It’s been another hectic term filled with countless success stories and personal achievements, and our students can go into the summer holidays feeling very proud of all they have achieved over the past few weeks.
It’s hard to know where to start when there are so many positive things to tell you, but a good place is by congratulating our Year 11 and Sixth Form students, who recently sat their GCSEs and A-Levels.
We all know that the exam season can be stressful but our students approached the challenge with incredible maturity before celebrating with well-deserved proms that had all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood party. It has been a pleasure seeing the students grow and develop into confident, talented and skilled young adults and we look forward to seeing them again in August when they return to pick up their results before moving on to the next chapter of their lives.
Whilst we say farewell to our Year 13 students as they move on to university and employment, as well as some of Year 11, we are now looking forward to welcoming our new intake of Year 7 students who will be joining us in September. Having spent two days on induction with us earlier this month, I am sure they will settle into their new routines with ease.
The main focus of our Upper School may have been on exams over the past term but Highfields has remained a hive of activity elsewhere. Highlights include a brilliant Summer Song & Dance Show and Summer Concert, both of which gave a platform for our students (and some staff!) to showcase their musical and performance talents, whilst a newly-launched Community Choir is growing in strength, numbers and volume with each passing week. Staying with our packed Performance programme, I am pleased to announce that we’ve already started making plans for next year’s musical showcase, which will be Grease! Hundreds of students take part in our annual stage productions, rehearsing for months before putting on phenomenal performances in front of sell-out crowds and I am sure this year will be another huge success. Grease is an iconic musical that has transcended generations and I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing our version start taking shape when we return from the holidays.
Young artists have also been making their mark as part of the much-publicised Wolves in Wolves project - Wolverhampton’s biggest ever public art event. A handful of creative students decorated a 5ft wolf sculpture as part of the project, which has now gone out to form part of an art trail around Wolverhampton. Our colourful wolf, ‘Zeus’, has taken pride of place outside Wolverhampton Civic Centre and will be on display there until September when the wolves are auctioned off for charity. If you get chance over the summer, it’s definitely worth a trip into the city to follow the trail.
We are also celebrating the success of our budding filmmakers, who have been recognised for movies they created in school with prestigious accolades. A group of Year 8 students won a DIGI Award for their short horror film The Reckoning, whilst Sixth Form students, Ayesha Di’Angelo and Jemma Payne, also picked up a DIGI Award for their film, psychological thriller The Pretty Picture. The awards are held annually to celebrate upcoming talent in digital film and creative media so it looks like a career in cinema may be calling for our students.
Over in the PE department, the sporting achievements just keep on coming! Students have enjoyed numerous successes over the past term in a range of disciplines, from netball to football, cricket, dodgeball and volleyball. It is a pleasure to see our sports courts, fields and pitches filled with students training long after the school day ends and they are now reaping the rewards of their efforts with countless tournament victories and individual achievements. As a way of celebrating the tremendous effort and commitment of our students, we held our first ever PE Legacy Awards this month, which culminated in a presentation ceremony the organisers of the Academy Awards would be proud of. Six students from each year group were nominated in a range of categories including Outstanding Effort, Elite Performer and Sportsperson of the year. The event was such a success that it will now become an annual fixture on the Highfields calendar. A huge well done to all of the nominees and winners.
We recently held our Community Fun Day, which takes place every two years. Everyone enjoyed a great day. In fact, I would go as far as saying it was the best we’ve ever staged. Despite early morning rainclouds threatening to dampen the day, the crowds were not put off. Hundreds turned up to take part in the festivities and the many activities on offer, including a rodeo bull, tug-of-war competitions, and ‘soak the teacher’ stocks. This year’s event was made extra special by the inclusion of our Sports Day, which saw students from all year groups competing in a range of categories to win prizes for their form groups. It was a great touch that parents, friends and members of the public were able to join us to cheer them on from the sidelines - and the sun even managed to come out for us by lunchtime! During the event we raised money for our chosen charity, Compton Hospice, and I am delighted to report that almost £1,300 was donated. That is a fantastic achievement and we are proud to be able to support such a worthy cause that is incredibly important to so many families. Thank you to everyone who gave money.
I am pleased to announce that all of the topics I have discussed - and much more - are now available to read about in our brand new school newspaper, The H. A team of intrepid young reporters have launched the newspaper to bring you all of the latest news and information from around school so you’re always up-to-date with what’s going on and coming up. The team worked to a very tight deadline to produce their first edition of the newspaper for the Community Fun Day and it has now been emailed out to all staff, parents and students for those who weren’t lucky enough to get their hands on a printed copy. I think you will all agree that they did an amazing job to produce such a professional-looking newspaper, packed with interesting and informative articles, in such a short space of time and we look forward to seeing their upcoming editions which will be produced every term. I’m sure they will want me to remind all students and staff that if you have any newsworthy articles you would like included in future, to get in touch with one of the team by emailing email@example.com
I would like to take this opportunity to bid a fond farewell to a number of members of staff who are leaving us, in particular Ms J Langley, Mr J Birks, Mrs A Falconer, Mr A Baker and Mrs S Jevon, who have given a combined service of 114 years to Highfields. Please accept my very best wishes for the future.
From a personal point of view, it has now been a full academic year since I took the helm as Headteacher at Highfields - a school of which I couldn’t feel more proud. I would like to thank you all - students, staff and parents - for your ongoing support, without which my role would be undoubtedly more difficult.
Have a wonderful holiday and I’ll see you all bright and refreshed in September!
Mr G Tate