Nothampton High School
Junior News

Junior News 7 May 2021

Dear Parents,

The first three weeks of term have flown past and I really look forward to the days which I now spend in school, having worked entirely from home until Easter. 

The advice, which I received from members of Year 5 before crossing the threshold, has been invaluable, especially remembering my email password and asking for help when needed. It is such a pleasure getting to know everyone in person and I have particularly enjoyed chatting with the girls during their break times, as well as seeing them in lessons and clubs.

This week’s highlight was Northampton High School’s 143rd Birthday! Balloons and bunting heralded this special occasion when we were blown into school on a very windy Tuesday morning after the Bank Holiday weekend. The birthday is officially on 2 May but, as that was Sunday, we celebrated on 4 May this year.

Junior School pupils and staff were delighted to join the Senior School community, virtually of course, for Mrs Petryszak’s Birthday Assembly. After a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’, we saw a short video of Jodie, our recently appointed Head Girl, cut the magnificently decorated birthday cake – very closely watched by Isabel, who was invited to attend the ceremony as she is the youngest pupil in school. When I caught up with Isabel later in the day, she explained that, “The cake was pink and white and a girl from the upper level cut the first slice”. Her classmates were curious to know if she had eaten cake but the clear answer was, “No, it stayed in the office”. This story has a happy ending though because, shortly before mid-morning break, a trolley appeared laden with iced doughnuts! These were duly distributed at the most suitable time of day for each class and I managed to chat with a few groups of pupils, before, after and even during the savouring of their special School Birthday treat. 

Pupils in Years 3 and 6 were keen to discuss the second part of the Birthday Assembly when Mrs Petryszak talked about the history of Northampton High. Photographs of the school’s homes in Abington Street, Derngate and Hardingstone prompted them to tell me about some pictures outside the Junior School Library. These remind us of when Junior School pupils populated Spring Hill and Towerfield before the big move to our current spacious site in 1992. Mrs Dadge and Mrs Fordham joined in by reminiscing about times past when they taught and were taught, respectively, in the school’s former town centre buildings.

With Sports Day 2021 on the horizon, Mrs Petryszak showed photographs of Northampton High School girls participating in various forms of physical activity. Some of the sportswear drew gasps of surprise from members of Years 5 and 6 who could not imagine taking part in any form of sport wearing a skirt or gym slip and outdoor shoes! They were impressed to hear that a few former pupils represented the UK at Olympic level and members of Year 3 told me with great enthusiasm that one of the best things about life in the Junior School is, “Lots of sport, like tennis, rounders, cricket, scatters (scatterball) and athletics”. They also made sure I was aware that the donuts were “deliciously yummy”.

Year 6 girls shared their memories of the 140th birthday back in 2018. They talked happily about going to the Birthday Assembly in the main school hall when there was a bicycle hanging from the ceiling! They agreed it is good to see changes, in school uniform, subjects and buildings, over the years but they love certain traditions, including the annual school birthday cake. Wistful remarks such as, “It was so nice being together then” and “I hope we have that huge assembly again” were touching reminders of our current life in ‘bubbles’ and a fervent hope that cross-phase opportunities will become the norm again in 2021/22.

Mrs Petryszak ended the assembly by telling us about the eight finalists in the GDST Alumna of the Year 2021. Previous winners include Louisa Blake, Olivia Colman and Dame Cressida Dick. Interestingly, it was Year 4 pupils who appeared most eager to talk about this part of the assembly. They were particularly interested in two nominees who have been at the forefront of the fight against Covid. They were also quick to put in a word for the founder of Sal’s Shoes and Clemie’s Clothes, a charity which delivers outgrown shoes and fancy dress outfits around the world. This led to a discussion about what they most enjoy as Northampton High pupils and there was instant agreement that this can be summed up as follows: “The wonderful teachers, lots of good friends and we learn quite a lot in Maths like decimals”.

As the week of this year’s birthday draws to a close, it is fair to say that Junior School pupils proved themselves to be reflective, optimistic and aspirational in our informal conversations. They are also extremely proud to be members of Northampton High.

Best wishes for a lovely weekend with your families.

Katie Milne
Consultant Head of Junior School


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:

Safiya: Matheletics Challenge – finished the Mathletics live game. I finished the 20 goes it said I had. I got 1st in my school, 28th in the country and 163rd in the world!

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Dates for your diary

– Monday 31 May to Friday 4 June Half Term
– CANCELLED – Tuesday 18 May – Reception Creative Fingers Club

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

Return to School Fixtures

We are delighted to inform you that we will be returning to fixtures from Thursday 13 May! This will be a phased return on a reduced timetable to ensure safety is paramount for all our pupils and staff.

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, fixtures will also run differently to those in the past. The risk assessment can be accessed by clicking here, and the protocol checklist that will be sent to our opposition can be found here. We will also be travelling away to some fixtures and the risk assessment covers this too.

If you have previously provided consent for your child to participate in sporting fixtures via the SIMs link and now do not wish your child to participate this term only, then please inform Mrs Blake as soon as possible. We will be following the National Governing Bodies’ regulations for return to competitive play in all the sports we play.

Packed teas may be provided on occasion but there will be no waiting around after matches finish and so hot teas will not be provided. Spectators are also not allowed at Northampton High School nor other venues of play for the rest of the Summer Term. Though we know this is disappointing we look forward to the Autumn Term where hopefully we can get back to normality, enhancing our fixture programme and looking forward to welcoming back the support of our much valued parents and friends.

All fixtures can be found via SOCs.

Mrs Blake
Director of Sport

School's Oxygen for India fundraising total continues to soar!

In last week’s edition, you will have read about how our school community came together to help raise vital funds for the current Covid crisis in India with a special mufti day.

Throughout the week the fundraising total has continued to rise, and we are delighted to report that our Northampton High School family has raised a whopping £3,381 to help this important cause. We would like to thank all of our students, parents, staff and friends for their amazing, continued support.

Mrs Wilmot
Director of Marketing & Admissions

Nursery Kipper Room and Elmer Room

This week we have been practising our letters and the sounds they make. We have done this by using a variety of resources such as Alphablocks on the interactive whiteboard, drawing letters in sand and having letters placed around the classroom. Some of the girls are able to recognise the first letter of their names during activities, “’p’ for Penelope!” exclaimed Penelope, “That’s my name,” Annabel told us pointing at the ‘a’. As always the girls have shown their creative side this week, doing lots of lovely pictures using different resources that will be sent home soon.

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We painted with pipe cleaners, pom poms and paint dabbers, and also did some drawings with pencils. The girls have been interested in all the different types of weather we have had this week, especially the rain. If we heard the rain the girls would rush to the window and look out to see if they could see it, some of the girls stood where they were and looked around the room to see if they could tell what was making the noise. “It’s raining!” shouted Danaya. “It’s raining, it’s pouring,” sang Isabella.

Lots of towers and houses have been built this week using Duplo bricks and the big blocks in the garden. The girls like to see how tall they can build a tower. It is also fun to knock them down again!

Have a lovely weekend and see you next week.

Nursery Pre School

We have had some special visitors this week. They bought with them a book called ‘If You See a Fairy Ring’. The book is a selection of fairy poems, with a whole fairyland being created. Jasleen selected some pictures of fairies that were added to the display. In group time, we discovered that Tabitha Twinkle Toes had left a letter for the children by her fairy door. She invited the children to play a special ring game of ‘Dusty Blue Bells’ which is a fairy favourite.

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Tabitha Twinkle Toes also asked the children to look at the pictures that Jasleen had selected and to give them their fairy names, each name needed 3 words and they all start with the same sound. The children chose, Mysterious Melody Moony, Goolie Green Grass, Pinky Pickle Pie and Lucky Lacie Lavender. Martha brought in a special book from home showing lots of beautiful pictures of fairy houses. We shall be collecting natural resources while at Forest School to make our own fairy houses.

In the exploration area we have been using play dough. The girls used the play dough as a base to create fairy gloop, by adding glue, glitter and wool and mixing to the consistency they required. Throughout this activity they described what they were doing to each other and questioned what would happen if you added……?

At home while in your garden or at the park you could look for fairy rings or other evidence of fairies.


This week we have been learning about growing plants. We started by looking closely at a few different seeds and thinking of words to describe them. Each day we have been planting a different seed and looking for any changes. Some observations of the cress seeds have already been noted. The girls then used their experience of planting to write some instructions. Using the story ‘The Tiny Seed’ by Eric Carle, we had a think about the conditions needed for a seed to grow.

We decided to set up an investigation to find out. Some seeds have no water, some seeds have no soil and some seeds have no light. We await our findings with great excitement. The girls have been naming the parts of a plant and learning what happens when you pick a flower, leaving the roots behind in the ground.

In Maths we have been revisiting 2D and 3D shapes and describing their properties.

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Year 1

In Year 1 this week, we have been looking at ‘The True Story of the Three Little Pigs’ and thinking about this traditional tale from a new perspective. The girls have really enjoyed learning about the wolf’s point of view, and we have been writing newspaper articles to explain the wolf’s side of the story.

In Maths, we have been practising counting in steps of 2s, 5s and 10s in order to group and share objects. We have also practised doubling numbers and objects, using ladybird spots to help us.

In Science, we have been looking closely at the different parts of a plant. We drew our own diagram of a plant and labelled the different parts. We also talked about what jobs these different parts do for the plant.

In PSHE, we have been thinking about families and friendships. We thought carefully this week about what we think the important qualities in friendships are and how we can show these.

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What the girls have said:

“I liked making the traditional tale faces in DT.” Grace.
“I enjoyed thinking about what makes a good friend with Jigsaw Jack.” Rhoda.
“I liked writing a news report about the Good Wolf.” Eve.

Looking ahead to next week:

Maths – fractions, halving
English – ‘Little Red Riding Hood’
Science – different types of plants and trees


Year 2

This week in school we have explored measuring in Maths. We have completed lots of practical work, measuring many different items and objects to help practise our accuracy. We have looked at measuring in both centimetres and metres using rulers, metre sticks and trundle wheels.

In English, we are still focusing on the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’, we have attempted writing as newspaper reporters sharing the wolf’s side of the story.

In Science, we have continued our study of plants and have set up an experiment to see whether plants will still grow even without one or two of their main needs.

In Design and Technology, we have finished the design stage of our fabric faces which will represent a traditional tale character.


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What the girls have said:

“We liked writing about the wolf’s side of the story because it was funny and spiced things up.”  Avani, Leah and Cristina
“I liked designing my fabric face.” Holly
“We liked measuring in Maths with trundle wheels and rulers.” Amelia and Amber

Looking ahead to next week:

English – the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’
Maths – measuring length and height
DT – making our fabric faces

Year 3

This week we have been working hard to improve our handwriting and our use of conjunctions and adverbs in English lessons.

In Maths we have learnt to add and subtract fractions as well as finding simple equivalent fractions.

The highlight of the week was our trip to Forest School and we were very lucky to have a dry and sunny afternoon. During our time there we became paleontologists and we found fossils and dinosaur bones at the various dig sites set up by Mrs Waters. We then enjoyed many other activities, such as climbing trees, making things out of clay and playing with Betty. A big thank you to Mrs Waters for an informative and exciting afternoon.

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What the girls have said:

“I enjoyed making a cuboid out of paper straws in Art.” Cora.
“I liked adding fractions in Maths.” Yilin.
“I liked going to Forest School and digging for fossils.” Priscilla.

Looking ahead to next week:

Maths – telling the time and looking at calendars. Please practise at home too
English – clauses and subordinate clauses – making our sentences more interesting, as well as more practise with our handwriting
Science – earthquakes and natural disasters
Humanities – metamorphic rocks

Year 4

In Maths we have worked really hard understanding how to convert pounds and pence and order and estimate with money.

In English we finished our Tutankhamun unit by writing a biographical report about Howard Carter. The girls focused on adverbial phrases and pronouns for this task and created some fantastic reports.

In Science we had a fun lesson with the percussion instruments, investigating how and why the pitch changes in some instruments. We particularly enjoyed the xylophone.

Computing has been fun this week too, the girls impressed me so much with the shapes they created using the language of Logo. They achieved so much more than I had expected. Well done!

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What the girls have said:

“I have enjoyed English this week because we have found out a lot about Howard Carter. I wrote a biography about growing up, early career, greatest achievements and later life.” Avleen.

“I enjoyed doing DT this week because we were making levers and linkages with card. We did a split pin rotating on a curve and a slider which was easier to make.” Zoe.

“In Computing I enjoyed it because we got to make loads of shapes using Logo. You could change the colour, the pen size and make shapes like hexagons and pentagons. Using the code was hard at first but now I understand it. I enjoyed Science because we got to explore the musical instruments and see the pitch high and low.” Harini.

Looking ahead to next week:

English – introducing our new text: ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’ by Shirley Hughes
Maths – adding and subtracting money, giving change
Science – sound: exploring how sounds change over distance
History – write like an Egyptian

Please remember to bring in full school uniform on Wednesdays to change into after PE. Thank you.


Year 5

Bank Holiday Mondays are brilliant… but they do always leave a slightly unnerving feeling that you’re not exactly where you should be, for the rest of the week. That’s what it’s been like in Year 5. Fabulous, of course, but with an air of ‘catching up’.

We started on Tuesday morning with Monday’s Humanities lesson and have gone from there! The girls are loving their Maya projects and the idea of missing them out, just because we didn’t have a timetabled Geography lesson this week, didn’t seem like an option. For my part, I am delighted with the work they have done so far and even more delighted that I can get to the end of 23 sets of slides and still be surprised and informed.

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What the girls have said:

“I am really enjoying the Mayan art we are doing, because I really like the style it’s in. I think the Mayans have really interesting styles, and Dan Fenelon does it really well because there are lots of different patterns and colours. It’s different to what I thought it would be – at the start I thought it might be like caveman art, but it’s really bright and colourful.” Alice.

“I enjoyed reading the next part of ‘Kaspar, Prince of Cats’ in English. Yesterday we did all about the lives of rich and poor children in Edwardian times and learned about how they lived.” Mollie.

“My favourite part of the week at school was when we did the Mathletics World Challenge and we all played the live games for half an hour. When I went home I carried on until I had finished all 20 games and got my results. At the time, I was 1st in the school, 28th in the country and 163rd in the world! I don’t know where I am now, but I am still pretty high, and Miss Brandon-Jones was really proud of me!” Safiya.

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 11 May – Swimming
Wednesday 12 May – Enrichment (uniform)
Tuesday 18 May – Computing
Wednesday 19 May – Cricket (PE kit)

Year 6

Despite being a shortened week, Year 6 have managed to complete a huge array of tasks.

We have explored the language of ratio in Maths, the heroic actions of the suffragettes in English, completed our research into world faiths in Humanities and much more.

However, the highlight of the week for us all was our inspirational workshop, delivered by Streetlaw, on the justice system in England. We learnt so much through the trial of Goldilocks in ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and were extremely impressed with the girls’ acting skills and the insightful questions that they asked the panel of law students they were working with – well done, girls!

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What the girls have said:

“I really enjoyed English because we got to write a newspaper article about Emily Wilding Davison and how she jumped in front of the King’s horse to highlight women’s fight for suffrage. We watched a really interesting video about the event, and although it was quite sad, it made us think about why she did this – was it because she wanted to pin the suffragette colours on the King’s horse or just because she wanted to become a martyr?” Anya.

“I really enjoyed our Goldilocks on trial. I got to play the role of Goldilocks. It was so much fun and I was proved innocent by the jury. However, I have to say the prosecution team had good arguments and I was slightly worried I might be accused of being guilty and being put in prison!. Thank you to everyone who helped organise the amazing afternoon.” Lois.

“My highlight of the week was when we did the Streetlaw Zoom call. We learnt lots about the law and being in court whilst having fun and acting.” Emily.

Looking ahead to next week:

Next week we look forward to going global with the suffragettes, constructing periscopes in Science and visiting Forest School.

Have a lovely weekend.

Karen Fordham and Nicola Taylor

The Time Out for Parents - Handling Anger in the Family

Handling Anger in the Family is a short 4-session course for parents of children aged 5-16 years. This course from Care for the Family will look at how one can manage and handle anger in a safe and healthy way, starting with oneself as a parent and carer and then with helping children. This is a really popular course and the organisation has  added extra dates due to demand, so they expect to fill all 12 spaces. If you are interested, please book ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Date and time: Tuesday mornings, 9:30 – 11:30am from 15 June – 6 July.

Cost: £10 per household including accompanying parent handbook (RRP. £9.99) and additional resources and goodies. Bursary places are available for parents who qualify.

To get tickets please visit Handling Anger in the Family

For more information contact Louise Willis on 07784 333825 or email

Mrs O’Doherty
Deputy Head Pastoral Care and Guidance

Term Dates 20/21

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