12 Feb 2021

Primary High Notes 12th February 2021

Primary High Notes 12th February 2021

In my live Infant assembly yesterday I linked Tom Brady, Frank Rothwell and Gerald the Giraffe. Frank Rothwell and Tom Brady made the news over the weekend. Tom Brady because at the age 43 years and 188 days, he became the oldest player to play in the biggest game in US sport, extending his record for Super Bowl appearances to 10. Many people in the media and sporting world were doubting him, could he do it again, especially at his age. Brady’s coach says his success comes down to three distinct advantages: his work ethic, his ability to think strategically, and his ability to narrow his focus on the moment at hand. Last Saturday Frank Rothwell became the oldest person to row 3,000 miles solo across the Atlantic in the Atlantic Challenge. Setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on the 12th December and arriving in Antigua six long weeks later. He was competing against much younger crews. When he arrived at the finish to be greeted by his wife, he said “It took six long weeks to row the Atlantic, but the challenge itself has taken over 18 months of training and preparation”.

Gerald is the main character in a lovely book called ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’. Gerald, a giraffe, is tall and awkward. He is best at eating leaves from tall trees. But he would really like to dance like the other jungle animals. When he attempts to join the dancing at the Jungle Dance, the other animals make fun of him and Gerald feels useless. A cricket comes along and encourages Gerald to try to dance by listening to a different song. Once Gerald finds his song, everyone realises he can dance really well.

So what brings these 2 people and a giraffe together? If you have a dream, you want to achieve something, work hard, put in the time and effort, find ‘your song’ and (in the words of Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness) “Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you, you can’t do something”.

As we come to the end of the half term, we have had an incredibly positive six weeks of learning. I firstly want to thank our wonderful pupils, yet again they have adapted to new ways of working, forged ahead in their learning and been so positive in their outlook despite the lockdown.

Secondly I wish to thank all Derby High parents. Your ongoing support and positive messages, in addition to supporting your children at home have been so important in helping us continue to successfully educate your children.

Finally I want to send a heartfelt thanks to our teachers, teaching assistants and support staff. Taking learning online, with little notice, in such a successful way has been incredible. There have been many different activities, interactions and opportunities on offer to our pupils. Pupils have been able to interact with each other both socially, as a class, and in group activities and discussions in lessons. And although there is no substitute for in school learning, through using MS Teams and mirroring the school day by following the timetable enables our pupils to continue to make excellent academic progress alongside accessing other important parts of the school week such as clubs, activities and assemblies.

I am sure you will agree that the information in the media about what might or might not happen in education in the coming months is incredibly unhelpful for both parents and children. We await news from the Prime Minister on the 22nd February regarding the potential phased reopening of schools in March. As soon as we have our plans in place we will let you know via HighPost as usual.

Half term is a much needed opportunity for our pupils to rest, relax, and step away from their screens. I look forward to seeing everyone back online refreshed and ready to go on Monday 22nd February.

Best wishes,

Derby High Primary Percussion Challenge

Today in Mr Harper’s Celebration Assembly, all of Primary were treated to the live premier of the Primary Percussion Challenge video.

As a continuation of the pupils' live music lessons this term, Mrs Cooke, Head of Primary Music, challenged all of Primary to create their very own percussion kit and play along with a chosen track. The children were inspired by Nandi Bushell, a 10-year-old drummer who has featured in a TV advert. After watching Nandi in a video on how to create a percussion kit from everyday household items, the children were set the task.

The chosen track was 'Believer', by American pop rock band Imagine Dragons. Mrs Cooke said, “We chose Believer for two reasons. Firstly, the drumbeats could be easily broken down into three rhythms, allowing all children, from Pre-School to Year 6, to participate. It was very important that this project involved the whole school community so we needed to ensure all age groups could join in. Secondly, the overall song meaning about someone who has learned from difficult experiences and has the ability to believe is a strong message for young people today”.

Derby High Primary accepted the challenge and took it on by storm! After receiving over 150 video recordings, from pupils, parents and staff, the Primary Percussion Challenge video was created. Mr Harper, Head of Primary, said “We have been overwhelmed with the response for this challenge from our school community. The final result is an incredible and powerful video. I hope our pupils will look back at this video in years to come and remember how we came together through this purposeful and fun challenge”.

To watch the Derby High Primary Percussion Video please click here.


Chinese New Year

The Wrens have been celebrating Chinese New Year this week. They have been writing New Year cards, making lucky envelopes with chocolate coins inside and trying some interesting foods at our New Year Reunion Dinner. We have particularly enjoyed learning about traditional lion and dragon dances!




Y4 Water Cycle Study

This week, Year 4 have been learning about the water cycle. Mrs Hamilton set the challenge of creating a model or poster to demonstrate the processes of the water cycle. Amazing, creative creations from Y4!

Places to Visit in the UK

In topic lessons, Year 4 have been learning about places in the UK and their geographical features. The children chose a place they would like to research and created a leaflet about their chosen location, including places to visit and geographical features. Super work, Year 4!


Year 5 Scavenger Hunt

On Tuesday, Year 5 had to use their detective skills to solve clues and use them to find objects around the house and, sometimes, the garden! Children at school drew the objects and even managed to find some of the objects in school too (with the help of Miss Kent we think!) Here are some of our ‘scavenged’ items!


DHS Running Corner

Happy Friday and happy half term everyone! Today's running suggestion is the 1km challenge. The idea is to run 1km as fast as you can. This is a great indicator as to where you are with your running fitness. It’s quick and easy to do and if you record your result you can redo the test at any time, maybe after 6 weeks to see if you have improved. 1km efforts are also really useful if you are looking to increase your 5km pace to get a quicker time. Run 5 x 1km at maximum effort with at least 5 mins rest between each effort to allow full recovery.  Director of Sport, Miss Stirland’s 1km time was 4min 22 seconds, students and parents can submit their times to beat the teacher!

Flute Lessons

Today we say goodbye to our flute teacher, Mrs Hughes.  Under her expert guidance, our flautists have continued to flourish.  We are very grateful to her for the support and guidance she has offered our young musicians and for her contributions to the department. We wish Mrs Hughes well for the future.

We are delighted to welcome Miss Aleksa as our new flute teacher after half term.  She is thrilled to be teaching at Derby High and is very keen to meet the students.  

Safeguarding Corner

Online Critical Thinking Guide (From Online Safety Weekly update)

Internet Matters have put together a very useful, comprehensive guide for children to assist with critical thinking on a range of topics, such as fake news, making personal information, managing relationships and much more. There is advice and guidance for children and young people, as well as activities that parents can do with their children.  Click HERE for the guide.

Calling all Snapchat users!

Snapchat's new 25 page, fully localized, Parent Guide is available through their Safety Center and Support Site

Young Minds
Young Minds have created a useful 'Supporting Parents Helpfinder'. By answering six questions, parents can find out how to support their child's mental health during the pandemic (and beyond).

Find the help finder here: https://youngminds.org.uk/supporting-parents-helpfinder/
They have also created a useful poster highlighting ways to give support to children when they have angry feelings or outbursts and may help families start a conversation and talk about each other’s feelings.

Download the poster here: