The First Blog from Mr Hoyle 2016/2017
30th August 2016
Dear Parents and Pupils,
On Tuesday 6th September we start a new academic school year. We will welcome new pupils, new parents and new staff to our school community, together with some impressive new facilities, and with the exciting prospect of working together to develop the skills and talents of our young people. The energy and high expectations that go along with the starting of a new school year always makes September a special time in the calendar.
HGS celebrated outstanding GCSE results in August with 100% of Year 11 students achieving A* to C grades in 5 or more subjects including both English Language and Mathematics.
An incredible 61% of all grades were awarded at A* or A. Alice Evans and Francesca Tinsdeall both achieved the maximum 11 A* grades in all subjects. Others to achieve exceptional grades are Ealish Corkill who achieved 9 A* and 2 A grades, Imogen Davey who achieved 9 A* and 1 A grade, and Madeleine Dalby who achieved 7 A* and 3 A grades.
All members of Year 11 are fully deserving of congratulations and praise having achieved an impressive set of individual grades. Yellis Tests are taken prior to the GCSE courses by most schools and are used to predict the grades that each student can be expected to achieve in each subject. We are delighted that 62% of HGS grades were awarded at least one grade above that predicted by these assessments. This cannot include those already predicted the highest possible grade and is, in reality, a more impressive indicator of the excellent achievements of all of our Year 11 students.
The real judgement on the success of the education for any student must be based upon the overall benefits that have been derived from attending the school. The qualities and values of the individual as a person remain far more significant than any examination grades. The Final Assembly in July recognised that the leaving Year 11 cohort have fully participated and contributed, for the benefit and success of all members of the school community, through their positive approach and active involvement in so many different aspects of school life.
Where students adopt an appropriate ‘growth mindset’, by demonstrating the effort, focus and application required for success, and supported by high quality teaching, we have again evidenced that we are able to achieve outstanding exam results well above normal expectations for each individual student.
We welcome Mrs Alice Watson to replace Mr Bojczuk as Head of Physics and a new team in the English Department. Mrs Isobel Simmons becomes Head of English and is joined in her department by Mrs Jane Kelly and Mrs Chelle Davison, replacing Mrs Stewart and Mrs McNulty. Mrs Ackroyd now takes over from Mrs Francis as Head of ICT and Mrs Simoni becomes Head of Religious Studies. Mrs Robinson and Mrs Malik have both moved into the Prep School and their places in the Pre Prep have been taken by Mrs Smith, as Head of Pre Prep, and Mrs Howarth. We welcome Mrs Samantha Smith and Mr Leroy David as playground supervisors and Out of School Club play workers. Mr David will also supervise the new Senior School Homework Club that is provided free of charge every day from 4.00 to 5.30pm. A letter explaining the new Homework Club is to be issued to all students in the Senior School on the first day of term.
The builders have again been working on site during the holidays and we have a number of impressive new facility developments. In particular, the new ‘Pavilion’ offers a splendid new base for both our Reception classes and the impressive new astroturf surface on the playground will allow the development of that area for a number of different activities. Parents do have a chance to view all of the school facilities, both old and new, as we again open our doors at the request of the Civic Society as part of the English Heritage Weekend. The school will be open from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday 10th September should you wish to discover more of the history of the school and to view all buildings. Families are most welcome and refreshments will be served in the new Pavilion.
Another important event on the Autumn Term Calendar is the Senior School Prize Night at Huddersfield Town Hall on Monday 10th October at 6.30pm. This year, as we celebrate outstanding progress in the Performing Arts, our special guest will be George Sampson, winner of Britain’s Got Talent in 2011. Attendance is compulsory for all Senior School pupils and families from the Prep, Pre Prep and EYFS are warmly invited to attend. The All Aloud Choir will perform their award winning songs from the National Music for Youth Festival Finals and there will be songs from the Senior School production of Calamity Jane.
Many of our new developments are included in our School Improvement Plan, a parents’ version of the plan is available from the school office upon request. The Plan outlines those areas that we will be focusing on for the development and improvement of the school. The contribution of parents through our Voice of the Parent Survey was significant in developing the plan and we do hope that parents will join us for our Parents’ Forum on Thursday 13th October to raise and discuss future development plans.
I would like to provide parents with notification of the Senior School overseas expeditions that are already scheduled to take place to assist with planning. Geographers will enjoy an expedition to Iceland at October half-term and the Year 8 students will have their annual excursion to France. There will be a Ski Trip to Italy at February half-term and an exciting new Spanish Exchange opportunity for Year 10 students in the Summer Term with El Limonar School, Murcia.
Please note that the term dates for the new academic year are posted on the school website. We do ask that parents avoid booking holidays during term time if at all possible. We look forward to welcoming parents and families to our Fireworks Night Display on Friday 4th November and to Christmas on the Courtyard on Thursday 1st December. One diary date that has already been set for the Summer Term is for the popular HGS Charity Ball on Saturday 13th May.
Start of Term: Tuesday 6th September
Half-Term: Monday 17th October – Friday 28th October
End of Term: Friday 16th December
Start of Term: Thursday 5th January
Half-Term: Monday 20th – Friday 24th February
End of Term: Friday 7th April
Start of Term: Monday 24th April 2017
Half-Term: Monday 29th May to Friday 2nd June
End of Term: Friday 7th July
Please note that children are permitted to wear either their summer or winter uniform in September. It then becomes compulsory for all children to wear full winter uniform after October half-term. The School Rules for hair and jewellery will obviously apply from the start of term on Tuesday 6th September. Note also that Early Years and Pre Prep children do not need their dance kit for the first day of term and will be able to dance in their uniforms.]
Mr Tim Hoyle
Published on: 30th August 2016