Highfield Priory
Jan 16, 2015

Headmaster's Weekly News, 16th January, 2015


16 January 2015

Dear Parents

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.

Out and About

I popped in to our Performing Arts Studio on Thursday to see some of the final preparations for The Witches. Year 4 were rehearsing Scene 5: Abigail, Olivia E, Charlie, Tyler, Matthew W and Ahmed were all on stage.   Ahmed and Tyler were playing Bruno and Luke and were working hard to perfect their acting and words so that their hand puppets would come to life on stage. They were really enjoying the experience, taking on board Mrs Duke’s directions and making final adjustments. The rest of Year 4 were listening intently and their laughter showed the actors how they could ‘play’ an audience and involve them in their performance. Tickets are still available for Wednesday night’s performance of The Witches at The Charter Theatre but time is running out!   

Year 6 Circle Time

I worked with two groups of children from Year 6 this week and discussed their targets and aspirations for the rest of the year. They are at a very busy and important stage of the year with Entrance Examinations followed by their final preparations for their NCT examinations. We spoke about working hard to achieve their own personal best and that the upcoming exams were a chance for them to shine and show what they had learnt and achieved during their time at Highfield. We also talked about all the exciting events they had to look forward to in the remaining part of Year 6. Looking around each group, I was very proud of all the children sitting in front of me who have achieved so much already at Highfield in so many areas. They were sitting confidently, looking very smart and comfortable in who they were. This also came through in the preparation for interviews which I did with some of them this week during which they spoke very knowledgably and eloquently. Good luck to all those pupils in Year 6 who are taking examinations this month. Approach each examination with confidence and show the examiner what a Highfield pupil is capable of achieving!

Highfield Pupils represent Lancashire!

Nine Highfield pupils represented their county at Chess last weekend: Ben, Harry, John, Muhammad, Alexander and Dev from Year 5 and Daniel, Ivan and Matthew from Year 3. 

Lancashire played a triangular match against Manchester and Oldham at Bridgewater School in Manchester.  The U11 team won outright and the U9 team were joint winners with Manchester.  All the boys played very well with many winning two of their games; Daniel was awarded a medal for winning all three of his games. Well done boys! Mrs Haythornthwaite

Rugby v Sedbergh

A number of Year 5 and 6 boys attended a training session at Sedbergh Preparatory School on Wednesday. The event was hosted by Mr Gonzalez Mendia who coaches with Newcastle Falcons and England Roses. The conditions were cold and muddy, nevertheless, the boys received a very enlightening training session regarding various aspects of contact rugby. A major focus for the session was on tackling technique and the short game that followed at the end featured some very big hits. Hopefully, we can take our new knowledge on to the pitch in our competitive fixtures later in the term. Thank you to all at Sedbergh Preparatory for making it possible! Mr Turner


Last weekend, Katie H (4M), became the second pupil in school to become the fastest swimmer in the country for an event in her age group. She is now the fastest 50m freestyle swimmer in the country.


Miss Sanderson will be leaving us on Friday to take up a position as a nanny. Miss Sanderson has been at the school for 5 years and has provided excellent care for all the children in Nursery during her time at Highfield. She will be missed by all the children, staff and many parents. I would like to thank her on behalf of everyone and wish her the best of luck in her new post.

A New School Band!

Mr Murray will be running a school band activity on Thursdays at 1.10pm from Thursday 29 January. This is a fantastic opportunity for the children and will hopefully lead to a number of public performances later in the year. If you are interested, your child needs to be able to play an instrument, knowing more than 6 notes. Please return the slip sent by parentmail.

Driving Safely on our School Site

Please could I remind parents that the speed limit on the school site is 10 miles/hour. We have had several complaints recently from parents that a numbers of drivers are driving too fast and are putting children in danger.

Snow and Icy Weather

Please remember to take care when approaching and leaving school in poor driving conditions. If Fulwood Row is impassable or not suitable for two wheel drive cars, please park and walk down to school with your child/children. It may also be sensible for some parents to consider driving down Fulwood Row from Longsands Lane, to relieve pressure on the main route down Fulwood Row. Please remember, in poor conditions the safety of the children should always come first, so leave plenty of time for your journey and don’t feel you have to rush into school before the bell. Thank you for your co-operation.

PTA Survey

The PTA has included a survey with this newsletter to give an idea of which events were successful last year and which events you would like them to consider running in the future. Please complete and return to the office. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PTA for all they do for Highfield. We had a large number of very successful events last year which not only the children and families enjoyed but which also managed to raise lots of funds to support the school.


RB: Isa   RF: Sara   1D: Alaia   2M: Joshua   2W: Emma

3H: Sophie   3M: Ibrahim   4D: Clare   4M: Thomas   5H: John   6H: Sam

Monitor of the week: George

Thought for the week

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. Samuel Johnson

Yours sincerely

J M Duke