Christmas 2015: Much to be merry about

They say time flies when you’re having fun and I can barely believe another term is almost over and we’re heading into Christmas. 

In typical Highfields’ style, the last few weeks have been incredibly busy. It has been another packed term, filled with countless success stories and individual achievements by our students. I have recently had the pleasure of presenting our Governing Body with a report detailing some of those achievements from the past term - which I am delighted to say ran into 55 pages and gives some indication of just how much we have going on here at Highfields and the huge amount we have to celebrate. 

One of the great things about Highfields is that we are such a close-knit community working together to inspire each other and achieve good things. As we head towards Christmas it has been heartening to see so many examples of this in the past few days alone. Our school became a beacon of festivities when staff and students donned their colourful Christmas jumpers to raise £663 for Teenage Cancer Trust. The students themselves voted for this as their chosen charity for the academic year and it is wonderful to see the entire school coming together to support this worthy cause.

Our annual carol concert at St Bartholomew’s Church was another great success and it was also a pleasure for us all to witness the Christmas Concert, which every year highlights the wealth of talent we have within Highfields. I should probably also give the audience a special mention for joining in with a particularly rousing finale of Slade! 

But, despite all of these wonderful extra-curricular events and activities, I’m sure our Year 11 students will be the first to assure you that this term has certainly not been all fun and games, as they have knuckled down to sit their mock GCSE exams. The exams have run right up until the end of term and I want to personally congratulate the students on the very focused and conscientious manner with which they have approached them. Their maturity and hard work will, I am sure, hold them in good stead for when they come to sit their real exams next year. With last year’s GCSE results being our best yet, I have every faith that our current Year 11 students will continue to raise the bar for academic standards within Highfields.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, we are improving the way you are kept informed of successes and school activities by regularly updating our website with news and photographs to give a better insight into the many great things happening in and around school. It is because of this that I will be keeping my blog briefer from now on (which I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know), and I invite you to become regular visitors to the website to get a better idea of everything we have going on. 

Whilst our students and staff are preparing for a well-earned break over Christmas, I am already turning my attention to the New Year and the many things we have to look forward to when we return from the holidays. 

First of all, I want to tell you that the school has successfully bid for Multi-Academy Trust status, which I am pleased to say will allow it to continue to serve the local community in the same way it always has. I can assure parents that this will in no way affect daily life at Highfields, with the name, uniform, term time and school day remaining exactly as they already are. The moves have been made simply to secure the future of Highfields in the context of an ever-changing landscape of education. 

We will return to a relatively short term after the New Year and one which we expect will be very intense as the preparations for exams really start to build up. It is during this term that we really encourage our students to look forward and start to make choices that will pave the way for their future. In particular, we are very keen to see as many students and parents as possible at our Year 9 Course Choice Evening in the second week of the new term. The event provides a great opportunity to pick up information and advice so all of our students make the correct subject choices to allow them to reach their academic goals and ultimately give them the best foundations to meet their career aspirations in the future. Our ‘Plan To Succeed Day’ for Year 11 students is an equally important event to help our students fulfil their potential and look forward to life post-16. 

I would like to take this opportunity to say congratulations to our Senior Deputy Headteacher Steve Jevon, who has recently been presented with his long service award for his 25-year contribution to education with the local authority in Wolverhampton. Well done Steve - you’re almost catching me up! 

We are waving goodbye to two members of our teaching staff and I would like to personally thank them for their hard work and commitment to the Highfields family. Science teacher Rachel Cooper, who has been with us for 16 years, and Modern Foreign Languages and sports teacher Michael Smith, who has been with us for eight years, will both be moving on to pastures new in January. I am sure you will all join me in wishing them all the very best of luck in their new roles. 

I think that just about covers it! Another term has passed, and I am once again astounded at just how much we have achieved as a school. Thank you to everyone - students, staff, parents and members of the community - who help to make it such a pleasure to be part of life at Highfields. 

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’ll see you all in 2016! 

Mark Capel 


Posted on December 18, 2015 .