Highfields raises funds for Comic Relief

Charity spirit swept Highfields as students and staff showed their support for this year's national Comic Relief fundraising campaign.

As part of the fundraising festivities, students and staff donated £1 to the cause to wear an item of red clothing for the day. Staff also took part in a netball tournament and dodgeball competition whilst students baked cakes to raise funds.

Comic Relief aims to bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people across the world, whilst tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. The charity hosts a Red Nose Day extravaganza every two years on the BBC, supported by celebrities and politicians, to help raise millions of pounds for the cause.

Ms J.Parker, Head of Lower School, said: “Highfields is proud of the support that students, parents and staff give to both national and local charities, raising thousands of pounds each year.

“It has been great to see so many people getting involved in the activities we put on to support the Comic Relief campaign. I want to thank everyone for their support, helping to make this a day to remember whilst making a difference.”

Posted on March 24, 2017 .

WATCH: Highfields' Sky Sports special

Students got a taste of life working for Sky Sports News after producing and presenting their own promotional video showcasing the vast choice of extra-curricular activities available at Highfields.

A group of Sixth Form PE Ambassadors and GCSE PE students travelled to the Sky Skills Studios in London to create their film, which highlights the range of sporting activities on offer for all students, including rugby, football, athletics, hockey, cricket and dodgeball.

Their film highlights the benefits of Highfields’ continued drive to encourage students to take part in extra-curricular sporting activities and lead healthy lifestyles. It has been created just months after the Government vowed to increase their focus on sport and PE provision in schools in light of shocking figures that show up to 40% of children in some areas are classed as obese. 

Head of PE, Mr C.Brickwood, said: “We strive to enrich the curriculum with a range of sporting activities, nurturing talent in a variety of sporting disciplines whilst encouraging our students to lead active and healthy lifestyles.

“We run sports sessions before and after-school as well as lunchtimes to complement the curriculum and develop well-rounded and healthier students.

"The visit to the Sky Skills Studios gave the students a chance to film, produce and present a film highlighting the benefits of taking part in one or more of the many extra-curricular sporting activities we run. It was a great experience for them.”

The trip has taken place ahead of a visit to Highfields by retired athlete, Daniel Caines, who enjoyed a highly successful career in which he was World, Commonwealth, European and Europa Cup Champion in the 400m and 4X400m relay, representing his country at two Olympic Games.

The athlete will be in school on Wednesday, April 4th, to mentor, motivate and inspire students.

WATCH: Our film promoting extra-curricular sporting activities at Highfields

Posted on March 23, 2017 .

Science brought to life at Big Bang Fair

Science was brought to life for more than 100 students during a trip to The Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC.

The event is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK, featuring a host of theatre shows, workshops and exhibits.

As well as taking part in a range of interactive activities, students got the chance to meet employers as well as representatives from colleges and universities to learn how STEM subjects are used to solve problems in the workplace and in society. 

Mr M.Lee, Head of General Science, said: “The aim of the trip was to introduce students to the wealth of career opportunities there are in STEM subjects and to bring the science they study in the classroom to life.”

Posted on March 23, 2017 .

Students showcase Spanish speaking skills

Students put their Spanish language skills to the test during a visit to The University of Birmingham.

A group of Year 12 students visited the university for a Spanish Languages Day, attending workshops on A Level topics including Spanish history, gastronomy and cinema. They also got the chance to look at authentic items from countries including Peru, Mexico, Cuba and Ecuador.

All of the workshops were conducted in Spanish and the students also attended a talk about the undergraduate courses offered in Modern Foreign Languages at the university.

Mrs A.M.Darby, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, added: “The group then went to Tapas Revolution for a late tapas lunch where they sampled a variety of authentic Spanish tapas and conversed with the Spanish waiters in the target language. 

“A most enjoyable day was had by all.”

Posted on March 23, 2017 .

Survey reveals support for HP Streams for students

Students and parents have given their overwhelming support to the introduction of HP Streams for all Year 7 students.

HP Streams were introduced for the new intake of students at the start of the academic year in September 2016 to aid their studies and homework.

The devices mean all students can access the full Microsoft Office suite of programs from anywhere at any time, as well as the ‘Show My Homework’ portal.

In a recent school survey to pupils and parents, the system was given a big thumbs-up with students giving it an overall rating of 4.44 out of 5.

One student said: “It has made learning quicker and more visual.”

Others commented on how their HP Stream had made it easier to research information about subjects at any time, as well as helping them with spelling and grammar.

Parents, who pay a monthly contribution towards the lease of the devices, have also given their backing to the scheme, with 97% saying they are happy with the system. Asked to give a rating out of 5 as a tool to support their child’s education, parents gave the devices an overall score of 4.37.

One parent said: “This is a fantastic scheme that supports my daughter with her learning and enables her to quickly and safely access additional learning materials which are helping her to feel more confident and be successful.”

Another parent said the device had been ‘invaluable’ whilst it was also described as a ‘great all round tool for learning and homework’.

Mr A.Cheetham, Deputy Headteacher, said: “We introduced HP Streams for all Year 7 students in September 2016 and recently conducted a survey to see how students and parents rated the system as an aid to school studies and homework.

“We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response.”

 

Posted on March 14, 2017 .

Students head to final of national robotics competition

Young engineers from Highfields have made it through to the finals of a prestigious national competition after being challenged to build and program robots to take part in a series of ‘space missions’.

The seven-strong team of students are being recognised for their skills and innovation as part of the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge.

The challenge is a curriculum-linked national programme that gives 11-14 year-olds the chance to learn how to build, program and control autonomous LEGO robots to complete a series of ‘space missions’ using LEGO MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 sets.  

It is supported by the Helsington Foundation, the Royal Air Force and Rolls-Royce. 

The team from Highfields competed against other schools in the region to earn a place at the UK finals in Birmingham.

As a winner in the West Midlands heat, which was held at the RAF Museum, Cosford, they will now go head-to-head with teams from across the country at The Big Bang Fair on Friday, March 17th.

The team built, programmed and controlled LEGO robots for a series of missions, including launching rockets, deploying solar panels and assembling crew. They also researched, designed, planned and presented their own solution to a contemporary scientific problem developed by LEGO Education with NASA – How can humans live in space? This presentation was delivered to two military engineers, one from the Navy and one from the RAF.

During the heats, the team was praised for confidence and teamwork, with special mention given to Year 7 student Dylon Jeer for his considered responses to the experts’ questions.

Science teacher, Miss L.Prosser, said: “The team have done a fantastic job to make it through the heats and are now looking forward to the challenge of competing against schools from across the country in the final.”

Posted on March 14, 2017 .

New community choir launched with Penn Fields School

Highfields is hoping to raise the roof with the launch of a new community choir in conjunction with neighbouring Penn Fields School.

The Highfields and Penn Fields Community Choir will meet for the first time on Thursday, March 16th from 3.40pm-4.40pm at Penn Fields School.

The choir, which is open for all students, staff and parents, will then meet after school every Thursday during term time. It will be led by ‘choir master’ Andy Womble, from Wolverhampton Music Service.

The project is the latest link-up between the two schools. Students from Penn Fields appeared in our recent spectacular stage production of High School Musical and work is ongoing on an exciting arts project celebrating the life and works of William Shakespeare. The schools secured 'Spirit of 2012' Olympic legacy funding to support the 'Emerge' project, which will culminate in a Festival on Sunday, April 23rd.

Highfields’ Head of Performance, Ms S Bishop, said: “We are delighted to be launching our new community choir.

“It is open to all students, parents and staff from both Highfields and Penn Fields. It doesn’t matter what level you consider yourself as a singer, it’s not X Factor - just a fun, friendly gathering to enjoy a sing song!"

Posted on March 7, 2017 .

Scientists celebrate graduation success in The Brilliant Club

Gifted scientists are celebrating success after 'graduating' from a prestigious academic course as members of The Brilliant Club.

The Brilliant Club is a national award-winning non-profit organisation that aims to widen access to top universities for outstanding pupils.

Twelve talented scientists from Year 8 were selected to take part in the programme following a tough selection process and given the opportunity to work with PhD university tutor, Olusola Olayufi, on an assignment called “Understanding Viral Infections: is the Ebola Virus the next pandemic?”.

As part of the programme the students visited Aston University and attended six tutorials before being set a 1,500-word assignment which was graded using university terminology.

All 12 students passed the assignment with a 1st or 2:1 grade and were then invited to celebrate their success at a graduation ceremony at the University of Nottingham.

Teacher Ms Buckley, who has led the school’s Brilliant Club project, said: “The Brilliant Club works in collaboration with a number of universities to give pupils in none selective state schools a taste of university life and encourage aspiration to apply to the exclusive Russell Group universities.

"This is the third group of pupils who have been chosen to be part of The Brilliant Club from Highfields and they had a great experience. We are very proud that all 12 of them passed the assignment and 'graduated'.

"One student commented that attending the graduation ceremony at the University of Nottingham with his new friends had been the highlight of the whole process for him."

 

Posted on March 2, 2017 .

It's showtime! Curtain-up on High School Musical

The curtain has been raised on this year’s feel-good school production, High School Musical, with tickets completely sold out for its four-night run - and a mention in the Express & Star.

Around 100 students are involved in the musical, which features a host of uplifting songs, including Start of Something New, Breaking Free, What I've Been Looking For and We’re All In This Together.

Students from Highfields and neighbouring Penn Fields School have been rehearsing every Thursday evening and Saturday morning for months in preparation for the show, which runs until Saturday. (4)

The musical follows the story of two high school juniors from different cliques - basketball team captain, Troy Bolton, and shy straight-A student, Gabriella Montez - who dream of showcasing their singing talents.

It became a global phenomenon thanks to the original film version featuring Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.

Sharon Bishop, Head of Performance, said: “We are so excited that it’s showtime after months of rehearsals.

“The students have worked incredibly hard and their effort, commitment and dedication has paid off because the opening night was fantastic. We are very proud of what they have achieved and can’t wait for the upcoming shows."

A preview of our show featured in the Express & Star.  To read the article click the image (courtesy of the E&S) below:

 

Take a look at our gallery of pictures from opening night:

Posted on March 2, 2017 .

Budding lawyer takes steps towards a legal career

A budding lawyer is being giving a helping hand to succeed in the legal profession after securing a place on an acclaimed national programme.

Year 12 student, Shifani Passap, has secured a place with the Social Mobility Foundation and will now receive invaluable training, support and work experience to help her achieve her career ambitions.

As part of the programme Shifani will be matched with a mentor in the legal profession who will give her careers advice, support with her university application and access to other industry professionals at networking events.

She recently spent the half-term holiday on work experience with leading law firm Pinsent Masons, in Birmingham.

 

Posted on March 2, 2017 .