Junior News – 9 February 2024
It is crucial that we inject our education offer with memorable moments that enable learning to truly stick. I’m proud that at Northampton High Junior School we are able to offer this in abundance. There is certainly a place for quieter, calmer lessons to revise learning, practise skills and embed understanding, but when introducing a concept or culminating learning our teachers will often facilitate lessons that provide unique memories to which our pupils will stick the learning to memory.
This week, Year 2 shared with us in their class assembly how the historical facts of the Great Fire of London stuck for them during their reenactment of the fire on our playground. I was fortunate enough to experience this lesson with the class and it was clear how excited and engaged they were. They were able to stick this learning to this exciting experience in their brains. Feel free to test any of our Year 2’s on their knowledge of The Great Fire of London as I’m confident you’ll be impressed.
Year 4 and 5 visited our sister school, Nottingham Girls’ High School, to watch a performance called ‘Protest’. The professional performance covered many important topics that all linked to using our voices to bring about positive change. This concept isn’t new to our girls as it is messages we surround them with all the time, but to experience it played out in front of them in a different style was very powerful. From the looks on their faces, it was clear that this unique learning experience enable this messaging to stick!
Reception visited Richmond Village this week, and whilst on the surface this may appear just a nice thing to do to provide cross generational opportunities, it provided many deeper learning opportunities. The class spoke 1:1 with residents and talked them through some key pieces of work they have each produced, which gave the staff an opportunity to assess how stuck this learning was. The level of confidence each girl spoke with provided a clear indication that the learning that had been coveted was stuck fast – a proud moment of relief for the teachers!
Year 1 are visiting Northampton University next week to experience the paramedic training suite. Having visited it myself last year, I am confident the girls will be inspired and enthused and plenty of learning will be stuck to this collection of memories in their brains. I’m looking forward to their return to school to stress test my confidence on the stickability of this trip.
Year 3 enjoyed a humanities lesson on mountains this week, and this involved towels to demonstrate the formations. Could this lesson have been delivered using images on the screen or worksheet? Yes, it absolutely could! Would the learning have stuck? Less likely. By the girls using towels from home and applying their learning in this way, the learning is far more likely to be committed to memory – to stick!
Perhaps this weekend you could consider as a family learning that has truly stuck with you all, and perhaps some learning you have battled with to stick. As we approach the half way point of the academic year, it is exciting to think we still have another 5 months of sticky learning experiences ahead of us.
Head of Junior School
February Half Term Sessions
Whole School Open Morning - Friday 8 March
We look forward to welcoming so many lovely families to our upcoming Whole School Open Morning on Friday 8 March. The events promises to be a superb showcase of life at Northampton High School.
If you would like to come along, please do feel most welcome, and should you have family, friends, or neighbours keen to visit us, please encourage them to book their place here and join us!
Marketing & Communications Manager
Progress Reports for Years 1 to 6
Pupils in Years 1 to 6 will today receive their mid-year progress report. This is a short report, with the full version being issued at the end of the academic year. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s class teacher to provide feedback.
I would like to thank the teachers for their time and effort to produce these. At the upcoming parents evening, parents may wish to refer to these reports in their discussions with the teacher.
News from our classrooms: Nursery and Preschool
In Nursery, we started the week with strong winds again, and we therefore took our Forest School session to an alternative space just outside of Nursery. Here, we did some mud painting and exploring. Rolling down the hill was very popular, and a different experience from the usual Forest School area. Our story this week has been ‘Zog’, which is about a dragon and this links in with the Chinese New Year which is the Year of the Dragon. The interest basket has been made into a Chinese New Year theme, which has sparked some interest, especially the different animals representing the Chinese New Year celebrations.
For Maths, this week we are matching numerals with different objects, as well as number related songs at singing time. We have also had some action songs playing in the classroom, which caused some giggles and spontaneous dancing during play. We have explored with flour in the messy tray and we have used different rollers, cutters and garlic presses with Playdoh to practice our fine motor skills. For our Cooking session, we decorated biscuits with fruit to enjoy for snack.
In Preschool this week we have had dinosaurs of different colours, shapes and sizes visit us! We have had fossils to explore, a dinosaur dig, a dinosaur swamp, footprints and so much more! The girls have engaged in lots of these activities, using some new vocabulary, developing writing skills and improving personal skills including turn taking and being careful.
In PE, we used our great listening skills and acted out the dinosaur hatching from an egg, learning to walk and learning to roar. We then took on the characteristics of different dinosaurs and navigated a dinosaur world by flying, stomping, plodding and jumping. At the end of the session, the girls all worked together to tidy away the equipment.
Alongside this they have also had the opportunity to do one-to-one reading with a teacher, to start that all important journey of reading. This was alongside group reading and looking at books independently. Writing has become prominent within the class, with the girls choosing to create cards and writing names.
The highlight this week was Tuesday afternoon and our visit to Richmond Village. It was pleasing to see the class confidently speak with residents and talk about what they were learning at school. They sang several songs and gave out a hand made flower created in our workshop.
Our Phonics this week, we have been investigating the digraphs ‘ar’ and ‘or’. We have investigated the material ‘metal’, and made some great metal robot pictures. In Maths, one of the activities involved pairs of socks and the start of odd and even numbers.
On Friday morning, we joined with Preschool to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Throughout our Art lessons over the last few weeks, Year 1 have been having a great time learning about the Spanish Canarian artist, Joan Miro.
Using this artist has inspired the children to use vibrant colours, create surrealist paintings and sculptures and use their wide imagination to create dream-like pictures about their own lives.
To ensure the lessons were effective, children built on their learning from the previous lesson in the style of the artist, enabling them to create a final piece in Miro’s style.
The children used coloured pencils to create their own version of Joan Miro’s ‘The Farm’. As this was a piece of art that was focused on realism, it developed the children’s understanding of what surrealism is.
During the next couple of lessons, the children focused on surrealist art and created a page in a book to complete a ‘Nonsense Alphabet’. Each child had their own letter and description and were given various materials and vibrant coloured paint which they used to print onto their letter in the alphabet. This lesson was very effective and the outcome was great!
As Joan Miro did not just use printing to create his art, the learning was then extended when children created their own sculpture focusing on his style. They first planned their work using card and surrealist sculpture images that they cut out and attached to their card sculpture.
During our most recent lesson, the children followed their design and created a surrealist sculpture of their own using air-drying clay. As this was a fairly new experience to the children, they were very excited for this lesson and they thoroughly enjoyed it. The outcomes closely link to his work and they look amazing!
Year 2 have been looking at well-known art inspired by the Great Fire of London.
We discovered that there were no cameras in 1666, so paintings were an important historical record of the events of the time. We then created our own pictures using soft pastels, and we used rich reds and yellows to create the ‘fire’ and long strokes. Next, we added a silhouette of the London skyline.
We also created Great Fire of London ‘jars’ using tissue paper and black paper. We placed a candle inside to make the jar glow – but don’t worry, this wasn’t real fire – it was battery operated!
Year 3 have been learning all about India. The girls have looked at the designs used to decorate elephants for festivals and the bright and vibrant colours used.
After first using a template to practice sketching a design on paper and using oil pastels to decorate, they then moved onto using fabric paints to transfer their design onto their 3D material elephants that they have been sewing for their DT projects.
Year 4 have been experimenting with different techniques for using oil pastels such as blending, stippling and cross-hatching.
They put their skills into practice when drawing trees. The girls added layers of colour to give a 3D effect and created leaves in different ways to add texture.
Year 5 are having an amazing time learning about abstract artists. They have recreated pieces by Wassilly Kandinsky and Joan Miro, and have just started looking at the work of Jack Whitten. He created some phenomenal pieces of political artwork inspired by the Civil Rights protests.
This week we spent time thinking about current events, and have started some of our own ‘political’ collages.
In Art lessons this half term, Year 6 have been learning and practising techniques for using oil pastels. We have then used these skills to create self portraits.
We believe that everyone has improved their skills from last year and has drawn a successful self portrait.
Everyone has done a lot to improve what they can do by adding lots more detail. Their drawings now look more realistic.
People have used lots of different techniques in their work.
Artemisia U & Eliza A
Creative Arts Ambassadors
News from outside of the classroom: Year 4 &Year 5 Theatre Production Trip to Nottingham High School
On Thursday 8 February, Years 4 and 5 went to Nottingham to see a play called Protest. It was about three girls who wanted to make the world a better place. It covered big themes like racism and climate change, but had a cast of only three people.
It was very nice to see young people showing their views on what the world is like. The storylines were well entwined.
The girls enjoyed the set and the lighting and overall it was a great experience.
Elizabeth F-W & Cristina S-R
News from outside of the classroom: Reception's Richmond Village Retirement Community Visit
On Tuesday afternoon, Reception class visited Richmond Village retirement community to share their learning and meet the residents.
We spent time sharing songs and activities we had learnt in our Music sessions, and encouraged the residents to join in with one of our noisy songs – “Bang, Bang, Stop!’
Each pupil took along a pack of work which included pictures, work and games, which would support our Reception pupils to engage in two way conversation with the residents and ask, and answer, their questions. Everyone in the class did this purposefully and confidently.
The class behaved beautifully, listened and it was delightful to see different generations interacting.
News from outside of the classroom: U10A a& U10B Netball v Bilton Grange
U10A: As captain of the U10A team, I thought the team played really well during the match. The score was 11-3 to Bilton Grange. We chose the Player of the Patch for Bilton as she was really good at all the positions, and could catch and throw really well. The team got better at spacing out during the match and started to chest pass more. Eloise C scored 2 goals for our team and I scored 1 – we are all getting better at our shooting!
We played against a really good team but we got a lot of good intercepts and catches. Overall, the team played really well, and we had a lot of fun playing netball.
U10B: On Wednesday 31 January, the U11B team travelled to Bilton Grange to play netball. We were very excited and were looking forward to the game. The team did very well. Zoe Z was really good at catching the ball from far away, and Eloise R was also very good at passing to me. Kinara B was very good at finding a space so people could pass to her to shoot. Cristina S-R was also excellent at getting in the D, trying to score. Leah W also was very good at finding a space for people to pass to her. I was very good at catching the ball when the opposition were trying to shoot, and preventing goals been scored.
We all need to improve our passing and shooting, so we can score more goals. The score was 0-10 to Bilton Grange. The Player of the Match was me, I think this was because I was very good at passing to other people.
Thank you for reading my report!
What's on at Northampton High - Spring Term
Star Learners of the Week:
Marine A, All of Year 2, Nellie L-S, Eve C, Agnes R, Olivia H, Constance H, Cordelia B, Emma B, Avelyn C
Georgina P – achieved a Nature Brownies Badge
Annabel W – awarded Top Hat Star of the Week
Emily T – achieved Distinction in her Classical Greek Dance exam
Siena-Louise D B – achieved Distinction in her Grade 2 Modern exam
Rayna N – awarded a Tai Kwando White Belt Certificate
Grace B – moved up to Gold Squad in Swimming
Annie T – awarded a Karate Red Stripe Belt
Leah W – moved up a Squad in Swimming
This week, we wish a very Happy Birthday to the following members of our Junior School family:
Pixie R, Sophia R-N and Marine A
Saturday Athletics Course
Northants Authors Book Fair
Northampton High School
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