Welcome back! I hope you all had a great Easter break and have returned refreshed ready for the busy summer term ahead.
I’m sure you will all agree that a rest was well deserved for our students following the Spring Term, which is always rather a hectic one - especially so for those in Year 11 and Sixth Form who are making their final preparations for GCSE and A-Level exams. We know how stressful exams can be and we are doing everything we can to support our students with their revision to ensure they each fulfil their potential. Our students are continuing to make the most of a daily extended curriculum, weekend revision sessions and residential trips that allow them to work more closely with their teachers and peers so they can enter their exams with confidence. I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for your ongoing support during this tough time.
As well as the busy exam preparations that have been taking place since January, the school has been a hive of activity, with the fantastic school production and successes in a number of academic competitions and sports tournaments among the highlights.
If we ever needed reminding of just how talented and committed a group of youngsters we have, this year’s school production of ‘High School Musical’ was surely it. For those lucky enough to have seen it during its four-night run, I am sure you will join me in congratulating everyone involved on an amazing set of performances. The show really did have it all; superb music and sound, great choreography, a huge and inclusive cast, a committed backstage crew, some spectacular individual performances and an overriding sense of fun and energy that got audiences dancing and singing in their seats.
The annual production provides our students with a wonderful opportunity to experience performing in front of live audiences on stage and this year’s cast of more than 100 students was our biggest yet. But these shows do not happen overnight. The final production was the result of months of hard work and commitment after school, at weekends and during holidays. A huge well done to everyone involved.
The show was staged in collaboration with Penn Fields School and I am delighted to say that it is just one of a number of joint projects we have been working on with our neighbouring school. Much work has taken place over the past few months, and throughout the Easter holidays, on an exciting arts project celebrating the life and works of Shakespeare which culminated in a festival at The Arena Theatre on April 23rd. The Shake of Things project was made possible thanks to ‘Spirit of 2012’ Olympic legacy funding and has seen students working alongside industry professionals in dance, drama and video production to honour some of Shakespeare’s most famous works. The final result - a day of interactive workshops and live performances - was a huge success and a credit to everyone involved.
On top of this, I would like to take the opportunity to invite you all to be part of our new community choir, also set up in conjunction with Penn Fields School. The Highfields and Penn Fields Community Choir meets every Thursday from 3.40-4.40pm and is open to all students, staff, parents and carers. There’s no auditions and no pressure to be the next Celine Dion - it’s just a fun, friendly gathering to enjoy a sing song, so we would love to see you all getting involved.
Our PE and Sports department continues to enjoy great success in terms of the number of students taking up extra-curricular activities as well as team and individual achievements in tournaments and competitions. From gymnastics to trampolining, netball, dodgeball, football and rugby, our students are excelling in a whole host of disciplines.
As a result of our ongoing drive to promote sports for all students, we have launched a consultation into the possibility of introducing a new PE Kit in the future. Two designs with different colour schemes - navy & gold and black & red - have been put forward as possibilities. Although no final decisions have been made, we believe a new contemporary kit would be more in line with the ethos of sports provision within Highfields and give our students a more professional image as they go out to represent the school in sporting competitions. Our students and Governors have already been given the chance to put forward their thoughts and the consultation will be extended to parents and carers in the near future. I look forward to hearing your views.
The build-up to exams always highlights the pressure on students and staff to maintain and build upon our academic successes but, aside from the hard work going on in our classrooms, it is always pleasing to see our students achieving so much outside of the confinements of school. Success in a law competition run by the University of Wolverhampton, budding engineers making it through to the finals of a national robotics competition, science pupils ‘graduating’ The Brilliant Club and students working with Sky Sports to create a professional video promoting Highfields’ vast extra-curricular sports offerings are among the many achievements of our students over the past few weeks alone.
Our website is regularly updated with the latest school news and successes of our students from all year groups so make sure to visit regularly to get a flavour of the many things we have going on, of which we should all feel very proud.
I am looking forward to another fast-paced term of activity and achievement ahead and I thank you all again for your continuing support.