Project Description

Highfields College

“Highfields has been on a journey of change this past 3 years, transforming from an old-style Pupil Referral Unit – primarily as a containment centre for excluded students – to a school with a specific focus on rebuilding the child-adult relationship. We are about academic results at Highfields – we have to be. But we are equally about providing an education to a specific cohort that is trauma-informed and attachment-friendly. However, as we have grown in our understanding of our cohort and arrived at a vision, we also realised we cannot be simply about ‘recovery’ and ‘repair’ – but about continued personal growth for our students. This is where the models of Character Education, and all the available resources provided by ACE, have come into play and in a big way. The process of applying for the kitemark and having an assessment visit really helped both celebrate where we are at and what we need to do next. Everything about the process has been constructive – not a ‘box ticking exercise’ but a genuinely rigourous, supportive and validating process.”

Matt Grant, Headteacher

“It is the culture and ethos of a school that enables its character programme to thrive. And it was evident from the assessment that the culture of the school has transformed over the previous 2 years, and the school’s Character 120 programme has been a central pillar to this process. This change has been planned and intentionally driven by the school’s leadership, which has a clear vision of the cultural change required to enable the school’s pupils to flourish.”

Tom Haigh, ACE CEO