Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 3 May 2024

10% braver

In last week’s Monday morning assembly, I had the privilege of talking to all Junior School pupils and staff about courage. I talked about change and how navigating the impact of change – whether the change is taking up a new challenge, trying a different club or swimming stroke, or ‘simply’ adjusting to changing situations – new teachers, new environments, new routines –  takes courage.

Change is unsettling, it can be destabilising, nerve wracking, and can feel uncomfortable. Completely natural, anticipated, and understandable. Over time, we get used to dealing with change, with the courage to face the change, we begin to feel more confident, more at ease and more ‘ourselves’. We need to ‘dig deep’ and to be brave.

In thinking about our school values, they are infused with the value of courage or bravery – our mantra challenges us to be 10% braver and this is witnessed every day in school. Pupils putting up their hands to answer a question, not knowing if it is going to be the right answer. To perform a dance at the Dance Festival to a large audience, to give a musical performance in assembly – as Shanaya in Year 4 proved this week so calmly and capably, as did Rhoda in Year 4 the week before, and Yvette this morning in our whole school assembly – requires one to take a risk, step out of one’s comfort zone and dare to ‘give it a go’. Joining a team, working with others, and playing a sports fixture against a group of strangers, often in a completely unfamiliar environment, takes huge courage, and that is just the beginning!

Our pupils demonstrate their willingness to take risks (in a safe and supportive environment) every day. 

This image resonates and has particular power as it illustrates that we may feel small and catlike on the inside but with bravery we can appear lion-like and strong. It encapsulates the idea that courage isn’t a lack of fear, but rather an ability to overcome it.

In this week’s Monday assembly, I asked the pupils what they remembered about our assembly the week before. Many hands were raised, and they offered ‘courage’, ‘try your best’ and that ‘girls and women can be brave, not just men and boys’. Amongst the numerous responses, all sharing their own recollections, one of our Year 1 pupils put up her hand and recounted that the previous weekend, she looked at her shadow, and it was bigger than her – she knew by looking at it that she was being brave.

This response has been with me all week in school and I have reflected on it over and over again. In seeing the girls embracing their lessons, rising to the challenge of tough maths questions, going about their myriad activities, engaging in sport, music and play, finding their voices and using them, each girl is building on her courage, daring to be 10% braver every day, and growing her shadow. 

Wishing you and your families a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend.

With best wishes,

Mrs Amanda Wilmot
Acting Head – Junior School

Parent Notices


Uniform – As you are aware, pupils can wear winter or summer uniform in this half term, depending on your preference and the weather! After half term, we ask that all girls wear the school summer dress.

Uniform – purse belt. It has come to our attention that the purse belt is still on our School Blazer uniform page. We have removed this from our uniform lists, and therefore will not be required. We have asked School Blazer to remove this item from sale. Please accept our apologies for this oversight.

Nursery and Preschool – content of bags and rucksacks. May we please request that the girls’ bags contain only spare clothes and other Nursery/Preschool-related items. Would you please remove any snacks, medicines or other items from the children’s bags after the weekend before bringing them into school.

Healthy snacks – May we please ask parents to provide healthy snacks for breaktime, and a small treat on a Friday. Please do not provide lollipops to your daughters.

Dates for the diary:

Correction – the Open Forest School session on Wednesday 5 June is for Year 4, and not for all classes.

There will be no swimming for Year 2 on Friday 24 May due to the Year 3/4 Sports Festival. Apologies for this disruption.

Happy birthday to us! 146 years young!

Our Friday morning started this week with an assembly for girls in Year 1 to Year 13 in the Senior hall, to celebrate the school’s 146th birthday.

Dr Lee shared insights into the history of the school, bringing to life the school experience of Eileen Bebbington, an alumna who first visited the school, then based in Derngate, Northampton, in 1953. Dr Lee made reference to the book ‘Derngate Days’ written by Eileen, which described the school uniform requirements, (including white gloves in summer and winter), the necessity for a shoulder purse, subject allocation (rather than choices) and ice skating on the river Nene for PE!

We received a memorable video message for our Senior School ‘Annie’ musical cast from some very special people – ask your daughter about who that might have been!

All girls were enthralled by the differences they heard about school life compared to their own current school routines and activities and were spellbound by the images of school in that era. The assembly concluded with a shared rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ and a cutting of the birthday cake, and birthday cupcakes were served for pudding at lunch.


We are delighted to invite you and other family members to watch the annual Junior School swimming showcase. The younger years will have a ‘Watching Week’ where they will show you their skills as part of a lesson, while the older years will compete in a House swimming gala showing the traditional strokes alongside some High School favourites such as the ‘Octopus Race’.

Watching Week for Reception, Years 1 and 2 & House Swimming Galas for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6

Watching Week for Reception, Years 1 and 2

Upon arrival at the sports complex you will be able to enter the building and make your way upstairs to the viewing gallery. After each lesson tea and coffee will be served in the pavilion and the girls will come and say hello once they are changed. The times below include teas.

Reception: Monday 13 May, arrival from 10:40am finish by 11:40am

Year 1: Thursday 9 May, arrival from 10:40am finish by 11:40am

Year 2:  Friday 10 May, arrival from  2:20pm finish by 3.20pm

House Swimming Galas for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6

The full list of dates and times for each gala is shown below. At the end of the gala, points will be totalled and the winning House for each year will be announced. Additionally, all the points earned by each House will be added together to see who will be crowned the Junior School Swimming Gala Champions! 

Year 3: Monday 20 May, arrival from 9:20am finish by 10:20am

Year 4: Friday 17 May, arrival from 1:30pm finish by 2:40pm

Year 5:  Thursday 23 May, arrival from 2:20pm finish by 3:20pm

Year 6: Wednesday 22 May, arrival from 2:20pm finish by 3:20pm

 The Sports Faculty

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool

In Nursery this week we have been reading the story ‘Norman the slug with the silly shell’. Our focused activities have been based around minibeasts and at Forest School the girls were set the challenge of making a snail or butterfly from natural resources. We continued this theme in the classroom with play dough and shells.

We have been singing minibeast songs and the ‘ants go marching’ has been a favourite, especially when ‘the little one stops for a wee’!

In Maths the girls have tried to order the sections of a caterpillar from one to five. We also have some slugs and snails in a tuff tray in our outside area.

This week in Preschool we have been looking at our bodies and focusing on our skeleton. The girls have learnt we need this to help us stand up and move about.

We have made our own moving skeleton with split pins, focusing on our cutting skills to cut out all of the body parts. Our cutting skills are getting stronger every day and it is an activity the girls thoroughly enjoy.

We have also looked at some X-ray pictures of animals guessing what each animal might be and we have made our own hand X-rays and skeletons using cotton buds.

The songs we have sung this week have been about bones that connect to each other and also about shapes.

We have looked at 2D and 3D shapes to name and group them and then looked around the garden to see how many different shaped objects we could find.


News from our classrooms: Reception

This week in our Maths sessions, we have introduced the language of ‘first, then and now’. We have used this to model addition and subtraction stories.  For example, ‘First there were 2 ladybirds on a leaf, then 3 more came, now there are 5 ladybirds, and first there were 6 butterflies on a leaf, then 2 flew away, now there are 4 butterflies’.  Please create your own stories at home, using this language.

We have been making minibeasts in the workshop, and learning about insects that have 6 legs.  We are continuing to observe our caterpillars which are getting much bigger and also have 6 legs.

Our Phonics this week has been using the vowel digraphs, ‘ai, ee, oo, oa and oi’.  We have been reading and writing using these sounds.

Year 1 Maths Focus

Year 1 have been busy completing their work on fractions and finding out about halves and quarters.

There has been lots of discussion about having equal sized pizza slices!

This work will also help our understanding of time which we will focus on later in the term.

We are now beginning to think about position and direction, including learning left and right.

Year 2 Maths Focus

Fractions has been the Maths focus in Year 2 this week.

The girls have worked really hard at finding 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 of numbers and solving challenges using bar models to help them visualise the questions, such as: If 1/4 of a number is 5, what is the whole number?

Excellent work girls!

Year 3 Maths Focus

Year 3 have been learning all about money this week.

The girls have worked collaboratively to use concrete resources to support their understanding.

They have converted pounds and pence, added and subtracted money as well as finding amounts of change.

Year 4 Maths Focus

Our Year 4 students have been on an exciting mathematical journey this week. They’ve been diving into the world of decimals, comparing numbers with tenths and hundredths and exploring if more decimal digits mean a bigger value!

Additionally, our young mathematicians have been constructing pyramids and calculating the total number of blocks required to achieve different heights. They’ve brought their learning to life by animating their results using Purple Mash!

Year 5 Maths Focus

Year 5 are loving their new Maths unit and had a lot of fun learning how to translate shapes (and people) on a grid.

We have also been using our mathematical knowledge in our DT unit – we are making bread and are having to do a lot of very accurate measuring, in grams and millilitres, in order to make sure our bread is perfect.

Year 6 Maths Focus

During this term we have looked at angles. We have measured and classified angles using the words ‘acute’, ‘obtuse’ and ‘reflex’. We then looked at vertically opposite angles and used facts to solve problems involving quadrilaterals and triangles.

We have learned how to find the sum of angles in polygons by splitting the shape into triangles.

We are now moving onto working with coordinates in all four (positive and negative) quadrants.

The pupils are navigating this work with grit and enthusiasm!

News from outside of the classroom: Northampton High School’s Annual Dance Festival

The rhythmic pulse of excitement filled the air on Tuesday 23 March, as Northampton High School’s annual Dance Festival unfolded with a fresh format.

This year’s event embraced a new structure, blending performances from students across all age groups. From graceful ballet to energetic hip-hop, the stage became a canvas for students to showcase their creativity, passion and skill. It was an absolute pleasure to see the amazing achievements of all of our students and the PE staff were incredibly proud of their classes and all of the dancers who performed.

Female empowerment was the theme of the night with performers selecting music by inspirational female artists or tracks which make them feel empowered themselves. As the curtains drew to a close on this year’s Dance Festival, the echoes of applause were a testament to the collective dedication and community spirit.

We are looking forward to next year’s performances already!

Mrs Saunders-Wall
Acting Director of Sport

News from outside of the classroom: U11 Northampton Netball League

Zara J, Angelie B and Annabelle R from Year 6 have played in the U11 Northampton Netball League this season for Futureprint.

For the 2023 section (before Christmas) they came runners up, just missing out on top spot on goal difference.

In the 2024 league they went one better and won the league after winning all their games!

Well done, girls!

Birthdays This Week

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

Grace M

Save the Date: Speech Day

Northampton High School Swim Clubs


Saints Cricket Club

Pauline Quirke Academy

Term Dates

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