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Headmaster's Welcome

Headmaster's News, Friday 9th October, 2020

Oct 9, 2020


9 October 2020

 

 

Dear Parents,

 

Out and About on Teams

We have all become more reliant on our ability to communicate through our computers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last Friday, we had to ask members of Year 6 to self-isolate but they have continued to study via Kidblog and Teams and, on Wednesday, I enjoyed taking them for a PE and Games lesson with a difference. I have also been holding our weekly Assemblies on Teams.

In Year 6 Games, Year 6 looked at developing a fitness program for a week which could be completed at home. The children had to make sure that it contained suitable warm-ups, was varied and interesting enough to keep them motivated and that it worked all the elements of an individual’s fitness. The children also considered their diet and discussed whether they were making healthy choices on a daily basis. The children had lots of ideas and after just twenty minutes they presented them to me using Teams with many of them sharing their screens and presenting incredibly professional power points. They had really understood the need to cover every aspect of fitness and they described a range of fun activities that I am sure will keep them fit and active next week. I then asked the children to disappear for another 15 minutes and try out their first activity. I was very impressed that not only had they all completed the activity and explained it to me in detail, but many of them were also able to share videos of themselves doing their exercises with the class, with some new canine members of Year 6 joining in too! Congratulations to all of Year 6. I look forward to hearing how you progressed with your fitness plan next week.

This lesson reminded me just how much the children had learned during lockdown and how they had managed to turn a negative experience into such a positive learning opportunity. The ease with which they presented their work to each other; took over the screen and shared videos that they had made in minutes; spoke with clarity and confidence to the rest of the class; made each other laugh, think, learn. It really was a delight to witness and I felt very proud of these children who were, once again, making a situation that could have been negative, vibrant, exciting and happy. Well done, Year 6! I couldn’t be more proud!

 

News from around the School and Nursery

 

Nursery

The Nursery children have loved exploring Autumn this week. Autumn provides the children with the chance to explore the world around them with great curiosity and wonder. We have loved playing with the parachute and throwing Autumn leaves; making hedgehogs with playdough and golf tees; weighing pumpkins and pinecones and developing our counting skills with conkers. We love Autumn!

The Nursery children have also loved the learning opportunities provided by the rain, from puddle-jumping and mixing coloured paint to measuring, pouring and filling to simply having fun with our friends!

 

Pre-School

Pre-School has been interested in Space this week and the children have made planets and aliens to link with this theme.  They have also enjoyed the adult-led activities such as Number Bingo and have demonstrated wonderful concentration skills. Well done, Pre-School!

 

Reception

The children have been busy exploring their own ideas this week. We have made homes for hedgehogs, written lists for a building site and found out how long objects are using tape measures and cubes.  Quite a few children have enjoyed writing lists so we are going to write a list of the things that can be seen in Autumn and then go and look for them in Highfield Haven using our lists. A super, fun, busy week. Well done, Reception!

 

Year 1

Wow! Year 1 has been incredibly busy! We have been out exploring in the school grounds and Highfield Haven. We took our mini-me puppets outside to imagine the adventures we could have if one day we shrank and became tiny. We wrote down our adventures back in the classroom. We have also written Autumn poems and Colour poems. We made memory trees in History and learnt about Venn Diagrams in Maths. Well done, Year 1!

 

Year 2

The children in Year 2 have been very busy.  In our London Topic, we looked at the Royal Family.  We were amazed to learn that the Queen is 94 years old and Prince Phillip is 99 years old.  In History, we have been learning about Samuel Pepys; his diaries are the reason we know so much about the Great Fire of London.  Did you know that he buried a parmesan cheese in his garden to keep it safe from the fire! In ICT, we are practising editing text; we are all great at correcting errors and changing the size and colour of words.

 

Year 3

In Year 3 this week, we have been continuing with our journey across America by looking at the extreme differences in weather between the States. We were amazed to discover that there is an area of Central America called Tornado Alley where powerful tornados rip through houses and buildings like they are made of paper. Hurricanes were also discussed, where we learnt about the intense rain and wind that come with this storm. It has been a brilliant half term, so far, with lots of exciting lessons in other subjects too, such as a fun investigation into our muscles and how they work in Science.

 

Year 4

In our Year 4 Humanities lessons, we have had a very creative few weeks!  We looked at cave paintings and then created our own using chalk pastels, which are now on display in our classroom. We went in Highfield Haven to hunt for clues to answer our question sheets on Stonehenge and then, last Friday, we returned to the Haven to work in groups on creating our own mini original ‘Stonehenges’ from clay!  They looked brilliant but after all the rain they now look much more like the modern version!

 

Year 5

In Year 5, we have been using a variety of imagery, in creative writing, to describe the different seasons. We have written out a sample of our favourite sentences, from Autumn, to display in our classroom, and we have enjoyed decorating these with Autumn leaves.

 

Year 6

In Year 6, the children are continuing to work very hard in preparation for their entrance exams and they can be very proud of their efforts. In Science, they have been learning about Carl Linnaeus, an 18th Century Swedish scientist, who invented a method for classifying all living things. The children have used his system to classify and describe different types of animals and plants. In RE, the children have been listening to stories from the Hindu tradition. They have learnt about the values which are important to people who follow this religion and have shared their thoughts on what is important to them.

 

Covid Update

We will be outside as much as possible for games and breaktimes so could all children make sure they bring full school tracksuits, sweatshirts and school coats into school.

Thank you for enabling the pick-up and drop-offs to run smoothly and safely. Please don’t arrive at school until your allotted time and remain in your car until you see your child.  If you need to speak to another parent urgently on site, and you are closer than 2m, please wear a mask. I know it is difficult but if we can all work together we can stop this virus from spreading across our community. Thank you for your continued support.

 

Class WhatsApp Groups

Please remember that if you have any concerns or questions, your first port-of-call should be an email through the School Office to the class teacher, schooloffice@highfieldpriory.co.uk. If you are still concerned, please email Mr Drake through the School Office if it is a pastoral concern or Mrs Prince if it is an academic concern. If you are still concerned, after this, please email me through the School Office. Please avoid using WhatsApp to discuss your concerns or to look for answers. It is important that you come through the correct channels so that we can help you and make sure that we can solve any issues you may have as quickly as possible.

 

School Lunches

Although we are still separating the children at lunch into a packed lunch and a dining room lunch in order to remain in fixed groups, for the last three weeks we have been offering a packed lunch which more closely mirrors what is being served in the dining room. As well as sandwiches, the children can choose from hot finger food which includes hot dogs, chicken goujons, pizzas and fish fingers as well as a fruit course, a salad bar and a dessert. I would like to thank Mrs Gilbert and her team for all the hard work that has gone into providing this range of food across two venues.

 

Data Protection

Please find attached a copy of the privacy notice we are required to send out each year under the General Data Protection Act Regulation.

 

Merit Awards

Week ending 2 October 2020

RB: William  1D: Mohamad  2E: Amelie  2W: Lilia

3D: Toby  3M: Johnny  4J: Georgia  5M; Hayden  6H: Udita  6P: Megan

 

Week ending 9 October 2020

RB: Umar  1D: Mohini  2E: Adam  2W: Shomi 

3D: Esme  3M: Wei Ann  4J: Tejas  5M: Taylor  6H: Talia  6P: Isabelle 

 

Yours sincerely

 

J M Duke

Headmaster

 

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.

Aristotle

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