A Caring Culture

A Caring Culture
Highfield & Brookham Newsletter

Nursery Careful Cutting

We love to let the children's imaginations run freely and for them to take the lead in their learning. This week, the children came across a very large log in Forest School and decided to climb aboard and set off on an imaginary train ride. The children discussed where they were going, one decided on a trip to the beach, another to the zoo and another suggested Cowdray Park. The train, of course, stopped at all stations. Sandcastles and ice creams were enjoyed at the beach and many discussions were had regarding which animals they wanted to see at the zoo. Finally, a trip to Cowdray Park which included a stop off at the castle and a visit to the cafe for a bambinoccino!

On arrival back at Nursery, the children looked at zoo animals. They developed and strengthened their fine motor skills by carefully cutting out paper animals using scissors. They were very attentive to the number of legs the animals had to ensure none got lost in the chopping process. Mathematical language was used as the children decided which animal was the largest, smallest, fastest, slowest and strongest.

Lou Blackaby, Nursery Teacher

Reception Enjoy A Good Giggle

It goes without saying that if a child is happy and content, they learn better and it is essential that we as teachers prioritise the happiness and wellbeing of children. A challenge which every teacher and parent has faced throughout home learning is trying to be good role models for the children by keeping positive, upbeat and enthusiastic towards their learning and encouraging the children to remain positive and, most importantly, happy. The children in Reception have coped incredibly well with the situation we have found ourselves in.

Each morning I very much look forward to logging onto Teams to carry out the daily register, seeing the children’s faces and listening to them tell us their most important news. Hearing news, such as a new top they received in the post, how they’ve met a new friend at a park or sharing a beautiful drawing they have worked hard at, brings us back down to earth and reminds us of how sometimes the smallest things in life make us so happy. The old saying that laughter is the best medicine turns out to be true. The more we laugh, the happier we are! It actually changes our body chemistry and there have been many times throughout our live learning sessions where we have all found ourselves giggling and sharing a great sense of fun and happiness. This has been fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the children but also for us teachers.

Jessie Millsom, Reception Teacher

Year 1 Cherish Birthdays

We really get to know all of our children and recognise each individual for who they are, what their passions are and where they need more support. This is as true for us as teachers as it is for the children. Understanding your classmates' strengths and challenges will make you a better and more caring friend. What better time to celebrate each individual than on their birthday? Year 1 have continued to come together to celebrate each other's birthdays in style. Over the past couple of months a few of our lovely children have entered the grand age of six! During our morning registrations the children have brought banners, balloons, party hats and cards to help wish them a 'Happy Birthday'. Each individual with a birthday has had an opportunity to share their birthday news. This news of the day has included everything from birthday cakes to how they celebrated and any gifts they were lucky enough to receive. Each celebration has ended with a tuneful rendition of Happy Birthday. What more could one desire.

Olivia Shepherd, Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 Treasure Bottle Moments

We have been discussing how we feel about coming back together as a community on the 8th March. The children have shared their feelings of excitement, anticipation, and happiness. Playing together at play time is the most popular activity that the children are looking forward to when they return, 'it will feel like a party' and 'it will be like a giant play date' were just some of the comments shared during our class time chats. As we all look ahead to the end of this pandemic, we find ourselves dreaming of our favourite moments from pre-pandemic life, that we can’t wait to recreate. The children have been sharing their 'bottle moments' – the moment that they are most looking forward to when the peak of the pandemic has passed. This is the moment that they will want to bottle up in their memory and store forever. Mrs Turner and I cannot wait to have our classes back together and to join our friendly and happy year group again.

Kerri Wilkes, Year 2 Teacher

Year 3 Advertise Marvellous Medicine

Year 3 children have continued to support and care for each other during this week's home learning. They have carried on reading and writing about George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl. This week's literacy activity has been to design and create posters to advertise their own medicines. They thought carefully about who might want to buy their product and what the benefits would be. Once they established this they used their persuasive language to make it appeal to their customer. Of course, no advertising project would be complete without making the adverts clear and colourful, ensuring their medicine would stand out on the shop shelves. Perhaps a future Saatchi has begun their advertising career this week...

Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Teacher

Year 4 Share Success

Year 4 and have shown great maturity and the ability to take the initiative for their own learning, They have remained upbeat and show such care, happiness and friendliness consistently in their lessons and so it was no surprise that they returned to the online Art Studio with great enthusiasm after Half Term. This week Mia-May enjoyed making friendship bracelets, Clemmie admired Mia's work and asked in our lesson for Mia to share more about her process. It was such a lovely and friendly exchange which would happen so naturally in the 'real' Art Studio. I was so pleased to witness this lovely sharing happening online too. It led to a great discussion which the whole class benefitted from. The children have really enjoyed looking at the Tate Make website and choosing their own activities and we have seen a fantastic collection of work produced, including an eco robot from our possible future engineer, Sophie, a colouful, happy collage from Harry, and a fabulous drawing of a dragon by Rupert as part of a collection of book characters he produced. I wonder if he might be inspired to dress like one of the characters for World Book Day next week?

Olga Houghton, Head of Art

Year 5 Meticulously Crunch Data

Year 5 have been developing a range of ICT skills to support the English Curriculum, following their study of Harry Potter. The children researched five characters from the book and using the internet had to find a range of information about the characters, for example, their parents, their Hogwarts house, their character traits etc. The children were tasked with presenting this information in a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation that included Action Buttons. Action Buttons allow the audience to navigate through presentations without having to go through every slide. They are essentially hyperlinks to another part of the presentation and can take the form of simple shapes to pictures or words. Once the children had completed their presentations, they moved on to to Excel or Numbers to produce tables and graphs presenting data from the whole Harry Potter series. The children collated data such as, which films cost the most to make, which film took the most at the box office and which book had the most number of pages or chapters etc. Learning to present this data in a clear format, using a graph type that best suited the data, was one of the key learning objectives. All children did extremely well and have certainly enhanced their ICT skills considerably. Some of the fact finding regarding the characters was particularly interesting and we have a cohort of children that know a considerable amount of detail regarding this wonderful and inspiring book.

Richard Dunn, Head of ICT

Year 6 Determined To Improve

Spelling is rarely the most exciting lesson of the week, but it is such an essential part of improving literacy.  In Year 6, spellings to learn are set every week and the children are tested regularly. Over Half Term, the children were set the challenge of revising all the words they had learnt in the first half of term in preparation for a test. In order to make the test a bit more interesting and engaging, Mrs Warner decided that she would write a story to include all the words…

There are some very challenging spellings in this set of words. The pupils have worked hard on suffixes this term, and the test included examples of the -le, -al and -el suffixes; and the -sion, -tion and -ssion suffixes, as well as other words including the “i before e” rule for believe and mischievous. It is brilliant to see evidence of the children correcting themselves and showing true determination to end up with the correct spelling. I look forward to marking all the tests and everyone will be able to see their results and any corrections when they are returned to Foldr.

Katy Warner, Head of English

Year 7 Craft Historical Speeches

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wear a bicorn hat? Well just ask Year 7, who were challenged to think outside the box this week and to channel their creative energy into Georgian hat design. Towards the end of the week, they will be (fictitiously) opening Trafalgar Square with inspiring speeches, especially crafted to touch on Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar. But they must look the part as well and inspired by Lord Nelson’s wardrobe, they will deliver their speech clad in Georgian garb… hence the bicorn hats. As we near the end of our remote programme, it is important to remember that learning should always be engaging and enjoyable. It is evident, our creative Year 7s enjoyed their time as historical fashion designers this week.

James Ridge, Head of History

Year 8 Drama Scholars

All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed

Well, this was certainly not the case for our aspiring Drama Scholars! We launched the Monday Drama Scholar Club last September for  passionate and creative Year 8s interested in taking a Scholarship to their chosen Senior School. Here the Scholars could meet and share ideas, explore new scenes and prepare for the path ahead. A Drama Scholarship will often involve preparing a live performance of one or two monologues, practising for a face to face interview with the Head of Drama and preparing a portfolio of evidence to support their passion and commitment to Drama. However, as the Tier system struck back in November and the consequent ‘lockdown’ of this term, all gears had to be switched to preparing for pre-recorded audition pieces, interviews conducted via Teams and the collating of digital portfolios to be sent and perused. As with all the twists and turns that these last few months have presented, our four hopeful Drama Scholars, Anastasia, Issy, Imogen and Mariella adapted with the energy and commitment of West End Performers, transferring their skills seamlessly. We were delighted to hear that Anastasia achieved her Drama Scholarship to Dauntsey’s School back in November and we are still anxiously awaiting other results. A Drama Scholarship can be so hard to achieve, they are highly competitive and with such personal interpretation and experience. However, whatever the outcome, all our candidates should be extremely proud of all they have accomplished. They have all proved to be outstanding performers and committed to the Performing Arts. We can’t wait to hear how they will continue to ‘tread the boards’ in the exciting years to come.

Sarah Baird, Head of Drama


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