Shakespeare celebrated at Arts Festival

Students celebrated the life and works of Shakespeare as part of an action-packed arts festival which attracted hundreds of visitors.

More than 50 students from Highfields, Penn Fields and Wolverhampton College worked together to stage ‘The Shakespearience’, which was held at the City’s Light House.

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It featured free creative workshops for youngsters, film screenings, an animation station, sensory room, live music, poetry recitals and face painting, whilst guests were entertained with dance and drama performances of Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet.

Students spent three months rehearsing for the festival, including giving up some of their Easter holidays to perfect their performances.

Ms S Bishop, Highfields’ Head of Performance, said: “It has been wonderful to collaborate once again with Penn Fields School and Wolverhampton College on this arts festival.

“Everyone involved worked incredibly hard to produce a showcase which truly celebrated the works of Shakespeare.

“All of their efforts were worth it as they succeeded in staging a spectacular showcase which attracted hundreds of visitors throughout the day. It was a fun day for all the family and we were delighted to welcome so many people to celebrate with us.”

Posted on April 23, 2018 .

Students review 'Rivers of Blood' speech for BBC

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Students were shown Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech and had their reactions to it filmed as part of a BBC broadcast marking its 50th anniversary.

A BBC crew visited Highfields to film Politics Reporter, Elizabeth Glinka, and writer, Benjamin Zephaniah, interviewing nine students from Years 12 and 13.

The students were played the entire speech, which controversial former Wolverhampton MP Enoch Powell had delivered in 1968, and had their reactions recorded. The show aired on BBC2’s The Daily Politics Show on Thursday, April 19th.

Mr K Blower, Head of Sixth Form, said: “The BBC particularly wanted to film the views of students in Wolverhampton on the 50th anniversary of the infamous speech as Enoch Powell represented Wolverhampton South West when he delivered it.

“We asked for volunteers and had a number of students come forward who were keen to take part. They thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to comment on a speech that caused a political storm and made Enoch Powell of the most talked about and divisive politicians in the country. They were amazed at how opinions had changed so dramatically in the 50 years since the speech was made.”

One of the students said: “I had heard parts of the speech previously, but not all of it. It is eye-opening to see how opinions have changed over time. It was a brilliant experience and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to take part.”

Another said: “When we were initially told about the opportunity, we researched the speech. We actually thought it wasn’t real. We couldn’t believe this actually happened!”

To watch the BBC report, click here

 

 

Posted on April 20, 2018 .

Footballers crowned Wolverhampton Cup Champions

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Talented footballers are celebrating being named champions of the U13s Wolverhampton Cup.

Highfields' Year 8 team put on a number of impressive performances throughout the tournament to lift the trophy.

Their route to victory saw them beat Smestow 7-2 in round one, before a tough 3-2 win over Colton Hills. A tense game against St Matthias followed, which saw them book their place in the final with a last-minute goal. They won the final match, against Wolverhampton Grammar School, 4-2 to be crowned champions.

The cup final win at Wolves Training Ground comes amid a fantastic season, which has also seen the team win the U13s League having played and won five games. They have also made it through to the Quarter Finals of the West Midlands English Schools FA Cup, which will be played after Easter.

Mr C Brickwood, Highfields’ Head of PE, said: “I am really pleased with the football we have produced this season. We play at a high tempo and move the ball quickly with excellent technical ability. 

“Our clinical finishing in front of goal has seen us devastate some of the local opposition whilst our ability to defend well and hit teams on the counter attack has also got us out of a few sticky situations.

"A huge well done to the whole team for being crowned cup champions, in particular Theo Pope, who was named Man of the Match."

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Posted on March 28, 2018 .

Young waiters serve up top quality service

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Students dished up a top quality service to paying customers as parts of a hands-on work experience in Birmingham.

Year 10 students hoping to pursue a career in Hospitality and Catering or Food and Nutrition were selected to take part in the Young Waiters Academy at University College Birmingham.

Food technology teacher, Ms B Chima, said: “Students were plunged into the deep end where they had to serve 53 paying customers an amazing three-course lunch and also learnt how to prepare various cocktails.

“The diners said how smart the students looked in their uniforms and how polite and helpful they were during the fast-paced lunchtime service. A big well done to all students involved!”

Posted on March 23, 2018 .

Students to stage 'Shakespearience' arts festival

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The life and works of Shakespeare will be celebrated as part of a free action-packed arts festival for all the family.

Students from Highfields, Penn Fields and Wolverhampton College are working together to stage ‘The Shakespearience’ at the Light House, in Fryer Street, on April 21st.

It will feature free creative workshops for kids, film screenings, an animation station, sensory room, live music and poetry recitals, as well as dance and drama performances of Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet to celebrate the Bard’s life and works.

The event, which will run from 12pm-5pm, is free to attend and open to visitors of all ages.

More than 50 students are involved in the project and are currently busy rehearsing on Tuesday evenings. They will also give up some of their Easter holiday to perfect their performances.

Ms S Bishop, Highfields' Head of Performance, said: “It is wonderful to be collaborating once again with Penn Fields School and Wolverhampton College on this exciting arts project.

“Students are currently working very hard to put on a spectacular showcase to celebrate the works of Shakespeare and we are looking forward to seeing the results of their efforts at the festival on April 21st.

“The day will be packed with lots of activities and performances to provide fun for all the family. We hope to see you all there.”

Free tickets for the festival can be booked by searching 'The Shakespearience' in Facebook and clicking 'EVENTS' or scanning the Facebook QR code on the back of promotional flyers that have been distributed around Wolverhampton. They can also be booked by going directly to the Eventbrite website, and searching “The Shakespearience”. There are a maximum of six tickets available for each person. For further information or if anyone would like to be involved as a volunteer or spoken word artist, email emergewolves@gmail.com

Full programme of activities for the Shakespearience festival:

'Shakespearience' has been given coverage in the Express & Star. Click on the image below to read the article:

Posted on March 17, 2018 .

Gifted students 'graduate' from The Brilliant Club

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Gifted students are celebrating after ‘graduating’ from a prestigious academic course as members of The Brilliant Club.

The Brilliant Club is a national award-winning, non-profit, organisation that aims to widen access to top universities for outstanding students.

Twelve talented students from Year 10 were selected to take part in the programme and worked with a PhD university tutor on a psychology project focusing on memory.

As part of the programme, the students visited Warwick University and attended six tutorials before being set a 2,500-word assignment which was graded using university terminology.

All 12 students passed the assignment with four being awarded a First, seven students gaining a 2:1 grade and one achieving a 2:2. They were then invited to celebrate their success at a ‘graduation’ ceremony at the University of Nottingham along with their parents.

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Ms E Buckley, Lead Practitioner with responsibility for More Able students who leads the school’s Brilliant Club project, said: “All students attained impressive results and are the most successful Key Stage 4 students to complete the programme so far.

“We were impressed with the students' focus and independence in completing their final assignment within the deadline. Their tutor, Jessica Runacres, was pleased with the dedication and commitment they showed and said they made incredible progress in such a short space of time.

“Some students moved two grades between their baseline assessment and final project.

“They really enjoyed the project but the highlight for many was attending the graduation ceremony. This was also a personal highlight as we got the chance to celebrate all of their hard work.

“The Brilliant Club works in collaboration with a number of universities to give students in non-selective state schools a taste of university life and encourage aspiration to apply to the exclusive Russell Group universities.

"This is the fourth group of students who have been chosen to take part from Highfields and they had a great experience. We are very proud that all 12 of them passed the assignment and ‘graduated’."

Posted on March 17, 2018 .

Budding engineers build robots at contest

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Budding young engineers have been praised for their skills and innovation after building and programming robots to take part in a series of ‘missions’ as part of a national competition.

The nine-strong team of KS3 students showcased their talents as part of the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge. The team were part of Highfields' STEM club, led by Miss Prosser.

The challenge is a curriculum-linked national programme that gives 11-14 year-olds 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. 

As the event is supported by the RAF, which is celebrating its centenary this year, the challenge had an aviation theme. Students had to complete a series of short ‘missions’, ranging from deploying aircraft and humanitarian aid, to speed racing. They also explained the reasons behind their designs and described how they had managed to overcome any problems they encountered to a judging panel of professional engineers.

Head of Maths & Science Learning School, Mr A Dean, said: “The students spoke with confidence and really impressed the judges with their responses to questions. They also researched, planned and presented their own response to a contemporary scientific problem developed by LEGO Education with the RAF regarding looking at how engineers could support humanitarian aid in the future. Our team chose to research this in terms of prosthetics and limb replacement.

“During the course of the day the students were praised for their exemplary behaviour, teamwork and for their persistence. Special mention was made during the awards session to the research team, with Year 8 student Lauren Poole being singled out for her confidence, eloquence and considered responses to the experts’ questions.”

Posted on March 17, 2018 .

Hospitality students dish up tasty feast

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Hospitality students dished up a tasty feast to showcase their culinary talents and customer service skills.

Students served up the ‘thank you’ lunch to 10 members of staff as part of their Unit 6 Food and Drinks Service task.

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Selected members of staff were invited to tuck into the meal of chicken or vegetable pies with homemade chips and garlic vine tomatoes. The main course was followed by Limoncello possets, chocolate mirror glazed cake and homemade salted caramel ice cream with a tuile biscuit, as well as a selection of petit fours.

Food Technology teacher, Ms L Smith, said: “The students set up the tables for service and waited on staff hand and foot.

“They received extremely positive feedback from staff who said that the food and service was exceptional. They should feel proud of themselves.”

Posted on March 15, 2018 .

Bard to be celebrated in 'Shakespearience' festival

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The life and works of Shakespeare will be celebrated as part of an action-packed arts festival for all the family.

Students from Highfields, Penn Fields and Wolverhampton College are working together to stage ‘Shakespearience’ at the Light House, Fryer Street, on April 21st.

It will feature creative workshops for kids, film screenings, an animation station, sensory room, live music and poetry recitals, as well as dance and drama performances all celebrating the Bard’s life and works.

The event, which will run from 12pm-5pm, is free to attend and open to visitors of all ages.

More than 50 students are involved in the project and are currently busy rehearsing on Tuesday evenings. They will also give up some of their Easter holiday to perfect their performances.

Ms S Bishop, Highfields' Head of Performance, said: “It is wonderful to be collaborating once again with Penn Fields School and Wolverhampton College on this exciting arts project.

“Students are currently working very hard to put on a spectacular showcase to celebrate the works of Shakespeare and we are looking forward to seeing the results of their efforts at the festival on April 21st.

“The day will be packed with lots of activities and performances to provide fun for all the family. We hope to see you all there.”

Posted on March 13, 2018 .

Highfields struck by Greased Lightning!

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Highfields was struck by Greased Lightning as students amazed audiences with this year’s stage spectacular - including one superstar VIP guest.

Months of hard work was rewarded with rave reviews when students took to the stage to perform hit musical Grease.

Among the crowds was soul superstar Beverley Knight, who took time out from her busy schedule to cheer on the cast. Former Highfields student Beverley was in the audience to watch the final performance on Saturday night and took to Twitter to tell her 132,000 followers how much she had loved the showcase.

The show had initially been due to take place from Feb 28th-March 3rd but three performances were called off due to heavy snowfall and had to be rescheduled for the following week. Despite the delay, and unfortunate cast illness which saw some students take on new roles at the last minute, the show was another resounding success.

Ms S Bishop, Head of Performance, said: “We are incredibly proud of every student who has given their all over the past few months to put on another fabulous show. 

“Our annual musical productions at Highfields have gained a fantastic reputation and we always strive to stage showcases to the highest standard. Rehearsals are always great fun but the extraordinary amount of hard work that our students put in week after week cannot be underestimated. This is why it was so disappointing that three of our original shows had to be cancelled due to the snow.

“However, our fabulous cast and band refused to let a bit of snow dampen their spirits and they were back ready to entertain audiences for the rescheduled shows a week later - even with a few late cast changes due to illness. 

“They were given an extra boost when former Highfields student, Beverley Knight, confirmed she would be in the audience for the final show. Having nurtured her performance talent at Highfields as a teenager - including playing Sandy in the school’s last version of Grease many years ago - Beverley has gone on to enjoy global fame.

“She has always been an avid supporter of her former school and it was an honour to have her in the audience. Our students were absolutely thrilled she was there to watch them and she said she was hugely impressed with their performances.

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“To all of the students involved, I just want to say a huge ‘well done’. You were phenomenal and should be incredibly proud.”

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

The showcase was the second collaboration with neighbouring Penn Fields School for the annual production and students had rehearsed every Thursday evening and some Saturdays since October. 

Take a look at our gallery of photographs:

Posted on March 12, 2018 .