Highfield Priory
May 8, 2015

Headmaster's Weekly News, Friday 8th May, 2015

8 May 2015

Dear Parents

All the country has talked about during the last few months is the General Election and I would like to thank Year 4 for their assembly this morning which helped us to understand more about the election process. We learnt about the different political parties and their leaders and the definition of key words like ‘hung parliament’ and ‘manifesto’. It was also very interesting to hear the children’s speeches as they put forward their policies and persuaded the audience to “Vote Highfield!”  All the children have been discussing the election in recent weeks and this morning’s Assembly really helped us to understand its relevance and importance to each and every one of us. Thank you Year 4 and Mr Drake for arranging this assembly.  

The General Election in General Knowledge/Current Affairs Lessons

We have been covering yesterday’s general election in General Knowledge and the children were pretty annoyed to discover that they couldn't vote, especially when it came to their education and hospitals. The children wrote their policies and manifesto speeches all independently and I only corrected spellings or grammar; so what we heard today were all their thoughts and opinions. I love the fact that Amelia says: 'the children only make up 27% of the population but they are 100% of the future'. Mr Drake

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


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. 

Year 2 Trip to Clitheroe Castle by Beatrice, Beth, Alfie and Aditya

There was a steep hill that we had to climb to get to the castle. As soon as we got there we met Lady Constance and Sir John! The first thing we did was to learn about shields, axes and spears. We learnt that there were two types of shield, one called a kite and one called a round shield. An axe is the only thing that can cut through a shield. Then we talked about the

armour which was very heavy!  Nothing can break through chain mail, only bows and arrows. We then changed activity and had to make armour for Sir Egbert! We used plastic, cardboard, scissors and masking tape. Only Beth’s egg survived, all the others broke. After lunch, the class explored the motte and bailey and went into the keep. It was a very interesting day and we learnt a lot.

Thank you Year 2 for this account of your adventure to Clitheroe Castle.

Cricket v Oakhill

Our Year 6 squad travelled to a very wet and damp Oakhill for an indoor Kwik Cricket Match on Wednesday. Our captain, Jonathan, won the toss and opted to field first. This proved to be a brilliant choice as Highfield immediately set the tone for the match with catch after catch, keeping the pressure firmly on Oakhill. Highfield stepped up to bat, showing confidence and determination to out-perform the opposition. Kieran, George, Tom D and Jonathan all hit numerous sixes and the team played together brilliantly. Well done to everyone involved! Mr Drake

Congratulations boys on an excellent victory!

National Curriculum Tests

Good luck to all our Year 6 pupils who will be sitting their NCTs next week and to the rest of the school who will be sitting examinations. 

Approach the examinations confidently, read the questions carefully and make sure you have a restful weekend with plenty of sleep!

The Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge

Eight Highfield pupils played in the Megafinal last weekend and I was delighted to hear that all eight had made it through to the third stage of this national competition – the Gigafinal - which will take place on 11th/12th July in Manchester.

Well done to: Isaac and Tom D (Year 6); John, Muhammad, Ben and Alexander (Year 5); Ivan and Daniel (Year 3). Mrs Haythornthwaite 

Staff News 

I would like to offer our best wishes to Mr and Mrs Parsons who are expecting a baby in September.

Merit Awards

RB: Aadi  RF: Genevieve  1D: Stephen  2M: Darcey  2W: Jaison

3H: Evie  3M: Ziyad  4D: The Whole Class  4M: Shaylen  5H: Alexander  6H: Isaac  

Monitors of the week: Harry, Jonathan and Tom D

Thought for the Week

We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. Marie Curie

Yours sincerely 

J M Duke