Nursery Sing A Rainbow
The children have spent their week exploring rainbows. They could choose how to do this, with some children deciding to make rainbow paintings, perhaps collaborating with a friend, or to cut out and stick a rainbow shape. Some children created rainbows on the light table and some decided to make rainbow biscuits. The children strengthened their fine motor skills as they used their hands to manipulate and roll the coloured cookie dough or used scissors to make snips in the paper. They drew on their mathematics skills as they counted the different balls of dough and worked out which piece rolled the longest worm. Outside on the tuff tray, the children explored colour on a larger scale as the rain came down and mixed the most beautiful rainbow for us and we all came together to sing the rainbow song. There were many conversations about colour amongst the children as they spotted rainbows all around their learning environment.
Lou Blackaby, Nursery Teacher
Reception Create Leaf Art
The positive and enthusiastic attitude to remote learning has been very apparent in Reception and the children have made their teachers very proud. Our live daily registration meetings set us all up for a great day of learning. The children enjoy sharing their work with each other during this time and also love to show some of their home life too - we have been introduced to family pets and enjoyed a plethora of funny hats! The children have been busy collecting leaves and using their creative skills, they have transformed them into beautiful animal pictures. We have seen some wonderfully unique works of art and we were delighted by all the different animals that had been created such as owls, cats, spiders and butterflies. These creative activities give the children the opportunity to use their imagination and critical thinking to create new and meaningful ideas. Here the children can be courageous and take risks, be independent and flexible. It also engages children in the learning process and encourages personal and collective responsibility.
Jessie Millsom, Reception Teacher
Year 1 Sculpt Salt Dough
As the rain poured outside, Year 1 found the perfect rainy day activity as they set about following a simple set of instructions to make their own salt dough. This versatile modelling material allowed the children to come up with an idea, sculpt, analyse what to improve, scrunch it all up and start again with a better idea in mind. As always, Year 1 rose to the challenge and alongside their brothers and sisters, designed, made and improved their very own salt dough creations. There was plenty of team work amongst families as the children worked through the creative process together to achieve something they were proud of.
Olivia Shepherd, Year 1 Class Teacher
Year 2 Come Top In Maths
With the second full week of online learning under their belts the Year 2 children are becoming more and more independent. Enthusiasm is strong and the overall consensus is that Maths is the favourite activity of the day. Due to this keenness for the subject Mrs Turner and I have added an extra daily Maths activity to the timetable to practise arithmetic and fluency skills. These skills were put to the test this week in one of our creative activities, design your own Top Trump cards. The children were extremely creative with topics ranging from Minecraft to alien life forms. Choosing the categories proved quite difficult, and scoring each card in order to make the game competitive required some careful thought. We were very impressed with the finished products that had clearly taken the children a long time to perfect through trial and improvement. The mathematicians of the future in the making!
Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 2
Year 3 Refine and Design
Year 3 have enjoyed live online Maths lessons and it has been amazing to see how full of energy and motivated to learn all the children are. We have been developing our understanding of challenging multiplication, skip-counting and the short-cut method which has allowed the children to refine their skills and strategies for complicated number sentences and worded-problems. The children have worked hard and really impressed their teachers. Year 3 have also enjoyed some creativity this week as they designed and constructed Shark Binoculars. This delicate task has been enjoyed by all children across the school and it has been wonderful to see whole families collaborating and coming up with their very own creative designs.
Charlie Millsom, Head of Year 3
Year 4 Create Constellations
Space is the theme for this half term which the pupils have really engaged with. They have particularly enjoyed being able to explore hands-on questions such as what happens to shadows as the sun changes position throughout the day and being able to see if they can spot well known constellations such as Orion and The Plough. This week, pupils created and named their very own constellation by dropping lentils onto a piece of paper, drawing round them and seeing what shapes the lentils left behind. Some children were so inspired that they pursued this investigation beyond the lesson to create their constellations with different materials. Perhaps some future astronauts are among us.
Louise Doven, Year 4 Class Teacher
Year 5 Show A Smile
Year 5 have yet again risen to the challenges of online learning. They constantly amaze me with their positivity and good humour, at a time when we could all be feeling a bit low. As I looked out of the window one day this week at the howling wind and pouring rain, a chuckle sprang to my mind as I recalled 5FT's Drama lesson. In this lesson, Flora showed incredible commitment to her ‘art’ as she submerged herself in the bath in order to recreate a tsunami as part of her performance! Form times have involved a mixture of scavenger hunts, dance routines, joke telling and sharing everyone’s news. It was a privilege to share in my form’s ‘show and tell’ this week, as I learnt about so many things that are special to my pupils for so many different reasons. Alice shared a small jar of sand that came from Dubai where she used to live, Cristo showed us his gigantic tractor with wheels taller than its owner, Ines shared her first trinket (a miniature croissant) given as a Spanish tradition on 6th January for Epiphany, many shared treasured family photos including their pets, sand jars and sand paintings, vizsla necklaces, their favourite books and even a homemade tank made out of cardboard boxes, tape and wrapping paper tubes. It made me realise how above all else, this whole experience is not only broadening our resilience to learning in different ways, but it’s reminding us of everything that we hold dear to us, for whatever reason that may be. Year 5, thank you for making me smile every day.
Sarah Baird, Head of Drama, Year 5 Form Tutor
Year 6 Deal With Disappointment
In our year group assembly this week, we considered how to deal with disappointment. Mrs Hamilton revealed her life long experience as a continually disappointed Newcastle fan, and shared how she deals with such disappointment. Her advice came in the form of The Serenity Prayer:
Let me accept the things I cannot change,
have the courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Understanding how to deal with disappointment is an important life lessons for our children to learn in the safe and secure environment of their school. Disappointment, at some point in the future, is inevitable but how the children respond to it is completely in their control. We strive for our children to feel empowered, resilient and ready to grasp every opportunity with both hands. They are the leaders of the future.
Far from disappointing was the new offering from Microsoft Teams in the form of The Large Gallery view and this enables us now to see more than just nine faces at a time!
Richard Dunn, Year 6 Form Tutor
Year 7 Come Together
Form Time is a time to cherish. It is a time when we come together to listen to each other’s stories and enjoy each other's company. We instil a relaxed, family atmosphere where everyone cares and gives support when needed. This is true in 'normal times' but has become of extra importance during lockdown. In our 'Monday Morning Catch up' we write stories of our weekend activities using 'Mentimeter' which allows the children to write anonymously. During this time, we congratulate previous week's successes and look forward to the week ahead. Tuesdays and Thursday usually involve a game of Drawful and Wednesday's Form Time is replaced by our Wednesday Workout where the children can take part in the games and exercise videos that Mr Bather, Miss Gordon and myself have created. This is such a popular activity with the children and a great way to keep fit and healthy.
Such is our commitment to Form Time, we get up a little bit earlier on Fridays so that we also have time to watch the Celebration Assembly together. I am very keen to hear suggestions from the form to know how they want to spend these Friday mornings. So far we have had 'Bring Your Pet to School' and the beginning of the 7RD Fantasy Football League. It is wonderful to spend this time in the mornings with my form and I hope they are a highlight for them too.
Rob Dilworth, Year 7 Form Tutor
Year 8 Focus On Future
After a busy and successful week of exams, the Year 8s have settled back into remote learning quickly. In Science, Year 8 are learning about springs and light and applying it to real life uses. They particularly enjoyed finding out how rainbows form and why we get the different colours. Some of 8OB decided to decorate their desks to help them learn. The use of mood lighting seems a very popular choice. however, I am yet to be convinced of the benefit of the flashing mode! Getting fresh air, exercise and regular breaks from screens is vital for healthy learning and to keep your body and mind relaxed and rejuvenated. I have set the task to all 8OB to do some extra activities outside of lessons with some choosing to do daily exercise, cooking, yoga, walks and reading to name but a few. This is a great chance to learn new skills and unwind after a day of lessons. With exams behind them, it is now time for Year 8 to push themselves and take the most from their final two terms at Highfield so that they are best prepared for Senior School next year.
Oli Backhouse, Year 8 Form Tutor