School’s making a world of difference

Fairfield High School is firmly established as the school of choice for its community, welcoming all young people whether they live on the doorstep in Horfield or arrive from the other side of the globe.

Students thrive during their five years at this inclusive secondary school, where diversity is celebrated and expectations of success are high. 

FHS was confirmed as a Good school following an Ofsted inspection earlier this year. Inspector James Oldham said in his report that the school had a “calm and purposeful atmosphere”.

“Pupils are happy and safe. They feel that that staff are caring and respectful and ambitious for their futures. Parents say this too.

“Leaders have an ambitious vision for the quality of education that all pupils receive. They are determined that pupils gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life.”

The inspector found that “pupils feel they have a voice in the school”. This is a theme that will be taken forward in the coming year as FHS participates in the highly rated Oracy Project led by Voice 21 that encourages young people to be confident in putting forward their views and empathetic in listening to and considering the opinions of others.

Interim principal Amanda Bridgewater said: “It is important for our students to develop the qualities they need to become creative and responsible global citizens. We are aspirational for all and are proud of our wonderful school’s unique role at the heart of its community.”

Events such as the winter and summer galas draw in large numbers of families and neighbours and activities such as World Music Day and Refugee Week enable students to share cultural experiences. The school’s first Community Iftar since before the pandemic was a recent highlight, with speakers representing Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Humanist beliefs coming together and sharing a meal.

Fairfield is a School of Sanctuary, committed to providing a place of safety for those who have fled danger in their own countries. The school has also been praised for its support of multilingual learners.   

Staff and students are passionate about equality, enthusiastically embracing events such as Culture Day, International Women’s Day, World Hijab Day, Anti Bullying Week and Pride. 

Links with primary schools are well established. Specialist staff such as languages and PE teachers deliver lessons in local primaries and primary children visit FHS for taster sessions – including the popular Magic Mornings. They are also invited to performances such as the recent Night at the Musicals and use the Fairfield pitches for their sports days. Every child joining the school can attend a week’s summer school, part of an extensive support programme delivered by a specialist transition team.