Three months into this term and the secondment, I would like to start by saying how much I am enjoying being Acting Headteacher and how grateful I am for the ongoing support of our staff, students and parents.
Certainly my life has been made so much easier by 2014’s very pleasing set of summer results at both GCSE and A2. After such a turbulent summer, in which grades have fallen both nationally and in Wolverhampton, we were delighted that our outcomes at GCSE remained strong and that our A2 results look to be the best that the school has ever achieved.
Considering that wider picture of changes to the examination structure and the assessment procedures in many courses, it is a great credit to the staff and students and their parents who all worked so hard to achieve those results- all should be very proud! We also achieved 95% overall attendance last year –a reminder how attendance and academic success are intrinsically linked.
It is a privilege to lead such a diverse and inclusive school community and one of the benefits of being Headteacher is having the opportunity to routinely host visitors to the school. They are always impressed with our students and the strong working ethos within the school.
This was clearly evident on Open Morning when our prospective Year 7 students and their parents toured the school to see the many opportunities that Highfields has to offer. It is safe to say that the school sells itself and I am pleased that so many of those youngsters and parents are able to see not just the impressive set of buildings but the even more impressive body of staff and students that make Highfields what it is. The confidence and pride of the many students, from across all years, who led the tours around the school could not fail to impress.
Open Morning also enabled the school to show our strengthening links and commitment to the community. One of the many successes of that day was the Macmillan Charity cake stall, selling a range of products made by some very talented – and some not so talented – members of staff.
Our newly formed Community Engagement Team are developing a variety of initiatives to engage the community so that we can all enjoy the opportunities this school has to offer. Throughout the course of the academic year you will be able to read more about their successes on our News Blog or with the Community Activities report.
This sense of community and social responsibility is also evident in the wide range of Student Leadership opportunities that we are developing at Highfields.
Many of you will have read in the Express and Star about the exploits of some of our Sixth Form students in Ghana, supporting a local community build the latest addition to their school.
Read the full story in our
This taste for adventure is reflected in the record number of students involved in this year’s Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award and combines with the students’ global commitment, demonstrated in a series of Anti-Slavery assemblies presented by the Amnesty group, who have also been busy in school fundraising through some very embarrassing photographs of the staff in their childhood years. You will also shortly have the opportunity to read the Young Journalist’s debut addition of the H, a Lifestyle magazine covering a wide range of issues relevant to young people.
One of the new Student Leadership projects to emerge this year is the World War One Commemoration Ambassador programme involving Year 10 students. They have already been busy making preparations for the Centenary Remembrance. Four of our ambassadors delivered a special assembly to Years 7-11 about the significance of the Centenary and the importance of remembrance. In conjunction with this, the rest of the Ambassador team dedicated their break and lunch times to selling poppies, wristbands and badges around school, raising money for the British Legion. Over the coming weeks the Ambassadors will be arranging a remembrance football match to mark the 1914 Christmas truce, and looking to establish contact with a secondary school in Germany to work on a joint memorial project.
This increasing involvement of the students with the community has made the school a thriving centre beyond the school day. Particular congratulations need to go to Mr Rowley’s Year 7 Football Team who have made a remarkable start to the season but also to the Performance team who seem to have a cast of hundreds as they make their preparations for the school’s performance of ‘Hairspray’ in the Spring Term.
I have also been very pleased with the work that has gone on in raising our students’ aspirations. Over the last fortnight Year 10 students have visited The Skills Show, Year 12 students have attended Higher Education master classes at King Edwards, Stourbridge and we have hosted both our own Futures Evening and a Jaguar Land Rover Apprenticeship event. Not bad for 8 school days!
Highfields' Futures Evening:
Jaguar Land Rover Roadshow:
Earlier this week, we welcomed Sathnam Sanghera, the successful Wolverhampton-born journalist and author, to present our 2014 GCSE students with exam certificates and awards, and to celebrate their achievements of this summer. We expect that our current Year 11s, who should be busy preparing for their school exams, will be looking forward to similar success in 2015, as will our current AS and A2 students who have their own equally important school exams early in the Spring Term.
Others of us may just be looking forward to Christmas and some of those school events that make this such an enjoyable time of year.
We hope that you can join us at our Christmas Concert and Craft Fair on Thursday 18th December:
Further details can be found in our online school calendar.