In place of our usual April Open Morning we are now holding Virtual Visits. You may have friends or family who are considering Highfield and Brookham Schools for their children – if so a Virtual Visit would be perfect! We are very much hoping that school life will be back to normal in September when we will be able to welcome families in person to our Open Morning on Saturday 26th September to experience the magic of Highfield and Brookham Schools first hand. If you do know anyone who might be interested they can book at highfieldandbrookham.co.uk/visit.
It has been incredibly uplifting to see the levels of adaptability that everyone has shown, not least the youngest of our pupils in Early Years. They have been extremely flexible and positive about their new situation and and have certainly impressed their teachers with their attitude towards a new style of learning. Weekly live class meetings have been fantastic for maintaining a sense of community and it has been absolutely lovely to be able to catch up with individual children on a regular basis to hear what they have been doing at home. Many children have taken their learning outside and this, combined with the glorious spring weather, has meant we have seen our Nursery and Reception children enjoying the benefits of spending lots of time outside - gardening, watching plants grow, learning to ride bikes, and being fascinated by the wildlife on their doorstep, all of which help promote a sense of wellbeing. It has been amazing to see the natural adaptability and positivity that the children in Early Years have shown over the last few weeks and it has been a real pleasure to share their experiences with them.
Mrs Samantha Forster, Head of Early Years
Year 1 are renowned for displaying a positive attitude and it is crucial that this continues, however challenging it can be. The children are really enjoying looking through the class blog each week which helps them to remember that they are part of a positive community. This, along with our weekly class catch ups have ensured that pupils and teachers alike are benefiting from spending a short amount of time together and seeing each others smiling faces. The class calls often include a game such as 'Guess My Object' which allows the children to communicate with their teachers about something that isn't remote learning. These class calls also give us the opportunity to share any news with each other - just as we would if we were in school. This could be the excitement of a new wobbly tooth, the addition of a puppy to the family or building a den in the garden. The enthusiasm shown by the children when sharing their news is infectious and helps spread positivity throughout the group.
Mrs Georgie Hunter, Head of Year 1
It is absolutely understandable that many children are missing their friends and the exciting pace of a day in school. It has been so important to try to keep all of the children connected with each other and to recreate the positive buzz of the classroom as much as possible. I have loved coming together online with my class each week to play games, answer quiz questions, share news and even earn quite a few House Points. The children have been fantastic at telling each other about chicks they have hatched, delicious picnics they have enjoyed, books they are reading or even camping adventures they have had... complete with marshmallow smores of course! Additionally, catching up with each child and their family individually each week has allowed time to chat, hear how they are feeling and offer support and encouragement. Every child and family will be finding the experience of learning at home different, so it is important to interact individually to support any challenges as well as celebrate successes.
Miss Eleanor Graham, Year 2 Class Teacher
Each member of Year 3 have their very own interests and each week I ensure I give time to all of them to share this passion with me. During our class time children are encouraged to steer it in the direction they want and I follow their lead. This means they are discussing things that are important to them rather than following my agenda. The children all know that I think they are doing an amazing job and what they have achieved during this tough time is astonishingly impressive. The vertical curriculum provides the opportunity for the children to spend the afternoons with their families and allows the entire family to engage in activities together. This is such a vital time for them and has provided a foundation for everyone in the home to enjoy each other’s company. Seeing and hearing about families working collaboratively is delightful.
Mr Charlie Millsom, Head of Year 3
4H speak in small groups every morning - these are called our 'Minibeast Meetings' - the groups are 'The Butterflies', 'The Dragonflies', 'The Beetles' and 'The Ladybirds'. The meetings give everyone a chance to see each other and talk though the day ahead. Every Friday we have a new theme for our 'Minibeast Meetings' - so far we have had, hats, eye wear, sports clothing and this week we are all dressing up as superheroes. The children have had me in stitches as I have chatted away to cowboys, skiiers, cricketers, rugby players and even motor bikers. We also have regular animal visitors, which always puts a smile on everyone's faces. Eliza's extremely cute new puppy, Badger, regularly joins us, Daisy's cat Leo likes jumping in through the window to say hello and we have live updates on Lex's lambs which are arriving almost daily. Imi W has introduced us to her new foal and Freddie B has two new baby rabbits. My chickens, hatched by Mr Baker, have also joined in on the act and I regularly have to 'shoooo' them out of the house during our meetings. Dressing up and animal friends are helping us all to keep positive and happy.
Mrs Susannah de la Haye, Year 4 Form Tutor
My favourite thing about form time, has been hearing about all the wild and wacky things everyone has been getting up to at home to keep them feeling positive. For example, Annabel has been stretching her ‘artistic skills’ on her driveway, Edie has been enjoying fresh eggs from her chickens, George has slept for nearly two weeks outside in a tent with his brother, Harry has been roasting marshmallows, Beanie has been hatching chicks, Jasper held his own Beltane Festival (the pagan fire festival of casting away the dark winter and looking to the light of summer and all that happiness brings), Ryder has loved running through his nearby fields, Breanna has made her first cooked breakfast for her family and Tom has even learnt (rather impressively) to uni-cycle! It is amazing they are doing all of these brilliant things and finding time to do all their school work too! It definitely makes me smile to see how much positivity is out there.
Mrs Sarah Baird, Year 5 Form Tutor
I always talk to my form about striking a good balance in their day - highlighting the importance of getting outside and exercising daily in whatever shape that takes. So far the children have been adventure bike riding, dog walking, trampolining, swimming, building assault courses in their gardens and playing basketball. The children all know exercise outside is good for both the body and the mind. As a form group we talk about the importance of keeping up with friends and reading as part of their daily routine. I also have individual catch ups with every member of my form where I offer reassurance and iron out and discuss any issues on a more personal level. It also allows us to discuss the activities they have been doing in their own time. Many of the children enjoy practical DIY projects which include fixing bikes, woodworking and baking. They are all learning a lot of new skills and finding new enjoyable hobbies.
Miss Jo Gordon, Year 6 Form Tutor
Year 7 have been making the most of the lovely weather these past few weeks. They have been exercising and relaxing outdoors with the emphasis on being away from the screen. They have all benefited from this timeout away from learning which is definitely crucial to keeping positive. We have been transferring these positive feelings to form time as well. Form time allows us to discuss 'things we should be proud of' which gives the children vital time to think and reflect on all of the wonderful things they have achieved over the last few weeks. This in turn promotes positive self-esteem. It has also been incredibly positive on a personal level to see members of Year 7 continue their D.T. work after class. Many have chosen to continue what they have learnt in their casting lesson during their spare time. I particularly like Ben Hall’s example of a tennis racket. Bear in mind these have all been cast from a potato, using a teaspoon!
Mr Jamie Dew, Year 7 Form Tutor
8.1* have been pushing the boundaries of Science. They watched a Royal Institution lecture on the nature of mass; starting with the Greek's concept of atoms and pushing on to the latest understanding of the Higg's Field and its interaction with gluons and up and down quarks producing the mass of objects. This lecture introduced some very interesting Science and we explored some key experiments - Rutherford's gold leaf experiment and Young's double slit experiment. This work is A level grade and it has been so positive to see the pupils take up the challenge and enjoy the fascinating journey.
We have also enjoyed the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 'Size Matters'. I would thoroughly recommend that everyone takes the chance to watch some of these Christmas Lectures - there is so much here covering a vast range of topics you can't fail to find something of interest.
Mr Peter Hesselmann, Year 8 Form Tutor