Message from the Headteacher

Welcome to Highfield Middle School

Mr Richard Oades

Headteacher

admin@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk
We are a proud school serving the equally proud community of Prudhoe in Northumberland.  Our school has a very positive ethos where all individuals are respected and valued, regardless of age, background or beliefs. We are determined that all pupils will be given equal opportunities to thrive and succeed, and we will challenge and support them to overcome all potential barriers to learning. We aim to provide the highest standards of education and value academic excellence, pupil well-being and personal development in equal measure.

As Headteacher, I am a great supporter of middle schools and a 3 tier education system. I firmly believe that we provide a fantastic school where pupils can grow from children to young adults in a safe, supportive and encouraging environment. Our school takes the best of primary and secondary models, providing a caring and nurturing ethos alongside academic drive, specialist teaching and high quality facilities. Our pupils are given a wealth of opportunities to develop into confident young people, through our school council, prefect system, buddy initiatives, peer mentor programme and equality and diversity team, to name just a few. We believe that we have an excellent pastoral system with very high expectations of our pupils in terms of behaviour and self-awareness.

Our pupils are confident, articulate and mature and are aware of how to keep themselves safe in modern Britain. E-safety and Anti-bullying have a high profile in our school, and we have been commended on our work in this area through our Anti-Bullying accreditation and the prestigious ‘Diana Award’. We are proud of our heritage and promote high moral standards and the core British Values throughout our rich and well-balanced curriculum. Our curriculum strives for excellence in all subjects but we also place high value on providing stimulating, deep learning experiences which embed learning across the curriculum. Our link to Rokana Primary School in Zambia, STEM activities and Enterprise initiatives provide excellent opportunities for pupils to broaden horizons and raise aspirations.  We also provide a wealth of extra-curricular activities and residential trips. All of these experiences help our pupils to develop into well rounded young citizens, who make a positive contribution to the wider community.

In our most recent Ofsted full inspection report (July 2018) we were described as a 'Good' school where:

-The vision of school leaders is to knit together ‘academic excellence, personal
development and well-being’ for the benefit of the pupils in their care. They are
successful in doing so.

-‘Highfielders’ make good progress at school, feel safe and leave Year 8 with a wide
range of skills that prepare them well for the next stage in their education.

-Leaders have ensured that teaching across the school is consistently good. Some is
highly effective in igniting pupils’ curiosity and in pushing them to make rapid gains
in their learning. It is underpinned by warm and caring relationships between pupils
and staff.

-Pupils make good progress across the curriculum. Pupils’ progress from their
starting points, as seen in exercise books, is strong.

-The headteacher is focused on school improvement, shows a level of empathy to
those around him and is bold when difficult decisions need to be made. He carries
the support of his staff.

-The headteacher, together with his deputy headteacher and senior team, has high
expectations and models these effectively.

-Leaders with responsibility for English and mathematics are effective at improving
the quality of teaching and increasing the rates at which pupils make progress in
these subjects.

-Leaders use any additional funding received wisely to improve provision.

-Governors are passionate and ambitious for a high quality of education on offer at
school.

-Teachers have high expectations in subjects across the curriculum. Expert teaching
is leading to particularly strong progress in French, art, music and science.

-Disadvantaged pupils make good progress because they are fully engaged in school
life.

-Staff know their pupils very well, and pupils benefit from effective pastoral care and
guidance.

-Pupils’ welfare is at the heart of school life.

-Pupils are very proud of their school.

-Pupils are courteous, polite and behave well in lessons. They understand and celebrate difference and they show respect for one another and to adults. They are happy at school, and consequently their attendance is good. Pupils behave well.

-‘E-stars’ (equality stars) is a pupil-led initiative which seeks to ensure that there is no
discrimination at school and that all pupils feel included. It is highly effective.
 
-Pupils said that if there was ever any bullying, this would be dealt with swiftly by
adults in school.
 
-The curriculum fosters pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well.

-There is a strong focus on sports and the arts, both within the formal curriculum and
in the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. The annual show is of
particular note.

-Extra-curricular opportunities are strikingly strong at Highfield.

-Systems that are in place to support pupils at transition points are highly effective.

-One parent told inspectors, ‘This is a great school that takes a holistic approach to
teaching by encouraging social and artistic development as well as academic
achievement.’ Such positive comments are typical from parents and carers and
reflect inspection findings well.

I hope you will find a wealth of information on our ever-improving website. Of course, if you wish to see our school for yourself or ask any questions, please call our school office and arrange to visit us. We are always happy to see you.

Best regards,

Richard Oades

Headteacher