Highfield Priory School believes passionately in building up children’s confidence so that “I Can’t” is wiped from a child’s vocabulary forever.
All the children in KS1 and KS2 use and enjoy our ICT Suite regularly. Our ICT Suite is filled with computers, laptops, iPads and programmable devices, which enable our children to explore a curriculum that is diverse, exciting and current with today’s ever-changing world of technology. This facility helps to explore the positives of technology and how, when used correctly, it can be a very powerful tool to enhance our lives. We also have a bank of laptops that are available to be used in any classroom that enables us to bring technology into other aspects of the curriculum.
Our art studio is a place of inspiration for children from Y1 – Y6 and they love spending time here. They enjoy using our fully stocked art room which is resourced for printing, textiles, drawing, painting, sculpture and collage. The children enjoy using our in room art library to further research the artists they study and also benefit from a Higher Order Thinking Skills task zone, The room has a large DT bench complete with vices and a DT tool cupboard which is brimming with saws, drills and other tools. This is what our children have to say:
“I enjoy listening to peaceful music in the art room and doing fun work. It’s my idea of heaven.”
“Art lessons are a time to relax and create. I look forward to doing art and looking at each other’s artwork, it makes me happy.”
“Art is the most creative subject and it gets us thinking for ourselves. We learn what we can really do!”
“Art lessons inspire me because they leave you bursting with ideas!”
“I love looking at the work of other artists. I find it inspirational. Our art library is a place for us to relax and learn even more.”
The school library is filled with great books for all our children to enjoy. The children are able to borrow books from our library during their weekly visits. Throughout their time at Highfield, we place a great deal of focus on reading both as an enjoyable pastime and as a vital part of a child’s learning journey. We recognise how much reading helps a child in every aspect of their education. Recent research by Dr Stuart Ritchie has shown that being good at reading from the age of seven actually boosts intelligence and improves a child’s cognitive skills in later life.
We listen to our children read regularly- 3-4 times per week in the Infant School and twice a week in the Junior School. As well as reading in school, the children are encouraged to read aloud to an adult each night to reinforce their word recognition, improve their confidence and share their love of reading with siblings and parents at home.
Our Performing Arts Studio is a great space for HPSED (Highfield Public Speaking, Elocution and Drama). Our HPSED lessons aim to develop a child’s communication and presentation skills. The voice is the basic tool with which they are able to make friends, share experiences, develop their talents and present themselves to the world. Through the study of Speech and of Drama, we teach our pupils to speak with clear diction and appropriate intonation. We teach them the importance of self-awareness and awareness of their audience. As they grow in confidence, our pupils become more able to speak out freely in any given situation; and to speak with clarity and judgement. In the Performing Arts Studio, our pupils begin to develop their performance skills which culminate in opportunities to perform in larger venues to a variety of audiences within the school and the wider community.
We are also delighted to be able to offer dance lessons in tap, ballet and street dance with Ms Burns and her Lancaster Ballet and Theatre School in our Performing Arts Studio. These lessons are available as an extra-curricular activity for children from Nursery through to Year 6.
The Learning Support Department at Highfield Priory School is integral to helping children to reach their full potential. We work with individual pupils and small groups, supporting learning in English and Maths. Children who have specific difficulties or who have a diagnosis of a condition such as dyslexia may need long term support. We work with class teachers, and other professionals involved, to ensure appropriate adaptations and arrangements are made to facilitate and enhance their learning experience. In addition to the more specialised support, we work with booster groups in the Junior School to give pupils that extra bit of support in order to help them to gain the confidence and the skills they need to thrive in the classroom.
The addition of an all-weather pitch to our facilities at Highfield has greatly increased our ability to get the children outside and active whatever the weather. The pitch is floodlit and hosts a variety of sporting fixtures throughout the Winter, Spring and Summer months. It also enables us to hold training sessions after school in Cricket, Hockey, Football, Rugby and Rounders.
Our Sports Field adjoins our all-weather pitch, creating space for an additional football pitch and an athletics track in the Summer term.
We have two outdoor Netball courts which are used for competitive matches and training sessions.
A large indoor Sports Hall that is used for assemblies and school productions; indoor training and matches (Hockey, Netball and Football); PE lessons and Cricket net sessions.
The sport facilities are also used for team building. Each year group in the Junior School embarks on a team building activity day in which they put their problem-solving and team work skills to the test in a series of physical problem-solving activities. The children develop their communication skills as they talk each other through the challenge and decide on the best approach to each new problem. They learn to lead and to follow; to speak and to listen; to encourage and to praise. They develop resilience when their ideas don’t work and they have to look for a new approach to their problem.
We are very fortunate at Highfield to enjoy a woodland setting amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy city. Within our woodland, we have Highfield Haven: an outdoor classroom and observation area where the children can watch the wildlife and enjoy hands-on experience with nature. This begins in Nursery and continues throughout the school, often providing the children with inspiration in their creative writing and art work as well as an area for outdoor science investigations and experiments.
We have an Outdoor Construction Area that the junior children are able to enjoy during break and lunch times. This is an area that the children can create mini sculptures and creations using wood and other objects.