’s Head of Film Studies, Leona Heimfeld, spoke passionately to students about her family, including her father, Leizer, who was a survivor of more than one concentration camp, bearing witness to the impact of the genocide on families to this day.

Holocaust Memorial Day has taken place on the 27 January each year since 2001, and is used as a day for everyone to remember the millions of innocent people who were killed, and those whose lives were affected, by events during the Second World War under Nazi persecution, and the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The date itself was chosen to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945, and the Northampton High School community is proud to remember this world changing event with its continued annual awareness activities.

Mr Nash
Marketing & Communications Officer

Eco Team News

The bug hotel in Junior School:

There is a bug hotel in Junior School. It was created on the Year 6 Allotment Trip. It is placed in the Junior School courtyard. The bug hotel has a lot of different things in it to help minibeasts and insects live.

Bug hotels are a great way to invite minibeasts into your garden. They can also be made of recycled materials.

Why don’t you make one and put it in your garden as a weekend project?

By Angelie, Year 4 and Lydia, Year 6


Brass Assembly

On Monday morning we welcomed Mrs Allen to the Junior School Assembly.

Mrs Allen is a peripatetic Brass teacher, who works in school providing individual tuition and conducting some ensembles. She brought with her a range of brass instruments which the girls enjoyed learning about and hearing them played. These included a flugelhorn, a mini trombone, and a trumpet. She talked to us about her own experiences of learning instruments and performed to us the title music from the film ‘Star Wars.’ It was lovely to also hear Anna (Year 4) perform confidently on her brass instrument during the Assembly.

GDST and Rotary Writing Competitions

Congratulations to all the girls who entered the GDST and Rotary Competitions in Years 1 to 6.

I really enjoyed reading your writing about the environment and ‘Bouncing Back’ and hope you make good use of your bookmark prizes by reading lots of different books to further inspire your writing talent.

The following girls have gone through to the next round in the Rotary Young Writer Competition:

Florianne, Angelie, Ellie J-M, Tami, Maya, Vivienne, Varnikha, Ellie H, Artemisia

The following girls have gone through to the next round of the GDST Creative Writing Competition:

Shreya, Anna H, Tami, Varnikha, Ellie H, Angelie

Keep writing!

Mrs Fordham
English Curriculum Co-Ordinator

February Half Term Foundation + Booking

Just a reminder that the Foundation + Holiday Scheme for Nursery, Preschool and up to the end of Year 2 is open for booking for Monday 14 February to Friday 18 February 2022.

Dates for your Diary

02 February  14.30 – U11 A,B&C Netball v Broughton Manor Preparatory School
03 February  07.30-09.30 – Nursery Breakfast and Stay and Play
03 February  15.45-17.00 – Year 6 Harry Potter Book Night
04 February  14.30 – U8 A&B and U9 A&B Netball v Bedford Modern School
07 February  Year 6 Play-In-A-Week begins
10 February  18.30 – Year 6 Play-In-A-Week Performance
11 February  Junior School Report to Parents
14 February  Half Term
23 February  14.30 – U10A and U11A Netball v Broughton Manor Preparatory School
23 February  16.30-17.30 – Year 5 Looking Forward to Senior School
25 February  U11A Netball v IAPS



Please note the following teacher-led club is cancelled next week:

Wednesday 02 February – Games Galore

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 February 3N
Wednesday 9 February 4H
Wednesday 23 February 6N
Wednesday 2 March 6H
Wednesday 16 March 5N
Wednesday 23 March 1N
Wednesday 30 March Reception


Nursery - Kipper Room and Elmer Room


This week we have been working on pre-writing skills, we have been practising threading pasta onto pieces of spaghetti and pipe cleaners; using playdough to roll, squash, and squeeze; dressing up, and trying to do up zips and buttons.

On Tuesday, in Ballet we used different big and small movements as we turned into tall giraffes and marching soldiers moving around the hall.

Our traditional story this week was ‘The Enormous Turnip’ and the girls got very involved in covering the seeds in the soil so they can grow into the enormous turnip. The girls used the book to help them remember the sequence of events that happens throughout, such as whose turn it was to help the old man pull the turnip out of the ground.

The girls have been creative with the playdough making pancakes and cupcakes. We added stamps to the area, where the children were able to print objects into the dough, these included a net, a queen, and an octopus.  There were also letter stamps that matched the starting sounds of the objects which the girls were matching.

See all photos

What the girls have said:

“Look at my dress.” Lara

“Purple playdough, Miss King.” Naavya

“It’s the mummy’s turn.” Rosaya

“E, O, R.” – Sophia

Next week:

We will begin to celebrate Chinese New Year with activities throughout the week, including a joint afternoon with the Reception class.

Don’t forget to join us for breakfast on Thursday morning from 7.30am, followed by joining in with some of the activities from 8.30am.

We hope you have a nice weekend and see you next week.

Nursery - Pre School


This week, we have introduced the theme of Chinese New Year. We found out that it is a custom to clean the house in order to receive good luck, so this was incorporated into our dancing in ballet. “I’ve swept up all the cobwebs”, said Amelia. We should now have a great 2022!

It is the Year of the Tiger so our story this week has been ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’. To coincide with this, we have focused on the phoneme ‘T’. The girls have been thinking of words other than ‘tiger’ that start with the same sound. Maybe you can help the girls keep an eye out over the next week for other things you see that also start with a ‘T’. It would be great to hear what you have found.

There have been some wonderful paintings of tigers and, at Forest School, we went on a tiger hunt.  In PE, the girls did their own lion and dragon dances.

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The girls have been exercising their excellent counting skills in French. Francine thinks a few may have been practising at home so she was very impressed.



This week we have continued to think about our traditional tale ‘The Enormous Turnip’. We have used the structure to have a go at our own version. We had to choose a different fruit or vegetable that we could plant that would grow enormous and think of characters that would help to pull it out. We have continued with the dance and drama, acting out the story and developing listening skills as well.

We have continued counting two groups of objects and combining the groups to find out how many altogether.  We have enjoyed using the musical instruments and playing along to songs.

See all photos

Following on from hammering last week, this week the girls have all had a go at sawing a piece of wood. They were delighted when they managed to saw the wood in two!

At Forest School we enjoyed doing some bark rubbings and looking at the different types of trees.

Year 1


We had such great fun at Games Galore Club on Wednesday. We talked about key strategies for completing a jigsaw such as finding corners and sorting out the edge pieces, and then in groups, the girls tackled puzzles with varying degrees of challenge. It was amazing to watch as they followed the strategies we had discussed, worked collaboratively, and the unbridled delight when a puzzle was completed. The excitement in the room was electric.

It occurred to me how much learning can come from what appears to be a simple activity in terms of spatial concepts and shape recognition, not to mention the high levels of social interaction and negotiation. A few of the pupils said that they had not done a jigsaw puzzle before, but were hooked!

See all photos

What the girls have said: 

“I liked Forest School. I made a big house out of logs, sticks and leaves.” Miya

“I liked doing gallops in ballet. We have to lift our feet up and point our toes.” Amelia

Next week: 

Maths – addition and subtraction bonds within 20.

English – writing non-chronological reports and using ‘but’ to write compound sentences.

Year 2


This week we have worked very hard writing about our own experiences when we have been scared and how we have dealt with it. Then we have written letters as a character from our book, ‘Bear Under the Stairs’, asking his friend for advice about his fears.

In Maths, we have been sharing and making equal groups and learning how to divide. In our Science lesson, we had to spot hazards in a home and we learnt about using electricity safely.

See all photos

What the girls have said: 

“I like learning about division and loved doing the reasoning and problem solving questions this week.” Emily

“I have enjoyed being with my friends and learning about the bear in our English story.” Isabella

Next week:

Maths – statistics

English – making predictions and writing descriptions

Science – constructing a circuit

Year 3


This week in Maths we have revisited the subject of money. We have refreshed ourselves on our currency and we have been practising to count total amounts in pounds and pence.

In English, we have been asking and writing questions as well as practising for our class assembly next week.

In Geography and Computing, we combined researching all about the River Ganges in India with creating a shared Google Slides document. We loved seeing each other’s edits and the finished piece.

In Science, we investigated the strength of different magnets by seeing how many paper clips each magnet could hold.

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What the girls have said: 

“I enjoyed counting money in Maths.” Thea

“We liked Science and testing the strength of magnets.” Amber and Kinara

“In PE, I enjoyed the team games and ordering ourselves.” Annabel

Looking Ahead:

Maths – money

English – assembly practice and spelling rules


Year 4


In Maths, we have been investigating the area of shapes by counting squares.

In English, the girls have loved writing their sequel to ‘The Winter’s Child’. We have been so impressed with the enthusiasm to complete their stories. We even had someone ask if she could continue it at home! The girls are really beginning to understand how to expand a noun into a noun phrase.

In Science, we investigated the processes involved when water changes state. We learnt how salt raises the freezing point and in one activity we could see three processes occurring at once; evaporation, condensation, and melting.

See all photos

What the girls have said: 

“I have really enjoyed Humanities learning about Whitby.” Eva

“I have really really liked English, I love writing stories.”  Yilin

“I enjoyed doing rugby in PE and learning how to chest pass. In netball we learnt the correct feet positions.” Luisa

“I enjoyed doing three experiments in Science. My favourite was when we watched if ice melted quicker with salt or without.” Cordelia

Looking ahead to next week:

English – introducing our new text; Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman. Writing a letter and a diary entry in role.

Maths – learning about fractions; the difference between unit and non unit fractions, as well as equivalent fractions.

Science – an investigation to explain the effect of temperature on the process of evaporation.

Dates for your diary:

Wednesday 9 February – Forest School (come to school wearing Forest School clothes and bring uniform to change into afterwards).

Wednesday 9 February  – 4H Class Assembly.

Year 5


It’s such fun in Year 5 – Beowulf, Fractions, Focaccia, Forest School, and an absorbing investigation on absorption in Science. I’m afraid I can’t guess what the girls will want to say this week because there’s just too much to choose from!

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What the girls have said:

“I enjoyed Forest School because it was fun bringing Betty. Zoe and I tried to make green dye but it didn’t really work because in winter there isn’t much chlorophyll in the moss. I also liked making focaccia and I am really looking forward to following my own recipe to make bread independently next week.” Risara

“Forest School was the highlight of my week because I had a great time making the treasure hunt and then finding all the other clues…and I liked playing with Betty. I also liked reading ‘Beowulf’ and writing my own battle scene using noun phrases of horror!” Shreya

“I enjoyed measuring trees with Avleen and Zoe, because it was funny when Avleen was measuring and Zoe was looking between her legs as well – she agreed that you could see the top of the tree, but you could also see half the sky. I also enjoyed writing my diary as an Anglo-Saxon girl because it was interesting to find out what daily life was like for them.” Harriet

Dates for your Diary:

Week beginning Monday 7 February – Year 6 Play in a Week.

Year 5 girls should be revising their song words (on FireFly) and gathering up bits and pieces for their evacuee/land girl costumes ready to bring in to school on Monday 31 Jan.

Year 6


Another week has flown past in Year 6 in a flurry of activity. This week we have reinforced our understanding of decimal place value in Maths, constructed periscopes in Science, written sequels in response to the powerful book, ‘The Promise’ and finalised our cushion designs ready for the construction phase.

Next week we look forward to continuing constructing shadow theatres in Science, continuing to investigate decimals in Maths, visiting Forest School on Wednesday and much more!

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Highlights of the week include:

“In Maths Clinic we get to play games. I really enjoyed playing ‘Sets’, where we had to match different patterns – it was more difficult than it sounded!” Darcy

“I really enjoyed making a periscope in Science. The hide and seek game and spying on Year 5 were great fun!” Lydia

“I enjoyed creating our cushion designs. It was really fun because I drew very good pictures of my two guinea pigs.” Lottie

“My highlight was writing a story inspired by ‘The Promise’ by Nicola Davies because I liked tweaking the words and helping to write a class version.” Ellie

Wishing you all the best at the weekend!

GAP Club

We have enjoyed using our Chinese restaurant this week and have created dumplings to go into it.

The dough has dried so we were able to paint the beads we had made using stale bread in preparation for the next stage of our activity.

We have enjoyed dressing and playing board games together such as Dobble and Battle Ships.

See all photos

What the girls have said: 

“I like playing with Barbies.” Aurelia Year 1

“I like playing with Barbies and Dulcie. We made them a house.” Isabel Year 1

“Playing the fishing game.” Tendo Year 6

“I enjoyed snacking.” Tami Year 5.

“I loved playing the bunny game with friends.” Emily Year 5

Next week we shall be continue to develop our restaurant and participate in crafts to help celebrate Chinese New Year.

Parent Talks

Thank you to those parents who joined us for our recent Parent Talks event, on the subject of ‘talking about sex and sexuality with your growing child and teen’. If you were unable to join us live for the event, we are delighted to be able to share a recording with you, which can be accessed by clicking here, and using the access code: nw*umz2R

On Wednesday 2 February 2022, from 6pm to 7.30pm, we will be hosting in school an event for Senior School parents (however parents of Junior School pupils are most welcome to attend) on Gender identity and young people. Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm.

In a society where young people are freer than ever to express their true selves, this session considers how the school deals with gender identity issues, how parents can support their children, and why gender identity is an important topic for us all today. There will also be opportunities to ask questions. To book your place, please click here.

Should you wish to see the full details of our 2021/22 Parent Talks programme, please click here.

Mrs O’Doherty
Acting Head

School Blazer Sale

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