The Start of Term Autumn 2014

Dear Parents

I know that parents will be pleased to see the quality of the new facilities that we will be providing for teaching and learning at Huddersfield Grammar School. Equally, I am also aware that parents and staff will be delighted when the works are finally completed! The school has been a hive of activity during the holidays and the buildings continue to make good progress though have fallen a little behind schedule. As anticipated, developing the site has provided a number of challenges and there have been setbacks caused by the requirements of the new building on a listed site; the problems caused by trees with protection orders; the age and condition of the essential services for the buildings; Hurricane Bertha; and the repeated theft of equipment and machinery. The employment of  24hr security guards has proved an essential requirement.

We have now agreed the following revised timescale for the new developments. This will allow the staff to plan for delivering outstanding and inspiring lessons from the very start of term, whilst ensuring that we have a safe and well-managed transition into the new buildings.

The Waverley Building will be available for all Prep School pupils on Wednesday 3rd September.

The impressive refurbishment of the Biology Lab in the Kayes Building has now been completed.

The School Library and Mathematics classroom in the Royds Mount Building have been completed, though the library will be used as a temporary classroom.

The St David’s Building will now be completed as follows:

The Art Room and Food Technology will be available for use on Monday 8th September.

The Pre-Prep Classrooms will be available for use from the week beginning 15th September.

The Second Floor will be available for use from the week beginning 29th September.

The Car Park will be available for parents to use from Wednesday 3rd September as used during the Summer Term. Please could I ask that parents parking in the car park restrict their stay to the minimum time possible.  Our neighbours have been extremely understanding of the disruptions caused by building works and I would again ask that parents avoid parking in areas likely to cause annoyance.

Please could I ask parents wishing to view the new school facilities to do so only on the following dates:

Parents’ Association AGM: We will have a site tour at 6pm on Wednesday 17th September prior to the AGM at 7pm.

Friday 26th September: World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Hospice. This will include an opportunity to view the school “At Work in our New Surroundings” from 8.45-11am.

Saturday 4th October: The Opening of the New Developments by Brian Turner CBE.

Huddersfield Grammar School would like to congratulate the Year 11 students on the impressive results obtained in their GCSE examinations. 92% of the cohort achieved a minimum of 5 GCSE grades from A* to C including English and Mathematics, whilst 52% of all exams were awarded at either A* or A grades. Two students, Helena Ashurst and Olivia McNeill, both gained an outstanding 10 A*s and 2 As. Harry Holmes followed up on his A grade in the Further Mathematics Exam last week with 9 A* grades and 3 A grades. Henley Crodden and Sara Jalali both achieved 8 A* grades and no fewer than 12 students out of a year group of 38 achieved 4 A*s or more. We would like to offer our congratulations to the students and staff on their hard work and achievements.

Several departments produced outstanding results. Results in Biology, Chemistry and Physics underlined the strength of these areas within the curriculum where 83% of all grades were at A* or A grade. Three students in Chemistry achieved the maximum mark. Similar performances were recorded in Geography (84% at A* or A) and English at iGCSE or GCSE Levels (71%). Mathematics results were again impressive with a 94% pass rate at A* to C grades. The Gifted and talented pupils selected for GCSE Italian all achieved either A* or A grade, including students from Year 10. This follows on from the success of the FSMQ Further Maths group achieving 100% passes last week.

Please note that Huddersfield Grammar students complete a mix of GCSE and iGCSE examinations that will not be recorded in the league tables. We are delighted that 53% of grades were above those predicted for students by the Yellis standardised assessments used by many UK schools whilst a number of others achieved their A* target grade. The decision as to which exams are studied is based upon student needs and we are delighted that all students received offers of places at their first choice sixth form college choice.

We would like to express our appreciation of your understanding in purchasing school uniform from our new suppliers Bridge School Wear at Milnsbridge. Mr Bhullar reports that although it has been “manic” and “busy, busy”, and that “HGS parents and pupils have been great and a joy to serve”.

We are aware that some suppliers are struggling to provide a number of items in time for the start of term. Please be assured that we appreciate the difficulties that you may have in obtaining the full uniform for the start of term and we will be understanding.

Can I remind parents that Senior School girls only are allowed to wear their hair down providing that it is neat and tidy, and to wear ear-rings. All boys should now wear white shirts unless in Year 11. We expect all pupils to be smart in their appearance next Wednesday and to conform with the school dress, hair and appearance regulations.

Please note that the Out of School Club Registration Form is now available to download from the website.

Please note that Reception swimming classes will take place every Wednesday.  Reception children will have the excitement of going swimming on Wednesday 3rd September, though any children nervous about swimming will not be required to enter the water on this day.

Please note that registration continues to be at 8.35am throughout the school. Period 1 will now start at 8.45am with academic lessons for all children. School assemblies and form periods have been moved to the end of the day to allow the school to focus on literacy and numeracy in the Pre-Prep and Prep Schools; to ensure that absences at the end of the day for sports and activities do not disrupt academic lessons; to provide more double lessons in the Senior School and to allow tutors to ensure that pupils have the required homework.

Please note that all Pre-Prep children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be registering in the Portacabin classrooms used last term. Collection arrangements will remain as last term and children will be delivered to the school gates by their class teacher.

Clubs and activities will start on Thursday 4th September for Senior School pupils and on Monday 8th September for Prep and Pre-Prep School unless otherwise informed.

Note that Year 3 and Year 4 will have Games lessons on Wednesday 3rd September.

The School Bus Service will commence on Wednesday 3rd September from both the Holme Valley and Calderdale. Details of the Calderdale bus times will be issued individually to those parents requesting this service.

We look forward to seeing all of the children return to school after an enjoyable holiday.


Tim Hoyle

01484 424549