Learning Adventures at Home and Abroad
This Sunday sees our annual Remembrance Service in the Highfield Chapel at 7.00pm, to be followed by Highfield’s whole school Act of Remembrance on Monday morning. We will all be wearing poppies and the beautiful ceramic poppies, made by our Year 4 pupils these past weeks in their Art lessons, will be laid by them around Chapel Field as a part of that Act of Remembrance. But once these events are over, what do we do with our poppy? Do we throw it away? Or keep it for next year? Will it languish in a drawer until we come across it in a few months’ time? The poppy is a symbol of our remembering. So I want to ask of us all this bigger question – what will we do with our remembering after Remembrance Day? Read on...
Phillip Evitt, Headmaster, Highfield School
Nursery Foraging For Fungi
With Autumn well and truly here, Nursery children had the opportunity to develop their knowledge of seasonal changes. Kim Martin, the Forest School leader, led them in an exploration of Autumn fungi during a ramble through the woods on their way to Forest School. The children carefully observed the features of different species and used picture cards to try to identify them. There was lots of discussion, including learning how many of the fungi are poisonous to eat, and the children enjoyed developing their language skills when learning the different names. When the children arrived at their Forest School site the floor was absolutely covered in fallen chestnuts, an unexpected bonus of the stormy weather of last weekend! This offered the opportunity for the children to learn all about Autumn fruits and nuts and the importance they have for wildlife during the winter. They were shown how to tell whether a squirrel or mouse has been eating a chestnut and they enjoyed collecting the chestnuts, counting them and piling them up for the woodland animals. Bear Cubs are looking forward to seeing if any have been eaten next time they visit Forest School!
Samantha Forster, Head of Nursery
Reception Firework Onomatopoeia
BANG! POP! Fizz! The children have immersed themselves in Bonfire Night, engaging in a vast range of firework activities. The week began with a walk to see the bonfire that the Grounds team have started building ready for the fireworks on Saturday. The children watched in awe as a tractor approached with more logs to make the bonfire even larger! Reception identified items that were used to create the bonfire and were challenged to think carefully about why the bonfire was mostly built from wooden materials. They thought about safety surrounding Bonfire Night and how to protect hedgehogs who are often found hiding in bonfires that are in the process of being constructed. The children also learnt a bonfire song with actions to the tune of London’s Burning. Inspired by the fireworks they had seen during the holidays, they engaged in lots of arts and crafts linked to the firework theme. A highlight was certainly thinking of onomatopoeia vocabulary to describe the sound of the fireworks and shouting them at the tops of their voices! BOOM!
Olivia Shepherd, Reception Teacher
Year 1 Glue Stick Superheroes
As part of this term’s topic, the year group created superheroes out of used glue sticks in their Art lessons this week. The aim of the activity was to create a fictional superhero like the ones they have been learning about. Using their knowledge of what a superhero’s costume consists of they were challenged to draw on their creativity and use their superpowers to design and make a mask and cape for their character. This involved lots of cutting of cardboard which helped to develop their fine motor skills. They also had to use their imagination to decide what their character’s special power was, which they then wrote down and hid inside the glue stick for others to find. A glue stick has never been such an exciting object, and some fantastic superheroes were created!
Georgie Hunter, Head of Year 1
Year 2 Discussion Writing
What is a discussion text? Year 2 have been investigating. They have realised human beings love to discuss and have learnt that a good discussion considers both sides of the argument by weighing up evidence or ideas and trying to come to some sort of reasoned conclusion. Last Half Term the children learnt that the troll from the Three Billy Goats Gruff had been sent to prison for his unreasonable, threatening behaviour towards the goats. Imagine the children's surprise when they received a video from the Troll on Monday morning! It provided evidence to show that the goats were in fact a menace causing the troll to loose his temper. Should he in fact be freed? Instantly a discussion ensued. This term Year 2 will learn how to structure a discussion text and the language needed when empathising with different viewpoints and producing counter arguments. Once they have mastered the skill of discussion writing they will enjoy discussing with Mrs Baber more emotive subjects like; should school uniform be banned? Or should we be allowed cakes in school on our birthdays?!
Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 2
Year 3 Antarctic Expedition
As part of their Ice Worlds topic, Year 3 visited Gilbert White's House to learn about Captain Oates' involvement in Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated expedition to Antarctica. Why did Scott's mission fail? The children considered challenges in the clothing, environment, equipment and inadequate rations which all became contributory factors to the expedition's failure. Viewing the photo taken by Bowers when the explorers finally reached the South Pole, they discussed how it must have felt to have travelled so far, in such dangerous conditions, only to discover that the British Expedition had arrived there second to Amundsen. The children compared modern and replica polar equipment, hauled each other in a pulk (a polar sled) and explored the museum exhibits. Remembering Edward Wilson, the expedition's naturalist, they made observational drawings of penguins, noting their polar adaptations, feeling a collection of feathers and discussing what penguin soup would taste like. When considering the explorers' rations, some children were intrigued by the Bovril-flavoured chocolate bars and Hard Tack biscuits, but unanimous in their responses to the scent cubes containing pemmican and blubber lamp smells - yuck!
Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Teacher
Year 4 Poignant Poppies
During recent Art lessons, the children have each made a beautiful glazed ceramic poppy to commemorate those who gave their lives for our freedom. They learnt about the meaning and significance of poppies and were challenged to use their skills to create a realistic poppy shape. Developing their tactile dexterity, the children worked with the clay, rolled it out and then used a template to accurately cut their poppy’s petals. The children had to concentrate to join their clay petals together and then carefully glaze their poppies. On Armistice Day the Highfield community will join those around the country to remember all who have fallen in war. The names of the 69 Highfieldians who died in wars during the 20th Century will be read out and Year 4s poppies will be placed on the ground in memory and honour of these men, and the sacrifice they made.
Terry Leggo, Art Teacher
Year 5 Dramatise Music
The year group have been exploring different 'stimulus' in Drama this term and this week they focussed on Music. They listened to two pieces of music (Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Clair de Lune by Debussy) and brainstormed words and story ideas relating to what they could hear. They then chose one piece of music to create a small piece of theatre on. All the groups were challenged to perform in mime, focussing on movement and gesture to tell their stories. There was a lot of death, destruction and war involved, which directly related to their stimulus of Prokofiev's music, and they created some dramatic and thought provoking scenes. They found it challenging not to use words but learnt that movement is also an effective way of telling a story.
Sarah Baird, Head of Drama
Year 6 Coders
In their ICT lessons, the children have been learning how to code using Blockly, a simplified form of Javascipt, the world’s most common programming language. Each child worked through various projects on the website code.org featuring Minecraft games and characters. The aim was to create several lines of code in order to make the characters perform a task to complete each level. To make their programs run effectively, the children had to learn how to sequence lines of code and to add ‘repeat’ and ‘if’ statements. They were challenged to use their problem solving and logical thinking skills to complete each level using the optimal lines of code, i.e. not too many, and to use the correct command statements. The program let them know if they had not completed it correctly and they could then have another go at it by thinking a little differently about what each particular command did and what they were trying to achieve.
Richard Dunn, Head of ICT
Year 7 And 8 Sherborne Rugby Tour
Towards the end of Half Term, 31 U12 and U13 boys travelled to Dorset for the Sherborne School Rugby tour, the perfect platform to begin the Rugby season. The boys participated in five training sessions covering all aspects of Rugby, as well as matches on the final day against Aldro. The children relished the opportunity to get their teeth into some Rugby training which challenged them to develop their handling skills, defence work and contact technique (England could have taken a leaf out of their book!). They also developed the valuable skills of how to travel in a group, work as a team and support one another whilst being away. Tom Sinclair was awarded U12 player of the tour and Ross Seavill was U13 player of the tour. Man of the tour given for overall conduct was presented to Harry Kitchen.
Dan Bather, Head of Sport
Year 7 And 8 Holland Hockey Tour
A group of Year 7 and 8 girls travelled to Holland over Half Term for a hockey masterclass tour. From start to finish the tour was a great success. At Highfield, hockey is widely celebrated and a big part of the sporting curriculum, and this tour was the perfect opportunity to improve the girls’ ability, no matter their standard. It was an experience that the girls took full advantage of and loved every minute of. Taught by professional hockey coaches, the girls perfected their skills and game performance, and concentrated on their all-round stick skills. Although faced with highly competitive fixtures and strong oppositions, the girls surpassed expectations on the pitches with their performances against local Dutch opposition. They enjoyed every match and found new friends from the opposition. Whilst not on the hockey pitch, the children enjoyed exploring a new culture when traveling through the host city of Valkenburg.
Rob Dilworth, P.E Teacher and Sports Administrator
Brookham House Points
Ash 269 • Oak 320 • Willow 341
Highfield House Points
Dee Dee Sinclair 52 • Freya Rickards 46 • Isabel Salusbury 46 • Eleanor Fisher 46 • Martha Sherlock 21 • Sebastian Clowes 20
Agincourt 12.5 • Trafalgar 12 • Waterloo 10.8
Olivia Perry 85 • Lex Neads 84 • Maximus Fiennes 83 • Freya Fiennes 51 • Sonia Yaroslavska 49 • Alexander MacKenzie-Beevor 48
Trafalgar 22.9 • Agincourt 22.5 • Waterloo 20.6
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.