School Seamlessly Back In Full Flow

School Seamlessly Back In Full Flow
Highfield & Brookham Newsletter

Save The Date

  • Saturday 6th November - Bonfire Night
  • Friday 12th November - Luxury Christmas Shopping Evening
  • Saturday 18th June - Highfield and Brookham Charity Ball
  • Thursday 8th September - Highfield Association Golf Society (HAGS) Event

Visiting Pigeon Is A Real Coup For Nursery

Even the smallest members of Brookham are busy forming new relationships with one another at a time of big changes in their lives. Away from parents for the first time, they are making vital connections with new people. They have shown compassion and kindness to each other, helping a friend when they are sad or simply remembering to pass on a friendly smile, which can make a world of difference. They are learning each other’s names and forming important bonds along the way. And while stopping to take a minute to observe the natural world around us, which we are so lucky to have in abundance at Brookham, the children noticed the beautiful sound of birdsong at Forest School this week. Not only was it captivating for the children, soaking up everyday environmental sounds such as these helps the children hone their listening skills which is an important precursor to developing the phonic awareness needed to read and write later on. This beautiful birdsong sparked an ongoing interest in birds among the children in the Den. They now make a point of spotting birds, big and small, from wherever they are, and much to their excitement, the children have discovered that most mornings a friendly pigeon comes to drink from the water tray in the garden. He isn’t scared away by loud voices; in fact, maybe he comes to listen to the children as they sing together! The children wanted to give the pigeon a name, so they decided to call him ‘Bubbles’, perhaps because they themselves enjoy experimenting with bubbles in the garden. They look out for their new friend every morning and remember to say hello to all the birds they see and hear. The children’s collaboration, compassion and kindness has helped some blossoming relationships get off to a fantastic start as they begin their learning journey together.

Penny Hodnett, Nursery Teacher

Reception Dads Get A Warm Welcome In The Forest

There has been great anticipation surrounding the Reception children's Fathers' Forest School event, which is always a highlight in our school calendar. Invitations were carefully written by the children to ensure that the grown ups knew exactly what time and where the event was taking place. Many lively and thoughtful discussions followed about which activities the grown ups would enjoy the most and after a vote it was decided that a warming fire was definitely the favourite option. When the adults arrived, the children were so proud to share their knowledge of how to safely cross the road, clearly relaying instructions with great enthusiasm. Once in the woods and settled around the fire pit, the all-important Forest School rules were shared by the children to ensure that the adults knew exactly what they needed to do in order to keep themselves and everyone else safe. A little perseverance was then needed to get the fire started but in no time at all adults and children alike, armed with sticks on which to toast marshmallows, made a beeline for the fire as a steady stream of smoke wafted into the cool morning air. Having roasted the marshmallows over the hot flames and given them ten big blows to cool them down and make sure they weren't too hot, the tasty treat was quickly devoured while being washed down with a cup of warming hot chocolate. To be honest, I'm not sure who enjoyed the morning more, the parents or the children!

Georgie Hunter, Head of Reception

Year 1's Impressive Text Work Really Gaining Traction

Year 1 have become absorbed in the intriguing Traction Man text this week. We have learnt the story off by heart with the help of some useful picture prompts, written speech bubbles giving serious thought to what our character might say, and designed him a new outfit and duly described it using interesting adjectives. In the story, Traction Man dives into the foamy waters of the washing up sink to rescue his friend Scrubbing Brush from the evil dishcloth. We experienced and got to grips with some of the slimy and slippery objects found in a sink and thought of some fantastic extended noun phrases to describe what we felt. We are so proud of how well our Year 1 children are writing. They really are becoming reflective and resilient little writers: editing and improving their work and persevering when sounding out words in order to hear the sounds needed to spell the word. Now, we are already looking forward to next week when we will be innovating the story and choosing new settings and new characters for Traction Man to rescue.

Kerri Wilkes, Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 Relate To Success Of Collaboration

They say that no man is an island, a saying that holds true in the collaborative atmosphere of Brookham. This week, the children have been using their 'relating' skills in so many areas of the curriculum. In literacy, making changes to our class story with a partner gives the children scope to bounce ideas off each other and stretch each other linguistically. When using apparatus in maths, what better way to ensure that you have counted accurately, than to ask a friend to check? And in this week's House Meetings, as new House Captains were elected and the year groups worked together on a House Project, the benefits of a helping hand were evident.

Sophie Delacombe, Year 2 Teacher

'Being Me' Raising Awareness Of Each Other In Year 3

Year 3 have continued to enjoy developing their PSHE topic of ‘Being Me’, which focuses on self-identity, rights and responsibilities, creating a safe learning environment and making responsible choices. In the first weeks of the new term they have enjoyed playing some getting-to-know-you games to gain awareness of the similarities and differences that exist between them, particularly focusing on the similarities to identify things they have in common to help promote good relationships and friendships. Having constructed individual class charters within their respective circle times, they have developed a positive forum where they can confidently share their thoughts, feelings and emotions within an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance. Continuing to focus on developing self-esteem and self-confidence, all of the children considered a great achievement in their young lives that has given them the most pride and which they could share in a fun game with their peers. Building on this, they reflected upon how they could improve their learning and performance and set a personal goal for the year, with steps to help them succeed. And drawing upon the children’s understanding of democracy as an integral part of British values, nominations and voting have been taking place in each classroom to appoint new School Councillors, Eco Councillors, and Reading Ambassadors.

Shirley Jervis, Year 3 Teacher

Year 4 Thrive On The Netball Court

It was wonderful to see the netball courts brimming on Thursday afternoon with players from Highfield, Westbourne House and Portsmouth Grammar School for the U9 netball tournament. All teams played with great enthusiasm and team spirit, cheered on by parents and spectators. The games were fun and friendly and no official scores were recorded, although all teams managed lots of shots and scored plenty of good goals. The young players received coaching and tactics throughout, developing their netball skills as well as their knowledge and understanding of the game. Many congratulations to all players for their brilliant effort, enthusiasm and sportsmanship. What a lovely return to multi-school netball fixtures. 

Natalie McIntosh, U10A Girls' Netball Coach

Literary-Loving Year 5 Make Beeline For Book Fair

One of the highlights of the school year for the English department is our annual Book Fair, which has been part of the Autumn term schedule for many years. Set up in the library courtesy of our generous librarian Dr Fiona Whitfield, the Book Fair returned this week after being cancelled by Covid 12 months ago. The books used to be supplied by a big nationwide firm, but the pandemic-induced break in our usual routine gave us the chance to reassess how best to encourage reading at Highfield, so we decided to try a different approach and support a local independent bookshop. Last term, Brookham used Haslemere Bookshop to stage a book fair with great success, so we contacted Ian Rowley from the book store and his excellent team worked with us to offer a wide range of high-quality books to suit all ages and tastes. This week, they were laid out in the library so that every child in the school could browse and then select one, two or three books at the discretion of their parents. Each class, including my eager Year 5 children, visited the book fair with their English teacher who was able to give advice and guidance on choosing the right book. The children now wait excitedly for their books to arrive. We would like to say a big thank you to Ian Rowley and his team at Haslemere Bookshop. For every book the children buy, Highfield gets credit to spend at the shop, so thanks to parents’ generosity we will be able to buy even more books for our fabulous library.

Katy Warner, Head of English

Year 6 Have A Wizard Day In Watford

Who knew that the wizarding world’s home was in Watford? Year 6 certainly do as they spent an epic day visiting Warner Bros Studio to learn all about the making of the blockbusting Harry Potter films. The first adventure was a costume characterisation workshop where the children were shown costumes, props, prosthetics and items belonging to characters in the various films. They learned about how each individual costume was cleverly designed to give film watchers more of an insight into each character, from Voldemort's green silk cloaks to Professor Umbridge’s changing pink colour scheme, cut and patterned with straight lines to represent her love of rules and order. Next, it was on to the tour itself. The doors opened onto the Great Hall, which was adorned in Hallowe'en splendour, with floating pumpkins filling the room. Self-stirring pots, Dumbledore's office, the Gryffindor common room, the boys' dormitory, the sorting hat, flying on broomsticks, visiting Pivot Drive, the Forbidden Forest (with huge terrifying spiders), Gringotts and Diagon Alley were just some of the things which were on show and which entertained us on our fantastic visit. Learning about the making of such iconic films, and finding about new ones currently in production at the studios, was incredible. It was certainly a magical day for all!

Viv Liddell, Head of Year 6

Year 7 Beat The Drum For Lively Music Lessons

This term, Year 7 are busy studying the wonderfully rich and diverse topic that is world music. The open-minded pupils are listening to and losing themselves in performances from across the globe, while encountering traditional instruments along the way. And this week, Year 7 have quite literally been banging the drum for world music. The children were fully engaged as they focused on the Djembe drum of West Africa and 'call and response' songs, playing a part in leading the rhythms (breaks) and following the caller. They did this with great gusto and really drummed up plenty of support for this popular instrument.

John Muhlemann, Head of Music

Year 8 Discover That Theatre Is Educational

This term, Year 8 are exploring the exciting world of Theatre in Education. This form of theatre plays such a valuable role in the education of others, as everyday life lessons such as road safety, healthy eating, positive friendships and internet safety are acted out, explored and deliberated in a performance setting, created specifically for a designated target audience. This style of theatre allows the pupils to ‘break the fourth wall’ and talk to their audience, explore different ways of getting a message across in a fun way (such as through dressing up as characters, creating a song or movement) and to find ways of leaving their audience with an important message to take home. Now that all the school bubbles have been lifted, the hope is that these Year 8s will be able to work on creating their own piece of Theatre in Education throughout the Autumn Term so that they can perform them to different year groups in Brookham and Year 4 by the end of November. So please don’t be alarmed if you see some Year 8 children dressed as vegetables, chocolate bars and even teeth bouncing around Brookham in a few weeks' time!

Sarah Baird, Head of Drama

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