October 2015 Blog

Dear Parents,

The two week half-term has allowed more than one quarter of our senior school students to journey overseas to Normandy and Paris, or to Rome and Pompeii. Such adventures provide excellent opportunities for cultural and educational awareness and for individual and social development. I would like to express my appreciation to all nine members of staff that gave up their holiday time for no additional pay to allow such excursions to take place. The Ski Trip to Austria and the Battlefields Excursion to Ypres later this year still have one or two remaining places and the parents of any student interested in going should contact Mrs Garside as soon as possible.

The recent Senior School Prize Night at the Town Hall provided a wonderful demonstration of the ongoing developments at Huddersfield Grammar School. The quality of the music, with a school choir of more than 40 students and some beautiful instrumental pieces, and the reports of outstanding performances on stage, underlined the progress that has again been made in the Performing Arts. The Sports Report included references to a number of exceptional achievements with our school teams and individual performers developing their talents and improving standards of play throughout the school. The Enrichment Report emphasised how the school has clearly worked hard to provide a wide range of opportunities for out of school learning for all age groups. Out of School Learning opportunities this term have already included excursions to watch a Shakespeare performance at The Globe Theatre in London, a visit to the Hepworth Art Gallery, a workshop at the Victoria Theatre Halifax for the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a visit to the Royal Armouries, a visit to Eureka, a Kindergarten trip to Pop Kids, in addition to overnight trips to both Cranedale and Lakeside in Windermere.

We anticipate that the Senior School will again have a three form entry for September 2016 with a maximum intake of 60 students. Parents will note that we already have waiting lists for places in Year 1 and Year 5, and we are approaching this position in other year groups, as we adhere to our policy of a maximum class size of 20 children. We do feel that this reflects upon the high standard of teaching and learning within our school. The evidence and research clearly demonstrates that small class sizes are only beneficial when accompanied by high quality teaching. Our Strategic Development Plan outlines how we aim to continue developing the educational provision at the school with a focus on ever improving standards in our work both inside and outside the classroom.  Increased pupil numbers has provided a wider base of talented pupils within the school allowing for the increasing development of standards in sport, music and drama, whilst restricting numbers to a level that allows us to ensure that all children have the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and to represent the school. Increased pupil numbers also provides for greater opportunities for children to develop social friendships and relationships with other children who share their interests and hobbies. With waiting lists anticipated in other year groups, we do ask that any existing parent wishing to reserve a sibling place at the school notify Mrs Garside of their intentions as soon as possible.

The school would like to express our appreciation to those parents that completed the Voice of the Parent Survey which has assisted us in forming our Strategic Development Plan. One of the key issues this term has clearly been the problems that some have encountered with our new management system for peripatetic music. As a result, the school has now agreed with Concept Music to return the management of music lessons back to an in-house basis. We would like to stress that the peripatetic music teachers are all self-employed and rely upon prompt payments and one-term’s notice of cancellation for their living as professional music teachers. The school ensures that any surplus from music lessons is reinvested into school music by paying our peripatetic teachers to work with music groups and orchestras. We would like to thank Concept Music for their considerable efforts this term. All music pupils will receive notice of the new arrangements. Please could I ask that all questions be directed to Miss Watson, our Business Manager, via perimusic@huddersfield-grammar.co.uk.

Those accustomed to following the school’s news on facebook will be aware that congratulations are in order for the Year 7 Swimming Relay Teams with the girls’ team finishing first and the boys’ team second in the North East Regional Qualifiers for the English Schools’ Championships. Swimming is a sport in which we have enjoyed considerable success and we must congratulate Sam Loizou in Year 10 on becoming individual National Backstroke Champion. We should also congratulate Alice Weightman this term on her selection to represent England in showjumping. Our Year 5 Cross Country team should also be congratulated on winning the Kirklees Championships and now go forward to competing at the West Yorkshire Games. Literature has also featured prominently in school assemblies with large numbers of students selected to have their anthology work published and Ealish Corkill in Year 11 winning the West Yorkshire Regional Final of the Creative Writing Competition.

We do hope that you will be able to join us for our traditional Fireworks Night on Friday 6th November. All families and friends are invited and the fireworks are due to be set off at 7pm. As ever, the Parents’ Association will be providing refreshments in the Dining Room and I am sure that it will be a wonderful and spectacular evening.

Best Wishes,

Tim Hoyle

01484 424549