Seventh Year Running in the Top 30 of The Sunday Times Top 100 Independent Prep Schools in England 

Headmaster's Welcome

Headmaster's Weekly News, Friday 8th December, 2017

Dec 8, 2017

8 December 2017


Dear Parents


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. 


New PE Teacher

I am delighted to announce that Mrs Lian Botton has accepted the position of Mrs Parsons’ maternity cover and will start on the first day back after the Christmas break. Mrs Botton is relocating from the South East where she has recently been Head of PE of a large department at Clacton County High School. She will bring a wealth of experience to the post and I am looking forward to Mrs Botton joining the Highfield family. I know you will all make her feel welcome.


Celebration Assembly

This morning, we had our second Celebration Assembly of the term. Children received certificates, medals and trophies. I really enjoyed hearing the wide range of activities that the children had been up to outside of school. You certainly have been busy and what a talented group of people you are!


Out and About with 4S

I was delighted to join 4S for their Creative Writing lesson this week. Hiba explained to me that they were writing stories about waking up in their mum or dad’s body. She had written about being her mum and going to teach Art in her school and finding it really hard and then picking up the children from school, as well as helping all the family at home. It had really made her think about how busy and hard her mum’s day is.  Mr Sheppeck emphasised that he wanted the children to focus on fronted adverbials. He gave the example, ‘In a flash, she whipped out her hand and grabbed the precious jewel off the table.’  It was particularly useful at the start of the story to set the scene, especially their reaction as they first wake up. The children discussed the fronted adverbials they could use in groups. Arjun’s group sentence was, ‘Just before dawn, the sneaky robber climbed into the house.’ Bomi’s group came up with, ‘Stunned into silence by being inside my dad’s body.’ Stephen and Lucie’s group said, ‘In shock, mum crashed into dad’s car.’

The children then started to write their accounts and Evie told me that she was writing as her mum and going to work at her Aunt’s and Uncle’s and an interesting part of her story was on the way home she was going to buy two dogs! Sienna said she was her dad. Her writing started, ‘I looked into the mirror and shouted, “I’m bald!”. She told me this with great delight. Arjun’s story was going to revolve around being his mum and having the car stolen and eventually catching the criminals. Yawar’s and Saimah’s stories also involved them being their dads and describing their journey to work. Yawar crashed his car because he couldn’t park it and Saimah had to get a taxi because she couldn’t drive. The lesson had certainly caught the class’s imagination and made them really think about their parents’ day-to-day lives.  I think Mr Sheppeck will definitely receive some very interesting stories and I am sure it will spark a few interesting conversations at home over the next few days!


Preston City Football

Congratulations to Alfie, 6P, and the Preston City team who won the regional tournament last weekend. He will now be travelling to Sunderland for the next stage of the competition.


Late Pick-Up: After School Club and Nursery

Pupils are increasingly being collected after 6pm in the evening. If you are having issues picking up by 6pm, please can you make other arrangements for your child’s collection. Thank you for your support and consideration of our busy and hard-working Nursery and Extended Care staff. The contact number for extended care is 01772 706704.


Child Genius Channel 4

I recently received this email from Anna Greenaway who is working on Channel 4’s upcoming series of Child Genius.

‘I am working on the sixth series of Child Genius for Channel 4 and looking for gifted children aged 8-12 (and their families) to take part. Currently I am seeking applications for the 2018 series and would love to hear from the parents of gifted and talented children who may be interested.

Additionally, one of the last weekends in January, we will be holding a Mensa backed Open Day and are keen to speak to parents who might be interested in registering their child/children for this whole day event. This is an opportunity for 8-12 year olds to get involved in Mensa Challenges, quick fire quizzes, strategic puzzles being just a few examples, but also to meet with other families.

Please be assured that there is no obligation to take part in the programme but for anyone potentially interested in hearing more about it can call me direct on 0203 301 8480.’

We also have flyers in the school office which have more information.


Upcoming Calendar Events

No more sports clubs this term.

Tuesday 12th                      Reception and Key Stage 1 Nativity 2pm

Wednesday 13th                 Reception and Key stage 1 Nativity 6pm

Thursday 14th                     Carol Service 6pm

Friday 16th                          Christmas Party (home clothes)

Wednesday 20th                 End of Term 3.30pm.


Merit Awards

RD: Esme  RJ: Melissa  1W: Zaidan  2D: Thomas  2E: Luca

3H: Evie  3M: Talia  4S: Hiba  5D: Adam  5M: Kavya  6H: Alexandra  6P: Ameya


Thought for the Week

While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.

Tom Allen


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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