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Nursery Immerse in Nature
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.
The children in The Den had the most amazing time at Forest School this week. We are so fortunate to have this wonderful facility within our grounds and it so lends itself to a child's wonder and curiosity. Each day is different, every child is different, and we see, therefore, many different outcomes. The children are inspired by our environment and our skilled practitioners support them to explore, observe and connect with the world around them. This week in the woods it was damp and drizzly. The children started the session by feeling the raindrops fall on their head as they stood under the Grandfather tree, before entering the forest to explore the wealth of nature that awaited them. Together they searched for and found numerous slugs, animal homes, fir cones and acorns. At snack time, the children sat around the firepit and tuned in using their senses to listen for the different sounds they could hear. The birds were engaging in 'bird song' and we were lucky enough to hear the Robin very clearly. At the end of the session we walked back to school but the adventures didn't stop there. Whilst walking back across the field the children decided to turn their exploration into a Gruffalo hunt!
Mrs Louise Blackaby, Nursery Teacher
Reception Celebrate Harvest
Reception have been learning all about harvest celebrations. We discussed the value of sharing and giving to those who are not so fortunate. The children explored lots of different fruits and vegetables and thought about how they might have been harvested. They learnt all about the different seasons, when crops are planted and when they would be ready to harvest. The children found out about the differences in climates and crops around the world and were amazed to hear that some vegetables and fruits travel from lots of different countries to our shops in England. At lunch times this week the children have thanked the farmers for the food on their plates. The children have participated in lots of harvest-related activities including fruit printing, making money for our Reception farm shop and labelling all the different fruits and vegetables.
Mrs Jessie Millsom, Reception Teacher
Year 1 Take Time To Reflect
Taking time out of the busy day to reflect and think about how we work together is a key feature of our PSHE lessons. Through calm time, Year One have been helping their minds to be calm so that they are ready for learning. This has been achieved by practising their breathing techniques, whilst picturing scenes that make them feel the most calm. In circle time, the children have been thinking about how they learn best and what happy learning looks like. This has helped to reinforce some of our class rules such as being kind, sharing and listening to others. We have been developing their understanding of the classroom environment, explaining that they all have a right to be in a class where these things happen, but that they also have a responsibility to make sure that they do actually happen. By thinking about everyone’s right to learn, the children are working together to create a happy learning environment in which they all thrive.
Mrs Henrietta Platt, Year One Class Teacher
Year 2 Cultivate Creativity
Year 2 have been very creative this week. Continuing with their topic work, they have completed their rainforest boxes with details such as waterfalls and rope-bridges, stepping stones, and vines. They have carefully labelled the different layers and are now ready to start adding the animals that live in each part. In Art, they have been thinking ever so carefully about the leaves of some of the amazing trees that make up the rainforest canopy roof. Using watercolours, pastels, and a myriad of greens they have created some amazing pictures. Even in computing, Year 2 have been designing. This time, they have made front covers for their literacy books - thinking about The Great Kapok Tree that is our class text.
Mrs Stephanie Turner, Year 2 Class Teacher
Year 3 Erupt
Inspired by our Ice Worlds and Adventurers topic, Year 3 undertook the task of constructing their own volcanoes. Not only was this a great opportunity to put into action what they had learned in their subject lessons about the Rock Cycle and how different rocks are formed, but also a chance to develop their understanding about chemical reactions with some very explosive results! The children were thrilled to observe the reactions that took place between the baking soda and vinegar. Our experts absorbed the knowledge that these aggressive outbursts from beneath the earth’s crust can form some of the most fertile soils on earth and that the internal heat associated with the young volcanic system can be harnessed to produce geothermal energy. They also learned that most of the metallic minerals mined in the world – such as copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc - are associated with magmas found deep within the roots of extinct volcanoes. Everyone returned to school in one piece and, most importantly, had improved their social development and collaboration skills by working effectively in teams, including solving problems and achieving common goals. It is safe to say that Year 3 now have a collection of future volcanologists ready to explore the world.
Mr Charlie Millsom, Head of Year 3
Year 4 Compose A Score
Every story we read and picture we look at conjures up sounds, sometimes distant, sometime near. In Music, Year 4 have been listening to various World War II ‘soundscapes’, matching sounds to a narrative and exploring how the musical elements create atmosphere and drama in a composition. This week, they learnt how to follow a graphic ‘Rat-a-tat’ score and then composed and performed their own. Using a varied range of pitch, dynamic and texture they presented some very expressive…and often rather gruesome…performances! Everyone had the opportunity to direct their work or to be part of the ‘orchestra’ thus developing teamwork skills that are essential across all aspects of learning
Mrs Mary Hall, Deputy Head of Music
Year 5 Explore Habitats
Year 5 have had a busy start to the term in Science, which has largely been spent discovering what animals live in the woodland habitat surrounding Highfield and Brookham. The children set pitfall traps in the woods in an attempt to catch invertebrates such as spiders, beetles and woodlice, of which they found plenty. They then used keys to identify which insects they found and studied them using magnifying glasses, before safely returning them back to their habitat. Some groups even found a mouse and a toad! The children carried out some impressive field work which really re-enforced their learning. Perhaps they will continue this project at home?
Mr Dan Bather, Science Teacher
Year 6 Get Physical
In Physical Education, Year 6 are developing their Swimming ability and their racket skills in Badminton on a two week rotation. We are so very lucky as a school to have such a fantastic pool and we pride ourselves in our swimming education. Each pupil’s level of ability is continually assessed and the lessons are catered to suit all levels. Each stroke is developed and broader swim skills such as diving and tumble turns are taught. We aim for all pupils to leave our school as competent swimmers. Badminton is delivered from Years 4 to 8 each Autumn term. We focus on a range of skill development, right from holding the racket correctly to performing a match winning smash! Pupils develop a range of shots including clears, net shots and drop shots and there is a significant focus on serving, strategy and match play both singles and doubles. Badminton is such a fantastic sport for children to learn as it can be played all year round and throughout life.
Miss Jo Gordon, Head of Physical Education, Girls' Games and Swimming
Year 7 Kick Off Football Season
The Football season is underway and it is great to see the boys running out early for games and making the most of the fantastic facilities we have for playing Football. Alongside basic skills such as tackling, controlling, passing and shooting we will be focusing on transferring the ball, quick one touch passing and clinical finishing. This week, through drills, we have spent time recapping and developing our technique for these skill areas. We have then put these skills into practise in an adapted game situation which forces us to transfer the ball into the wide areas where space can be found. Towards the end of the week we looked at playing more structured matches of 5 v 5 and discussed formations and positions. The boys and I are thoroughly looking forward to the 'Highfield Premier League' commencing on Monday where all the boys will be involved in mixed ability matches and playing for points!
Mr Fraser Murphy, Games Coach
Year 8 Speak The Language
We want our children to learn not just the language of a country, but to also understand something of its culture. This week, Year 8 have been exploring the French educational system and its ethos and considering how it differs from our own. They have been exploring new topics to help expand their vocabulary and considering new grammatical concepts. To help them develop their confidence with both the spoken and written word, the children have been learning through a collection of comprehensions and quizzes and by making their own flashcards. All of these different techniques have helped them to test their knowledge without losing their sense of humour.
Miss Helene Pidebois, French Teacher
Highfield House Points
Good Marks (Years 4, 5 & 6)
Sabina Tracey 39 • Dee Dee Sinclair 19 • Elliot Burke 18 • George Elmore 18 • Oliver Glasgow 11 • Jack Heaver 11 • Archie Fairweather 9
Agincourt 13.9 • Trafalgar 12.9 • Waterloo 12.3
Plus Marks (Year 4, 5 & 6)
George Elmore 39 • Oscar Bloxam 37 • Wilfred Hargreaves 37 • Zac Jenkins 37 • Max Grant 25 • Aimee Horn 23 • Oscar Jackson 23
Trafalgar 30.9 • Agincourt 30.5 • Waterloo 27.1
Merit Marks (Years 7 and 8)
Oliver Hendricks 29 • Isabella Hendricks 21 • Fergus Turvill 18
Agincourt 7.0 • Waterloo 6.3 • Trafalgar 5.1
Brookham House Points
Ash 510 • Oak 441 • Willow 411