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Hessle High School

WEEK 22 - Friday 1 March 2024

I write this, on Thursday evening, having just booked two tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Sunderland in May. This will mean I will see him three times on the 2024 leg of his World Tour – something I have never managed to do on any previous tour and surely a sign of my recognition that this could be the last time.  

Even better, on the night in Sunderland, I am going with my sister. Joanna is five years younger than me, but I have always been inspired by her utter love for life. At Christmas, after a few glasses of wine, we made a pact for 2024; she would come to a Bruce concert with me. And I would go to see Pink with her (she is nuts for her). I haven’t fulfilled my half of the bargain yet, but surely will do when we get the chance. 

When my son was a few years old, my wife and I spoke at length about when to have another child. We both have younger sisters, and we didn’t want him to miss out on the unique relationship you have with your sibling. And so our daughter came along and the relationship they have together is a joy to watch; not always the best of friends but deeply besotted with each other in their own way.  

Of course, we see siblings and twins passing through our school all the time and it is lovely to see their personalities develop and see them looking out for each other. The sweetest moments come when a new sibling starts school in Year 7 and an older brother or sister suddenly starts to demonstrate a side to their personality which was hitherto unseen.    

This week, we received the names of our new Year 7 intake and – of the 250 new students joining us – over 20 of them are siblings of current students. So, there will be plenty of protective big brother and sisters evident in September! 

I have written before of the number of educational visits that my staff carry out each year and the great opportunities they provide to our students and, this weekend, we have another group of 40 students heading off to France. They left the site early Friday morning and will be back on Monday night. My wife (Head of Languages) is leading the trip and confesses that she is more worried about leaving me alone with the kids than she is about taking 40 other children to France!  

This trip follows on the back of the most recent overseas trip for our Sixth Form students to New York as part of the joint Consortium Sixth Form College trip. Some of those students had never been abroad before and it is not an overstatement to say that those five days of independence will have been life changing for some. Whilst that group were in the USA, we also had a group of Sixth Formers heading to Stratford to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the RSC; another very special cultural opportunity, organised by Mr Burnett. 

And just this week, our school was represented by our student leaders at the second annual TCAT Student Leadership Conference at Hull University. This event involved students from as young as four at our primary schools all the way up to some of our 18-year-old Sixth Formers. The theme was ‘sustainability’ and, speaking to one of our Senior Students (Joe Collins – Year 13), the event culminated in plenty of ideas for us to make our places of learning more environmentally friendly in the future. Great work by our learners and colleagues that organised it. 

Finally, today marks the National Offer Day for Secondary Schools in England. Parents that applied for places at our school from September will begin to find out if they have been successful. By Monday, everyone should have been informed by the Local Authority and I will begin to communicate with our latest groups of families for what will become the ‘Class of 2029’ - the year that they will reach Year 11, or ‘Class of 2031’ for those that go all the way to the Sixth Form. I am delighted that we will once again be full in Year 7 and thank you for everything you do – as current parents/carers - to support us in making us such an attractive choice for parents and families to come. 

Have a lovely weekend and thank you for your ongoing support.

Mr Groak