The Highcrest Academy


The Highcrest Academy opened in 2001 as a Fresh Start School called Highcrest Community School. It was officially the 23rd worst school in the country and under the current leadership was transformed to a school that was given Ofsted Outstanding in November 2010. Highcrest currently operates as a Secondary Modern in a selective system where 40% of students are ‘creamed off’ to the Grammar Schools. It has high levels of deprivation, EAL, SEN, FSM and attainment on entry is significantly below national levels and is the lowest in the whole county. The school offers an expanding range of A-level and BTEC courses to students from the local area. Over 50% of our students received the 16-19 Bursary Fund and 30% are from Widening Participation backgrounds. The main school cohort is from ACORN categories 4 and 5.

The school sits on the South side of the valley with easy public transport access to the town centre and fantastic views over the surrounding hills. It has received significant on-going investment and now boasts some 8 dedicated ICT suites, Sixth Form study rooms and a separate building housing the Sixth form common rooms.


The Sixth Form at Highcrest offers further opportunities for students to access higher levels of education and build upon their success throughout Key Stage 4. There is a broad offer of A-level and BTEC Level 3 subjects to choose from some of which are progression from subjects studied in Key Stage 4 including Maths, English and Business and others are new to students such as Psychology and Philosophy and Ethics. We also offer a range of BTEC level 2 courses that run for Year 12 for students to improve on their KS4 results in order to access Further Education either at Highcrest or elsewhere in the area.

We also offer the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) as a substitute for an A/S level where students develop an extended essay tackling a subject of their choice and give a formal presentation of their results at the end of the year.


Every student receives a bespoke timetable covering 6 lessons a day and PSHE once a week. The timetable consists of taught lessons which are delivered in a more tutorial-style manner by teachers and GLAS sessions

which are non-taught periods of ‘Guided Literacy and Study’ where students are expected to take charge of their own learning and to use the school’s equipment to continue their studies outside the classroom. Time is also set aside for Enrichment activity outside the school ground so that students can develop their skills and experiences in the outside world.


At Highcrest, we fully expect our students to work on a part-time basis in nearby institutions and we actively encourage students to do so, providing them with assistance to develop a CV and written references when required. We see part-time working as assisting students to develop their character and experience alongside their studies and appreciate the economic value of working as well.

We do not, however, expect student to commit to more than 10 hours in a school week as we believe this has a disruptive effect on their motivation and energy levels, leading to underperformance in the exam room.


  • Entry into the Sixth Form is open to all existing members of the School who meet the entry requirements as outlined below.
  • Admission into the Sixth Form is open to students gaining a minimum entry qualification of at least 5 A*-C grades (including English and Maths) for AS and Level 3 courses or 5 A*-D grades (including English and Maths) for Level 2 courses
  • Each course has its own entry criteria; therefore, in order to gain admission all applicants, whether internal or external, will be required to meet the specific entry grade requirements for their chosen course as outlined in the prospectus.

Oversubscription criteria: If there are more external applicants with predicted grades meeting the entry requirements than places available, then the following over subscription criteria will be used to determine who will be made offers:

  • Looked after children. (1)
  • Highest placed applicants according to their position in the Order of Merit based on aggregated scores of their top 5 GCSE Predicted Grades (including English and Maths).
  • The availability of places in specific sets.

(1) Looked after children are defined as children who are in the care of a Local Authority or provided with accommodation by the Authority.

Applications from disabled students unable to comply with the above will be considered by the Admissions Panel provided that evidence of the level of disability is supplied. The School is committed to not treating disabled applicants less favourably, without justification, for a reason that relates to their disability.