Shaping up for Comic Relief!

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Charity fever swept through Highfields for this year's national Comic Relief campaign - as fundraisers performed their own version of social media dance craze, ‘The Triangle’.

As part of the fundraising festivities, students and staff made a donation to the cause to wear an item of red clothing or official Comic Relief merchandise for the day.

Students also baked and sold cakes to raise funds, whilst the Sports Hall was transformed into a dance studio at lunchtime for the ‘Triangle’ dance challenge - the latest dance craze which involves three people holding on to each other’s shoulders and jumping in between each other in a co-ordinated pattern.

Funds raised from the day are still being counted.

Miss 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 was great to see so many people getting involved with the activities we staged 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.”

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.

Posted on March 15, 2019 .

Literary characters brought to life on World Book Day

The world of make believe was brought to life when students and staff dressed as their favourite literary characters to celebrate World Book Day.

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Harry Potter, Matilda, Cruella De Vil, Oliver Twist and Little Red Riding Hood were among the characters who turned up to school as part of the festivities, alongside the entire cast of Winnie The Pooh, and characters from Alice in Wonderland.

The annual World Book Day is a celebration of books, authors, illustrators and reading, which aims to ignite imaginations and help students gain a lifelong passion for reading.

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Each student and member of staff who dressed up made a 50p donation to the Book Bus charity, which aims to improve child literacy rates in Africa, Asia and South America by providing children with books and the inspiration to read them.

Mrs K Allen, Lead Practitioner, said: “Staff and Lower School students were invited to dress up as characters from their favourite books as part of the celebrations to mark World Book Day.

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“The day provides a fantastic opportunity to inspire our students and ignite in them a lifelong love of books and reading. It was another very enjoyable day, with some fantastic costumes on show.”

As part of the celebrations, students put their creative writing skills to the test as part of a short story competition. Students were given the challenge of creating their own short stories, reimagining a famous children’s book character as an adult, for the chance of winning a prize.

Special assemblies were also held throughout the week to showcase the school’s new reading tool, ‘Bookflix’, which supports students to choose a wider range of challenging and interesting books.

Posted on March 8, 2019 .

Donna's marathon fundraising challenge

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Highfields’ lunchtime supervisor, Donna Lowery, will be taking part in this year’s London Marathon in memory of her beloved late mum - and is now appealing for donations to boost her fundraising efforts to support a worthy charity so close to her heart.

During the day, Donna juggles her role at the school with running her own business, motherhood and marriage, before pulling on her trainers to hit the streets for gruelling running training sessions in the evening.

And she’s now preparing to put that tough training to the test when she takes on the marathon challenge to support research into Pancreatic Cancer, which claimed the life of her mum, Linda Munday, at the age of 60 in 2014.

The 42-year-old, who lives with her family in Penn, will be one of just 70 competitors running the London Marathon on April 28th on behalf of Pancreatic Cancer UK, and must raise at least £2,500 for the cause.

It is her second fundraising challenge for the charity, and comes after she raised £1,000 by completing the London to Brighton cycle ride after her mum was diagnosed with the illness.

“I have been so lucky to be chosen to be part of London Marathon, it’s an absolute honour that they have picked me,” she said.

“Pancreatic cancer is a charity so close to my heart as this is what my beautiful mom died of, leaving my whole family heartbroken and devastated at the loss of such a lovely, kind and caring lady.

“This event is going to be a huge challenge as I don’t have a running background but I’m determined to complete it with the support of all my family, friends, and my mum watching over me.

“She always drummed in to me growing up that I could achieve anything I set out to do, so that thought will be with me on the day.

“Pancreatic cancer is a nasty disease with a very low survival rate. It’s hard to detect with not many symptoms, so by the time it’s diagnosed there is little that can be done. Please sponsor me whatever amount you can afford to support research into finding a cure so we can stop others going through what my family has gone through.”

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Despite being a fitness enthusiast who has previously competed in swimming galas, Donna - whose two children, Eden and Lily, are students at Highfields - is a relative novice to the world of running.

She said: ‘I was a swimmer but had never done any running.

“I started running two years ago because I really wanted to complete a triathlon. When I started, I couldn’t run for longer than a few minutes, but I kept going and within a few weeks I’d managed to get up to 5k. I completed my triathlon with Wombourne Black Country Triathletes but I wanted to do something bigger, which is why I applied to London Marathon.

“I wanted to do something to take my mind off the sadness of losing my mum and making something positive from it by raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.”

After a tough selection process, including submitting a presentation about why the charity was so important to her, Donna was selected to represent the cause in the world-famous 26.2-mile run.

She immediately started her preparation for the challenge, with her gruelling training schedule now including three 5k-10k runs each week, with a longer run of up to 16 miles each weekend. She hopes her efforts will help her cross the finish line within five-and-a-half hours.

Her daughters are showing their support by joining her for some training runs, whilst her whole family, including husband Wayne and dad Garth, will be cheering her on from sidelines when she takes part in the marathon next month.

“They are all very proud of me. The whole family will be travelling down to support me and get me round,” she added.

“I have already had £400 in donations with around another £600 pledged, so the fundraising is going well. Thank you to everyone for supporting me for this incredibly worthy cause which is so close to my heart.”

To support Donna’s fundraising efforts, click here

Posted on March 7, 2019 .

Rave reviews for Little Shop of Horrors

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Talented students wowed audiences with performances of Highfields’ latest stage spectacular, Little Shop of Horrors - with attentions already now turning to the next musical production.

The school’s Lyceum was transformed with stunning scenery - including a show-stopping mechanical Venus Flytrap - for three sell-out performances of the high octane musical comedy.

Students from Years 10-13 spent months rehearsing for the show, which follows the story of a florist shop worker who discovers his Venus Flytrap can talk, and their performances have received rave reviews.

Highfields’ Head of Extra Curricular Performance, Ms S Bishop, said: “Our musical productions have gained a fantastic reputation for their quality, and Little Shop of Horrors was one of our best yet.

“We had different casts performing each night to showcase the incredible wealth of talent we have here at Highfields, and every student involved was fantastic.

“They put in an extraordinary amount of effort in rehearsals over many months, and their hard work most definitely paid off. The feedback has been incredible, and all of the students involved should be very proud.”

Attentions are now turning to the next musical production, which is set to be staged in November.

Auditions for the show, which is yet to be confirmed, are likely to take place after the Easter holidays, with rehearsals set to get under way during the summer holidays. The next show will once again feature students from Years 10-13, with a separate musical production featuring students from Years 7-9 scheduled to be staged in February next year.

Posted on March 7, 2019 .

Young book fans celebrate love of literature

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Members of Highfields’ Book Group celebrated their love of literature by taking part in the first ever Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award.

The group, made up of students from Year 7, were given the opportunity to meet a number of award-winning authors and nurture their own creative writing processes as part of the event, which was organised by Wolverhampton Grammar School.

Students were first asked to read five titles, before putting their knowledge of the texts to the test against other city schools in a quiz. After a respectable third-place finish, students were then invited back to a celebration event at Wolverhampton Grammar School, which was attended by all five book authors.

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During the day, the young book lovers were given the chance to work with the authors on a number of creative activities linking to the subject matters of their books, including making light jars, creating their own languages and even taking part in science experiments.

The authors - including Christopher Edge, Jane Elson and Megan Rix - then gave talks about their working processes and inspirations behind their writing.

All students who took part in Wolverhampton Children’s Book Award had voted for their favourite book from the selection of texts they read, with the accolade presented to Jane Elson for her heartwarming book, 'Will You Catch Me?' on the day.

As she collected the winning trophy from the Mayor of Wolverhampton, she said: “I didn’t dare dream that I would win this award. Thank you to every child from Wolverhampton who voted for me.”

Highfields’ Lead Practitioner, Mrs K Allen, said: “The event was a fantastic celebration of the joy of reading, and the students and staff who attended thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Posted on March 5, 2019 .

Looking to the future for National Careers Week

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Highfields will be urging all students to look forward to the future by hosting a packed programme of activities, workshops and trips to mark National Careers Week.

The event runs from March 4th-8th and will allow students from all year groups to get a greater insight into a range of professions and the pathways available to fulfil their career dreams.

The school has teamed up with a number of universities, businesses and apprenticeship providers to support the national event.

The programme of activities includes workshops in Film Studies, Art & Design and Animation at Gloucester University, a site visit to Jessup Brothers Construction, and a trip to Aston University Medical School for a ‘Pathways to Healthcare’ event.

Careers-based lessons and assemblies will be taking place throughout the week, whilst there will also be talks about apprenticeships, interview skills and CV writing workshops.

Mr P Rose, Highfields’ Head of Middle School and Careers Leader, said: “We’ve got lots going on around school to mark National Careers Week, encouraging students from all year groups to look forward to the future and learn more about the opportunities available to them to fulfil their career dreams after school.”

The week-long event comes after Highfields hosted its biggest ever Careers Fair, which featured dozens of exhibitors and was attended by hundreds of students and their families.

Click here to read our Careers Course Choice supplement.

Posted on February 28, 2019 .

Stage set for spectacular musical

The stage is set for curtain-up on Highfields’ latest stage spectacular, Little Shop of Horrors.

The school’s Lyceum has been transformed with stunning scenery - including a show-stopping mechanical Venus Flytrap - ready to wow audiences from Thursday (Feb 28th) to Saturday (March 2nd).

Talented teenagers from Years 10-13 have spent months rehearsing for curtain-up on the high energy musical comedy, which follows the story of a florist shop worker who discovers his Venus Flytrap can talk.

Tickets have been selling fast for the show, which Highfields’ Head of Extra Curricular Performance, Ms S Bishop, said is going to be one of the school’s best yet.

She added: “Our musical productions have gained a fantastic reputation for their quality, and our latest spectacular promises to be another knockout.

“Little Shop of Horrors is a fantastic musical and one that I have personally wanted to stage at the school for a number of years. The entire cast and crew is delighted that we’re now on the final countdown to showtime.

“Our students have put in an extraordinary amount of effort in rehearsals over many months, and their hard work has paid off with another fantastic show, which they can’t wait to perform to live audiences.

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“We have different casts performing each night to showcase the incredible wealth of talent we have here at Highfields and we would love as many people there as possible supporting them.

“Tickets have been selling really well but there are still some available, so it would be great to see everyone there cheering on our incredibly talented young performers.”

Little Shop of Horrors is the second musical production to be staged by Highfields in the 2018/19 academic year. The hugely successful Wizard of Oz was staged from November 7th-10th and featured students from Years 7 to 9.

Tickets for Little Shop Of Horrors are available from the top floor LRC, costing £6 (£4 concessions). Shows start at 7.30pm.

We’ve been in the news! Read our article in the Express & Star below:

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Posted on February 27, 2019 .

Challenging activity days put students to the test

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Youngsters are getting to grips with the great outdoors as part of activity days in Wales, which allow them to test their teamwork skills and build confidence over a number of challenges.

Dozens of Year 8 students have already spent an action-packed two days in Mid Wales as part of the initiative, which aims to provide students with new experiences and life skills to support them through their school life. It also prepares students wanting to enrol on to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme in Year 9 for the challenges they will face.

More groups of Year 8 students will complete the activity days over the coming weeks.

The first day takes place at Lake Vyrnwy, in conjunction with Bethania Adventure Activity Centre, and sees students working together to build a raft. They are also given the opportunity to canoe along sections of the reservoir to explore the history and geography of the area.

The second day sees students based from Llandrinio Outdoor Education Centre, where they are given the chance to attempt rock scrambling over Moel-Y-Golfa, the highest peak in the Breidden Hills.

Mr C Moody, PE teacher and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Manager, said: “The students were able to look back at where they were last year, as Year 7 students, at Admiral Rodney’s Pillar, with many commenting on how they were enjoying the greater challenge this year.

“Their final afternoon on the second day is spent at the centre taking on a fresh set of team-building exercises.

“The two days allow the students to experience opportunities in a safe but challenging environment, which helps improve their self-confidence and resilience, but also their enjoyment of the outdoors which will hopefully lead to their enrolment on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in Year 9.”

Posted on February 13, 2019 .

Premier League rewards trip for young football fans

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Football-mad students scored some world-class training as part of a thrilling behind-the-scenes trip to Manchester City FC.

Around 30 students took part in the training weekend, which kicked off with a tour of the grounds, football museum and Etihad Stadium, including the 5* facilities in the Players Lounge, circular home changing room and pitch-side dugout, complete with heated seats.

Students also enjoyed two sessions at Manchester City’s training ground, posed for photographs in the press conference room and watched Man City Ladies draw 2-2 with Chelsea.

They rounded off the football-focused weekend by watching Manchester City’s remarkable 6-0 thrashing of Chelsea to reclaim their position at the top of the Premier League.

Mr C Brickwood, Highfields’ Head of PE, said: “It was a wonderful opportunity for students to enjoy world-class coaching at an incredible training ground.

“All of the students on the trip have taken part in at least 15 hours of extra curricular activities, so this was a fitting reward for their dedication and commitment to sport.

“It was an amazing experience, and one which has really inspired our talented young footballers of the future.”

Posted on February 13, 2019 .

Tickets on sale for Little Shop of Horrors

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Tickets have gone on sale for the school’s upcoming musical production, Little Shop of Horrors.

Talented performers from Years 10-13 have spent months rehearsing for the showcase, which will be staged over three nights to a live audience in the school’s Lyceum Theatre from February 28th to March 2nd.

Little Shop of Horrors is a musical comedy horror about a florist shop worker who discovers his Venus Flytrap can talk.

Ms S Bishop, Highfields’ Head of Extra Curricular Performance, said: “It is a fantastic musical and one that I have personally wanted to stage at the school for a number of years.

“Rehearsals started in October and are going really well. We have different casts performing each night to showcase the incredible wealth of talent we have here at Highfields.

“It takes a lot of commitment and dedication to be part of our productions, with weekly rehearsals and some weekend rehearsals taking place over a number of months. Our cast, band and technical team will be continuing this hard work over the half term break, putting the finishing touches to what promises to be another fantastic show for the school.

“We’re delighted that tickets have now gone on sale and can’t wait for curtain-up. Please come along and show your support."

Little Shop of Horrors is the second musical production to be staged by Highfields in the 2018/19 academic year. The hugely successful Wizard of Oz was staged from November 7th - 10th and featured students from Years 7 to 9. Tickets for Little Shop Of Horrors are now on sale from the top floor LRC, costing £6 (£4 concessions).

Posted on February 12, 2019 .