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Hessle High School

WEEK 18 - Friday 28 January 2022

As I write this, our Year 11 students are currently being interviewed by over 40 employers who have volunteered their time today to support us with Mock Interview Day.  We have assembled an eclectic mix of professionals from all walks of life school with members of the armed forces, nurses, construction workers - you name it, we have them in school today. As I got out of my car this morning and walked across the car park alongside our visitors, it was a little like watching a Village People reunion (you might have to be a certain age to get that musical reference)!

And then, shortly afterwards, our Year 11 students arrived and what a fantastic sight they are today. All dressed in their best professional outfits - it was like the opening credits of The Apprentice! The students have been very nervous but, as they have settled in and put their own individual interview behind them, they are really enjoying the day and relaxing enough to chat with many of the visitors in school.  

Year 11 is a huge year in the life of any young person; during this time they have to complete their GCSE courses, make some serious decisions about their future pathways, apply and be interviewed for their chosen college or apprenticeship, revise for exams and then sit them. And all of this on top of dealing with the pressures of adolescence, growing up and that journey of discovery into what type of a person you are, and hope to be. I have huge empathy for them. At my age of 53, one year is much like the next really. And, on those occasions when I am faced with a decision of significance for myself, my family or the people I lead in school, I have the advantage of many years of experience and (hopefully some) wisdom, to fall back on. Our students don’t have that which is why they need a good team behind, and around, them.

Today, we remind them of the team that they have in school. Without the rest of the students on site, we can give them our undivided attention, along with our visitors, to reassure them that we are on their team. Most important, of course, are the family; and never are parents needed more than when the children reach this stage in their education, and life. Ensuring that our young people get the balance right in the coming months is vital. We want our students to be focused on their work but we also want them to look after their wellbeing and we all know that too much work can be counter productive. So, those of you who are fortunate (maybe not the right word?) to have a child who is in Year 11, I want to say ‘thank you’ for helping them and also that we are here to help you too. Mr Julian, Mrs Lacey and Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Meir, are spending many hours with students to help them get the balance right so please pick up the phone if you think we can help your child further. After today, there are 59 school days until the first exam - we need to make sure every one of them counts.  

And to parents of children who have been working from home today, I hope that the above will demonstrate the power of today’s activities in school and that you can look forward to your child enjoying the same event in the years to come. We recognise that asking other students, and parents, to work from home is a difficult choice to make but we firmly believe it is such a crucial part of the Year 11 experience to justify it.  

Finally, thank you for your support with the ongoing covid measures that we have kept in place and with the request for students to test daily. We hope that these measures will only be required for a little while longer but we are delighted with the response from students in observing these.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.

Mr Groak