The Highcrest Academy



All at The Highcrest Academy are extremely proud of the number of prestigious external agencies who visit us and recognise our excellence in a number of different areas of school life.

Achieving these awards is wonderful, but what always gives us most pride, is seeing our visitors leave with smiles on their faces, having found out for themselves what makes our Academy so special. 

Eco-Schools Green Flag Award

“Earning an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award takes passion, commitment and a desire.”

Pupils at The Highcrest Academy have earned an international accreditation this academic year, recognising their amazing work in making their school more environmentally friendly and raising eco-awareness in fellow pupils.  Eco-Schools is an international education programme that prompts young people to explore sustainability and climate change and take action.  

Eco-Schools England Manager, Adam Flint, said: “Earning an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award takes passion, commitment and a desire to make a difference. Pupils should be proud of their great work. They’re an inspiration and it makes us feel heartened and positive about the future of our planet.”

Rights Respecting School Award

Highcrest became a Rights Respecting School in 2014 and achieved the Level 1 award in 2015. UNICEF moderators upgraded us to a Gold Award school after an inspection in 2018. Indeed, we were the first secondary school in Buckinghamshire, and only the fifteenth secondary school nationally, to be accredited as a Gold Award UNICEF Rights Respecting School; you can imagine how proud our community is of this award. The UNICEF articles continue to be at the heart of everything that we do at Highcrest.

The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of a school’s planning, policies, practice and ethos. As a rights-respecting school, we teach our students about their rights and model respectful relationships.

We look forward to our next reaccreditation visit.

BucksFreePress Article: Highcrest First in Bucks to Receive Gold RRSA Award

The NACE Challenge Award

“The school’s vision - Aspire and Achieve - permeates the learning environment and is regularly referenced in lessons by teachers and pupils, underpinning the curriculum and wider opportunities across the school.” NACE

The NACE Challenge Award provides national recognition of school-wide high quality provision for more able learners within a context of challenge for all. 

We received our most recent reaccreditation of this award in June 2022. At Highcrest, we regularly engage with other challenge award accredited schools to ensure our students have equal opportunities.  

Achieving the award means that we demonstrate good or outstanding provision in teaching and learning for students of all abilities. We have held this prestigious award since 2013 and have been re-accredited every three years since. We will continue in our journey to strive for excellence, undertaking a further re-accreditation in 2025. Click here for full report.

The EQualities Award 

"Underpinned by its strong pastoral practice and reflective inclusive culture, the school has established its identity as a caring, versatile and safe educational establishment, serving the local community the best that the school can achieve in such a diverse residential community." IQM Flagship Assessor: November 2022 

Although we currently hold the EQualities Award which recognises the academy’s commitment to treating everyone equally, we are currently working towards achieving the new Equality Quality Mark, awarded by EqualiTeach. This award provides us with support and guidance so that we can effectively promote equality, diversity and inclusion within Highcrest, and provides us with an opportunity to showcase our commitment to equality. As a richly diverse academy, we have always worked hard to meet our statutory duties, but we would like to go further and really ensure that our students receive the very best education in this important area.

The Award has been designed by a team of equality and education experts to allow the development of best practice around four main themes: Leadership and Management, Behaviour and Welfare, Teaching and Learning and Personal Development of Pupils. There are three levels of award: bronze, silver and gold. We are working towards the silver level, and we expect it will take approximately 12 months to achieve this award.

To support us on our work towards this prestigious award, we have begun to work on a programme to reduce identity-based bullying called Equally Safe. This programme is funded by the Department for Education and will help schools develop best practice in preventing and tackling identity-based bullying, and in developing tailored, whole-school approaches.

Equality Objectives

IQM Flagship School Award

Staff take any opportunity to create a respectful, ‘chaos-free’ environment, evident as soon as you cross the front door.” IQM Flagship Assessor: November 2022 

Effective schools are inclusive schools that monitor, develop and devise strategies to improve the effectiveness of their provision to meet the needs of all students. We received our most recent reaccreditation of this award in November 2022.

Click here for the full report.

External assessors examined the school as an inclusive environment, looking for every child gaining access to every activity in school. The Inclusion Quality Mark covers absolutely everything in school, from students with special learning needs to the most able and those needing more help with literacy and numeracy. The IQM award certifies that both the curriculum and extra-curricular activities are accessible to all at The Highcrest Academy.

Buckinghamshire Careers Hub

Highcrest is a proud member of the Bucks Careers Hub. This is an association of selected schools in Buckinghamshire who have a strong commitment to careers education and support. Careers Leaders from these schools meet regularly to share best practice, develop shared projects and resources to support students and build links with employers.