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Head of Year 7 Blog

 

MISS A PINKNEY

I am very proud to be the Head of Year 7.

If you wish to contact me, please email hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com

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  • WEEK 34 - Friday 17 June 2022

    Published 21/06/22

    As part of the Year 7 tutor programme, students have been focusing on Refugee Week. Refugee week was founded in 1998 and is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. The students have looked at four core beliefs of Refugee Week:

    1. We believe that everyone deserves a home and has the right to seek safety for themselves and their families.
    2. We are not the same. Our experiences are different and we do not have equal access to resources and power. But we are also interconnected and interdependent: part of a ‘bigger us’. We believe that the safety of each of us matters to all of us, and strive to come together around shared values of fairness, mutual support, kindness and respect for universal rights.
    3. We recognise that refugees and asylum seekers are not a single group and have different experiences, including because of race, class, gender, sexuality, age and immigration status.
    4. We use the word ‘refugee’ because of its legal and historical significance, and because we believe it is important to reclaim it from negative uses. At the same time, we recognise the danger of labels and respect people’s right to decide how they define themselves. Refugee Week celebrates the contributions of everyone seeking safety, regardless of the legal status they hold.

    I have recently read a book which was recommended to me by a close friend of mine. The book is called ‘No Ballet Shoes in Syria’ by Catherine Bruton.

    This book tells a thought provoking and gripping story of an 11-year-old girl called Aya, her baby brother and Mum seeking asylum from the war in Syria. It focuses on her experience of fleeing Aleppo, Syria and staying in refugee camps in Turkey and travelling across the Mediterranean Sea where she lost her Dad as the boat capsized on the way to Chios, Greece. Aya, her brother and mother find themselves in Manchester, England. Whilst waiting in the local community centre Aya was drawn in by music which brought back memories of her old ballet classes in Aleppo. 

    I don’t want to spoil the ending as you may want to read this yourself or buy this for your own child to read but it certainly gave me an insight into the experiences of young refugees.

    It would be unfair of me to finish this blog without congratulating the Year 7 students on their attendance over the past few weeks. This has been great to see and shows a brilliant attitude to learning. Let’s work together to ensure that this continues and we give our young people the best opportunity we can.

    Thank you for your continued support and please do contact us with any questions or concerns; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com 

    Take care

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 32 - Friday 27 May 2022

    Published 27/05/22

    This week I have been visiting some of the Year 6 students that will be joining us in September and it only feels like yesterday that I was visiting some of your children at their Primary Schools. Where does the time go? 

    The transition to Secondary School is great as there are so many changes which your child has dealt with really well. I often hear comments from parents regarding the change to their child and how they seem to have grown up so quickly since starting Secondary School. I suppose that is a natural progression when we are asking them to take on more responsibility, to be more organised and, of course, to behave in a more mature and sensible manner. 

    Your child will continue to experience changes throughout Secondary School whether that be their classes, friendships, teachers and their Head of Year and Assistant Head of Year. What will not change is the school's approach to ensuring your child achieves their true potential and as they move through the school we will continue to support each of the students in their academic progress and overall wellbeing.

    Attendance continues to be a huge focus for us as we see the impact poor attendance can have on a child’s education. There are a number of strategies I have looked at as your child’s Head of Year such as our 100% weekly attendance wheel, hot chocolate and waffle rewards and our half termly celebration assembly. It would be great if you could speak to your child regarding the importance of attendance and join us in celebrating their attendance whether that be 100% weekly, half termly or for the year. 

    Lastly, I have asked the tutors to investigate the different successes the Year 7 students have had outside of school. This includes a number of amazing achievements; we have a number of football champions, dance troupes, golfers, gymnasts and the list goes on. All of which I believe impacts the overall attitude and wellbeing of our young people. I look forward to sharing this with the rest of the year group as part of our assembly this week.

    Thank you for your continued support and please do contact us with any questions or concerns; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com 

    Take care and stay safe,

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 30 - Friday 13 May 2022

    Published 17/05/22

    ‘Money doesn't grow on trees’

    ‘Because I said so’

    ‘I want, never gets’

    Do you recognise any of these sayings? When you read them does it bring back memories of your parents or grandparents saying these words to you? I always remember hearing them and thinking it was such a mum, dad, nanna, grandad thing to say and now I find myself using exactly the same sayings not only to my own children but also to the students in school.

    As the youngest of three daughters I certainly have memories of the saying ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’, but what does it really mean? At school we often hear students say, ‘I only said it because they said ….’  But surely it can’t be right for young people to have this attitude and to feel like they need to respond in the same negative hurtful manner?

    We all want our young people to see the importance of kindness and the impact that their hurtful words can have on others. We want them to be respectful and for others to speak positively about them. We want them to ‘treat people the way you want to be treated and talk to people the way you want to be talked to’.

    Please speak to your child about the importance of speaking to their tutor, Head of Year, Assistant Head of Year or teachers if they feel that someone is upsetting them and certainly not to respond in the same way because as the saying goes ‘two wrongs most definitely do not make a right’. And who wants to study/work in a community where people are unkind to each other? Certainly not me!

    We are very focused on attendance at the moment and celebrating those many students who are achieving 100% for the year, or who are very close to it.  We know that illness is unavoidable but we appreciate your support in encouraging your child to avoid any other absences from school and ask them about the 100% attendance wheel.

    Thank you for your continued support and please do contact us with any questions or concerns; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com 

    Take care and stay safe,

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 28 - Friday 29 April 2022

    Published 29/04/22

    Stephen Lawrence day 22 April

    As part of the tutor programme this week the Year 7 students have been reflecting on the story of Stephen Lawrence.

    Stephen Lawrence was an 18 year old student who was fatally stabbed by a gang in a racially motivated attack in South East London on 22 April 1993. Stephen’s story has two clear messages.  

    The first is a message of grief and sadness, arising from a tragic and terrible event: the racist murder of an innocent young black person.  

    The second is a message of hope, because the tragedy of Stephen’s death offers lessons of hopes and dreams, and of justice and inspiration. It is a story rooted in the love of Stephen’s family, whose fight for justice saw two of Stephen’s murderers finally brought to justice.   

    This story gives us a reason to reflect on and understand how racism and discrimination can take root and lead to horrendous hurt and tragedy. It also gives a reason to be hopeful and, above all, to inspire us to Live Our Best Life.

    As we mark Stephen Lawrence Day, it is important that we learn the story of Stephen’s murder, and why it took so long for justice to be done. It is also important that we celebrate the life we have at this moment and that we all have great potential to achieve amazing things. We need to dream big and, like Stephen, work towards our goals. Sometimes this will mean that we will need to overcome barriers to get there, but we shouldn't lose hope. Keep on striving for a better future and for the things you believe in. 

    We are all aware that sadly we still live with racism in society; with knife crime among young people, and with discrimination of various kinds, including racism in football etc. We still have a long way to go in dealing with racism in Britain and as a school we take any allegations of racism extremely seriously. We are constantly working towards increasing the students' awareness of racism and always act decisively to investigate and take action whenever it is reported to us.  Your support with this work is vital and you can help by discussing issues of race with your child, perhaps asking;

    • Have you ever witnessed racism? (you don’t have to have been the subject of racism yourself to have witnessed it and be offended by it)
    • What did you do?  Did you report it or otherwise ‘call it out’?

    Together, decisively, we can make sure that tragedies like that which happened to Stephen Lawrence become a thing of the past.

    Thank you for your continued support and please do contact us with any questions or concerns; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com.

    Take care

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 26 - Friday 1 April 2022

    Published 01/04/22

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.

    So says the children's rhyme that was used as a defence against name-calling and verbal bullying. Its intentions were to increase resilience and to avoid physical retaliation.

    I have recently been to my own children’s parents evening and whilst I am obviously very interested to hear about how they are doing academically and that they are achieving their potential one of the main comments that always sticks in my head is that my children are kind, sociable and they are liked by the other children. 

    Kindness; to be generous, considerate and friendly. 

    One of the biggest battles we have as parents and in school is the use of social media. Unfortunately, both adults and young people often sit behind a screen and think it is acceptable to write things that they would never say to someone’s face, all too often choosing very unkind words. Some would use the term ‘keyboard warriors’ to describe people like this. Clearly, social media is a big problem for us and our aim for people to behave with kindness. Apparently, to combat this, there is now a ‘Social Media Kindness’ Day in November. Without sounding too old; they didn't need this when I was at school but the reality is that social media is just another thing that young people have to contend with.  

    As Head of Year 7, I often speak to the students about ‘being kind’ and treating others as they would like to be treated themselves. School should be a happy place for young people, the place that they can come to and gain the best education whilst also spending time with their friends. We want the young people to be kind and to be respectful to each other, to understand that to gain respect they need to give respect and to speak to others in the way that they would like to be spoken to.

    Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given. – Hussein Nishah 

    We will continue to contact parents if their child is involved in making any inappropriate comments to their peers but I would also encourage parents to speak to their child about the importance of being kind and treating others the way in which they would like to be treated.

    Thank you for your continued support and please do contact us with any questions or concerns; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com.

    Take care

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 24 - Friday 18 March 2022

    Published 18/03/22

    In school, we are always keen that students mark the various focused weeks of appreciation or celebration. This ranges from Anti-Bullying Week to Black History Month to Comic Relief.  All of these are opportunities for us to raise awareness and promote important causes and themes.

    British Science Week is a ten-day celebration and this year it takes place between 11-20 March 2022. The idea behind Science Week is to raise awareness, spark enthusiasm and to celebrate science, technology and maths with people of all ages.

    Influenced by the fact that my husband is a Science teacher and both of my children have a keen interest in the subject, I have chosen to focus this week’s blog on the importance of Science.

    Science is any system of knowledge that looks at the natural world and is based on facts learnt through research, observation and experiments. I took this opportunity to ask three Science teachers and three Year 7 students why they believe science is so important:

    Mr Sellers - Science teacher (Physics)

    Science is who we are, what we do and why we are here. Science is the beauty of the world around us, the mystery of life, the joy of discovery and the determination to succeed. Science is overcoming difficulties and building resilience, science is the passion behind invention and the challenge of improving. Give science a chance and let us show you what it can do for you!  

    Miss Norman - Science teacher (Chemistry)

    I believe science is important because it teaches us about the world around us. By developing scientific inquiry skills we can learn how to approach and solve problems and continue to make new discoveries that can improve the lives of everyone and everything on our planet. We are at a turning point with regard to climate change and only science can help us save our Earth - the more educated we are about science, the better we can make our world.

    Dr O'Neill - Science teacher (Chemistry)

    Will something react? Why will it react? How am I here? Why don't I float into space? Science allows us to ask the tough questions, to try out the hypothesis, to find solutions to the everyday problems around us. To not give up if the answer isn't what we expect but to find out why it isn't then amend our thinking and strategy to find another route. Take a look at the amazing world around you... That's why Science is important to all of us. It's why we are.

    Gilby W - Year 7 student

    Science is important because scientists found out about the human body. Illnesses wouldn't be cured because people wouldn't have the knowledge for vaccines like the COVID-19 vaccine. Science in school is important so we can understand how the world we live in works and become scientists in the future.

    Sophie A - Year 7 student

    Science is important for the overall knowledge of the world, it helps us create solutions for illnesses or help us build trains and cars. Whilst science has three main areas (Biology, Physics and Chemistry) there are many jobs such as cooking, game designing and business that include some science. Understanding science gives us a wide range of skills, you learn to get things wrong and find out why or how to approach problems in an organised way. 

    Lucy D - Year 7 student

    I think it's important to study science as it develops our understanding of the world we live in. This is important as having a better understanding of the world will help us in the future because the knowledge can help develop new ways of aiding people and the environment. Another important reason we study science is because it answers questions students may have had previously. If people haven't had an interest before studying science, learning about it may spark an interest and encourage people to follow it as a career path.

    If you would like any further information or would like to access free resources please follow the link below:

    https://www.britishscienceweek.org/

    As always, If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com.

    Take care

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 22 - Friday 4 March 2022

    Published 04/03/22

    Just before the half term break I delivered an assembly to the Year 7 students based on one of our school values; Aspiration. 

    Aspiration - we aim high; we have ambitious expectations of ourselves and others. We believe that we can make a difference to our local community.

    I showed the students an animated clip about a young girl named Amani who felt like she lived a very dull life, repeating the same thing day in and day out. She dreamt of a life with possibilities, changes and a different future. She was then given a very important role to inspire others, to make others see their possibilities and take on challenges. 

    I do often wonder how many of our students have aspirations, how many of the Year 7 students have even thought about their future and what they want to achieve. But how can we set ourselves the challenge of being the best we can be if we don't set ourselves goals? 

    Researchers suggest that there are two types of aspiration:

    Intrinsic aspirations - those that enhance our individual well-being, making us feel good and satisfied.

    Extrinsic aspirations - those focused on an outcome such as becoming rich or maybe even famous.

    As someone working in education I want all of the students to achieve their academic potential thus resulting in them being successful in whatever career they choose. Some may even become rich or indeed famous if that is what they genuinely aspire to be. However I believe it is important at this stage to help our students to have the intrinsic aspirations that will help them feel good and enhance their well being. This of course is very individual and requires us to really get to know the young people in our lives.

    As always, If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com

    Take care

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 20 - Friday 11 February 2022

    Published 11/02/22

    On Tuesday, it was ‘Safer Internet Day’ which we chose as the focus of tutor time for that day.  We all know that young people increasingly use online games and social media as their way of staying connected to their friends. In many ways, this can have a positive impact on the emotional wellbeing of children but it does come with risks. As a parent, I know that there are always anxieties about who our children are communicating with and what they are being exposed to online.  

    Parental controls are available on most of the technology used by young people and are an easy way for parents to track their child's usage. They are designed to protect young people from seeing any inappropriate content such as pornography, age restricted apps or any other adult content. Parents can ensure that their children can only access age-appropriate content, restrict usage, monitor activity and prevent in-app purchases.

    It’s also really important to involve ourselves in our children’s online world and make sure we keep up to date on what they are accessing. Maybe start a conversation with your child about what their favourite websites are or what games they are currently playing on. I myself have no interest in gaming and very little use of social media; however, as a parent and the Head of Year 7, I have made it a priority to ensure that I am up to date with the very many benefits and risks that come with using the online world as a young person and I would urge you to do the same.  I am sure that you will find the following guidance useful:

    • Try to spend some time online together to teach your kids appropriate online behaviour.
    • Keep the computer in a common area where you can watch and monitor its use, not in individual bedrooms. Monitor any time spent on smartphones or tablets.
    • Bookmark kids' favourite sites for easy access.
    • Check your credit card and phone bills for unfamiliar account charges.
    • Take your child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange.

    And more information can be found using the following link: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/net-safety.html#:~:text=Never%20post%20or%20trade%20personal,parent%20approval%20and%2For%20supervision.

    As always, If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com

    Take care

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 18 - Friday 28 January 2022

    Published 28/01/22

    Sports, clubs, hobbies and activities are such a great way for young people to learn new skills and make new friends. This could be a drama club, football club, martial arts, arts and crafts, the list goes on. Taking part in these types of things help young people to become independent, build their self esteem and help with their emotional well being too. Sports clubs not only help in terms of increasing physical fitness but are also character-building, raise self-confidence and allow students to improve their leadership and time management.

    Both of my children take part in a number of activities; swimming lessons, football, dance, gymnastics and rugby. There are times when I am chasing around taking them and picking them up and I sometimes wish for a day off. However I can see just how beneficial all of these activities are for my children and what they gain from each and every one of these activities.

    Over the past week I have asked the Year 7 tutors to speak to the students about any activities they take part in and to invite them to share this information with me. This was then put onto a powerpoint and shared with the other students in Year 7. This not only allowed for the students to learn some interesting facts about their peers but also celebrate their achievements outside of school.

    I couldn't possibly list all of the amazing activities that were shared however here are a few… 

    We have a very successful girls and boys school football team alongside a large number of other students that play for local football teams

    • We have seven students who won a national writing competition and have had their work published
    • A student who took part in a swimming gala and won three silvers and a gold
    • A student who won an award for helping out at a homeless charity
    • A student that plays cricket for Hessle cricket club and got nominated for the MCC - if he performs well he might be able to play for Yorkshire
    • A student who is a member of a dance club and will be competing in London in April against participants from all over the country
    • A student who built up the confidence to start attending girl guides and is now really enjoying it

    As always, If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com

    Take care

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 16 - Friday 14 January 2022

    Published 14/01/22

    This week we have been focusing on one of the Hessle values - Resilience 

    We interpret ‘Resilience’ to mean that “We are determined, we do not give up when things get tough. We persevere. We know that learning is often hard but we persevere.” 

    When young people are resilient, they cope much better during or after difficult situations. We often hear the term ‘bouncing back’ which young people can often do. Your child needs resilience to navigate life’s ups and downs and is an important factor to the development of our young people.

    Young people can need resilience for a variety of situations; peer group disputes, struggling with their classwork or bigger issues like a family breakdown, family illness or death or they may just have an anxious personality. We can’t always prevent our children from experiencing tough times but we can all play a big role in building their resilience. This support can come from parents, grandparents, aunties, teachers and even from their peers.

    Resilience is more than just coping. When you’re resilient, you’re more prepared to seek new ways to overcome your challenges and achieve your goals. 

    Here is a clip from the young minds website that you might want to watch with your child. It looks at What Resilience Means To Young People? 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RzHx5rw0f4

    If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com.

    Take care

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

    Read More
  • WEEK 14 - Friday 17 December 2021

    Published 17/12/21

    Christmas is a magical time of year. It's a special time to show others you care. Families come together and show one another love and how they value each other and even as we are hit with yet more uncertainty it is so important we make the most of this quality time with family and friends.

    As a parent myself I often hear the words ‘mummy can you play a game with me’. The truth is that although I try to find the time for this it isn't always possible and for me this is what Christmas is all about. This Christmas I will be mostly eating, drinking, playing games and watching movies. Why? Because this is the time of year I make sure I can.

    So - from one parent to another - please do the same, spend time with your children talking, playing games, watching movies. Enjoy every moment, enjoy opening your gifts and we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

    I will finish my blog with an extract of a poem written by Clement Clarke Moore that always inspires the magical Christmas warm feeling and I hope it has the same effect for you:

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

    The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

    While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

    And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

    Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap

    https://www.teachervision.com/christmas/twas-the-night-before-christmas-full-text-of-the-classic-poem

    Merry Christmas

    Take care,

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

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  • WEEK 12 - Friday 3 December 2021

    Published 03/12/21

    This week I had the pleasure of going to the theatre to see the play “Everybody is Talking about Jamie”. As a Performing Arts teacher myself, I went to see this based on its main purpose, to entertain. However I left really thinking about the impact of words on a student and the need for young people to be encouraged to be what they want to be.

    For those that may not be aware of this musical, it is based on the true story of a 16-year-old schoolboy called Jamie Campbell. It looks at how he overcomes prejudice and bullying eventually becoming his dream job - a drag queen.

    This fits in well with the topic in our assemblies, “It’s Not Banter”, in which we are educating the students about where we draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable language and the impact that so-called ‘banter’ can have on others.  For more information on this please click on the link here.  

    We have also been exploring careers this week. Miss Lawes, our Careers Leader, has been providing our Year 7 students with advice on future pathways and this is discussed on the last Friday of each month during tutor time. I hope that this gives the students time to think about what career they may wish to go into and how they can achieve this. 

    As we get closer to Christmas we are focusing on ensuring both staff and students stay safe and I therefore urge parents to speak to their children about the importance of not only wearing their masks within the school building but also wearing it appropriately, covering their nose and mouth.

    Thankyou for your support. If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch; hoyyear7@hessleacademy.com.

    Take care,

    Miss Pinkney

    Head of Year 7

    Mrs Briggs

    Assistant Head of Year 7

    Read More