Seventh Year Running in the Top 30 of The Sunday Times Top 100 Independent Prep Schools in England 


Headmaster's Welcome

Headmaster's Weekly News, Friday 10th November, 2017

Nov 10, 2017

10 November 2017


Dear Parents


Music Assembly

Today was our first Musical Assembly of the year. There were 13 individual performers, many of whom were playing a variety of brass instruments and the piano. Our choir of over seventy children also performed for their first time this year. They sang a lovely hymn called, ‘Sharing Bread’. Manavi was our youngest performer, from Year 2, and she performed ‘Au Clair de La Lune’. In her introduction, she spoke clearly and confidently, telling us that she liked the piece because it is soft and smooth and makes her happy. Sophie from Year 6 also performed on the piano. It was lovely to witness the progress she has made since her last performance. This time she played a more complex version of The Entertainer which she had played before. Several children played pieces that they will be performing in upcoming examinations. Thank you to all the children who took part and to Miss Macklam for organising this wonderful assembly. We could all see that your dedicated practice is really paying off and is producing very mature and accomplished performances. Well done!



The Winter Fayre is nearly here and we are very excited! We have some great stalls and games, such as tin-can alley, pin the nose on Rudolph, chocolate tombola.  There will also be several visiting stallholders selling items such as honey, olive oil, chutney, cupcakes, handmade cards and much more.  Doors open at 3:30pm on Friday 17th November. 

We would love to see you there!


HPPTA Playground Equipment

Thank you to our PTA who have helped to fund more playground equipment for the children. The children are very grateful and would like me to pass on their thanks. They have really enjoyed using it this week and it has been wonderful to see the children coming up with new games inspired by the new equipment.


Children in Need

The school will be supporting Children in Need next Friday, 17th November. The classes have chosen to come in various types of fancy dress for the day. The idea is for the costumes to be inventive but as simple as possible and the list of class choices is below. Please could all children wear sensible, flat, outdoor shoes as it will be a normal school day. They will also need to bring in £1 for Children In Need.


Nursery and Pre-School - Pyjamas  

RD and RJ - Fancy dress costumes                                                

1W - Pyjamas and wacky hair                      

Year 2 - Wear their favourite colour

Year 3 - Pop Stars

Year 4 - unable to participate, children going to Haigh Hall

Year 5 - Dressing in blue                               

Year 6 - Boys dressing as girls and vice versa or crazy tie, hat, socks and shoes


Independent Schools’ Association Awards Night

Tonight is the Independent Schools’ Association Awards Ceremony. Highfield Priory School is a finalist in the Junior Preparatory School Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation. There are 440 schools in the organisation and this is the only award specifically for Primary schools and Prep schools. We will update you with news of this event on Facebook over the weekend.


Out and About With 5M

I visited 5M on Wednesday as they were just starting a descriptive piece of writing entitled, ‘The Park in Winter’. What a perfect day to start this piece of writing as we had all woken up to a very crisp and frosty morning with clear blue skies. The children had already discussed this piece of writing in an earlier lesson and they had produced a planning sheet with pictures, thoughts, prompts, vivid imagery and ambitious vocabulary. The children wrote some wonderful descriptions: Aditya wrote about hearing, ‘birds flapping swiftly to another country to get warm’; Daisy wrote that, ‘The tall bare trees were swaying in the whistling wind.’ Daisy said that she used a memory of a visit to Yorkshire in Winter to help her to write her description. Yawar wrote, ‘Winter has begun! The trees shiver with no clothes and no escape.’ Zain wrote, ’The lake as clear as crystal, was frozen again.’ He told me that he loved the smell and feel of the fresh, cold air. Thank you, Year 5! I really enjoyed reading all of your work. You created an excellent atmosphere with everyone deep in thought, trying to conjure up the perfect winter scene. You definitely succeeded!


M and M Productions: Cinderella

The fantastic M and M Productions visited on Tuesday to perform the traditional pantomime of Cinderella. The children were very excited, chattering away as they queued up to enter the Sports Hall. Throughout the pantomime, the noise could be heard from the School Office as the children gave the traditional responses to the actors! I spoke to the children about which parts they enjoyed the most.  Yusuf (Y2) put his hand by his mouth and whispered to me, ‘Did you know, Mr. Duke, the stepmother was a man and he had a bald head!’  Hanin (Y6) said they had all really enjoyed responding to the questions saying, ‘Oh yes we did!’ and ‘Oh no we didn’t!’ Daisy (Y5) said that when Cinderella asked whether she should marry him some people shouted, ‘Yes!’ and some, ‘No!’ and then they kissed much to all their horror! Aibhlin (Y1) said that she enjoyed watching Miss Warburton and Mrs Lockwood dancing with the sister, butler and the prince.  Leo (Y2) loved the silly costumes, especially when the two sisters went to the ball. They wore very funny dresses like a hat with fries on it and a dress covered in cupcakes. Amber (Y2) was amazed that only four actors played all the parts. It was a wonderful way to start this half-term and the children started the day with a spring in their step.


News from the Nursery

Last week, we held a Julia Donaldson week enjoying areas of our room which were set up to represent her books. On Tuesday, we had a special "Room on the Broom" dress-up day with party games, music and party food. The children made wands and hats in the morning with Mrs Lockwood, ready for the party in the afternoon. They also went on a Gruffalo Hunt in the woods with Miss Smart.

This week we have made bonfire pictures with Miss Catherall, had a princess tea party (complete with coloured playdough to use as food!) with Miss Smart and we have iced firework biscuits with Mrs Beaumont. Haven’t we been busy?

Please have a look at our Facebook page where you can see many of these activities and events. Miss Catherall


Netball by Zahara

On Wednesday, two teams played in a home match against Oakhill.  The A team played amazingly well with a final score of 12-2.  The player of the match was Grace T.  The B team played fabulously well also, with a final score of 10-0.  The player of the match was Hanin.  Well done girls!

Last night we played against Harris Primary.  The 1st team did some brilliant dodging and passing which led to a final score of 6-1.  The 2nd team’s shooting and marking were excellent.  The final score was 4-3.  Well played girls.


Under 11s Football v Rossall by Alfie and Mr Duke

All the boys in Year 5 and 6 played against Rossall School on Wednesday on our all-weather pitch. It was a beautiful, bright day and it was great to see so many boys in action. Both Highfield teams played with real determination. Their level of effort was excellent and I witnessed a real improvement in teamwork with both teams passing really well to create many opportunities. The final scores were 3-2 to Highfield in the first game and 3-2 to Rossall in the second game. Congratulations to all the boys who took part.


Coffee Morning

We will be holding a Coffee Morning at the start of the school day next Thursday. This is open to all parents from the School and Nursery. This will be a very relaxed and informal event which is designed to give you the opportunity to meet other parents and teachers. Please email the Office if you intend to come so that we can cater for the correct amount of people. Mr McGrath does make exceedingly good cakes!


Merit Awards

RD: Monty  RJ: Reuben  1W: Heba-Noor  2D: Amber  2E: Joseph

3H: Lameesa  3M: Zorain  4S: Martha  5D: Abigail  5M: Zain  6H: Zaynab  6P: Gabrielle

Monitors of the week: Ellie and Grace W-Y


Thought for the Week

I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. Confucius


Yours sincerely


J M Duke






Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.


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