Thank you to all our musicians and singers this morning and what a wonderful way to end a very busy and successful week. Over 50 children performed in our largest musical assembly to date, this is still just a fraction of all the musicians in school. It was the first performance by our School Band and Little Voices who were brilliant! (see our facebbok page) Their enjoyment of these clubs was clearly demonstrated in their enthusiastic performance. I now look forward to their performance for parents at the Summer Fayre. We also had a very impressive array of individual performances, from pianists through to our brass players. For a few of these children, who have just started, to perform in the musical assembly was their target for the year and they certainly achieved that, not only with confidence but also with a very accomplished performance. Ali, Year 6 and Suzanna, Year 4, wrote their own compositions for this morning’s assembly. A very impressive achievement for children of primary school age.
This final Music Assembly of the year really showed how music continues to develop within the school under the direction of Miss Macklam with the support of her strong team of Mr Murray, Mrs Street, Mrs Hill and our peripatetic teachers.
What a fabulous feast of sport! The spectators watched a range of events which involved throwing, balancing, overcoming obstacles, the sack race and so much more. The children were confident and extremely talented at all the events and I definitely think we have some Olympic athletes of the future in our midst. The children were also excellent at cheering and supporting each other and their enjoyment and enthusiasm were clear to see with big smiles, excitement and laughter.
The final result was 1st - Italy, 2nd - France and 3rd - Great Britain Thank you to Mrs Parsons for organising the event and to all the staff for their support. Photographs on Facebook
Thank you, Year 2, for your excellent assembly this morning about the Sikh faith. I always enjoy listening to assemblies that are connected with what you are studying in class. I could hear every word you spoke clearly, which was particularly impressive considering the difficult vocabulary. You were all very knowledgeable about Sikhism which was apparent in your confident delivery and when talking to you afterwards. I enjoyed watching your interpretation of the story, which is told to Sikh children, about Guru Nanak. Thank you to 2W and to Mrs Wilson for producing an assembly to such a high standard at the end of a very busy week of tests.
Congratulations to all our performers in Years 3 and 5 for their very memorable and moving performance of ‘A Letter to the Trenches’ last week, to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The play has really helped the children to understand what happened during this period in history and the sacrifices that were made not just on the frontline but also at home. The letters that were read so well by the pupils were written by a local man, Sergeant William Rawcliffe, to his sister Molly. These really helped the children to recognise that this was happening on their doorstep with events happening at Fulwood Barracks and Tidworth; and that Sergeant Rawcliffe was a real man experiencing the horrors of war with courage and dignity.
Thank you to Mme Morrice and to everyone who performed in the French Assembly. It was 4 years ago that we decided to introduce French to all years from as young as our Pre-School and you could certainly see the benefits of that today. The depth of vocabulary from parts of the body, to animals, through to the weather, was very impressive. It was also good to see the children in Year 5 saying what food they like and ordering it in French. The Year 6 recited long paragraphs in French in which they described each other. The assembly really showed how their language skills have come together in Year 6 and the progress they all make each year. The Assembly also told us about the culture and geography of France. This really gives their lessons and vocabulary some perspective. All the children once again demonstrated their confidence when speaking in public - even in a different language!
On Tuesday, it was a beautiful day and Year 1 took advantage of the weather and went into the grounds to collect leaves for their Science topic on plants. They also linked it in with their topic from last term on Living and Not Living. Zainab ran up straight away with a leaf to show me. She was beaming and appeared very at ease in her new surroundings (this is only her second week in her new class). Martha showed me a leaf skeleton and already we had an example of leaves that were living and not living. Alex explained that for leaves to grow they need to drink, eat and breathe. Nandini then found a ladybird which she was delighted to show the other children. Brooke was really enjoying exploring the different plants and was proud to announce that she had found wild garlic and she was right! Hiba found lots of different leaves, holding them up to the sunlight to examine them carefully. The overall scene was lovely: the sun’s rays were reflecting through the trees, casting different shadows; the children’s faces were lighting up when they found something new; all this with the constant excited chatter of the children and birds all around. I returned to my office invigorated and uplifted, ready to take on the next bit of paperwork!
Rehearsals are well underway for the performance by Years 3 and 5 of ‘A Letter to the Trenches’. The songs are ringing out from the music room and I am sure many of you are probably also now word perfect due to lots of singing and line learning during the Easter holiday! The acting is being perfected in the Performing Arts Studio and children will be fitted with their costumes next week.
We have also had an incredible response to our request for poppies with some wonderful designs and personal messages of remembrance. Mrs Duke was overwhelmed by the response and sends a very big thank you to you all for your thoughtfulness, hard work and creativity.
All poppies will be on display on the evening as well as a variety of World War 1 memorabilia. The play commemorates the 100th anniversary of the First World War and will take place, almost to the day, on the 100th anniversary of when the play was set. The play will take place at 6pm on the evening of Thursday 30th April so please have the date pencilled in your diary. We will announce when tickets are available from the Office (early next week). It may be advisable to stock up on Kleenex as I watched the closing scene yesterday, and walked away with a sizeable lump in my throat.
All our Year 4 children travelled to Rivington on Thursday to take part in their major team building event of the year: orienteering. They were divided into different groups and had to navigate their way around a course, using a map to find posts with letters. The course was approximately 4 miles through woodland and next to a lake.
The teams, after their initial eagerness to find the posts first, found that -by taking their time to look at the maps, study the terrain and check the distance by pacing out the route -they were able to locate the posts more quickly. Their teamwork, communication and observation skills really improved throughout the day and by the end of the course they had an excellent understanding of how to use a map and how to navigate themselves around a course. Thank you to Mrs Jones for organising the event and all the staff who supported the children on the day.
This week, Year Six have been performing their own version of the ‘I have a dream’ speech by Martin Luther King in which they dream of a better world for their HPSED examinations. On Monday, a number of the pupils gave us a preview of what they have been working on. George, Archie, Tom N, Kieran, Ian, Jonathan and Ismaeel delivered the original speech as a group performance which they had choreographed themselves. It was very effective with pupils saying sections together and on their own, kneeling down and standing up together, throwing their fists into the air and ending with, “…knowing that we will be free one day!” It was very powerful and impressive. They were then followed by Sam, Tom D and Harry with their prepared examination speeches. These were written by the pupils about important issues which have an adverse effect on today’s society and their dream for change. The language that they used was incredibly advanced and emotive and their audience was captivated. To stand in front of the whole school and deliver a powerful speech which lasted a number of minutes was a staggering achievement for each of them. We listened in mesmerised silence to ten and eleven year old boys delivering a speech of which any adult would have been proud. Congratulations to all the Year 6 children who performed in the Assembly and to the rest of our Year 6 who received their certificates and medals today and who never cease to amaze me with what heights they can achieve when they ‘Aim High!’
Thank you Year 3 for reminding us who is the most important person in our lives: our mums. It was very special to hear about why your mum is special to you: from making great pasta dishes; to mums doing silly dances; to being there to referee when you have arguments with your siblings. We really felt the special bond between you and your mums. You made us smile, laugh and, in some cases, shed a tear. Thank you for making us reflect and think about our own mothers and I hope that you choose very carefully at the Mothers’ Day shop. Thank you to Mrs Morrice for arranging the assembly.
On Wednesday 4th March, we had a spectacular visit from the exceptional author Helena Pielichaty. Helena has written over 30 children’s books; the first published in 1998. Helena has a great bubbly personality, it shone through during the interview Ismaeel and I had with her for the Year 6 Gazette. She gave two workshop sessions during her visit – the first with Years 3 and 4 and the second with Years 5 and 6. I thoroughly enjoyed her visit and it was a pleasure meeting her personally. Thank you Helena for hosting a wonderful day!
I was walking down the Art and ICT corridor on Tuesday and was at a loss as to where all the children had gone. I peered through the Art room window and, to my surprise, the whole of 4D were there, transfixed by their individual projects. I was keen to see what had them so absorbed and motivated. Ahmed explained that they were doing DT this term and that they were making decorative bird boxes, including their own birds as ornaments for the house. Millie was delicately taking real care to trace out a design for her box, focusing on getting every detail correct. Amelia was really enjoying the task and was excited about it being displayed on Open Day. Clare and Isabelle were deep in concentration on their very intricate patterns. Isabelle was particularly keen to show me her bird box which was painted in a very striking red colour. Suzanna explained to me that she was painting the easy parts before focusing on the detail. Katie was first to finish her decorative birds and explained how they would be attached to the box. It was lovely to see the children in our Art Studio working so passionately with our specialist teacher Miss Jewitt. You could certainly see the commitment and enthusiasm by the children for the project.
The work inside and outside our Art Studio has been updated over the last few weeks, giving you a real flavour of what the children have been working on over the last few months. It is very impressive and definitely worth a visit on Open Day.
Thank you Year 6 for your assembly which retold the story of David and Goliath this morning. The audience really enjoyed the play and the noise level from the singing and chanting really woke everybody up! We could hear every word clearly and your expressive performance really conveyed the message of your story. Thank you Mrs Haythornthwaite for organising the assembly. I know that our Year 6 will continue to set an example to the rest of the school and show the strength and courage to deal with any difficult problems they come across.
Wow 2M what a brilliant assembly! It was like watching a full-scale production with the wonderful singing and acting. You made sure we could hear every word and your enthusiasm and exuberance for the topic of the Fire of London really shone through. I know from watching your rehearsal earlier in the week how much you enjoyed preparing for this assembly and it was lovely to witness that enjoyment as you performed today with big beaming smiles on your faces. Thank you to Mr Murray for organising this assembly and to Miss Kidd for her support.
Three Highfield swimmers had an incredible experience last Saturday at the National ISA swimming finals in the Olympic Pool, London. Just stepping through the entrance and looking down at the Olympic pool below with the electronic scoreboards and over 1000 spectators either side took your breath away. As I took in my surroundings we realised that Katie was about to start her breaststroke final. We were in a prime position to watch her dominate the race and become National Champion; this was quickly followed by Matthew in his backstroke event. Matthew’s strength and determination in the second half of the race beat all the opposition and he too became National Champion. In the afternoon, Katie repeated her fantastic performance from the morning with a convincing win in front crawl to become National Champion in a second event.
The times they achieved also made Matthew and Katie the fastest swimmers in the country in their age group for these events; an incredible achievement!
What can I say! Highfield Priory School put on a production of The Witches in the Charter Theatre on Wednesday night. The play started with children as young as 4 taking to the stage to perform a very memorable witches’ dance which was to set the scene for the rest of the performance. The children’s confidence and the quality of their acting was quite incredible in ones so young. To stand on a stage in the main theatre in Preston with the spot light on you in front of 300 people, sometimes on your own, was nothing short of amazing! You really made each part your own and the audience was yours from the start to the finish. The dancers showed a variety of genres of dance: street jazz, ballet and tap, which they have been learning in extra-curricular clubs at school. All their practice really paid off with so many dancers coming together for each dance and performing to a very high standard. To see nearly 100 pupils, which is over half our school, taking centre stage (with the majority of performers being between the ages of 4 -9) was amazing. The buzz from the audience afterwards included many positive comments from members of the public, who were not connected with the school (but had bought tickets just to see you!) as well as from very proud parents. You should all be very proud of yourselves indeed. As one member of Year 4 said after the show, “Now I know I can do anything!”
The term is now really underway and the children are so busy working hard and taking advantage of a variety of experiences and activities this term. Year 6 are studying hard for their Entrance Examinations, The Witches are preparing for their dress rehearsal and final performance, competitive sporting fixtures have started and we have some new activities this term which include a school band.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break. The children look refreshed and are full of all the activities and quality time they spent with their families over the holidays. My break was certainly less eventful than last year; I wasn’t in Casualty on Christmas Day (!) and we managed to fit in two very enjoyable trips to the theatre.
What an incredibly busy and successful term this has been. It began with the excellent news that our Year 6 children had passed their Grammar school examinations. This was followed later in the term with Highfield retaining its position as the top Independent Preparatory school in Lancashire (and 29th in the country) for our NCT results which were published in The Sunday Times. Our academic prowess also shone through in the Bolton Big Quiz General Knowledge competition in which Highfield finished 1st out of 14 teams. It has been a busy term for music and drama with our accomplished musicians performing in a musical assembly and singing carols at Barton Grange, Bethany House and our Carol Service; our dramatists have been rehearsing for next term’s Charter Theatre performance of “The Witches”. We have also enjoyed wonderful performances by our Infants, Reception Class, Pre-School and Nursery and our Juniors have been busy with their Public Speaking exams. It has been busy on the games front with our girls winning the Under 10 ISA Northern Swimming Gala and three swimmers qualifying to swim in the Olympic pool in London at the national final. Our cross country team came second out of 23 teams at the Malsis cross country and we made an impressive start in the ISA football cup. Our chess players continue to do well, being placed highly in the county congresses. So many memories from our Autumn Term and these are just a few of our successes this term.
The Christmas season has really got underway this week: our Pre -School entertained us with their Christmas Dance Performance on Thursday; the Infants performed their Nativity for Pre-School; the choir visited the church in preparation for the Carol Service and Year 6 choir performed Christmas Carols at Barton Grange. The week ended with much fun and laughter from all the children at our Christmas Party and Fayre on Friday. Thank you to all the PTA who made the Christmas Fayre so enjoyable for the children. They loved all the activities, had a great time with the entertainer and met Father Christmas!
Today we say a very sad farewell to two longstanding members of the Highfield community. Mrs Bennett has been at Highfield for 16 years, teaching predominantly in the Infant Department. She has also been our PSHEE co-ordinator. She is an outstanding teacher and a valued member of our school and she will be missed by staff and children alike. Our best wishes go with Mrs Bennett and her family as they embark on their new adventure in Saudi Arabia.
I was back in Nursery this week and, as always, every child was on the go, absorbed in a variety of activities. Robert was squealing with delight as he got very messy enjoying the texture of the jelly bath. Milo was working alongside him, chatting away as he filled up a jug right to the top with the jelly. Aibhlin and Samuel were busy creating masterpieces with colouring pens; orange seemed to be the colour of the moment as each picture took shape. Eloise and Aamir were playing in the water area, washing baby dolls and ducks and really enjoying filling up bottles and pouring them out. Amelia and Ayesha were playing with the sand and looking at pictures on the wall. They were discussing their trips to the Highfield Haven and all the conkers and leaves they had collected. I then popped upstairs to see the babies who were also having a great time with water. They were blowing bubbles, splashing and really interacting with each other and Mrs Beaumont. I reluctantly left and, as I passed the 2+ area again downstairs, they had all moved into the movement room and were singing a song which involved buying currant buns from the baker’s shop. There were lots of actions and props and the children were having lots of fun taking it in turns to play each role. Thank you Nursery for a very enjoyable insight into how busy and interactive your mornings are. I really enjoyed watching you take part in all your activities and experiencing how much fun you have as you learn and discover new things.
Thank you to all our musicians who performed in our first musical assembly of the year this morning. We had 17 performers playing a range of instruments. Their composure and confidence was amazing, especially with many of them having only been playing for a short period of time and in their first public appearance. I also enjoyed listening to our junior choir for the first time this year which included the new choir members. I can’t wait to see you perform later in the year and see what progress you have made. Thank you to Miss Macklam for arranging this assembly.
Thank you Year 4 for your excellent assembly on Children in Need this morning. This is a very important charity which the school supports each year and it was very important and interesting for the school to hear about the history of the charity including Pudsey Bear and who the money supports. I enjoyed Year 4’s version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and I really enjoyed listening to their song, “Wake Me Up”: the Children In Need song for this year. A big thank you to Mr Drake for organising his first assembly at Highfield.
The Year 6 girls played their last Netball fixture for Highfield this week and ended a fantastic season with the A team winning 6-3 (Player of the Match - Grace T) and the B team winning 5-1 (Player of the Match - Elizabeth). Well done to not only the Year 6 teams but to all the girls who have played Netball this year. With over 50 girls attending Netball Club each week, it has been a popular activity where lots of new skills have been learned, new friends made and lots of fun has been had by all! A note from this year's Captain: I am very proud of our teams! We have played well all season, developing a great team spirit and always supporting and cheering on our friends. It has been a privilege to captain the netball team this year. (ZM) ... See moreSee less
The children in 4S have been learning about compass points. They took their lesson onto the playground and used compass points to locate mini chocolate eggs which had been hidden about the place. Of course, after all the hard work that had gone into finding them, the eggs had to be eaten! ... See moreSee less