Fearless individuality

Northampton High School

1st January 2020


Northampton High School

IN preparing our children for their future work lives, we regularly read eye-catching headlines, telling us that our daughters and sons will be working in roles that do not yet exist, in industries still to be established. So how do we ensure that the next generation is ready for this new world?

The fact is that nobody can really know the future situation, and this has always been the case. What is clear, however, is that our children of today will need to be open to a portfolio approach to their working lives and open to lifelong learning, too.

Headlines such as those above can be unhelpful and limiting at a time when young people need to be more open-minded, creative and flexible than they have ever been. They need to have a sound knowledge of themselves and their abilities and possess the ability to work collaboratively with others, and this is why Northampton High School places great emphasis on 'Fearless Individuality'.

To be fearless in the school context may be overt as girls make choices at Forest School, have their first sleepover on a residential, scale a climbing wall on an Outward Bound course or push themselves to the limits on a Duke of Edinburgh or World Challenge expedition. But less obvious are the challenges overcome in the classroom and common spaces - the educational and personal fearlessness through which the girls have learnt to become less risk-averse, to avoid perfectionism in all areas of life and to understand that to fall and then to pick oneself up is often the best way to learn.

Being an individual - especially in one's teenage years - can take real courage, but the school prides itself in knowing and valuing each girl and they are encouraged to take risks, to trust in and develop their own skills and character and to avail themselves of the myriad opportunities on offer. These include extracurricular offerings, with sessions as diverse as Debating Club, Ukelele Group, Language Leaders, FemSock, Cafe Sci, Yoga and the Sewing Bee, and volunteering opportunities, including the Big Bear Little Bear and Big Sister Little Sister mentoring schemes. Great emphasis is placed on personal and intellectual growth in the classroom, too, and on sport and the creative subjects.

Throughout their time at the High School girls are encouraged and supported in their personal growth through an excellent pastoral network. Initiatives such as the Confidence and Challenge (COaCH) programme in Key Stage 3 serve to further the girls' participation, sense of adventure and ability to give to others, and the Girls on Board programme empowers them to solve relationship problems and to develop their emotional intelligence.

Find out more about Northampton High School by calling 01604 765765 or email Amanda Wilmot at a.wilmot@nhs.gdst.net