A-Level success for students

Sixth Form students are celebrating another positive set of A-Level results - with almost half achieving top A*-B grades and more than 100 securing their places at university.

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Students achieved a 99% pass rate - 77% of them being A*-C grades and 48% achieving A*-B grades.

Mr K Blower, Head of Sixth Form, said: “It has been another good year for A-level results. Overall, we had a 99% pass rate and there were some fantastic individual results.

"More than 100 students are now expected to move on to university after securing the grades they required. The vast majority have secured their first-choice university, which is a fantastic achievement.

“They have worked extremely hard and I wish them all the very best of luck as they go on to the next stage of their lives."

Posted on August 16, 2018 .

Spotlight on Oz at Summer School

Young performers showcased their talents on their quest to find the wonderful Wizard of Oz as part of a creative Summer School.

Dozens of youngsters gave up a week of their summer break to take part in the Wizard of Oz Summer School.

They perfected their vocal, acting and dancing talents during the week by recreating scenes from the classic musical, whilst arty students also got the chance to showcase their creative talents by making colourful props for the performances.

The Summer School was attended by students from Years 7-9, as well as a number of  students who are due to start at Highfields in September.

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Ms S Bishop, Head of Performance, said: “Our Summer School is usually focused on Shakespeare, however we decided this year to have a Wizard of Oz theme as we are due to stage the musical later in the year.

“The students worked very hard during an intensive week of rehearsals and did a great job of bringing a number of scenes from the much-loved musical to life.

“We are now looking forward to getting started with rehearsals for the musical, which is open to all students from Years 7-9 and will be performed in November.”

Posted on August 15, 2018 .

Our Brian in volunteering mission to China

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Former Highfields student Brian White, whose battle to stay in the UK and study at Oxford captured hearts across the country, is spending his holidays mentoring children at a Chinese summer camp.

Instead of returning to Wolverhampton for the long break, the talented 21-year-old has instead volunteered his time to teach youngsters at the Greenwoods International Summer Camp.

The camp, located at Qiandao Lake in China, welcomes youngsters aged 7-15 from across the world to enjoy sports facilities, outdoor pursuits and academic studies.

Brian will spend two months tutoring youngsters at the camp after completing his first year at Oxford University.

Ms S Bishop, Highfields’ Head of Performance who supported Brian in his hard-fought appeal to remain in the UK, said: “Brian has thoroughly embraced his first year at university and didn’t want to spend the long summer break just sitting around after what has been a whirlwind of a year.

“He is loving every minute of his mentoring and it is wonderful to see his infectious smile lighting up the lives of students over in China.”

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Brian lived in an orphanage in Zimbabwe until the age of six when a missionary spotted the bright boy’s potential and introduced him to British-born Peter White who was working in the country and had two children and a Zimbabwean wife.

Mr White first fostered and then adopted Brian, who was 12 when he moved with his new family to Botswana, where he was later left with one of their friends on their return to live in Penn. He was allowed to join them at the age of 15 but immigration officials gave him temporary rather than indefinite leave to remain here.

This was only spotted when Brian’s application for a student grant in 2016, following the offer to study Chemistry at Lady Margaret Hall after he got 3 A*s and an A in A Levels, was rejected when it was discovered he had inadvertently overstayed his temporary visa and faced deportation.

Lady Margaret Hall took the rare step of putting his place on hold for 12 months whilst he fought to stay in the UK.

His story started gaining local media attention and the backing of a number of celebrities, including soul superstar Beverley Knight and author Sathnam Sanghera before a petition started by his friend, Luke Wilcox, turned his case into a national sensation.

The online petition urging the Home Office to rethink its decision to refuse him indefinite leave to remain in the UK was signed by more than 111,000 people whilst his story was picked up by the national press, including The Guardian, The Independent, BBC, Evening Standard, The Mirror, Daily Mail and BuzzFeed, among others. He also appeared on This Morning alongside Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.

After more than a year in limbo, the Home Office granted him indefinite leave to remain and he started his studies at Oxford last September. (Images courtesy of Greenwoods International Summer Camp)

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Posted on August 14, 2018 .

Sporting talent honoured at PE Legacy Awards

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Highfields hosted its second PE Legacy Awards honouring the efforts and achievements of the school’s sporty students.

The event, which took place on July 12th, was staged following the huge success of last year’s inaugural event to celebrate the wealth of sporting talent at Highfields in a range of categories, including Sports Person of the Year, Sports Team of the Year and Elite Performer.

This year the categories were extended to honour a wider variety of students, including the addition of an award for Dancer of the Year (for KS3 and KS4) as well as a Year 11 GCSE PE Contribution Award.

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The guest speaker on the night was long-distance runner Rob Pope, who made records for becoming the first person to run across the USA four times in one year. He presented the accolades in front of family and friends and took part in a domino challenge. Invited guests were also entertained with performances by members of Highfields Barefoot Dance Group, GCSE Dance students and members of the school’s Gymnastics team.

PE teacher, Ms L Stevenson, who organised the event, said: “We are overwhelmed with superb commitment, strong leadership and outstanding personal performances at Highfields. We were delighted to stage our second PE Legacy Awards to celebrate students’ achievements, efforts and commitment to sport. It was another fantastic evening that ended the school term on a high. Congratulations to all of our nominees and students who won awards.” 

Big winners on the night included Daniel Foster, Kiah Townsend, Mia Cashmore, Leah Roberts, Emily Kilmister and Vishal Patel, who each won the Sports Person of the Year award for their Year group. The Under 13 Girls’ Athletics team took the Sports Team of the Year accolade.

Posted on August 14, 2018 .

Highfields achieves quality standard for careers work

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Highfields has been awarded the national Quality in Careers Standard in recognition of its outstanding work to prepare students for life after school.

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. 

Highfields continually works to improve the chances and future career opportunities for all of its students.

There is a statutory duty to ‘secure independent careers guidance’ for all students from Year 8 onwards and the Government also recommends that all schools should be required to work towards the national Quality in Careers Standard. 

The Standard recognises Highfields’ commitment to embracing, promoting and endorsing quality careers education and recognising the part it plays in the overall success of the school and its students. The school offers a range of activities to introduce students to the world of work and help them make decisions about life after school, including careers fairs and work experience placements, as well as guest visits from employers and Further Education providers.

Mr A Jeavons, Highfields’ Careers and Business Links Manager, said: “We are thrilled to have achieved the national Quality in Careers Standard awarded by Prospects. We recognise the important role school plays in helping students develop their knowledge, skills and experience so they can go out into the world and achieve personal success. 

“This standard has provided a flexible framework that enabled us to audit our work on careers and ensure our students are receiving advice, practical support and experience so they are prepared for the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training.”

Posted on August 8, 2018 .

Movies in spotlight at first Highfields Film Festival

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Highfields’ first ever Young Wolf Film Festival was a huge success as hundreds of students, staff and members of the public from around the city joined together to celebrate the wonderful world of movies.

The week-long festival kicked off with a visit to Birmingham’s landmark Electric Cinema, where 63 students from Years 7-13 heard a talk about its rich history and watch animated film Coco.

The first day was rounded off in style when members of HTV and Film Club took to the red carpet at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre alongside two Sixth Form students, Jemma Payne and Jack Beckett, for the annual DIGI Awards.  The talented HTV team picked up the accolade for Best Secondary Innovative Practice in recognition of their fantastic work bringing the school’s success stories to life on screen in weekly news bulletins. Jemma Payne also edged out an incredibly strong field to win her second successive DIGI Award for Best KS5 Short Film.

Sadly, Film Club’s effort Nova didn’t win awards glory this year, although the team had a great time at the DIGI Awards, which are held annually to celebrate the achievements of learners and teachers in digital film and creative media.

The packed programme continued into day two when students and staff tested their movie knowledge with a series of quizzes, whilst students from four other city schools descended for movie-making madness on day three. Fifty students were involved, from primary (Springdale), special (Pennfields) and secondary (St Peter’s and St Edmund’s). Learners were given an expert tutorial in movie makeup and special effects by industry professional Laura Durand before trying their hands at applying their own prosthetic injuries. 

The celebrations continued with students using both green screen and digital effects to collaborate on a disaster movie, Disasterquake, which received its world premiere in front of an appreciative audience at the Young Wolf Film Festival Awards Evening. The final part of the day featured a foley sound session from ‘Into Film’ whizz Dan Clifford, where students used an assortment of everyday materials such as celery and paperclips to recreate and record sounds for their film. 

The Awards Evening was a huge success as students, staff and parents braved the fierce heat to celebrate movies made by students from across the City over the past year. Our well-attired invitees, dressed to the nines, walked the red carpet and joined together to enjoy a wide range of films made by a diverse range of students. 

Members of the Highfields choir and the KS3 performance group set the tone with two terrific performances and the keynote address, given by Simon Brew (author, creator and editor-in-chief of Den of Geek, one of the UK’s most popular film websites) was inspiring. 

Highfields scooped the prestigious best Key Stage 5 Film despite some high quality opposition, and the school also won other awards, including Outstanding Achievement awards for both Year 8’s Jude Aston and Sixth Form student Jagpreet Jhamat.

The Film Festival finished on a high with A Night At the Movies finale, which featured a rousing sing-a-long screening of The Greatest Showman and incorporated this year’s Summer Song & Dance Show, which gave students the chance to showcase their own performance talents in front of a live audience.

 

 

Posted on July 26, 2018 .

Spectacular send-off for students at Prom

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From tuxedos to tiaras, top-of-the-range sports cars and gorgeous gowns, leaving proms provided a spectacular send-off for Highfields’ Year 11 and Sixth Form students.

Year 11 students turned on the style for their celebration at the Grand Station, in Wolverhampton City Centre, on June 27th. Sixth Form students enjoyed their prom at the same venue on July 11th, where a big screen was set up to allow prom-goers to watch England’s World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia. 

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Mrs N Clifton, Head of Upper School at Highfields, said: “The Year 11 prom was a wonderful celebration of the end of the school year for our students who have worked so hard towards their GCSEs.

“The event gave our Year 11 students the chance to let their hair down and enjoy themselves in style after all of the hard work they have put into their exams.

“There were some wonderful outfits and modes of transport on the night. It was the spectacular send-off the students deserved.”

The proms marked the end of the school year for students, who are now awaiting the results of their GCSE and A-Level exams before moving on to the next chapter of their lives.

Following the prom celebrations, all Year 11 students returned to school for their emotional Leavers’ Assembly, where awards were handed out to honour special achievements or particular events.

Mrs Clifton added: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our students on the incredibly mature way in which they approached their GCSEs. It has been a pleasure to see them mature, grow and develop into such confident, talented and skilled young adults. We look forward to seeing them in August for their results before they move on to the next chapter in their lives.”

*School will be open for students to pick up their A-Level results on Thursday, August 16th and then GCSE results a week later on Thursday, August 23rd. School will be open from 9.30am on August 16th and 10.30am on August 23rd.         

Posted on July 26, 2018 .

Two musicals set to wow audiences in 2019

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Highfields is to stage two huge musical productions next year, for the first time, in a bid to give hundreds of students from all age groups the chance to perform.

Highfields’ annual musical showcase has become a popular fixture on the school’s calendar, with students wowing sell-out audiences with their performances in a number of musical classics, including Hairspray, High School Musical and Grease.

The school’s Head of Performance, Ms S Bishop, has now announced that two musical productions will be staged next year to allow even more students to get involved.

The first will be musical classic, The Wizard of Oz, before a performance of Little Shop of Horrors.

Ms Bishop said: “Our annual musical productions have gained an excellent reputation for their quality and as a result now feature more than 100 students. Due to the huge number of students involved I felt that not all of them were given as much of the spotlight as they deserved.

“Because of this we will be staging two musicals next year for the first time, with The Wizard of Oz aimed at our younger students in Years 7 and 8, and Little Shop of Horrors more focused on our older students.

“A lot of hard work and effort goes into putting on our musical productions but they are always a spectacular success and I am looking forward to the challenge of staging two so more of our students can get the chance to perform on stage.”

Posted on July 26, 2018 .

Head of PE proves he is an Ironman

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As Head of PE, Mr C Brickwood is known for encouraging his students to push themselves to the max in the pursuit of sporting victory.

And he proved he’s just as happy to push himself to the limit after completing the gruelling Ironman UK challenge in Bolton.

He was among 2,000 athletes from across the world who swam, cycled and ran their way to the title of Ironman, covering a distance of 123.6 miles.

Mr Brickwood said: “My day started at 3.50am. There was no need for an alarm as I hardly slept a wink. A light breakfast followed, then off to Pennington Flash Lake where the race started with a 2.4-mile swim. 

“The race kicked off at 6am in a very warm lake, which was 23 degrees and smelt like fermented cheese! The swim was a little slower than I'd have liked but I finished in 1hr 29mins.”

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The swim was followed by a 96-mile bike ride, which he completed in 6hrs 5mins.

Mr Brickwood said: “It was a tough, hilly route in the blazing sun. The heat took its toll but the crowds lined the streets and cheered everyone on. 

“At points on the bike it felt like being part of the Tour De France!

“Coming off the bike I felt good, my body felt strong and the final stage, the run, started off well.

“The run consisted of four 10k loops in and out of Bolton town centre, which was a hilly little course with more spectators lining the streets. 

“At around 23k my knee gave way and my right leg started to cramp up. 

“My target of 12hrs was out of the window and I physically and psychologically hit the wall. I had to hobble the final 21k with support from my family I got through to the end in a time of 13hrs 35mins.

“I’m really pleased that I finished but I want to do better next time.”

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Posted on July 20, 2018 .

Students see science in action during Oxford trip

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Talented young scientists from Highfields got an insight into the vital work being done to develop cancer treatments during a trip to Oxford University.

Nine students visited the Department of Oncology, where they received a tutorial from Dr Martin Christlieb.

Students learnt more about the ways cancer cells differ from normal cells and therefore some of the challenges that come with developing treatments.

They also got the chance to tour the university’s research labs, see cutting-edge science in action and question an Oxford academic.

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Head of Maths & Science Learning School, Mr A Dean, who organised the trip, said: “The lab has a number of scientists working together to better understand cancer and to develop new treatments.

“In addition to learning about the many ways that cancer cells are different from normal cells, we learnt some more unusual facts including that “oncology” means the study of lumps.

“We then had a guided tour of Keble College where we were fortunate enough to see areas normally off limits to the public such as the college library. 

“Lastly we looked around the university science museum, including a preserved bear, dinosaur skeletons and the chance to hold one of the oldest things in existence on Earth, a 3.6 billion year old rock.

“Overall it was a very interesting day and it encouraged students to think more widely about possible degrees and careers in science.”

Posted on July 20, 2018 .