WEEK 10 - Friday 17 November 2023
This week’s cabinet reshuffle may have hit the headlines because of David Cameron’s return as Foreign Secretary; but the biggest surprise was probably the fact that Gillian Keegan ended the day still in post as Education Secretary! Keegan has now been in post for thirteen months and is probably due for a long service award by now.
Since Michael Gove was fired in 2014 after four years in charge, none of the other eight (8!) Education Secretaries have managed two years. But at least Zahawi (10 months), Cleverly (2 months) and Malthouse (7 weeks) would have had time to chair a meeting or maybe even a visit a school, whereas poor old Michelle Donelan probably didn’t have time to make a coffee in the 36 hours she lasted in the Truss-chaos of last July!
It’s crazy, isn’t it? How do they expect to be taken seriously?
But, if it’s good enough for those running the country, I have begun to consider whether we might have a reshuffle amongst our middle leaders here at Hessle. Mr Willson has had quite a stint as Head of Maths; I wonder if it might be time to move him to Art? That would allow me to move Miss Lewis to PE (she likes her football) and then Mrs Leckenby can move off the field to an indoor job as Head of Music. If there’s still a vacancy after all of that, maybe I’ll drag Mr Jolley out of retirement?
Of course, it would be ridiculous, and you would rightly ask me what on earth was going on at the school. Anyway, thankfully we don’t have a new Education leader this week and so, for the moment, we can just get on with the job and this week has been a great one for our learners to enjoy experiences outside of the classroom.
Last Saturday, Mr Sellers and Miss Burrows took a group of Sixth Form Physicists to the Diamond Light Source venue in Oxfordshire to learn more about the UK’s national synchrotron and how it is used. We are very proud of our Physics team here at Hessle. Physics teachers are the single most difficult specialists to recruit into schools nationally and many schools do not have a single specialist Physicist on their staff; we have three, which is a testament to the Science team and their commitment to developing the next generation of scientists, so that they can work in mind-bending places like the one they visited on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Year 7 students enjoyed ‘All About Me’ Day – a great opportunity for them to hear from guest speakers, specialist staff and others and to reflect on their own future. This involved a day off timetable, which created great excitement, but which also led to some really mature discussions about their futures and the great things they want to achieve with their lives.
Also, on Wednesday, a group of Year 9 students took to the road and spent the day at Yorkshire Wildlife Park on a Geography Field Trip. If you have been to this venue, you will know how lucky we are to have this practically on our doorstep and the students really enjoyed the visit whilst also learning a great deal about tourism and how land can be repurposed for different uses. Mr Carlin led the trip, and he could not praise the students highly enough for their behaviour and maturity.
And our older students have also been out and about with the Year 12 Spanish class enjoying a meal at El Toro restaurant on Wednesday night. Spanish is a new A Level for us at Hessle and their teachers, Miss Oddell and Mrs Groak, have been keen to provide students with the full experience of learning the language and culture, hence the trip to experience food and the tapas way of eating.
Finally, we also welcomed parents and carers of those students who participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme to school this week for their annual celebration event. This programme continues to be a real success for the school and for students, who start to participate from Year 9 onwards. This week, thirty students received their Bronze Award and a further fifteen received their Silver Award. Ella Whiting and Kieran Hudson were chosen to receive the special awards for outstanding achievement. My thanks to Miss Moore who leads the programme for us in school, and to Mrs Edwards and Mr Scott who support her with expeditions and much else besides.
This is just a flavour of the wide range of opportunities that our students have benefited from this week, thanks to the commitment of the staff to broaden horizons and raise cultural awareness.
I spent a few moments checking the Groak family calendar last night and realised that this coming weekend is the last one of the year that does not involve some form of family gathering or social get together. As good as they will be, I am looking forward to enjoying the weekend at as slow a pace as possible, finish my book and watching some TV with the kids.
Whatever you are doing, have a lovely weekend and thank you for your ongoing support.