Be Kind to Yourselves

Be Kind to Yourselves
Highfield & Brookham

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Nursery Keep Active

There's a strong feeling of business as usual in the Nursery. Last week, on their very first day back, Big Bears enjoyed a swimming lesson, and for some children new to the school, this was their first ever lesson in a pool and the children showed great determination in learning this important skill. This week, Mrs Oecken, who is teaching Swimming during lockdown, commented on how well all the children are doing, noting their excellent listening skills and water confidence. They also impressed her with their creativity in their Dance lesson on Thursday when they were learning to interpret music through their movements. There has been a real feeling of purpose in their activities and learning. Clearly the children are loving being back at school and are making the most of all the opportunities for learning. 

Sam Forster, Head of Early Years

Reception Discover Dinosaurs

Reception children have got off to a flying start with their remote learning and the teachers have been so impressed with the positive and enthusiastic attitudes of all the children. Our regular check in sessions provide a fantastic opportunity to see each other and remind everybody that we are all in this together. From dinosaur dens, to adventures in a hot air balloon, the Reception children have been using their imaginations to immerse themselves in learning about their new topic - dinosaurs. Having researched different dinosaurs and their feeding habits the children have educated their teachers about their favourite ones, sharing new and interesting facts. Thursday was a very exciting day when it became apparent that a strange looking creature, possibly a dinosaur, had been seen in the Brookham grounds. Help was urgently needed so the children rose to the challenge and created posters to let everyone know about the situation. The staff and children in school are under strict instructions to keep their eyes peeled over the coming days for this strange creature.

Georgie Hunter, Head of Reception and Year 1

Year 1 Race Caterpillars

Every afternoon children are given the opportunity to continue their learning away from screens with a daily creative activity. Year 1 have been using a variety of skills and learning by making and racing paper caterpillars. Using a simple origami technique, the children made their caterpillars and then raced them against a family member, by blowing through a straw. The children carefully measured the distance their caterpillars had travelled and recorded the time taken. The children then used ordinal numbers to work out who had come first or second. The children thought hard about how they might make their caterpillars travel further and experimented with different sizes and folds in the paper.

Henrietta Plat, Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 2 Get Active

The importance of keeping active is something that our children know all about. As we are currently learning remotely and without our usual playtimes, keeping active is even more important. Year 2 worked up a sweat this week with a HIIT session – high-intensity interval training with Mrs Oecken. They were challenged to exercise hard for one minute, with a 15 second rest and repeat for two more sets. Planking, star jumps and ski jumps all got the children’s blood pumping so they were ready and alert for the day of learning that lay ahead. The children were all in agreement that the squats were definitely the most challenging!

Stephanie Turner, Year 2 Class Teacher

Year 3 Make Smoothies

As part of their topic on Fairtrade, Year 3 have been making smoothies. As they gathered up the ingredients for their smoothies, the children looked to see whether any of the fruit and vegetables had the Fairtrade logo on them and if they could find the logo on any other products in their kitchens. So far, the children have spotted the logo on bananas and mangoes, and tea and sugar. As the children chopped and blended their fruit and vegetables, they thought hard about how important it is to include plenty of fruit and vegetables into their diet and how smoothies are such an easy and delicious way to do this. 

Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Class Teacher

Year 4 Discover Africa

Of course, this was not the start to the New Year and term that we were all hoping for but we have been so impressed by the way Year 4 have adapted to our remote learning programme. It is very rewarding to see their enthusiastic approach to our new topic, ‘Africa’ through their participation in our online lessons and in seeing the super work that they have produced right from the start.

So what have we been up to?

The children were given an opportunity to research an African country of their choice and present the information they had discovered. The countries chosen range from Madagascar to Egypt and Kenya to Angola. We have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the various interesting facts and the children have been excited to share these with us. Once the children return to school, their work will form an amazing classroom display.

Our journey through Africa has taken us to South Africa where we have been learning about the life of Nelson Mandela, which led to very interesting and thought provoking discussions. Alongside this, we have started reading, ‘Journey to Jo’burg’, by Beverley Naidoo which it about two extraordinary children, Naledi and Tiro. 

Martine Melling, Head of Year 4

Year 5 Entertain Us

It has been such a joy to teach Year 5 this week. Their work is flooding in and they have shown real enthusiasm on Teams and confidence when using Foldr. 

Form Time offers us the chance to come together to share our stories and talents. These are precious moments as we start the day with a little fun and light heartedness. The children have entertained us this week with a selection of joke telling (some good and some not quite so good!), with a Show and Tell, including a range of items from pets, sewing boxes, Lego houses, a James Bond car, fishing rods and microscopes. 5FT shared their Wishes of the Week with some wishing for more time playing outdoors and chopping wood. In one of our English lessons, Lloyd Allen began the lesson with some music as he played the Harry Potter theme tune to help us all get in the mood for our Reading Lesson. Next week, Year 5 will be dusting off their dance shoes and sports kits for Form Times, get ready!

Vivienne Liddell, Head of Year 5

Year 6 Exercise Enthusiastically

Year 6 have really embraced their remote learning this week. In their virtual TPR classroom, the children have been learning about Hinduism. After an initial overview of the religion, the children are looking forward to discovering more about this captivating, ancient religion in the coming weeks. In History, the children have been focussing on The Battle of Bosworth, the death of Richard the Third, the end of the Wars of the Roses and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty, writing a newspaper article based on the events of the battle. In the coming weeks, they will be learning about the fascinating discovery of Richard the Third’s skeleton in a supermarket carpark in Leicester in 2015. 

We encourage the children to build exercise into their daily routine. We discuss and plan this during our PE lessons and take part in an invigorating workout. Pupils can choose how they exercise and are finding inspiration from our Virtual PE lessons and the new and exciting sport and exercise videos placed in Foldr each week from myself, Mr Dilworth and Mr Bather.

Jo Gordon, Head of Physical Education and Girls Games, Head of Swimming

Year 7 Celebrate End of Exams

Year 7 have been partaking in their first ever set of Highfield Examinations from home. Exams are challenging at the best of times but the successful operation to complete them 'virtually' is a huge credit to the children. Whether it be ensuring resources and papers are printed off correctly or having an invigilator in the form of your parent certainly adds to the understandable nervousness of formative testing. Despite this, Year 7 have done brilliantly to work through the past few days, completing and uploading their work back to their teachers. Exams completed, the children can now return to a 'Virtual Highfield' routine that they have excelled with previously. We look forward to creative, enriching, and enjoyable lessons as we count down the weeks to the end of lockdown and our return to Highfield.

To celebrate the end of their exams, 7JF took part in a Fancy Dress Form Time in some very creative outfits. It is so important to look for the joys of life during the dark days of January and I could not be more delighted with how Year 7 have started the year.

James Figgis, Head of Year 7

Year 8 Mindful Mindset

Year 8 have also been diligently completing exams this week. They have shown great resilience, as they soldiered on through internet issues, printing problems and challenges with uploading to finish a full set of exams. Parents too have learned new skills in invigilating and have also had their IT skills tested to the max. To help balance the stress of exams, Year 8 have been learning the art of meditation and taking time to let their brains relax, de-stress and refocus. It has been a year since they last sat exams and despite the difficult circumstances, they have managed to complete this week with such a calm and sensible mindset.

Jo Longshaw, Head of Year 8


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