I am delighted to announce that Highfield Priory School is a finalist, alongside two other schools, for the Junior Preparatory School Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation at the Independent Schools’ Association Awards in November. This is the only award solely for Junior Schools and there are 439 schools in the organisation. I will update you on our Facebook page and in our newsletter as soon as we have any news of our final position.
Thank you 6H for your excellent assembly on trusting others and being a trustworthy person. I really enjoyed the way you used the story from the film ‘Finding Nemo’ and the story of Samson in rhyme from The Bible to illustrate your important message. Your presentation and delivery were very impressive, especially considering the busy start to the year you have had. You have all made many trusting friendships with children and staff at Highfield which I know you will continue to cherish this year and when you move on to your new schools. Thank you Mrs Haythornthwaite for arranging this assembly.
I went to watch Year 1 this week in their Art lesson with Miss Jewitt. The children’s main focus was understanding secondary colours, painting the colour wheel and mixing primary colours. All the children were really focused on the task in hand. Amelia was using different shades of yellow, red and orange which she mixed very carefully to paint a picture which was very effective with vivid colours. Lola was using a variety of shades of brown to show the different colours of autumn in her picture of leaves. Avni was using white to create colour lines for pink, yellow and blue. She told me that she had added seven brushes of white to a colour before adding to her colour line. Lyla told me that painting was her favourite part of Art lessons and she was enjoying having Miss Jewitt as her teacher. Luca, who was deep in concentration on his leaf picture, just nodded contentedly when asked if he was enjoying the activity, not daring to break his concentration or lift his head as he painted each stroke with precision. Hanna was using very bright colours to create an eye-catching picture. The concentration and focused attention of the children in their fourth art lesson of the term (aged five!) was quite incredible. I can’t wait to pop back later in the year to see what they will be creating next!
Thank you 4S for your excellent Harvest Assembly this morning. We learnt so much about how the food gets to our tables and what the farmers need to grow the crops to produce the healthy food that we eat. I was impressed by your delivery and the clarity with which you explained the processes that many of us take for granted. I particularly liked the Harvest Acrostic at the end.
Pre-School had a very busy morning on Wednesday. They visited Highfield Haven to collect items that were red, green and brown. The children really enjoyed exploring the Haven and looking at the wildlife and all the different colours. They managed to fill a basket right up to the top before they came back into school. They then used the leaves to create a picture from the dye in the leaves. This form of art is called Hapa Zome and is the Japanese art of creating pictures by hitting leaves with hammers. I watched Harriet and Sienna cover their leaves with a white sheet before using a hammer to extract the dye. The rest of the children watched intently with hands behind their backs and goggles on for safety. It was amazing to see their picture come to life as the dye created the exact print on the sheet. I then watched Eliza taking her time choosing a variety of leaves with different colours and shapes from the basket before she and Ayyub used the hammers successfully to create their pictures. Outside, the rest of the class were watching real tools in use as Mr Forrest cut up some pipe for them to play with. They were warned of the dangers of the saw and watched as the sharp edge cut through the pipe. Nathanael said the sharp bits were cutters and Arthur said they were like shark’s teeth. Miss Halstead then asked the children what they were going to use the pipes for. After a little bit of quiet contemplation, Abdullah said he was going to build a fire engine before they all raced off to start the construction. Eva chased after them saying they needed instructions! At this point Arthur turned to me and said he needed an instructions man. Time to beat a hasty retreat and leave them in the capable hands of Miss Halstead! It was a wonderful start to my Wednesday morning to witness so much enthusiasm, confidence, creativity and fun!
It has been a very busy second week with all our activities getting underway, our first sporting matches of the year and our new parents’ coffee morning. I have really enjoyed walking around the school, watching the enthusiasm and interest sparked in lessons and witnessing the excitement as the children embarked upon their first activities. I always feel very fortunate and privileged to be amongst school children at the start of an academic year as they are testing their potential, discovering new talents and blossoming as new challenges and experiences unfold before them.
Welcome back! It was wonderful to see all the children back in school on Tuesday, refreshed and full of stories about the holidays and excited about the term and year ahead. There was a great deal of catching up to be done with friends and teachers. The playground was full of chatter and happy faces at break and lunchtime as the school routine really got underway. I would like to offer a very warm welcome to all our new children and families as they join the Highfield community and to Mrs Prince who is 6P’s class teacher and our Director of Studies.
After 15 and a half years at Highfield, it is with great sadness that I say goodbye today. Since joining Highfield, I have seen many children come and go but Highfield’s ethos has always been to give our children the best start on their educational journey, and I have been proud to have been a part of that. I have loved my years here but the time is right for me to move on. It wouldn’t, however, have been the same without the people who make Highfield what it is. So I say ‘thank you’ to the children - for your enthusiasm, your commitment to be the best you can be whatever your ability, your confidence, your humour and your willingness to help others. ‘Thank you’ parents - for your support, your kindness, your generosity, your understanding when things were tough and your total belief in your children. ‘Thank you’ to my colleagues and all the staff at Highfield - for being a great team, for your friendship, your hard work, your support and your total commitment to the school. I wish you all the very best and I look forward to seeing you at some point in the future. Mrs Hewins
Thank you Year 6 for your Leavers’ Assembly this morning in which you reminisced about your time at Highfield. It was very moving to see what you were like when you first came to Highfield right through to the sophisticated young people standing before us today. Your memories were all very different and gave us a real sense of the talented, kind and big-hearted children you are and how busy you have been. You really have become a very strong year group which has welcomed every new pupil, with open arms, into the Highfield family. Your strength, passion, fun and real sense of togetherness shone through in the leavers’ video and in the singing of the school song: Shine Out! Thank you Mrs Hewins and Mrs Haythornthwaite for arranging the assembly. You certainly do know how to tug on those heart strings!
Congratulations to our fantastic Year Six who achieved an impressive set of National Curriculum Test results. You have certainly worked hard during your time at Highfield and you deserve the high level of attainment you have reached. A big thank you to Mrs Hewins, Mrs Haythornthwaite, your class teachers and of course your parents for their support.
Year 3 took part in a problem-solving afternoon on Monday. The children were split into groups and were faced with a number of challenges which they had to complete as a group. It is an excellent exercise which really helps the children to improve their leadership skills as well as their ability to communicate with each other. As the afternoon progressed, you could clearly see an improvement in their listening skills and in their ability to support and encourage one another. This improved the speed with which they completed each activity and it also led to a real bond forming within each team as they enjoyed the success of achieving the challenge. The challenges ranged from crossing an imaginary river to using semaphore to relay a message. Evie and Nandini said the water challenge was their favourite as they had to keep transferring water carefully over obstacles to a bucket in a set amount of time. They didn’t get wet at all! Lucas said that his favourite was Swamp Stompers where they had to cross an imaginary swamp on two planks of wood, working as a team. The children were full of stories of the afternoon’s adventures and how they had fared in each activity they had attempted. Thank you to Mrs Jones for organising the afternoon.
Congratulations to Grace, James, Jemima, Alexander and Olivia D who all took part in the National Athletics Final on Monday. It was an amazing achievement even to qualify as it was out of 426 schools in the country. All our children did incredibly well competing against excellent athletes from across the country in the intense heat. Olivia D brought two medals home: a bronze in the 75m and a silver in the 150m. James’ relay team came second after he ran a very good second leg but unfortunately the team was disqualified after a faulty changeover later in the race. All the children scored valuable points for the North Team who came third overall. Well done!
This morning was our final Musical Assembly of the year and for some children it was their last performance in a musical assembly at Highfield. We saw a full range of instruments being played today including Brass, Strings, Woodwind and Piano. Several children were playing on their second instrument which is a huge achievement. For some, it was their first time and they were very excited about reading their prepared speeches and performing in public. Congratulations to our first timers: Kavya on piano, Danya with the guitar, Martha on the piano and Edie with her ukulele. Miss Macklam.
Congratulations to all the performers. Your composure and level of playing ability was quite incredible for children of such a young age. It was a very memorable start to this half-term. Mr Sheppeck
Thank you 5D for your assembly about Explorers this morning and how we can learn from their experiences when we are faced by challenges in our everyday life and at school. You introduced us to a number of explorers from throughout history from Sir Francis Drake to Christopher Columbus. We learnt about their fascinating lives and all the challenges they faced. You also highlighted the traits that you need to be a great explorer and how we should use these skills to face our own challenges. The delivery of the assembly was excellent with every word spoken clearly, emphasising the important message of this assembly. Thank you Mr Drake and 5D.
Thank you Year 1 for your assembly this morning about the exciting subject you are studying in class; Castles! You have learnt so many facts which you delivered with clear understanding to the rest of the school. I loved your costumes which highlighted the different people who would have lived and worked in a castle. I know that a lot of your knowledge has come from your trip to Skipton Castle which you all thoroughly enjoyed and which is where you witnessed and learnt more about the design of, and life in, a castle. Thank you 1W and Mrs Wilson for arranging this assembly.
Thank you 4H for your excellent assembly this morning about resilience and aspiration. Your delivery and stage presence were excellent and you had many important messages for your audience about not giving up and bouncing back from whatever life throws at us. You used the Thomas Edison story of the invention of the lightbulb as an example; how he tried and failed 10,000 times before it worked! You told us about how this story has inspired you to keep trying in areas that you find difficult or want to improve like origami. I also enjoyed listening to your aspirations for future careers from policeman to future Olympic equestrian star. Thank you Mrs Hill for arranging this assembly – we really enjoyed it!
Thank you Year 3 and Year 5 for your fantastic performance of The Tempest on Thursday. The use of physical theatre really brought the play to life with the children not just excelling with their spoken word but also in their movements and interactions with each other. It certainly added to the overall impact of the performance. I was very impressed by Year 3 who were performing famous speeches from Shakespeare’s The Tempest throughout the performance. It was quite amazing to see 7 and 8 year olds deliver Shakespeare with confidence and understanding. The singing was also fantastic with a lovely arrangement of songs that I am sure will stay with the cast and audience for weeks to come. As I write this, my foot is tapping along to ‘My Milan’! Thank you to Miss Burns who choreographed the excellent dance routines throughout the performance; thank you to Mr Drake for his sound and lighting expertise and Mrs Morrice for her support with the set and props. A huge thank you from us all to Mrs Duke and Miss Macklam for their dramatic and musical direction of this play. It was a triumph!
It has been another wonderful week of weather at Highfield with a wide range of activities underway in this second week of term. The children have been busy on the sporting front; rehearsals are going well for The Tempest and our Year Six classes are working on their final preparations for the National Curriculum tests.
Welcome back! What a beautiful morning on Tuesday to start the first day of the Summer term. The school looked fantastic bathed in sunshine with a wonderful array of flowers in front of the school. The children were refreshed from their break and raring to go, full of stories of what they had been doing in the holidays and excited about the term ahead.
The noise of rustling raffle tickets could be heard around the school on Wednesday as the children awaited, with GREAT excitement, the Easter Egg Raffle! The children have been eyeing up their favourite eggs all week in the Office and they were pointing out their preferred egg to their friends as they entered the dining room for the Infant draw and the sports hall for the Junior draw. As the raffle got underway, the excitement built as each child’s number was called to claim their egg. By the end of the draws we had two rooms full of very contented children. This morning, we held the draw for the first prize, a large Thornton’s egg which was won by Tim in 2M. I hope he is going to share that egg with the whole of his family!
This week we have been celebrating a very important person in all our lives: our mum! Thank you 3M for your lovely assembly in which you told us why your mum is so special to you. We heard why mums were special for their amazing cooking, hugs, tickles and jokes. We also found out what TV programmes they like watching with you and what pop songs they like! I also enjoyed listening to your fabulous acrostic poems and your fantastic rendition of Supermum!
Thank you 5M for your assembly on ‘Fairness’ this morning which is our theme for this term. It was really interesting to hear you talking about what you have been discussing in class and the practical examples were really important for your audience to hear. The story from the Bible of the Prodigal Son and examples of people from history like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, who stood up for the rights of people who were not treated fairly, really emphasised the theme for this term. Thank you 5M for delivering your message very clearly. You have certainly given us all a great deal to think about. Thank you Miss Macklam for arranging this assembly.
Thank you 1D for a brilliant assembly on superheroes. You were so confident and you all delivered your words superbly. I enjoyed hearing how you have used your discussion on superheroes to develop your written work and you are now writing longer sentences which include really descriptive adjectives. Well done! You also told us about real life superheroes like Louis Braille who invented Braille so people who are blind can read and Mary Seacole who was a nurse who built her own hospital to help people. It was a lovely assembly in which you all smiled from start to finish. Thank you Mrs Davidson and 1D!
This is one of my favourite days of the year where the children and staff come dressed up as one of their favourite literary characters. The children really enjoy surprising their classmates and guessing what characters they have each come dressed as. It is also a wonderful celebration of the range of literature that is out there for our children to read and it serves to encourage the children to find out more about the characters they do not know.
The Mastermind Challenge is one of the highlights of the day where five pupils (who have qualified through earlier rounds) compete in the final. They are tested on their knowledge of six books, in a very similar style to Mastermind, in front of the school. Their knowledge and memory for the detail in the books never ceases to impress me. This year the finalists were Aditya, Alexander, Haris, Mohamed and Suzanna and our Mastermind Champion 2017 is Alexander. Congratulations to all our finalists on a very impressive performance. Well done!
Thank you to all our musicians who performed with confidence and composure this morning. This was particularly impressive considering the age of the performers and with Rohan just in Year 2! There were also at least five pupils performing publicly for the first time with Ziyad and Zain only starting to learn the guitar in September. Isabel, who performed so beautifully in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, performed ‘Yesterday’ - a song that she has enjoyed singing in choir. Congratulations and well done to all our performers this morning. An excellent start to the new term! Thank you Miss Macklam for organising this assembly.
As part of Year 5's History Topic, the children have been using a green screen app to stand in front of key Tudor figures and characters to create a postcard image. They have then been eagerly explaining all their favourite parts of the topic on the reverse. Expect to see a Tudor postcard coming your way soon! ... See moreSee less
We all really enjoyed 6H's Assembly on Friday about being a trustworthy person and trusting others. We particularly enjoyed the way they used the story from the film ‘Finding Nemo’ and the story of Samson (in rhyme) from The Bible to illustrate their important message. Thank you Mrs Haythornthwaite for arranging this thought-provoking assembly and well done, 6H! ... See moreSee less