Start of 2015/2016 Term

Dear Parents,

Starting the year with 466 pupils, and joined by a number of talented and enthusiastic new members of staff, I am delighted that we start the school year with considerable optimism and excitement towards the ongoing development and work of the school. I am very much looking forward to greeting our new starters when they arrive at the school gates on Thursday morning. Please note that all children have the option to wear summer uniform until half-term.

The quality of teaching and learning remains our primary focus. I was delighted to be able to communicate some extremely impressive GCSE results during the summer holidays. The school has also received awards from The Good Schools Guide recognising the outstanding results achieved in Biology and Spanish in recent years. Spanish is now the primary foreign language throughout the school, Business Studies appears as a GCSE option and the academic progress of all of children will be monitored using our new data and assessments system, Pupil Asset.

I would like to welcome our new staff. Mr Haigh joins us to teach Mathematics; Mr Wareham joins us as Teacher of Business Studies and Head of Prep Games; Mrs Fitzpatrick joins the staff as Head of Music; Miss Shibil will join us to teach PE; Miss Charleton joins us as a Year 3 Teacher; Mrs Howarth join us as our Reception Teaching Assistant; I am also pleased that we will be joined by Mr Barrett as our after-school Football Coach; Mrs Renshaw as Science Assistant; Mr Woolhouse as our full-time ICT Technician: and Eric Abbott as one of our school bus drivers.

I would also like to congratulate our Head of Prep School, Mrs Nash, on her marriage during the summer holidays and our Guitar Teacher, Mr Jarvis, on the birth of his son, Tadashi, in July.

The Parents’ Survey and New Admissions Survey comments have now contributed to our new Strategic Development Plan and I will highlight the key areas at the Parents’ Association AGM at  on Wednesday 16thSeptember at 7pm in the Performance Studio. The summary will then be circulated to all parents.

The facility developments continue with two impressive new science laboratories, a mud kitchen for Early Years exploration and play on the Kindergarten lawn, a new shelter kindly provided by the Parents’ Association and the new Car Park surface. Please can I make a special request that all users adhere to the car park regulations for the safety and benefit of all. With two additional minibuses, we will also be extending our school bus provision. This year will also see new developments with Concept Music assuming the management of peripatetic music and the introduction of Firefly, our new Virtual Learning Environment. Parents will soon be able to keep track of developments using our new website.

The school has agreed, at the request of the Civic Society, to open our buildings and to allow people to access all areas of the school as part of the National Heritage Weekend on Saturday 12th and 13th September. The school will be open from 11am until 3pm for anyone interested to tour the buildings and to learn something of the history of the school. Please notify Mrs Garside by e-mail if you would like to attend to allow us to gauge the number of guides required.

They key events for the school term are included on the school calendar that will be issued to all of the children and this is also available to view on the school website. As ever, I look forward to welcoming parents to school events this term. We will again be hosting our own MacMillan Coffee Morning from 7.30am on Friday 25thSeptember for which you are all most welcome to provide a cake and to join us for early morning coffee.

I do hope that you will enjoy reading the Summer Term edition of the HGS Review.  The school values the all-round development of each individual pupil and it is important that all children gain personal benefit from the wide range of activities on offer this year.

A new school year provides a time of new and exciting opportunities and experiences. I look forward with great anticipation to everything that the new academic year will bring at HGS.

Best Wishes,

Tim Hoyle

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