140 years of pioneering girls’ education in Northampton

This academic year has been one of celebration for Northampton High. The School marks its 140th Birthday this year, and a programme brimming with birthday events has been in full swing, bringing together pupils, staff, alumnae and families throughout the year.


The year began with an Anniversary lunch, attended by over 100 alumnae, former staff, current staff, governors and friends of the school to celebrate 25 years of being on the current School site in Hardingstone, Northampton. The purpose built site became the new home for the School in 1992, moving from the original site in the Cultural Quarter of Northampton’s town centre, part of which is now the Charles Rennie-Mackintosh museum, 78 Derngate. To mark the occasion, a tree was planted in the Cripps Courtyard, observing 25 years since Her Majesty The Queen had opened the site.


The Old Girls and Associates’ Lunch kicked off 2018 in style with 140 alumnae meeting to share memories of their time at Northampton High, both on the Derngate site and the new (25 year old) home. The Senior School foyer became an exhibition space for a number of 140th Birthday installations, from school artefacts, previous school uniforms and even a display of leatherwork, in collaboration with the Creative Leather Technologies and the Leathersellers’ Company, signifying the heritage of shoe making in Northampton.


In May, the 140th Birthday day itself saw a special assembly for the whole school, and, like every good birthday, included cake, and presents for all.  Even the School dog, Betty, joined in the festivities!


The 1878 Reception hosted at the Rennie-Mackintosh museum welcomed guests from across the county and beyond, bringing together current and past pupils, staff and friends of the School.  A 140th Anniversary Charity Ball, organised by the Friends of Northampton High School, was a fabulous evening for all and raised £2000 for local charity, Cynthia Spencer Hospice. 


The Creative and Performing Arts took centre stage during an incredible Arts Festival week.  A Literary Festival opened the week with three authors, Monica Withrington (The Reluctant Shepherd), Robin Stevens (the Murder Most Unladylike series) and Dr Annie Gray (The Greedy Queen and BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet) spending time with pupils, inspiring and encouraging them to follow their passions.


The Arts Festival Invitational evening saw the School come alive with vibrant Art exhibits across the school, ranging from Junior School art, sculpture and textiles to an open viewing of the Sixth Form Gallery. Fashion and Textiles were on show in the Fashion Gallery, ballet performances wowed audiences, pupils’ films were screened in the Cinema and delicious smells pervaded the building from the tastings on offer in the Food Technology department.


A Music Recital showcased the wide-ranging musical talents of Junior and Senior girls to an appreciative audience, the week rounded off by the Senior School production of The Sound of Music, thrilling full houses at each of the three performances.


The 140th Birthday calendar of celebrations continues in the autumn term to conclude an action-packed and memorable milestone year.