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Welcome to Highfields School

Highfields strives to be a positive, disciplined, caring and aspirational school community. We believe in the importance of all aspects of education and we measure success in the many and varied achievements of all our youngsters. We strive to ensure we provide the extended opportunities, support, care and guidance necessary to make Highfields an all round experience for our students. We pride ourselves on our inclusive nature, knowing our students well and on fostering strong relationships with home and the wider community.


Eddie Wilkes


About us

Aims & Values

Highfields School, Matlock, is a community school maintained by the Derbyshire local authority, specialising in Performing Arts. It is a co-educational, day comprehensive school for students aged 11 to 18 years. The school is situated on two sites, 1.8 miles apart, Starkholmes (Years 7 - 8) and Lumsdale (Years 9 - 13).


Our Core Purpose

To be an inclusive, happy community that values every individual and inspires them to achieve their full potential



To achieve our core purpose and values we aim to:

Respect all students and staff as individuals

Celebrate diversity and promote equality

Provide appropriate levels of challenge

Develop understanding and enjoyment of learning

Support and encourage individuals to make a valuable contribution to society

Be a reflective school seeking continuous improvement

Play an active part in the community

Nurture physical and emotional well being

Promote a happy, safe and stable environment


Our values

Inclusion, fairness and equality

Respect and tolerance

Celebration of achievement

Personal reflection, honesty and mutual trust

Care for our environment

Additional support

All students at Highfields follow a broad and balanced curriculum.  The Highfields curriculum is designed to engage and challenge all students to strive to achieve their full potential, both in their studies and in developing as young people equipped to live happy and fulfilling lives in modern Britain and beyond. We aim to develop confident, considerate and successful young people, who enjoy and appreciate the value of learning and citizenship, ready to make positive contributions to their local communities and to society.


Through the Key Stage 3 Learn to Learn programme, and the integration of the 5Rs across the school curriculum, we aim to develop students as effective learners, equipped with the skills and self-awareness required to succeed.  These skills become increasingly important as students progress through the school, and are key to achieving one’s potential.

In Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) students follow a core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Physical Education (PE).  Students then have a choice of four ‘optional’ subjects to specialise in.  We strongly encourage students to consider the choices they make at this stage within the context of the ‘pathways’ open to them Post-16 and beyond.


Students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural education at Highfields is essential to their development as young people.  All curriculum areas contribute to this programme, alongside specialist provision within  Philosophy and Religious Education  and through the Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme which focusses on areas including sex and relationships, careers, health, democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.  At Key Stage 4 we provide a dedicated programme of specialised events and opportunities.  Across the whole school, the pastoral system also performs a vital role in contributing to this provision and providing for the needs of individual students.


At Highfields we belief strongly in the importance of providing students with a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.  These include clubs and teams across the Arts and Sports, as well as additional Academic clubs and student-led groups with particular interests.  We strongly encourage students to participate in such activities both within and outside school, in order to achieve an effective work-life balance.

Learner success

Highfields students celebrate further success

13.08.2015 - Highfields sixth form students are once again celebrating excellent A level results today. Overall 59% of grades are in the A*-B category, with 81% of grades hitting A*-C and an overall pass rate of 99%. These outcomes maintain the school’s excellent track record over the last four years, consolidating the outstanding Ofsted judgement given to the sixth form in 2012. The results also mean that the vast majority of Highfields students will be able to follow their planned route. For many this will be a place at their choice of University, for others a place in employment or further training.


Head of sixth form, Martin Flett is delighted with the results, saying ‘Once again this year our sixth form students have produced excellent outcomes. I am really proud of how hard these youngsters have worked. Their commitment, drive and enthusiasm have made them a great group of youngsters to work with. Beyond their academic achievements they are happy and well-rounded individuals who have made some great contributions to our community.’ His sentiments were added to by assistant head of sixth form, Dave Turner. He pointed out, ‘For year thirteen these achievements represent seven years of hard work. Their examination results are outstanding, but as a group they have contributed so much on so many fronts such as performing arts, sport, Duke of Edinburgh award and mentoring younger pupils. We are very proud of all their achievements and wish them every success in the future’.


Chad Briddon, from Highfields School, achieved straight A*s in Further Maths, Maths and Physics. This was a result which delighted everyone at the school, because Chad overcame a variety of challenges to get these top grades. Head of Maths, Helen Boam, said 'Chad is a wonderful character we will never forget him. An A* in Further Maths is incredibly hard to achieve and it reflected Chad's great potential as he goes to study Physics at Nottingham.' He joins other students with 4A* grades each; Matt Maltby going to Cambridge to study Natural Sciences and Michael Beech going to Bath to study Mechanical Engineering. With 3A* Oliver Johnson is going to Sheffield to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering.


Highfields ‘Class of 2015’ GCSE success

20.08.2015 - The publication of today’s GCSE results sees Highfields School’s ‘Class of 2015’ celebrating some outstanding results. Overall the percentage of pupils gaining 5 A*-C including English and maths stands at 69%, in line with outcomes for the last 2 years. Many students have achieved outstanding individual results, with 35 students gaining 8 or more A*/A grades and 50% of youngsters recording at least 1 A*/A. Whilst these headline figures are excellent, the school is keen to emphasise that the number of students making excellent progress in the key areas of English and maths has improved even further this year, meaning that regardless of ability the vast majority of youngsters have achieved or exceeded national expectations.


Head of Year, Mike Basford said ‘These results represent the outcome of a great deal of hard work by staff and students. It is great to see youngsters achieving as many as 11 A* grades. However, it is also good to see we are achieving excellent progress with students across the ability range, as we look to ensure we have given them the best possible platform for the next stage of their education. These outcomes are particularly pleasing given that we know marking is getting tougher and grade boundaries are being raised nationally.’


Eddie Wilkes commented that the school were delighted with another set of excellent results. He particularly wanted to pay tribute to the leadership of Mike Basford, who retires at the end of August after working for 38 years in the school, both as Highfields and previously as Charles White school. Mr Wilkes commented, ‘The impact Mike has had over the years is immeasurable, but these results are a tribute to his ability to encourage and support every single student that has ever been in his care to achieve their very best. He can retire a happy man.’


Alicia Fairburn - "I did better than I expected and I am very, very happy"

Nicole Argent - "I'm really happy - I didn't think I'd get such good results. Hopefully I'll do medicine in the future and this will really help"

Leila Pankhurst - "I'm glad the hard work has paid off"

Meredith Pankhurst - "I'm going to use it as motivation to do well in sixth form."

How to apply

If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact Highfields School directly.

Last updated date: 20 July 2016

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