Highfield Priory
Dec 12, 2014

Headmaster's Weekly News

12 December 2014

Dear Parents

What an incredibly busy and successful term this has been. It began with the excellent news that our Year 6 children had passed their Grammar school examinations. This was followed later in the term with Highfield retaining its position as the top Independent Preparatory school in Lancashire (and 29th in the country) for our NCT results which were published in The Sunday Times. Our academic prowess also shone through in the Bolton Big Quiz General Knowledge competition in which Highfield finished 1st out of 14 teams. It has been a busy term for music and drama with our accomplished musicians performing in a musical assembly and singing carols at Barton Grange, Bethany House and our Carol Service; our dramatists have been rehearsing for next term’s Charter Theatre performance of “The Witches”. We have also enjoyed wonderful performances by our Infants, Reception Class, Pre-School and Nursery and our Juniors have been busy with their Public Speaking exams. It has been busy on the games front with our girls winning the Under 10 ISA Northern Swimming Gala and three swimmers qualifying to swim in the Olympic pool in London at the national final. Our cross country team came second out of 23 teams at the Malsis cross country and we made an impressive start in the ISA football cup. Our chess players continue to do well, being placed highly in the county congresses. So many memories from our Autumn Term and these are just a few of our successes this term.

Highfield Nativity

Wow! What a performance! Congratulations to Year 2, Year 1 and Reception for your amazing performance of Children of the World on Monday and Tuesday. I have never seen so many young pupils take centre stage with such confidence. I could hear every word clearly and your projection was very impressive. The singing was also excellent and it was lovely to see how much you enjoyed each song, performing it with such enthusiasm and big beaming smiles. I also thought the solo singers were very special, showing no nerves and singing so beautifully. I am very proud of you all and excited by the heights you will achieve in the years to come at Highfield. Thank you to Mr Murray and Mrs Wilson for the production and all the staff in Key Stage 1 and Reception for your support. Thank you also to Miss Burns for the choreography and work with the dancers.

New Governor

The Annual Governors’ Meeting took place on 27 November I am delighted to announce that Mr Kumar was elected as a new Governor for the school. I would like to thank him for standing and offering his support to Highfield and I welcome him onto our Governing Body.

Carol Service

Thursday night was a very special night for Highfield Priory School with one of our highlights of the year: our annual Carol Service at St Maria Goretti. The singing was wonderful with a lovely arrangement of carols. The children’s composure and quality of singing really showed Highfield pupils at their best and made the evening a very memorable event. I would like to thank Miss Macklam and her choir for all their hard work in preparation for this service.

Carol Singing at Bethany House

Year 6 visited Bethany House on Thursday to sing carols and recite readings. The children always enjoy their visit and this came across in their performance for which they received much applause and a lot of tapping of fingers and feet; a number of the residents joined in. However, I think the children and the residents gained the most from the conversations that took place after the performance. It was very rewarding to see the children engaging enthusiastically with the ladies and gentlemen. Eyes lit up as they reminisced or talked about their own family, grandchildren and Christmas. The children always make such a big impact in such a short period of time and the buzz of the conversations as they walked back to school showed they had also gained an awful lot from the experience. I would like to wish all the staff and residents at Bethany House a very Happy Christmas from Highfield; thank you for having us.

Y6 Visit to Bethany House! by Amy and Kieran

On Wednesday 10th December, Year 6 visited Bethany House to sing Christmas carols and talk to the residents. We all enjoyed ourselves and we noticed that the residents were having fun; they were singing along to the songs that they were fond of. We sang the songs that we thought they would recognise … and they did!

After a few carols, we went to speak to the residents. The question that was mostly asked by them was: “What are all those badges for?” A couple of the residents ‘thought’ that I (Kieran) was the cleverest because of all my badges. After talking to all the residents we sang our favourite three songs: O Come All Ye Faithful, Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Jingle Bells starred Mrs Haythornthwaite with her bells!

We had a great time and received a massive round of applause from them when we left; hopefully we made their Christmas and their day!

Nursery Dance Show

Thank you to all the children in 2+ Nursery who performed an incredible range of dances, which involved fish, robots and trains - just to name a few of the movements! It was lovely to see what you do each week in your lessons with Miss Burns and your enjoyment really shone through in your performance. Thank you to Miss Burns and all the Nursery staff involved.

Christmas Donations

I would like to thank everyone for their kind donations after the Nativity and Christmas Carol Service. The total raised is £475.84 which will be split between Derian House and The Space Centre, Preston.

Thank you to our PTA!

I would like to thank our PTA, on behalf of the whole school, for their support over the last few weeks. The Christmas Fayre last Friday was an excellent event enjoyed by everyone, especially the children. The Christmas decorations, once again, look fantastic and give the school a very festive atmosphere; the tea and coffee after both Infant Nativity performances were also very well received. Our PTA has raised lots of money for school funds this term; a letter from them has been included with this newsletter, outlining where the funds will be spent this year.    

Christmas Lunch

Mrs McGrath and the whole kitchen team treated us all to a fantastic Christmas lunch on Wednesday. The atmosphere was lovely with Christmas hats being worn, seasonal jokes were told and Christmas music was played. I would like to thank Mrs McGrath and her team for all their hard work this year from all the children and staff. You have so many very happy customers!

Colne Junior Chess Congress

Nine Highfield chess players took part in last weekend’s Congress with some excellent results: Matthew (3M) won the Tiny Pawns section and John (5H) won the Pawns section; Muhammad (5H) was third in the Pawns section; Harry (5H) was joint 3rd in the Knights section; Alexander (5H) was 3rd in the Rooks section and Ivan (3M) was third in the Queens section.  Congratulations also go to Ben (5H), Daniel (3M) and Jacob (4D) for scoring points after some tough matches.

Mrs Haythornthwaite


The next Junior Chess Congress will take place on Saturday 10th January; the venue is yet to be confirmed.  Coaching will also take place on this day and the Lancashire coaches will be on the look-out for this year’s Lancashire U9 and U11 players.

Mrs Haythornthwaite

Work over Christmas in Nursery

We will be making some improvements to our Nursery facility over the Christmas period. The 2+ Nursery will be situated in Pre-School and our Holiday Club will be in Reception whilst work is being completed. We anticipate that the work should only take a few days, with the first day being this coming Monday.

Monitor of the week: Ian

Thought for the Christmas holidays

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

Calvin Coolidge

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a joyful New Year. I look forward to seeing you all in 2015!

Yours sincerely

J M Duke