Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News – 7 June 2024

Welcome back to school after the half term break. At the very end of last half term, it was a wonderful experience to welcome over 160 Year 3 and Year 4 girls from local schools to participate in the Partnerships Sports Festival with our Year 3 and Year 4 pupils. Enjoying a carousel of three sporting challenges, the girls trialled tag rugby, tennis, field events and cricket among other activities. We look forward to sharing more about this spectacular event with you next week in Junior News.

It has been an exciting week with activities a-plenty, starting with a fabulous assembly from Miss Brandon-Jones on our new PSHE topic, followed by our Year 6 winning team’s We Are One assembly on Tuesday, and the launch of their campaign ‘Bin it, don’t fling it’ (more about this later in Junior News). 

Wednesday offered us an insight into Ancient Egypt, with Year 4’s Class Assembly, when parents, pupils and staff were spellbound by tales of how the Egyptians mummified their dead, how the pyramids were built and the truth about tomb texts. What struck me was the confidence, poise and projection that the girls delivered so effortlessly. It was entertaining, bursting with enthusiasm and enjoyable for all. Thank you, Year 4! Followed by Open Forest School for Year 4, parents enjoyed sharing this special part of our curriculum with their daughters. 

There was a thrilling trip to Woburn Safari Park for our Reception class who pragmatically shared that they would not necessarily see lots of animals on their way into school, and then returned full of superb sightings, animal adventures and some close-up contact with the bears (all very safely, of course). Meanwhile, Year 3 took an outing to Hardingstone, Years 5 and 6 rehearsed their production of Wind in the Willows and we prepared for the week’s finale, Sports Day. 

For many primary schools across the UK, the summer term has become synonymous with sports day. Its origins can be traced back to the late 19th century, alongside the development of the physical education curriculum. Influenced by Victorian values, and with an emphasis on physical fitness and character development, sports day was initially a platform for amateur athletics, fostering competition and camaraderie. 

Over the years, this most cherished of schooling traditions has divided opinion with sports day being criticised for being ‘too competitive’, ‘overly pressurised’ and an excuse for ‘a day off from learning’. While we can empathise with the critics’ concern over the value and purpose of sports day, there is much to be gained from whole school sporting events that champions physical activity, promotes a sense of togetherness and builds team spirit through House camaraderie.  

While the world in which we live may be different to when sports day originated over 100 years ago, the importance of promoting physical activity is more important than ever. Sport England’s recent Active Lives survey reported that 30.2% of children are currently active for less than 30 minutes a day, and only 47% are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of 60+ minutes of activity a day.

Sports day on its own cannot transform the activity levels of children, but it can create an environment that promotes a positive association with physical activity and feelings of connectedness, community and belonging. We look forward to reflecting on the successes, challenges and memories of our Year 3 to Year 13 Sports Day next week in Junior News, but in the meantime, thank you to parents and friends of the school for joining our pupils and staff to make it an annual event to remember!

A warm welcome awaits our parents at the Nursery and Preschool Sports Afternoon on Tuesday 18 June at 1.30pm, as well as the Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Sports Day on Wednesday 26 June from 9.30am. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

With best wishes

Mrs Wilmot
Acting Head – Junior School

Parent Notices

Parent Coffee Morning Thank you to the parents who attended our Parent Coffee Morning, where we discussed clubs for the new academic year, parent and family events and reviewed the jam-packed events calendar for this half term. Please note the updated timings on the event schedule under the heading ‘Summer term 2’.

Sun cream and Sun hats: Now the weather is much improved, may we please ask that pupils wear sun cream to school and ensure they have sun hats with them in school every day.

Wraparound Care: In Wraparound Care, we have reintroduced fruit as a snack as well as the biscuits currently available.

Swap Shop: The Swap Shop is open every Friday afternoon from 2.45 – 3.45pm in the Junior School hall if you need to top up uniform items.

Headphones: Please may we ask parents of girls from Year 1 to Year 6 to come to school every day with headphones. These can be the in-ear or over-ear type which are connected to the Chrome Books and the pupils’ laptops with an audio jack. Year 2 have a Computing module coming up which involves composing music, and these would be very helpful.

Breakfast Club: A polite reminder that Breakfast Club starts at 7.30am each morning. We are unable to welcome pupils into school until our staffing is in place at 7.30am.

Dates for the diary:

Junior School Class Photos – Monday 10 June

Art Gallery viewings will be available in Junior School at the Arts Festival on Wednesday 26 June from 6.00-8pm and then on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 June from 3.30-4pm.

Open Classrooms – There will not be Open Classrooms on Wednesday 10 July from 3.30-4pm, as previously communicated.

Looking ahead to September, our Curriculum Information Evenings will take place in the week commencing 9 September. We will confirm dates shortly.

Summer Term 2 – Please click here to view a list of the upcoming events, assemblies, trips, performances and fixtures next half term.

Sports Days

Sports Days are one of the highlights of the summer term. We are pleased to confirm the dates for Junior School are as follows:

Nursery and Preschool Tuesday 18 June, 1.30-2.30pm – Refreshments will be served.

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 Wednesday 26 June, 9.30-11.30am – Refreshments will be served.

Year 6 'We Are One' Project

Year 6 have spent their recent Humanities and Computing lessons on the GDST ‘We Are One’ project. This involved working in groups to make a campaign video to inspire behaviour change towards climate change. The winning video has the theme of picking up rubbish and not littering. The accompanying campaign has the catchy slogan of ‘Bin it, don’t fling it!’, because we want people to stop ignoring mother nature and destroying the planet with their rubbish.

We are now trying to get the wider school community to help with our campaign by picking up litter if they see it and not littering in the first place. This is very important because otherwise future generations will have to live in a murky grey world that is full of litter and fumes.We hope that by reading this and watching the video, you will make small changes to your everyday life to become part of this campaign and look after our planet. 

Things you could do include:

  • If you see some litter, pick it up and put it in a bin.
  • Put your own rubbish in a bin. Bins are everywhere for a reason!
  • Encourage others to do this too. If you tell someone, then they will tell someone, and they will someone else. This is what we want to happen. It is called the ripple effect.

We hope this will inspire you to do your bit and save this world. Thank you for your support.

Victoria, Annabelle, Alishba, Lily and Diya
The Winning Team

Toy Swap and Mufti Day

Our Junior School Council are delighted to have organised a Toy Swap for Friday 21 June. This fabulous initiative is an affordable and sustainable way for girls to acquire new toys and give away ones they no longer play with.

We look forward to gratefully receiving donations from Monday 17 June.

Junior School Council

Annie Production

We are delighted to invite you to this year’s musical production of Annie on Friday 21 June!

As always, we are thrilled to be hosting our much loved family-friendly production this term, and would love the pleasure of your company at this special event. Our cast and crew are working exceptionally hard and it promises to be a night to remember!

Tickets are available to purchase here and we look forward to welcoming as many guests as possible!

Creative Arts Faculty

News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool

It has been a lovely first week back after half term in Nursery. The girls have been busy and happy demonstrating just how much they have matured over the year.

Communication and collaboration have been prevalent throughout the week. At Forest School the girls used these skills to pass a ball around to each other, using cones, to practise for Sports Day.

In the classroom, they have worked together in small groups, creating cosy little dens for themselves and their baby dolls as well as using construction materials to build impressive structures or small worlds.

In the garden, the girls have arranged and rearranged resources to challenge themselves physically and also enhance their pretend play. A set of crates and planks were organised into a bus but were later transformed into a bridge.

This week in Preschool we have been excitedly telling each other about our holidays and places we have visited over half term. It has been lovely to see the photos that have been shared by you all.

We have looked at the beach, making our own sand and paint pictures. The girls have also written lists of items we might pack into our suitcase and used shaving foam to make ice creams for each other.

Individually this week, we have also focused on ‘CVC’ words sounding out the letters, blending them together and listening carefully to the word it makes. We have been very impressed girls, well done!

In French we talked about the beach and objects we might find when we visit there.

Outside, the girls have been role playing with the brooms pretending they are horses, making obstacles courses to complete. In PE we have completed another obstacle course reviewing all the skills we have learnt.

News from our classrooms: Reception

It is lovely to be back for the final term of this school year, which seems to have flown by.

We started our topic about journeys by reading ‘Around the World with Max and Lemon’, this introduced the word ‘unique’. This prompted some great discussion about how we are unique. The story then led to maps and the journey that had been taken.

Continuing with the map theme, we shared discussions about our trip to Woburn, where preparations included looking at the map and deciding which animals we would like to see.

This week in Phonics we have been focussing on blending CVCC (consonant, vowel, consonant, consonant) words to read and segmenting them to spell.

In Maths we have been learning more about the pattern of odd and even numbers, using games, numicon and pairs of safari animals.

We are watching our sunflowers grow and hope that you are seeing yours shooting up.

Year 1 Science Focus

Year 1 started their new topic ‘Plants’ this week. We learnt about where new plants come from and how flowers produce fruit which contains the seeds.

We had great fun planting sunflower seeds.

We will need to water them and watch carefully to see when they begin to grow.

Year 2 Science Focus

Year 2 have started their new Science topic about Living Things, their habitats and food chains.

We discussed how we knew if things were living, dead or had never been alive.

The girls then sorted things under those headings and they were able to talk about the 7 life processes that all living things can do to explain their choices.

Year 3 Science Focus

The girls have enjoyed looking at a globe and finding out that it takes 24 hours for the Earth to spin once on its axis.

They watched some fascinating video clips and added colour to diagrams to show how the Earth’s rotation causes day and night.

Year 4 Science Focus

Last half term we learnt about plant and animal habitats and this week’s Science lesson was spent in the ’wild area’ at Forest School.

We enjoyed making butterfly models, pressing flowers to create a fabric print and exploring the tree habitats!

Year 5 Science Focus

The girls in Year 5 have been learning about forces, specifically water resistance, in this week’s Science lesson.

The girls had to design, build and test their own junk model boats. All the boat designs were unique and very creative!

We enjoyed seeing whose boat experienced the least water resistance.

Year 6 Science Focus

The first lesson of our new topic on ‘Evolution and Inheritance’ started with considering how advantageous traits allow an individual plant or animal to survive long enough to breed and pass on these characteristics to their offspring.

After that, a research activity focused on selective breeding, with examples ranging from racehorses bred for speed, to peas with close fitting pods!

Junior Sport: Cricket Fixtures - Wednesday 5 June 2024

U10A v Bedford Girls School – Won 246-243

On Wednesday, Year 5 played a cricket match against Bedford Girls School. It was an extremely close match, but we won by 3 points. The end score was 246 – 243. We did really well at batting but need to do some work on our bowling. It was a really fun afternoon, well done everyone! Olivia, Captain

U10B v Bedford Girls School – Lost 265-243

The match went really well, and we all played amazingly. Although we had two people missing, we had two subs from Bedford. The scores were 282 to us 273 for them, meaning we won. Our team’s players of the match were Eloise R for bowling, and Annabel for batting. We all showed great teamwork and determination, and are glad we took part. Bedford Girls also did really well. Their subs that we borrowed played well, considering they weren’t playing for their normal team. Leah W, Captain

U11A v Broughton Manor Prep – Won 297-247

U11B v Broughton Manor Prep – Won 256-234

On Wednesday, The Year 6 B team played against Broughton Manor and won 256-274. Poppy got Player of the Match. Everyone on the team worked hard and tried their best. Maya A did particularly well with her batting. Aurelia persevered with her bowling and made a huge improvement with it. Poppy P, Captain

Junior Sport: News

Year 3 and 4 Partnership Sports Festival 

On Friday 24 May Year 3 and 4 took part in the Sports Festival, run by the PE department. 5 local schools attended the event and were put through their paces in activities such as:  Tag Rugby; Netball; Tennis; Athletics; Hockey and Cricket. A great afternoon was had by all!

CSLA Sports Leaders Year 5 Schools Competition

The Sports Leaders Multi-Skills Event on Tuesday, 21 May, was a fantastic success, featuring Year 5 girls from local primary schools. Activities included tennis, long jump, javelin, and obstacle races, all led by Northampton High School Sixth Form Community Sports Leaders as part of their qualification.

The girls displayed great skill and teamwork, making the afternoon both fun and exciting. Certificates were awarded for excellent performance, attitude and enthusiasm. The event highlighted the importance of physical activity, sportsmanship and team work. 

Well done to all involved, both in organising and participating.

News from outside of the classroom: Reception Trip to Woburn Safari Park

On Wednesday 5 June Reception class went to Woburn Safari Park.

They were very excited to go in the minibus and have a trip out with their friends. It was a fantastic day, the weather was perfect.

We were really lucky as we managed to see nearly all of the animals we had on our list. The highlights of the day included the bears investigating our minibus wing mirrors (luckily they remained intact!), monkeys climbing on top of the bus, listening to the squawking parrots and counting lots of giraffes having their breakfast.

We had a very interactive session led by the rangers and got to handle feathers, eggs and animal teeth.

The class behaved beautifully and it was a pleasure to take them out of school for their day trip. We loved having picnic snack and seeing all of the animals for real!

Well done Reception class!

News from outside of the classroom: “If you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need.”

“If you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need”, so says Cicero, better known as a great Roman lawyer, statesman and letterwriter than a horticulturalist.  His famous saying asks us to reflect on a need for balance, between the busy world outside, and the internal world of reflection.

Cicero uses his garden both as a retreat from politics and as a sanctuary to reflect on the nature of ‘nature’ itself.  However, the link between learning and nature goes deeper – our external environment can shape and influence our internal psychology. Without a calming natural oasis, are we capable of great leaps of intellect?

Far from being a sanctuary, nature today is more often a cause for concern for both old and young but most especially the young, with over 75% describing the future as ‘frightening’ because of the effect of climate change. From the forest fires in Europe and record breaking monthly temperatures in the UK to the ubiquity of micro-plastics, air pollution or the endangerment of remote islands (or even cities here in the UK) from rising sea levels, Mother Nature affects us all. But how best can we look after her, and can we help ourselves at the same time?

One of the best and easiest ways is by looking after the green spaces around us, and in so doing, we look after our wellbeing.  Whether it be a local park, a garden, a roof top terrace, balcony, windowsill or yard, ‘green exercise’  – as gardening and other forms of exercise outside have become known – can contribute to an increase in physical and mental wellbeing. As little as five minutes can make a difference, and mowing, digging, planting and pruning can all count towards the 30 minutes of ‘moderate’ exercise recommended daily by the UK government (equivalent to the same duration of yoga or even badminton!).

In 2021, the RHS released research that revealed those who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people who don’t garden at all. Green exercise can benefit mental as well as physical health: given that “up to 20% of people visit their GPs for what is primarily a social rather than a health problem”, the creation of pioneering social prescribing schemes at places like RHS Bridgewater can help people who need connection to improve mental health, rather than just focusing on medication alone.

The conclusion? Get outside, and get involved!

To read the full blog entry, please click here.

Mrs Peto
Teacher of Latin

News from outside of the classroom: UK Qualifiers in Irish Dance

On Sunday 2 June Caoimhe and Emily in Year 4 travelled to Myton Hall in Warwick to compete in the Open Platform Irish Dance Federation UK qualifiers for the world championships. This was a huge Feis spread over two days with around 200 dancers in total.

Emily was first up and completed her reel and light jig in the ‘under 11’ age beginner group. Not only was this her first Feis, but she was also dancing against dancers up to two years older than her. Emily did really well and earned a solo 9th in her reel and 6th in her light jig. This was an amazing result as this was a large class and Emilys first time on stage. In the beginner championship, Emily achieved 4th place out of 12 dancers. A fantastic result and earned her qualification for the Worlds in October.

Caoimhe danced her first ever trophy treble reel in her heavy shoes and she came 4th out of a class of 14. Fab results for her first treble reel. In her soft shoe dances, Caoimhe danced in the primary class and came 1st in her reel, 3rd in her hop jig and 8th in her light jig. After all the solo results were read out, it was the championship results and Caoimhe came 3rd in her class of 15 dancers and qualified for World champs in October.

Fantastic results for both dancers and we look forward to seeing them dance in October in the world finals.

Birthdays This Week

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

Zara J, Iman S, Sarah R, Cristina S-R and Emily P

Save the Date: Creative Arts Festival

Save the Date: Speech Day

Sunrisers Academy

Northampton High School Swim Clubs

Brixworth Cricket Club



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