Highfield Priory
May 1, 2016

Headmaster's Weekly News, 29th April, 2016

29 April 2016


Dear Parents

4S Assembly

Thank you Year 4 for your assembly this morning about poetry. I always really enjoy listening to what you have been doing in class and you gave us a real insight into the work by English poet, Ken Nesbitt. It was interesting to hear how you have used his work to help you develop your own poems about animals. I was very impressed by the quality of the poems and vocabulary and I could really see your own personalities coming through in each one. I hope we will be able to see them on display later this term. Thank you 4S and Mr Sheppeck for arranging the assembly.


Archibald’s War

Congratulations to Years 3 and 5 for their wonderful performance of ‘Archibald’s War’ last night. The acting and singing were outstanding, with every child really enjoying and taking full advantage of their time in the limelight. I think the play really appealed to the children with very catchy and traditional songs, like “Cheer-Up Granny!” and “Dig For Victory”; and the story of Archibald the teddy bear who was looked after by children of a similar age to themselves. The Year 5 actors became Evacuees, Village Residents, Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Farmers and GIs before our eyes. They lived their part from the moment ‘Archibald’s War’ began to the closing song: “Hold on Tight to Your Memories”. The play helped the children to have a greater understanding of the work they have studied on World War 2. I was amazed and delighted by our Year 3 children who not only delivered their words with sensitivity and confidence, but also wrote their letters, diaries and poems themselves. Fantastic! I would like to thank all the staff involved, especially Mrs Duke and Miss Macklam for their excellent direction and for giving the children a chance to show off their talent in such an entertaining and thought-provoking way.


Year 1 Field Trip

Year 1 visited Withy Grove Playground on Wednesday as part of the Design and Technology Unit they are studying in class. Diya told me that they are planning to build their own model of a playground with moving parts. They looked at all the equipment, with clipboards in hand, taking notes on what it was made of, how it worked and how each part was fixed together. There was such a variety of different apparatus to look at that they got some really good ideas for their own designs. They were of course also allowed to have a play before returning to school. They all said the zip wire was the best! Abdullah and Isa said they also really enjoyed the basket swing. Macaulay said that we should have gone to his Grandma’s for tea because she lives near the park but she would be out playing Bingo. I am looking forward to seeing their final designs in a few weeks’ time.


Out and About

4D have been preparing for their summer examinations this week and I watched a lesson where the main focus was to complete a comprehension exercise independently. When I walked in the children were deep in concentration, scanning the passage carefully before committing their answers to paper. They were all working hard to find relevant facts to support their answers. Mr Drake stopped them after the second section to check the children’s understanding and make sure they were not missing out any important words from the passage. All the children wanted to answer questions with hands flying up around the room. The first few questions were about understanding the text which was a poem.

MrDrake asked what the cars were doing in the poem. Ivan answered confidently, saying they were clogging the road which was correct and included the key descriptive word ‘clogging’. He then asked what the people in the cars were doing. Ziyad answered that they were ‘gasping for air like frogs under ice’, understanding that the writer was using a simile to set the scene. The class then looked at trying to describe some of the meanings of the words. Mr Drake asked what the word ‘gasping’ meant. Ameya answered that it was trying, but struggling, to get air. He then asked Ibrahim what ‘clogging’ meant. He said that it meant blocking a road. The class had a really firm grasp of the poem, understanding how similes and metaphors were used throughout to create a vivid picture. They then returned quietly to finish the passage, enjoying the challenge and very keen to get the questions correct. I left, secure in the knowledge that 4D are going to achieve some very good marks in their end of year examinations in a few weeks.


Staff Announcement 

Miss Wenk has very recently accepted a post as Nursery Manager of a new Nursery opening in Chorley. I would like to congratulate her on this appointment and thank her for her excellent service to the school over the last four and a half years. We are currently advertising for the post of Deputy Manager to replace Miss Wenk.  


Cricket at Rossall School

Thirteen boys travelled to Rossall on Wednesday. We left school and returned to school in sleet, however, the matches were played in brilliant sunshine - even if it was a bit cold! Both teams acquitted themselves very well. In the hard ball game, we bowled very well taking 6 wickets and putting a lot of pressure on the batsmen. However, our fielding let us down at times and a few loose overs allowed the opposition to get to 79 runs. The boys also batted well (with only one person run out throughout the game) with Alexander, Hassan and Ben all scoring well. We finished just short of the Rossall total but showed a lot of promise for future games. In the softball game, the boys bowled an excellent line length making it very difficult for Rossall. They also punished any poor bowling with the bat. They were rewarded with an excellent win. Well done to all the boys who took part on a very enjoyable afternoon and thank you to Rossall for their hospitality.



Congratulations to Ivan and Eryk who represented the county in the National Chess Finals in Nottingham last weekend. They finished mid-table out of approximately 17 Counties/Districts. Good luck to Ben, Dev and Alexander who are attending the Mega Final in Blackpool this weekend.


Merit Awards

RD: Diya  RF: Ayman  1D: Abdullah  1W: Arianna  2M: Tia

3J: Daisy  3M: Aamina  4D: Ibrahim  4S: The Whole Class 5H: Malaika  5M: Ahmed 

6H: Alexander            

Monitor of the Week: Hannah


Thought for the Week

A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell


Yours sincerely

J M Duke