Visitors welcome to Open Morning 2017

Hundreds of prospective students and parents are set to flock to Highfields for the school's annual Open Morning, where they can meet our students and staff, get a glimpse of the facilities and take part in dozens of interactive workshops and activities showcasing what the school has to offer.

The Open Morning will take place from 10am to 12.30pm on Saturday, September 23rd.

Hands-on scientific experiments, Guitar Hero music challenges, performances of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, sports displays, pizza making demonstrations and psychology experiments are among the many activities lined up for the hundreds of visitors expected on the day. Visitors can also learn how to pack a rucksack as part of a Duke of Edinburgh display and put forensics to good use to find the 'criminal' by taking fingerprints and analysing shoe prints and fibres in our lab. A cake sale will be held on the day to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Headteacher, Mr G.Tate, will speak to parents in The Lyceum at 10.15am, 11am and 11.45am.

Mr Tate said: “Our Open Morning provides a wonderful opportunity for prospective students and visitors to get a feel for the many things we offer at Highfields.

"At Highfields, 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 relish the opportunity to open our doors to visitors to showcase what our school is all about and everything that makes Highfields so special."

Visitors who would like to see Highfields at work during the day should call Mrs Thomas on 01902 556530 to arrange an appointment on one of the following dates:

  • Tuesday 26th September at 9:30am or 11:30am
  • Wednesday 27th September at 9:30am or 11:30 am
  • Thursday 28th September at 9:30am or 11:30am 
  • Tuesday 3rd October at 9:30am or 11:30am
  • Wednesday 4th October at 9:30am or 11:30am
  • Thursday 5th October 1t 9.30am or 11.30am
  • Tuesday 10th October at 9:30am or 11:30am
  • Wednesday 11th October at 9.30am or 11.30am

The Open Morning comes after Highfields celebrated another outstanding set of GCSE results - with 109 students achieving the highest gradings of 7 or above in English or Maths. A total of 71% of students achieved a standard pass in both English and Maths, whilst half of all students achieved the new strong pass in both subjects. Thirty students achieved the highest Grade 9 rating in English Literature and English Language, out of just 13,000 nationally, whilst Gurkeerat Sandhu attained a 9 grading in English Literature, English Language and Maths - one of just 2,000 students nationally to do so. He also achieved another 5 A* and two A grades.

 

 

 

 

School Prospectus 2017-18

School Prospectus 2017-18

Exam results 2017

Exam results 2017

Open Morning Programme 

Open Morning Programme 

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Posted on September 21, 2017 .

Time running out to visit wolf trail

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There are just days left to get a glimpse of Wolverhampton’s colourful trail of wolf sculptures - including one designed by talented art students from Highfields. 

The 5ft sculptures are on display across the city as part of the Wolves in Wolves project, Wolverhampton’s biggest ever public art event. Thirty sculptures have been placed around the city at points of interest, allowing people to explore its best attractions. 

Students were selected by members of staff from the Art department to transform the school’s wolf into a colourful piece of art before it took its place outside the Civic Centre as part of the city-wide sculpture trail.

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They worked on the design with representatives from WV Active, which has sponsored the sculpture, called ‘Zeus’. It includes blue swirls to represent the city’s swimming pools and silhouettes to showcase the many activities on offer at its leisure centres, as well as the colours of the Highfields logo. 

The trail ends on Sunday, September 24th, before the wolf sculptures are auctioned off for charity.

Art teacher, Ms P Thomson, said: “There are 30 stunning sculptures on display so I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet seen them to go out and hunt them all down before the trail ends.”

Wolves in Wolves has been organised by The Outside Centre and Enjoy Wolverhampton, with support from Wolverhampton City Council.

The project has drawn comparisons with The Big Hoot, which saw colourful owl sculptures placed around Birmingham to raise cash for the city’s Children’s Hospital.

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Posted on September 21, 2017 .

Students get experience in world of work

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Students got a taste of the careers they are hoping to pursue in future when they spent a week out on work experience.

Year 11 students spent the first week of term on work experience with companies from a range of industries, including law, emergency services, health & beauty, theatre, retail, pharmaceutical, banking, education, veterinary, mechanics and hospitality.

Mr C Rhodes, Year 11 Manager, said: “Work experience provides students with a wonderful opportunity to get a taste of the careers they are interested in.

“For many of them, it has confirmed the career paths that they want to take in the future, whilst others have decided that maybe they should pursue other career options.

“We would like to say a big thank you to all of the businesses and organisations that allowed our students to do their work experience with them. It is incredibly important that they get this introduction to work as they head into their last year of school.”

Arrangements for next year's work experience placements will start over the coming weeks.

Posted on September 21, 2017 .

Grease is the word!

Highfields is gearing up for its latest musical spectacular, Grease!

Students are now being encouraged to register their interest in being part of the showcase.

Auditions for principal parts will take place from 3.30pm next Wednesday, September 27th. Those wanting to audition are being asked to perform a song of their choice on their own, in pairs or maximum groups of four. Rehearsals will then start after school on Thursday, October 5th and will run every week until the show.

The production is set be staged from February 28th – March 3rd 2018 and will be open to all students who would like to take part.

The showcase will be the second collaboration with neighbouring Penn Fields School for the annual production and comes following the massive success of past performances that have set the bar high for upcoming shows.

Grease is one of the most successful and popular of all time, featuring a host of uplifting and elevating songs, including Summer Nights, Greased Lightning, We Go Together and Born To Hand Jive.

The musical follows the story of a wholesome, pure and friendly exchange student, Sandy Olssen and a summer romance with a proud, stubborn leather-clad Danny Zuko. But will the romance be able to survive the pressure of High School cliques?

The showcase follows Highfields’ hugely successful productions of High School Musical, Our House and Hairspray that have involved thousands of students and attracted sell-out crowds.

Rehearsals for the full cast will take place every Thursday after school whilst there will also be rehearsals for main characters and dancers on some Saturdays.

Ms S Bishop, Head of Performance, said: “We are delighted to have secured the license for Grease as our next musical showcase.

“The annual production provides students with a wonderful experience of performing in front of live audiences on stage. We are proud to be staging our annual musical in collaboration with Penn Fields for the second year and hope to see hundreds of students from both schools involved.

“Grease is an iconic musical that has transcended generations. It features some very catchy songs that we guarantee will have the audience dancing and singing along.

“It promises to be another fantastic production for Highfields and we are all excited to be starting work on what promises to be another fantastic show.”

Grease was first performed in 1971 in Chicago and was later turned into a hugely successful film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

Take a look at some photographs from our previous shows:

Posted on September 21, 2017 .

Victory! Brilliant Brian to stay in UK and study at Oxford

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Genius former Highfields student Brian White has won his battle to stay in the UK and take up his hard-earned place at Oxford University after an overwhelming national campaign that saw him receive support from tens of thousands of people and the UK media.

The talented Chemistry scholar faced having his dream of studying at the world’s best university snatched from his grasp and being deported to Zimbabwe when his application for a student grant was refused because he no longer had permission to live in the UK.

Having been refused indefinite leave to remain, the 21-year-old’s life was left in limbo for over a year whilst he appealed against the decision.

Brian had been due to start at Oxford in September 2016 and the university’s Lady Margaret Hall had taken the rare step of putting his place on hold for 12 months whilst he fought to stay in the UK. He has spent that time living with Martin Leigh, the partner of Highfields teacher Ms S Bishop, whilst the appeal process took place.

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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, (pictured with Brian right) 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.

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After months of waiting for his future to be decided, he was delighted to receive a call from lawyer, Mr Louis MacWilliams, confirming the news he had been waiting for. He is now busy preparing to start at Oxford later this month.

Brian - who studied for his GCSEs and A-Levels at Highfields after arriving in the UK at 15 - said: "I let the information sink in for about five to 10 minutes. Then I started ringing everybody round to say thank you. I owe so many people so much.

“I have been offered a great opportunity in life and intend to take it with both hands and make the most of it.”

Ms Bishop, who has supported Brian at every step of his campaign, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to get this result - just over the moon.

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"We were feeling really helpless just waiting as time ran out for him. The petition was a last throw of the dice and the response was just overwhelming.

"Brian is much more than just an outstanding pupil. He is a young man who has the potential to make a massive contribution to this country. We are delighted so many people, including the Home Office, agree with us.”

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 - following the offer to study chemistry at Lady Margaret Hall after he got 3 A*s and an A in A Levels last year - was rejected when it was discovered he had inadvertently overstayed his temporary visa and faced deportation.

Brian’s lawyer, Louis MacWilliam, said: “The Home Office has given Brian indefinite leave to remain and finally rectified the apparent error that was committed when he first arrived in this country. They have corrected something of an injustice.”

Take a look at just some of the national coverage Brian's plight received:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-41152694

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2017/09/04/brian-white-oxford-bound-wolverhampton-student-wins-battle-to-stay-in-the-uk/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/04/brian-white-student-with-oxford-university-place-wins-battle-to-remain-in-uk

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/brian-white-oxford-stay-uk_uk_59ad7c78e4b0b5e531001a7c

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/home-office-student-deportation-brian-white-oxford-university-botswana-a7929656.html

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/brian-white-zimbabweborn-genius-granted-right-to-stay-in-uk-and-take-up-oxford-university-place-a3626701.html

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/education/2017/09/05/brian-white-ill-grasp-this-opportunity-with-both-hands/

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/2017/08/31/beverley-knight-gets-behind-brian-white-in-bid-to-secure-british-citizenship-and-go-to-oxford-university/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/orphan-who-adopted-britain-won-11079043

https://www.buzzfeed.com/fionarutherford/meet-the-student-who-cant-take-up-his-oxford-uni-place?utm_term=.sc0xglqOW#.vwW7BdqLN

 

Posted on September 7, 2017 .

Swaziland adventure for intrepid team

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An intrepid group of students and staff from Highfields spent two weeks of their summer holidays on a life-changing trip to Swaziland.

The 13-strong group spent months preparing for the intensive expedition in July, which challenged their mental and physical strength.

Adventurous Highfields students chose the small African kingdom as the destination for the  mission and were involved with all elements of planning and decision-making for the trip. The adventure aimed to improve their teamwork and leadership skills, help them to become more globally aware, boost their confidence and self-esteem, all of which would also enhance their employment prospects.

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As well as an acclimatisation period, which saw students introduced to the local produce available and tasked with funding, planning and preparing a menu to feed the whole team during their time away, a huge focus of the trip was a four-day community project. 

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This important phase of the trip gave them the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the community and involved working with a local builder to build a kitchen facility in the community camp site in order to attract more tourism to the village. They also learnt more about the conservation of precious water resources and basic sanitation at the same time as developing global citizenship skills through facing the challenges of living and working in the developing world.

The team then embarked on a four-day expedition through Malolotja National Park, trekking up to 11 km per day to give them a chance to experience Swaziland’s stunning natural beauty before a two-day rest and relaxation period at the Hlane National Park surrounded by lions, hippos, zebras, giraffe, elephants, antelope, and birds. 

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Students hosted a number of fundraising events to go towards the thousands of pounds it cost to make the trip possible, including hosting raffles, cake sales, quiz nights, car washes and discos.

Highfields’ Community Engagement Officer Lisa Corbett, who accompanied students on the trip along with two other staff members - Wayne Harrison and Aman Beesla - said that the trip had been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the team.

“The students were in charge of the planning of all elements of the trip,” she said. “They chose the destination based on a number of factors, including the fact that it is somewhere they would not normally have access to, providing a number of challenges and a real opportunity for them to make a difference to a local community in Swaziland.

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“We spent months preparing for the trip, including working on our fitness levels as we had to reach a certain standard for us to be allowed to travel.

“It was certainly not just a holiday, and it really challenged us physically and mentally but we all enjoyed every single moment and it was an experience none of us will ever forget. It really was life-changing for us all.”

The trip was organised in conjunction with World Challenge, a leading organisation behind life-changing school expeditions, which provides 24-hour support and expertise for educational trips abroad.

Take a look at a gallery of pictures from the Swaziland adventure:

Posted on September 7, 2017 .

Shakespeare in the spotlight at summer school

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Talented young actors spent a week of the summer studying the works of Shakespeare, before bringing one of his plays to life on stage.

Dozens of youngsters took part in this year’s Shakespeare Summer School, which ran during the first week of the holidays.

Students spent Monday to Wednesday rehearsing The Bard’s comedy Twelfth Night before taking a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to watch the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company perform Julius Caesar on Thursday. Having been inspired by the professionals, they then performed their short play in front of family and friends on Friday.   

Ms S Bishop, Head of Performance, said: “Our Shakespeare Summer School is always a popular event on the calendar and this year was no exception.

“The students did a great job of bringing to life one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies. They worked very hard during an intensive week of rehearsals and the trip to see the Royal Shakespeare Company provided the perfect inspiration for their own fantastic performance to end the week on a high.”

Posted on September 7, 2017 .

Raise the roof by joining our Community Choir!

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Students, staff, relatives and friends of Highfields and Penn Fields are being invited to raise the roof by joining a popular Community Choir, which is returning after the summer break.

The Highfields and Penn Fields Community Choir will hold its first rehearsal after the holidays on Wednesday, September 13th. It will then meet every Wednesday from 5.45pm-7pm in Penn Fields School.

The choir was launched in March as the latest link-up between Highfields School and Penn Fields School. It is led by ‘choir master’ Andy Womble, from Wolverhampton Music Service.

Highfields’ Head of Performance, Ms S Bishop, said: “The choir grew in strength, numbers and volume before the summer holidays and we would love to invite even more people to join now we are back.

“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!”

Refreshments will be provided at choir meetings and it is hoped crèche facilities will be available if required from September 20th.

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Posted on September 7, 2017 .

Horrors of Third Reich brought to life on emotional trip

History was brought to life for Highfields students during an emotionally-charged trip to Germany and Poland, as they stepped into the past to learn about the horrors of Hitler’s Third Reich.

The week-long coach trip to Berlin and Krakow is an established fixture on the school calendar which takes place every two years and allows students to reflect on the inhumanity and brutality of the Second World War.

Students spent three days in Berlin where they visited sites with dark memories of the work of Hitler and the Nazis - including the stunningly moving Memorial to the Jews of Europe. They also saw the remnants of the divided city, the eastern part of which was stranded in the Communist block until 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down, and visited other important landmarks including the DDR Museum and German Bundestag.

The group then travelled to Poland and the medieval city of Krakow where students were given some free time to explore and visit the famous salt mines. However the main reason for the visit – a tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp - was never far from their minds. Students spent a sombre morning touring the vast and terrible Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau death camps, set up in the Second World War by the Nazis with the express purpose of eliminating the Jews and other minorities.

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Trip organiser, Mrs C Hall, said: “Highfields has been taking student groups on the exciting and exhausting coach journey to Berlin and Krakow for many years now.  Started by the History Department to build students’ understanding of the terrible story of Hitler’s Third Reich, the tour has become something of a school tradition, regarded as equally important to all students with a wish to learn about humanity in the modern world.

“There is much to reflect on for the students, who witness much evidence of the cruelties and inhumanity of brutal dictatorships, but there is also much optimism in the recovery of the bright and busy city of Berlin and the way nations are moving forward together following the horrors of the past.”

 

Teacher, Mr D Cooper, who accompanied students on the trip has summed up the experience:

Organised by the History department, the recent school wide visit to the German capital Berlin and Polish city Krakow offered staff and students so much more than just a visit to the past.  With excellent curriculum links to English, Citizenship and RE as well as History, students were immersed in a variety of experiences and visits which broadened both their knowledge and life experience.

A city walking tour of Berlin enabled students to witness first hand the impact of both the Second World War and post-war hostilities, with evidence of conflict; bullet holes, bombing destruction and post-war division in the form of the Berlin wall scattered amongst the beautiful old and stunningly modern architecture of the now cosmopolitan city.  Students paid a visit to the Brandenburg Gate, the Eastside Gallery and the site of the famous Nazi book burning, where thousands of literary works were burned because they did not meet the Nazi ideal.

Students also visited the DDR museum, which gave them a wonderful interactive insight into life on the east side of Berlin during post-war Soviet rule.  A visit to the German Bundestag, the parliament building, which has become iconic to so many of Germany’s 20th Century struggles, was a particular highlight. Students were able to sit in the public gallery and see for themselves the room in which German government meets.  

Evidence of Soviet fighting in those famous last days of the war as the Third Reich fell is littered all over the building, beautifully preserved to act as a reminder of the German battle for Democracy. There was even chance to walk past the door of Angela Merkel,  although she was not in her office at the time!

Perhaps the most poignant visit was made just outside of the centre of Berlin, in Wannsee, where students visited the property which hosted the infamous Wannsee Conference of January 1942.  The idyllic house is situated on a beautiful lake, where just across the water many Germans holidayed each year.  It is here that high ranking Nazi officials decided upon the ‘Final Solution’; a decision which sealed the fate of millions of Jews in the three years that followed.  The visit served as a stark reminder of what happens when humanity fails and provided much needed context for our trip to Krakow.

In the beautiful Medieval city of Krakow, students enjoyed free time to look around the square and visit the oldest market hall in Europe. Students were able to get a real feel of the city with a visit to their famous salt mines.  A two-hour underground tour provided a fascinating overview of both the economic and industrial context of Krakow, a much needed change of context from the morning visit to Auschwitz.

The visit to Auschwitz was in many ways the pinnacle of the visit. It is hard to describe the atmosphere, the nature and reaction of the place. Even for those of who visited, it perhaps clouded our perception of the events of the Holocaust rather than clarify them. The visit was divided into two parts; Auschwitz I: The site of the concentration and work camp, and Auschwitz II: Better known as Birkenau, with its infamous railway lines and huge imposing watch tower. 

The trip was ended perfectly with a visit to a Jewish museum in Kazimierz, the Jewish district of Krakow.  Here students met with a Holocaust survivor, and listened impeccably to her story which was delivered in Polish and translated by a museum curator for us.  Walking back to the main square of Krakow to begin our journey home, we were able to walk through some of the streets in Kazimierz and take in the atmosphere, including some sites which were famously filmed in Steven Spielberg’s production Schindler’s List. It was a very fitting end to a wonderful trip enjoyed by both staff and students alike.

 

 

 

Posted on September 7, 2017 .

GCSE result success for students

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Highfields is celebrating yet another outstanding set of GCSE results - with 109 students achieving the highest gradings of 7 or above in English or Maths.

A total of 71% of students achieved a standard pass in both English and maths, whilst half of all students achieved the new strong pass in both subjects.

Thirty students achieved the highest Grade 9 rating in English Literature and English Language, out of just 13,000 nationally, whilst Gurkeerat Sandhu attained a 9 grading in English Literature, English Language and Maths - one of just 2,000 students nationally to do so. He also achieved another 5 A* and two A grades. 

Sixty percent of students achieved a Grade 7 and above, or an A* and A, whilst 32% of students got three or more 7-9 or A* and A grades. (Grade 7 is equivalent to an A grade/ Grade 8 is equivalent to A* and Grade 9 is the new highest attainment grade)

Additionally, special congratulations go to Tasha Bagri, Jeevan Bains, Akaal Basra, Jacob Davis, Ekrahh Dawood, Emma Deakin, Shiv Julka, Emily Round, Tamzin Sandhu, Davinder Singh and Simran Uppal, who all achieved 11 grades of 7-9, A* or A.

Mrs N Clifton, Head of Upper School, said: “We are very proud of the effort and achievement of all students and staff. I would like to thank all parents for their hard work and continued support and wish our students all the very best of luck for the future.”

Take a look at our gallery of GCSE celebration pictures:

Posted on August 24, 2017 .