Design and Technology
Design and Technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow's rapidly changing technologies. They learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. The subject calls for pupils to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. They must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects. Through design and technology, all pupils can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.
At Highfield Priory the children have lots of fun designing and making using a range of tools, techniques and materials. The children are taught knowledge, skills and understanding through investigating and evaluating a range of familiar products, thinking about how they work, how they are used and the views of the people who use them. They complete focused practical tasks that develop a range of techniques, skills, processes and knowledge. They complete design and make assignments using a range of materials, including electrical and mechanical components, food, mouldable materials, stiff and flexible sheet materials, and textiles. They create work on their own, and through collaboration with others.
Throughout the school year children have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of productions including class assemblies, the infant nativity and end of year junior school production. These are much enjoyed by parents and friends of the school whilst providing a wonderful and exciting opportunity for the children to work together effectively. Recent highly successful productions have been further enhanced by the purchase of high quality modern stage lighting and sound equipment.
Several theatre companies visit the school providing a variety of superb entertainment and Shakespearean workshops for the children. Our children also have the opportunity to visit local theatre productions.
Public Speaking, Elocution and Drama (HPSED)
Highfield Pupils begin the study of Public Speaking, Elocution and Drama when they enter the Junior School and begin Year Three. They are, however, invited to attend a Public Speaking and Drama Club as Infants in order to introduce them to this new subject.
Why? At Highfield, we believe in the importance of preparing our pupils, not just for their Secondary School, but for Life. Our Public Speaking, Elocution and Drama lessons aim to develop a child’s communication and presentation skills. The voice is the basic tool with which they are able to make friends, share experiences, develop their talents and present themselves to the world. Through the study of Speech and of Drama, we teach our pupils to speak with clear diction and appropriate intonation. We teach them the importance of self awareness and awareness of their audience. As they grow in confidence, our pupils become more able to speak out freely in any given situation; and to speak with clarity and judgement.
We also aim to make sure our pupils are courteous and effective listeners. Through small group work, they learn to value each other’s contribution and to show each other respect. The importance of retaining information in order to ask and to answer relevant questions is constantly enforced.
Our principle aim is that each child is confident and comfortable in their ability to communicate and that each child is given the opportunity to speak publicly in front of an audience on a regular basis.
How? In the Autumn Term, all year groups will work on their Presentation Skills. They will spend the first half of term concentrating on presenting themselves in the best possible way, with focus on: eye contact, hand shake, stance, manners, clothing and hair and the elimination of bad habits. For Years Five and Six, this will also include interview technique in preparation for Senior School Interviews. They will then progress to presenting something, as well as themselves, to an audience. For the lower years, this will be a favourite toy, game or holiday; by Year 5 it will be demonstrating a skill or a recipe; and in Year 6 it will be a power point presentation.
The children will take an HPSED exam in Presentation Skills at the end of this term.
The Public Speaking Assembly will be a demonstration of the children’s Presentation skills across the year groups.
Spring Term -The focus this term will be on Drama. The children will learn rôle play, tableaux, mime, hot-seating, characterisation, improvisation, script writing and creative storytelling, script learning and script delivery. The development of their imaginations during this term will have a very positive impact on their literacy skills.
There will be no HPSED exam at the end of this term. The children will receive a continuous assessment award which will be an average of their classwork, homework and public presentation.
Summer Term -In this term, the emphasis will be on the art of persuasion.
Years 3 and 4 will focus on speaking for a purpose -to instruct, explain and persuade.
Years 5 and 6 will focus on learning and delivering famous speeches. They will learn about the science of speech writing and what makes a successful speech. This will lead on to writing and delivering their own speeches within a debating forum. Year 5 will work on a balloon debate and Year 6 will work on a traditional public debate.
Both debates will be available for parents to see in a Debating Assembly in the second half of the Summer Term.
The children will take an HPSED exam in Public Speaking and Debating.
There will also be an opportunity at the end of this term, for those who wish, to take an external York Academy of Speech and Drama exam.
Where? The lessons take place in the Public Speaking, Elocution and Drama room which is situated next to the Science Laboratory. The children will also be given the opportunity to perform in larger venues to a variety of audiences within the school.
The aims of the English Department are geared towards developing confident and competent writers, readers, listeners and speakers. English is taught in the context of a broad, balanced curriculum and is guided by the statutory requirements of the Early Learning Goals and the National Curriculum.
A wide range of resources and approaches are used so that each pupil can reach their full potential in all areas of English. Role play and practical activities run alongside more formal spelling and grammar sessions. A structured handwriting scheme begins in Reception with pupils developing a neat, cursive script by Year 3.
Reading is a very important part of school life and all pupils are actively encouraged to become avid readers. Pupils in Key Stage 2 participate in the 'Reading Challenge' where certificates, badges, trophies and book tokens are awarded.
Due to the excellent teaching in this area, 91% of Year 6 pupils achieved a Level 5 in English.
French is taught in Years 3, 4, 5, and 6 - two lessons per week. The language is taught for real purposes with great emphasis put onto the speaking, listening and reading of French. Children are encouraged to develop confidence, to use the language as often as possible and to develop a good understanding of basic French as well as some of the French way of life and culture. Extra curricular activities are organised throughout the year such as a French breakfast, picnic, French mufti day, French assembly - French songs, poetry or playlets are also used during lessons.
Highfield uses the very popular primary school schemes La Jolie Ronde and Escalier.
History & Geography
In these areas of learning children are developing the crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the modern world. Children need help to establish their own identity, their place in the wider world and how they feel about the features that surround them. They learn about their ability to care for and protect the unique features of the environment, a prerequisite for responsible participation in society. Teaching the subjects of history and geography provides essential learning for citizenship, appreciating the many similarities we share with other societies and localities, in addition to the differences. It encourages children to see beyond the "stereotypical" view of a locality or nation, providing an understanding of why and how the features there were formed. Through teaching the children can gain both the confidence and knowledge to inform others and even dispel prejudicial ideas.
The information handling skills developed through the study of history and geography have a wide applicability in everyday life. Through varied, practical and well-structured activities the children learn to develop a questioning approach, which they can apply to the world around them. This approach helps children to face new experiences and surroundings with confidence and ambition.
The ICT curriculum is delivered to all children from Year 1 to Year 6 by a full-time specialist teacher. Children in reception and nursery are introduced to computing in their own classrooms, where they are able to gain experience and confidence using networked computers loaded with many fun programmes and supported by staff who really care and help them to enjoy this experience. Throughout the school the children benefit from fully networked, Internet linked computers, running the latest software and interactive whiteboards that help teachers feed their imaginations, encouraging cross-curriculum usage and fun activities.
We have a spacious ICT suite, housing 22 modern, networked computers and one other that is linked to an interactive whiteboard, constantly used to deliver an exciting, comprehensive curriculum. All children leave Highfield capable of touch-typing and totally confident in the use of computers.
One of our aims is to integrate the use of computers across the curriculum, thus encouraging the children to view the computer as a useful tool for learning about many subjects and interests. Learning takes place in a friendly, safe environment that adds to the confidence of our children.
Containing a comprehensive stock of over 4,500 fiction and non-fiction titles the library is located centrally in a light and airy room on the top floor of the most recent extension to the school. It is stocked and maintained by a part-time librarian, who is assisted in the day to day organisation by a small team of Year 6 pupils who act as library monitors.
Every child from nursery to Year 6 is timetabled to visit once a week as part of a small group, borrowing being monitored by class teachers and nursery nurses. From their earliest visits, pupils are encouraged to develop their library skills; support material is available for use both in school and at home.
The specially designated area for Foundation Stage and Key stage 1 pupils is comfortably furnished and books are displayed "face on" to present a colourful and welcoming environment, in which children can browse happily. The Mini Library offers a wide selection of titles for the newly confident readers of Years 2 and 3, while the Junior Library, catering for the 7-11 year olds has extensive fiction stock featuring many of the latest titles in addition to well loved classics.
Non-fiction books in both the Key Stage 1 and 2 libraries are organised by the library Codecracker, an easy to use colour code incorporating the Dewey System. Easily understood by the younger children it has proved to be an ideal stepping stone to the children's confident use of senior school and public libraries.
The most recent additions to the library have included a state-of-the-art plasma screen television, together with new furniture including bean bags and seating chosen by the children. To make the library as comfortable and welcoming as possible, air conditioning and upgraded lighting have also been installed.
At Highfield we recognize that mathematics is important in everyday life. With this in mind we strive to ensure that children develop a healthy and enthusiastic approach towards the subject which will stay with them. Our curriculum is aimed at producing independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident children. We also aim to provide a stimulating environment and superb resources so that our children can develop their mathematical skills to their full potential.
Children are encouraged to work in a variety of ways which include:
- group work
- paired work
- whole class teaching
- individual work
Pupils engage in:
- the development of mental strategies
- written methods
- practical work
- investigational work
- problem solving
- mathematical discussion
- consolidation of basic skills and number facts.
We are proud of the achievement of all our pupils; we particularly celebrate our SAT's success which for 2010 was 100% level 4 and 88% level 5.
The teaching of music at Highfield Priory School provides a colourful element to both the curriculum and the life of our school. Music is taught by specialist staff in a fully equipped Music Room. All pupils enjoy music-making in their weekly lessons where they have the opportunity to access a wide variety of classroom percussion instruments whilst composing and performing. In addition to this, all our children are given tuition for the electronic keyboard and the descant recorder.
Extra-curricular activities are organized so that pupils of different ages and stages of development can extend and challenge their skills beyond the class lessons. The School Choir performs regularly in our school productions and visits are also arranged to perform within our local community. We have a team of peripatetic instrumental teachers who visit the school weekly giving piano, brass and woodwind tuition. Music technology is also a vital part of the children's whole musical experience and their knowledge is enhanced by a Music Technology Club.
Visiting musicians are invited to perform at the school; this may take the form of a performance or a workshop. Within the school year, there are a variety of musical productions taking place, presenting the children with the opportunity to perform individually or with a group. It is important that all children have the experience of performing musically during their education at Highfield Priory School.
Through Physical Education we will create positive attitudes to physical activity, enabling all children to benefit from life long participation.
Highfield Priory was the first Primary School in Preston to receive the prestigious Activemark Gold Award presented by All England Sports Association in recognition for the provision of sport within the school. Highfield has held this award since 2000.
At Highfield Priory the aim is to provide a programme to develop skills and concepts in relation to physical competence, health and related fitness, safe practice and social skills.
Pupils are taught by specialist P.E staff who work to promote the development of movement, co-ordination and the acquisition of a wide range of motor skills.
We offer a wide range of sports in school, so that each child can enjoy taking part in physical activity as a basis for life. Of primary importance are the needs and entitlement of every pupil to receive a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum in order to help them reach their full potential.
Children will participate in gymnastics, dance, swimming, football, tag rugby, hockey, netball, orienteering, athletics, rounders and cricket. These activities will be taught at any time throughout Key Stages 1 and 2.
Extra-curricular activities are offered during the lunch break and after school. In addition to the sports mentioned above we also have karate, tennis, whizzkidz, multi- sports, Highfield heroes, and ballet.
We compete regularly in local sports events and have an extensive fixture list, however all extra-curricular clubs are provided in order to offer every child the opportunity to develop their skills and interests and we strongly encourage them all to participate in one or many areas.
PSHE - Personal , Social, and Health Education
At Highfield we believe in a broad and balanced curriculum, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is an integral part of that curriculum. Within our PSHE curriculum we hope to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy independent lives. Pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities including the school council where children meet with the Headteacher on a weekly basis to put forward their views on a variety of issues.
The school ethos is firmly embedded within PSHE. Children develop their sense of social justice and moral responsibility. At Highfield we offer an open and supportive environment where pupils develop good relationships with their peers and staff. This is extended through PSHE circle time where pupils discuss different aspects of the curriculum such as friendship, self-esteem, keeping healthy and children's rights and responsibilities.
Religious Education at Highfield aims to promote a positive awareness of the major religions of the world in order to foster empathy, understanding and knowledge of others' faiths. As teachers and educators, we see this as highly important in today's multi-cultural, multi-faith society. The RE curriculum is based on the Lancashire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and aims to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development within every child.
In each year, Christianity is represented in the following ways:-
God - a creator God who is active in the world redeeming and sustaining it.
Jesus - the perfect expression of God; He is the Christ, Son of God, Saviour.
The Church - a community of believers from all races and nationalities. Christians believe that the Church is the whole community of those who are committed to life lived in the Spirit of Jesus.
The other five major religions of the world which are taught comprise Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Sikh Dharam. The religions are presented as a living faith and members of faith communities are encouraged in to school to give talks and presentations. In addition, trips are organised, where appropriate, to places of worship and have so far included Ladyewell Shrine in Fulwood and the Manjushri Buddhist Centre at Ulverston, Cumbria.
Science at Highfield is very practically based. We allow children to build on their own experiences and assess carefully to determine the correct starting point for each child. The children are offered opportunities to develop knowledge and understanding of important scientific ideas, processes and skills and relate these to the world around them. This is introduced in our Early Years Department with the children being allowed to explore and talk about their Knowledge and Understanding of the world.
Further up the School into Key Stages 1 and 2 the children follow a carefully structured scheme which allows for continuity and progression from year to year, building on and extending concepts. In recent years the school has invested considerable funding into improving practical resources allowing staff to deliver a full, interesting and interactive curriculum. The School achieved excellent results in the National Tests (SAT's) for the subject achieving well above the national average in its percentage of children attaining level 5.