Highfield Priory
Dec 5, 2014

Headmaster's Weekly News

5 December 2014






Dear Parents

The Christmas season has really got underway this week: our Pre -School entertained us with their Christmas Dance Performance on Thursday; the Infants performed their Nativity for Pre-School; the choir visited the church in preparation for the Carol Service and Year 6 choir performed Christmas Carols at Barton Grange. The week ended with much fun and laughter from all the children at our Christmas Party and Fayre on Friday. Thank you to all the PTA who made the Christmas Fayre so enjoyable for the children. They loved all the activities, had a great time with the entertainer and met Father Christmas!

Scholastic Book Fair

A big thank you to everyone who visited our Book Fair; we made just over £900 which means that we can now spend £500 on new books for the school.  Thank you!

Mrs Haythornthwaite

Team Building Afternoon

Year 5 and 6 took part in a team building afternoon on Wednesday. The children were divided into mixed groups and took part in a range of activities including: organising themselves into alphabetical order by the last letter of their surname without talking; filling up a bottle of water with a tea spoon in the quickest time possible; traversing the Sports Hall in a hoop with a partner without using their hands…to mention but a few! The children’s communication skills, teamwork and ability to listen to instructions were all put to the test and there was certainly a huge improvement seen throughout the afternoon. The children really started to communicate more effectively, listening to each other and giving one another encouragement. The last activity, which was to build a tower out of newspaper to hold an egg, really put all these skills to the test. After 15 minutes of determined work, the children had to see if their creation could support an egg. The winning team was made up of Harry, Mack, Matthew, Freddie, Kenny, Caitlin and Kairavi. Their tower was almost waist height and held the egg very comfortably. I definitely think we have some engineers of the future! The children thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and were still discussing it in the afternoon of the next day. I know we will now see evidence of improved teamwork around school. Thank you to Mrs Jones who came into school to run the event and Mrs Parsons for her support.

Pre-School Performance

Thursday morning saw Pre-School take to the stage for their Christmas performance. The children performed a range of dances dressed as snowmen, angels, robins, reindeer and stars to a story that was narrated very eloquently by two older brothers: Alfie and Ali. I was impressed by the variety of dances and you could see how much the children had enjoyed their dance sessions with Miss Burns; we certainly have many stars of the future! I would like to thank all the Pre-School staff and Miss Burns and Miss Pymer for choreographing the event.

Out and About

I visited Pre-School on Wednesday morning and when I entered the room there was a real buzz of activity going on. Mrs McNeaney was getting a group ready to practise their letters and Mrs Hayes was making some very creative snowmen calendars with her group. I joined Miss Halstead’s group who were focusing on their numbers. The group began counting up to 20 forwards and then backwards. They then took turns to identify numbers. Leo identified 11, Diya 18, Jaya 6, Thomas 18 and Mohammed 2. The group then moved on to identifying the missing number, which they really enjoyed, with Thomas even attempting to predict the number before the other numbers were given! The last game required the children to count the number of Christmas baubles before writing the number on a whiteboard. The children enjoyed trying themselves before copying Miss Halstead for the more difficult numbers. They covered so much in a short period of time and really enjoyed practising their numbers and demonstrating to Miss Halstead and myself what they knew. I stayed to watch the start of the next group (made up of Tyler, Ayman, Riley, Moin and Amber). They did a similar warm-up activity before identifying different animals on cards. They really enjoyed looking at the cards and counting the number of objects. Moin even brought a calculator with him to help him with the problem! I watched Riley count five octopi, Ayman counted 7 butterflies and Amber counted 3 elephants.

All the children in the room were really involved and thoroughly absorbed by all the activities that were going on. Well done Pre-School! You are making very good progress for your first term. Keep practising those numbers!

Carol Singing at Barton Grange

On Thursday 4th December, the entire Year 6 Choir visited Barton Grange. This was to sing Christmas carols and raise money for our charities – Derian House and The Space Centre. We knew it was going to be tough, so we sang with all our hearts. As we opened the performance with ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, nerves immediately faded and this song seemed to raise the most money. It was certainly a great start! Once we started singing, crowds formed and after a short amount of time, we had a little bit of money in our buckets. We sang a wide range of carols and whilst we were having the time of our lives, the crowd also sang along with us! After a break of hot chocolate and cookies, we came back out, with all ‘guns blazing’ and sang our final part. We sang two choir songs which were amazing; our final song was ‘Jingle Bells’ and we soon had the crowd clapping in time to the beat. Overall, it was an amazing day; we sang to the best of our abilities and the experience was phenomenal! We raised £108 and we all want to have the same experience again, it was an outstanding afternoon! Ali and Samuel


“What have you done at school today?”

Let us give you an insight into your child’s day

We are adding pictures and updates on a daily basis to our Facebook and Twitter pages which can be accessed through our new Website. There are already some fantastic pictures so please take a look.   


HPSED (Highfield Public Speaking, Elocution and Drama) Exams will be taking place next week on Wednesday (Years 3 and 6) and Thursday (Year 5). Please help your child to be fully prepared so that they can give their very best performance. Examinees must be smartly dressed, girls should have their hair tied back away from their face. Many thanks for your continued support. Mrs Duke


Merit Awards

RB: Lameesa  RF: Timothy  1D: Martha  2M: Renée  2W: Abigail

3H: Lilland  3M: Nathaniel  4D: Caisey  4M: Noah  5H: Alexander  6H: Kieran

Monitor of the Week: Freddie

Thought for the week

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Bertrand Russell

Yours sincerely

J M Duke