Fairfield High School
a specialist college in the performing arts

Headteacher   Mr Jeff Hughes, B Ed (Hons), NPQH

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Fairfield High School is now a specialist college for the Performing Arts. The achievement of this award has been our aim for the past five years and, after a great deal of hard work, our vision has become a reality.

The fact that we have been awarded specialist college status means that we can extend and enhance the range of Performing Arts, both for our pupils and for the members of our local community. We also believe that the extra dimension this status has given us will have an impact upon every area of our curriculum.

As a school, our mission statement is to "Enjoy Learning" and, in order for this to become embedded into the daily life of Fairfield High School, we need to focus on the learning and teaching that takes place. We have a responsibility to ensure that what we offer our pupils is relevant, challenging and stimulating. We also feel strongly that successes should be celebrated both formally and informally. The skills and techniques that our pupils gain in the Performing Arts can be appropriately applied across the school. Again, our new status will enable us to develop strategies to enhance the learning opportunities of our pupils.

Whilst we have always considered our role in the community to be vital, the extra resources that have been allocated to us as a result of gaining the status will allow us to implement a programme for all the members of our community. As a performance venue, we are aiming to reflect the work and range of performance offered by the Brindley Arts Centre. In order to gain our status, we had to submit a detailed bid and endeavour to raise E50,000. Writing the bid was the relatively easy part; raising the required sum of money was extremely daunting. Members of the Parent Teacher Association, the pupils, local organisations and individual members of staff all worked tirelessly to try to raise the required amount. In the end, we were fortunate to receive a grant to top-up the money that had been banked.

Once the bid had been submitted, we had to wait. We received a visit from a representative from the Specialist Colleges Trust who checked the contents of the bid and interviewed a number of people. In the end we were informed that we had been successful.

Now our ideal needs to become a reality. We know what we want to do and we also know how we are going to achieve our aim. The next few years will see major developments in Fairfield High School. We do not want to lose our essential ethos but we do want to look towards the future by engaging our pupils, staff and governors in promoting engagement in and enjoyment of learning.

Nick McGee

Deputy Headteacher

Jeff Hughes

Fairfield High School A Specialist College in the Performing Arts

I am very proud of our new title - 'A Specialist College in the Performing Arts'. I like to see it as both a celebration of a fine tradition for excellence in the performing arts and a new symbol for a school that seeks to build a vibrant learning community.

We believe passionately in our "enjoy learning" philosophy and our new status will help us further develop a school where young people: value their learning; engage actively in their learning; persist and persevere when facing new challenges; know the value of teamwork and are prepared to express themselves with growing self-confidence and where the enjoyment of learning is celebrated in performance. Such qualities, so evident in the performing arts, can be a vehicle for raising attainment across all subjects.

We will use this award to develop and provide enhanced facilities and resources which will benefit our pupils and the wider community. Initially, we plan to develop a new Music Technology Suite, a new Drama/Dance Workshop, new changing facilities and improved facilities for community usage. We are looking to launch G.C.S.E. studies in Expressive Arts and Media Studies next year. We will also seek to draw in a wide range of activities that will increase both pupil and community participation in the performing arts. In this sense it is also fitting that our launch concert is to be held at the Brindley Arts Centre, itself a new and exciting venture for Halton, and with whom we hope to develop a long and fruitful partnership.

Finally, may I express our grateful thanks to all those pupils, staff and friends of the school who have worked so hard to help build a strong reputation and who have contributed so much to our new status.

Jeff Hughes


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Fairfield High School, Peelhouse Lane, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 6TE Tel: 0151 423 3571 Fax: 0151 424 3316
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