At The Highfield School, alongside our challenging classroom teaching, we are very proud of the range of enrichment opportunities we offer our most able students. We offer an impressively wide range of extra-curricular clubs and societies which students are encouraged to attend. In addition to this, some of the highlights of our enrichment programme for students have included university master classes, academic conferences, and fitness training sessions, national debating competitions, national science competitions, musical concerts, drama performances, theatre visits, foreign tours and art exhibitions. We are very proud of all our students’ efforts, and proud that The Highfield School is building on our reputation as a school where high attainment is matched by outstanding opportunities for all. Aspiration for excellence underpins everything we do and this begins even before our students officially join The Highfield School.
School Transition: Year 6 into 7
Before our students join us we aim to inspire so that they aspire. All Year 6 students are given a Year 6 into 7 Challenge Passport with tasks designed to begin their journey to excellence. They can complete these tasks over the summer holidays and bring them to Highfield when they begin in September. These tasks are rewarded and the students begin their Challenge journey.
Years 7 – 9 - Challenge Passport
Highfield Key Stage 3 students are invited to take part in a Challenge Passport throughout their time in the Key stage. This passport is available both in a physical form and virtually on our Challenge Google Classroom. This Challenge Super Curriculum involves students taking part in several independent tasks, linked to different subject areas, designed to take their learning beyond the classroom. The tasks are designed to be engaging and challenging and are tracked by a specialist teacher. Students can work at their own pace and in their own time on these tasks throughout their time in Key Stage 3. For every task completed, the students can achieve House Points and work towards their Silver Challenge Award. Once a student achieves their Silver Challenge Award, they progress to Gold. This involves working with a member of staff to devise a personalised Challenge Passport designed to support individual interests and give the right amount of personal challenge. This fantastic work is then celebrated at our annual Challenge Celebration day where students come off timetable and take part in an enrichment activity such as samba drumming. More importantly however, this passport will develop their minds and hopefully create independence and a love of learning that will support them as they move up through the school.
Below are examples of some of the wonderful work and some of the activities that students have taken part in.
Years 9 – 13 - Higher Education Aspirations
Central to our Challenge programme is raising student aspiration regarding University. The importance of Higher Education is introduced in Key Stage 3 and continues to Year 13. Speakers from a local university and Oxbridge come in and work with the students, and at Key Stages 4 and 5, selected more able students are taken on visits to universities and take part in masterclasses and workshops. Recently, high achieving Year 10 students visited Cambridge University to take part in taster seminars in subjects as diverse as archaeology to the feelings of plants! Year 11 took part in a masterclass delivered by Oxford University based around the poetry of Donne and every year the most able Year 12 students are taken to Cambridge to the Higher education open day. A number of our students have secured places at top Universities including Oxford, Cambridge and other Russell Group institutions to study a wide range of subjects including Medicine, Law, Mathematics, History, Philosophy, Art History and English Literature to name but a few.
Year 12 – EPQ
Something that sets our Highfield Sixth Form apart from other Sixth Forms locally is that all Year 12, alongside their A levels, take part in the EPQ programme of study. This is an accredited qualification, favoured by universities, that allows the students to write an extended dissertation on a subject of their choice. This not only develops critical thinking skills, but also gives students the skills to research and write academically. When our students arrive at university, they are equipped for the rigours of academia. This course is taught as a timetabled lesson throughout Year 12 and we work in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire to give our students access to a university library and the advice and tuition from University academics.
Partnerships and the Wider World of Work
We also encourage our most able to aspire to excellence in the world of work. We try to link with local businesses to offer aspirational opportunities for our students and just recently our Year 7 students worked with a local ice cream parlour to create and present their new ice cream flavours. As a school we work in partnership with the Talent Foundry and in recent years, this has allowed our students to work with Sky Television and Mediacom. Sky Television worked with our students to create a campaign to reduce single use plastic and a group of high ability Year 12 students visited the media agency Mediacom over a period of 6 months to learn about the industry and participate in workshops. This offered our most able students a great insight into competitive industries. We look forward to developing this partnership to offer more challenging opportunities to our most able.
Highfield School Partner Institutions: