Acts of Kindness
Over Half Term we are challenging all of the Highfield and Brookham community to join together on a virtual trek. ‘Hampshire to Hong Kong’ will take us from our schools in Hampshire to the furthest away place where our pupils live, Hong Kong. Find out more.
Kindness has always been something I have felt strongly about. Kindness is doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by a genuine desire to make a positive difference. I believe that kindness should be at the forefront of our minds all the time. During the last few weeks, we have seen it in the dancing eyes of 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore as he walked his garden and in the mutual aid groups responding to local needs. We want that kindness to spread further in every community. Modelling acts of kindness is fundamental in the Early Years. We help children become aware of how being kind to one another and ourselves, realising when we are kind it makes us feel great inside. Each morning I am greeted by wonderful drawings children have sent me with messages ‘hope you have a good day' and 'hope you are well'. Receiving these kind messages makes me smile. The daily interaction that we have been able to maintain and our individual meetings with the children, have helped us to keep kindness going by giving encouraging and constructive feedback. This boosts the children’s self-esteem encouraging them to maintain a positive and upbeat attitude towards their home learning.
Mrs Jessie Millsom, Reception Class Teacher
It has been wonderful to see the various acts of kindness that Year 1 have not only initiated, but also fully embraced, alongside their home learning. Boundaries have been pushed and challenges have been undertaken, in order to raise money for those in need. Most notably, one of our Honeybees is walking one hundred miles (in sections) to raise money for a homeless charity. Whilst others have pushed themselves to the limit, after being nominated to take part in the 5km Run For Heroes mission. Helping out at home has been actively encouraged during these exceptional times, with the emphasis on a little goes a long way. I feel incredibly lucky to have witnessed how the children have adapted to their current way of life, and I am overcome with acute nostalgia for school after receiving pictures that have been drawn for me. No doubt we will look back on this time as one of incredible resilience and kindness, whilst recognising the importance of slowing down and thinking of others.
Mrs Henrietta Platt, Year One Class Teacher
'Be Kind' is the first of our school rules. This is an ingrained phrase and Year 2 continually amaze me with how genuinely kind they can be towards each other on a daily basis: an arm around the shoulder of a classmate who is sad at break time, offers of help to find missing belongings, collecting book bags for each other, playing with a younger child who seems a little alone and assisting each other with challenging tasks are commonplace. I have seen many ways in which this developed sense of helping others has continued through this time of remote learning. It is a joy to see older siblings supporting their younger sibling with challenging tasks, cheering each other on to beat personal bests whether this is running a 5k in a faster time or riding a bike one handed. Examples where kindness has spilled into community support are everywhere; from selling eggs to making visors, so many of our children show daily offering acts of kindness. A huge mention must go to Seraphina whose daily acts of kindness shine brightly. As one of our key worker children she is in school everyday and shows such support and kindness towards the younger children and her peers, she always thinks of others before herself and is a tremendous role model. Her unconscious acts of kindness make the time at school for others a happier place.
Mrs Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 2
An email to a friend, a FaceTime call for collaborative learning (or for a giggle), a birthday card through the post, an online pizza party or a wave from the garden gate. As we approach Half Term after five weeks of remote learning, these little acts of kindness have been keeping the Year 3 community strong and sensitive towards each other's feelings. However, perhaps the most remarkable, unprompted acts of kindness this week have come from our new House Captains, who have been preparing and sending messages of support and encouragement to all of the children in their houses. Not only that, but their peers, again unprompted, responded with messages of thanks and support to their House Captains, in some cases looking beyond personal disappointment at not becoming a House Captain themselves. It is often said that people show their true colours in extreme circumstances, so it is wonderful to see the beacon of kindness shining so brightly throughout Year 3. Remember to be kind to yourselves too, Year 3, take some time away from your learning during Half Term and recharge those batteries.
Miss Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Class Teacher
In Year 4 this week we have discussed kindness during Form Time. We enjoyed a virtual circle time about kindness and friendship. The discussion led us to talking about the rules of online learning and internet safety. The children all agreed that being kind to their classmates online is just as important, if not more, as being kind to them in the classroom. This was clearly displayed during 'Teach it Thursday', where one pupil teaches the class something of their choosing. During this time the pupils were all very courteous to their pupil teacher. This week Jemima taught the class how to make a paper throwing star. Some of the pupils found it quite tricky but the kindness of Year 4 shone through as pupils rallied around and helped others who were stuck. It is heartwarming to see this respect and kindness throughout all of the Year 4 lessons.
Mrs Louise Doven, Year 4 Form Tutor
Kindness continues to pour out across Year 5 and I love hearing about all the wonderful things they have been getting up to; whether it be starting the day with a lovely thank you note on 'Thank A Teacher Day', hearing how one pupil has been exchanging letters with a World War II survivor, or seeing the thank you cards and signs for our amazing NHS. During these times, the children continue to lift peoples' spirits around them. As we reach Half Term, I have been telling my form how it is also important to be kind to themselves. It can be easy to be tough on yourself at the moment, wondering if you have completed enough work, or working through breaks and ending up staring at the screen for hours. I hope that with our week's break we can all use this time to rest, recuperate and enjoy some time outside with our families.
Miss Olivia Stebbings, Year 5 Form Tutor
This week members of 6RD brought their pets to Form Time and talked us through their animals. It was evident how much the children adored their pets and how much the animals enjoyed being in their company. Clearly, a huge amount of kindness has been shown towards their animals and it was a testament to the families at how well behaved all their pets were. During the course of the teaching week I enjoy looking at the chat section of Teams to see pupils offering other pupils help or advice. These simple acts of kindness are one of the many plusses of this online environment. 6RD are a kind, tolerant, and diverse group of pupils, who in their own unique way make for a happy Form. I enjoy seeing them every Monday and Friday for Form catch ups and this has been made even more enjoyable since the Teams' upgrade which enables the ability to see nine, rather than four faces at a time!
Mr Richard Dunn, Year 6 Form Tutor
It has been very strange enjoying some of the best weather that a Summer Term can offer but not to see the children thriving first-hand. This term is usually filled with pupils sitting on the playing fields and enjoying each other's company, or playing some cricket and rounders with anyone who is keen. The opportunity to help peers or younger children with their bowling technique in the nets or sprinting under the zip line, pulling someone else along. These simple events readily occur during this time of year and are some of the more simple acts of kindness that are always on show. With Half Term fast approaching, it has been a good time time to reflect on just how far Year 7 have come. The progression of how best to work through the school day has been clear to see throughout the year group but it is the support they have offered each other that has really stood out. They are a close knit group and they are fiercely supportive of one another. This has continued throughout the past weeks of remote learning, and it has been lovely to hear stories of pupils keeping in contact and continuing to find joy during this period of time. Whether it be aiding a classmate with a problem or sharing ideas of what activities can be done at home, the kindness and thoughtfulness of Year 7 is still very clear to see. While the path to returning to school is uncertain, I am excited for the time when this group of children can join together again and continue to thrive as both individuals and as a year group.
Mr James Figgis, Acting Head of Year 7
The Year 8s are currently focused on two things: their forthcoming exams and looking towards the end of their time at Highfield and how the last three weeks might usefully be spent. Watching their kindness and generosity has made me incredibly proud to be Head of Year 8. More than ever before the children are being generous towards one another, supporting one another and giving advice on the end of year exams. However, there is a sadness that they most likely won’t be in school for their final weeks at Highfield. But Year 8 are determined to make the most of whatever will be available and will meet again as a whole year group, whenever that is possible.
Mr Simon Mason, Head of Year 8