Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 29 September 2023

In the realm of early childhood education, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) stands as a cornerstone philosophy that shapes the developmental journey of young minds. At the heart of the EYFS lie three fundamental characteristics of effective learning: active learning, playing and exploring, and creating and thinking critically. These characteristics, though seemingly simple, hold the power to foster holistic growth, lay robust foundations for future learning, and embrace the uniqueness of every child’s developmental trajectory.

Active Learning: Nurturing Curiosity and Engagement

Active learning forms the bedrock upon which children’s inquisitiveness and enthusiasm for learning are cultivated. It encourages them to be proactive participants in their educational journey, empowering them to make choices and decisions about their exploration. Through hands-on experiences, children learn to engage with their environment, experiment, and make connections between concepts. Active learning invites them to question, hypothesise, and engage in problem-solving, thereby fostering critical thinking skills from an early age.

By actively participating in their learning, children develop a sense of ownership and self-confidence. This approach encourages them to take calculated risks and embrace challenges, instilling in them a growth mindset that will serve them well as they progress through their educational journey. Whether it’s investigating the properties of water, conducting simple science experiments, or creating their own stories, active learning propels children towards a path of self-discovery and a lifelong love for learning.

Playing and Exploring: The Gateway to Multisensory Discovery

Play is a child’s natural language, and the concept of “playing and exploring” within the EYFS framework celebrates this innate drive for discovery. Through play, children embark on exciting journeys of multisensory exploration, manipulating objects, experimenting with ideas, and testing hypotheses in an environment free from fear of failure. Play is not just entertainment; it’s a powerful vehicle for developing cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills.

In the world of playing and exploring, children are free to exercise their imagination, allowing them to construct and reconstruct their understanding of the world around them. This characteristic enables educators to weave educational goals seamlessly into playful activities, nurturing children’s ability to absorb knowledge in an organic, enjoyable manner. Be it building intricate structures with blocks, delving into imaginative role-play scenarios, or engaging in messy art projects, playing and exploring is a treasure trove of experiential learning that transcends traditional classroom boundaries.

Creating and Thinking Critically: Cultivating Young Innovators

The EYFS principle of creating and thinking critically emphasises the development of higher-order thinking skills and creativity. It encourages children to approach problems from different angles, evaluate possibilities, and construct solutions through open-ended activities. This characteristic acknowledges that there are multiple paths to reach a solution, honoring individuality and diversity in thought processes.

By nurturing the capacity to think critically and creatively, children become adept at adapting to new situations and embracing change. They learn to express their ideas, explore alternatives, and take risks in a safe and supportive environment. Activities that stimulate creating and thinking critically, such as designing a new invention, experimenting with art techniques, or solving puzzles, promote a growth-oriented mindset and pave the way for innovative thinking in the future.

The beauty of the EYFS characteristics of effective learning lies in their applicability across all stages of a child’s educational journey. They don’t merely prepare children for the next academic level; they lay the foundation for a lifelong love of learning, curiosity, and adaptability. These characteristics underscore the notion that education is not just a destination but a continuous voyage of exploration and discovery, where every child is a unique traveller charting their own path to knowledge and understanding.

Getting it right with a child’s EYFS education is incredibly powerful and provides a platform on which we see our successful Sixth Formers building upon. We are strong advocates for our pupils starting their journey with us from 2 years old, or as early as possible, as we see the impact of this on future success.

Miss Hair 
Head of Junior School 

Upcoming Events

Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 October Year 5 Grafham Water Residential
Saturday 7 October Whole School Open Morning
Tuesday 10 October Preschool Trip to Richmond Village
Wednesday 11 October Year 5 Class Assembly
Thursday 12 October Year 6 Trip to Think Tank Museum
Friday 13 October Whole School Open Morning, 10.30am-1.00pm
Friday 13 October World Challenge Charity Gig
Monday 16 to Friday 20 October Junior School Book Fair
Wednesday 18 October Reception to Year 6 Open Classrooms, 3.30-4.00pm
Thursday 19 October Nursery to Year 6 Parents Evening, 3.00-7.00pm
Monday 23 October to Friday 3 November Half Term Holiday
Monday 6 November Year 3 Trip to Mandir
Tuesday 7 November Year 6 Trip to Richmond Village
Thursday 9 November Parent Coffee Morning, 8.15-9.00am
Monday 13 November Year 1 Trip to Oxford Museum
Friday 17 November Children in Need – Non Uniform Day
Monday 20 to Friday 24 November Food Bank Collection for Advent Calendars
Wednesday 22 November 6H Class Assembly
Wednesday 29 November 6N Class Assembly
Monday 27 November PSHE Day – Whole school off timetable
Friday 1 December Christmas Fayre, 4.30 – 7.00pm
Tuesday 5 December Nursery and Preschool Parent Christmas Café – Performance and Crafts, 1.30-3.00pm
Wednesday 6 December Reception, Year 1 and 2 Nativity Performance, 9.30 – 10.15am
Thursday 7 December Reception, Year 1 and 2 Nativity Performance, 2.30 – 3.15pm
Thursday 7 December Junior School Christmas Workshop Session – for Junior School Pupils and their guests, 4.00-5.30pm
Friday 8 December Whole School Christmas Jumper Day
Monday 11 December Year 3 Trip to Richmond Village
Tuesday 12 December Junior School Christmas Celebration Evening, 5.45 – 7.15pm
Wednesday 13 December Whole School Christmas Lunch
Wednesday 13 December Open Classrooms – Reception to Year 6, 3.30-4.00pm
Thursday 14 December Preschool and Reception Theatre Trip
Thursday 14 December Christmas Concert, 6.30 – 8.00pm

Autumn Term Holiday Club for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

Bookings are now open for the autumn term Holiday club for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

We are pleased to be able to offer childcare during the two week October half term and part of the Christmas holiday, 8am to 5pm at a charge of £39 per day. We have a limited amount of spaces available and would encourage you to secure your places as early as possible to ensure we have availability. Please see the following links:

– October Holiday Club: 08:00-17:00 (Monday 23 Oct to Friday 3 Nov)
– December Holiday Club: 08:00-17:00 (Monday 18 to Thursday 21 December)

Bookings will close one week in advance. Should you need extended care during the holiday dates, the following daily sessions are also open for bookings: Early Session – 07:00-08:00 (includes Breakfast) and Late Session – 17:00-18:00 (includes Tea)

If you wish to pay for any of the above via Childcare voucher or Government Tax Free Childcare Allowance, or have any further queries then place contact, and for any support with booking the sessions you require, please contact

Save the Date: Christmas Fayre

This year’s Christmas Fayre wil ltake place on Friday 1 December, 4.30-7.00pm. The event will include; a grotto, games, raffles, tombolas, market, refreshments, and carols, and more information will follow in the coming weeks.

Wraparound Care will close at 4.00pm on this day to allow all staff and families to attend.

We hope to see you there!

Parents Evening

Thank you for your responses requesting appointments with your daughter’s class teachers on Thursday 19 October for Parents Evening.

We will communicate your allocated appointment times next Friday.

Macmillan Coffee Morning

This morning the dining room was absolutely buzzing, as the Year 5 girls rushed to sell cakes at their Macmillan Coffee Morning, raising money for cancer support in the process.

A huge thank you to girls, parents and grandparents who helped us by making cakes, and to every single person who came along and bought them.

So far we have raised a fantastic £569 and we couldn’t have done it without you!

Year 5 and Miss Brandon-Jones

Food Bank Donations

Thank you to everyone for the generous food donations that have been made so far at our food bank donation station in the Junior School entrance. It has been very encouraging to see these donations build!

At this time of year we celebrate Harvest, and we would value as much support as possible to make a large collective contribution to the local food bank. Please place all donations in the container in the entrance ahead of the end of next week.

Thank you for your continued support.

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool

This week in Nursery we have been cutting various different materials practicing our fine motor skills.

We have experienced varied weathers outside and used different objects to see how they work as umbrellas.

At Forest School, we planted some bulbs in the raised flower beds and we will watch to see what happens to them.

Our ‘Story of the Week’ has been the ‘The Runaway Pea’, and we have used props to add to the story and also had our own runaway peas to explore in the classroom.

This week in Preschool, we have been looking at the book ‘All about families’ and discussing who lives with us in our family. The girls were also keen to include their pets!

We have been looking closely at conkers describing how the shell has spikes and the conkers feel smooth, and the reasons behind this. We have been counting our conkers using the tens frame and started introducing the term ‘how many more’ to make the total 5 or 10.

The girls have also explored painting with ice paint, developing their cutting skills, controlling a ball in various ways in PE and flying like fairies in Ballet.


This week we have used the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ as an introduction to some of our activities. We have sequenced by size, re-told the story, made masks, sang a song and acted out the story using dressing up and props in our role play.

In our topic, we have been learning about our sense of taste and that different parts of our tongue taste for different things. Tasting lemon, grapefruit, sugar and pretzel definitely got our taste buds tingling!

In Maths, we have been sorting objects, using taller and shorter when building towers and using the scales to find out which object is heavier and which is lighter, and in Cooking we enjoyed making crumpet pizzas!

Year 1 PSHE Focus

Year 1 enjoyed choosing their School Council representatives this week. Each member of the class spent time thinking about why they would make a good rep and some ideas that would make our school even better.

They then all delivered a short speech from their notes before voting began. Pearl and Luna were the winners and we congratulated them both.

The class are excited to hear their first meeting report next week!

Year 2 PSHE Focus

In PSHE this week, Year 2 have been learning about rights and responsibilities. We have discussed what rights we feel we are entitled to, including the right to feel safe and the right to nutritious food.

We then thought very carefully and suggested our responsibilities. The class gave some excellent suggestions, including ‘being kind’ and ‘helping around the house’.

Well done girls!

Year 3 PSHE Focus

This week, the girls have been thinking about our emotions and how we feel when we are in school. We then tried to imagine a ‘Nightmare School’ and how we would feel if we had to go there instead of Northampton High.

We wrote the emotions down on flipchart paper and then compared the two.

Needless to say we feel very lucky that we don’t attend ‘Nightmare School’!

Year 4 PSHE Focus

This week, the girls have been preparing and presenting their speeches for the School Council elections. The girls thought about what qualities a good leader would need and thought about how they show these qualities in everyday life.

The girls have also been working on their listening skills in order to complete tasks in a minimum amount of time with the least amount of fuss. They found it wasn’t as easy as they thought! This lead us onto how to be a great member of a team, making sure everyone contributes in some way to the activity and to be encouraging to each other.

Year 5 PSHE Focus

This week the Year 5 girls have been thinking about children’s rights. We started our lesson by looking at pictures of different children and discussing what we thought about them – it turns out that clothing and facial expressions do make an impression! We decided it was important not to make assumptions about people based purely on their appearance.

After that, the girls thought about what they have a right to have, before looking at The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Year 6N PSHE Focus

6N have been discussing target setting in PSHE.

The girls have made sure their targets are achievable and manageable.

We then talked about what obstacles we may face that would stop us achieving our targets, then we thought of ways to help each other overcome these problems.

Year 6H PSHE Focus

In our PSHE lesson this week, we have been discussing learning goals for this year and how to achieve them without giving up.

We thought about some of the obstacles we might face and possible solutions to overcome them. We are now motivated to achieve our goals and know what we need to do!

News from outside of the classroom: School Council 2023-2024

Following in-class processes, each class has now selected their School Council representatives.

With the first meeting of the academic year now held, it is clear that this group of pupils are committed to executing their roles as effectively as they can.

We are looking forward to seeing the impact this fabulous group of pupils will have.

Year 1 – Luna and Pearl
Year 2 – Anne and Emily
Year 3 – Mehiera and Dulcie
Year 4 – Caoimhe and Agnes
Year 5 – Eloise C and Thea
Year 6 – Sakinah and Jesleen

Awards This Week

Star Learners of the Week – Anaya V, Aleya L, Dulcie S, Pixie R, Evette B, Eloise C, Imogen O, Lulu P, Daisy S, Artemisia U

Sports Captains:
Congratulations to our newly appointed Sports Captains:
Cricket – Angelie B
Summer Sports – Zara J
Netball – Annabelle R
Hockey – Poppy P
Swimming – Amelie N
Cross Country – Cora S and Luisa P

External Achievements:
Annabelle R
– awarded Brixworth Cricket Club Ladies Young Player of the Year
Aurelia T
– achieved a Distinction in her Performing Arts Exam

What's On - Autumn Term

Community Sessions

Children's Activity Morning at Dobbies

Rock Concert for Year 5 and above

To book you tickets, please click on this link.


Term Dates



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