News & Events

High Grange School news and events








“High Grange Presents” was an afternoon of live and recorded music, drama, gymnastics, dance and comedy, presented by staff and students at the school. Attended by pupils, parents and other VIPs, the show celebrated work and achievements taking place in the Arts & PE department, whilst displays in the dining room featured visual arts, ICT and Lego construction. The staff house band was slick and the dual show-hosting of music teacher Phil and student Thomas led us smoothly through the packed itinerary.


From the recorded drama of Cinderella to beat-boxing guest visitors, the phenomenal fund-raising of Rhys (who was presented with a cheque for £739 from the ‘Star Foundation’) to the inspiring array of musical acts and everything else in between, a fabulous and exciting time was had by everyone involved. The light and sound engineering along with our newly purchased bistro tables and seating created a professional ambiance which further added to the overall enjoyment of the afternoon.

Many thanks to both staff and students who contributed to all of the performances and displays, and to the kitchen staff for wonderfully prepared home-baked refreshments and festively decorated table centre pieces made by each class. Hopefully the pictures will speak for themselves, but here are a few guest comments summing up their experience:

“I was so impressed by everyone yesterday – a really moving and inspiring afternoon.”

“I really found it inspiring to see all the work done by the music teachers and how music was used as a vehicle of expression and to break down certain barriers that may otherwise have not been a possibility.”

“Everyone had the most amazing time and lots of fun. One of the most amazing things for me was watching how supportive everyone was towards each other. It did not matter the size of the contribution, the celebration was amazing!”





Football Game – 23rd Jan 2015

This term saw High Grange travel away for their first football fixture of 2015. The team were apprehensive as it was the first time they had played away, but they soon settled into the match. Lucas was in the heart of the midfield, pulling the passes from left to right, whilst Louis and Macaulay were solid at the back. High Grange took the lead early after the experienced Valentine crossed a vicious ball into the St Martin’s box, only to find an unmarked Bradley Goodman with a simple tap in at the back post; the opposition keeper arguably distracted by Bradley’s controversial choice of shirt. The teams were evenly matched and a lapse in concentration in the middle of the park left star goalkeeper Harry Monk exposed, but not defeated, as he pulled out a smart stop low to his left. It was on the tenth minute when young Ben Walker found Lucas with a cross field pass, one touch, bang! What a strike, with celebration equal to match. The game progressed and the St Martin’s team pushed for a goal, and sure enough the High Grange defence crumbled under the pressure. Coaches Alex and Matt were left wishing they had completed that final unit on defending during their coaching workshops... 2:1 High Grange, and the half time whistle could not have come soon enough.

The second half got under way with Connor and Jayden combining well through the middle of the park only to see Captain Valentine take the glory with a well taken goal to the bottom corner. The momentum gained, and if it wasn’t for some outstanding goalkeeping from the St Martin’s keeper, the game would have been over. Inspired by their goalkeeper, St Martin’s pressed hard, however it was nothing the defending duo Tomlinson and Newton-Zuza couldn’t handle. A fine display by both, to the untrained eye they could have easily been mistaken for Cahill and Terry. As the game gathered speed and St Martin’s pressed, it left gaps for the High Grange midfield to counter attack and sure enough the inevitable fourth goal came - another surging Valentine run with a neat finish for his second of the game. 4:1 High Grange - a very solid first away performance. Hats off the St Martin’s, a well-oiled team that challenged us throughout the game.



Man of the Match: Louis Tomlinson - a rock at centre back, looked calm and collected on the ball and dealt with St Martin’s attacks with ease.


·         Harry Monk (8/10 - a spectator for most of the game but showed his class with a brilliant save to keep HG on top in the first half).

·         Louis Tomlinson (9/10 - a rock at the heart of the HG defence, like a young Gavin Spicer in his playing days).

·         Macauley Newton-Zuza (8/10 - solid and reliable at the back of the HG formation, a few David Luiz-like runs to add).

·         Lucas Monk (8/10 - the engine in the middle of the pitch, kept us going with his confidence on and off the ball).

·         Ben Walker (8/10 - the youngest player in the team, but you wouldn’t have known it! An accomplished display).

·         Kasey Valentine © (8/10 - lead by example, sometimes questioned whether he had glue on his football boots, one for the ref to check!)

·         Connor Newell (8/10 - a dominant striker, held the ball up well and made some crucial tackles).

·         Jayden Billington (8/10 - 100% throughout, a great combination with Ben to set Lucas up for the goal).

·         Bradley Goodman (8/10 - experienced display from the veteran footballer, perhaps intimidated the opposition with his rogue choice of clothing!).


Ofsted Pilot Study – 23rd Jan 2015

We are delighted to have been chosen to take part in Ofsted’s consultation process for the new Children’s Homes Inspection Framework – we are having a pilot inspection this week. More information on this when we’ve received some feedback..!

From over 300 applicants, only 10 Children’s Homes were chosen to take part in the consultation, so we are really proud to have been selected!

We are due to feedback to Ofsted on the inspection and the new framework at a consultation event held in London on 29th January.


We are a ‘Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’ Directly Licensed Centre! – 28th Jan 2015      


On 13th October 2014, staff member Nicola Foyle was presented with our Direct Licence from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at St James’s Palace, London. This means we are able to deliver DofE programmes on the premises, here, at High Grange School!

Staff and students are committed and keen to take part in this new, exciting opportunity.


Nicola being presented with the Licence by Phil Brown, Director of Central England


Arts Day – 30th Jan 2015

High Grange will be holding an Arts Day, with a morning of varied arts activities and an afternoon showcase of work, on Thursday 26th March 2015. The day will cover the theme of ‘conservation’, as well as the ‘6 Rs’: Reduce, Rethink, Refuse, Recycle, Reuse and Recycle.




Find us on Facebook! – 30th Jan 2015


High Grange is now on Facebook! Please check our page for regular updates, events and information. Find us at  


Sponsored Skydive – 4th Feb 2014

Staff members Jenny and Louise will be doing a skydive in aid of the National Autistic Society. Their skydive will take place on Monday 4th May – good luck to both!



School Video – 4th Feb 2015

Along with updates to our website and brochure, we recently had the opportunity to refresh our school’s video prospectus. Monday, 2nd February, was a busy day filled with catching scenes and following directions from filmmaker Gurmit Samra, who helped tremendously throughout the day. Well-done to everyone involved – an enjoyable and harmonious day was experienced by all. 



Work Experience – 20th Feb 2015

This week, Kasey started work experience at Derby County Football Club. He was there for the week, and his duties included

working in the community office with the administration team, and going off-site with Derby County coaches to help give lessons at local schools.

Rhys, who has a once-weekly placement at Wild Park in Brailsford, helps with cleaning and checking equipment

used for archery, laser tag, paintball and quad biking, as well as marshalling events. He is learning to lead quad biking sessions,

and communicates with the leaders via headset whilst using the bikes.

Annie will soon begin her placement at a florist in Tutbury, and Tobias hopes to get work experience at Alton Towers this term.

More information and photos will follow over the next few weeks. 




Gymnastics – 25th Feb 2015


This morning, three of our students went to the Derby City Gymnastics Centre - home of gymnast and stuntman Damien Walters -

to practise and try out new activities including trampolining, balance beam and floor exercise.


Christina, one of our students, says:

“I went to the gymnastics centre today and I really enjoyed it. My favourite activity was practising my jumping skills and my

forward roll skills on a long trampoline. I was also rewarded with a certificate for my work”.






Football Match – 26th Feb 2015

High Grange took part in a football match at St Clare’s school, Derby. Commentator Matt Cottrell reports: 

“St Clare’s 3-6 High Grange

Attendance 34, 301

This week saw the team take a brief journey down to Littleover where they would meet close rivals St Clare’s in the first local derby of the season.

Captain Tomlinson, who was inspirational in the last outing against St Martins, was ruled out after a failed late fitness test, whilst the experienced

Valentine was cup-tied.

The game got under way and High Grange had the majority of the possession with Denham pulling the strings in the middle of the park.

It was not long until a searching pass from Denham hit his target and Walker slotted away, a neat finish from the young striker. As the half progressed,

it was clear to see the power houses of Monk and Billington were just too much for the St Clare’s defence. Some smart play by Newell followed an inside

ball which Denham slotted past the despairing dive of the St Clare’s keeper. 2-0.

Following the restart, St Clare’s had a good spell of possession, firing passes from left to right, but the High Grange defence stood strong with stand-in

Captain Zuza marshalling his troops well. It was about 13 minutes in when some neat build up play by Goodman and Monk created an opportunity for

Billington, who did not need a second chance. 3-0. The game flowed at a fast pace and it was clear to see the skills of Denham were becoming

increasingly worrying for the St Clare’s midfield.  A few show boat passes and a sublime piece of skill nearly gave the midfielder - who was starting to

play like a young Patrick Vieira - a goal of the season contender, however he was denied by the woodwork. All of Denham’s hard work eventually paid off;

after a neat one-two with Monk, Captian Zuza (somehow playing upfront…) was left with a great opportunity to score…

Insert right foot… BOOM, like a young Graeme Taylor!!!! 4-0.

As the half drew to an end, St Clare’s pressed for a goal, and it would have been until Keeper Monk made a smart save low down to his left.

It was on the brink of half time when the St Clare’s captain ran through the heart of the defence only to be fouled inside the box and a penalty awarded,

much to the disgust of captain Zuza and Monk who beat the ground in frustration. 3-1 High Grange - a neat penalty gave Keeper Monk no chance.

The second half saw keeper Hopkinson make his widely anticipated debut, and he was immediately called into action with a fine stop low down.

St Clare’s pressed hard early and it was a lapse in concentration that put their number 9 through on goal leaving Hopkinson helpless. It was a

wakeup call for Zuza’s men. 4-2 High Grange. The game ebb and flowed as tired legs began to take effect, both teams had chances to score

and it was St Clare’s who took their chance - a low near post shot had the diving Hopkinson beaten and the High Grange defence on the ropes.

The crowd urged St Clare’s forward and with a solid sell-out of almost 40,000, the High Grange team were looking frail in their first East Midlands’ derby.

If it wasn’t for a superb save by keeper Hopkinson diving low at the feet of the St Clare’s striker, the score could have been level. A brief worry arose as

Hopkinson stayed down after taking a boot to the throat, but he urged on with aid from the on-looking away support.

The game once again settled and it was Billington and Newell who stepped up the pace with a neat interchange down the left-hand side which got

the away fans on their feet. Zuza was looking strong at the back whilst Goodman made his forward runs. Walker was also seeing a lot of possession

and beginning to make things happen; it was with ten minutes to go when Captain Zuza stepped up with another rocket to make it 5-3. The final

exchanges were that of High Grange, some more neat play could have been met with another goal. Denham left his shooting boots at home,

somehow missing an open net - something mentor Gavin Spicer will have nightmares about!! The final goal came in the dying moments when

Billington played Monk in, Monk with his second goal in as many matches - another cracking celebration in front of the Elland Road faithful for Monk.

Another solid performance, another win - final score 6-3.

·         Harry Monk - fantastic display by the veteran in goal, always reliable.

·         John Hopkinson - Solid debut, some world class saves and was unlucky with the goals.

·         Macauley Newton-Zuza (2) (C) - struggled without his partner Tomlinson initially but soon stepped up with an impressive

           display of power and strength.

·         Bradley Goodman - the seasoned pro was rarely troubled at the heart of the defence.

·         Lucas Monk (1) - Another good display by the man on loan from Leeds. Cottrell will be hoping to sign him full-time.

·         Connor Newell - A textbook show of strength and finesse up top for HG.

·         Ben Walker (1) - A fine performance from the young striker, well-taken goal.

·         Jarvis Denham, the ‘Patrick Vieira’ of High Grange (1) - An experienced display from Denham, fantastic signing by Manager Cottrell.

          Denham was powerful and showed his class throughout the game, unlucky not to get Man of the Match.

·         Man of the Match: Jayden Billington (1) - Superb performance, ran the show in midfield, providing support for Denham in

          midfield and a wall in front of the defence.


Matt Cottrell - Manager

Joel Warren - Coach

Graeme Taylor - Water Boy

Anthony Crofts - Head of Security

Rachel Taylor – Cheerleader

Rachel Melbourne - Cheerleader

Simon Cooper - Chief Football Inflator”


University of Derby Visit – 25th Feb 2015


Last week, we had a visit from Helen Wilson at the University of Derby, who is the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies.

She came to the school to look at how teaching and learning is delivered at High Grange. Currently, the school is offering a placement to a

student from the Child and Youth Studies course. Helen was given a tour of the school by Laurence who also shared his drum lesson with her.

She was then invited to a food technology lesson where she made Eves pudding and custard.


“High Grange offers real life, practical, learning experiences for their students in a warm and supportive environment. It is an amazing

environment for young people to thrive.” – Helen Wilson

PE Visit – 27th Feb 2015

Damien Walters, world-renowned gymnast and stunt performer, will be visiting the PE department at High Grange.

The Derbyshire artist has been in movies such as Captain America, Sherlock Holmes and Skyfall, and his channel been one

of the most popular on Youtube. More information about the visit will follow.


Children’s Home News – 6th Mar 2015


We have recently had some positive changes to our Children’s Home! 4 young people are in a new house, working towards independence –

they’re enjoying going off site to visit shops and local attractions, including a local fitness centre where two of our students have recently

become members.  

Over the weekend some students will be traveling to Birmingham to see the world’s largest dog show; Crufts! We will also be running a

trip to Saturday’s Wolves V Watford match for those less interested in Heelwork and Obedience…

With longer days and warmer evenings, we are making use of our outdoor facilities during this pleasant transition into spring.

Students are able to spend time outside in the communal areas and we hope to make the most out of our outdoor facilities during

the milder months.



Fire Safety – 18th Mar 2015


After having a fire safety talk from staff at the Kingsway Fire Station, our students were able to see a fire engine and water rescue

vehicle, as well as being able to have a go with some of the equipment! 






Goalball – 18th Mar 2015

Last week we held a staff vs. students goalball tournament! Goalball is a team sport that was designed specifically for

visually impaired athletes. Teams of three are blindfolded and compete against each other to try and score in the opponent’s goal.

The room is silent, and the teams rely on bells inside the ball to judge its location. A unique event left the sports hall unusually quiet…

Well done to everyone who took part! 







Cake sale – 20th Mar 2015

High Grange Parents! Come along to our drop-in group on 22nd April. The session will be followed by a cake sale!




Eclipse – 20th Mar 2015

What a spectacular view we had of today’s eclipse! The rare phenomenon brought together a sea of awe-struck

faces across the High Grange driveway. An enjoyable (but chilly!) morning was had by all.







Our school’s video prospectus is complete! Click the link below to view. 

Work Experience – 27th Mar 2015

Another wonderful bouquet from Annie's work experience! We're hoping Annie will share her new skills with us! Maybe a flower arranging competition

will follow for those who are up for the challenge... 


Comic Relief – 1st April 2015

Congratulations to all of our students who took part in Friday’s sporting event for Comic Relief! Students and staff were sponsored to run,

walk, cycle and rollerblade in different races throughout the morning. A wonderful team spirit was created by everyone who raced and helped out!




Cake Sale – 22nd April 2015

Many thanks to all students, staff and parents who came along to today's cake sale! Proceeds will go towards a proposed sensory garden at the school.


The sale followed our parent drop-in group - check back here for details of our next meeting.





Comic Relief – 24th April 2015

Teacher Matt was sponsored to wear make-up for a day in aid of Comic Relief, today. The cosmetics were expertly applied by art & design student

Abigail, with help from a few of our staff members who were very willing to lend a hand... Donations are still being accepted, so if you have a

spare pound, please bring it in!


23rd October 2015 

On 20th October Students Jake Birkinshaw and Rhys Phillips took part in an English Speaking and Listening activity at Escape Live in Birmingham.

The pair were locked in a scary room with staff members Anthony Crofts and Charlotte Millward, and were given an hour to save

a girl from being murdered by an evil doctor and escape the room themselves. The group had to work together to solve puzzles and

crack codes, and after an intense 53 minutes they eventually managed to save the girl and get out of the room with just 7 minutes

remaining on the clock! 



23rd October 2015

Today, Lower Class 4 went on a class trip to the National Space Centre in connection to Geography, where they had been looking at space tourism.

As a class they purchased an acre of the moon!






Winter Showcase 2015 


SAVE THE DATE.... on the 24th June 2016 we will be holding our parent consultation morning followed by our annual Summer Fayre.

More details to follow shortly......




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