Highfields Main Building (KS4)

The Highfields site is split into two separate areas – the Main Building and the Extension Building. The Main Building is where KS4 students are based – here they study core GCSEs alongside engaging and varied vocational subjects.


The Main Building has twelve groups located in 4 separate Class Bases, made up mainly of Key Stage 4 students (Y10, Y11).

The first-contact for this area is the Form Tutors – please contact reception to arrange a telephone conversation or a face-to-face meeting:

  • 1a – Mrs Portnell
  • 1b – Miss Sattar, Mrs Axford
  • 1c – Mrs Tierney, Mrs Rowe
  • 2a – Mr Spurrier, Mr Hevingham, Mrs Harrop
  • 2b – Mrs Hallam, Mr Babbage, Mrs Hare
  • 2c – Ms Greenhalgh, Mr Barlow
  • 3a – Ms Fletcher, Ms Kemp, Mrs Sidibeh
  • 3b – Mr Nadarali, Miss Rowles
  • 3c – Mrs Gascoyne, Mr Kalantari
  • 4a – Mr Wilkinson, Miss Dunn, Mrs Bell
  • 4b – Mrs Cheshire, Mrs Marshall
  • 4c – Miss Tebbutt, Miss Dunn, Mrs Bishop


The Main Building operates as follows:

  • Start: 9:20am
  • Mon to Thurs Finish: 3:00pm
  • Fri Finish: 1:15pm

You will note students start later than a typical school day, this is to allow time for those students who travel across the town.


The aims of area are as follows:

  • Provide ‘focused respite’ in terms of breaking cycles of conflict, often rooted in high-anxiety and fight responses.
  • Provide an alternative educational environment that will likely lead to more successful outcomes in terms of achievement of GCSEs / qualifications.
  • Provide a smaller, specialist setting whereby a young person with questions around the nature of their needs can be placed under a ‘gentle scrutiny’ through observation and assessment.
  • Provide a programme of purposeful, personalised learning, mentoring and enrichment that will make inroads into a young person’s perspective of themselves, others and the value of learning – with a view to them making a positive transition to their next educational environment (be that their ‘home school’, a new school or readiness for post-16 provision).
  • Establish / re-establish working relationship between school professionals, family and any outside agencies.
  • Provide opportunity for more thorough, specialist assessment by Educational Psychologist and/or HYMs alongside EHC Plan referral where appropriate.
  • Facilitate and support, in partnership with mainstream schools, a programme of partial reintegration to widen the curriculum opportunities for each young person and maintain their experience of a larger educational environment in preparation for their post-16 transition.


The cohort is currently split into 12 classes of up to 8 students (i.e. 96 student places in total). The building has 4 ‘Class Base’ areas which contain an annex / shared area alongside 3 classrooms. The building also has specialist classrooms for Science, Computing, Cooking, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Design Tech, Art and PE staffed by specialist subject teachers and experienced teaching assistants.

The students follow a specific curriculum which is outlined here: Curriculum Overview 23 – 24 – KS4 Main Building

More detailed summaries of schemes of work for KS4 can be accessed here: Subject Summaries. Whilst working towards academic goals (i.e. GCSE grades, Functional Skills qualifications), our curriculum also seeks to develop the whole person through the ‘Character 120’ approach which sees every lesson carry a personal development goal alongside subject goals.

In terms of qualifications available, we offer a tiered range of qualifications and accreditations. We offer up to 7 GCSEs for those able and engaged enough to take them. We also offer a much wider range of vocationally-orientated qualifications than mainstream schools.

The way we track and report performance at Highfields College is to assign each of above qualifications and accreditations a ‘valuation score’ – this means how much value the qualification / accreditation carries. With GCSEs, the score is the same as the grade – so a grade 4 carries a score of 4. With other qualifications, each one carries a specific score as outlined below. Our students tend to combine together a variety of qualifications, creating a Record of Achievement they can use to shape their next steps at post-16.

This is not a standardised model accepted by all colleges and employers but it does reflect professional judgement and dialogue with local college partners.

Our curriculum at KS4 includes a regular careers input which is outlined here: Careers at Highfields.