The Sunday Times Top 100 Independent Prep Schools in England: Fifth equal in England and First in the North West.

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Headmaster's Welcome

Headmaster's News, Friday 15th July, 2022

Jul 15, 2022

15th July 2022


Year 6 Prize Giving


Mr Duke’s Speech

I’d like to begin today by telling you a story.
Having left his hometown behind, a man approached the gates of a city and spoke to a person who was standing nearby.
“Tell me,” he said. “What is this place like to live? What are the people like? Is there anything to do? Is it a friendly place?”
“Well,” the person replied. “What was the last place you lived like? Was that a friendly place?
Was there much to do there?”
“It was awful!” the man complained. “There was nothing to do! I was bored every day and the people were dreadful. I had no friends. I hated it there,” he exclaimed.
“I’m really sorry to tell you this,” she replied, “but I’m afraid it’s the same in this city.
Unfriendly people, nothing to do, I think you’ll find it miserable here too.”
The man was so disappointed. He shook his head sadly and started to walk away. Before he had taken a few steps, he heard another voice asking the same question he had asked.
“What sort of a city is this? Is it a friendly place? Is there much to do?”
The woman replied in the same way,
“What was the last place you lived like?”
The second man’s face lit up, “Oh it was wonderful! The people were funny and interesting and I made so many friends. We were never short of things to do. I absolutely loved it there and I was really sorry to leave it behind.”
“You’re in luck!” the lady smiled. “This city is just such a place. The people are friendly and funny and interesting. There is so much to do here. You are going to be so happy. Welcome, my friend!” she stepped back and the second man stepped happily through the gates into his new home. The first man couldn’t believe his ears. This was not fair. Had the lady lied to him? He walked back to challenge her.
“That’s not the answer you gave me! You said the people were unfriendly and there was nothing to do. Why did you say that?”
“My friend,” the lady replied. “It is not about what this city holds for you but what you will bring to it. If you enter with a joyful heart and a belief that people are friendly, that is what you will find. If you see opportunity and activity wherever you look, that is what you will find. The power lies within you to find happiness in a new place, it does not exist in the place itself.”
Year 6, you will soon be walking out of Highfield’s gates and entering the gates of a place that will be new to you.
Look around you. Here at Highfield you have made some wonderful friendships. Together you have achieved great things! Despite the many obstacles placed in your way during a global pandemic, you have still managed to come out with a superb set of NCT results which are significantly above the National Average. And your achievements don’t stop there! Thank goodness lockdown happened after your Year 4 production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. In that production, we saw you transform on the stage in front of us. Not just into caterpillars, rabbits and cats, but into talented and confident actors and actresses.
Your Musical Assemblies have charted your progress on an array of instruments and we have watched you perform as accomplished musicians who are inspiring future generations at Highfield.
On the Sports field, you have shown teamwork, talent and resilience in a wide range of sporting disciplines. On the playground and in the dining hall, you have lead by example as caring and sensible monitors to the younger children. You have continued to excel in the Performing Arts in your production of ‘Pandora’ and in this week’s grand finale, ‘Go for Goal’.
You exude character, humour and confidence on the stage and fully understand how to entertain your audience. We have loved watching you! You have made the most of every opportunity that has come your way here at Highfield and you have embraced each new challenge. You have shown great resilience when times have been tough and you have been a
tremendous support to each other through a strange and testing period of our lives. These are the qualities that you need to take forward with you as you approach the gates of your new school. But before we say goodbye, it gives me great pleasure to invite you up to the stage to receive your awards.

And so Year 6, as you approach the gates of your new school, think of Highfield. Think of the special friendships you have made here and look to find those qualities in others. Think of the work ethic you have developed here at Highfield and look to take that forward into your academic endeavours in Year 7. Think of the friendly faces of your teachers here at Highfield and look to see their smiles and reassurance in the faces of your new teachers. Think of the many opportunities your parents and teachers have provided for you here at Highfield and seek out new opportunities in your next school.
When you stand at the gates of your new school Year 6, don’t hesitate, think of Highfield and walk through them with pride and confidence. Happiness and fulfilment await.

Chair of Governors’ Mr Whitman’s Speech

It is always a sad moment when we say goodbye to our Year Six. We have watched them grow and thrive at Highfield and we are proud to send them on their way but it is never without a tinge of sadness. We know we have given them the very best start in life at Highfield and we need only look at some of our recent Alumni to see where a start at Highfield can take you. Three of our former pupils have finished their time as leaders of their school at LRGS, Bolton and Preston Girls’ Muslim School and another Highfield pupil, Danya, is about to take her place as the Head Girl at Clitheroe Grammar School. In the field of sport this year, James Hill has just been signed for a record fee to play for Bournemouth, in the Premiership, and to play for England Under 20s. In the Performing Arts, former pupil Daniel Dable has just won a place in the National Youth Jazz Collective and the National Youth Theatre this summer. It is not just our past pupils who are achieving great things. Naina in Year 5 is performing as the Number One in the country for Tennis. Naina, Aibhlin and Samira qualified to take part in National athletics and swimming events in which they represented the North of England. Melissa, in Year 4 has been accepted on the junior development program with the Northern Ballet in Leeds. And Imogen, also in Year 4, came 3rd nationally in her age group for Artistic Swimming. As you can see, a Highfield pupil is a good all-rounder and a natural leader. I know you will all go on to achieve great things, Year 6, and we hope you will keep in touch with Highfield so that we can continue to celebrate your success.

As Chair of Governors, on behalf of us all, I would like to thank Mr Duke and the staff of Highfield Priory School for always going that extra mile to serve their community and to ensure that Highfield children receive the very best education in the region. Once again, Highfield is in the top ten of The Sunday Times league table for Independent Prep Schools and is currently holding the position of 5th= in the country. This should make you all very proud. Could we show our appreciation to all the staff at Highfield with our best round of applause of the day. Thank you.

Dates for the diary

Whole school closure, for staff training, Friday 2nd September.

Curriculum Evenings

RB and 1W Tuesday 6th September 6pm

2E Wednesday 7th September 6pm

3D Wednesday 14th September 6pm

4J and 4M Monday 12th September 2022

5H and 5M Thursday 8th September 2022

I hope you all have a fantastic summer holiday and thank you to all our families for your
support this year. I shall look forward to seeing you all on Monday 5th September.

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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