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Hessle High School

WEEK 6 - Friday 15 October 2021

Last week, I wrote to inform you of the significant improvement in our covid situation following our reintroduction of face coverings at the end of last month. This week has been a much quieter one on that front and we have seen an 80% decline in the number of cases reported each week. There could be many reasons for this but the one significant action that we have taken has been the wearing of face coverings and the local Public Health team are convinced that this will have made a big contribution to the reduction. For that reason, we have continued to require students and staff to wear them in communal spaces and thank you for your ongoing support with this.

Another of the best ways in which we can continue to control the spread of the virus is through regular LFD testing. We know that so much transmission is caused by people who do not know that they have the virus. Regular testing can help to identify when you may be positive and help to break that chain of infection. Sadly, the proportion of students taking home test kits has fallen and, from speaking to students, we know that far fewer of them are testing regularly. Please support us with this and help your child to get into the regular habit of testing on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.

The pandemic has affected everyone of us but it has also brought out the best of us at times. The appreciation that we have received for our work from parents and other members of the community has been really touching at times and spurs us on to do our very best for our students and families. To any parent who has taken the time to share their gratitude, a very big ‘thank you’ - it really does mean a great deal. 

On the other hand, it is a real downside of working in public life that we also see the worst of people. People do not work in schools for the money or even for the holidays; they do it for the satisfaction of working with young people and doing a job that has real value and purpose. It is incredibly frustrating, and even deeply depressing, for me when I hear of my staff being abused in their work. This does not happen regularly, but it is often enough to be a concern. What do I mean by ‘abuse’? Well, it is not uncommon for parents and carers to swear at my staff, or to shout at them or send emails that are downright rude and sometimes abusive. Often this is over a disagreement over a school policy, a detention, a uniform issue; sometimes it is when we have made a mistake and are trying to put it right. No matter what the cause of the situation might be, there is never an excuse for rude or abusive behaviour and it is almost always counter-productive. We are trying to teach young people how to handle heated situations and, as adults, we must always model best behaviours, especially when in front of the children.

I was reluctant to share this with you as I am really only referring to a very small proportion of our parents. Nevertheless, it is useful for everyone to know the pressures that our staff sometimes face and how proud I am of their steadfastness in continuing to support families despite the occasional four letter word!  

Yesterday evening was our Year 10 Parent Information Evening and over 140 people attended over three sessions to hear a presentation from a number of senior staff. The purpose of the event, which was similar to the Year 11 event a few weeks ago, is to provide the information we think you need to support your child, in this case in Year 10.  We outlined the timeline to GCSE exams, the careers support that is available and the importance of good attendance.  I will pick up the attendance issue further next week but, in the meantime, for those of you unable to attend, the slide set can be found here.

Finally, as I write this the sun is shining once again and a pleasant weekend beckons. If you are heading to Hull Fair please do so safely. Whatever your plans may be, I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

Best regards

Mr V Groak