Highfields maintains position among Wolverhampton's top schools

Highfields has maintained its position among Wolverhampton’s top schools for both attainment and student progress in provisional league tables published last week, based on 2019 exam results.

The provisional tables have been released following another record-breaking set of GCSE results for the school, which saw 80% of students achieving a standard pass (Grade 4 or above) in both English and Maths. A total of 51% of students achieved at least one 9-7 grade, with 31% of students attaining three or more 9-7 grades.

This year’s attainment has been particularly strong with 55.4% of Highfields students achieving a strong pass (Grade 5 or above) in both English and Maths - second only to Wolverhampton Girls’ High School.

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Attainment 8 and Progress 8 - which mark students’ progress and achievements over eight GCSE subjects - are among the headline measures now used to calculate official school league table positions.

Highfields achieved an Attainment 8 score of 52.1 out of 80, putting it in third position of the city’s schools in this category, whilst our Progress 8 score of 0.38 is well above the national average and among the city’s top five schools. 

Progress 8 looks at the advances a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school, comparing students’ results with the achievements of other youngsters with the same prior attainment.

Headteacher, Mr Graham Tate, said: “We are delighted that the provisional league tables, based on our 2019 exam results, show such a strong picture in terms of performance. 

“As always, it is testament to the hard work of our students and staff over many years, especially the tough months leading up to exams. Congratulations to them all for this achievement.”

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Posted on November 11, 2019 .

Illusionist showcases the magic of career success

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A critically-acclaimed magician who has been hand selected to perform with world-famous Dynamo treated Sixth Form students to mind-blowing tricks to inspire them to follow their career dreams.

Birmingham-based iNFiNiTi visited the school to perform in front of Year 12 students as part of Highfields’ revamped and expanded Sixth Form extra-curricular programme.

As part of the new programme, students are treated to weekly visits from a range of organisations and professionals, including Guide Dogs and British Sign Language experts, to expand their skills and knowledge, and showcase the many career options available to them.

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More than 100 students attended iNFiNiTi’s performance, where they were wowed with stunning tricks. The magician also spoke to them about his journey, which saw him first finding magic during a trip to New York around 12 years ago before building a successful career with a huge list of high-profile clients, including Birmingham City Football Club, The RAF,  Coca Cola, Hotel Chocolat, Royal Mail, Nestle, Heineken and Just Eat.

Mr N Maxfield, Assistant Head of Sixth Form, said: “We were delighted to welcome the extremely talented iNFiNiTi back in to school to inspire our students.

“They were stunned with his tricks, before he spoke to them about pursuing their passions without putting all of their eggs in one basket.

“The story of his career has really motivated them and raised their aspirations. It was a thoroughly enjoyable session that benefited everyone that attended. I would like to say a huge thank you to him for coming in to school and being such an inspiration for our students.”

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Posted on November 7, 2019 .

Award-winning author inspires budding writers

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Budding young writers nurtured their love of literature when they took part in a workshop with celebrated children’s author, Christopher Edge.

The award-winning author, behind titles such as The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, The Jamie Drake Equation and The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day, was welcomed in to Highfields to host the interactive workshop with Year 7 students in the school’s Lyceum Theatre.

Ms N Hannon, Assistant Head of English, said: “The workshop was a lively and well attended event which provided our students with an opportunity to learn about how the whole writing process can begin.

“Christopher Edge’s novels are a combination of science and fiction and students learnt first hand about how the concepts of time, space and travel can become the inspiration for different stories.”

Students were also given the opportunity to purchase copies of his brand new novels and get them signed.

Before hosting the workshop, the author held a celebratory lunch with the winners of the Highfields Summer Reading Challenge. The challenge ran throughout the summer holidays and involved students reading a range of different books from various categories before completing an electronic journal.




Posted on November 4, 2019 .

Highfields leading way in careers education for city's young people

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Highfields is delighted to have been selected as a lead school in Wolverhampton for a new Government-funded consortium which aims to transform careers education for young people in the Black Country.

The Black Country Careers Hub is made up of more than 50 schools and colleges which work together with Enterprise Advisor Networks, universities, training providers, employers and professionals to improve careers education.

It is the second hub of its kind to be created in the Black Country. The first, launched in September 2018, has seen a significant increase in the number and variety of stakeholders that schools are now engaging with and is seen as an example of good practice in Careers Education nationally. 

The new hub, being delivered by the Careers & Enterprise Company, was officially launched at GTG Training in Wolverhampton on September 17th. Highfields has become a lead school in recognition of its outstanding work to prepare students for life after school.

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The school was selected for the important role as details were announced of our next Careers Fair, which will take place on January 30th 2020 and feature representatives from dozens of employers, colleges, universities and training providers.

Mr P Rose, Highfields’ Head of Middle School and Careers Leader, said: “As a lead school, Highfields will support the Careers Hub Manager for the Black Country Consortium to facilitate monthly Careers Hub meetings.  

“We will be working together to identify and jointly deliver the agenda. The meetings will focus on the Gatsby Benchmarks and will include workshops and sharing of good practice across all of the hub schools in Wolverhampton.”

Highfields is committed to preparing its students for life after school and runs annual careers fairs and work experience placements for students, as well as organising regular trips, visits and professional talks to inspire them for the future.

Last year, the school was awarded the national Quality in Careers Standard in recognition of its ongoing commitment to Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance (CEIAG).

The Standard is awarded under licence by Prospects to schools and education providers who can demonstrate the importance they place on careers and how they support students to make decisions about their life after school. 

The Black Country first became one of 20 Careers Hubs launched around England in 2018 to transform careers education. They form a central part of the Government’s Careers Strategy, which aims to prepare young people for the world of work.

The Black Country Hubs have access to support and funding to help its member schools and colleges meet the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of excellent careers education for students, including stable careers programmes, encounters with employers and employers, workplace experience and personal guidance.

Posted on November 4, 2019 .

Stage set for The Addams Family musical

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The stage is set for Highfields’ latest stage spectacular, The Addams Family - with a few tickets still remaining through our brand new online Box Office.

The school’s Lyceum has been transformed ready for curtain-up on the popular musical, which will run from November 5th-8th and feature students from Years 10-13.

Talented students have been rehearsing for months for the production, which depicts a ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre. 

They treated students and staff to a sneak peek of some of the show’s numbers with assembly performances and flash mobs ahead of half term, before giving up some of their holiday to perfect the production.

Ms S Bishop, Highfields’ Head of Extra Curricular Performance, said: “We are so excited for show time! Our students have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the production and we are looking forward to putting on another fantastic show.

“Our flash mobs in school have gone down a storm, as have our assembly performances, which is a great sign and a real boost for our fantastic cast.

“Putting together our shows takes a lot of work over a number of weeks, with the performers and musicians staying after school until 8pm every Thursday as well as some Saturdays, and throughout holidays.

“But the process is always such great fun and a wonderful experience for our students. 

“They have all worked incredibly hard to ensure The Addams Family is a success, and we can’t wait to welcome audiences to come along to celebrate their hard work and talent.”

Tickets for the opening night, which starts at 7pm and includes a spectacular fireworks display, cost £10. Tickets for the remaining shows, which start at 7.30pm, cost £8 for adults and £6 concessions.

They are available from our brand new online Box Office by clicking here.

Another production, feel-good family favourite Beauty And The Beast, will be staged by students from Years 7-9 from February 26th-28th 2020.

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Posted on November 3, 2019 .

Netball players crowned city champions

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Highfields’ talented netball players have been crowned city champions for the third year running after an undefeated tournament run.

Members of the Year 10 netball team travelled to Wolverhampton Girls High School for the city-wide tournament. 

With eight schools in attendance, the team faced a packed evening of fixtures - and came out victorious with a string of top performances on the courts.

The tournament got off to a great start when Highfields took a 5-1 win over the team from The Royal School.

Mrs J Brickwood, Highfields’ Head of Performing Arts and Assistant Head of PE, said: “Game one was under our belts with a win against tough opposition.”

Another tough game followed against St Peter’s School, which finished with another 5-1 victory for Highfields, before a 7-1 win against Our Lady and St Chad’s.

Game four was against St Edmund’s School and saw every shot making the net, resulting in a fantastic 11-0 win, before a 12-0 thrashing of Ormiston South West Bilston Academy (OSWA).

Mrs Brickwood said: “Game six was against our arch rivals, Wolverhampton Girls High, and a real battle on court. 

“Shayne Andrada weaved in and out of their defenders and it worked to our advantage. We turned over their centre pass in the first two minutes of the game and we worked to the whistle. It ended 9-4, and another win to Highfields.

“It was then our final game and, by then, the team really wanted a clean slate. Every player was behind the ball and we were fast on the breaks keeping our own centre passes and turning theirs over twice. Both Libby Naughton and Isobel Gunning were impressive in the centre third, switching effectively between attack and defence. It finished with another win, at 7-2.

“We are city champions and tournament winners for the third year running and have returned to school, undefeated, with gold medals and a fine looking trophy. It is an amazing result.

“I am exceptionally proud of the team’s hard work, commitment and attitude on and off the court. They showed true heart and are deserved champions.”

Posted on October 17, 2019 .

Hundreds welcomed at Highfields Open Morning

Highfields welcomed hundreds of prospective students and parents during an action-packed Open Morning held to showcase everything the school has to offer.

More than 900 people flocked to the event to meet students and staff, tour the facilities and take part in dozens of interactive workshops and activities.

Hands-on scientific experiments, Smartboard Maths puzzles, Guitar Hero music challenges, sports displays, drama and musical performances, enterprise quizzes, pastry-making demonstrations, ’live studio’ film productions, a ‘Victory in Europe’ street parade experience and psychology experiments were among the many activities that took place on the day. 

Visitors also learnt how to pack a rucksack as part of a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award display and put forensics to good use to solve a ‘crime’ by taking fingerprints and analysing shoe prints and fibres in our lab. A cake sale was held on the day to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

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Following the event, dozens of visitors also made the most of the opportunity to see Highfields at work during the day by taking a tour of the school. 

Headteacher, Mr G Tate, said: “We were delighted to welcome so many people through the doors for this year’s Open Morning. It was a wonderful opportunity for prospective students and visitors to get a feel for the many things we offer at Highfields.

“I would like to thank all of the staff and students involved in the event for their tremendous support. 

“We had more than 900 people walk through the door and we had some amazing feedback from those who attended.

"We pride ourselves on providing youngsters with a high quality education, an engaging curriculum and a wide range of extra-curricular activities to enrich their learning experiences. We were delighted to open our doors to visitors so they could see for themselves everything that makes Highfields so special.”

The Open Morning came after Highfields celebrated another record-breaking set of GCSE results, with 80% of students achieving a standard pass (Grade 4 or above) in both English and Maths. In addition, 56% of students attained a strong pass (Grade 5 or above) in both English and Maths, with 51% of students achieving at least one 9-7 grade and 31% of students attaining three or more 9-7 grades.

Our Sixth Form Open Evening will take place from 5.30pm - 8pm on November 27th.

Posted on October 9, 2019 .

Students experience world of work

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Students got a taste of the careers they are hoping to pursue when they leave Highfields as part of week-long work experience placements.

Year 11 students spent the first week of term on work experience with companies from a range of industries, including education, hospitality, law, emergency services, military, NHS, engineering,  veterinary and banking.

Mr P Rose, Head of Middle School and Careers Leader, said that employers had been extremely positive in their reports - with one student even offered a job if an upcoming vacancy arises due to their strong work ethic and proactive approach to the experience.

An employer report for one student read: “He has been a pleasure to have. He is helpful, punctual, friendly, caring and has a real passion for working with animals.”

Mr Rose added: "Work experience is an invaluable opportunity for students to develop and practice new skills employers are looking for and to become more confident in their abilities.  

“Students also learnt about the range of pathways available within a particular career. 

“Reports from employers were extremely positive, highlighting the fantastic effort Highfields students put into their work placements."

Posted on October 9, 2019 .

Historic house inspires design students

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Creative students took a step back in time to visit an historic house and pick up interior design inspirations from years gone by.

Year 10 BTEC Art & Design students have been given a brief of producing designs for furniture, stained glass, tiles, textiles and illustrations based on the work of The Arts & Crafts movement.

They visited Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton - a Victorian manor house which has been owned by the National Trust since 1937 - to inspire their work.

They saw work by William Morris and learnt about The Mander family, who lived in Wightwick Manor in the 1800s.  

Art teacher, Ms P Thompson, said: “The students are working on their research back in school and developing their own designs based on the visit. 

“The guide for the day commented on how well the students behaved and how inquisitive they were.”

 





Posted on October 9, 2019 .

Golden DofE Award students are on top of the world

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Intrepid students are feeling on top of the world after successfully completing their final Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award expedition.

Thirteen Sixth Form students travelled to Snowdonia for their practice assessment ahead of the summer holidays before successfully completing their assessed expedition in the Lake District earlier this month (September).

The students spent four days and four nights in the Lake District, navigating their route over challenging mountain terrain and fending for themselves in the remote rural location.

Mr C Moody, Highfields’ DofE Co-ordinator, said: “The contrast between the two expeditions was really exceptional, from sunshine in Snowdonia to rain in the Lake District.  

“The students had to plan their journey through the mountains and also all of the equipment they would need to carry, from waterproofs to food.

“This is an extremely challenging section of the DofE Gold Award but they succeeded with good planning, perseverance and determination.

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“As well as meeting all of the conditions to pass the assessment, they gained a considerable amount of experience and knowledge to take away with them to use for the rest of their lives.

“Well done to them all on such a fantastic achievement.”

The successful students are: Hannah Griffiths, Jaiden Malhotra, Emily Walker, Atif Riaz, Amreeta Gill, Kayla Campbell, Vish Patel, Sana Nisar, Shahrukh Hussain, Jessica Drew, Mrithula Raj Balaji, Milly Grayson and Yashpreet Singh.

They will be officially presented with their DofE Gold Awards at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace or St James’s Palace on a date to be announced.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s scheme was launched in 1956 with the aim of inspiring, guiding and supporting young people in their self-development. The awards scheme challenges students and allows them to discover the world around them whilst providing them with invaluable skills and experiences to improve employment prospects.

Posted on September 24, 2019 .