Highfield Priory
Mar 27, 2015

Headmaster's News, Friday 27th March, 2015

27 March 2015 
 
Dear Parents 
 
What a busy week! There has been so much variety in the experiences that each class has enjoyed. It has been very rewarding to watch the children enjoy these experiences and shine in so many areas. I hope they all enjoy a well-deserved Easter break and return ready to take on all the exciting challenges of the Summer Term. 
 
Deputy Head Appointed 
I would like to announce that Mr Andrew Sheppeck has accepted the post of Deputy Head from September. He is currently Assistant Head at Altrincham Preparatory School. He is a very experienced Junior Teacher who has been co-ordinator of maths, ICT and PE. Mr Sheppeck’s wealth of experience and specialist subjects will be a great addition to our staff and I look forward to him starting in September. Mr Sheppeck will be coming into school next term before starting in September. 
 
Easter Egg Raffle 
The excitement built up all week to the Easter Egg Raffle on Thursday. The children sat expectantly, biting fingernails and checking their numbers with an eye on their favourite egg. The first number pulled out belonged to Daniel (3M) and we were off. The children were congratulated by their peers as they returned to their place and once again everyone won an egg! In the second draw, on the Friday, for the bigger eggs, the first three tickets drawn were for Dev, Kenny and Aaliyah. Thank you to the PTA for organising this very popular event. 
 
HPPTA News 
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Easter Egg Raffle, donating eggs and buying tickets. We hope you have happy children! 
Also, thank you to Sarah Ridley (4M) for organising the Bags 2 School clothing collection and to those who donated unwanted items. 
Friday 24th April - HPPTA film night - The Lego Movie tickets are available in the school office from the first day back after the Easter break. The film will start promptly at 5.30pm.  
Amy Troner (3M and RF) has now stepped down as Vice Chair. We would like to once again thank her for all her years of hard work and time dedicated to everything involved in running the PTA. Fehmina Muhammad (3H) and Pam Kay (6H and 3M) have taken on the role of  
Co-Vice Chair. We also welcome Dimal Patel (1D) as Co-Secretary alongside Samina Ali (3M and RB). 
 
Mrs Duke’s Poppies 
Please don’t forget to make your poppies for our poppy field of remembrance. I hope you enjoy making them together during the Easter holidays. I look forward to receiving your flowers in the first week back. 
  
Pre-School Visitors 
Pre-School were visited by lots of mini beasts on Wednesday which included Brian and Snowy, the giant snails; Magic, the butterfly, and Incy Wincy Spider, the tarantula! All the children were incredibly gentle with the creepy crawlies and Muhammad, Diya and Jaya were particularly brave and keen to hold all of the animals. Leo and Riley pretended to be a tree so that they could hold the stick insects. Eliza, Thomas P and Alina wore Pink, the snake, around their necks!  The children really enjoyed the experience and there are some fantastic pictures on the school’s Facebook page if you want to get a close up view of our visitors. 
 
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. 
 
Travelling by Tuba 
Travelling by Tuba visited on Wednesday and took the school on a journey through the history of wind instruments from the conch, which was played thousands of years ago, to the horn in Viking times, to the cornet, which was popular in Tudor times, right through to the tuba. There was a lot of pantomime humour which was enjoyed particularly by our younger pupils. 
 
County Chess Tournament on Saturday 
On Saturday, 8 boys from Highfield represented Lancashire in the Northern Region of the National Schools Chess Competition against ten other regions. The children played in three matches each and gained a point from each match towards their county’s overall total. It was my first experience of a county event; the day started at 11am with a team talk to boost confidence and instil self-belief and to give any final coaching tips. The children then headed off for their first match. They all played against different regions with matches lasting between 40 minutes to over an hour and in some cases nearly two hours! The level of concentration required was quite amazing with some children only having ten minutes break before playing again. The players never stopped practising in between matches with the coach talking them through the game they had just played and helping with an alternative approach. All players did incredibly well and, after 5 hours, Lancashire came 3rd - just half a point behind Oldham in 2nd and Nottinghamshire in 1st, ahead of seven other regions. The team qualified for the National finals in Nottingham later in the year against regions from the rest of the country. Congratulations to the whole team and the Highfield players and thank you to the Lancashire coaches. 
 
Year 4 Sport 
Last week the boys in Year 4 played competitive matches against other schools on Thursday and Friday.  
On Thursday, a squad of boys played in the Preston Schools’ Football Tournament. They tried very hard all afternoon against very strong opposition. Their passing and teamwork improved as the games progressed and the experience will be of great value to them next year when they will be playing more competitive fixtures. 
On Friday, all the boys in Year 4 travelled to St Mary’s Hall to train and then play their first competitive game of rugby. Mr Walters, Head of PE at St. Mary’s, organised a series of drills to prepare the children for their first game of contact rugby. They worked alongside the boys from St. Mary’s which really helped to build teamwork, communication and camaraderie. They then took part in a contact game, with the emphasis on passing, running hard and tackling. All the boys played well, passing the ball with confidence. Noah and Thomas were particularly elusive with a number of strong runs and they scored a number of tries. Alexander stood out with his tackling, bravely stopping a number of tries. By the end of the game, all the boys were fully involved, playing their part in defence and attack. Although the score was not important, Mr Walters refereed the game to help develop all the boys’ knowledge of the game. St Mary’s won by one try. Mr Drake was very happy with the boys’ progress in their first competitive game and he is looking forward to continuing to develop their skills in his rugby activity which continues next term. 
 
Preston Schools’ Cross Country by Isaac 
On Wednesday 25th March, a group of 6 children represented Highfield in cross country races at Archbishop Temple School.  It was a lovely sunny afternoon, with very little wind and dry underfoot. The race course was approximately 1 mile, including some short sharp hills, tight bends and steep descents/ascents.  The girls’ race was first and the Year 4 girls did amazingly well, finishing in the top 35.  Olivia D was 23rd, Katie R 27th and Isabelle D 33rd. The team was 9th out of 25 teams which was an incredible result in a Year 6 race. 
Then the boys’ turn came and, cheered on by the girls, we managed to finish in the top 30.  Jake was 28th, Tom D came 26th and I was 22nd.  The team came 8th out of 25 teams. 
Well done to all the children, it was a fantastic performance and thank you to the parents and teachers for their support. 
  
Summer Uniform 
Please remember that summer uniform is to be worn on the first day back after the Easter break. Boys, except Y6, should wear grey shorts NOT cargo shorts (with large front pockets), and grey ankle socks. Girls should wear light blue and white striped summer dresses with white ankle socks or white tights.  Children may continue to wear their black shoes or navy closed toe sandals. For PE all children will wear their white polo tops and white socks.  
 
End of Term House Points: 1st Pendle 211.2       2nd  Bowland 208.6      3rd Fylde 198 
 
Class House Point Winners 
3H: 1st James - 279, 2nd Eva – 241                  3M; 1st Charlotte - 251  2nd Matthew - 235   
4D: 1st Jemima - 285   2nd Alexander – 277     4M: 1st Holly 256, 2nd Aditya – 255 
5H: 1st Hassan - 210  2nd Zehran -194             6H:  1st Tom D -243, 2nd Ali -194 
 
Monitors of the Term 
Year 4 – Shaylen    Year 5 – Alex     Year 6 – Archie 
 
Thought for the Week 
 
I hope you all have a very happy Easter break and manage to spend some quality time with your families. 
 
Yours sincerely, 
 
J M Duke  

Headmaster