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Headmaster's Welcome

Headmaster's Weekly News, Friday 19th July, 2019

Jul 19, 2019

Final Newsletter of the Academic Year 2018/2019

Mr Duke’s Speech to Year Six Taken From This Year’s Prize Giving Ceremony

What do Highfield Priory School and Special K have in common?
Well, obviously we’re both special but I think the similarities go further and deeper than that. Special K is packed with vitamins, folic acid and iron and it makes the following boast: Special K feeds development; it feeds endurance, it feeds energy, it feeds our defences, it feeds recovery and it feeds vitality. It states, ‘Everything we’re made of powers everything you’re made of.’ How can I not look at this packet and think of Highfield?

Feeding Development
Many of our Year Six pupils have been with us since Nursery. We have nurtured your development from your first hand-painting to replicating the work of Van Gogh; from the first time you dressed up as a princess to performing Shakespeare and taking over The Charter Theatre; from the first time you kicked a ball to representing the City of Preston at football; from the first time you counted on in twos to scoring full marks on your NCT maths paper. Your development and progress in so many areas of school life have been astounding and it has been a real privilege to be a part of it.

Feeding Endurance and Recovery
Two of the chief characteristics of a Highfield pupil is their resilience and their ability to persevere and to endure. These children just don’t give up. If they trip over at sports day, they dust themselves off and finish the race; if they struggle with a work problem, they try a new approach, discuss it with friends, ask advice from the teacher and carry on; if their legs go wobbly on the High Ropes at Manor Adventure, they take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other; if they lose their place in a piano recital, they smile and start again. They are amazingly resilient and determined: qualities which will serve them well at Secondary School and in life.

Feeding Energy
From Bitesize Bootcamp before school, to ballet at lunchtime, to football at break and cricket after school. It’s quite incredible how much a Highfield pupil can cram into their day, and it doesn’t stop there. Many have two hours of Mosque after school, hockey club, gymnastics, rugby, more football, drama, judo, karate, tae kwondo, horse riding and dancing. Not to mention, homework every night. We can only look on in wonder as they bound into the classroom with big smiles on their faces each day, ready for more. A Highfield pupil is fit and energetic and ready for anything!

Feeding Defences
A Highfield pupil has a very strong sense of self. They know who they are and they know the difference between right and wrong. They are not afraid to speak up when they perceive an injustice and they are eager to ensure that everyone is given a voice. As monitors, they will step in to resolve a playground issue with the younger children; in PSHEE they will voice their concerns about school life; as school councillors, they will speak up to have a say in the running of the school. They know how to present themselves in public; they understand the importance of looking after their mental health; they know their road safety, fire safety and how to keep themselves safe online and in the real world. They know how to look after and to respect their bodies. Our Year Sixes are strong and confident individuals who know how to behave and how to conduct themselves when things go wrong. They make us proud every day as they navigate the increasingly difficult path of adolescence in an ever-changing world.

Feeding Vitality
Our Highfield pupils exude a zest for life and are ready to take on any new challenge. This is always at its most evident when we see the school coming together to work towards a common goal, whether that is 100 of our children from the age of 4 to 11 taking the Charter Theatre by storm with their production of Peter Pan; or the three sports days during which the children showed team work, determination, resilience and compassion; or when the children used their creativity and imagination to transform Highfield Haven into a magical village; or the individual projects that the children researched, designed and created to fill Highfield’s Museum of Creations with exhibits, or when the school came together at Christmas-time to fill the hall with the most beautiful music in our annual Carol Concert. Highfield pupils show their vitality in the way they use their bodies and minds to the full every day.

Everything we’re made of powers everything you’re made of!
Everything at Highfield is designed to help you to become the very best version of yourself; to help you to fulfil and exceed your potential. We’re not just interested in your academic success, although we are immensely proud of your academic results, we want to empower you to be ready for whatever the world throws at you: the good and the bad. There will be highs and lows in the years ahead but I hope your years at Highfield will continue to motivate, stimulate and energise you, giving you the tools to cope with whatever the future may hold.

ISI School Inspection Report

The school was inspected in the last few weeks of term and a team of five Inspectors examined every aspect of the school. The feedback was very detailed, showing a full awareness of Highfield and its staff and pupils. I could see each member of the school in the Inspector’s words and I felt very proud of each and every one of you. I look forward to sharing the Inspection Report with you when it is officially published in a few weeks’ time.


As well as saying goodbye to our Year 6 Class, we are also losing a valued member of our team: Mrs Hewertson. Mrs Hewertson has been teaching in Reception this year and has started many children off on their Highfield journey. She is moving on to teach at St. Anne’s in Lytham. I would like to thank her on behalf of us all for her hard work and dedication this year, she will be missed. We are also saying goodbye to families who have entrusted Highfield with the care and education of their children for many years. We value the relationships we have forged in this time and we hope they will all keep in touch and share their family news with us in the years to come.

Finally, Year 6, next time you sit down to eat your breakfast, the most important meal of the day, think of Highfield. We have packed you with protein, energised you with iron, vitalised you with vitamins and prepared you for this moment: the start of the day. What you do now with each day is up to you. Use your Highfield beginning to empower you; let it help you to make the right decisions in life and motivate you to keep aiming high. Good luck and keep in touch.

I hope you all have a fantastic summer holiday and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday 3rd September. Nursery and Holiday Club will not be open on Monday 2nd September due to staff INSET.

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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