Autumnal Splendour Offers Wealth Of Opportunities

Autumnal Splendour Offers Wealth Of Opportunities
Highfield & Brookham Newsletter

Save The Date

  • Saturday 6th November - Bonfire Night
  • Friday 12th November - Luxury Christmas Shopping Evening
  • Saturday 18th June 2022 - Highfield and Brookham Charity Ball
  • Thursday 8th September 2022 - Highfield Association Golf Society (HAGS) Event

Seasonal Splendour As Nursery Get Close To Nature

It definitely feels like Autumn has well and truly been upon us this week and the children in Nursery have made the most of all the learning opportunities that this special time of year brings. When heading out in the glorious Autumn sunshine to explore the woods, the eager children discussed and identified signs of the season, including the leaves changing colour and the wealth of fungi that had popped up in the woods after the rain. They collected a whole range of autumnal treasures, such as conkers, sweet chestnuts, hawthorn berries and fallen leaves, and carefully carried their finds back to the classroom. Inspired by the books they have immersed themselves in, including Stick Man and Leaf Man, the youngsters have used their imagination and creative skills to make collages and pictures out of the beautiful natural materials they discovered. Outside, in the Nursery garden, the children harvested the last of their home-grown produce from the vegetable plot and developed their fine motor skills as they prepared and cooked their own tasty snacks. On the menu this week were delicious fritters, which the children enthusiastically prepared using delicious yellow courgettes planted last term. They grated, mixed and shaped their fritters and, once they were cooked, happily sampled them while sitting outside in the garden on a picnic rug.

Sam Forster, Head of Nursery

Reception Make A Splash As Enticing Puddle Appears

Reception have taken full advantage of a change in the weather by both exploring and learning while firming up and extending already blossoming classroom friendships. Recent heavy rain early in the week resulted in localised flooding in our shared area - and what fun that was for the children! Our brightly-coloured little plastic ducks enjoyed a quick dip while excited children dressed in full waterproofs chased around desperately trying to catch them with their hooks. Big leaps of faith off the sandpit stage into the enticing puddle with their fun-seeking friends also proved hugely popular and teased out an opportunity to display both their competitive and inquisitive natures. Splash sizes were compared and discussed from both a running jump and a standing jump, and we looked to see who could move the most water and create the highest splash. Outdoor brushes also proved really useful to help move the standing water around, creating mini-waves which lapped over submerged 'sea creatures' usually found in our sandpit and shallow water tray, all of which are now beautifully shiny and clean. Meanwhile, capacity and measure were explored using jugs, spoons, scales and funnels while water was cleverly transferred from saucepans to jugs via an array of funnels and spoons, but not quite so successfully using a colander! Busy hands and feet, copious amounts of fun and laughter and soaked waterproofs were the order of the day as the Reception children discovered that the impromptu puddle offered a surprisingly wonderful way to learn and cement friendships. Now, we simply can't wait to continue exploring and learning together as Autumn truly sets in.

Rebecca Lane, Reception Class Teacher

Year 1 Branch Out And Build Fabulous Fortress

Our eager learners in Year 1 have continued to investigate everyday materials in our Science lessons. In particular, the children have been busy thinking about the different properties of materials. We resourcefully used hula hoops to create Venn diagrams and carefully sorted materials according to their properties before using specific scientific vocabulary to describe and sort materials that are 'transparent' and 'rigid'. The topic really captured the imagination of the young scientists, who were fully engaged in the task at hand. Another undoubted highlight this week was Forest School as the children worked together to create a castle out of fallen branches. To make their regal creation, the children found branches, excitedly discussed their plans and possibilities and then collaborated to create an impressive wooden fortress. We then went on a lovely walk of discovery through the school grounds. The children were challenged to collect objects to tie on a journey stick and it was suggested that the objects should be 'flexible' and 'stretchy'. Sadly, conkers were 'too rigid' to tie on and sweet chestnut shells too 'spiky'. Nevertheless, there was no shortage of autumnal offerings to be had and 'bendy' leaves and 'fluffy' feathers were just some of the interesting objects we tied with our 'twisty' string. We now look forward to retracing our steps in the spring to compare and contrast the objects and colours of our natural finds.

Kathleen Salusbury, Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 'Conker' Number Puzzles In The Woods

Up at Forest School, Year 2 applied their knowledge of place value to their outdoor learning this week. The task or the 'what?' was to represent a two-digit number using natural resources. The 'how?' was to collaborate effectively in a team. The children impressed us with their relating skills, demonstrating they were clearly building their learning power. After a run-down of the activity, teams were quickly decided, ensuring that everyone was involved. Discussions then took place to determine which digit showed the tens and which digit represented the ones. Once they had made their number, the children had the opportunity to share their creations with other groups, reflecting and explaining the resources they had chosen, along with the way they had represented the number. Fallen conkers provided not only a great talking point but much excitement too and proved to be an extremely useful manipulative!

Henrietta Platt, Year 2 Teacher

Year 3 Discover Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

The focus for Year 3 this week has been on collaboration. In every lesson, indoors and out, the children have been working in teams. They have been busy learning important lessons about how to work effectively with others, either in pairs or in small groups, and, in the process, learning about themselves and their own preferences and styles of working. In Spanish, the children worked in small groups and were fully absorbed in researching the country they were assigned. Aside from identifying the capital, population and major cities, they found out about some tasty traditional foods. In their literacy lessons, the children spent valuable time working together to discuss and analyse our text, Grandpa’s Mountain Adventure. Looking for key features and grammatical devices is much more fun as a shared task. Next, some of us even changed the seating to better collaborate, this time in our classes, to innovate and improve the story. What could be better than sharing all of our brilliant ideas, ready to magpie, when the time for writing independently comes around next week? And when that is done, we’ll once again collaborate with our friends to help us improve them!

Stephanie Turner, Year 3 Teacher

Year 4 Linguists Prove That Learning Can Be Fun

The aim of languages in Year 4 is quite simple – foster enjoyment! At this time of year, the big focus is on introducing ourselves and being comfortable with pronunciation and speaking the language. To that end, we have enjoyed some great games this week to help us learn how to ask someone’s name and how to answer said question. We also played musical statues to some cheesy learning songs and the ‘Busca Pedro’ game to make it fun and light-hearted. Form 4D, in particular, really got into this and their spoken language really gained fluency, to such an extent that many of them were close to speaking at a similar rate to a native - and that is pretty fast! Now for an advance warning - next week we will be doing the alphabet song, so get ready to hear plenty of ‘pa, pe, pi, po, puuuuu’ at the dinner table!

Jo Longshaw, Head of Spanish 

Year 5's 'Delumptious' Peek Into Roald Dahl's World

This week, Year 5 took a 'delumptious' trip to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Throughout their English lessons this term, the children are embracing all things Roald Dahl, so visiting Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire (the author's home town) was a must! The day began with an energy-filled coach trip, where the children sang songs from their recent performing arts production of Matilda, followed by an Unlocking Inspiration workshop and a trail around Great Missenden village. The workshop, led by museum staff, began with some 'whizzpopping' activities focused around Roald Dahl’s writing strategies: What if? and observation. After dressing up, creating stop-motion movies and forming 'gobblefunk' sentences, the children unlocked a range of ideas for characters, settings and plot lines, which they built into their very own ideas books - just like those used by the author. We then explored the museum’s Boy and Solo exhibitions, learning about his childhood and adult life and discovering the moments that inspired his novels. We even got to see the chair and writing desk that he used to ‘squibble’ his stories. In the afternoon, we toured the quirky town he grew up in and saw the buildings that feature in a range of his books. Excitingly, we were able to see Sophie’s imagined orphanage and picture the BFG walking down the lane towards it. The Year 5s exhibited ‘hopscotchy’ behaviour throughout the day and certainly unlocked their inspiration!

Flora Aubrey-Thomas, Head of Year 5

Year 6 Hold Sway On Cyberbullying Issues

Our current Year 6 project in Digital Literacy has been learning all about cyberbullying and making a presentation in the application Sway, which is a brilliant and simple presentation application that is part of the children’s Office 365 package. It's designed to be media rich and children can drop pictures, music and online videos into their presentations at the touch of a button. The children can also access this from home, which is another advantage of web-based software applications. In this increasingly online world that our children are growing up in, the understanding of cyberbullying is clearly key for all our pupils and is part of our e-safety programme. Knowing the forms of cyberbullying, what it is, the effects of it and what to do should they come across an incidence of cyberbullying are all questions that the children had to answer by researching the internet and producing a simple but effective presentations to educate themselves and their audience.

Richard Dunn, Head of Digital Literacy

Year 7 History Detectives Dig Deep For The Facts

Good historians are rather like detectives. They piece together segments of history to reveal the full picture. Anyone watching the BBC documentary Vigil over the last few weeks will know the importance of sifting through facts, resiliently pursuing the real version of events and ignoring the various misleading obstacles thrown in along the way. This week, Year 7 pupils have been given a number of historical sources, some contemporary, some secondary, and have been asked to assess and analyse the information contained within. What is real and what is not? What is fake news and what is genuine? What contextual information can be gleaned? What is the big picture? Year 7's learning journey culminated with an Aboriginal bark shield. Using this one artefact, pupils were able to piece together a great understanding of what aboriginal culture was like, how they lived from day to day, and the impact Captain Cook’s arrival in 1770 had on them. It was fascinating stuff! In a fast-paced and ever-changing world, where children and adults are bombarded with unfiltered news and media, how great that we are providing them with the tools to investigate for themselves what is real and what is not. Our very own history detectives!

James Ridge, Head of History

Malala's Incredible Story Fascinates Year 8

Year 8 were given plenty of food for thought this week as they continued their studies into ‘Inspirational People of Faith’. The children were left transfixed as they focused on 24-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate - learning what happened to her, what has inspired her to fight in the way she does, and how she has inspired others. The engrossed pupils also looked at how she has been driven by her belief in Islam. Year 8 were truly fascinated by Malala and thoroughly enjoyed learning more about all aspects of her life, especially as they can relate to her from an age point of view.

Zoe Thesiger-Pratt, Head of TPR

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