May Half Term Blog

Dear Parents and pupils,

Approaching the Spring Bank Half-term holiday, I would like to provide an update on school development planning for September 2016. I would also like to thank all of the parents that have contributed to our programme of continuous school development by completing the recent Voice of the Parent Survey. The responses are, as always, invaluable in helping to shape the developments at the school and the end of term letter will provide a document outlining our responses to all of the issues raised.

The school remains committed to providing a high quality of education for all and to limiting the maximum class size to 20 children throughout the school. Our commitment to progressive and developing standards is reflected in the building works that will take place during the summer. The main change that the children will see on their return in September will be a wonderful new building to replace the Pavilion that will be in keeping with the recent building developments. There will also be improvements to the Recreation Area with a new astroturf surface and new fencing incorporating football goals and netball rings. We also have plans to refurbish other areas on the school site, most notably the Argyle Building and the upstairs A3 classroom.

Mrs Robinson will be relinquishing her role as Head of Pre Prep to return to teaching in the Prep School. We would like to thank Mrs Robinson for her five years of work as an outstanding Head of Pre Prep in which she has played a significant role in the development of the school. Mrs Smith will replace Mrs Robinson as Head of the Pre Prep School.

Mrs Howarth will move to join Mr Naylor as our Reception class teacher team with Miss Johnstone moving from Kindergarten to become our full-time Reception Teaching Assistant. There will also be an additional appointment to ensure the equivalent of a full-time teaching assistant in each year of the Pre Prep School.

In the Prep School, we anticipate having three forms in Year 6 for the next two years. The school already has a waiting list for places in Year 5 and we have a number of children wishing to join the Senior School in September 2017 who leave their current schools this year. Mr Renshaw will be moving to join Mrs Nash and Mr Smaldon as Year 6 teachers. Mrs Robinson will replace Mr Renshaw in Year 4 and Mrs Malik will replace Mrs Smith in Year 3.

There will be a small number of staff changes in the Senior School with Mr Bojczuk and Mrs Stewart retiring from their teaching roles and Mrs Francis moving on to new challenges outside of teaching. All three members of staff have provided outstanding service to Huddersfield Grammar School and full tributes to their work and contributions will be made at the end of the school year. I am pleased that Mrs Alice Watson will be joining us as Head of Physics and that Mrs Jane Kelly will be returning to HGS on a permanent basis to replace Mrs Stewart. Mrs Ackroyd will become Head of ICT and Mrs McNulty will become Head of Religious Studies.

We will also be enhancing the pastoral structure in the Senior School with five new positions as Head of Year being created. In September, Miss Newton will become Head of Year 7; Mrs Rayner will become Head of Year 8; Mr Poulter-Dunford will become Head of Year 9; Mr Haigh will become Head of Year 10; and Mrs Rudkin will become Head of Year 11.

In other developments, the use of Leeds Road Playing Fields for Games afternoons will be extended to include Years 5 and 6, and there will be a new and enhanced internet connection during the summer holidays, which will then allow us to develop Firefly as our Virtual Learning Environment. The school will also be joining the Independent Schools Association in September 2016 which will present new and exciting opportunities in many areas of school life.

I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable Spring Bank holiday break. Our Year 11 students need no reminding that the GCSE exams will continue for a further two weeks after the holiday. I remind our Senior School students that the school exams for Years 7 to 9 commence immediately after half-term.

Best wishes,

Tim Hoyle

01484 424549