Celebration Assembly This morning was our Celebration Assembly in which we celebrate the children’s achievements outside school. The range of activities was quite incredible from martial arts to chess and the standard the children have achieved was very impressive. What a talented group of individuals you are! Congratulations to all the pupils who brought in their certificates and awards and we look forward to hearing more about your achievements in next term’s assembly. Mrs Prince
2D Assembly This morning we were on Safari with 2D who have been studying Kenya as a topic this term. They were all very keen to tell us what they have discovered. They knew so many facts! They told us that it takes 9 hours to fly from Kenya to the UK and that 45 million people live in Kenya, speaking mainly Swahili and English. In their Science lessons they have been learning about the habitats of Kenya as well as the animals that live there. In English, they have been learning how to expand a noun phrase and they have been writing interesting sentences about Kenya. The jagged, sharp mountain. (Ayman) The crouching, quiet cheetah. (Sophie) The vicious, roaring lion. (Muhammad) The crashing, splashing waves (Taylor) You have certainly been busy in your lessons! It was really interesting to see how the different subjects have combined together to help you understand more about Africa. You were very knowledgeable and your assembly demonstrated a real passion for the subject. Well done 2D and thank you Mrs Davidson for organising this Topic Assembly.
Thursday definitely felt like a scene from a novel. With snow covering everything in sight, snowflakes swirled around as children skipped into school dressed as a wonderful array of characters from literature. I saw The Mad Hatter, Postman Pat, Willie Wonka, Harry Potter and lesser known characters like Patience from, ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ and Freya from ‘Odd and Fast.’ The children were not only trying to guess the identity of each other but they were also asking questions about the novels themselves. Hopefully, this will inspire them to read an even greater variety of novels.
Thank you to all our wonderful musicians who gave us an uplifting end to the first week back after half-term. There were 21 performers from the age of 7 to 11 playing instruments ranging from the Ukuele to the Baritone. Six children were performing for the first time. We had three guitarists from one family, with a duet performed by Ziyad and Hasan. Talia and Nathaniel also performed another lovely family duet on the trombone. The confidence of all the children in front of such a large audience was very impressive. It was lovely to listen to what the children have been working on and to celebrate their achievements so far. Their hard work and practice have definitely paid off. It was a real inspiration for the new performers and for the audience to watch the talent of the more experienced players and to see what can be achieved if you continue to work hard at your music. A big thank you to Miss Macklam for organising this assembly.
The Wind in the Willows at The Charter Theatre Wow, wow, wow! Highfield Priory School was the only show in town on Tuesday night. 99 children from the age of just 4 to 11 took centre stage in an extravaganza of dance, song and acting in their wonderful performance of The Wind in the Willows. Year 4’s stage presence and acting skills were quite incredible for children of just eight and nine years old. Their performance was integrated into a range of superbly choreographed dances which were performed by Miss Burns’ dancers who enthralled us with their talent, poise and tremendous energy. It never ceases to amaze me how our Infant children are completely unfazed by the huge stage, bright lights and adoring fans! This year, we also asked Year 4 to sing for us which really added an extra dimension to the show. Thank you Mrs Hill for working so hard with Year 4 during their music lessons in preparation for this performance. I would also like to thank Mrs Duke and Miss Burns, our directors, for all their hard work and for getting the children to such a high level of performance in such a short amount of practice time. Also, a big thank you to Mrs Morrice for her artistic skills, Mrs Shackleton for her props and support and to all the other staff who made the performance possible. The children really had the full theatrical experience: professional lighting crews, sound technicians, pyrotechnics, dressing rooms with lights around the mirrors, not to mention the double decker bus taking them to and from the rehearsals! It is certainly a memory the children will never forget. I have been interviewing the Year 6 children in preparation for their next school and one of their favourite memories of Highfield is always The Charter Theatre performance. Well done, everyone!
Final preparations are underway and the children will be travelling to The Guild Hall on Monday and Tuesday in preparation for their Tuesday night performance. There are 99 children performing from the age of 4 to 11 on one of the biggest stages in the North West. Tickets are selling quickly so do make sure that you don’t miss out on what promises to be a very special night. Tickets are available from The Charter Theatre Box Office.
5D Assembly Thank you 5D for an excellent assembly about Extreme Earth; a subject you have been studying in class recently. The assembly started with five teams representing: climate, tsunamis, volcanoes, tornadoes and the water cycle. They gave us a fascinating insight into our extreme earth. It was clear that this subject had caught their attention as their accounts were clear and vivid and packed with interesting facts. The class then used the words OUR EXTREME EARTH to create a very effective acrostic poem. 5D finished with a song about the weather and the water cycle. Thank you 5D and Mr Drake for an excellent assembly. I know that the subject has really sparked your imagination and has led to some very interesting and creative games in the playground.
Out and About with 3M I visited 3M in their ICT lesson on Wednesday. They were examining how simulation programmes can be used to predict possible outcomes and how it had been programmed. The simulation the children were looking at was one from the environment, looking at the predator/prey relationship between foxes and rabbits and the impact of other variables. The task was quite complex but after the initial introduction the children were off and keen to get started. Computers were switched on, logged in, simulations found and the children were ready within seconds. They were very good at helping and offering advice to each other. Ariana worked out very quickly that the amount of food available and the moisture conditions affected the final result. Sam also worked out that once the simulation had started you couldn’t change the variables. He waited each time for it to finish before checking the final numbers, changing the variables and then starting again. Yaamini focused on the number of foxes she added to each variable and realised that adding four foxes each time almost halved the rabbit population until she had none at all. Arianna was looking at the other variables, finding that if she increased the amount of food and increased the moisture then the optimum number of rabbits were produced. Jack had found out that if he added 20 foxes, and limited food and moisture no rabbits survived at all. The next task the children had to complete was to write down the rules for the simulation and their predictions and results for a number of variables added. It was quite incredible to see how quickly the children picked up the concepts and were able to use and understand a simulation that could have relevance in the outside world today. They were really making the most of ICT to find answers to real problems and they are only in Year 3. What will they be covering in Year 6!
Welcome back to the Spring Term! I hope you have all had an excellent Christmas break and have managed to spend some quality time with the family.
We have a busy term ahead with our ‘The Wind in the Willows’ production at The Charter Theatre, a busy sporting fixture list, World Book Day, Junior Mastermind and Year 6 Entrance Examinations, just to name a few of the highlights. I know from speaking to the children that they are excited about the term ahead and are looking refreshed and ready for the challenges of the new term.
What a wonderful evening we had last night! Our amazing choir sang a beautiful arrangement of carols which included two small group performances and an instrumental solo by our Year 6 pupils. One of the carols also contained four verses written by Madeleine, Ellie, Aditi and Grace T. It was a fitting end to our public performances this term and it really highlighted the depth of musical talent we have at Highfield. Thank you Miss Macklam for organising a very memorable and moving Carol Service.
The winter season has certainly arrived at Highfield. Thanks to our wonderful PTA, the decorations are up and the corridors and Sports Hall have been buzzing with excitement and songs as preparations have continued for the Carol Service and Nativity. Our Pre-School children were the first to perform this week with their very special Christmas show. The children were delighted to show off all their wonderful costumes which ranged from Christmas Puddings to Angels. The children performed ten dances with specific moves for each dance. I particularly enjoyed the Robin dance which had lots of actions. It was lovely to see the children, with big smiles on their faces, proud to perform in front of their parents, giving them a wave every time they passed by. Zahara (Y6) narrated the story, ‘Christmas with Melody and Mulligan Bear’ at intervals throughout the performance which really linked the dances together. Bebe (Y6) and Gabrielle (Y6) supported the children with the dances which really emphasised that special bond between the Pre-School and the School. Thank you to Miss Burns for arranging the show and to all the Pre-School staff for their support.
Thank you Year 6 for your assembly on Gifts and Talents. We enjoyed the start of the assembly where you talked about your talents and used the titles as acronyms to describe what you need to succeed. One of your examples was music:
M is for motivation
U is for unwavering
S is for success
I is for inspiration
C is for commitment.
You then told the story of The Fox and the Crow (one of Aesop’s fables) to illustrate the message of your assembly. I really enjoyed the acting which helped clearly to explain the story. The final part of the assembly talked about the start of advent and also other festivals that happen at this time of year. The assembly finished with the message, ‘Our talents are our gifts to the world. The greatest present we can give is to share our presence with others and bring light wherever we go by using our talents well.’
Thank you, 6P for an excellent assembly and thank you Mrs Prince for organising it.
Highfield Priory School was ranked 22nd in the country in The Sunday Times League Tables this month. This is the seventh consecutive year that the school has been ranked in the top thirty; an incredible achievement! It is this consistency year-on-year which was one of the leading factors in achieving our recent National Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation.
Highfield Priory School wins National Award for Excellence
We were thrilled to be named as the winner of the Junior and Prep School Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation at the ISA Awards, last Friday. We have enjoyed a long reputation at Highfield for academic excellence but the focus of this award was a celebration of everything that we are doing outside the classroom and how, in building a child’s confidence in Sport, Art, Music, the Performing Arts and within the community, we are instilling in our children a self-belief that drives a child forward to even greater academic success. There are 440 schools within the ISA across the country and this was the only Award for Academic Excellence at Preparatory and Junior School level. It is my belief that we won this award for the children’s work hard and play hard approach to school life. They face each day with enthusiasm, big smiles on their faces and an aim-high attitude in all things, supported by a caring community of staff, children and parents. Their academic and extra-curricular achievements are astounding year on year. As Aristotle said, ‘Excellence is not an act but a habit’.
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!
I am delighted to announce that Highfield Priory School is a finalist, alongside two other schools, for the Junior Preparatory School Award for Academic Excellence and Innovation at the Independent Schools’ Association Awards in November. This is the only award solely for Junior Schools and there are 439 schools in the organisation. I will update you on our Facebook page and in our newsletter as soon as we have any news of our final position.
Thank you 6H for your excellent assembly on trusting others and being a trustworthy person. I really enjoyed the way you used the story from the film ‘Finding Nemo’ and the story of Samson in rhyme from The Bible to illustrate your important message. Your presentation and delivery were very impressive, especially considering the busy start to the year you have had. You have all made many trusting friendships with children and staff at Highfield which I know you will continue to cherish this year and when you move on to your new schools. Thank you Mrs Haythornthwaite for arranging this assembly.
I went to watch Year 1 this week in their Art lesson with Miss Jewitt. The children’s main focus was understanding secondary colours, painting the colour wheel and mixing primary colours. All the children were really focused on the task in hand. Amelia was using different shades of yellow, red and orange which she mixed very carefully to paint a picture which was very effective with vivid colours. Lola was using a variety of shades of brown to show the different colours of autumn in her picture of leaves. Avni was using white to create colour lines for pink, yellow and blue. She told me that she had added seven brushes of white to a colour before adding to her colour line. Lyla told me that painting was her favourite part of Art lessons and she was enjoying having Miss Jewitt as her teacher. Luca, who was deep in concentration on his leaf picture, just nodded contentedly when asked if he was enjoying the activity, not daring to break his concentration or lift his head as he painted each stroke with precision. Hanna was using very bright colours to create an eye-catching picture. The concentration and focused attention of the children in their fourth art lesson of the term (aged five!) was quite incredible. I can’t wait to pop back later in the year to see what they will be creating next!
Thank you 4S for your excellent Harvest Assembly this morning. We learnt so much about how the food gets to our tables and what the farmers need to grow the crops to produce the healthy food that we eat. I was impressed by your delivery and the clarity with which you explained the processes that many of us take for granted. I particularly liked the Harvest Acrostic at the end.
Pre-School had a very busy morning on Wednesday. They visited Highfield Haven to collect items that were red, green and brown. The children really enjoyed exploring the Haven and looking at the wildlife and all the different colours. They managed to fill a basket right up to the top before they came back into school. They then used the leaves to create a picture from the dye in the leaves. This form of art is called Hapa Zome and is the Japanese art of creating pictures by hitting leaves with hammers. I watched Harriet and Sienna cover their leaves with a white sheet before using a hammer to extract the dye. The rest of the children watched intently with hands behind their backs and goggles on for safety. It was amazing to see their picture come to life as the dye created the exact print on the sheet. I then watched Eliza taking her time choosing a variety of leaves with different colours and shapes from the basket before she and Ayyub used the hammers successfully to create their pictures. Outside, the rest of the class were watching real tools in use as Mr Forrest cut up some pipe for them to play with. They were warned of the dangers of the saw and watched as the sharp edge cut through the pipe. Nathanael said the sharp bits were cutters and Arthur said they were like shark’s teeth. Miss Halstead then asked the children what they were going to use the pipes for. After a little bit of quiet contemplation, Abdullah said he was going to build a fire engine before they all raced off to start the construction. Eva chased after them saying they needed instructions! At this point Arthur turned to me and said he needed an instructions man. Time to beat a hasty retreat and leave them in the capable hands of Miss Halstead! It was a wonderful start to my Wednesday morning to witness so much enthusiasm, confidence, creativity and fun!
It has been a very busy second week with all our activities getting underway, our first sporting matches of the year and our new parents’ coffee morning. I have really enjoyed walking around the school, watching the enthusiasm and interest sparked in lessons and witnessing the excitement as the children embarked upon their first activities. I always feel very fortunate and privileged to be amongst school children at the start of an academic year as they are testing their potential, discovering new talents and blossoming as new challenges and experiences unfold before them.
Welcome back! It was wonderful to see all the children back in school on Tuesday, refreshed and full of stories about the holidays and excited about the term and year ahead. There was a great deal of catching up to be done with friends and teachers. The playground was full of chatter and happy faces at break and lunchtime as the school routine really got underway. I would like to offer a very warm welcome to all our new children and families as they join the Highfield community and to Mrs Prince who is 6P’s class teacher and our Director of Studies.
After 15 and a half years at Highfield, it is with great sadness that I say goodbye today. Since joining Highfield, I have seen many children come and go but Highfield’s ethos has always been to give our children the best start on their educational journey, and I have been proud to have been a part of that. I have loved my years here but the time is right for me to move on. It wouldn’t, however, have been the same without the people who make Highfield what it is. So I say ‘thank you’ to the children - for your enthusiasm, your commitment to be the best you can be whatever your ability, your confidence, your humour and your willingness to help others. ‘Thank you’ parents - for your support, your kindness, your generosity, your understanding when things were tough and your total belief in your children. ‘Thank you’ to my colleagues and all the staff at Highfield - for being a great team, for your friendship, your hard work, your support and your total commitment to the school. I wish you all the very best and I look forward to seeing you at some point in the future. Mrs Hewins
Thank you Year 6 for your Leavers’ Assembly this morning in which you reminisced about your time at Highfield. It was very moving to see what you were like when you first came to Highfield right through to the sophisticated young people standing before us today. Your memories were all very different and gave us a real sense of the talented, kind and big-hearted children you are and how busy you have been. You really have become a very strong year group which has welcomed every new pupil, with open arms, into the Highfield family. Your strength, passion, fun and real sense of togetherness shone through in the leavers’ video and in the singing of the school song: Shine Out! Thank you Mrs Hewins and Mrs Haythornthwaite for arranging the assembly. You certainly do know how to tug on those heart strings!
Congratulations to our fantastic Year Six who achieved an impressive set of National Curriculum Test results. You have certainly worked hard during your time at Highfield and you deserve the high level of attainment you have reached. A big thank you to Mrs Hewins, Mrs Haythornthwaite, your class teachers and of course your parents for their support.
Congratulations to our Under 11s Rugby team who had a very successful Rossall Invitational Tournament this week. They won their group, winning three games and drawing one, and eventually finished as Runners-up (second place out of ten schools) in the Emerging Schools Tournament. An excellent achievement and a fitting way to end our contact matches for the year. Next week the rest of the boys in Year 5 and 6 will be travelling to Oakhill to play Tag Rugby. ... See moreSee less