Highfield Priory
Nov 6, 2015

Headmaster's Weekly News, Friday 6th November, 2015

6 November 2015


Dear Parents


Welcome back. I hope everyone managed to spend some quality time with their family over half term. The children certainly look refreshed and ready for a very busy and exciting new term.


Music Assembly

This morning we had our first musical assembly of the year. We watched 16 individual performers and our largest ever school choir with 80 singers! There was a range of instruments being played from the oboe through to the baritone. Seven children were also playing for the first time. It was a wonderful assembly which was enjoyed by the whole audience. It really showed us how music is continuing to go from strength to strength at Highfield. Thank you Miss Macklam for arranging this assembly. Please visit our Facebook page to see our performers.


Children in Need

It is Children in Need Day next Friday and the children from each year group have chosen the fancy dress they wish to wear, as a class, for the day. Please could all children bring £1 and hand it in to their class teacher on the day.





1W- Heroes



3M-Pyjamas and Crazy Hair


4D-Pyjamas and Crazy Hair

4S-Black and White Clothes and Crazy Hair

5H-Onesies and Pyjamas


6H-Crazy tie, socks, shoes and hair


Please could all children bring sensible footwear and warm coats (and vests if they are wearing pyjamas)


All-Weather Pitch

The all-weather pitch is up and running and has been used for activities and curriculum lessons all this week. I don’t know who has been more excited the children or the staff! There is still some work to finish on the ground surrounding the pitch and it will be some time before we can access the new car park and playing field. The pitch is an excellent addition to the school and to have our hockey players and football players on it, under floodlight, on the first Monday back was excellent to see. We are already trying to book in some home fixtures now for this term and we will let you know when we have confirmation of our first sporting star to visit the school.


ISA Awards

We have been shortlisted for a school of excellence award by the Independent Schools Association:  Junior/Prep Award for Excellence and Innovation in Provision.

The Awards Ceremony will take place next Friday in the Midlands. This is the only award solely for prep schools and with 370 Schools in the organisation it is a real honour to be shortlisted. The award is focused on our excellent academic results with our Innovation in Provision being the work we do in HPSED, preparing children to communicate with confidence in a modern world and its link to our improved academic results.


IT Development

The use of IT has changed dramatically in the last fifteen years in schools. Highfield has used interactive whiteboards and a dedicated teacher in charge of IT for a number of years. Last year the school did extensive research into how we want to develop IT in the future. We visited a number of schools, the Bett show, conducted a staff survey and we spoke to our parents and children; we also tried out new software and hardware.

As a result, the school has started a programme of development. We engaged the help of Lanway IT consultants to support Mr Turner as well as, from September, giving Mr Drake extra responsibility to support Mr Turner and the staff with their IT development. The school has improved its infrastructure considerably over the last few years and over the holidays we installed a wi-fi network. We have purchased of a class set of laptops to use within curriculum lessons and this will be followed by a second set of class laptops and a small set of tablets.

It was strongly felt by the research carried out that we wanted IT to be used by the children to improve their curriculum work, putting into practice the skills they have learnt in IT and becoming more IT literate. We want our children to have a thorough practical understanding of how children can use IT to improve the quality and standard of their work. The initial focus will be in science and geography, where pupils will be using Excel to create tables, graphs etc. to support their work. This has been embraced by the staff; training sessions are now in place and the laptops have already been in use. There will also be a gradual update of the whiteboards in school. I am sure you will start to see evidence of the work: on display, on our Facebook pages and through conversation with your children. 



Thank you to all those parents who have already updated to PMX but there are still a few parents who have not registered. It is a vital form of communication between school and home and we would greatly appreciate it if you could do this as soon as possible. If you are having difficulties, please visit the office.


Aughton Chess Congress

Six Highfield pupils attended the first Chess Congress of the season on Saturday 17 October.  As always, the children were full of enthusiasm and determined to play well.  Our best results came from Dev (6H) who won the Knights section while Harry (6H) came joint second and Matthew (4D) came fifth.

Ben (6H) playing in the Queens section had some very tough games as did John (6H) in the Knights section.  Kairavi won three of her matches in the Tiny Pawns group.

An encouraging start to the season and a big thank you to all the parents/guardians who transported and supported the children during a very long day!  Mrs Haythornthwaite


M and M Productions by Abigail R and Faheema D

Wow, the M and M production was brilliant! It was the popular play ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The twist was that there were only four actors. As the intimidating dragon appeared, we both got scared; the intriguing thing was it changed colour! This film has been running since 1939. It has never got old. We all cheered and liked all the characters even the bad ones. A favourite bit was when Dorothy and her friends fought the wicked witch. We liked it so much it went by really quickly and we wanted to watch it again.

There is no place like Highfield!


Visiting Author – Michael Dahl

Michael Dahl came to Highfield on Wednesday to talk to the Year 5 and 6 children about his life as an author and the books he has written.  He told us that he has written over 300 books – picture books, graphic novels and story books!  Michael has been inspired by Superheroes and a lot of his graphic novels are about these but he also likes writing scary stories; we all really enjoyed the ones he read to us!  It was great to have the chance to purchase one of Michael’s books which he then signed for us; we are now all enjoying reading them. His visit was highly entertaining and his stories were really scary!  We wish he could come back to tell us more!

John (6H) and Mrs Haythornthwaite


A Published Poet at Highfield!

Congratulations to Angi, 6H, who has recently had this poem published.


The Perfect Day Of Spring

The perfect day of spring,

Is to hear the church bells ring;

And see the clouds floating in the sky

As peaceful as a lullaby.


The perfect day of spring,

Is to hear the birds sing;

And see the budding flowers

Wet with April showers.


The perfect day of spring,

Is to hear the stream gurgling,

And see rabbits pop up their heads,

From the burgeoning flower beds;


The perfect day of spring,

Is to hear the bees buzzing;

And see the butterflies play hide and seek

Amidst shades and seeds. 

Dedicated to Highfield Priory Independent School for shaping my love of poetry.


Good Luck Mrs McIlwaine!

Mrs McIlwaine will be having an operation on Monday and will then be recuperating for two weeks. Mrs Norris will return as part of the team to cover her absence. Good luck Mrs McIlwaine, we wish you a speedy recovery.


School Values for this half term

Our key word for this half term is kindness. The children will be discussing this in circle time and assemblies. Please could you support this at home. Thank you.


Merit Awards

RD: Hugo  RF: Joshua  1D: Lola  1W: Hasan  2M: Stephen

3J: Beatrice  3M: Natasha  4D: Faatimah  4S: Zahara  5H: Malaika  5M: Hayyan  6H: George

Monitor of the Week: Ben


Thought for the week

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop


Yours sincerely


J M Duke