Nothampton High School
Junior News
Junior News

Junior Newsletter 22 March 2019

Dear parents and girls

‘All the school’s a stage’ – or so it felt as Shakespearean festivities took over the past few days. My notes on events for ‘Shakespeare Week’ run to several pages, leaving me hard-pressed to know how to summarise, so I’ll start with the first age: Nursery. I’m thinking here of Mrs Waters and her pre-school class donning net overskirts and handmade headdresses as they styled themselves as ‘cowslip fairies’. Keen on self-preservation, they enlisted the help of girls from the Elmer and Kipper Rooms in planting seeds at Forest School and were joined by Reception and KS1 in their study of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. For Reception, this brought with it the opportunity to use quills, concoct potions and make Tudor gingerbread using honey, breadcrumbs and spices, whilst Years 1 and 2 took a more literary approach to the play, linking it to Macbeth through the writing of spells and Shakespeare-themed guided reading.

The younger KS2 girls returned to school on Monday via ‘Caliban’s Cave’, marking the start of a week of activities centered on ‘The Tempest’ and studying this through art, music, reading and role play. ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ was the focus for Year 5 and they used discussion, acting and comic-strip writing to consider and describe Beatrice and Benedick. Year 6, meanwhile, looked at the tragedy of ‘Macbeth’, with activities including character study, a balloon debate and the creation of their own Shakespearean insults. More information on these activities – and on the Year 5 trip to Howell’s for ‘Shakespeare and the sung word’ – can be found below.

Aside from Shakespeare, there was much to celebrate this week, including the Hindu festival of Holi and the Persian New Year, Norwuz. Members of Year 6 separated themselves from their sonnets in order to share and hear about the culture and beliefs of others. This was an important interlude which took place on Thursday afternoon, marking a day of celebration for both. Again, more information below.

There have been many other events this week, and I have several people to thank: parents, colleagues and the Swap Shop team for making the two Parents’ Evenings so successful; Mrs Sira for her contribution to Reception’s ‘People Who Help Us’ topic with her talk on her work as a dentist, and Miss Brandon-Jones and Mrs Luikinga for the Howell’s trip. Many thanks, too, to Miss Owers and Miss Thornton for their work in Nursery. The ‘two Ellies’, as they are known to staff, have been on a four-week placement from The University of Northampton and quickly gained the respect of colleagues, parents and girls alike. They will be missed, but we wish them every success as they continue their studies.

Looking to next week, we wish Mrs Shaw, Miss Scott-Evans, Miss Hurst and the Year 5 and 6 girls a safe and enjoyable trip to Les Menuires as they join other members of the GDST community on the pistes.

Finally, and very importantly, I would like to thank you again for your contributions to Comic Relief. The proceeds from the sale of red noses, mufti donations and competition entry fees amassed to over £400 and particular thanks go to Mrs Sinclair for co-organising the event and for reinvesting her randomly-won sweepstake prize money in order to boost our contribution.

As always, I wish you a happy and restful weekend.

Caroline Petryszak
Interim Head of Junior School

Mrs Petryszak's availability

Mrs Petryszak’s days on site will vary over the coming weeks in order to align with school activities and events:

  • w/c 25 March: Monday/Wednesday/Thursday
  • w/c 1 April: Monday/Thursday/Friday

She is, however, contactable on or via the school office on any day of the working week.


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

Frankie B – came 7th in County Tournament

Fern A – 4th in front crawl and butterfly, 5th in backstroke and breaststroke
Elizabeth A – 400m
Gabriella M – 600m
Sienna P – 600m

Gabriella M – yellow belt
Leilana P – red belt
Sienna P – red belt

Shanaya P – Stagecoach

General Messages


Class Assemblies are held in the Junior School Hall at 8.35am on Wednesdays and parents are most welcome to enjoy refreshments from 8.00am. Here are the dates for this term:

Year 3N – 27 March

Year 4N – 3 April

Dates for the diary

  • Sat 23 March – Year 5 and 6 Ski Trip departs
  • Weds 27 March – 3N Class Assembly
  • Sat 30 March – Year 5 and 6 Ski Trip returns
  • w/c Mon 1 April – No teacher-led clubs
  • Weds 3 April – 4N Class Assembly
  • Fri 5 April – Last day of Spring Term
  • Weds 24 April – INSET DAY (staff)
  • Thurs 25 April – Summer Term starts

Shakespeare week

‘Shakespeare & the Sung Word’ – Year 5 pupil event at Howell’s School, Llandaff

On Monday, ten girls from Year 5 went on a an amazing trip to Cardiff for a Shakespeare Day. It took a long time to get there but we played lots of games and read books to each other so the journey seemed to go quite quickly. When we arrived at Howell’s School we went into the Great Hall and had cookies. We were also given a GDST bag and notebook! There were loads of paintings on the walls showing scenes from different Shakespeare plays… the head teacher said she thought the room had been very dull before they were there.

Our first activity was singing Elizabethan madrigals – ‘Ah poor bird’ and ‘Heigh ho’. Dom asked us to do actions so that we learned the words really quickly. When we were singing ‘Heigh ho’ we had to sing really loudly because it was a jolly song and he didn’t want it to sound like a group of school girls singing. We were surprised how quickly we all learned the songs and they sounded amazing when we sang them as a round.

Next, we learned about iambic pentameter and wrote our own lines using inspiration from the paintings in the Great Hall – Hania’s was: ‘The snow was still among the spiky peaks’. After a delicious lunch we spent the afternoon doing acting in groups with girls from other schools and made up a song inspired by the play we were performing. Amazingly at the end of the day they all fit together perfectly, even though they were all really different – a chant from ‘Macbeth’, a song from ‘As You Like It’ and calm lullaby from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

We really enjoyed the day, learned a lot and were really tired by the time we got home!

Indi, Hania, Lucy and Lilybella

Year 6 Celebrations!

This week we have been fortunate enough to learn about two very important festivals that girls in our year celebrate with their families.

Norooz is the Persian New Year- it marks the end of the old year and the beginning of a New Year.

We learnt that during this time families spring clean their houses and prepare ‘haft-seen,’ a collection of items that symbolize a different hope for the new year. Seven things that are always included are:

• Sabzeh: Some kind of sprout or grass that will continue to grow in the weeks leading up to the holiday, for rebirth and renewal
• Senjed: Dried fruit, ideally a sweet fruit from a lotus tree, for love
• Sib: Apples, for beauty and health
• Seer: Garlic, for medicine and taking care of oneself
• Samanu: A sweet pudding, for wealth and fertility
• Serkeh: Vinegar, for the patience and wisdom that comes with aging
• Sumac: A Persian spice made from crushed sour red berries, for the sunrise of a new day

We also learned about the ancient Hindu festival of Holi. This is also known as the ‘festival of spring’, the ‘festival of colours’, or the ‘festival of love’. The festival signifies the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, and is a time of play and laughter, forgetting and forgiving, and repairing broken relationships.

Thank you to all the girls involved in these presentations and for the beautiful costumes worn and dances performed. It was a very memorable occasion.


There will be no Spanish Club on Monday 25 March.

There will be no Tennis Club Friday 29 March.

There are no teacher-led clubs during the last week of term, week commencing Monday 1 April.

Photos on Flickr

To view our latest School photos from our Flickr albums, please click here

(or click on the link for your daughters’ year group).

Our week


Kipper Room
This week in Kipper Room the girls have enjoyed playing in the outside area, the sensory garden and the pirate ship. The girls have also experienced planting bean and tomato seeds in pots and digging in the soil.

Elmer Room
This week in Elmer Room the girls have enjoyed continuing to develop learning on our theme ‘Growing’.  We played a game where they had to work as a team getting in order from the smallest to the tallest – we spoke about our different heights and who they thought was tall and small. The girls have also enjoyed trying a range of different fruits and expressing their likes and dislikes when making a flower using the fruit. The girls have been enjoying developing their physical skills using bikes, scooters, the pirate ship and climbing equipment. 

This week we have joined the school for Shakespeare week. We looked at ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, especially ‘The Fairy Song’. The girls have really enjoyed making a puzzle of William Shakespeare and watching the play on CBeebies. On Wednesday we had a sparkly day making fairy wings and headdresses to go with our fairy skirts. At Forest School we planted cowslips as they are in The Fairy Song and on Thursday made observational paintings of them.
Our sound of the week has been ‘o’.  We have made octopuses and played games thinking about the sound.

Next week your daughter may experience the following activities:

  • Our sound of the week is ‘c’
  • Writing for a purpose
  • Sorting seeds
  • Practical Maths
  • Encountering animals

General News 

Due to ballet exams their will be no ballet on Friday 29 March.

For the Nursery – 18/19 flickr album, please click here.

For Forest School flickr album, please click here.


We have enjoyed another busy week in Reception, with Shakespeare Week. We have focused our activities around ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Potion making and writing potions, donkey ears and fairy wings, a magical dream writing and making gingerbread being some of the activities. Some of the character names proved to be very tricky to say and remember, but there was one that everyone has remembered….. Bottom!!!

On Wednesday afternoon Avani’s mummy came to talk to us about her job as a dentist. It was very informative and we all learnt how to brush our teeth properly, for how long and how too much sugar can be bad for our teeth. The girls all let the dentist count their teeth and also took home a bag of goodies. Many thanks to Ms Sira for her talk, it was much appreciated.

Could we please ask if you can save and bring in items for our workshop area:  boxes, inside of kitchen rolls, clear plastic bottles with lids etc.

For Reception – 18/19 flickr album, please click here.

For Forest School flickr album, please click here.

Year 1

This week we have been learning to count in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s using songs, games, puzzles and maths questions. We also built the final prototype of our egg-naut rocket which we designed and built in pairs and then dropped from the top of the climbing frame. Only two out of seven egg-nauts survived! In English, we have learned some of Shakespeare’s ‘Forgotten Words’, which we have really enjoyed. It turns out we are all popinjays, full of bibble-babble and we aim to be more of a true-penny!!

“I have enjoyed learning to count in 2’s this week.” Cora

“Making egg-naut rockets was so fun.” Artemisia

“I liked finding out about William Shakespeare.” Leilana

For Year 1 – 18/19 flickr album, please click here.

For Forest School flickr album, please click here.

Year 2

We have continued with measuring in Maths this week, concentrating on ordering and comparing different lengths and heights. On Tuesday Dr. Stringer came and joined us for the morning to understand what we all loved most about our outdoor space and learning outside – we all gave her lots of super feedback! We have been busy in English this week learning about Shakespeare to celebrate his life and famous work and in DT, we built and tested our Eggnaut rockets. We had a lot of fun ensuring that our Eggnauts survived the fall!

“We enjoyed making and testing our Eggnauts!”  Harini, Avleen and Zoe

“I loved hunting for the Shakespeare book that Year 3 had hidden for us to find!”  Ellie

“I really like measuring in Maths.”  Sophie

For Year 2 – 18/19 flickr album, please click here.

For Forest School flickr album, please click here.

Year 3

“I have enjoyed Shakespeare week, finding out about Shakespeare and reading ‘The Tempest’. Caliban’s cave has been exciting to enter, when we have collected our bags.” Vivienne

“I have enjoyed all of The Tempest activities, especially working with Year 4 on the collage of Caliban.”  Millie

Next Wednesday we look forward to welcoming our parents to our Class Assembly about Beaumanor Hall.

For Year 3 – 18/19 flickr album, please click here.

Year 4

“I liked when we decorated Caliban with Year 3.”  Sienna

“I liked making Caliban.”  Florence

“I loved it when we were playing musical statues and learning the characters of ‘The Tempest’ and what they did. I also liked when we were sharing Shakespeare stories with a partner.” Verity

For Year 4 – 18/19 flickr album, please click here.

Year 5

“My favourite Shakespeare lesson this week was when we were acting out bits of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and we did freeze frames. I liked the one where Sherain and Schechinah were fighting like Beatrice and Benedick because they made it funny.”  Lydia

“I really enjoyed doing the acting because we had to do certain expressions and memorise the lines. Before that, we had to write in modern day language what we thought the script meant so we knew what we were saying.”  Ammara

“I enjoyed the lesson when Dr Stringer came to 5N and we showed her all the equipment that we play with on the playground. We also did some acting on Wednesday. We had to act out a part of ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ by Shakespeare. It was the part when Beatrice and Benedict have an argument.”  Leela

“When we went on Firefly Miss Brandon-Jones had set up a full page about Shakespeare. One of the class favourites was a rap which made everyone laugh. Then we saw a fight between Beatrice and Benedict. There were two versions, one was quite angry and one was friendly. Everyone in the class enjoyed it.”  Izzy

For Year 5 – 18/19 flickr album, please click here.

Year 6

This week we have been having fun learning about probability in Maths, parallel and series circuits in Science and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about Shakespeare’s life and the tragedy, ‘Macbeth’.

Isla and Charlotte L

“On Wednesday we met with girls from the 6th Form and held a Balloon Debate. We were each given a book character and then we had to answer questions justifying why we should stay on the hot air balloon. It was great fun and it was a great learning experience for us all working with girls that we look up to and admire.”  Tess

“This week we have celebrated the life of Shakespeare. We have enjoyed learning about the beliefs and views of the people who lived in the Elizabethan times, the life of William Shakespeare himself and studying the tragedy, Macbeth. Particular highlights have been learning about the language used through Shakespearean insults e.g. ‘Thou art an abhorrent, pathetical mome!’, performing our own interpretations of the witches’ spell and looking more deeply into the characteristics of the villains of the play.”  Sonya

“Our Science investigation this week set us another challenging task – creating a parallel circuit for the lighting in a doll’s house! After much trial and error and many electrical wires later we all successfully completed the challenge!” Isla

“In Maths we have been learning abut probability. We had fun solving how certain or unlikely an event was likely to occur using playing cards and dice.”  Roja

For Year 6 – 18/19 flickr album, please click here

GAP Club

We have had a very busy week in GAP Club with lots of friends coming to see us over Parents’ Evenings. The girls in the younger room have created animal masks and have spent lots of time outside, enjoying the lighter evenings.

For GAP Club – 18/19 flickr album, please click here.


Junior Students create ‘Clay Owls’ in Senior School

On Thursday, we were delighted to welcome Junior School pupils from Year 4 into the Art Department. The task set for the girls was a fun challenge to create clay owls, and the girls made a fantastic start using hand building and coiling techniques. We are really looking forward to seeing our your ceramisits next week when the fun will continue!

Mrs Beacroft
Head of Creative Arts

Parent Survey

It is over two years since we last carried out a comprehensive survey of our parents (on that occasion via Mungo Dunnett Associates) to gauge your views about all aspects of school life.

Since then, you have been asked to give your opinions about a number of specific issues, notably homework and mobile phones. We have been pleased by the level of response to these surveys and your answers have informed our thinking and planning in these key areas.

I hope that you will now welcome the opportunity to provide more wide-ranging feedback to us by completing the Parent Survey 2019. The survey will take no more than 5 minutes to complete. In order to respond to the survey, please click here and answer the 12 questions provided.

We will close the survey on Friday 5 April 2019 in order to provide ample time to analyse the results and act on any significant findings before the start of the new academic year.

Thank you in anticipation for your feedback.

Dr Stringer

Term Dates

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