Football fan Jude in running for national blogging award - Vote here!

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Football-mad student Jude Aston is celebrating after being nominated for a prestigious award for his sporting blogs.

Year 9 student Jude has made it through to the final shortlist of the Football Blogging Awards, which will be held at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium on May 9th.

The Aston Villa supporter has been running his blog, Jude’s Journey, for the past 18 months. It has seen him interview many current and former footballers such as Paul Gascoigne, Jack Grealish and World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles, as well boxing stars such as Tony Bellew.

Jude is in the running to be named Best Young Content Creator at the Football Blogging Awards.

He said: “I feel very privileged to be nominated for an award of this magnitude. To be nominated out of 144,000 people is an achievement in itself! I also feel this could be a platform to get my message across to people that you shouldn’t let anything stop you in life and you can achieve anything you like!”

Budding sports reporter Jude’s blog is available on YouTube, whilst he also uploads his video blogs to his Instagram page.

Please support Jude’s nomination by clicking here and selecting ‘Jude’s Journey’ in the ‘Best Young Content Creator’ category.

Posted on April 12, 2019 .

Highfields unveils latest edition of The H

Our Young Journalists have unveiled the latest edition of the school's magazine, The H.

The magazine is once again packed with news articles and features giving an insight into the many success stories, events and trips over the past term, as well as opinion pieces from students.

A team of Year 11 students make up a core editorial team responsible for sourcing and writing news stories from around school and putting them together into a professional standard newspaper. As the students are now preparing for their GCSEs, they will now be handing over the reins to a new team of budding reporters.

Any students interested in becoming part of The H team can email vnash@hswv.co.uk or tbanks01@hswv.co.uk

To view a digital version of the Spring 2019 edition of The H, click the image below:

Posted on April 11, 2019 .

Robotics challenge puts budding engineers to the test

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A team of talented young engineers showcased their skills as part of a national robotics competition, building and programming robots to take part in a series of aviation aid mission scenarios.

The 10-strong team of KS3 students competed against other teams from the West Midlands as part of the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge.

They are all part of Highfields’ STEM club, led by Miss L Prosser.

The challenge is a curriculum-linked national programme that aims to engage 11-14 year-olds in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects by giving them the chance to learn how to build, program and control autonomous LEGO robots to complete a series of ‘missions’ using LEGO MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 sets. This year the challenge was designed around the distribution of aid, in conjunction with the RAF. The aviation-based missions included collecting and deploying aircraft and personnel, distributing aid and speed racing.

The team organised themselves into sub-teams, each with their own role to play. They designed and presented their robots to engineers from both industry and the military, explaining their designs and how they developed over time into the final robot.

They also researched, planned and presented their own response to a contemporary scientific problem developed by LEGO Education and the RAF.

Miss Prosser said: “Our research sub-team chose to look at how prosthetics and limb replacement has developed over time and how engineers support humanitarian aid in their design.

“All students were praised for their presentation skills, clearly impressing the judges with their response to questions, clarity of explanations and perseverance when things did not go quite the way they planned.”

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Posted on April 9, 2019 .

Students gain Emergency First Aid qualifications

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Sixth Form students have successfully completed a nationally-recognised Emergency First Aid qualification.

Eleven students voluntarily attended three two-hour sessions after school as part of their enrichment activities.

They learnt a range of skills, including CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and use of AED (automated external defibrillator) together with how to treat major bleeding, burns, seizures, choking and fainting.  

The course is organised by Sixth Form Manager, Mrs L Corbett, who said: “This is an essential life skill which will also be a fantastic addition to their University and job applications in the future.” Mrs Corbett runs Emergency First Aid courses throughout the year, with approximately 60 staff and students gaining qualifications during the last year.

Posted on April 9, 2019 .

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 .