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Hessle High School

WEEK 20 - Friday 9 February 2024

s we reach the end of the first half of the Spring Term, I have been reflecting on what we have achieved as a school since Christmas. The first thing I always consider is how our exam groups are faring.  

For Year 11, they are doing well. There have completed a week’s worth of Mock Exams this week and will finish them after half term. The attendance to school has been good and their attitude to their exams is really positive. We track them carefully and the data looks healthy; but of course, none of them have sat a formal exam yet nor submitted any coursework. In other words, there’s still a long way to go and nobody is complacent. Next week, some of them will be back in school, completing work and keeping their learning ticking over; their commitment, and that of the staff, is impressive and makes me very proud. 

Our Year 13 are one of the most focused and driven cohorts we have had for many years. The vast majority already have their conditional university offers and are now working hard to achieve the grades they need. It is a pleasure to be amongst them as I was in last night’s Sixth Form Progress Meeting, where I held my own teacher conversations with the students in the class I teach. This is something I really value in my work and hope to always be able to find the time to keep teaching.  

We’ve also been very happy with the continued improvements to behaviour, since we introduced our new behaviour policy in September and I thank you all for your support with this, as well as support with uniform standards. One area in which we continue to seek improvement is in punctuality at the start of the day. We have clear routines each morning which set the students up for the day ahead, and involve lots of PD work. If students arrive late, on a regular basis, this disrupts their preparation for the day and often causes problems later on. Punctuality is also a life skill and we see it as part of our responsibility to instil the importance of being in the right place at the right time if our students are to enjoy successful careers. It is also courteous and good manners to show up on time, wherever you are. 

We expect all students to be on site and in their social spaces by 8.30am. At 8.31am, students sign in with our attendance officer instead and are then given a short lunchtime detention. If the school bus is later or there are extreme traffic and travel problems, then we take this into account. However, normal traffic is always busy at this time of the day and we urge everyone to set off in good time to ensure they arrive on time. Again, your support with ensuring that your child arrives into school on time each day is greatly appreciated. 

The half term break will also mark, for us rugby fans, the start of the Super League season. As in every year, Hull FC start the season joint top and so I always enjoy this moment of optimism, which sadly doesn't usually last long! The season kicks off with a derby game at the MKM Stadium next Thursday and I shall be there with my son, and friends and their kids. My wife and daughter are heading to the in-laws in Surrey on Monday, leaving my son and I to spend some quality time together. His latest sporting obsession is darts. That suits me as I can still beat him at Darts! He has a week of sporting challenges planned for us, which includes golf (I’ll be favourite), badminton (he’ll thrash me), table tennis (him again), garden cricket (depends on the state of the pitch!) and the darts. A proper compendium of sports. “A bit like Superstars?” I said to him, referring to the TV classic of the 1980s. He looked blankly at me. At least I know what I mean. 

Whatever you are doing over the weekend and during half term, enjoy it and hopefully the weather will begin to warm up too, with Spring not far away. 

Thank you as ever for your support this half term. 

Mr Groak