Living By Our Values

Living By Our Values
Highfield & Brookham Newsletter

Nursery Foster Kindness

The final week before half term has been as busy as ever in Nursery, with the children taking part in a wide variety of activities from yoga to practising their catching and throwing skills, from baking biscuits to writing party invitations. The children have been encouraged to think about the people that are special to them and they enjoyed making cards and heart necklaces to give to family members on Valentine’s Day.  Both activities also provided a perfect opportunity for testing the children’s fine motor skills. They have been developing their understanding of the wider community and enjoyed celebrating Chinese New Year today, by listening to the story of how each Chinese New Year is named and taking part in a dragon dance. The children loved listening to the music and interpreting it in their own unique way. In all the activities they have taken part in, the children have been encouraged to work as a team and help each other, in order to foster the sense of kindness and collaboration that we feel is so important in their learning environment.

Sam Forster, Head of Nursery

Reception's Roaring Success

In their weekly PE lessons this term, the Reception children have been learning a dinosaur dance, practising it in every lesson and adding to the routine. Repetition is an important element of learning, providing the opportunity for practise and reinforcement whilst helping to strengthen the brain's neural processors for learning. In PE, through the repetition of movement, coordination is improved and as the weeks have progressed it is evident that the children have developed increased self-confidence as their practise pays off. They have been using their listening skills to identify different beats in the music and learning how to move their body, varying their speed as the beat changes. Alongside this they have been exploring how to use their bodies in different levels and shapes in order to replicate the movement of different dinosaurs. For the grand finale, dressing up or dancing with a dinosaur was encouraged and the children put their heart and soul into their performances. Mrs Oecken declared it a rooooarrrrring success! 

Georgie Hunter, Head of Reception and Year 1

Year 1 Are The Best They Can Be

The children rose to the challenge in literacy this week, proving what courageous learners they are, by writing some fantastic setting descriptions to describe London at the time of the Great Fire. Using a visual stimulus for their writing, Year 1 initially drew a scene, labelling their pictures with carefully chosen adjectives. They used their senses to think about what they might have seen, smelt, heard and felt. Afterwards they described the scene by including some impressive sentence starters and ambitious adjectives. It really felt like we were being transported back in time when reading their descriptions, showing they have grasped what London was like 350 years ago. With so many technical aspects to think about when writing (especially in Year 1), the children showed themselves to be the best they can be by remembering to use the correct punctuation, whilst also using connectives to link their ideas. A fantastic effort Year 1, your teachers are very proud!  

Henrietta Platt, Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 Demonstrate True Values

Perhaps one of the things that has struck me most about our Year 2 online learners, is their determination to take part in all the opportunities and activities that come their way. From the gameshow-style Internet Safety Quiz to the Together We Care Cook-a-thon, from Science investigations to creative activities, Year 2 have been busy getting involved with immense enthusiasm and commitment. Our class live times are always spirited affairs with everyone contributing and sharing ideas and supporting one another to improve. Whether the children are discussing the latest topic in PSHE or puzzling over the Wonder Wall they rise to every challenge; and in so doing they demonstrate the true values of the school with their resilience, resolution and sense of fun.

Stephanie Turner, Year 2 Teacher

Year 3 Take Responsibility

This week Year 3's awareness of using the internet safely has been put to the test, literally, as the children took part in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - The Safer Internet Day Edition. Everyone has a role to play in creating and maintaining a safer online world, whether they are a child, a parent or a teacher. This online quiz, hosted by a very familiar looking quizmaster, gave the children and their families the opportunity to test their knowledge of how to keep safe online and inspiring them to take responsibility in a variety of online environments. 

We could not be more appreciative as teachers for all the effort and determination going on at home. Each child has, in one way or another shown, their passion across the online curriculum and presented their work superbly, and allowed their peers the opportunity to reflect on each other’s achievements.  

Charlie Millsom, Head of Year 3

Year 4 Experiment With Evaporation

Year 4 pupils have taken their learning to the science labs this week, albeit in the environment of their own homes. Creating their own experiments using a salt solution made from hot water and salt, they were tasked to show whether temperature affects the rate of evaporation. The children put their salty solutions into three containers and placed their containers in different places around their homes, writing up their predictions as to what they thought might happen. They considered how they would make their experiments fair, wrote up their method including a diagram of their experiment, and then over two days recorded what happened to their salt solutions. The class came together to discuss their experiments and findings and went on to write up their conclusions noting how their findings had compared to their predictions. Over half term the children have the opportunity to stretch their learning further by growing salt crystals or by making a crystal cave.

Louise Doven, Year 4 Teacher

Year 5 Map It Out With Confidence

Along the Corridor and Up the Stairs. Repeat 3 times until you know it.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, Year 5 have been looking at the exciting topic of mapwork, compass directions and four and six figure grid referencing. The Geography Department have supported the pupils to be courageous learners. Through a collective approach focusing on encouragement we ask that the children put themselves out there and do so with confidence, even when faced with challenges. The results are clear to see and it has been so wonderful for us to witness the hard work that they have clearly been putting towards their studies. The boys and girls have thrown themselves into the tasks set and in spite of the current restrictions faced, they have continued to forge strong relations with one another in the process. With that being said, there is no substitute for being in the same classroom together and armed with their new ability with mapwork, I am sure that they will easily be able to find us when it is time to come back to school.

Bertie Campbell-Baldwin, Geography Teacher

Year 6 Beat Bullying

In English Year 6 have been reading Malorie Blackman’s book 'Cloud Busting' together. In the story, a new boy at the school is being picked on and reading this led to a discussion on the issue of bullying. Reading the book and talking about it made the children realise that they had lots of views to share. Imagining that they were at school in a class assembly, talking directly to their peers and teachers, the children wrote a speech to tackle the issue of bullying in schools. The children learnt about the features of a persuasive speech such as emotive language and rhetorical questions and included these in their speeches. We discussed the importance of explaining what bullying is and how it makes people feel, but that it was equally important to come up with some positive ideas for preventing unkind behaviour. The children recognised the seriousness of the subject and were particularly careful and thoughtful in their discussions.  

Katy Warner, Head of English

Year 7 As Global Citizens

In their Spanish lessons, Year 7 have been tackling the topic of health and it has been particularly interesting for them to learn how to talk about coronavirus in Spanish, linking their language learning to such an important global issue. The children have been learning vocabulary for the different parts of the body and for describing symptoms and different illnesses. We have encountered some irregular verbs such as “estar” and “tener”which have provided an extra challenge. The children have been learning this vocabulary by practising the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. In the coming weeks, the children will take their learning further and use this new vocabulary in role-plays, taking on the roles of doctor and patient, explaining their symptoms and providing remedies. 

Adela Munoz Garcia, Spanish Teacher

Year 8 Ambitious Sports Scholars

If you find a path with no obstacles… It probably doesn’t lead anywhere...

The Year 8 potential Sport Scholarships were 'thrown a curve ball', to use a sports expression, by the Covid restrictions which put an abrupt end to the traditional Sport Scholarship 13+ assessment. The assessment moved to various online formats which ranged from the overwhelming to the frighteningly minimal. Some schools asked for up to 14 separate filmed tasks, including timed evidence of distance runs, physical testing, lengthy interviews and that was just the first round. I have been extremely impressed by the way that the sport scholars have approached this new guidance. They have created some very impressive videos which thoroughly justify the considerable amount of time spent producing them and reflect the children's ambition, resilience and courage. Whether the children are successful or not in achieving a scholarship, they will all have taken some very useful learning from the process and should be commended for their positive and proactive attitudes in overcoming this significant change to the goal posts.

Dan Bather, Director of Sport




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