The festive season is upon us! The curtains have closed on this year’s fabulous nativity plays and the final notes have been sung in the joyous Christingle and Christmas services, so we can now say…..the holiday has begun! While it is a time of delight and celebration, of family and friends, this time of year can bring with it many stresses and strains. Many parents find it a challenge to create a simple value-centered Christmas in the midst of all the commercialism and other pressures. However, the task is made much easier when we understand what really matters to children. Read on...
Sophie Baber, Headteacher at Brookham School
Nursery Surprise From Santa
The children have enjoyed an exciting and busy week of Christmas-themed activities. This included the whole school Christmas lunch followed by the Early Years Christmas party. The children had a fantastic time playing traditional party games before two surprise visitors crashed the party - Father Christmas and his elf! The children were stunned by the magic of their arrival which was clear by the look on all of their faces. The naughty elf kept hiding from Father Christmas and the children excitedly joined in with the classic 'he's behind you' routine. After the initial excitement had died down and presents had been given out the inquisitive children asked, "where is your sleigh?" and "where are the reindeers?" Father Christmas and his elf departed to continue on their Christmas journey before anymore questions might reveal the real magic of Christmas.
Samantha Forster, Head of Nursery
Reception In Winter Wonderland
The children were treated to a winter wonderland full of festive fun - 'Dick Whittington and his Cat' pantomime, writing letters to Father Christmas, dressing up, making Christmas cards and bags of reindeer food. Amongst all the fun the children were reminded that Christmas was also a time to be thankful and thought about how they could thank Father Christmas for the presents they were hoping to receive. They decided that making and decorating delicious gingerbread men would be the perfect thank you gift. The children mixed, rolled and baked their very own biscuits. Let's see how many of them get eaten before Christmas Eve...
Jessie Millsom, Reception Teacher
Year 1 and Year 2 Collaborate to Retell Nativity
‘It’s Christmas Eve’, ‘It’s a Squash, It’s a Squeeze’ but there is ‘Joyful News’ sang the children at their nativity this week. Year 1 and 2 combined forces to produce a truly amazing show for their parents, grandparents and teachers. Year 1 played an integral part by providing the soundtrack to the play, singing songs which they had learnt by heart with accompanying actions. During rehearsals they practised timings, as well as learning to project their voices to an audience. Those in the choir were encouraged to sing in a higher octave from everybody else for some of the songs which was quite a challenge! Despite only a few short rehearsals, they took to the stage with the confidence of true thespians. They acted and sang, bringing the story of the nativity to life and filling the hearts of their families and teachers with pride and joy.
Henrietta Platt, Year 1 Teacher and Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 2
Year 3 Shine Bright
There was great excitement on Monday afternoon when the Year 3 children were collected early from school. Why? Because they were soon to return, suited and booted, for their Christingle Service in the Highfield Chapel. Weeks of hard work were evident in the quality of their polished performance. The children spoke calmly and clearly, sang like angels and brought a tear to many parents' eyes. "What a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season, I am feeling really Christmassy now!" smiled Mrs Baber as she thanked the children and Mrs Hall for all their hard work. The Year 3 team would like to wish all our children and families, past and present, a safe and happy Christmas holiday. See you all in 2020!
Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Teacher
Year 4 Celebrate with Carols
Year 4 celebrated the end of a wonderfully successful first term at Highfield on a real high note with their Carol Service. Everyone had a part to play, be that reading from the bible, singing favourite Christmas carols or taking part in the short plays to tell a Christmas story. Daisy opened the service by singing a beautiful solo of ‘Once in Royal David's City’ and further carols were accompanied by Amelie on her ‘cello and the Year 4 guitar and glockenspiel groups. The plays were very entertaining; one even had a real sheep as part of the cast! The children had worked tirelessly to learn their lines and this really showed with their accomplished performances. They learnt so much about the many different meanings, morals and traditions behind the Christmas story as well as developing their performance skills. Well done Year 4, enjoy your Christmas holidays!
Susannah De la Haye, Year 4 Teacher and Martine Melling, Head of Year 4
Year 5 End of Term Treat
“On the 10th day of Christmas Year 5 said to me, a lovely Christmas dinner and decorations as far as you can see.” The year group, along with Year 4, were treated to the most delicious supper on Tuesday night to celebrate the end of term and the start of the Christmas holidays. The children were mixed up among forms and year groups and this made for some lovely conversations and new friendships to be started. There were lots of staff in attendance including nurses, matrons, assistant teachers, teachers and, of course, Mr and Mrs Evitt. Everyone looked very dapper in their Sunday best. The catering staff went to town providing a beautifully decorated dining hall and delicious dinner, with Christmas tree themed ice creams for dessert. The evening was a fantastic opportunity for the Year 4 and 5 to celebrate together. The room was filled with smiles and cheer!
Vivienne Liddell, Head of Year 5
Year 6 Rejoice with Old Highfieldians
I always feel Christmas starts with the Old Highfieldians’ and Boarders’ Carol service. Last Sunday’s event was a joy to behold with some stunning singing from the collective choirs, Year 8 boarders, parents and Old Highfieldians alike. It was lovely to welcome back Old Highfieldians including Michael Robinson (who donated the school bell in 1936) and Andrew Neate (whose parents donated the chest in the Chapel). Old Highfieldians Hugo Alexander and Jessie Schute each gave readings. Year 6 provided superb singing alongside their Chapel Choir peers. It was the start of a busy week of singing for them all!
John Muhlemann, Director of Music
Year 7 Bring Christmas Cheer
Year 7 Chapel Choir members Summer Gratton, Thea Porter and Jemima Tracey, accompanied by their peers in Year 8, brought some Christmas cheer to the elderly at Liphook Day Centre this week. Entertaining everyone with carols and youthful enthusiasm, the choir sang all the old favourites and the flute choir played their rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’. The children enjoyed the opportunity to sing in front of a new audience and were animated by the opportunity to give something back to the community at this festive time of year.
John Muhlemann, Director of Music
Year 8 Has Talent
Who’s got the X Factor? The 12 acts that performed at this year’s Talent Show definitely do! And there was an abundance of it – singers, ballet dancers, break dancers, rappers, comedy actors and pianists. Before the performers took to the stage they were reminded about four key things: 1) Remember to look out to the audience. 2) Appreciate the applause and take time to bow at the end. 3) No bribing the judges with sweets. 4) And have fun! It was brilliant to watch how supportive the audience were, with many cheers, high fives and standing ovations. But it all came down to the votes and 3rd place goes to Rudolph the Reindeer (Lara Merino), 2nd place (242 votes) to Believer (Javier Martinez Pinel) and our winner this year was (245 votes) Imogen Lord. Congratulations to all performers who in front of a 250 strong audience performed brilliantly!
Richard Dunn, Head of ICT
Highfield House Points
Freya Rickards 94 • Isabel Salusbury 81 • Dee Dee Sinclair 80 • Charlotte King 46 • Matilda Hogg 44 • Martha Sherlock 43
Agincourt 25.5 • Trafalgar 24.02 • Waterloo 21.82
Coco Bendon 168 • Lex Neads 165 • Tallulah Bateman 160 • Charlotte King 140 • Polly Dove 121 • Edward Hewlett 115
Trafalgar 53.26 • Agincourt 52.37 • Waterloo 52.26
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.