It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...
Highfield & Brookham Newsletter

Light And Hope Abound As Nursery Celebrate Advent

The Nursery classes this week celebrated the beginning of Advent by performing a special celebration of light and hope in the theatre watched by their loved ones. It was truly magical to have the theatre full again and to start our Christmas season with a moment of reflection and calm. In the Nursery, we put a huge amount of emphasis on trust and nurturing independence, and what better way to show this than by each child carrying a lit candle through a beautiful path of ivy, holly and fir? We are so proud of our Nursery children for demonstrating huge responsibility, wonderful listening and bringing such joy to the morning - with no need for the fire service despite so many pretty candles! Each child had collected natural resources and imaginatively created their very own beautiful crown. They independently cut the top to a pattern of their choice and wore them with great pride during the performance for all to see. The children then sang the Christmas songs, that they have been rehearsing for weeks, beautifully and with great enthusiasm. I'm sure there was barely a dry eye in the room!

Rosie Snagge, Nursery Class Teacher

Reception's Festive Play Evokes Love, Laughter And Happy Hearts

From jumping in piles of leaves to rolling in the snow the Reception children have had another fun packed week. The snow at the start of the week set the scene beautifully for the beginning of the incredibly exciting and fun filled Christmas season. Today the reception children have performed the most fantastic nativity show for their loved ones, eagerly embracing the season at full throttle. Their hard work and determination in diligently learning their lines, listening to each other and overcoming nerves truly paid off in an outstanding performance. Initial apprehension soon forgotten as they took to the stage together in their costumes. It really was enjoyed by all, the children confidently taking on their roles and telling the story; making everyone incredibly proud. The songs brought the performance to life, smiling faces, twinkling toes and enthusiastic actions supported the joyful songs filling the cold winter air. The show culminated in an unrehearsed song with everyone joining in; happiness hiding the lack of tune! The theatre overflowed with love, laughter and happy hearts. Let the festivities, smiles and celebrations continue.

Rebecca Lane, Reception Class Teacher

Heroic Guests Inspire Year 1's Young Scientists

The Year 1 children have been busy learning to ask open questions this week, in particular practising using the key question starters why, how, what, when and who, and that learning was reinforced by exciting visits from a firefighter and a vet. The children learnt why the firefighter in charge wears a different coloured helmet and how the ladder is pulled down from the fire engine. They also learnt how long it takes to train to be a vet and what unexpected object the vet has had to help remove from a dog's stomach! Armed with many interesting facts associated with the careers of their special visitors, the youngsters produced their very own non-fiction books about their favourite real-life superheroes. But the children didn't leave it there, they also had the chance to become superheroes themselves. Year 1 were also engrossed in science this week, learning that water is a material and understanding that ice is water in a different state. The children investigated how to change the state of a material and used their findings to rescue a toy dog from a block of ice, and they were so excited to observe how quickly the ice melted. Warm water was used to rescue the first dog and salt on the ice was instrumental in rescuing the second dog, but most challenging was using the heat from their hands to melt the ice. What caused most amazement and sparked subsequent thought processes was the fact that salt melted ice. The children were quick to make links and wondered if this was why the salty sea rarely freezes and why we have seen salt on the steps at school this week.

Kathleen Salusbury, Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 Under Orders To Find Out Who's Making Mischief...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Year 2, and the excitement levels are building. Classrooms are beautifully decorated and the children have been managing to fit in some learning time in between rehearsals, sport, free play swimming sessions and end-of-term assessments.  All is not calm, though, as a mischievous new member of the year group joined the school and seems to be causing a ruckus! It appears that our smallest student is making merry in the class whenever we leave the room and has been turning up in all sorts of unexpected places. Rumour has it that many Brookham households have also seen the arrival of a new family member this week, in the form of a mischief of elves. They have been jumping out of cereal boxes, climbing into the most unexpected places and, in one kitchen, eating all the chocolate biscuits! Where did they all come from? Year 2 are investigating and hope to find a few answers. Watch this space...

Sophie Delacombe, Year 2 Teacher

Festive Fever And Excitement Sweeps Through Year 3

We've reached the end of the penultimate week of the school year and the festivities are well and truly under way. The Christmas trees have been dusted down, decorated and dressed and the classrooms are decked with glittering Yuletide craft. And among all the lights and sparkle is the busy buzz of happily-engaged children filling the air. I, for one, love our creative afternoons and I'm so proud of the children as they relate to one another while giving their imaginations free rein. The school chapel, of course, is the perfect place to engender the spirit of the season. It's unexpectedly cosy and steeped in tradition and the children have spent some very happy hours there this week, singing their hearts out as they rehearse for the fitting finale of the winter term - the magical Christingle. This may have been a week of making ready for next week’s excitement, thrills and delights, but we have enjoyed every minute of it!

Stephanie Turner, Year 3 Teacher

Thrilling Start To The Hockey Season For Year 4

The U9A hockey team had a great match on Thursday against friendly rivals Edgeborough. They were also due to play St Edmunds but the visitors from Hindhead couldn't raise an A team. Highfield took an early lead and maintained a one-goal lead until the break, going in 2-1 ahead at half time. Some great attacking play by Jemima and Alba created several more scoring opportunities early in the second half, one of which was converted to stretch Highfield's lead to 3-1, but Edgeborough fought back well and scored two goals in quick succession to earn a 3-3 draw. It was a great start to the Year 4 hockey season and they have lots more exciting matches and training sessions to look forward to after the Christmas break. 

Natalie McIntosh, U9A Hockey Coach

Year 5 Learn Of The Benefits Of Cross-Curricular Studies

The pupils in Year 5 are using their current Digital Literacy lessons to further their understanding of King Arthur. By using cross-curricular links, the children can further strengthen their understanding of topics in other subjects while developing their IT skills. This week, the children were asked to research and find relevant information on the life of King Arthur, for example who he was and whether or not he actually existed. Using a range of sites, children had to source and decide what information to put into a two-page fact sheet. The work was being done in Word on Office365, to reinforce their cloud computing skills. This document can then be accessed at home, or indeed anywhere there is internet coverage. The future requirements of our children to be familiar with this type of technology goes hand in hand with our Digital Literacy goals to enable our pupils to be as prepared as they can be for their future years at Highfield and beyond.

Richard Dunn, Head of ICT

Year 6 Use Reporting Skills To Tackle A Little Monkey Business

Two of the classes in Year 6 (Set 2b and Set 3) have been studying Ian Serraillier’s classic novel of Second World War refugees, The Silver Sword. As well as some dramatic action and heart-rending descriptions of the children and their struggles, there is also some light relief. In one chapter, the children read the story of a chimpanzee who had escaped from the zoo and caused mayhem on the streets of Berlin. At one point, he hijacked a British officer’s jeep and nearly drove it into a bomb crater. Luckily, Jan – one of the key characters of the book – was there to tame Bistro (the chimp) and return him to the zoo. After enjoying the chapter, 6.2b retold the incident in the form of a front-page newspaper article. First, they looked at a couple of real examples from recent editions of a newspaper and identified key features such as headlines, starter paragraphs, pictures and captions. Then the children started drafting their articles, learning techniques of proofreading and editing as they wrote. When they were ready, they transferred their finished pieces onto a template, using their best handwriting and thinking about layout and presentation. Mr Dunn has suggested that when they are ready, the children can use a software package in one of their digital literacy classes to produce an even more professional result. We have nearly finished reading The Silver Sword now. Ever since 1956, when it was first published, this novel has never been out of print and I have lost count of the number of parents who remember reading it as children. It has been a huge success with 6.3 and 6.2b, who are dying to find out if Ruth, Edek, Jan and little Bronia make it to Switzerland and find their parents again.

Katy Warner, Head of English

Year 7 Get To Grips With Algebra

Learning Algebra is a bit like learning a language in that you only really understand the benefit of it once you achieve a degree of fluency and can start to use it. Year 7 (Set 1) have been working on the foundations of algebra this term, simplifying expressions and solving equations. They also took the exciting step of translating problems into algebra by forming expressions and then solving equations. Whiteboards are particularly useful as teachers can give immediate feedback and quickly gauge how pupils are picking things up and adjust the questions accordingly. Those learning from home joined in valiantly using the ‘hands-up’ function on Teams.

Sophie Lingham, Year 7 Maths Teacher

Festival Of Fun At Witley For Year 8 Drama Scholars 

Six of Highfield's Drama scholar hopefuls spent a wonderful day at King Edward’s School in Witley on Tuesday. They were entertained and entranced at the senior school by a cast of Year 9 to Year 13 pupils performing Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night before taking part in a workshop led by their student director and the actor who played Sir Andrew Aguechek. This inventive rendition set the play at a festival, coupled with glowstick faceprint, helium balloons, a live five-piece band and all the other exciting elements that a festival has to offer. The Year 8 Highfield students watched in wonder at this unique way of making Shakespeare accessible, and as their Head of Drama said in the introduction, Shakespeare wrote comedies to be enjoyed and laughed at, so….enjoy! The children eagerly explored voice and body characterisation in their workshop, building in script work and eventually re-enacting part of a scene that had been part of the performance. Six children with happy faces left with goody bags galore, as well as lots of useful hints and tips and an insight into what a senior school Drama scholar might look forward to in what is now only nine months away for them. Exciting times lie ahead!

Sarah Baird, Head of Drama

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