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.
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!
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.
Last Sunday, The Sunday Times League Tables were released. The school achieved its highest position on record of 13th in the country and 1st in Lancashire and the North West (4th outside the London region). This is an incredible achievement and a testament to all the hard work of the children, staff, parents and governors. Thank you all for your continued hard work and support.
The school supported Children in Need today in true Highfield style with a variety of fancy dress from dressing up as their teachers to wacky accessories and a huge variety of night wear! The children chose what they wanted to come dressed in and loved showing their outfits to the other classes. The school raised over £220 for this very worthwhile cause.
This morning, I watched a wonderful musical assembly with over twenty individual performers and our choir who were holding their very smart new choir folders. The composure of all the performers, from reading out their introduction to the actual playing of their piece of music, was quite incredible. We had pupils playing a real variety of instruments: from the ukulele (Eryk, Year 4) to the trumpet (Danial, Year 2) our youngest performer. We also had our first trio of Year 6 flautists: Millie, Katie and Olivia, who played beautifully. It was lovely to watch the audience listen intently and I really appreciated the amount of effort and time that each musician had put into preparing their piece of music. It was a very fitting end to our first week of a new and exciting half-term. Congratulations to all our performers and a big thank you to Miss Macklam for organising this musical feast!
What a busy half-term! Looking back over the newsletters, there has been such a varied amount of activities taking place with so much to celebrate and remember. The weather has really allowed the children to make use of our grounds with many visits to Highfield Haven and we have been able to host lots of matches on our all-weather pitch and newly drained field. The children have enjoyed trips to Speke Hall, Bring Yer Wellies and the Museum of Lancashire; excellent results have come in from the Grammar School examinations and Year 4 have just completed their auditions for next term’s production of The Wizard of Oz. This week has been no exception with Year 5’s French Breakfast, under 11s playing netball away at AKS, the Pre-School Creepy Crawly Roadshow and tonight’s PTA event –The Roller Disco! I hope all our children now enjoy a well-deserved break and return ready for an exciting second half of term and the lead up to Christmas.
Thank you 6J for your assembly all about ‘Evolution’ this morning which you have been studying in class. It was very interesting to hear how our understanding has developed throughout history and to hear the depth and detail of your study of the subject in class which is very impressive. You coped with some difficult dialogue which you projected well to your audience. I really enjoyed watching you acting out the story of Mary Anning and watching your final song taken from the Horrible History books. A fascinating assembly which I am sure will help you to remember this subject in the future.
The sun was shining on Thursday morning to greet all prospective and current parents to the school. The visitors were very impressed by the quality of work on display, the school facilities and the good manners and enthusiasm of the children, especially our Year Six who were commended for being excellent guides.
Open Morning will take place between 9am and 12noon next Thursday. If you have any family or friends who would like to come to school to celebrate your children’s achievements and look at the work already completed this term, please let them know. It is a great opportunity to see the school in action. We will also be Tweeting and Facebooking the event, so please feel free to ‘like’ and ‘re-tweet’ the news to others. Many thanks for your continued support.
I was out and about with our babies on Thursday. I was very lucky to join them on a walk of the grounds on a beautiful sunny morning; not a bad way to start your working day! The amazing light created lots of different shades of colour and the children’s eyes and ears were drawn to all the different shapes, colours and noises outside. Molly pointed to the leaves and was really animated with any slight noise or movement raising her hand into the air. Evelyne was sitting very calmly and contentedly next to her companion, sharing Molly’s woolly sheep, Ewan. She was listening to Miss Kidd and Miss Gordon as they talked about the different trees, leaves and birds. Henry and Jemima were in the other pram and were also very engaged, taking in everything around them. They looked at the owls in Highfield Haven and the different colours of the plants and the wild flowers. It was lovely to see the children in the grounds on such a beautiful morning. There was so much to see and listen to in this very natural environment, with the reassuring words of Miss Kidd and Miss Gordon teaching the children about the world around them. Thank you to our babies for a very enjoyable start to the day; it definitely put a spring in my step!
It’s the second week back and activities are well underway. It has been lovely to see all the children in action and the all-weather pitch in full use. The children have enjoyed some excellent weather and are making the most of the outside areas for their play time and lessons. In HPSED, the children have been paying close attention to their table manners with straight backs, holding cutlery correctly, polite conversation and eating with their mouths closed! They have been trying really hard to impress staff and monitors and have been rewarded with stickers and house points for exemplary manners. I hope you are all seeing an improvement at home too! Miss McShane’s Bitesize Bootcamp also started this week. The children were put through their paces and introduced to a number of new pieces of equipment all before 8.30am! They came into school invigorated and raring to go, especially Year 5 who were trialling the new assessment program on the laptops in class.
I visited our Reception Class on Thursday to see how they were getting on in their first full week in school. They were extremely relaxed and gave me a very warm welcome. I had actually seen them in a PE lesson on Tuesday and mistaken them for a Year 1 class because they were taking part in a very complex PE session which involved lots of instructions. They were able to follow these instructions with ease as though they had been at school for years. The other thing that really struck me when I walked into the room was the amount of children who I recognised as being among our very first babies at Highfield and here they were looking so grown up! I was delighted to welcome them into Reception and they greeted me with great enthusiasm in return! They were very keen to show me what they were doing. Ayesha, Eloise, Siya and Lola were in the role play area as sisters who were celebrating Lola’s seventeenth birthday. I said, “Seventeeeenth!” To which the response from the girls was, “We are only pretending, Mr Duke!” They also got a real surprise when they opened the fridge and found two bells and in the oven they found a brown bear, much to their delight and giggles! Hanna, Avni and Aarnav were playing with the garage, taking it in turns sharing and really communicating well with each other, entirely engrossed in the game. Luca, Robert and Yaseen were counting figures with Mrs Diston and were keen to show me the numbers they knew, counting aloud clearly. Aibhlin, Amelia, Georgia, Naina and Lyla were in the middle of casting and rehearsing a play which involved tap dancers, princesses, Irish dancers, knights, princes and dog paws: a fascinating cast! I can’t wait to visit again soon when the production is complete!
Thank you, Reception, it was lovely to see you all so happy in your first week of term.
“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.” (Aristotle)
Do these words sound familiar? I hope so as they grace the home page of our website which I hope you all visit often!
Aristotle’s words encapsulate what we do here at Highfield. We achieve excellence by working hard on a daily basis. Not just academic excellence, although we are very proud of our academic status as the top Independent Preparatory School in the North West. No, also excellence in Swimming, Athletics, Art, Music, Chess, Public Speaking and Drama...I could go on. But I think the excellence I am most proud of is the children’s pursuit of personal excellence –that determination to be the very best that they can be at all times. We see it in the way they conduct themselves through the corridors of the school –although I think Amarillo may have changed the way I view those corridors now! We see it in their pleases and thank yous; the way holding a door open for another is second nature to them; we see it in the playground as they care for each other; we see it in their straight backs and engaging eye contact; their firm hand shake and their clear voices. We see it every day in each and every one of them and we see it in the boys and girls of our Year Six class. We couldn’t be more proud of them.
Thank you Year 6 for a brilliant Leavers Assembly! You brought back so many amazing memories from your time at Highfield; it was lovely to hear you speak of the moments that have been special to you. You really made us laugh with your fantastic rendition of ‘Amarillo’ through the corridors and classrooms of Highfield! It was wonderful to celebrate the years with you, applaud your achievements and there were definitely a few tears shed and lumps in the throat! You are a wonderful class and this morning you provided us with another beautiful memory. I look forward to continuing to celebrate your success next week with your School Production and Speech Day.
Congratulations to James and Olivia D who represented the North at the National Finals in Birmingham. Olivia achieved Bronze medals in the 75m and the 150m and a Silver in the 4x100m Relay. James achieved a Silver medal in the relay. There will be photographs posted on Facebook over the weekend of both children on the track and receiving their medals from the Ambassador for Sport for the ISA. Well done to both pupils, this is an excellent achievement out of 370 schools in the Independent Schools’ Association.
It has been an incredibly busy week at Highfield this week with 4 Inspectors looking at every aspect of the school. The feedback was extremely positive and I will be able to give a full report once the official report has been published. Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey; we had 136 responses which is very good for the short period of time given and it provided excellent evidence for the Inspectors. I would like to thank the whole Highfield community for their continued support.
A party of Year 5 and 6 children travelled to Manor Adventure in Shropshire on the Bank Holiday weekend to take part in a range of outdoor adventurous activities from an underground maze to the high ropes! We were blessed with wonderful weather and the children took full advantage of every activity on offer. Highlights were the canoeing and kayaking which involved lots of games, singing and getting very wet! Another very popular activity was the new high ropes course which could take over ten pupils at a time working their way round an assault course which was very high above the ground. All the teachers had a go at this activity but I’m afraid many of the children put us to shame, whizzing round the course quickly as we progressed very cautiously with one child completing the course five times! It was a very successful weekend with the children really working hard together, supporting and encouraging one another. Thank you to Mr Drake, Miss McShane and Mr Sheppeck for running the weekend.
We are hosting an Alumni Hockey Event on Friday 17th June. This will start at 4pm with the old boys and girls training and offering advice to our present pupils. This will then be followed by an exhibition match between old boys and girls. If you know any of our Alumni who currently play hockey and would like to take part in this event or if you would just like to come along and support the players on the day, please do get in touch with the school so we can have an idea of numbers and organise the event successfully. I will also be delighted to arrange tours of the school so you can see any recent developments and reminisce about your own time at Highfield. We have had a number of old boys and girls getting in touch with the school over the last few years and we also have a number of existing parents who were pupils at Highfield so it would be great to see as many of you here on the day as possible. Please have a look at our Alumni Facebook page for further details and confirm your attendance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 6 made their second trip of the year to Bethany House on Tuesday. They have been learning a number of very traditional songs in choir which they felt would be ideal to sing to the residents. The children have really enjoyed singing these songs and it wasn’t long before they had all the residents joining in. Two favourites were, “I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside” and “Pack Up Your Troubles” which they asked the children to sing again. It was lovely to witness the two generations singing together before going on to share stories about the past, families and the children’s time at school. It is a very rewarding time for the children who were so engrossed in conversation that they would have quite happily stayed for lunch. They were buzzing from their experience on their return to school; a memory that I hope will stay with them when they move onto their Secondary schools next year.
On Monday, I went to watch 3J during their Art lesson. I was very excited to be watching them in action after seeing their fabulous Still Life drawings from last term. They were painting landscapes from North American National Parks which is linked to the topic they have been studying in their Humanities lessons. I was struck first by the atmosphere in the classroom: soft relaxing music was playing as each child really focused on their piece of work in their own little world, capturing every detail. I watched Miss Jewitt give very specific advice to each pupil who went to speak to her and the pupils then went straight away to focus on the area highlighted. Sasha showed me her picture of a natural arch. She said that it was difficult to show the different shades of colour. I was very impressed; the darker colours really gave the picture perspective, making it very striking. Aditya had finished his picture which was also impressive. Proudly, he talked me through the steps that he had taken to complete it successfully. He then moved on to recreating the picture using a sketch book express programme on the new school ipads. Darcey was working very hard to mix the colours and then to blend them in to her picture to create the correct effect. She explained that if she wasn’t happy with the finish, she could paint the base layer again before applying the shading. Zain was copying a very difficult picture and was working really hard to show all the different textures on the rock. Daisy was also deep in concentration and was building real depth in her picture, showing the impact that the setting sun can have on the different colours of the sky. Finally, Francesca explained that Miss Jewitt had told her to focus on her brush strokes, making sure that she used the tip of the brush for more control and to improve the quality of the picture. The standard of the whole class was incredible and all the children were taking real care to make sure the picture was a true reflection of what they were looking at. The children’s vocabulary, control and understanding was quite amazing and it was a wonderful experience to watch the pictures really come to life in front of them. Thank you Year 3 for such a rewarding experience. I left deep in thought and contemplation as though I had just left a professional art studio. I hope we will display some of your wonderful creations on our Facebook pages in the coming weeks.
Thank you 3J for your fabulous assembly this morning which gave us a real insight into you as individuals and as members of 3J. You spoke very eloquently about your individual talents with many of you giving us a demonstration or performance. What a talented class you are! There were activities ranging from photography and gymnastics to bouncing on a pogo stick! I really enjoyed watching your individual characters shine through and seeing just how talented you are. Thank you 3J and thank you Mrs Jones for a brilliant assembly on your last day at Highfield before embarking on your Maternity Leave. 3J, you really gave Mrs Jones an excellent send off!
Congratulations to Years 3 and 5 for their wonderful performance of ‘Archibald’s War’ last night. The acting and singing were outstanding, with every child really enjoying and taking full advantage of their time in the limelight. I think the play really appealed to the children with very catchy and traditional songs, like “Cheer-Up Granny!” and “Dig For Victory”; and the story of Archibald the teddy bear who was looked after by children of a similar age to themselves. The Year 5 actors became Evacuees, Village Residents, Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Farmers and GIs before our eyes. They lived their part from the moment ‘Archibald’s War’ began to the closing song: “Hold on Tight to Your Memories”. The play helped the children to have a greater understanding of the work they have studied on World War 2. I was amazed and delighted by our Year 3 children who not only delivered their words with sensitivity and confidence, but also wrote their letters, diaries and poems themselves. Fantastic! I would like to thank all the staff involved, especially Mrs Duke and Miss Macklam for their excellent direction and for giving the children a chance to show off their talent in such an entertaining and thought-provoking way.
The sun has been shining this week and the children have really been taking advantage of this wonderful weather. I popped into Pre-School to see what they were up to. I watched Joshua and Raees who were rolling a big tyre together and showing excellent team work. Alexander, Arthur and Toby were playing an imaginative game in which they were sitting very closely together in the house, with big grins on their faces, saying that they were hiding from a bear! Aamir was keen to show me the new bridge, walking across it very proudly before showing me you could swing on it as well. Mrs Harrison was being creative with Samira, Amaanah and Polly cutting and sticking different bits of paper to make a picture. They were deep in concentration, creating a masterpiece! Finally, I went inside to watch Amelia, Naina and Siya who were working in a small group with Miss Halstead on their CVC words. They first recognised the words saying them out loud, then spent time recognising different pictures before writing the word down on a board. The children really enjoyed the activity and were keen to show what they could do and keen to improve their ability to write down the words. I really enjoyed my morning in Pre-School, watching the children take full advantage of a variety of activities and interacting with each other and the staff.
Toby Lester, Lancashire Cricketer, visited school just before we broke up for Easter. He worked with nearly every age group. He looked at the basic concepts of striking, bowling and fielding with our younger pupils and had a session in the nets with our Year 5 and 6 pupils. It was lovely to see Toby interacting with the children who really responded to his words of encouragement and tips on technique. In the net session after school, they also got to see Toby bowling. We were all impressed by the speed he generated off just a few paces, knocking the cricket stumps over with his first two balls. The children were also given a clear
insight into life as a professional sportsman in a question and answer session at the end of the day and on his experiences in his first year.
I would like to thank Toby for coming to visit us and we all wish him the best of luck for the season ahead. A huge thank you to Mr Drake for organising this visit.
Jill Scott, who visited us earlier that week, has also been busy making the headlines after scoring the equaliser against Belgium in the European Cup qualifiers.
There are lots of pictures and video clips on our Facebook page so please take a look.
Year 4's history topic this term is Prehistoric Britain. They have been looking at what life was like for Palaeolithic people hundreds of thousands of years ago during the Stone Age. One of the clues left over from that time is the paintings found on the walls of caves. Having studied some, 4S decided to create some of their own. Fantastic 4S! ... See moreSee less
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