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Hessle High School

WEEK 27 - Friday 19 April 2024

Next week is the final week of employment for one of our most-admired caretakers.  Roland ‘Roly’ Hunt will retire next Friday after seven years at Hessle High School.  Before that, Roly spent many years working for BAe systems.  

As Headteacher, I have always been determined to ensure that every individual working in our school feels valued for the work that they do, regardless of how unglamorous they may feel that their role is.  I am pleased that nobody in our organisation prefaces their role with the word ‘just’ anymore; this refers to a time when some people would tell visitors that they were ‘just’ a cleaner, for example. Now I hope that everyone appreciates the role that everyone has in making our school great; keeping it clean is arguably more important than anything. And being a ‘caretaker’ is just as vital. 

Nowadays, Roly’s official title is ‘Facilities Assistant’, but I have always preferred the word ‘caretaker’ to describe their role, for that is what they do.  They don’t just look after and care for the building and our site, they look after their colleagues who work with them.  

One of my first encounters with Roly was when I was walking across the car park in the pouring rain.  As I approached my car, I realised there was a huge puddle around it where a drain had become blocked by leaves.  I stopped and tried to figure how I was going to get into my car without getting my shoes and socks wet.  Quick as a flash, Roly appeared from nowhere with a broom handle and strode into the water, getting his own feet wet through.  He poked around the drain and soon the water disappeared.  I was shocked and said, “you didn’t need to do that, Roly.”   

“I’m already wet,” he said, “no point you getting wet as well.” 

On another occasion, Roly won a prize in the Xmas raffle and, as he came up to collect it, the cheer from his colleagues was the biggest we’ve ever had; which truly reflected the affection in which he is held by everyone he works with.  Like the rest of his team, they are always to be seen lugging equipment and furniture around the site, but also carrying heavy bags for people, or helping them to jump start their cars, or fixing a puncture. Whatever it takes to keep everyone happy and productive – this is what they do. 

I will miss Roly, and our chats about rugby league and how terrible Hull FC have become.  But on behalf of everyone he has worked with and the wider school community, we wish him many happy years of enjoyable and well-earned retirement as he heads to the riverbanks to spend more time with his fishing rod! 


It has been a busy day around school day with a heap of different activities taking place. 

First up was our intrepid Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award students, thirteen of whom were in school early, fully laden with their backpacks ready for their three-day practice expedition. This takes place (hopefully in drier weather) around Lakeland Park near Pocklington. These Year 10 and 11 students have been on the programme since Year 9 and the personal development that we see in the students that take part in this is phenomenal. As ever, our thanks go to Miss Moore, Mrs Edwards and Mr Scott who accompany them on the trip. 

Also setting off were a group of Year 13 Geography students heading to Manchester for a weekend residential revision course, and a group of Year 11 PE students going off site for the GCSE Practical Moderation. So there were lots of comings and goings at the start of the day today. 

Each of these trips takes a lot of organising and planning and, when our colleagues are out of school leading the trips, it often means that other colleagues are covering their lessons as well, so it is a real team effort to put on so many experiences and activities for our students. 


As the cricket season gets underway, last week we asked our son to check that his cricket clothing and equipment still fit him. It never does, and it is always quite comical to see his cricket whites wafting around his shins and him trying to squeeze his hands into his too-small gloves.  

It is his 14th birthday next week and so we will be heading to Sports Direct in Hull tomorrow to upgrade his cricketing gear for the season ahead. He has played cricket since he was six and last year switched clubs to play for Kirkella CC, where he is a decent bowler and an enthusiastic batter. More important, he loves it, and we enjoy seeing him competing and trying his best, whilst making friends and spending lots of time on a sports field. The club have a nice little bar and it is not a bad way to spend a Friday night after a busy week at work, watching him and his mates training. 

And so another week comes to an end, and we are already two weeks into the summer term. Hopefully, the weather will begin to warm up and stay dry and we can begin to enjoy the longer evenings before too long. 

Enjoy your weekend and thank you for your support. 

Mr Groak