Highfield Priory

Headmaster's News

5D Assembly

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.

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1W Assembly

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. 

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4H 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!

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The Tempest

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!

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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.

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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.


Easter Egg Raffle

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!

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3M's Assembly

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!

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5M Assembly

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.

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1D 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!

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World Book Day

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!

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Musical Assembly

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.

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The Wizard of Oz at The Charter Theatre 

Last night saw Highfield Priory School take centre stage at The Charter Theatre in front of an audience of over 300 people. We were entertained by Miss Burns’ Dancers (from the age of 4!); our Infant Young Voices; our Year 4 actors and our Year 6 oboe player. It was amazing to see the dance, singing and acting coming together for the first time, involving eighty pupils from all the different age groups and classes. Our youngest performers in Reception and Infants were fearless as though they have been treading the boards for years. The stage presence of our Year 4 pupils (aged 8/9) in front of so many people, the bright lights and the special effects, was quite incredible. The production was all pieced together with very limited time at school and just two sessions in the theatre itself. The performance really showed Highfield at its best and was a real celebration of the range of talent at Highfield. Pictures will be posted on our Facebook page over half-term which will give just a flavour of this very colourful and mesmerising performance. I would like to thank our Directors, Mrs Duke, Mrs Shackleton and Miss Burns, for all their hard work in preparing the children and for giving them the opportunity to perform to such a high standard on this stage. It is a memory that I know will stay with parents and children for many years to come.

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National ISA Swimming

Congratulations to our amazing swimmers! James, Oliver, Zahara and Sophie travelled down to The Olympic Pool in London to represent the North of England in the Nationals. They were supported by a large contingent of parents and children from Highfield throughout the day. All the swimmers did incredibly well and even managed to improve upon last year’s performance. Oliver achieved three Gold Medals in medley relay, backstroke and breaststroke (including two national records in his individual events); James achieved two Golds for his individual front crawl and relay and a Bronze in his backstroke; Zahara achieved a Silver for her breaststroke and Gold in the freestyle relay; Sophie came 6th in backstroke (achieving a personal best). Our team helped the Junior Northern Team to come first overall in the country! There are over 380 schools in the organisation so the children have all done amazingly well bringing home 8 medals in total. We are very proud of you all!

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National ISA Swimming Finals at the Olympic Pool, London

Good luck to Oliver, James, Zahara, Sophie and their supporters who are travelling down to the Olympic Pool to swim in the ISA National Finals on Saturday. Enjoy the experience! We will all be thinking about you tomorrow with our fingers crossed.

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Happy New Year! 

Out and About With The Headmaster in Nursery 

I visited our 2+ Nursery on a bright but blustery Wednesday morning. I settled down and watched Nathan, Scarlett, Sienna D and Sienna M eating their breakfast before a busy and fun packed day ahead. Sienna, Arthur and Violet obviously thought I was missing out and brought me toy biscuits, cakes and toast! Arthur then explained that he, Nathanael and Leo were firemen with special silver shiny tape placed specifically on different parts of their body. Leo then shouted out with his pretend microphone that there was a fire in the kitchen! The three of them rushed off at top speed to deal with the problem. Hugo was starting his day listening to a book in the quiet corner with Miss Dad. He was asking questions and pointing at the pictures, taking in every word, before he rushed off to join Maeve in the soft play area. Maeve was balancing carefully across a bridge before jumping off the end and then excitedly running round to complete the challenge again. I joined Scarlett and Nathan who were playing with the measuring cylinders. Scarlett gave me a cylinder so that I could join in and we filled up the biggest cylinder together. Annabelle raced up excitedly and told me that Father Christmas had come last night down the chimney and left lots of presents in the kitchen before she dashed off to take part in another activity! Eliza and Leo were playing in the kitchen very contentedly with Miss Smart, sharing toys and cooking a feast for later in the day.  

It was lovely to see the children so active and happy to be together and with their nursery nurses, going from one activity to another and getting fully involved and excited.  I look forward to returning to watch and join in more activities later this term. 

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School Carol Service

On Tuesday night, our Junior school, led by the School Choir, performed a wonderful arrangement of carols at St Maria Goretti Church. The congregation also watched a number of group solos as well as a very accomplished performance of Silent Night by our flautists: Katie, Olivia E and Millie. It was lovely to see so many of our past pupils and parents as well as our present ones on this very special evening. A big thank you to Miss Macklam for all her hard work in the lead up to this very memorable event.

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Deck The Halls!

Christmas came to Highfield this week when our fantastic PTA spent their Monday morning decorating the school. The children were delighted as they came out of assembly, pointing out the decorations and discussing the Christmas cards and Highfield post box. The preparations continued with rehearsals for the Infant Nativity, Carol Service and Nursery and Pre-School shows well underway. The standard and quality of performance was very impressive with still a week to go. Good luck everyone - we can’t wait to see you in action!

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1D’s Assembly

Thank you 1D for your fantastic assembly this morning all about animals. We really did visit the Highfield Zoo where you shared facts about a range of animals from birds right through to amphibians. I enjoyed your telling of Brigitte Minne’s story in which the animals competed to see which animal had the best tail. Your final song, ‘Wag, Wag, Wag Your Tail’ was very entertaining! You all spoke with so much confidence and certainly looked like you were having lots of fun! Congratulations 1D and thank you Mrs Davidson for organising this assembly.

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The Sunday Times League Table

Last Sunday, The Sunday Times League Tables were released. The school achieved its highest position on record of 13th in the country and 1st in Lancashire and the North West (4th outside the London region). This is an incredible achievement and a testament to all the hard work of the children, staff, parents and governors. Thank you all for your continued hard work and support.

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Children in Need

The school supported Children in Need today in true Highfield style with a variety of fancy dress from dressing up as their teachers to wacky accessories and a huge variety of night wear! The children chose what they wanted to come dressed in and loved showing their outfits to the other classes. The school raised over £220 for this very worthwhile cause.

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Musical Assembly

This morning, I watched a wonderful musical assembly with over twenty individual performers and our choir who were holding their very smart new choir folders. The composure of all the performers, from reading out their introduction to the actual playing of their piece of music, was quite incredible. We had pupils playing a real variety of instruments: from the ukulele (Eryk, Year 4) to the trumpet (Danial, Year 2) our youngest performer. We also had our first trio of Year 6 flautists: Millie, Katie and Olivia, who played beautifully. It was lovely to watch the audience listen intently and I really appreciated the amount of effort and time that each musician had put into preparing their piece of music. It was a very fitting end to our first week of a new and exciting half-term. Congratulations to all our performers and a big thank you to Miss Macklam for organising this musical feast!

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Happy Half-Term!

What a busy half-term! Looking back over the newsletters, there has been such a varied amount of activities taking place with so much to celebrate and remember. The weather has really allowed the children to make use of our grounds with many visits to Highfield Haven and we have been able to host lots of matches on our all-weather pitch and newly drained field. The children have enjoyed trips to Speke Hall, Bring Yer Wellies and the Museum of Lancashire; excellent results have come in from the Grammar School examinations and Year 4 have just completed their auditions for next term’s production of The Wizard of Oz. This week has been no exception with Year 5’s French Breakfast, under 11s playing netball away at AKS, the Pre-School Creepy Crawly Roadshow and tonight’s PTA event –The Roller Disco! I hope all our children now enjoy a well-deserved break and return ready for an exciting second half of term and the lead up to Christmas.

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6J Assembly

Thank you 6J for your assembly all about ‘Evolution’ this morning which you have been studying in class. It was very interesting to hear how our understanding has developed throughout history and to hear the depth and detail of your study of the subject in class which is very impressive. You coped with some difficult dialogue which you projected well to your audience. I really enjoyed watching you acting out the story of Mary Anning and watching your final song taken from the Horrible History books. A fascinating assembly which I am sure will help you to remember this subject in the future.  

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Open Morning

The sun was shining on Thursday morning to greet all prospective and current parents to the school. The visitors were very impressed by the quality of work on display, the school facilities and the good manners and enthusiasm of the children, especially our Year Six who were commended for being excellent guides.

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Open Morning, Thursday 6th October

Open Morning will take place between 9am and 12noon next Thursday. If you have any family or friends who would like to come to school to celebrate your children’s achievements and look at the work already completed this term, please let them know. It is a great opportunity to see the school in action. We will also be Tweeting and Facebooking the event, so please feel free to ‘like’ and ‘re-tweet’ the news to others. Many thanks for your continued support.

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Out and About With our Babies

I was out and about with our babies on Thursday. I was very lucky to join them on a walk of the grounds on a beautiful sunny morning; not a bad way to start your working day! The amazing light created lots of different shades of colour and the children’s eyes and ears were drawn to all the different shapes, colours and noises outside. Molly pointed to the leaves and was really animated with any slight noise or movement raising her hand into the air. Evelyne was sitting very calmly and contentedly next to her companion, sharing Molly’s woolly sheep, Ewan. She was listening to Miss Kidd and Miss Gordon as they talked about the different trees, leaves and birds. Henry and Jemima were in the other pram and were also very engaged, taking in everything around them. They looked at the owls in Highfield Haven and the different colours of the plants and the wild flowers. It was lovely to see the children in the grounds on such a beautiful morning. There was so much to see and listen to in this very natural environment, with the reassuring words of Miss Kidd and Miss Gordon teaching the children about the world around them. Thank you to our babies for a very enjoyable start to the day; it definitely put a spring in my step!

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It’s the second week back and activities are well underway. It has been lovely to see all the children in action and the all-weather pitch in full use. The children have enjoyed some excellent weather and are making the most of the outside areas for their play time and lessons. In HPSED, the children have been paying close attention to their table manners with straight backs, holding cutlery correctly, polite conversation and eating with their mouths closed! They have been trying really hard to impress staff and monitors and have been rewarded with stickers and house points for exemplary manners. I hope you are all seeing an improvement at home too! Miss McShane’s Bitesize Bootcamp also started this week. The children were put through their paces and introduced to a number of new pieces of equipment all before 8.30am! They came into school invigorated and raring to go, especially Year 5 who were trialling the new assessment program on the laptops in class.

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Welcome Back!

Out and About In Reception

I visited our Reception Class on Thursday to see how they were getting on in their first full week in school. They were extremely relaxed and gave me a very warm welcome. I had actually seen them in a PE lesson on Tuesday and mistaken them for a Year 1 class because they were taking part in a very complex PE session which involved lots of instructions. They were able to follow these instructions with ease as though they had been at school for years. The other thing that really struck me when I walked into the room was the amount of children who I recognised as being among our very first babies at Highfield and here they were looking so grown up! I was delighted to welcome them into Reception and they greeted me with great enthusiasm in return! They were very keen to show me what they were doing. Ayesha, Eloise, Siya and Lola were in the role play area as sisters who were celebrating Lola’s seventeenth birthday. I said, “Seventeeeenth!” To which the response from the girls was, “We are only pretending, Mr Duke!”  They also got a real surprise when they opened the fridge and found two bells and in the oven they found a brown bear, much to their delight and giggles!  Hanna, Avni and Aarnav were playing with the garage, taking it in turns sharing and really communicating well with each other, entirely engrossed in the game. Luca, Robert and Yaseen were counting figures with Mrs Diston and were keen to show me the numbers they knew, counting aloud clearly. Aibhlin, Amelia, Georgia, Naina and Lyla were in the middle of casting and rehearsing a play which involved tap dancers, princesses, Irish dancers, knights, princes and dog paws: a fascinating cast! I can’t wait to visit again soon when the production is complete!

Thank you, Reception, it was lovely to see you all so happy in your first week of term.

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“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence.

But we rather have those because we have acted rightly.

We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” (Aristotle)

 

Do these words sound familiar? I hope so as they grace the home page of our website which I hope you all visit often!

            Aristotle’s words encapsulate what we do here at Highfield. We achieve excellence by working hard on a daily basis. Not just academic excellence, although we are very proud of our academic status as the top Independent Preparatory School in the North West. No, also excellence in Swimming, Athletics, Art, Music, Chess, Public Speaking and Drama...I could go on. But I think the excellence I am most proud of is the children’s pursuit of personal excellence –that determination to be the very best that they can be at all times. We see it in the way they conduct themselves through the corridors of the school –although I think Amarillo may have changed the way I view those corridors now! We see it in their pleases and thank yous; the way holding a door open for another is second nature to them; we see it in the playground as they care for each other; we see it in their straight backs and engaging eye contact; their firm hand shake and their clear voices. We see it every day in each and every one of them and we see it in the boys and girls of our Year Six class. We couldn’t be more proud of them.

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Year Six Leavers' Assembly

Thank you Year 6 for a brilliant Leavers Assembly! You brought back so many amazing memories from your time at Highfield; it was lovely to hear you speak of the moments that have been special to you. You really made us laugh with your fantastic rendition of ‘Amarillo’ through the corridors and classrooms of Highfield! It was wonderful to celebrate the years with you, applaud your achievements and there were definitely a few tears shed and lumps in the throat! You are a wonderful class and this morning you provided us with another beautiful memory. I look forward to continuing to celebrate your success next week with your School Production and Speech Day.


National Athletics Finals at The Alexander Stadium, Birmingham

Congratulations to James and Olivia D who represented the North at the National Finals in Birmingham. Olivia achieved Bronze medals in the 75m and the 150m and a Silver in the 4x100m Relay. James achieved a Silver medal in the relay. There will be photographs posted on Facebook over the weekend of both children on the track and receiving their medals from the Ambassador for Sport for the ISA. Well done to both pupils, this is an excellent achievement out of 370 schools in the Independent Schools’ Association.

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Inspection

It has been an incredibly busy week at Highfield this week with 4 Inspectors looking at every aspect of the school. The feedback was extremely positive and I will be able to give a full report once the official report has been published. Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey; we had 136 responses which is very good for the short period of time given and it provided excellent evidence for the Inspectors.  I would like to thank the whole Highfield community for their continued support.


Manor Adventure

A party of Year 5 and 6 children travelled to Manor Adventure in Shropshire on the Bank Holiday weekend to take part in a range of outdoor adventurous activities from an underground maze to the high ropes! We were blessed with wonderful weather and the children took full advantage of every activity on offer. Highlights were the canoeing and kayaking which involved lots of games, singing and getting very wet! Another very popular activity was the new high ropes course which could take over ten pupils at a time working their way round an assault course which was very high above the ground. All the teachers had a go at this activity but I’m afraid many of the children put us to shame, whizzing round the course quickly as we progressed very cautiously with one child completing the course five times! It was a very successful weekend with the children really working hard together, supporting and encouraging one another. Thank you to Mr Drake, Miss McShane and Mr Sheppeck for running the weekend.


Calling All 'Old Boys' and 'Old Girls'!

We are hosting an Alumni Hockey Event on Friday 17th June. This will start at 4pm with the old boys and girls training and offering advice to our present pupils. This will then be followed by an exhibition match between old boys and girls. If you know any of our Alumni who currently play hockey and would like to take part in this event or if you would just like to come along and support the players on the day, please do get in touch with the school so we can have an idea of numbers and organise the event successfully. I will also be delighted to arrange tours of the school so you can see any recent developments and reminisce about your own time at Highfield. We have had a number of old boys and girls getting in touch with the school over the last few years and we also have a number of existing parents who were pupils at Highfield so it would be great to see as many of you here on the day as possible. Please have a look at our Alumni Facebook page for further details and confirm your attendance by emailing rmcshane@highfieldpriory.co.uk

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Year 6 Visit Bethany House

Year 6 made their second trip of the year to Bethany House on Tuesday. They have been learning a number of very traditional songs in choir which they felt would be ideal to sing to the residents. The children have really enjoyed singing these songs and it wasn’t long before they had all the residents joining in. Two favourites were, “I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside” and “Pack Up Your Troubles” which they asked the children to sing again. It was lovely to witness the two generations singing together before going on to share stories about the past, families and the children’s time at school. It is a very rewarding time for the children who were so engrossed in conversation that they would have quite happily stayed for lunch. They were buzzing from their experience on their return to school; a memory that I hope will stay with them when they move onto their Secondary schools next year.

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Out and About With 3J In Our Art Studio

On Monday, I went to watch 3J during their Art lesson. I was very excited to be watching them in action after seeing their fabulous Still Life drawings from last term. They were painting landscapes from North American National Parks which is linked to the topic they have been studying in their Humanities lessons. I was struck first by the atmosphere in the classroom: soft relaxing music was playing as each child really focused on their piece of work in their own little world, capturing every detail. I watched Miss Jewitt give very specific advice to each pupil who went to speak to her and the pupils then went straight away to focus on the area highlighted. Sasha showed me her picture of a natural arch. She said that it was difficult to show the different shades of colour. I was very impressed; the darker colours really gave the picture perspective, making it very striking. Aditya had finished his picture which was also impressive. Proudly, he talked me through the steps that he had taken to complete it successfully. He then moved on to recreating the picture using a sketch book express programme on the new school ipads. Darcey was working very hard to mix the colours and then to blend them in to her picture to create the correct effect. She explained that if she wasn’t happy with the finish, she could paint the base layer again before applying the shading. Zain was copying a very difficult picture and was working really hard to show all the different textures on the rock. Daisy was also deep in concentration and was building real depth in her picture, showing the impact that the setting sun can have on the different colours of the sky. Finally, Francesca explained that Miss Jewitt had told her to focus on her brush strokes, making sure that she used the tip of the brush for more control and to improve the quality of the picture. The standard of the whole class was incredible and all the children were taking real care to make sure the picture was a true reflection of what they were looking at. The children’s vocabulary, control and understanding was quite amazing and it was a wonderful experience to watch the pictures really come to life in front of them. Thank you Year 3 for such a rewarding experience. I left deep in thought and contemplation as though I had just left a professional art studio. I hope we will display some of your wonderful creations on our Facebook pages in the coming weeks.

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3J Assembly

Thank you 3J for your fabulous assembly this morning which gave us a real insight into you as individuals and as members of 3J. You spoke very eloquently about your individual talents with many of you giving us a demonstration or performance. What a talented class you are! There were activities ranging from photography and gymnastics to bouncing on a pogo stick! I really enjoyed watching your individual characters shine through and seeing just how talented you are. Thank you 3J and thank you Mrs Jones for a brilliant assembly on your last day at Highfield before embarking on your Maternity Leave. 3J, you really gave Mrs Jones an excellent send off!

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Archibald’s War

Congratulations to Years 3 and 5 for their wonderful performance of ‘Archibald’s War’ last night. The acting and singing were outstanding, with every child really enjoying and taking full advantage of their time in the limelight. I think the play really appealed to the children with very catchy and traditional songs, like “Cheer-Up Granny!” and “Dig For Victory”; and the story of Archibald the teddy bear who was looked after by children of a similar age to themselves. The Year 5 actors became Evacuees, Village Residents, Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Farmers and GIs before our eyes. They lived their part from the moment ‘Archibald’s War’ began to the closing song: “Hold on Tight to Your Memories”. The play helped the children to have a greater understanding of the work they have studied on World War 2. I was amazed and delighted by our Year 3 children who not only delivered their words with sensitivity and confidence, but also wrote their letters, diaries and poems themselves. Fantastic! I would like to thank all the staff involved, especially Mrs Duke and Miss Macklam for their excellent direction and for giving the children a chance to show off their talent in such an entertaining and thought-provoking way.


Out and About with Pre-School 

The sun has been shining this week and the children have really been taking advantage of this wonderful weather. I popped into Pre-School to see what they were up to. I watched Joshua and Raees who were rolling a big tyre together and showing excellent team work. Alexander, Arthur and Toby were playing an imaginative game in which they were sitting very closely together in the house, with big grins on their faces, saying that they were hiding from a bear! Aamir was keen to show me the new bridge, walking across it very proudly before showing me you could swing on it as well.  Mrs Harrison was being creative with Samira, Amaanah and Polly cutting and sticking different bits of paper to make a picture. They were deep in concentration, creating a masterpiece! Finally, I went inside to watch Amelia, Naina and Siya who were working in a small group with Miss Halstead on their CVC words. They first recognised the words saying them out loud, then spent time recognising different pictures before writing the word down on a board. The children really enjoyed the activity and were keen to show what they could do and keen to improve their ability to write down the words. I really enjoyed my morning in Pre-School, watching the children take full advantage of a variety of activities and interacting with each other and the staff. 

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Cricket Star - Toby Lester

Toby Lester, Lancashire Cricketer, visited school just before we broke up for Easter. He worked with nearly every age group. He looked at the basic concepts of striking, bowling and fielding with our younger pupils and had a session in the nets with our Year 5 and 6 pupils. It was lovely to see Toby interacting with the children who really responded to his words of encouragement and tips on technique. In the net session after school, they also got to see Toby bowling. We were all impressed by the speed he generated off just a few paces, knocking the cricket stumps over with his first two balls. The children were also given a clear

insight into life as a professional sportsman in a question and answer session at the end of the day and on his experiences in his first year. 

I would like to thank Toby for coming to visit us and we all wish him the best of luck for the season ahead. A huge thank you to Mr Drake for organising this visit. 

Jill Scott, who visited us earlier that week, has also been busy making the headlines after scoring the equaliser against Belgium in the European Cup qualifiers.

There are lots of pictures and video clips on our Facebook page so please take a look. 

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What an incredibly busy and successful term for Highfield with so much to celebrate! 

Here are a few highlights from this term: excellent results for our pupils sitting Independent Schools’ Examinations; our amazing swimmers achieved success regionally and nationally; 9 children have been selected to play Chess for the county at Under 9 and Under 11 level and have qualified for the National Finals; 98 pupils were involved in a fantastic production of ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ at The Charter Theatre and our sporting fortnight has included visits and inspiration from two professional sports stars. What a talented group of children we have at Highfield and all this in just an eleven week term! I think our children all deserve a good rest to recharge their batteries before another exciting term begins. I look forward to seeing you all return for the start of a new term on Tuesday 12 April. 

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Sporting News

Friday was the start of a very exciting two weeks of celebrating sport at Highfield. Last Friday, our Northern ISA swimming team attended the Preston Sports’ Awards after being shortlisted for Junior Team of the Year. This included all Under 18 teams from across Preston. We were the only school in this category and we were joint runners up to Preston North End Girls’ (U14) Football team. The Highfield team was invited onto the stage and received a certificate in front of over 360 people. 

The success carried on: on Monday, the ISA Ambassador for Sport, Mr Brierley, attended Highfield Priory School to present Oliver Covill with a very special trophy for being the best Junior boy in the country after winning three golds at the Olympic pool and breaking a National Record. Mr Brierley then spoke to the children about the importance of sport. After the Assembly he visited our new all-weather pitch and watched our Reception class in action before having a chat to them about why they like sport.

On Monday afternoon, our swimming team entered the Preston Schools Swimming Gala and won Division One, picking up three golds and two silvers in the individual events.

Next week, we have our first two sporting stars of the term visiting the school: Footballer Jill Scott is coming on Tuesday afternoon. Jill has represented England over 100 times and will spend some time talking and training with the children. On Thursday, Toby Lester is coming to school. He has recently started his professional cricket career at Lancashire and will have just returned from Pre-Season training in Dubai the day before. He took three wickets in his first match for Lancashire last year and one with his first ball!  We hope to get more sporting stars in next term as well as inviting some old boys and girls back to school to play on and see the new all-weather pitch.

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Open Day this Sunday

It is Open Day on Sunday from 11am until 3pm for all current and prospective parents. Please come and have a look at the children’s work on display and celebrate their achievements from this year. It also gives you an opportunity to have a look at what lies ahead for your child in the coming years. Please tell any friends about our Open Day as we would like to celebrate your children’s work and achievements with as many people as possible. Thank you!


World Book Day

What a brilliant day! We had a wonderful array of costumes, celebrating the teachers’ and children’s favourite characters from literature - from Dahl’s Mr Twit to Blyton’s Saucepan Man. The children really enjoyed talking about their favourite books and explaining who they were. The Junior Mastermind Final was, as always, highly contested with all the children in the final battling it out to be crowned Highfield Mastermind Champion, 2016. The confidence and composure on display as the contestants remembered the facts from 6 books and answered quick fire questions, while being watched by over 170 people, was incredibly impressive. Harry won the competition and was awarded this year’s trophy. Congratulations to Dev, Alexander, Mahahil and Muhammad who worked really hard and qualified for the final.


Open Day and Exhibition

This is on Sunday 13 March from 11am until 3pm. The whole school will be open for our current and prospective parents to take a tour. The children’s work will be on display which will give you the opportunity to see what they will be doing in the coming years. Please do come along and tell anyone else who may be interested to visit. We have had such a successful and busy year and it would be lovely to celebrate our children’s achievements with as many people as possible.

It is also an important day for our Years 4-6 pupils who act as guides to prospective parents. We will be inviting children from younger age groups to attend next week to assist with demonstrations and activities. The children really enjoy this experience and love to talk about what they do and achieve at Highfield which helps them with their presentation and communication skills.  Please return your slip as soon as possible so that we can organise the timetable for tours and make sure they can benefit from this learning experience.


6H Assembly

Thank you Year 6 for a brilliant Assembly this morning about having the courage to do the right thing. I really enjoyed watching your play about Jonah and the Whale. After watching all the assemblies this year, and our other performances, you could certainly see that you were ready to take full advantage of being centre stage. Your acting and delivery were excellent and you looked like you enjoyed your moment in the spotlight. Even more importantly, you conveyed an important message to the rest of the school. Thank you 6H and Mrs Haythornthwaite for arranging the assembly. 

I hope you all have an enjoyable half-term break and I look forward to seeing you all on Monday 22 February.

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6H Assembly

Thank you Year 6 for a brilliant Assembly this morning about having the courage to do the right thing. I really enjoyed watching your play about Jonah and the Whale. After watching all the assemblies this year, and our other performances, you could certainly see that you were ready to take full advantage of being centre stage. Your acting and delivery were excellent and you looked like you enjoyed your moment in the spotlight. Even more importantly, you conveyed an important message to the rest of the school. Thank you 6H and Mrs Haythornthwaite for arranging the assembly. 

I hope you all have an enjoyable half-term break and I look forward to seeing you all on Monday 22 February.

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Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations at The Charter Theatre

There was only one show in town on Thursday night and that was, ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’! Ninety-six pupils, from Reception through to Year 6, wowed the audience with their stage presence and a performance which would have been impressive from children twice their age! The dancers performed a range of dances from a sailors’ jig to ballet dancing spies to clowns and tumblers to street dancing aliens to classical ballet to name but a few! All the dances were integrated seamlessly into the play. The Year 4 actors were incredible and not at all fazed by acting on one of the largest stages in the North West in front of over 250 people. It is hard to believe that they are only eight and nine years old. It was an amazing achievement considering they have just had a few full run-throughs and rehearsed in their thirty minute HPSED and Dance lessons once a week. A big thank you to all the staff who helped out, to Mrs Shackleton for her support and provision of props and of course to Mrs Duke and Miss Burns, our amazing directors. West End here we come! 


ISA National Finals in London

Last Saturday, six of our swimmers swam in the ISA National Finals in the Olympic Pool, London, representing Highfield and the North of England. It was an incredible experience for this young team; from their journey down, to walking through the Olympic Park, to entering the Olympic Pool itself. They were supported by a large contingent of family, friends, grandparents and peers from school. Just qualifying to swim was an outstanding achievement, however, they went on to swim amazingly well. They swam in 13 out of 25 Primary School races which is a fantastic representation from just one school. The following results are the children’s highest placed results: in Year 4, Zahara came 4th in Breaststroke, Sophie came 2nd in Breaststroke and James came 3rd in Backstroke; in Year 5, Oliver came 1st in three events and in Freestyle he broke the ISA record which was held by James Guy (who is the 200m Freestyle World Champion). An amazing achievement! Olivia came fourth in the Year 5 Freestyle relay and in Year 6, Matthew who was at his third ISA National event, achieved 3 second places. Congratulations to all our swimmers and our 9 podium finishers who helped the North come 3rd overall! 

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HPSED Exams

Congratulations to Year 5 and Year 6 pupils who took their HPSED examinations on Monday. They had to perform as entrepreneurs in the Dragons’ Den and as Young Apprentices in the Board Room. Our entrepreneurs presented products that ranged from a Sunbrella that rotated with the sun to a set of Gaming Headphones that provided you with refreshments whilst you played. Our apprentices created new brands of cereal, from Muddy Mini Minions to Graphic Feast, and new snack bars from SASY, a healthy spinach, seaweed and rice snack to Zesty Bar which was exploding with citrus flavours. They presented adverts, jingles, persuasive pitches and even, in some cases, a sample of the product itself! The standard was exceptionally high and Mrs Duke and Mrs Cunningham were greatly impressed by the children’s good manners, professional behaviour, presentation skills and delicious products!

Our certificate for Excellence and Innovation in our provision of HPSED is now on display in our Entrance Hall.

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This has been our first full week back after the Christmas break and it has been great to see all the children busy with a  variety of curriculum lessons as well as an ever-increasing range of activities. Our Year 3 Running Club started as well as our junior girls’ football on the all-weather pitch; and our junior cricketers are getting in some early preparation for the cricket season. Rehearsals for ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ are well underway and costumes are being prepared. Year Four also had their second outing in the ISA Football Cup.

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Welcome back!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and managed to spend some quality time with the family. We bought a family present this year which was a jigsaw of an owl in 1000 pieces! We have all had eureka moments with it during the last two weeks, when we have been delighted to find: the corners, the sides, part of the eye or even just two pieces that go together! Needless to say, we have not finished it yet but we are determined not to give up. 

The children have been full of what they have been up to and are excited about their challenges which lie ahead this term, including: their HPSED exams, ISA football, running and swimming competitions, chess championships, Year 7 Entrance Examinations and our acting and dancing performance of “Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations” at The Charter Theatre; all this before we even get to half-term! Our PTA have been busy organising a wonderful Cabaret Night on Saturday 6 February where we will be entertained by the band of Year 2’s very own Mr Murray! Don’t forget to get your tickets for what promises to be an excellent night.

The children are full of energy and excitement about being back at school and Year 1 and 2 even gave an impromptu cheer at the end of assembly on Monday as we looked forward to the term ahead. Fantastic!

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What an amazing term! So much to celebrate and be proud of. The children have aimed high once again reaching even greater heights. The school equalled its highest ever position of 14th in the country and 1st in the North West and Lancashire in The Sunday Times for its National Curriculum Test results. We received national recognition with an award from the Independent Schools’ Association for the work we do in HPSED and our excellent academic results. Our netballers remain unbeaten this season and our swimmers won four out of the six age group trophies at the Northern Independent Schools’ Gala. Our children are now also using our all-weather pitch on a daily basis. This is just a snapshot of this incredible term. I would like to congratulate all the children, staff and parents for this success. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas break with your families and the children return refreshed and ready for new challenges in the New Year. School will start back on Tuesday 5th January.

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Our Christmas Carol Service on Thursday evening saw the school’s biggest ever choir, 65 children, supported by the rest of our Juniors, singing a beautiful arrangement of carols. The soloists were very impressive, performing confidently in front of a large audience. Our Head Boy and Head Girl read very eloquently, as did the members of Year 6 who read the prayers. It was a very memorable evening and a highlight of the year so far. Thank you to Miss Macklam for all her hard work and preparation for this service. Thank you to the parents who supported us on the evening. We raised over £360 for Derian House and our School Charity for this year, Baby Beat.

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Christmas came to Highfield this week as our wonderful PTA moved through the school like fairy dust, transforming everything in their path. The school now looks fantastic –thank you! Rehearsals for the Carol Service and Nativity are well underway and the excitement is building. We are all looking forward to the school Carol Service next Thursday, followed by our Christmas Fayre on Friday. 

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Out and About

I was back in Nursery this week, visiting the Toddler Room. The children had been very busy before I turned up, sponge painting and Christmas stocking making. There were some wonderful creations drying. We definitely have some budding artists in this group and it is also one of their favourite activities. I watched Presley and Scarlett sitting together on a cushion reading a book very content in each other’s company: a lovely scene. Edward was the first to interact with me, showing me a fish before we spent time putting different objects in a colander to see what noise they made when we shook it. Violet was playing hairdressers and was showing everyone her hair with curlers in it. Arthur was playing Peek a Boo with Ayaanah; Arthur was laughing out loud and Ayaanah was smiling and giggling every time he said, ‘Boo!’. Sofia was keen to show me the different hats that she was trying on and a blue bowl seemed to be the most popular. Yusayrah was playing with a big bottle with Mrs Smithson taking the top on and off and balancing it on the floor. All the children were incredibly active, exploring the area, interacting with one another and trying out different activities. They must have had a busy morning because they all started to pretend they were going to bed just before I left: lying down, finding pillows and blankets and saying, ‘Goodnight!’ to one another! However, when I announced I was going, they all jumped up and gave me a big goodbye and a wave of the hand. What a lovely group of children! Click on the title above to read more about our week.


ISA Awards

Last Friday, I attended the ISA Awards Ceremony with Mrs Duke in Daventry, Northampton. The ceremony was very well attended with ISA schools from all over the country and was hosted by Penny Smith who used to present GMTV. There are 340 schools in the organisation which is the largest and oldest Independent Schools organisation in the UK. Highfield Priory School was the Runner Up for the award for Excellence and Innovation in Provision. This was the only award solely for Junior and Preparatory schools. We received this commendation for the innovation of creating our own system of examination in HPSED (Highfield Public Speaking, Elocution and Drama) which prepares our children for communicating with confidence throughout their lives and its links with our consistently high academic results. Well done, Highfield. Our certificate will shortly be on display in the Entrance Hall. Click on the title above to read more about our week.


Out and About with the Headmaster

I visited our Baby Nursery on Wednesday and was surprised by how peaceful it was.  All the children were playing and interacting with each other. It was lovely to see how quickly they were at ease with me and happy to interact, despite how out of place I must have looked at 6ft 2, in a suit and sitting on their cushions! Annabelle was enjoying showing me how she could put a yellow ring on her head and then letting it fall off. She then wanted me to do it which gave her a big smile! Nathan wanted me to roll a ball and shaker backwards and forwards with him before we then changed to a blue car. He gave me a lovely big smile every time I pushed the car towards him. Henry was playing with the pots and pans and then filling up a box with lots of objects before putting the lid on.  Maeve was looking at a book with Mrs Hayhurst, pointing at and touching each picture. Sienna then wanted me to build a tower with her. We used lots of different objects. She loved knocking it down and then finding even noisier objects which we could knock over together. It was lovely to see how relaxed the children were with the staff, me and each other. It is amazing to witness just how many skills they are learning on a daily basis, especially in their interactions with each other. I could have happily stayed with them all day and I was disappointed that I was going to miss out on their afternoon Autumnal walk.  I returned the following day and was delighted to be remembered by Sienna who brightened my day with a smile and a wave.


Music Assembly

This morning we had our first musical assembly of the year. We watched 16 individual performers and our largest ever school choir with 80 singers! There was a range of instruments being played from the oboe through to the baritone. Seven children were also playing for the first time. It was a wonderful assembly which was enjoyed by the whole audience. It really showed us how music is continuing to go from strength to strength at Highfield. Thank you Miss Macklam for arranging this assembly. Please visit our Facebook page to see our performers.

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What a busy and very successful first half of term. We have had success in many areas from our excellent academic results in Year 6 to many outstanding performances in sport. The children have also had a number of exciting trips and visitors to the school which have really helped further their understanding of the curriculum. The All-Weather pitch is nearing completion, with the grass down and finishing touches being made so the children will be able to use it after the break. There is also so much to look forward to in the second half of term which starts with M and M’s production of The Wizard of Oz then our first Musical Assembly of the year and the HPPTA Halloween Disco. Click on the title above to read about our week.

 


Lancaster Grammar Schools’ Results

Congratulations to the nine pupils who sat the Entrance Exams for the Lancaster Grammar Schools. All nine have gained day places from outside the catchment area: 6 boys and 3 girls. This is the highest number on record and a 100% success rate from our children sitting the examination. Click on the title above to read more about our week.


3M Assembly 

Thank you 3M for your assembly on role models and heroes this morning, which was based on what you have been studying in RE this term. You made me laugh at the start when you arrived on the stage as cartoon heroes like Superman and Ghostbusters and acted out the part with such conviction! It was interesting to hear how you contrasted these heroes with today’s heroes and role models like Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King; and people in your own lives such as your mother and father. I particularly enjoyed your rendition of the song ‘Search for the Hero’, by M People, at the end which you have obviously enjoyed rehearsing. Thank you 3M and Mrs Morrice for arranging the assembly. I hope it helped everyone in the room to remember to be thankful for the role models and heroes in their lives. Click on the title above to read more about our week.


Year 5 Visit to Bethany House

Year 5 walked to Bethany House Residential Home this morning to sing Harvest songs and talk to the residents. This is always one of the highlights of the year for the children and for me. Once again, after singing beautifully to the residents, the children chatted comfortably with the ladies and gentlemen about stories from the past and present. It was lovely to see the generations together, both gaining so much from the experience. The children were full of the conversations they had had on their return to school and can’t wait until it is their turn to return to Bethany House in Year 6. Thank you Bethany House for your warm welcome and the very popular refreshments! Click on the title above to read more about our week and click on our Facebook icon for images.



The school focus for this half term is Unity and a key factor in that is how we treat each other. This message has been reinforced in circle time and in assemblies. The children have been really working hard on their manners and general courtesy to each other throughout the day and there has certainly already been an improvement. If this message could be supported from home, it would be greatly appreciated. Click on the title above to read more about our week.


Out and About

I really wanted to see how our Reception Classes were doing this week in their first full week at primary school. As I walked into the classroom, I had to do a double-take and make sure I wasn’t in a Year 1 or 2 class. RD were just starting a French lesson with Mrs Morrice. They were all sitting around the whiteboard listening intently to what she had to say. The children were taking it in turns to say ‘Bonjour!’ to Mrs Morrice. Anoush said, ‘Bonjour Madame Morrice!’ very clearly before being followed by Luca and Lily who both said it with confidence. The class all then said ‘Bonjour!’ together before Mrs Morrice asked them to say ‘Salut!’ and wave which she explained was another way of saying hello. The children were loving the interaction and taking it in turns to take centre stage. Moin then said, ‘What about bye-bye? When will we do that?’ Hiba answered straight away saying, ‘When we leave.’ The pupils then had to welcome each other. I watched Hiba say, ‘Bonjour Haya!’ and Haya returned the greeting beautifully. The children’s next task was to make a finger puppet with which they could greet people. They all jumped up straight away, saying ‘Bonjour! Bonjour!’ over and over again and got busy. Click on the title above to read more about our week.


 

Welcome back everyone! I hope you have all had a fantastic summer and have managed to spend some quality time with your families. The children have all been very excited this week: full of news from their holidays and excitement about the new term. (Click on the title above to read more about our week)


I was out for a walk with Albus, our cocker spaniel, at the start of spring on a fantastically beautiful day, when the fields are full of new born lambs and daffodils are popping up everywhere, and I came across this flower that stopped me in my tracks (you can all see it on the postcard in front of you). How could something this delicate force its way up through the tarmac and continue to bloom and grow? How did it know to keep searching for the sun? How did it know to keep trying? What determination it must have, what resilience, what patience! It occurred to me that we could all learn a great deal from this little flower, especially whilst we are working away at our studies in Primary and Secondary School. Sometimes we will question why? Why do we have to do homework when we could be watching TV? Why do we have to know the area of a triangle? Why does it matter where we put a semi-colon? Why do I need to learn about things that happened in the past? Why? Why? Why? I’ll let this little flower give you the answer. You need to keep working, keep believing, keep aiming high, because one day, all your hard work will be rewarded and you will break through the tarmac and take your place in the world as a beautiful, resilient, determined individual who is ready for anything!

                                          

Click on the title above to read Mr Duke's Presentation Day Speech.


Highfield’s NCT Results for Year 6


We received our Year 6 National Curriculum Test results this week from the external examiners.

Our Year Six Class achieved 100% Level 4 in Maths and English.
In English, 90% achieved Level 5 in English Comprehension. 
100% of pupils achieved Level 5 in Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar and 4 pupils achieved Level 6.
In Maths, 86% achieved Level 5 in Maths and 7 children achieved a Level 6.
This is the second highest set of results the school has achieved in the last thirteen years and the most Level 6 passes - the standard of a 14 year old - the school has ever achieved.

Congratulations to all the children and staff! 

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Year 3 Team Building and Problem Solving Afternoon

On Tuesday, all our Year Three pupils took part in an afternoon of team building. The events consisted of the river crossing, semaphore, water obstacle race, great crate challenge and swamp stompers!  The children’s teamwork really improved throughout the afternoon as they took it in turns to lead and support each other with advice and encouragement. At the half way point, they had a break in the shade to discuss their progress and how they could improve as a team. The completion of each activity really improved throughout the session as did the group cohesion and respect for each other. There were lots of smiles and giggles and the water obstacle was definitely the most popular activity! Thank you to Mrs Jones for organising the event. Click on the title above to read more about our week.


 

Reception Class Assembly

Wow! What a wonderful assembly Reception! You were all so confident in front of such a large audience. I can’t believe it was your first assembly. It was lovely to hear all the things you have been learning about this year. You have certainly been incredibly busy and achieved so much. I also enjoyed hearing about what you are looking forward to doing at Highfield in the future and looking at your year in pictures. There is no doubt in my mind that you are all going to Aim High at Highfield! Thank you to Reception and to Mrs Field and Mrs Diston for arranging this assembly. Click on the title above to read more about our week.


Out and About With Year 3 HPSED

Year 3 are in their final preparation for their HPSED Examination which tests their ability to Speak to Instruct. They have to teach another person how to do something. I watched Zahara teach Rory how to create a picture of a lion using a variety of materials from pipe cleaners to orange string. She spoke very clearly and precisely, giving her instructions in clear stages which she had broken down and presented on a display board. Her board demonstrated how the lion gradually took shape as each stage was completed. Rory was totally immersed in the activity and listened carefully to each instruction. His finished picture was perfect and highlighted the success of Zahara’s instructions.

Next up was Ameya who was going to teach someone how to make a rose out of a ribbon. Mrs Duke decided that this was a skill that I was lacking and so I became Ameya’s pupil! Ameya took a very hands-on approach, showing me each stage with a very calm and gentle manner. I am afraid I was not as successful a pupil as Rory and my finished flower was only a vague resemblance of Ameya’s. I will definitely need more practice, Ameya!

I finally watched Ahmed teach Gabrielle how to make a circuit to light a light bulb. He was very clear with excellent voice projection and he announced each step before moving onto the next one. He gave constructive feedback and congratulated Gabrielle when she had completed each stage. Gabrielle had a big smile on her face throughout and completed the circuit with ease. The children had really followed the examination criteria carefully, from presenting instructions in a logical order to being patient, and using repetition effectively.

There are a number of pictures on the school Facebook pages and there will be some videos of the children’s lessons also released soon to help you and give you instructions on everyday jobs! Click on the title above to read more about our week.



Music Assembly


Thank you to all our musicians and singers this morning and what a wonderful way to end a very busy and successful week. Over 50 children performed in our largest musical assembly to date, this is still just a fraction of all the musicians in school. It was the first performance by our School Band and Little Voices who were brilliant! (see our facebbok page) Their enjoyment of these clubs was clearly demonstrated in their enthusiastic performance. I now look forward to their performance for parents at the Summer Fayre. We also had a very impressive array of individual performances, from pianists through to our brass players. For a few of these children, who have just started, to perform in the musical assembly was their target for the year and they certainly achieved that, not only with confidence but also with a very accomplished performance. Ali, Year 6 and Suzanna, Year 4, wrote their own compositions for this morning’s assembly. A very impressive achievement for children of primary school age.
This final Music Assembly of the year really showed how music continues to develop within the school under the direction of Miss Macklam with the support of her strong team of Mr Murray, Mrs Street, Mrs Hill and our peripatetic teachers. Click on the title above to read more about our week.


Infant Sports’ Day

What a fabulous feast of sport! The spectators watched a range of events which involved throwing, balancing, overcoming obstacles, the sack race and so much more. The children were confident and extremely talented at all the events and I definitely think we have some Olympic athletes of the future in our midst. The children were also excellent at cheering and supporting each other and their enjoyment and enthusiasm were clear to see with big smiles, excitement and laughter. 
The final result was 1st - Italy, 2nd - France and 3rd - Great Britain
Thank you to Mrs Parsons for organising the event and to all the staff for their support. Photographs on Facebook

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Year 2W Assembly

Thank you, Year 2, for your excellent assembly this morning about the Sikh faith. I always enjoy listening to assemblies that are connected with what you are studying in class. I could hear every word you spoke clearly, which was particularly impressive considering the difficult vocabulary. You were all very knowledgeable about Sikhism which was apparent in your confident delivery and when talking to you afterwards. I enjoyed watching your interpretation of the story, which is told to Sikh children, about Guru Nanak. Thank you to 2W and to Mrs Wilson for producing an assembly to such a high standard at the end of a very busy week of tests. Click on the title above to read more.


A Letter to the Trenches

Congratulations to all our performers in Years 3 and 5 for their very memorable and moving performance of ‘A Letter to the Trenches’ last week, to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The play has really helped the children to understand what happened during this period in history and the sacrifices that were made not just on the frontline but also at home. The letters that were read so well by the pupils were written by a local man, Sergeant William Rawcliffe, to his sister Molly. These really helped the children to recognise that this was happening on their doorstep with events happening at Fulwood Barracks and Tidworth; and that Sergeant Rawcliffe was a real man experiencing the horrors of war with courage and dignity. These letters are held at Fulwood Barracks Museum and are available to read in full on

https://preston1914.wordpress.com/from-the-front/

I was very impressed by the children’s acting and their ability to convey the emotions, atmosphere and feelings of this period with clarity and conviction.

I would also like to thank all the parents and children who made poppies and shared their family histories with us which are still on display in the Dining Room.   

Thank you to Mrs Duke and Miss Macklam who worked so hard in Music and Drama to bring this production to life and to Miss Burns for her help with the dancers and with the sound and lights. Mrs Shackleton has been instrumental in supporting this performance and working on authenticity and factual accuracy. Her display is thought-provoking and incredibly interesting and I know we have her husband to thank for his DIY and research skills. I would also like to thank the parents from other classes who helped with the refreshments at the Interval. Click on the title above to read more. Photographs are on Facebook


French Assembly


Thank you to Mme Morrice and to everyone who performed in the French Assembly. It was 4 years ago that we decided to introduce French to all years from as young as our Pre-School and you could certainly see the benefits of that today. The depth of vocabulary from parts of the body, to animals, through to the weather, was very impressive. It was also good to see the children in Year 5 saying what food they like and ordering it in French. The Year 6 recited long paragraphs in French in which they described each other. The assembly really showed how their language skills have come together in Year 6 and the progress they all make each year. The Assembly also told us about the culture and geography of France. This really gives their lessons and vocabulary some perspective. All the children once again demonstrated their confidence when speaking in public - even in a different language! Click on the title above to read more.


Out and About in Highfield Haven

With Year One

On Tuesday, it was a beautiful day and Year 1 took advantage of the weather and went into the grounds to collect leaves for their Science topic on plants. They also linked it in with their topic from last term on Living and Not Living. Zainab ran up straight away with a leaf to show me. She was beaming and appeared very at ease in her new surroundings (this is only her second week in her new class). Martha showed me a leaf skeleton and already we had an example of leaves that were living and not living. Alex explained that for leaves to grow they need to drink, eat and breathe. Nandini then found a ladybird which she was delighted to show the other children. Brooke was really enjoying exploring the different plants and was proud to announce that she had found wild garlic and she was right! Hiba found lots of different leaves, holding them up to the sunlight to examine them carefully. The overall scene was lovely: the sun’s rays were reflecting through the trees, casting different shadows; the children’s faces were lighting up when they found something new; all this with the constant excited chatter of the children and birds all around. I returned to my office invigorated and uplifted, ready to take on the next bit of paperwork! Click on the title above to read more.


A Letter to the Trenches


Rehearsals are well underway for the performance by Years 3 and 5 of ‘A Letter to the Trenches’. The songs are ringing out from the music room and I am sure many of you are probably also now word perfect due to lots of singing and line learning during the Easter holiday! The acting is being perfected in the Performing Arts Studio and children will be fitted with their costumes next week. 


We have also had an incredible response to our request for poppies with some wonderful designs and personal messages of remembrance. Mrs Duke was overwhelmed by the response and sends a very big thank you to you all for your thoughtfulness, hard work and creativity.


All poppies will be on display on the evening as well as a variety of World War 1 memorabilia. The play commemorates the 100th anniversary of the First World War and will take place, almost to the day, on the 100th anniversary of when the play was set. The play will take place at 6pm on the evening of Thursday 30th April so please have the date pencilled in your diary. We will announce when tickets are available from the Office (early next week). It may be advisable to stock up on Kleenex as I watched the closing scene yesterday, and walked away with a sizeable lump in my throat. Click on the title above to read more.


Year 4’s Outdoor Pursuits at Rivington 

All our Year 4 children travelled to Rivington on Thursday to take part in their major team building event of the year: orienteering. They were divided into different groups and had to navigate their way around a course, using a map to find posts with letters. The course was approximately 4 miles through woodland and next to a lake.  

The teams, after their initial eagerness to find the posts first, found that -by taking their time to look at the maps, study the terrain and check the distance by pacing out the route -they were able to locate the posts more quickly. Their teamwork, communication and observation skills really improved throughout the day and by the end of the course they had an excellent understanding of how to use a map and how to navigate themselves around a course. Thank you to Mrs Jones for organising the event and all the staff who supported the children on the day. Click on the title above to read more.


Out and About with Year Six’s HPSED Examinations

 

This week, Year Six have been performing their own version of the ‘I have a dream’ speech by Martin Luther King in which they dream of a better world for their HPSED examinations. On Monday, a number of the pupils gave us a preview of what they have been working on. George, Archie, Tom N, Kieran, Ian, Jonathan and Ismaeel delivered the original speech as a group performance which they had choreographed themselves. It was very effective with pupils saying sections together and on their own, kneeling down and standing up together, throwing their fists into the air and ending with, “…knowing that we will be free one day!” It was very powerful and impressive. They were then followed by Sam, Tom D and Harry with their prepared examination speeches. These were written by the pupils about important issues which have an adverse effect on today’s society and their dream for change. The language that they used was incredibly advanced and emotive and their audience was captivated. To stand in front of the whole school and deliver a powerful speech which lasted a number of minutes was a staggering achievement for each of them. We listened in mesmerised silence to ten and eleven year old boys delivering a speech of which any adult would have been proud. Congratulations to all the Year 6 children who performed in the Assembly and to the rest of our Year 6 who received their certificates and medals today and who never cease to amaze me with what heights they can achieve when they ‘Aim High!’   To read more about our week, click on the title above.


Thank you Year 3 for reminding us who is the most important person in our lives: our mums. It was very special to hear about why your mum is special to you: from making great pasta dishes; to mums doing silly dances; to being there to referee when you have arguments with your siblings. We really felt the special bond between you and your mums. You made us smile, laugh and, in some cases, shed a tear. Thank you for making us reflect and think about our own mothers and I hope that you choose very carefully at the Mothers’ Day shop. Thank you to Mrs Morrice for arranging the assembly. Click on the title above to read more.


Helena Pielichaty -Author Visits Highfield (by Harry 6H)

On Wednesday 4th March, we had a spectacular visit from the exceptional author Helena Pielichaty.  Helena has written over 30 children’s books; the first published in 1998.  Helena has a great bubbly personality, it shone through during the interview Ismaeel and I had with her for the Year 6 Gazette. She gave two workshop sessions during her visit – the first with Years 3 and 4 and the second with Years 5 and 6.  I thoroughly enjoyed her visit and it was a pleasure meeting her personally.  Thank you Helena for hosting a wonderful day! To read more about our week, click on the title above.


Out and About

I was walking down the Art and ICT corridor on Tuesday and was at a loss as to where all the children had gone. I peered through the Art room window and, to my surprise, the whole of 4D were there, transfixed by their individual projects. I was keen to see what had them so absorbed and motivated. Ahmed explained that they were doing DT this term and that they were making decorative bird boxes, including their own birds as ornaments for the house. Millie was delicately taking real care to trace out a design for her box, focusing on getting every detail correct. Amelia was really enjoying the task and was excited about it being displayed on Open Day. Clare and Isabelle were deep in concentration on their very intricate patterns. Isabelle was particularly keen to show me her bird box which was painted in a very striking red colour. Suzanna explained to me that she was painting the easy parts before focusing on the detail. Katie was first to finish her decorative birds and explained how they would be attached to the box. It was lovely to see the children in our Art Studio working so passionately with our specialist teacher Miss Jewitt. You could certainly see the commitment and enthusiasm by the children for the project.

The work inside and outside our Art Studio has been updated over the last few weeks, giving you a real flavour of what the children have been working on over the last few months. It is very impressive and definitely worth a visit on Open Day. Click on the title above to read more.


Thank you Year 6 for your assembly which retold the story of David and Goliath this morning. The audience really enjoyed the play and the noise level from the singing and chanting really woke everybody up! We could hear every word clearly and your expressive performance really conveyed the message of your story. Thank you Mrs Haythornthwaite for organising the assembly. I know that our Year 6 will continue to set an example to the rest of the school and show the strength and courage to deal with any difficult problems they come across. Click on the title above to read more.


Wow 2M what a brilliant assembly! It was like watching a full-scale production with the wonderful singing and acting. You made sure we could hear every word and your enthusiasm and exuberance for the topic of the Fire of London really shone through. I know from watching your rehearsal earlier in the week how much you enjoyed preparing for this assembly and it was lovely to witness that enjoyment as you performed today with big beaming smiles on your faces. Thank you to Mr Murray for organising this assembly and to Miss Kidd for her support. Click on the title above to read more.


Swimming Olympic Style!

Three Highfield swimmers had an incredible experience last Saturday at the National ISA swimming finals in the Olympic Pool, London. Just stepping through the entrance and looking down at the Olympic pool below with the electronic scoreboards and over 1000 spectators either side took your breath away. As I took in my surroundings we realised that Katie was about to start her breaststroke final. We were in a prime position to watch her dominate the race and become National Champion; this was quickly followed by Matthew in his backstroke event. Matthew’s strength and determination in the second half of the race beat all the opposition and he too became National Champion. In the afternoon, Katie repeated her fantastic performance from the morning with a convincing win in front crawl to become National Champion in a second event.

The times they achieved also made Matthew and Katie the fastest swimmers in the country in their age group for these events; an incredible achievement! Click on the title above to read more...

 


What can I say! Highfield Priory School put on a production of The Witches in the Charter Theatre on Wednesday night. The play started with children as young as 4 taking to the stage to perform a very memorable witches’ dance which was to set the scene for the rest of the performance. The children’s confidence and the quality of their acting was quite incredible in ones so young. To stand on a stage in the main theatre in Preston with the spot light on you in front of 300 people, sometimes on your own, was nothing short of amazing! You really made each part your own and the audience was yours from the start to the finish. The dancers showed a variety of genres of dance: street jazz, ballet and tap, which they have been learning in extra-curricular clubs at school. All their practice really paid off with so many dancers coming together for each dance and performing to a very high standard. To see nearly 100 pupils, which is over half our school, taking centre stage (with the majority of performers being between the ages of 4 -9) was amazing. The buzz from the audience afterwards included many positive comments from members of the public, who were not connected with the school (but had bought tickets just to see you!) as well as from very proud parents. You should all be very proud of yourselves indeed. As one member of Year 4 said after the show, “Now I know I can do anything!” Click on the title above to read more.


The term is now really underway and the children are so busy working hard and taking advantage of a variety of experiences and activities this term. Year 6 are studying hard for their Entrance Examinations, The Witches are preparing for their dress rehearsal and final performance, competitive sporting fixtures have started and we have some new activities this term which include a school band. Click on the title above to read more.


Friday 9th January, 2015

Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

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Friday 12th December, 2014

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Friday 5th December, 2014

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 Friday 28th November, 2014

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Friday 21st November, 2014

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Headmaster's News - 14 November 2014


Headmaster's News - 7 November 2014