As everyone is aware our school is to take delivery of a shiny new building later this year. Our current school is old and tired and is certainly not fit for purpose. Some parts of the building are actually dangerous and are ‘off limits’ to the staff and children. This is fantastic news and the whole school is very excited. There is however a slight downside to this as the school will be totally empty. There will be no specialist equipment, no furniture or any of the things that our children and young people need to succeed and to progress in their learning.
Many different people have raised funds for us over the course of the last twelve months and we are extremely grateful to them for their help. There will be further blogs to follow detailing those who have helped us. Today’s post is dedicated to one group of young people.
We are fortunate enough to have Blackpool Sixth Form College right next door to us. I cannot speak highly enough of the young people who attend this college. Two of their teachers, Jon McLeod and Nichola Coleman decided to raise funds for our new school building. Nichola leads the Student Ambassadors, similar to our School Council. The group of young people and their teachers visited our school and spent time touring our dilapidated classrooms and most importantly talking to our children. As a group they then pledged to raise £1000 to help our children and young people. They suggested several activities that they thought our children might be able to participate in. The activities included the sale of cakes at the interval of three of their drama performances and also car washing. Our children thoroughly enjoyed this activity as the pictures show.
The next activity was head shaving. Three Sixth Form students had their heads shaved in a totally selfless act in honour of our children and young people. Every credit to these young people for this superb effort. Their College should be so proud of them.
Further suggestions from the Sixth Form include participation in the Blackpool 10K fun run. If any parents or Carers would like to register and push our students in wheelchairs please do so. We would be thrilled to receive any donations from the 10K run. Miss Cherry and Miss Baines, two of our teachers are completing the run for school. Go girls!
Jon McLeod is also thinking of entering a Marathon later in the year to raise funds. Thank you Jon.
As a school we would like to say a whole hearted thank you to the staff and students at the Sixth Form. They have already far exceeded their target and are continuing to raise more funds. Thank you everyone. We appreciate your help and kindness.
This week was a very exciting week for Highfurlong. We had entered the Blackpool Evening Gazette Education Awards and we were anxiously awaiting the results.
We believe we have the best Newly Qualified Teacher on the Fylde Coast with Miss Jasmine Cherry. We also believe that our school is the Best Primary and Secondary School in the area. We had entered the awards accordingly and hoped to win one of these two prizes to reflect our hard work and the achievements of our children and young people. We were short listed for both of these awards.
On Monday evening several staff and some children turned out in force to The Tower Ballroom to watch the prestigious awards. The children were a credit to the school as the opening speeches took some time to complete. They sat patiently and waited.
Eventually it was time for the NQT of the year award. Miss Cherry faced some steep competition from some highly talented newly qualified teachers. Then came the announcement, Miss Cherry had won! We were all absolutely thrilled, and the children hurried down the red carpet to join Miss Cherry in collecting her award. Well done Miss Cherry, we are very proud!
The next award in which we were involved was Best Primary School. Highfurlong is an all through school and therefore this award would be for all staff and pupils. Once again we were up against some very stiff competition. There was near silence as the speaker called out ‘And the winner is…. Highfurlong’! All staff and students hurried to the stage for this one. We were absolutely thrilled to have won! There was a general air of excitement as we all piled on to the stage to receive the award.
There was a further award this week for our retired Head Teacher Mr Eddy Jackson. He was awarded his MBE from Prince William for his services to children with disabilities. Once again this is a huge honour for Highfurlong and we are proud that Mr Jackson was our Head Teacher.
The school continues to go from strength to strength under the strong leadership of our current Head Teacher Mrs Sycamore. She has created a school which has received its 3rd Outstanding Ofsted and its 2nd Investors in People Gold Award.
Keep an eye on this blog for more news of our talented and successful school community.
We would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Eddy Jackson who received his MBE from Prince William yesterday.
Eddy received his award for his services for children with additional needs. He was Headmaster for 23 years at Highfurlong and was well loved for everything he did for our children.
Eddy had a fantastic day. Past and present pupils and staff are all very proud to know him and to be a part of the school.
Well done Eddy.
Yesterday Highfurlong hosted a Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance training course for Teaching Assistants.
We were very pleased to be able to facilitate this and the course was well received by all the teaching assistants who attended.
Highfurlong are proud to announce that we will be involved in delivering further courses as part of our role as strategic partner in the Teaching School alliance in the near future.
Watch out for further updates.
As a school we are very knowledgable about genes and how they work. We are also aware that sometimes they do not work effectively and some of our children are very poorly as a result of this.
The charity ‘Jeans for Genes’ raises money for Genetic Disorders UK and aims to change the world for children with genetic disorders. 1 in 25 children born in the UK, more than 30,000 babies are affected by by genetic disorders. Their associated heath problems mean that genetic disorders are the biggest cause of death in children under 14 years.
This year Jeans for Genes Day took place on 19th September. Every child and every member of staff wore their jeans to school for the day and made a donation. We held a special assembly and discussed the children who are more poorly than some of our own children and thought of ways we can help them. We are very proud of our children as they rose to this challenge despite their own additional needs.
This year we decided to enter a Jeans for Genes Day competition. The mission was to design Spongebob’s Jeans. Most of the children and young people designed a pair of jeans for Spongebob and had great fun doing so. The children and young people of Highfurlong School are very creative!
Highfurlong are in the top 10 at the moment. The judges are continuing with their work and will let us know as soon as possible. We will keep readers informed.
As has been widely reported in the media our school is receiving a new building next August. Our old building is no longer fit for purpose and is falling down around us. This of course is wonderful news and the staff and children are thrilled. However, as with most things, there is a slight downside to all of this, there is no money available for new furniture. We are in a position where we will have to take our old and battered furniture with us in to the new building. Much of this is also not fit for purpose and may not even survive the journey to the new building. Our Head Teacher, Mrs Rosie Sycamore has launched a fund raising campaign to try to alter this situation. The target is set for £100, 000 and many of our staff and students have completed wonderful feats to help towards this target.
One such feat was completed by Mr Graham Sunners, our PE teacher. He set himself the enormous task of cycling from London, Buckingham Palace to Highfurlong to raise a considerable sum towards our target. I should add that Graham keeps himself incredibly fit by going to the gym, playing golf, cycling and he was once an Olympic runner. Around school he is always running, he never stands still and is the most energetic PE teacher we have ever had. Even for Graham this was still a considerable undertaking.
He set off on from school on Sunday at midday with his bike in the back of the school mini bus. He was supported by Mr Neil Tinkler who is our Site Supervisor. Neil had volunteered to drive the bus back and keep a check on Graham along the way. Graham and Neil arrived in Dunstable, 30 miles outside of London and checked in to their hotel. ‘The Highway Man’ kindly gave them free meals as their contribution to the charity cycle. On Sunday night Graham cycled in to the centre of London to take photos outside Buckingham Palace to show the starting point.
On Monday morning Graham set off on his bike at 8. 00 am. The temperature was soaring which made the ride even tougher. Graham and Neil were wearing T Shirts which proudly said ‘London to Blackpool Sponsored bike ride. Text High 02 to 70070’. This of course gave our school much publicity along the way.
On the first day Graham covered 110 miles. Absolutely fantastic in temperatures of over 80 degrees. Seven hours sweltering on a cycle really shows true grit and determination.
The stop over for the night was in Derby at ‘King’s Highway’. This hotel very kindly gave reduced prices and threw in breakfast and evening meal. Thank you to them. Also in Derby they were stopped by a man who saw the T Shirts and recognised the school name as he was from Cleveleys. He listened to the cause and then donated £10. Thank you Steve from Cleveleys!
On day 2 Graham set off at 7 30. He reported that this was the worst part of the whole journey. Again the sun was beating down and in Graham’s words ‘the hills were horrible around Stoke’. Their plan was to stop in Swinton for lunch but everywhere was closed. He travelled along the A6 to Over Houlton and stopped for a quick bite to eat. Graham and Neil then parted and missed each other at the next check in point along the route. There was some confusion as Neil held back with the bus to check that Graham was fine while Graham carried on cycling oblivious to the fact that Neil had no idea where he was. Eventually Neil texted him and found that Graham was in Kirkham while Neil was waiting for him in Chorley!
Back at school a sizeable group of staff stayed behind to welcome the pair back. We tied a yellow ribbon around the entrance to the gates and a huge cheer went up as he cycled in. He arrived back at 4 50 PM and from looking at him no one would believe he had cycled 250 miles in 2 days. Well done Mr Sunners! We are very very proud of you.
Thank you to everyone who has sponsored Graham on this impressive trip. If you would like to donate you can do so by sending money in to the school.