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Hessle High School

WEEK 25 - Friday 22 March 2024

Sport has been heavily on my mind this week, for lots of reasons.  

Firstly, last weekend was one of the lowest points in my time following my team, Hull FC. I have supported the club since the 1970s and believe me we have witnessed some lean times in that period. But there are few games when I have felt so disappointed and bereft of hope than last Saturday as we were hammered at home by a team who were missing several players and hadnt won a game.  

Watching a sports team fall apart like Hull FC did is a dispiriting experience and it calls to mind so many thoughts around organisational culture, team spirit and pride – things which I am always keen to learn more about as the leader of a large school. I am proud of the culture that exists at Hessle High and know that all of my leaders work hard to maintain it. It doesn’t happen by chance and needs nurturing and developing intentionally. Clearly something is amiss within the culture at Hull FC and the solutions to the current situation will not be quick coming and there will be lots of hard work to get there. I hope that any of you that were there managed to enjoy your weekend afterwards – it certainly cast a cloud over mine. 

This term we have had plenty of sporting success, both from our teams, and some of our individual students who take part in everything from boxing to tennis to swimming to dancing. Their successes are not always brought to our attention immediately and it is only when they become a regional or national champion that we get to hear about it. We really want to know about the interests of our students outside of school so please encourage your child to share any out of school activities or successes with their teachers and tutor. We love to celebrate this.  

The sporting highlight then came from our Primary pupils where our Year 5 and 6 girls football team winning the Hymers College Open Football Shield on Wednesday. And well done to Clara in Year 6 who won the award as Player of the Tournament.  

Another big event for the Hessle High Community this week was the World Down Syndrome Day on Thursday. And our wonderful girls Lara, Mia and Anya joined with their teaching assistants and other students to organise a bake sale to raise money for one of our charities ‘Downright Special’. The cakes looked delicious (I’m sure you’ll agree) and, although I wasn’t on site during break, I’m told that someone has saved me one!  

Although today is the last day of term, there is no let up in the activity. We have hosted our friends from the Prison Me No Way organisation, who are running lifestyle workshops with all our Year 9 students. This is a well-established event and challenges our 13/14 year old students to reflect upon the risks faced by young people in the modern world. It brings them into contact with several reformed prisoners who talk about their mistakes and life journey. It is a powerful day and always a popular one with students. 

And finally, it has also been our Sixth Form taster day for Year 11 giving them the opportunity to visit one of our partner Sixth Form sites (Wolfreton or Cottingham). For most of our year 11, their choice to stay in the sixth form is heavily influenced by the relationships they have built with Hessle teachers but there are equally attractive courses, facilities and talented teachers in our other schools too, which is the unique selling point of our Consortium College.  

And so, a short but busy term comes to an end. After the weekend, I still have work to do so will be back in school for a few days next week. But, for the second week of the holiday, we will be in Spain. We are fortunate to have access to a house in Estepona, which is one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa Del sol, full of Spanish charm, a lovely beach and some great tapas bars and restaurants. The house has no wifi and a TV with only six channels (half Spanish and half German) so it is the perfect place to relax and unwind and spend some proper quality time with my family.  

Whatever you are doing over the Easter holiday, I hope you find some sunshine and time to relax and thank you as ever for your ongoing support to my staff and I. 

Mr Groak