Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 30 April 2021

Forest Adventures

With the glorious sunshine and seeing that Spring has finally sprung, it is fantastic to see how much the girls are enjoying being outdoors, both in their play and their learning.

Last week, I had the privilege of joining Mrs Waters and the girls in Years 1 and 2 for their Forest School adventure. Mrs Waters is our wonderful, inspirational and specialist trained and experienced Forest School lead practitioner. She supports the girls through a wealth of exciting and collaborative activities – where they learn and develop skills to solve real-life issues, take risks, build strong self-belief and real resilience, just to name a few! The girls become absorbed and immersed in a range of rich activities, from finding out about the environment around them, to planting fruit trees and preparing vegetable planters to grow different vegetables.

Forest School is an important and integral learning programme for all girls in our Nursery and Junior School. The younger year groups follow more to the Forest School values and the older year groups do a mixture of Forest School with the addition of links to the curriculum, normally linking it to Science, Art, DT, but also covering topics like Anglo Saxons and India. Making these connections strengthens the relevance of this ‘brought to life’, real learning. Revisiting some activities and developing these further is also an important feature, with mini beast hunting, exploring clay, creating obstacle courses, treasure hunts, the mud kitchen and general exploration being the most popular!

Something that really struck me on this magical afternoon was how well the girls evaluated what they were doing. The level of their discussions and learning was fantastic as they built a range of structures which formed the ‘frame’ for their dens. “Let’s try it like this instead”, followed by “I think the crossing over of bamboos might make it stronger” were just two comments I heard as I walked around.

The research and evidence underpinning the value of Forest School is incredibly strong, but what really matters and indeed shines through is the reality that I observed today; girls working effectively as a team, sharing ideas, trying new things together, learning about the relative strengths of different structures taking on different roles and using their creativity.

Above all, watching the girls truly enjoying their learning and demonstrating a huge respect and indeed knowledge for our natural world was heart-warming.

The Forest School Association

Mrs Davis
Acting Head of Junior School

GDST Science Extravaganza

On Tuesday, we went on a Zoom call with scientists from the Royal Institution.

They did lots of experiments using different liquids and gases. I learnt that when sodium and potassium go into water it becomes very reactive and creates an explosion. They did an experiment using two balloons, one filled with hydrogen and another filled with helium. They had a lighter and they popped the balloon with helium, and nothing happened, it just popped like a normal balloon would. But when they popped the balloon with hydrogen in it, it exploded with fire.

The scientists also told us about a chemist called Humphrey Davy. In 1807 he discovered potassium and sodium. One day he did a lecture and made a clay volcano, and, in that volcano, he had a piece of reactive potassium and the Royal Institution scientist had a replica of this. Then they poured water on it and sparks came flying out of it. That experiment was probably my favourite one.

I learned a lot more about liquids and gases and I hope we do this again soon.

Odelia S


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

Caoimhe: Entered her first showing competition of this season over the Easter holidays. She worked really hard and did incredibly well. She achieved 1st place, two 3rd places and a special placing. Well done Caoimhe!

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Dates for your diary

Monday 3 May – Bank Holiday

Monday 31 May to Friday 4 June Half Term

Please note that Summer uniform is compulsory after May Half Term.

Nursery Kipper Room and Elmer Room

This week in Nursery, we have been encouraging the girls to be more independent, preparing many of the older members of our group for their step up to Pre School in September. They are hanging up their own coats and cardigans, changing over their shoes and clothes for ballet and Forest School and taking it in turns to lay the table at snack times.

We are also encouraging them to attempt traversing as much of the climbing equipment in the garden as they can without assistance. We set up an obstacle course at Forest School this week to help build their confidence in this. We have observed the development in the group’s role play games and the travelling theme has returned with tables and chairs once again being transformed into buses and trains. “I’ve got my seatbelt on!” said Marine.

We have explored maths activities this week….some focusing on matching, both sizes and colours, whereas others have enjoyed counting and recognising numerals in interactive games on the whiteboard . “That’s number seven…the teddy needs seven cakes!”, informed Isabella.

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Nursery Pre School

In Pre School this week our story focus has been ‘Tanka Tanka Skunk’, the story supports pre-reading skills.

The children have been learning the different syllables of their name and other words. The children got very engaged with clapping the different beats of their name and tapping their knees to different words. This continued at Forest School where the children created their own musical instruments and used pre-made ones to continue tapping different beats to words, learning the number of syllables each word contained.

At Forest School their imagination came to life when using the mud kitchen to make soup, ice cream and different potions, and using the willow to create wands to turn people into frogs and witches. They displayed logical thinking when discussing and compromising ideas when building a house using the bamboo sticks. Great teamwork skills were shown.

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Child’s voice:

“I’m making an instrument a shake, shake shake.” Lily May.
“I think three.” (when tapping the beats to her name) Bonetta.
“I’m making chocolate ice cream.” Aadya.


The week started with a very exciting package arriving for the class. After trying to guess what might be inside the box, it was opened to reveal some real caterpillars for us to look after. We have put them safely on the side in the classroom where we can all observe them closely and see how they change. Please ask your daughter for updates!

All the girls have had the chance to explore and play with a Bee-Bot, a programmable floor robot. We will be moving on to introducing directional language and programming.

This week in our Minibeast topic we have been learning about insects that all have 6 legs. The girls have named parts of an insect, made models, drawn pictures and investigated real insects found. (Although trying to catch and count how many legs a minibeast had proved really tricky.) We are working on using some of our phonic sounds in our writing and really trying to hear and write all of the sounds in a word. This week ended with a really exciting Forest School activity.

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Year 1

The girls in Year 1 have worked really hard this week. In Maths, we started the week by practising counting in 10s. We then looked at making equal groups and adding equal groups, by thinking about repeated addition and counting in steps of 2, 5 and 10. In English, we have been focusing on the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’. We have practised retelling this story by way of writing and drama. We have also been practising writing questions and imagining we were interviewing the wolf from the story. In Geography, we have been looking at aerial views and trying to create a map of our classroom and in Science, we took part in an investigation to find out what plants need to survive.

As you will know, it is Mrs Ramskill’s final day with us today. Mrs Ramskill has been an inspiration to work with and has filled Key Stage 1 with energy and positivity. We are so incredibly lucky to have worked with her and I am certain you will all join me in thanking her for her amazing hard work. We will all really miss her and wish her all the best for the future.

Thank you, Mrs Ramskill!

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What the girls have said:

“I liked planting in Nature Club.” Elouise.
“I liked finding different ways to attach fabric.” Eve.
“I liked sewing in DT.” Caoimhe.

Looking ahead to next week:

Maths – sharing and grouping
English – ‘The True Story Of The Three Little Pigs!’
Science – parts of a plant

Year 2

In school this week we have finished our work in Maths on fractions and in English we have started looking at the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’. We have retold the story using story maps and storyboards and we have used some of our drama skills to question the wolf! In Science, we have begun to look at plants and their growth and in Geography we have looked at aerial views and we even drew an aerial view map of our classroom. In DT this week we have looked at different ways to join fabrics and we have practised some sewing.

This week, we sadly say goodbye to Mrs Ramskill. She has been a wonderful support to all the girls in Year 2 and across Key Stage 1. Her caring, positive, fun, and bubbly nature will be very much missed. Mrs Ramskill, thank you for all your help and everything you have brought to the Key Stage 1 girls and our teaching team. We wish you all the best for the future!

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What the girls have said:

“I loved playing with my friends at Forest School.” Kinara.
“I have enjoyed retelling the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ in English.”  Leah.
“We will miss Mrs Ramskill a lot!” Amelia and Thea.

Year 3

This week we have been writing and editing our newspaper reports about the eruption at Pompeii. In Maths, we have continued to find fractions of quantities and equivalent fractions. In Science, we have added more detail to our PowerPoints about different types of rocks.

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What the girls have said:

“I enjoyed reading ‘Escape from Pompeii’ because I enjoy learning about volcanoes.” Poppy.
“I liked learning about igneous rocks and making my PowerPoint about different rocks.” Varnikha.
“I liked writing the newspaper report in English and editing to improve it.” Jemima.

Looking ahead to next week:

English – we have a week focussing on grammar, punctuation and handwriting. We are looking to achieve a fluent, joined handwriting style and gain our pen licences
Maths – we are comparing, ordering, adding and subtracting fractions
Science – we are off to Forest School with Mrs Waters. On Wednesday, the girls still have PE in the morning but please remember to bring the correct Forest School clothing, footwear and a waterproof coat and trousers because the weather is still unpredictable

Have a great bank holiday weekend!

Year 4

In Maths we finished our unit on decimals, learning how to find the mid-point on a number line to help us decide which integer to round to. Ask your daughter what ‘integer’ means!

In English we wrote a diary entry in the role of Howard Carter and a poster warning people not to enter the tomb of Tutankhamun. In Science we looked for patterns between the volume of sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it.


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What the girls have said:

“I liked Forest School because we roasted marshmallows. We lit a real fire and the smoke got in my face. I burnt the first marshmallow and the second one went in the fire but they still tasted really good. We also made musical instruments.” Ishani.
“I enjoyed making pop-up cards in DT. My favourite pop-up was the mouth pop-up because it looked like a chicken mouth. It was difficult at first but I got the hang of it.” Risara.
“I enjoyed Art because we were doing weaving and it was fun making a pattern with all of the different colours. We used wool around a paper plate.” Harriet.

Looking ahead to next week:

English – research, plan and write a biography of Howard Carter
Maths – understanding pounds and pence, ordering and estimating money
Science – recognising that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear, by exploring how high and low sounds are created

Year 5

It’s been quite a lot chillier outside this week, but some laughs, smiles and great books have kept us all feeling warm and sunny in Year 5. The girls have worked really hard and are absolutely loving hearing Michael Morpurgo’s story of ‘Kaspar’ unfold.

This week the girls tumbled headlong into assumptions and predictions when a very famous ship name was mentioned in the text. It caused us to think about the class system and issues of fairness as well as a long list of superlatives for some advertising leaflets. We can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Have a super long weekend.

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What the girls have said:

“I liked Science and using objects to see how you can make music louder, because I never knew you could do that. My group used a big long plastic tube, and when we put the music in, the music got lower and you could hear all the bass notes, but when we took the iPad out it got higher.” Ellie.
“We learned about Mayan gods, ceremonies and sacrifices this week. With our partner, we did a fact file on one god of our choice and we did the maize god – he was really important because 80% of the Mayan diet was maize, so people worshipped him to make sure that he helped grow their crops and gave them enough rain.” Evelyn.
“My highlight of the week was when I did a recording for the Junior School assembly, and on Monday everyone listened to it. My singing went really well, and when my class heard it they said it was stunning and amazing and they all clapped. It made me feel so happy!” Ayana.

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 4 May – Computing
Wednesday 5 May – Cricket (PE kit)
Tuesday 11 May – Swimming
Wednesday 12 May – Enrichment (wearing school uniform)

Year 6

Another busy week in Year 6 has flown by and the tasks set have generated lively debate as well as deep thinking.

Much has also been learnt about the art of collaboration and listening to and building on the ideas of others. In Maths we have been exploring the relationship between area and volume, In English debating whether it was right for the Suffragettes to break the law in the name of suffrage; in Humanities we have started on our journey exploring the beliefs and customs of major world faiths, and in Science we were really excited to be part of the GDST Science Extravaganza at the renowned Royal Institute, learning more about the fascinating world of elements and the Periodic table.

We wish you all an enjoyable Bank Holiday break!

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What the girls have said:

“I have really enjoyed designing and making our cushions. It has been great fun and I cannot wait to finish my cushion so that I can put it in my bedroom. My design is a pig because I like pigs; they are friendly, and they make me laugh!” Florence.
“This week was very exciting. We are going to donate money to India for oxygen to help relieve the Covid crisis; I hope that they get enough money to afford it!  Also, I can’t wait for mufti! I really enjoy donating money to good causes and helping in anyway I can.” Ameyal.
“I liked writing the balanced arguments for the suffragettes because I was able to see from each side about what people thought about the WSPU and their violent actions. The statement we were responding to was, ‘It was right for the WSPU to break the law’. In conclusion, I thought that the Suffragettes should not have committed violent acts because it caused harm to innocent people both physically and mentally.” Fern.

Looking ahead to next week:

Next week we look forward to continuing with our cushion project in Design and Technology, building periscopes in Science as part of our study of light, further exploring the beliefs and customs of world faiths and taking part in the trial of Goldilocks from ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ with the organisation, Street Law.

Undivided: GDST Student Council engages all 25 schools

This week saw the first meetings of the newly launched GDST Student Council for Undivided, championing the student voice for inclusion and diversity. The meetings – one for the Junior/Prep School-aged students and one for the Senior School/Sixth Form age group – kicked off the GDST Student Council for Diversity, with the aim of sharing what is working well in the 25 Trust schools, collaborating to develop strategy, building awareness and changing behaviours in this critical area.

Tendo from Year 5 represented Northampton High’s Junior School and our Senior School/Sixth Form representative is Millie from Year 12. In both sessions, the students were welcomed by Trust CEO, Cheryl Giovannoni, introduced to the GDST Charter for Action by the GDST Undivided Steering Committee, and then participated in a ‘Show and Tell’ session, explaining initiatives promoting inclusion and diversity from each of the GDST schools.

Both Tendo and Millie gave a range of examples of how diversity is celebrated in school, speaking confidently and enthusiastically about their own experiences at Northampton High. Already from this first meeting, our minds were buzzing with ideas of how we can grow our inclusivity and how we can engage the whole student body.

We are excited to be part of this focussed, forward-looking group and will report on the Student Council’s next steps to further evolve inclusivity in our schools.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing and Admissions

Virtual Open Events - Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 May 2021

Term Dates 20/21

Term Dates 21/22

Term Dates 22/23

Northampton High School
Newport Pagnell Road, Hardingstone Northampton NN4 6UU
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