Young Wolf Film Festival to celebrate the magic of movies

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The magic of the movies is to be brought to life in spectacular style as Highfields hosts its second Young Wolf Film Festival.

The event, which will run from July 1st to 5th, will feature a packed programme of events to celebrate the talents of budding film directors, news anchors, producers and performers from across the City.

Organisers hope to build on the huge success of last year’s inaugural event, which brought together hundreds of students, staff and members of the public from around Wolverhampton to celebrate the wonderful world of film.

The programme includes:

Monday July 1st: The week-long festival will kick off with ‘Movie Maker Monday’, which will see Highfields welcome dozens of students from City schools for a series of film-based practical workshops. They will work with a professional make-up artist and special effects designer to create their own Hollywood-style injuries before using a green screen, along with digital and sound effects, to make their own short film. The film, which will also be edited by students, will receive its premiere at an awards ceremony later in the week.

Tuesday July 2nd: Day two of the festival will see 60 students experience the wonder of filmmaking first-hand with a trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. The trip, which will act as a rewards trip for members of Highfields Film Club from Years 9 and 10, will give students the chance to see the impact of the British film industry and the vast array of careers it offers.

Wednesday July 3rd: Students will be given the chance to put their knowledge of the big screen to the test by taking part in a lunchtime movie quiz, before staff compete in an after-school quiz.

Thursday July 4th: The talents of budding young filmmakers will be celebrated at the Young Wolf Awards. During this Oscars-style event, awards and prizes will be up for grabs in a range of categories, whilst students’ mini cinematic masterpieces produced throughout the year will be showcased on screen.

Friday July 5th: The festival will be wrapped up in spectacular style as students use Hollywood soundtracks and themes to stage the annual Summer Song and Dance show in front of a live audience. Following live performances of music, drama and dance, visitors will move to an outdoor cinema in the school grounds to watch a screening of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse under the stars.

The Young Wolf Film Festival was first launched by Highfields in 2018 due to the success of the school’s award-winning Film Club.

Due to the increasing popularity of the subject in school, Film Studies was introduced to Year 9 students last year, whilst a GCSE course across Key Stage 4 was launched for the first time this academic year.

Film Studies teacher, Mr D Cooper, said: “We have some incredibly talented students at Highfields who are very enthusiastic about the various elements of the filmmaking process.

“Last year’s festival was a huge success, bringing hundreds of people together to celebrate the wonderful world of movies, whilst providing an excellent platform to celebrate the creativity of students.

“We are delighted to be running the event again, and are hoping to build on the excellent foundations of last year to stage another spectacular week of festivities celebrating all aspects of the film industry and the talents of our students who wish to pursue a career in it."

Posted on June 20, 2019 .

Palace date for golden Duke of Edinburgh's Award students

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Former Highfields students rubbed shoulders with royalty when they celebrated achieving the highest possible honour on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme at Buckingham Palace.

Rachel Clarke and Libby Mckenna-Fraser, who has been working at Highfields as an apprentice this year, attended the palace to be presented with their DofE Gold Awards in the presence of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

The guest speaker on the day was former Blue Peter presenter, Konnie Huq.

Former students Alice Barrie, Owen Stavenuiter and Kent Stavenuiter picked up their Gold Awards at an earlier palace ceremony, whilst Jemma Payne and Shifani Passap will be officially presented with their awards at a ceremony later this year.

The seven DofE Gold Award students volunteered their time in the community over 12 months, as well as completing a gruelling four-day practice and assessed expedition in Snowdonia and the Lake District. They also completed a four-day residential shared experience with other young people.

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Ahead of their palace dates, their achievements on the DofE programme were honoured with a presentation evening in school hosted by former Highfields teacher, Sir Michael Griffiths, who was awarded a knighthood for his services to education.

Mr C Moody, Highfields’ DofE Co-ordinator, said: “It was a really positive year for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award programme at Highfields, with these seven students completing the challenging Gold Award, as well as dozens more students picking up their Bronze and Silver Awards.

“They have all been on an incredible journey and they have had many memorable experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

“To reach the Gold Award standard in the DofE programme is an incredible achievement and to be officially presented with their awards in the grounds of Buckingham Palace is a fitting celebration for all their hard work.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 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.

Hundreds of Highfields students have taken part in the DofE programme since the school started running the scheme around 13 years ago.

Posted on June 11, 2019 .

Sporty students given careers advice by football coach

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Students dreaming of a career in the sports industry got the chance to learn more about the opportunities available to them thanks to a visit from a Kidderminster Harriers FC coach.

Siobhan Hodgetts, the club’s Female Sports Development Coach, visited Highfields to speak to students from Years 7 to 10.

More than 50 students interested in pursuing a career in sports attended the event.

Ms Hodgetts spoke about Kidderminster Harriers’ Football and Education Academy, whilst also highlighting the vast range of careers available in sport, including coaching, media and accountancy.

Mr P Rose, Head of Middle School and Careers Leader, said: “We were delighted to welcome Siobhan Hodgetts into school to inspire students interested in pursuing a career in sports in the future.

“She informed them of the range of opportunities available whilst giving them advice and information to help them achieve their aspirations.

“Our students didn’t realise there were so many different professions in the sports industry."

Posted on June 11, 2019 .

'Getting Ahead' event to inspire students for exam success

Year 10 students getting reading to sit their school exams are being inspired to prepare properly so they can perform to their potential as part of a special ‘Getting Ahead’ event.

The event will be launched with a motivational assembly before specially-planned sessions to provide students with practical tips and revision techniques, including the ‘4Rs’ - Revisit, Reduce, Rehearse, Recall.

They will also be given advice on managing time and creating a manageable revision timetable.

Mr P Rose, Head of Middle School and Careers Leader, said: “The aim of the event is to inspire students to achieve their full potential and beyond in all of their exams.

“We want to provide our students with the skills they need to prepare and perform.

“Students should already be revising but if they haven’t yet started, the message is that it’s not too late - start now!”

The Year 10 exam fortnight commences on Monday 24th June.

Please click on the image below to open our ‘Getting Ahead’ booklet:

Posted on June 10, 2019 .

Magic of Disney dazzles students on Paris trip

The magic of Disneyland dazzled Highfields students during a four-day Parisian adventure.

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More than 120 students from Year 8 enjoyed the action-packed trip to the French capital during the half-term break.

The trip included visits to The Walt Disney Studios Park and main Disneyland Park, where members of the group braved the famous Tower of Terror and Space Mountain rides, picked up dozens of souvenirs, and were blown away by a spectacular fireworks display to the backdrop of classic Disney songs.

They also enjoyed a visit to Parc Asterix, where they had a blast on the rides and enjoyed a dolphin show.

Ms J Parker, Head of Lower School, said: “We had a fantastic Paris trip with the most wonderful group of students. They are a real credit to the school.

“All of the students and staff involved have been left with wonderful memories that will last a lifetime."

Posted on June 4, 2019 .

Cadbury World trip is sweet treat for students

Chocolate lovers enjoyed a sweet treat when they visited Cadbury World as part of their Food Technology studies.

Year 9 students visited the world-famous site in Bournville to learn more about the much-loved chocolate brand.

As part of the trip, students were taught about the history of chocolate and how the Cadbury brand was developed.

They also got the chance to see the large-scale manufacture of chocolate, whilst sampling a few delicious treats throughout the day.

They rounded off the trip with a screening in the 4D chocolate cinema.

Head of Food, Miss B Chima, said: “A great day was had by all students and staff who attended.”

Posted on June 3, 2019 .

Students keep pace with real-life Forrest Gump on charity run

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Fundraising students pulled on their trainers for a charity run alongside real-life Forrest Gump, Rob Pope.

Rob hit headlines around the world in 2016 when he embarked on a 15,700-mile journey which saw him cross the United States four times to raise money for Peace Direct and The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Last month, the 40-year-old completed the punishing six-day Marathon Des Sables, a 156-mile race in the Sahara Desert known as the toughest footrace on the planet.

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Rob, who runs wearing a ‘Run Robla Run’ t-shirt inspired by Tom Hanks’ character in Forrest Gump, was the guest speaker at last year’s Highfields Legacy Awards, and returned to the school to speak to students about the charities he has raised more than £20,000 for with his gruelling fundraising runs. He also gave the school a very generous gift of an adopted panda through WWF, which will be named by students as part of a competition in the coming weeks.

As part of his visit, students joined him on a one-mile fun run in parkland close to the school to raise around £80 for Rob’s chosen charities.

WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund) is an international non-governmental organisation founded in 1961 working to preserve wilderness and reduce the human impact on the environment.

Peace Direct is an international charity dedicated to stopping wars by supporting local people in conflict zones to build long term peace.

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Posted on May 24, 2019 .

Young football fans net refereeing qualifications

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Talented young female football fans have qualified as football referees, and are now preparing to put their new skills to the test as officials of grassroots games.

Highfields launched its first referee academy after the February half-term, which was open to girls aged 14 and over.

The course was the first of its kind run by Birmingham FA, facilitated by Highfields and supported by the ConnectED partnership.

Students from Years 9-12 took part in the inaugural programme.

Following weeks of coaching, all of the students completed their final examination after a motivational talk from Lisa Rashid, a professional referee who will represent the FA at this year’s Women’s World Cup in France.

They will be now be given the chance to take charge of all of the school’s boys’ and girls’ football fixtures, whilst also having the opportunity to apply their skills in the local community where they will be able to earn money for refereeing grassroots football matches.

Mr C Brickwood, Highfields’ Head of PE, said: “At the start of February half-term a group of enthusiastic future Premier League match officials started their journey to become fully qualified football referees, and it is with great pleasure that I can announce that all of the girls passed.

“This is only the start of the journey as we look to grow the academy for both girls and boys in the near future. It is an opportunity for us to enhance the leadership skills of our own students and those from other schools, whilst developing their knowledge and understanding of the game. It is a really exciting project and we are delighted that it has had such a successful launch. Congratulations to all of the girls involved.”

The girls who have qualified are: Poppy Kelly, Georgia Harris, Georgia Derrick, India Rae Martin, Rhea Gill, Madison Hawley, Libby Naughton, Kira Patel, Holly Ryall-Jenkins and Amy Lamine-Simmons.

Posted on May 20, 2019 .

Teacher swaps Science lab for saddle to raise thousands for charity

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Highfields’ Anthony Dean swapped the Science lab for the saddle to complete a 100-mile cycle ride to raise money for a charity supporting families affected in terrorist-hit Sri Lanka.

Mr Dean, Highfields’ Head of Science and Maths Learning School, completed the gruelling Vélo Birmingham & Midlands ride, taking him through Birmingham, Solihull, Warwickshire, Dudley, Sandwell and Coventry.

He is raising money for the Oru Paanai charity, which works in Sri Lanka to support communities affected by the long-running conflict there.

Mr Dean completed the race in just under seven hours, and has raised more than £1,000 for the cause. Having also completed the race last year, his fundraising efforts have brought in a combined total of more than £3,000 for the charity.

Mr Dean, whose wife originates from Sri Lanka, said: “Although the civil war is over, many people are still struggling economically in the aftermath. Oru Paanai's projects have evolved over time according to need. 

“The charity spent many years supporting school children. They are now helping to dig wells to develop supplies of drinking water and provide food aid in rural areas which are in real need.

“They are also supporting the elderly who do not have family or support from the state.

“Sri Lanka has been affected recently by serious terrorist attacks, and the disruption after these will have a further negative impact on the Sri Lankan economy.”

Speaking about the race, he said: “The event was lovely and very well organised, with regular food and water for riders. We had good weather, with friendly riders and great support from residents.”

If you would like to support Mr Dean’s fundraising, please click here

-Photograph courtesy of Velo Birmingham & Midlands

Posted on May 13, 2019 .

Highfields to perform The Addams Family

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We are delighted to announce Highfields’ next production will be musical comedy, The Addams Family, followed by feel-good family favourite, Beauty and the Beast - with auditions now lined up for the school’s budding stage stars.

The Addams Family, which depicts a ghoulish American family with an affinity for all things macabre, will be staged from November 6th-8th and feature students from Years 10-13.

Auditions for the production will take place from 3.30pm on Thursday May 16th, in Room 105.

Beauty and the Beast will be staged from February 26th-28th 2020 with students from Years 7-9.

Auditions for that spectacular will be announced in due course.

Ms S Bishop, Highfields’ Head of Extra Curricular Performance, said: “We’ve already secured the licenses to perform the shows, which are both amazing productions.

“Putting together our shows takes a lot of work over a number of weeks, but the process is always such great fun and a wonderful experience for our students.

“Highfields’ productions are open to all students and we welcome everyone to take part, whether they have had previous experience of performing or none at all.

“Anyone who would like to audition for a principal part in The Addams Family should come along on May 16th, with rehearsals starting soon after that. We can’t wait to get up and running on our next show!”

Summer Schools will also be held for both casts, which will run during the first week of the holidays, from July 22nd-26th.

The Summer School, which will take place from 10am-3pm every day, promises to be a fun packed week during which students will rehearse for the upcoming shows whilst also making some props and costumes for both productions.

Posted on May 12, 2019 .