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Head of Year 9 Blog

MR N LECKENBY

I am very proud to be the Head of Year 9.

If you wish to contact me, please email hoyyear9@hessleacademy.com

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  • WEEK 16 - Friday 14 January 2022

    Published 14/01/22

    Option choices - why are they so important? 

    I remember it like yesterday. I was 13 years old and enjoying most of my school experiences. In particular, PE and all extra curricular sports activities. I attended everything possible including football, tennis, cricket, badminton, table tennis, athletics and many more. On this particular day I turned up to school and was informed that I would be speaking to a careers advisor to discuss what I wanted to do in the future. I no doubt would have been informed about this career’s meeting at an earlier time but had not prioritised it as other school activities were clearly more important to me at that time. I was wrong! This first meeting with a careers advisor should have been my main priority on this day as it was the first opportunity I had to discuss my future once I had left school. I cringe when I remember my response to the question “what do you want to do as a career when you leave school?” My 13 year old response was very quick, and delivered with a misplaced confidence…..”I'm going to be a professional footballer, Sir”. Now… looking back I can now fully appreciate the professionalism of the careers advisor's response. He didn't laugh and spit out his coffee. He discussed the likelihood of this happening in the first instance. But more importantly he discussed what my back up plan was if my budding football career didn't quite happen. I didn't have any real ideas of careers that I was passionate about at that time, which is absolutely understandable. But what I did receive was some amazing advice that I pass on to my students when we talk about option choices.

    I was told to make subject choices that I enjoy doing. To choose subjects that I am interested in and to choose subjects that I will perform well in. I was advised to NOT choose subjects based on my friendship groups. Choose subjects that give me the platform to succeed in, which will then open more doors of opportunity when you get to the end of year 11 and will be at a more mature level to decide on your future educational or professional pathway. I absolutely believe this advice all those years ago have allowed me to make the decisions that have led me to my chosen career pathway. I genuinely did not know that my working life would be in education when I was 13 years old… but, because of the option choices I made in year 9, it provided me with the range of options at the end of year 11 that allowed me to join the sixth form and continue my education in the environment of my choice. 

    As I write this blog, I am preparing for the year 9 Options fair that all students will attend. This is an opportunity for students to speak to subject staff and 6th Form students who have studied different subjects. It’s an amazing opportunity for year 9 students to ask questions which will allow them to make better choices to ensure they are successful at KS4. This is just the beginning of their options journey. Students will receive their Options booklet the week commencing 24 Jan 2022. Please take the time to discuss this with your child and to help and guide them in their choices. After the half term holidays, each student will speak to Mrs Price and her team about their option choices. We will always try to ensure that students are on the right courses for them to achieve outstanding outcomes and will work closely with parents to discuss any potential issues or concerns. 

    As I mentioned at the start of this blog… My first career choice never came true (I blame injury and a poor diet!) but my option choices, made with the support of my teachers and parents, have allowed me to be successful in my chosen career pathway. Please speak to your children and give them the advice that I truly appreciate as I reflect on my time as a 13 year old student.  

    If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyy9@hessleacademy.com 

    Mr Leckenby

    Head of Year 9

    Mrs Newman

    Assistant Head of Year 9 

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  • WEEK 14 - Friday 17 December 2021

    Published 17/12/21

    As Christmas fast approaches, it has been a time for me to reflect on the first four months as Head of Year 9. After such a disrupted year 8 for our young people it has been a wonderful time getting to know all the pupils and families on a more personal and professional level and despite the pandemic we have achieved so much in a short space of time.  After such a positive and successful start to year 9, we can now focus our attention on driving forward with our improvement priorities.  

    It has been a very busy term for students and staff with loads of exciting learning and teaching, and also lots of preparation for our winter festivities. These included the amazing carol concert performed at All Saints church by our students, KS3 celebration assemblies to reward the hard work and achievements of year 9 students and decorating our Christmas tree with personalised messages from every student at Hessle High. At this special time of  year we really do witness first hand the sense of community and togetherness that our school is so incredibly proud of. 

    Now, we move on to the holidays and I am mindful of the need to take time for ourselves over the Christmas period.  We are still faced with the ongoing issues and potentially further restrictions that this pandemic brings.  Therefore, it is important that we look after our health and wellbeing as we need to be reinvigorated for the year ahead.  We want to be able to welcome our whole school community back in January. Please ensure that you spend quality time with family and friends whilst also keeping as safe as possible by following all the government advice and guidelines. As mentioned in previous blogs, the next term is a huge educational  milestone for our students as they will be choosing their option subjects which will further shape their future education pathway. This really is an exciting period for our students to look forward to.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, pupils, parents, friends and staff of year 9 for your continued support and wish you and your loved ones a restful Christmas and a New Year that brings health and happiness.

    If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyyear8@hessleacademy.com 

    Mr Leckenby

    Head of Year 9

    Mrs Newman

    Assistant Head of Year 9 

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  • WEEK 12 - Friday 3 December 2021

    Published 03/12/21

    What makes a great team player? 

    Teamwork is involved in many aspects of the school day. When partaking in group tasks are your children aware of what makes you a good team player? 

    How can you help your child develop their team work skills? 

    First, highlight the reasons why you enjoy doing teamwork, and the benefits you see as a result of it. This is a great way to showcase your passion and enthusiasm for being collaborative. Working together can help teams complete tasks faster and with more efficiency, while also having fun! Working with others can be an enjoyable and social aspect of the work environment. New friendships can be made when you work collaboratively with new people. Forming positive relationships with other students can help the day go by faster and their school work seems more fun. 

    Leadership Skills

    Every team needs a good leader.  Think about a time when you encountered a good leader in your life. Take into consideration what they did that made them so good at managing a team. I have been fortunate enough to work closely with many excellent leaders in my personal and private life. I remember vividly my football coaches, my tennis coaches and my teachers who had amazing communication skills that created an environment where I could flourish and grow. I've also been fortunate to have been mentored by many magnificent leaders in my professional life. This has allowed me to become better equipped to lead others in my year group during such difficult times. 

    While being a team leader is an admirable goal to work towards, it is equally important to be able to work under the direction of someone else. This can involve collaborating with other students who think differently than them. Speak to your child about developing their ability to listen to other perspectives and apply them to the task at hand. Talk to them about their ability to combine the ideas of other students to create an even better solution. Compromising with other students is a great way to be a good team player. By developing all of these personal attributes it will help our students deal with the many challenges that they face in their educational journey. 

    As Christmas draws closer, we have some great activities taking place over the next two weeks. These include supporting the 999 Cenotaph fundraiser to support our NHS heroes. We will also be supporting the Teachers versus Year 11 students charity football event on the final day of term. This is always a fantastic event that is supported by the whole school community. I may even dust the boots down and make another appearance!!!

    Have a great week 

    If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyyear8@hessleacademy.com 

    Mr Leckenby

    Head of Year 9

    Mrs Newman

    Assistant Head of Year 9 

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  • WEEK 10 - Friday 19 November

    Published 19/11/21

    Choices!

    I have spent many hours over the last two weeks speaking to my year 9 students about choices. We ALL continue to make many choices throughout everyday. Some we are happy with and some we would relish the opportunity to make again with the benefit of hindsight.

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  • WEEK 8 - Friday 5 November 2021

    Published 05/11/21

    Hessle High School provides an education for all, acknowledging that the society in which we live in is enriched by diversity. We strive to recognise and celebrate the diversity within our school community where everyone is equally valued and treats one another with respect and fairness.

    Community is at the heart of what makes a strong and safe school environment.  With this in mind we aim that Hessle is a place where:

    • There is a warm, welcoming, happy atmosphere that is secure, stimulating and supportive of learning.
    • We encourage students to do their best to make them feel confident, valued and proud to be themself.
    • Positive relationships are adopted between students, staff and parents/carers
    • Students can achieve to the highest level possible
    • Achievement by others is celebrated
    • Different intelligences are recognised and celebrated
    • Students can pursue many different interests and achieve a broad knowledge of the world to equip them for life

    I have been fortunate enough to have worked at Hessle High for 18 years. During this period I have been privileged to see first hand how diverse our community and school environment has become. It provides us with new challenges that we always seek to resolve with our students and families best interests at heart. We are here to listen to your thoughts, your concerns and your suggestions on how we can continuously strive to be the best, most diverse school community there can be. I emphasize the “we”...as it is a massive team effort between all stakeholders to hold each other accountable and deliver the best possible educational experience for our learners. It is not always easy. We don't always get it right the first time. But we as a school, and myself as your child’s Head of Year, will always endeavor to resolve situations if they arise, and to embed policies and structure to the school day to ensure every student has the opportunity to achieve outstanding outcomes. 

    I hope you were all able to spend some quality time with your families over the half term break. As the dark nights close in I would ask that you continue to support your children by providing them with the best platform to succeed in school. Simple, clear, daily routines and structure (as mentioned in previous blogs) will ensure that students are ready and prepared for each school day. 

    If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyyear8@hessleacademy.com 

    Mr Leckenby

    Head of Year 9

    Mrs Newman

    Assistant Head of Year 9 

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  • WEEK 6 - Friday 15 October 2021

    Published 15/10/21

    Perception is reality. I'm sure the vast majority of people reading this blog will recognise this age-old expression. How we behave and who we become as personalities is shaped by the many different interactions, experiences and dialogue we experience. Or at least our perception of these experiences. 

    I deal with hundreds of students on a daily basis. My own experiences have a huge impact on who I am, how I interact and how I conduct myself in my professional and personal life. It has got me thinking just how much of an impact my year 9 students' choice of friendship group has on their behaviours, attitudes and conduct when in school and also when out and about in the local community. You quite literally become the people you hang around with. I have daily conversations with students about making better choices. I encourage them to surround themselves with positive influences. If you surround yourself with positivity you will be more positive!

    The people you interact with the most on any given day, at any given time, or at any given moment, is YOU. You frame your reality with your perception. In essence, YOUR brain literally creates the environment YOU live in, both internally and externally. Therefore, if our students have positive experiences, positive thoughts, and are able to rewire their mind to frame things in a positive and constructive manner they will be rewarded in many ways. This could be evidenced in a brighter smile, having more energy, more resilience, better outcomes in assessments, or something as insignificant as getting out of bed in a better mood! 

    How often do you sit down with your child and discuss all the positive things that happen in their daily routines? Are we more programmed to focus on the negative? I challenge you to sit down and ask your child to write down 3 positive experiences they have had that day. Focus on that positive feeling and how that improved their mood for the rest of the day. By training the mind to recognise positivity it will allow young people to chase the positive experiences and allow them to grow as humans. 

    Hopefully many of you have been able to spend family time at Hull Fair this week. It does feel like we are back to some normality after the many covid restrictions we have had to endure. Please support the school's decision to encourage masks over the next few weeks. Safety of all stakeholders at Hessle High is of the most importance. 

    If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyy9@hessleacademy.com

    Mr Leckenby

    Head of Year 9

    Mrs Newman

    Assistant Head of Year 9 

    Read More
  • WEEK 4 - Friday 1 October 2021

    Published 01/10/21

    Having a daily routine can be a stress and sanity-saver during a hectic working week, both for parents AND students. Not only can certain repetitive actions benefit your physical health (such as regular exercise), but they can also improve your mental health by reducing your stress levels. Every time you have to make a decision, you are adding some stress to your life. The more decisions you have to make, the less self-control you'll have. While you can't do away with decision-making completely, creating regular routines can take much of the guesswork out of your day:

    • Start your day off right. Figure out what time you need to leave the house each morning and set your alarm so you have plenty of time to accomplish your at-home tasks before you hit the road. Rather than jumping from task to task, create a set routine and stick with it. You'll waste less physical energy and brain space.
    • Sleep better. A regular bedtime routine is essential to good sleep hygiene. Turn off your electronic devices an hour before bed and avoid stressful conversations in the evenings. Brush your teeth and wash your face well before your set bedtime so you get to sleep on time and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day.
    • Enjoy quality time with loved ones. Even if your family's schedule is busy, creating a weeknight family dinner routine is a great way to ensure you and your loved ones have time with each other at the end of the day. 
    • Have more time for activities you love. By creating an efficient, routine schedule, you'll leave room for activities you truly enjoy. Spend more time exercising, watching the latest netflix shows or playing on the latest console games...yes i know...FIFA 22 has landed!!! But always do these activities in moderation and with a structure and a routine in place. Believe me, it has helped me to control my 14 year old boys who love to play Fifa 22!

    Routines will shorten the amount of choices we have to make during the day. I constantly speak to year 9 students about choices. We have the opportunity to make good AND bad choices throughout the day. If we can limit these choices by implementing simple routines at key times of the day i.e what time we get up, when and where we eat, what time we put our phones away, preparing uniform and school bag for the next day...we will improve how we attack each day due to the fact that key decisions are already in place. We create a structure that supports our well being and allows us to perform at the best of our ability. 

    In conclusion, don't be afraid of implementing simple, easy to follow routines and structure to your children's lives. It will free up their minds and allow them to focus on more important decisions they will face throughout their school day. Hopefully they will then see the positive outcomes in their school experience as we move forward in this new school year. 

    If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyy9@hessleacademy.com 

    Mr Leckenby

    Head of Year 9

    Mrs Newman

    Assistant Head of Year 9 

    Read More
  • WEEK 2 - Friday 17 September 2021

    Published 20/09/21

    At last….we have welcomed our students back into our school building and are almost back to “normality” as we knew it pre-covid. I write with caution as one thing we are now so acutely aware of is things can change very quickly in the current climate. But let's be positive and enjoy the fact that we are back and we are indeed back to some normality within the school community. 

    I have spoken many times about how hard things have been for our students and their families over the last 18 months. I know first hand that these challenges remain, my own children returned to year 10 with the same worries and anxieties that happen at the start of each school year. Even more so that the “rules” have changed yet again. BUT it never fails to surprise me just how resilient our young people are. They have the strength and determination to succeed no matter what obstacles are put in front of them. This all stems from the unconditional support and guidance from parents and guardians in the first instance for which we are always thankful for. 

    Having thought about the resilience of our students in these trying times, it led me to think about the amazing teenage tennis player Emma Raducanu. I hope like me, many of you were able to watch and be mesmerised by Emma’s talents as she went onto win the US Open Championship last Sunday evening. Her story is amazing. Her resilience is astounding. From practicing everyday in her driveway during lockdown when the tennis facilities were forced to close, to studying diligently for her upcoming A Levels alongside her tennis practice whilst preparing to play at Wimbledon in front of millions of watching spectators. To then having to deal with huge adversity when losing in the Wimbledon semi finals and having her mental strength and resilience questioned by many. What were her choices at this difficult period in her young life? Give up? Hide? Make excuses? NO...she worked harder, made changes in her life to ensure she would improve, and committed to looking after her mental health by looking after herself and her well being. All this at 18 years old and in the public eye. To then go on and win the US Open shows an amazing level of resilience and self belief. It truly was inspiring to watch. And to top it all off...she smashed her A Level exams as well!

    I see resilience of this nature everyday within our school community. It is an attribute we all must work on, through the best times and through the most difficult times. We must always remember to ask for help and support in difficult times. And Like Emma Raducanu we will succeed in whatever we set out to do if we can continue to work hard, stay resilient and help each other. 

    Welcome back to another exciting school year.

    If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyy9@hessleacademy.com

    Mr Leckenby

    Head of Year 9

    Mrs Newman

    Assistant Head of Year 9 

    Read More
  • Head of Year 9 Blogs 2020/2021

    Published 17/09/21

    To view Year 9 Blogs from 2020/2021 please click here

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