The Next Step

The Next Step
Highfield & Brookham Newsletter

Nursery Children Take Another Big Step Forward

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

Neil Armstrong

As the Nursery children complete their final weeks in the Den, there is a distinct sense of transition in the air. Through successfully accomplishing day-to-day routines, the children have become confident, secure and, most importantly, ready for the next stage in their journey. With every day that passes, they develop new skills and ideas by observing others, questioning, exploring and finding and discovering inner confidence. These carefully crafted daily steps, little by little, prepare them for undertaking new challenges. No two children are the same, each being on their own unique journey and yet they work collectively, learning from each other’s strengths and moving forward as a team. Singing songs and nursery rhymes help them learn in many ways. The rhyme and rhythm helps children to hear the sounds and syllables in words, important early building blocks which will eventually help them learn to read. They are also important for developing language and can help with speech development, strengthening mouth and tongue muscles. This week, we have been enjoying sharing one of our favourite songs together called ‘Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, We’re Going to the Moon’. Before singing, the children prepare for their journey by fastening their seatbelts, putting on their space helmets and starting their engines. In the same way, throughout their time in the Den, the children have been preparing for the next chapter in their lives, practising new skills and readying themselves for future adventures which, of course, they will take in their stride. For the Nursery youngsters, the sky's the limit!

Penny Hodnett, Nursery Teacher

Ice Lollies The Flavour Of The Month For Reception

The lack of sunshine hasn't dampened the spirits in Reception this week, in fact it has only strengthened them with the lure of making tasty ice lollies. First, the children worked collaboratively to generate a set of instruction cards, picking out what they thought the imperative verbs were followed by discussions about which alternative verb choices could have been used. Resilient learning muscles were stretched when writing a set of instructions for how to make the delicious raspberry and mint ice lollies. They shared their instructions with their learning partners which required them to listen and provide useful feedback. There was a great deal of anticipation and excitement in the classroom when the time finally arrived for the lollies to be created. The instructions were followed and great effort was made to crush the mint, infuse the tea and sprinkle the sugar to create a delicious frozen delight. When the sun finally came out, the ice lollies were ready to be tasted and critiqued by the eager children - and it was clear from their faces, fingers and legs that they were a huge success, with many wanting to make them again at home.

Georgie Hunter, Reception Teacher

Unique Identities Taking Shape Nicely For Year 1

As we grow, we become increasingly aware of our unique identities and begin to recognise our strengths as well as those things that we find more challenging. When collaborating, we learn that our unique identities are something worth celebrating as well as discovering just how crucial having a range of strengths and weaknesses is. As we embark on the final few weeks of Year 1, the children have been thinking carefully about how they have changed both physically and skilfully over the years, as part of their PSHE learning. Through using a stimuli of baby photos from members of the class to initiate discussions, the children were challenged to guess which baby photo belonged to which pupil. This encouraged them to spot similarities in each child’s facial features as well as considering how their appearance now differed. Amongst the very tiny babies, Year 1 observed the lack of smiles which led to an interesting discussion about what each child had learnt to do over the years. The children also noted that new skills weren’t necessarily acquired at exactly the same time as each other, which sparked a conversation between the children about how individuals all progress at different rates. As classes, we began to consider what this meant for our futures, through sharing all they have achieved and all they are yet to learn to achieve. Anything is possible when you set your mind on it.

Olivia Shepherd, Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 Redouble Their Efforts In Readiness For Next Year

The Year 2 children are working super hard just now to make sure that they are absolutely ready for their next steps as they progress into Year 3. They are checking and rechecking that they have learned all the tricky spelling words and testing one another to be on the safe side. It is lovely to see these independent learners thriving, flushed with success and brimming with confidence, as they reflect on how far they have travelled in just one (unusual) year. It was especially wonderful to see the children pouring over a floor map of the world, pointing out places that they have been, or are setting off to this summer, and to see their fascination as they discovered the oceans and continents of the world on their atlases - collaborating as they worked to make sure they hadn't missed any. Our geography lesson became extended as the children were so keen to discover more about the wider world. One child was so inspired that they asked to take their atlas home for the night (and then quizzed me the next morning on the capital cities of Europe!). Teaching has changed dramatically over the years and we don't drill children on such things anymore; but children love to collect facts just the same, and to them information is currency.

Stephanie Turner, Year 2 Teacher

Exceptional Year 3 Bring West End To Brookham

Many of us have missed going to the theatre in the past 15 months, but this week the West End was brought to Brookham as the Year 3 performers surpassed any, and all, expectations in their production of The Jungle Book. Changes of venue, last-minute alterations to the cast list and, of course, national restrictions due to Covid could have resulted in somewhat of a damp squib.  However, the indomitable Year 3s, expertly coached and led by Mrs Hall, pulled off a masterpiece of a performance. The audience (socially distanced and restricted in number) were transported to a hot, steamy jungle full of intrigue and danger as Mowgli, Bagheera and Baloo outwitted the devious machinations of Shere Khan and his snivelling sidekick, Tabiqui the jackal. The Bandar Log monkeys had the audience in stitches with their cheeky antics, the wolves snarled and howled their hearts out and the kites preserved their clutch of eggs from every danger while helping to orchestrate Mowgli's rescue from the Cold Lairs. Even poor Kaa, the python, helped in his rescue, and all action was set to a lively and foot-tapping beat. Congratulations must be offered to every member of the cast on their professional performance, accompanied by Mrs Hall and her fabulous band. Behind the scenes, Mrs Martin had a day's notice to transform a barren theatre into a lush jungle and Mrs Staring, having sourced the costumes, led a team of fantastic face-painting volunteers as they transformed children into jungle animals. As they say in the theatre, 'It'll be alright on the night'. Well, it was. It was exceptional.

Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Teacher

Independent Choices Spark Year 4's Creativity

4SD have been busy working on independent writing projects during their English lessons in their final few days of their educational life in Year 4. They have been tasked with writing on the topics of 'Marco Polo' or 'Bicycles' as they fine tune the skills they have learned throughout the year in readiness for the step up to Year 5 in September. A range of text types were chosen in relation to the two fascinating topics, from persuasive leaflets and adventure stories to adverts and diary entries. It has been absolutely wonderful seeing the children make independent choices over their work and watch their creativity shine through.

Rosie Statham, Year 4 Teacher

Year 5 Environmentalists Eager To Continue Making A Difference

Throughout this term, Year 5 have been covering a number of different areas in Geography, all signposting to the future – both with regards to the start of the CE syllabus in Year 6 and their own futures. Whether it be looking at the land use of St Lucia or the differing tourism options across the globe, Year 5 have continuously had climate change and global warming embedded in our discussions. This week, the focus of our efforts turned directly onto climate change. The children developed their understanding of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases, while also further understanding the role that humans play in our changing environments. They completed their own research before working on some informative posters on the topic. Although we have covered some of this area in previous terms, such as with our Food Miles task back in the Autumn Term, this week’s work is signposted towards a new addition to the CE syllabus: Environment (Sustainability and Stewardship). While this is already an important aspect of the school’s ethos, it will be exciting to start teaching this topic in Year 6, allowing Year 5 to develop their knowledge in such an important discussion area in society. From what we have seen throughout this term, and this week in particular, this group are already looking firmly to the future.

James Figgis, Head of Geography

Year 6 End Season With Another Spirited Display

Highfield's U11A boys rounded off their season with a battling display against a strong Amesbury side. Despite eventually falling short and being unable to finish the year with a win, the commitment and determination shown on the last day was faultless. But that's nothing new as the U11As have approached every game this season with great enthusiasm and a willingness to play, making this group a real pleasure to coach. And that willingness and enthusiasm has paid real dividends as there has been a noticeable improvement in batting, bowling and fielding throughout the season. The boys have applied themselves through rain and shine and have been a real credit, and I have absolutely no doubt that they will all continue to progress further on the cricket pitch when they move up to Year 7 in September.

Rob Dilworth, U11A Cricket Coach

Diligent Year 7 Fine Tune New Skills 

Dexterity, precision and attention to detail are just some of the many attributes that Year 7 pupils have displayed during their DT classes this year, and with just a few days of the Summer Term remaining they remain as diligent as ever. As well as using newly-acquired skills to help them with their ongoing classwork, such willingness to explore new ideas and create new things will stand them in good stead not just in Year 7 DT lessons but in Year 8 and beyond. It's been amazing to watch the young pupils grow and adapt to new challenges, displaying great technique and patience to produce the best results possible. That seems certain to continue as they head into Year 8.

Jamie Dew, Head of DT

Fitting Finale As Year 8 Sign Off In Style

I have been in touch with the cricketing gods over the course of this term and, mercifully, they have finally started to listen. Since half term at least, save for last week’s weather they have been slightly more open to my requests. In their final game for Highfield, Year 8 put together a brilliant performance in front of their home crowd on a sun-baked Chapel Field. Losing the toss and being put into bat, our openers worked hard to see off Aldro’s opening bowlers; Fabian M hit a cracking six into the tennis court fence to spare his blushes after being smacked on the head. We then lost a couple of wickets and started to wobble before our leading run scorer of the season, Ali M, came in to bash the ball about, scoring a quick 16 before he was adjudged leg before wicket. The tail wagged a wee bit and we made our second highest total of the season, finishing on a competitive 77-8. The talk between innings was all about the team enjoying their last game for Highfield and cherishing the moment. They have all represented the school admirably over their time with us and, win or lose, they were told that they should enjoy being teammates for the last time and give their best. All season long the first XI have shown they have a dangerous bowling attack, supported superbly by their fielding. And this match was no different as they put in their best performance of the season on a pitch that offered assistance to bowlers who put the ball in the right areas. George B and Alexander MB did what they have done all season, bowling full and straight to pick up three and two wickets respectively. A few run outs from our on-point fielders followed as Aldro wobbled, and it was left to Summer G to take the final wicket and wrap up a convincing win for Highfield. It was a fantastic, well deserved result and a fitting finale for the first XI. Floreat Highfield!

Richard Dunn, U13A Cricket Coach

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