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Headmaster's Welcome

Headmaster's News, Friday 29th January, 2021

Jan 29, 2021


29 January 2021

 

Dear Parents

 

It has been another incredibly busy fortnight of online and in-school learning. I continue to be very impressed by the high standard of the children’s work and the enthusiasm demonstrated in each lesson. A big thank you to all the staff and parents for all your hard work and continued support. In the last newsletter, we read about what the children have been getting up to with their class teacher and in HPSED. This week, we find out what the children have been doing with specialist teachers in Music, French, PE, Art and ICT.

 

Music

In Music, this term, there has been a great variety of activities taking place across the school. The children in Reception have been leaning about different instruments: how they sound and what they look like. Their favourite instrument so far has been the electric guitar!

 

The Infants have been learning some fantastic songs from, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ These songs have helped them to understand long notes, short notes and rests in music.

 

In the Junior School, we have been learning about the life and work of our composer of the term, Tchaikovsky. It has been fascinating to see the enthusiasm with which the children have engaged with his compositions and how many of them were able to recognise some of his more famous works like, ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘The Nutcracker’. In Year 5, the children have begun to practise the songs for our future production of ‘Pandora’s Box’. It is always a challenge to conduct a singing session on Teams, but great fun! I am looking forward to beginning this with Year 3 in the coming weeks. Miss Macklam

 

French

We have been busy with our French lessons since Christmas and, despite having to rework some topics to fit in with pupils working from home, we have enjoyed a wide variety of French work.

 

Year 3 started the New Year with a little assessment to see what they could remember from the autumn term. This included numbers, days and months, and I was impressed with what the children have retained! They have now moved on to learning the vocabulary of the parts of the body. Our next step is playing ‘Jacques a Dit’ (Simon Says) and learning the French equivalent of ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’.

 

Year 4 also started the year with an assessment on greetings and family vocabulary and, again, they did so well with it! They are now learning all about pets and animals and will begin building sentences and reading them to the class next week.

 

The children in Year 5 have worked on the French vocabulary for school subjects. They have translated their whole weekly timetable into French and are now working on building sentences with their own opinions. It was lovely to hear the children at home on Teams reading their sentences, as well as the pupils in school, and their pronunciation is improving each week.

 

Year 6 have worked on some questions for a hot seat session about France: the culture, the school system, the music, and what it is like living there. I was impressed with the range of questions and many were mostly curious about my upbringing and why I ended up here! We have now started learning the vocabulary for clothes and will be using this to build sentences next week. Mrs Morrice

 

Games and PE

It has been a great start to the term in PE and Games and the children at home and school have taken to our new way of learning superbly. During PE lessons, the children have been working on testing and improving their fitness as well as trying out a new activity which is on the curriculum this year: yoga! It has been very popular and a fantastic way for the children to improve their mind and body.

 

During Games lessons, children have been working on multi-skills through a series of teacher-led challenges and activities and our upper Juniors have been looking at the key concepts of invasion games, focusing on Netball and Rugby. We have loved seeing all the children at home joining in on Teams and coming up with imaginative alternatives to equipment that they may not have at home. Well done, everyone!

Mrs Parsons and Mrs Botton

 

Art

There have been a lot of exciting things going on in Art this week. On Monday, we made the most of the winter weather and worked outside in the snow. Years 3, 4 and 6 looked at the work of British artist Simon Beck who creates huge geometric patterns in snow and sand. We were inspired by his use of shape and pattern and created our own geometric patterns on paper which we then took outside to draw in the snow. The snow was really lovely to draw on and our sticks made perfect ‘pencils’! The patterns everyone created looked beautiful. The children who didn’t have snow outside kept up the wintry theme by cutting out gorgeous, intricate, paper snowflakes which we enjoyed seeing when we came in from the cold!

 

The children in Year 2 have been painting the colour wheel and, this week, they looked at two of L S Lowry’s famous paintings: Coming from the Mill and Going to Work. Coming from the Mill is a ‘noisy’ painting so we thought about what sounds we’d be able to hear if we stepped into the painting and where we would be in the painting. We also thought about Lowry’s use of colour, buildings and people. It was interesting to hear what the children thought about Lowry’s painting. Some children liked his use of colour but others found it too crowded with all the millworkers; I think they would love Lowry’s seascape paintings!

 

Combining Art and Music was the theme for Year 1’s art this week. After looking at two rhythmical paintings by Swiss artist Paul Klee, the children created their own rhythmical drawings of trees and bushes which they coloured and clapped. It was lovely for us here in school to watch the children at home practising clapping out their art work and getting to grips with clapping their pictures of ‘bu-shes’ with two claps! We really enjoyed seeing everyone’s rhythmical drawings which Paul Klee would have been very impressed with.

 

Children in Years 5 and 6 have been using different grades of pencil to refine their drawings skills, using different techniques to create tone and texture. We have also focused on attention to detail and I have been very impressed with how carefully the children have drawn and their willingness to improve their work. Miss Jewitt

 

ICT

In ICT this term, we have looked at lots of interesting topics. In Year 6, we have been learning about HTML web code and designing our own Highfield portals which display information on a chosen topic. These have included hyperlinks and embedded videos for the audience to click and navigate. In Year 5, the children have been learning about digital displays and how they’ve developed in recent years. Their project this term has been to build a digital information screen for a museum with clickable icons that take them to different areas of the museum. Our Infants have looked at using key parts of the computer including the mouse, keyboard and trackpad on a laptop. We have had lots of fun taking this learning online and we continue to challenge ourselves each week through the online portals and software we use every day at home. Mr Drake and Ms Eccles

 

Remote Learning

The staff would like to pass on to all parents their appreciation for the support given and the encouraging messages received over the last few weeks. Your support has made the transition to online learning very smooth. To help maintain the high quality of education for our children, here are Highfield’s top-tips for remote learning:

 

1.    Registration starts at 8.30 each morning for every class. Please make sure children are dressed, breakfasted and on time to begin the day.

2.    Please encourage your child to switch on their camera when the teachers are talking. They can be turned off later when children are working on an independent task. We are happy for children to use Teams backgrounds.

3.    It is helpful for children to have a dedicated workspace where they can complete tasks and keep all books and equipment needed for lessons.

4.    For many of our specialist lessons, instructions about the task for the day can be found on Kidblog or on the Teams meeting post.

5.    Our teachers are encouraging children to upload their work to Kidblog for marking. Many children are already confident with this. If you have any problems, please let your child’s teacher know so that we can help.

6.    Finally, as we are working to the normal daily routine. Please make sure your child has a rest, a drink and a snack during break and lunchtimes. We are discouraging children from eating on screen as they would not normally do this in a class lesson. Rest times should be spent away from the screen to give their eyes a rest too.

Mrs Prince

 

Pupil Well-Being

Please keep us informed if you have any concerns about your child. We will do our utmost to support every child at home and at school. We can arrange one-to-one Teams conversations if your child has any worries or concerns that they would like to talk about away from their peers. I have attached a Family Action for Happiness Calendar to give you some ideas for next month and help to keep you all smiling.

 

Social Distance

Please could everyone make sure that they are maintaining a suitable distance from each other when picking-up and dropping-off. Time on school site should be kept to a minimum and a mask should be worn if a conversation needs to take place under 2m. Thank you for your continued support in keeping our community safe.

 

PM Announcement

It has now been announced that schools will not return before Monday 8th March.

 

Merit Awards 22.1.21

RB: Declan  1D: Krisha  2E: Haya  2W: Thomas 

3D: Omer  3M: Wei Ann  4J: Zaidan  5M: Haya  6H: Rohan  6P: Nadia

 

Merit Awards 29.1.21

RB: Yahya  1D: Lana  2E: Esmail  2W: Yusef

3D: Samira  3M: Haniyah  4J: Reuben  5M: Lily  6H: Sasha  6P:Georgia

 

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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