The Headmaster’s First Letter of 2014

Dear All,

I wish you all a Happy New Year. I look forward to welcoming all of the pupils back to school as we start our new term on Wednesday 8th January. The response from the Year 11 and Year 10 GCSE students to the pre-term revision courses has been extremely positive and I remind them that they can register their attendance for Monday and Tuesday with Mrs Garside by e-mailing the school.

The year 2014 promises to be of great significance in the development of the school and we look forward with excitement and anticipation to the completion of our two major building development projects. The anticipated impact of our new buildings has been well documented and the main developments will include new classrooms for Pre-Prep and Reception, specialist rooms for Art and Technology, Food Technology, Dance and Drama; refurbished Science labs; our new Library; and the restoration of the front lawn.The developments remain on schedule and we anticipate that the new Pre-Prep building will be completed before the end of the Summer Term.

In addition we are planning for a new timetable with exciting curriculum changes. In September we are planning to move our form tutor and assembly time to the end of the school day as we adopt a new model of a nine period timetable. This will ensure that we make full use of the optimum learning time at the start of the school day whilst minimising the disruption to core lessons at the end of the day when groups leave early for sporting fixtures and other such educational excursions.

We will also commence our Holiday Club provision at Easter aiming to meet the needs of those parents that require supervision and purposeful activities for their children during the school holidays.

The HGS News for the Autumn Term provides a clear illustration of the wide range of educational activities and opportunities that are offered to our pupils. The Year 11 students commence their important GCSE mock exams in January and academic performance remains our priority. The new format School Calendar for the Spring Term reinforces the message that we are determined to continue to progress the school. More than seventy Senior pupils will be journeying to Pila in Italy at half-term for our first Ski Expedition and I am delighted that the calendar will again included Football and Netball tours for Under 16 and Under 11 age groups. The Christmas events certainly demonstrated the talent of our musicians and I was especially pleased to hear the performances from our new school orchestra.This term our musicians will journey to London for the Cognita Music Festival with the hope that some may be crowned as a Cognita Young Musician of the Year.

The success of the school continues to be built upon the joint efforts of pupils, parents and staff. We are extremely appreciative of the support we receive and I invite parents to make appointments with tutors to discuss any areas of concern arising from the Christmas reports. This term we are extending our very popular Stay and Play sessions for parents to include a session for Pre-Prep parents looking at our teaching of literacy and the Read, Write, Inc. programme. We will also be holding another Early Years and Pre-Prep Stay and Play session replacing the reindeers of Christmas with Easter bunnies and guinea pigs on Saturday 15th March.

The support of parents in ensuring that the Car Park has operated safely and effectively has been much appreciated and there will be a number of parent consultation events as we plan for our new developments.

I wish everyone a successful and enjoyable Spring Term.

Tim Hoyle
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