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Headmaster's Welcome

Headmaster's News - 19th July 2017

Jul 19, 2017

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

Headmaster's News - 14th July 2017

Jul 14, 2017

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!

Headmaster's News - 7th July 2017

Jul 7, 2017

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.

Headmaster's News - 30th June 2017

Jun 30, 2017

Year 3 took part in a problem-solving afternoon on Monday. The children were split into groups and were faced with a number of challenges which they had to complete as a group. It is an excellent exercise which really helps the children to improve their leadership skills as well as their ability to communicate with each other. As the afternoon progressed, you could clearly see an improvement in their listening skills and in their ability to support and encourage one another. This improved the speed with which they completed each activity and it also led to a real bond forming within each team as they enjoyed the success of achieving the challenge. The challenges ranged from crossing an imaginary river to using semaphore to relay a message. Evie and Nandini said the water challenge was their favourite as they had to keep transferring water carefully over obstacles to a bucket in a set amount of time. They didn’t get wet at all! Lucas said that his favourite was Swamp Stompers where they had to cross an imaginary swamp on two planks of wood, working as a team. The children were full of stories of the afternoon’s adventures and how they had fared in each activity they had attempted. Thank you to Mrs Jones for organising the afternoon.

Headmaster's News - 23rd June 2017

Jun 23, 2017

Congratulations to Grace, James, Jemima, Alexander and Olivia D who all took part in the National Athletics Final on Monday. It was an amazing achievement even to qualify as it was out of 426 schools in the country. All our children did incredibly well competing against excellent athletes from across the country in the intense heat. Olivia D brought two medals home: a bronze in the 75m and a silver in the 150m.  James’ relay team came second after he ran a very good second leg but unfortunately the team was disqualified after a faulty changeover later in the race. All the children scored valuable points for the North Team who came third overall. Well done!

Headmaster's News - 16th June 2017

Jun 16, 2017

This morning was our final Musical Assembly of the year and for some children it was their last performance in a musical assembly at Highfield. We saw a full range of instruments being played today including Brass, Strings, Woodwind and Piano. Several children were playing on their second instrument which is a huge achievement. For some, it was their first time and they were very excited about reading their prepared speeches and performing in public. Congratulations to our first timers: Kavya on piano, Danya with the guitar, Martha on the piano and Edie with her ukulele.  Miss Macklam.

Congratulations to all the performers. Your composure and level of playing ability was quite incredible for children of such a young age. It was a very memorable start to this half-term.  Mr Sheppeck 

Headmaster's News - 26th May 2017

May 26, 2017

Thank you 5D for your assembly about Explorers this morning and how we can learn from their experiences when we are faced by challenges in our everyday life and at school. You introduced us to a number of explorers from throughout history from Sir Francis Drake to Christopher Columbus. We learnt about their fascinating lives and all the challenges they faced. You also highlighted the traits that you need to be a great explorer and how we should use these skills to face our own challenges. The delivery of the assembly was excellent with every word spoken clearly, emphasising the important message of this assembly. Thank you Mr Drake and 5D.

Headmaster's News - 19th May 2017

May 19, 2017

Thank you Year 1 for your assembly this morning about the exciting subject you are studying in class; Castles! You have learnt so many facts which you delivered with clear understanding to the rest of the school. I loved your costumes which highlighted the different people who would have lived and worked in a castle. I know that a lot of your knowledge has come from your trip to Skipton Castle which you all thoroughly enjoyed and which is where you witnessed and learnt more about the design of, and life in, a castle. Thank you 1W and Mrs Wilson for arranging this assembly.

Headmaster's News - 12th May 2017

May 12, 2017

Thank you 4H for your excellent assembly this morning about resilience and aspiration. Your delivery and stage presence were excellent and you had many important messages for your audience about not giving up and bouncing back from whatever life throws at us. You used the Thomas Edison story of the invention of the lightbulb as an example; how he tried and failed 10,000 times before it worked! You told us about how this story has inspired you to keep trying in areas that you find difficult or want to improve like origami. I also enjoyed listening to your aspirations for future careers from policeman to future Olympic equestrian star. Thank you Mrs Hill for arranging this assembly – we really enjoyed it!

Headmaster's News - 5th May 2017

May 5, 2017

Thank you Year 3 and Year 5 for your fantastic performance of The Tempest on Thursday. The use of physical theatre really brought the play to life with the children not just excelling with their spoken word but also in their movements and interactions with each other. It certainly added to the overall impact of the performance. I was very impressed by Year 3 who were performing famous speeches from Shakespeare’s The Tempest throughout the performance. It was quite amazing to see 7 and 8 year olds deliver Shakespeare with confidence and understanding. The singing was also fantastic with a lovely arrangement of songs that I am sure will stay with the cast and audience for weeks to come. As I write this, my foot is tapping along to ‘My Milan’! Thank you to Miss Burns who choreographed the excellent dance routines throughout the performance; thank you to Mr Drake for his sound and lighting expertise and Mrs Morrice for her support with the set and props. A huge thank you from us all to Mrs Duke and Miss Macklam for their dramatic and musical direction of this play. It was a triumph!

Headmaster's News - 28th April 2017

Apr 28, 2017

It has been another wonderful week of weather at Highfield with a wide range of activities underway in this second week of term. The children have been busy on the sporting front; rehearsals are going well for The Tempest and our Year Six classes are working on their final preparations for the National Curriculum tests.

Headmaster's News - 21st April 2017

Apr 21, 2017

Welcome back! What a beautiful morning on Tuesday to start the first day of the Summer term. The school looked fantastic bathed in sunshine with a wonderful array of flowers in front of the school. The children were refreshed from their break and raring to go, full of stories of what they had been doing in the holidays and excited about the term ahead.

Headmaster's News - 31st March 2017

Mar 31, 2017

The noise of rustling raffle tickets could be heard around the school on Wednesday as the children awaited, with GREAT excitement, the Easter Egg Raffle! The children have been eyeing up their favourite eggs all week in the Office and they were pointing out their preferred egg to their friends as they entered the dining room for the Infant draw and the sports hall for the Junior draw. As the raffle got underway, the excitement built as each child’s number was called to claim their egg. By the end of the draws we had two rooms full of very contented children. This morning, we held the draw for the first prize, a large Thornton’s egg which was won by Tim in 2M. I hope he is going to share that egg with the whole of his family!

Headmaster's News - 24th March 2017

Mar 24, 2017

This week we have been celebrating a very important person in all our lives: our mum! Thank you 3M for your lovely assembly in which you told us why your mum is so special to you. We heard why mums were special for their amazing cooking, hugs, tickles and jokes. We also found out what TV programmes they like watching with you and what pop songs they like! I also enjoyed listening to your fabulous acrostic poems and your fantastic rendition of Supermum!

Headmaster's News - 17th March 2017

Mar 17, 2017

Thank you 5M for your assembly on ‘Fairness’ this morning which is our theme for this term. It was really interesting to hear you talking about what you have been discussing in class and the practical examples were really important for your audience to hear. The story from the Bible of the Prodigal Son and examples of people from history like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, who stood up for the rights of people who were not treated fairly, really emphasised the theme for this term. Thank you 5M for delivering your message very clearly. You have certainly given us all a great deal to think about. Thank you Miss Macklam for arranging this assembly.

Headmaster's News - 10th March 2017

Mar 10, 2017

Thank you 1D for a brilliant assembly on superheroes. You were so confident and you all delivered your words superbly. I enjoyed hearing how you have used your discussion on superheroes to develop your written work and you are now writing longer sentences which include really descriptive adjectives. Well done! You also told us about real life superheroes like Louis Braille who invented Braille so people who are blind can read and Mary Seacole who was a nurse who built her own hospital to help people. It was a lovely assembly in which you all smiled from start to finish. Thank you Mrs Davidson and 1D!

Headmaster's News - 3rd March 2017

Mar 3, 2017

This is one of my favourite days of the year where the children and staff come dressed up as one of their favourite literary characters. The children really enjoy surprising their classmates and guessing what characters they have each come dressed as. It is also a wonderful celebration of the range of literature that is out there for our children to read and it serves to encourage the children to find out more about the characters they do not know.

The Mastermind Challenge is one of the highlights of the day where five pupils (who have qualified through earlier rounds) compete in the final. They are tested on their knowledge of six books, in a very similar style to Mastermind, in front of the school. Their knowledge and memory for the detail in the books never ceases to impress me. This year the finalists were Aditya, Alexander, Haris, Mohamed and Suzanna and our Mastermind Champion 2017 is Alexander.  Congratulations to all our finalists on a very impressive performance. Well done!

Headmaster's News - 24th February 2017

Feb 24, 2017

Thank you to all our musicians who performed with confidence and composure this morning. This was particularly impressive considering the age of the performers and with Rohan just in Year 2! There were also at least five pupils performing publicly for the first time with Ziyad and Zain only starting to learn the guitar in September. Isabel, who performed so beautifully in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, performed ‘Yesterday’ - a song that she has enjoyed singing in choir. Congratulations and well done to all our performers this morning. An excellent start to the new term! Thank you Miss Macklam for organising this assembly.

Headmaster's News - 10th February 2017

Feb 10, 2017

Last night saw Highfield Priory School take centre stage at The Charter Theatre in front of an audience of over 300 people. We were entertained by Miss Burns’ Dancers (from the age of 4!); our Infant Young Voices; our Year 4 actors and our Year 6 oboe player. It was amazing to see the dance, singing and acting coming together for the first time, involving eighty pupils from all the different age groups and classes. Our youngest performers in Reception and Infants were fearless as though they have been treading the boards for years. The stage presence of our Year 4 pupils (aged 8/9) in front of so many people, the bright lights and the special effects, was quite incredible. The production was all pieced together with very limited time at school and just two sessions in the theatre itself. The performance really showed Highfield at its best and was a real celebration of the range of talent at Highfield. Pictures will be posted on our Facebook page over half-term which will give just a flavour of this very colourful and mesmerising performance. I would like to thank our Directors, Mrs Duke, Mrs Shackleton and Miss Burns, for all their hard work in preparing the children and for giving them the opportunity to perform to such a high standard on this stage. It is a memory that I know will stay with parents and children for many years to come.

Headmaster's News - 27th January 2017

Jan 27, 2017

Congratulations to our amazing swimmers! James, Oliver, Zahara and Sophie travelled down to The Olympic Pool in London to represent the North of England in the Nationals. They were supported by a large contingent of parents and children from Highfield throughout the day. All the swimmers did incredibly well and even managed to improve upon last year’s performance. Oliver achieved three Gold Medals in medley relay, backstroke and breaststroke (including two national records in his individual events); James achieved two Golds for his individual front crawl and relay and a Bronze in his backstroke; Zahara achieved a Silver for her breaststroke and Gold in the freestyle relay; Sophie came 6th in backstroke (achieving a personal best). Our team helped the Junior Northern Team to come first overall in the country! There are over 380 schools in the organisation so the children have all done amazingly well bringing home 8 medals in total. We are very proud of you all!

Headmaster's News - 20th January 2017

Jan 20, 2017

Good luck to Oliver, James, Zahara, Sophie and their supporters who are travelling down to the Olympic Pool to swim in the ISA National Finals on Saturday. Enjoy the experience! We will all be thinking about you tomorrow with our fingers crossed.

Headmaster's News - 13th January 2017

Jan 13, 2017

I visited our 2+ Nursery on a bright but blustery Wednesday morning. I settled down and watched Nathan, Scarlett, Sienna D and Sienna M eating their breakfast before a busy and fun packed day ahead. Sienna, Arthur and Violet obviously thought I was missing out and brought me toy biscuits, cakes and toast! Arthur then explained that he, Nathanael and Leo were firemen with special silver shiny tape placed specifically on different parts of their body. Leo then shouted out with his pretend microphone that there was a fire in the kitchen! The three of them rushed off at top speed to deal with the problem. Hugo was starting his day listening to a book in the quiet corner with Miss Dad. He was asking questions and pointing at the pictures, taking in every word, before he rushed off to join Maeve in the soft play area. Maeve was balancing carefully across a bridge before jumping off the end and then excitedly running round to complete the challenge again. I joined Scarlett and Nathan who were playing with the measuring cylinders. Scarlett gave me a cylinder so that I could join in and we filled up the biggest cylinder together. Annabelle raced up excitedly and told me that Father Christmas had come last night down the chimney and left lots of presents in the kitchen before she dashed off to take part in another activity! Eliza and Leo were playing in the kitchen very contentedly with Miss Smart, sharing toys and cooking a feast for later in the day.  

It was lovely to see the children so active and happy to be together and with their nursery nurses, going from one activity to another and getting fully involved and excited.  I look forward to returning to watch and join in more activities later this term. 

Headmaster's News - 16th December 2016

Dec 16, 2016

On Tuesday night, our Junior school, led by the School Choir, performed a wonderful arrangement of carols at St Maria Goretti Church. The congregation also watched a number of group solos as well as a very accomplished performance of Silent Night by our flautists: Katie, Olivia E and Millie. It was lovely to see so many of our past pupils and parents as well as our present ones on this very special evening. A big thank you to Miss Macklam for all her hard work in the lead up to this very memorable event.

Headmaster's News - 9th December 2016

Dec 9, 2016

Christmas came to Highfield this week when our fantastic PTA spent their Monday morning decorating the school. The children were delighted as they came out of assembly, pointing out the decorations and discussing the Christmas cards and Highfield post box. The preparations continued with rehearsals for the Infant Nativity, Carol Service and Nursery and Pre-School shows well underway. The standard and quality of performance was very impressive with still a week to go. Good luck everyone - we can’t wait to see you in action!

Headmaster's News - 2nd December 2016

Dec 2, 2016

Thank you 1D for your fantastic assembly this morning all about animals. We really did visit the Highfield Zoo where you shared facts about a range of animals from birds right through to amphibians. I enjoyed your telling of Brigitte Minne’s story in which the animals competed to see which animal had the best tail. Your final song, ‘Wag, Wag, Wag Your Tail’ was very entertaining! You all spoke with so much confidence and certainly looked like you were having lots of fun! Congratulations 1D and thank you Mrs Davidson for organising this assembly.

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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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