Developing Skills and Reflecting

Developing Skills and Reflecting
Highfield & Brookham Newsletter

Heads' Thoughts

Thankfully it has been impossible to ignore World Mental Health Day, which took place yesterday.  Given the growing awareness of the challenges so many face from conditions little understood and for years masked by the British stiff upper lip, we are now so much more aware of what we need to be doing in our schools and in our lives to take care of our mental health. Read on...

Phillip Evitt and Sophie Baber, Headteachers, Highfield and Brookham Schools

Nursery Are Storytellers

Nursery had a special visitor this week. Mrs Ash, who has a background in drama, came into school to explore with the children the traditional tale of the Gingerbread Man. She brought in a puppet theatre and the children re-enacted the story using puppets, as well as through dressing up and acting out the story themselves. They had a fantastic time pretending to be the different characters and joining in with familiar refrains from the story, “You can’t catch me. I’m the Gingerbread Man!” It was an excellent way for all the children to develop their language, imagination and ability to express themselves through drama. At the end they were all rewarded for their amazing story telling efforts with their own very yummy gingerbread man to eat!

Samantha Forster, Head of Nursery

Reception Had Special Visitors At Forest School

What a fantastic start to the week! It was such a pleasure having the fathers and grandfathers join us for Forest School. The session began with the children reminding the adults of the rules in the forest before setting off to their activities. The children were encouraged to think about where in the forest you might find mini-beasts and why. Using this knowledge, the children found many different types of beetles and studied them using magnifying pots. They were then challenged to make bug hotels using only the resources available to them in the forest. They had to think carefully about what was needed to make the ideal habitat for living creatures. As the morning drew to a close, they sat around the fire roasting marshmallows whilst chatting about their adventures in the woods and explaining what they had learnt. Our weekly Forest School sessions are a fabulous opportunity for the children to explore the outdoor environment, develop a connection with nature and improve a whole range of skills from personal, social and emotional, to physical development and communication.

Jessie Millsom, Reception Teacher

Year 1 Go Back To Victorian Times

Year 1 visited the Rural Life Centre where they experienced life in the Victorian times. They were challenged throughout the day to  compare it to their own lives today. After getting into costume, the day began in an authentic Victorian classroom, sitting in silence at wooden desks and writing on slate boards. Farthings, half pennies and pennies were examined and the value of each coin was discussed, with the children learning how many gobstoppers each coin would buy. The children then took part in 'Monday Wash Day'.  They were challenged to wash a shirt in the traditional Victorian way using a washboard, a washing dolly and a mangle! The final lesson was on the history of wheels and the children explored how the materials used have changed over time. The classes worked well together to build a spoked wooden wheel which used three different types of wood; elm, oak and ash. No one could believe how much work went into creating just one wheel! The children truly understand that life in the Victorian days was definitely harder work than life today!

Georgina Hunter, Head of Year 1

Year 2 Get Coordinated

In their PE lessons this week, the children worked on their ball handling, movement and coordination skills. In pairs, the children experimented with different ways of passing different sized and shaped balls and then explained which passes they found easier or harder. For example, a rugby ball was easy to throw under arm to their partner, but much harder to bounce! Towards the end of the lesson all the children had to work together in a game of passing the ball to every child in the class without dropping it. A large bouncy ball was used first and then a small rugby ball was introduced. To help them understand the importance of coordination in sport the children were also challenged to try this on one foot, which involved them then having to focus on balancing as well as throwing and catching a ball! 

Hannah Hasim, Sports Teacher

Year 3 Poetry Performance

Year 3 were proud to present their Poetry Performance to parents on Monday.  The poems were chosen to complement this term's topic of Ice Worlds and encompassed such bizarre concepts as penguins being used as bowling balls, yetis eating spaghetti and even, to her great consternation, a yeti gobbling up Mrs Baber! During their final year at Brookham, the Year 3 children, as role models to the younger year groups, will perform on several occasions, culminating in their end-of-year drama in the Summer Term. Developing the confidence to stand up and face an audience, a strong working memory and the teamwork and cooperation necessary for performing in unison, are all skills which they will be able to carry forward as they progress through the education system into adulthood. They hone these skills daily in the classroom and playground, through assemblies, clubs and performances. The exceptionally high standard they have already shown this year reflects the preparation in their earlier years at Brookham and fills us with delight and excitement to see what they will achieve in the months to come.

Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Teacher

Year 4 Science Studies

As part of their Science topic on Bones and Teeth, Year 4 conducted some engaging and educational experiments to see what happens to egg shells when they are put in different liquids. Eggs shells are made of similar material to teeth and so react to liquids in a similar way. They are therefore ideal to demonstrate which liquids damage our teeth and which liquids do not. The children placed egg shells in different liquids (water, milk, vinegar, apple juice and Diet Coke) and were challenged to line up the liquids in order, from those that would do the most damage to the egg shells to the least, thinking about how acidic, alkaline and sugary the liquids are. The class are looking forward to next week when they can analyse the results. 

Susannah de la Haye, Year 4 Teacher

Year 5 Victorious at Farleigh Tournament

On what was seemingly a sunny afternoon, the U10Bs travelled to Farleigh for their netball tournament on Wednesday. It was a new experience for the girls as the tournament was five-a-side and the girls had to rotate positions during every match. The girls played some of their best netball of the season, making some fantastic passes and exceptional interceptions. Their brilliant teamwork and versatility was fully on display as they produced some great performances. The girls were victorious against Westbourne House, Hampshire Collegiate School, Farleigh and Twyford. These sterling results meant that the U10Bs were the overall victors in the tournament! The girls should be immensely proud of themselves, demonstrating resilience and perseverance in awful conditions at the end as the sun turned in to torrential rain.

Olivia Stebbings, U10B Coach

Year 6 Mathematicians Reflect and Progress

In Maths there is a real focus upon reflection and responding to precision marking and feedback. As part of this, children completed a RAP  (Reflect and Progress) exercise this week on a recent test. RAP exercises are about having the highest expectations of students and them having the highest expectations of themselves. The class were challenged to analyse their own test papers and had the chance to correct their incorrect answers, first on their own and then with the support of the teacher. Children lose marks in tests for a variety of reasons and by reviewing where they lost marks and why, they were able to distinguish between silly mistakes and lack of understanding. This has created a real focus for the children going forward and has given them targets to aim for. 

Sinead Bald, Maths Teacher

Year 7 Shakespeare Schools Festival

On Tuesday, the cast and crew of Year 7’s upcoming production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ took part in a workshop at G Live in Guildford. This workshop, which was part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival and led by professional actors, gave the cast an opportunity to perform on this incredible stage, and work on their ‘5 top tips’ such as ‘landing your lines’ and ‘cheat the feet’. The children were also challenged to work on voice projection, as well as some in-depth character development where they transformed their characters into animals. By the end of the workshop, everyone seemed slightly less daunted by the enormity of the space and in turn, very excited about their forthcoming performance on 26th November. The children can’t wait to see lots of familiar faces in the audience that evening! To book your tickets, call 01483 369350.

Sarah Baird, Head of Drama

Year 8 Aspiring Art Scholars

As part of their portfolio preparation, Year 8 aspiring Art Scholars have recently been busy designing a mythical creature using mixed media in 2D form. This week they enjoyed the challenge of creating their mythical creature in 3D sculpture using clay. During this project, the children have learned to work with various graphic and sculptural media and to bring alive their 2D design in 3D form. It was a challenging to work with new media on the 2D version and then be further extended still by checking the design would work in 3D form, with the children having to ask themselves: “what adjustments do I need to make?” They are now looking forward to glazing their fabulous beasts next week, which will act as a final, resolved piece towards their portfolio entry.


Olga Houghton, Head of Art


Brookham House Points

Ash 320 • Oak 362 • Willow 409

Highfield House Points

Good Marks

Freya Rickards 42 • Dee Dee Sinclair 42 • Zak Jenkins 36 • Poppy Ouvaroff 36 • Eleanor Fisher 41 • Swithun Prescot 20 • William Jennings 20

Agincourt 9.3 •  Trafalgar 9.2 • Waterloo 8.4

Plus Marks

Zac Jenkins 70 • Dee Dee Sinclair 68 • Coco Bendon 63 • Poppy Ouvaroff 63 • Edward Scott 53 • Joanna Chen 37 • Polly Dove 35

Trafalgar 15.2 • Agincourt 13.8 • Waterloo 12.4

These are just a few of the exciting things the children have been involved in this week. Even more exciting news and photos will be shared on social media, so please don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You may also be interested in...