End of the Summer Term 2015

Dear Parents,

In a year that opened with lessons taking place in sixteen portacabin classrooms, and in which the staff INSET days were spent moving boxes around builders and decorators desperately working to allow us access to the Waverley Building for the start of term, I make no apology for focusing my end of year blog on my appreciation of the efforts and support of staff, pupils and parents for the developments at the school. The importance of an effective three-way partnership of all stakeholders has rarely been better highlighted than at HGS this year. Whilst delighted with the quality and range of our new facilities, it is the quality and commitment of the staff that will ultimately determine how successful we can be in ensuring that our talented and enthusiastic pupils fulfil their potential. Whilst appreciating that all departing teaching staff have each made significant contributions to the education of our children, I am both delighted and excited with the staff team that will commence the new school year next September.

Trevor Langley came to teach at St David’s College under the headship of Michael Knighton in 1985. The word “outstanding” is often misused in teaching today. However, it would be accurate to say that Mr Langley has consistently provided outstanding teaching for almost 30 years. Trevor has been a wonderful servant to the school as Head of Prep and Head of Mathematics and is respected and admired for his dedication and commitment by pupils, parents and staff. Mr Langley was the school’s first ever recipient of a Cognita award for teaching excellence and I would like to thank him for his contribution to the development and success of the school. We wish him a long and happy retirement.

After 14 years of excellent service to the school, Stuart Dawson now leaves to undertake a new challenge at Christ Church School. This year, Mr Dawson has led the school in his role as Head of Prep Games to its most successful sporting year in our history culminating with an outstanding winning performance from his Under 11 Football Team in the Cognita National Festival. Mr Dawson has established an excellent rapport with pupils, parents and staff in his various roles and worked to form a formidable Year 3 tutor team alongside Mrs Smith in the Prep School. We thank Mr Dawson for his contribution to the school and wish him well in his new challenges.

James Bullock arrived at HGS as a supply music teacher and quickly demonstrated an ability to teach GCSE Music and produce school musical and dramatic performances of a high standard. Mr Bullock has demonstrated a work ethic and commitment to the performing arts that is second to none and the performances of Bugsy, Our House and the Little Shop of Horrors will provide a lasting testament to his ability to produce school shows. The Kayes Ensemble and the recent Music and Drama Competition also underline just what a talented member of staff Scarisbrick Hall School are gaining.

The work of any school relies on a team effort and all have made valuable contributions. This year we also wished a long a happy retirement to our hard working and loyal maintenance team member, Michael Smith, and to Mrs Cornish’s chief ally in the development of swimming, Philip Morrison. Lauren McKenna also leaves at the end of term after excellent service as our temporary Office Assistant.

I am delighted that we have replaced the outgoing staff with such a talented team of teachers. Paul Haigh will take over from Mr Langley as Teacher of Mathematics. Mr Haigh joins us from Honley High School and will also be in charge of the Under 15 and Under 14 Football Teams. Richard Wareham joins us from his work with the Bishop Burton College as Teacher of Business Studies and Head of Prep Games. Mr Wareham has previously worked as Teacher of PE at a range of schools including Pocklington, Silcoates and Mount St Mary’s School and is the Head Coach at Huddersfield RUFC. Angela Fitzpatrick joins the staff as Head of Music from her current position as Teacher of Music at Bluecoat School, Oldham. India Shibil will join us to teach PE and Drama from her current role at Hipperholme Grammar School and also works as a coach with the West Yorkshire Netball Academy. Laura Charleton joins us as a Form Teacher in Year 3.  Miss Charleton obtained her PGCE this year following her degree in English Literature and Journalism at the University of Huddersfield. Emma Howarth will also join us next term as our full-time Reception Teaching Assistant. Mrs Howarth is the mother of two HGS pupils with a degree in Law and Italian and joins us from her current position at Birkby Junior School. I am also pleased to announce that we will be joined by Andrew Barrett, who is a Level 2 FA Coach with experience in working at Lancaster FC and Preston North End Ladies FC as our after-school Football Coach; Julie Renshaw as Science Assistant; and Mark Woolhouse as our full-time ICT Technician.

In a change of roles, Mrs Parker will become a Food Technology Assistant and Mrs Greenway will move to supporting the teaching in Year 2. Miss Nash will return in September to be known as Mrs Nash following her wedding during the summer holidays and Mrs Duffy will revert to her maiden name of Miss Newton next term.

The Parents’ Survey comments and the progress of the pupils recorded on their end of year reports suggest that this has been another highly successful year for HGS. We look forward to communicating some impressive GCSE results during the summer holidays. We will also work to provide a detailed response to the comments received on our Parents’ Survey next term and I do thank all of the parents that have contributed. The development plans for the school continue and when the children return in September we will have two brand new science laboratories in the Kayes Building and a mud kitchen for our younger children to explore texture, experimentation and mud! We now have approval for a new Car Park surface and we will also be working to have this work completed as soon as possible. I would also like to congratulate Mr Jag Bhullar on Bridge School Wear’s first year in providing an excellent service as our school clothing suppliers. Please note that Food Technology aprons are now required for lessons and baking clubs and these are now available for purchase from Mrs Richards for all age groups.

The school has recently taken delivery of our third people mover vehicle. This will allow the school to expand the Calderdale and local area collection route in the mornings. Parents considering using the school bus service should notify Mrs Garside in the School Office.

Having moved to a three form entry in the Senior School the new school year will see the school with an ever increasing number of pupils. The quality of education remains paramount and the commitment to academic lessons of no more than 20 pupils has already seen the introduction of waiting lists in some years. There is no doubting that increasing numbers provides greater depth of talent to enhance our sporting, musical and dramatic performances in addition to greater opportunities for social integration whilst retaining teaching groups that allow us to continue to focus on all students and to achieve excellence in our academic studies.

The HGS Review, that you will receive at the start of next term, once again underlines the range of activities and the impressive opportunities provided by the school. The recent Prep School and Pre-Prep Prize Giving events emphasised the excellent work taking place from children and staff. The Pre-Prep and Prep School Sports Days, despite the disappointing weather, demonstrated the excellent community spirit and upholding of long-standing school traditions that we value at HGS. Our commitment to developing all aspects of education continues and we wish all pupils, parents and staff a restful and relaxing holiday in anticipation of another year of growth and development both individually and collectively starting in September.


Tim Hoyle

01484 424549