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Headteacher’s Blog 1 – Friday 9th September

Flying High! #Team Horbury

It’s lovely to start the first blog of the academic year with so much to celebrate!

You may have already seen from our website that we are delighted with this summer’s GCSE results which show improvements in all key measures with a record number of our students leaving us with those all-important good passes in English and maths. Our headline percentage of students who left us with 5 GCSEs including English and maths at grade C or above has risen from 59% last year to 66% this year. 75% of our students left us with a C or above in English and 73% with a C or above in maths. On the new headline measure of the percentage of students who achieved a C or better in both English and maths we have achieved 69%, up from 61% last year. Both of these headline measures are well above the Wakefield averages of 60% 5 A*-C with English and maths and 63% A*-C in both English and maths and we expect to be significantly above the national averages when these are published later this term.


Of course, our students sat exams in many other subjects and excelled across the board at every grade level and should all be proud of their achievements.  We wish them all well for college, 6th form, apprenticeships and employment.   

We are also extremely encouraged by the success of our current Year 11 students who sat GCSEs for the first time this summer.  They have proved, yet again, that students “Fly High” with the correct guidance and support.  It is incredible to achieve excellent GCSE results when in year 10 and I am particularly proud of all our students who rose to the challenge of formal examinations.  A particular highlight is the student outcomes in Media and Ethics where 100% of all learners gained an A*-C grade. 

I have high hopes for year 11’s results this summer and expect them to continue our trend of improvements despite the new, challenging examinations they will face.


 The World of Work

Our current year 11 certainly proved that they are mature, not only in the exam hall, but also in the wider community; including the work place.  It is always a nerve wracking experience as we unleash our students upon the work place to carry out Work Experience, but each year I am struck by how well they represent themselves and the Academy.  The positive feedback has been overwhelming and I proud to share some of the comments from employers below:

Aaron Lightfoot – Norton Webb “One of the best work experience placements we have had – been a real asset and help.  Punctual, smart and extremely helpful.  Great with computers”

Louis Shaw - HSL Chairs “We were reluctant to take any students on work experience after bad experiences with other schools in previous years.  Louis’ placement has turned out amazingly well – we would offer Louis a job tomorrow and would like to work with Horbury Academy again!”

Madeline Jackson - Lace & Co “Madeline has fitted in very well, chatting and dealing with customers like an experienced member of staff, very polite and efficient.”

Cameron Finch -  Royal Mail “Polite, well- mannered and offering to take on any task asked of him.  We have been reluctant to take any work experience placements for many years, but we will now reconsider after this week.”

Roman Blinds Direct, “This year, we were absolutely blown away by the talent of the pupils from Horbury Academy!”  Well done to Luca Wilkinson, Jared Exley, Joey Esmond, Jack Reynolds and Kathryn Gorst who spent the week working there.

 An International Dimension to Work Experience!

Eve Waddington’s work experience took her beyond Wakefield; in fact it took her beyond England as she supported a group of pilgrims travelling to Lourdes, France.  Eve joined the parish of English Martyrs Church, Lupset and the Holy Family Catholic Church School, Carlton on their pilgrimage.  I think you can see from the photographs below what a rewarding and special experience this was.



A Warm Horbury Academy Welcome to:

Year 7 who have already broken a Horbury Academy record by achieving 100% attendance on their first day – I know that this sounds surprising, but they are in fact the only year 7 who have managed this!  I have loved meeting some of our new students, visiting their lessons and watching them find their feet at secondary school.  (You can see a few of them busy at work below!)






Our new staff – I am pleased to share with you that we are fully staffed with specialist teachers in all subject areas.  Again, this may surprise you, but I am well aware that due to the national shortage of teachers that this is sadly not the case for all schools, both locally and nationally.

I am pleased to welcome to “Team Horbury” Miss Parkinson and Miss Midgely to our English Department.  Mr Pennington who joins us as Deputy Curriculum Leader in Science.  Miss Tyrrell and Mrs Krishnan in maths.  Mr Ray who is our new Head of Music.  Miss Young who joins our ICT and Business Department and Mr Barrett and Miss Yates who join us in Humanities.  (I have managed to get some of our new staff onto the blog in their first week!)

Our new Prefects, Head Boy, Head Girl and their Deputies – after a rigourous election and interview process I am pleased to welcome our new prefect team: Luca Wilkinson, Troy Moxon,  Jack Reynolds ,Tom Gomersall, Chris Colley, Elliot Smith, Joe Brear ,Mark Scott, Dan Fletcher, Matthew Crowther, Michael Schurbaum ,Charlie Hamilton, Edward Colley, Chris Gascoigne,Tom Blenkinsop, Joanne Henderson, Rebecca Sansom, Emma Barker, Keeley Mitchell ,Harriet Aisbett, Madeline Jackson, Bronte Clay, Emma Bos, Emily Slade, Kathryn Gorst, Rebecca Stevens,  Megan Smith, Mea Deering, Morgan Small, Erin Lindop, Emily Huffingley,  Alyssa Rhys, Alice Lovett-Johnson, Amber Ball, Jess Hartley, Sam Wilson, Anya Hilton-Inkpin, Charlie Ward, Chloe Mackay, Mia Hamilton, Taylor Plummer,  Ansab Zulfqar,  Kyra Hanson, Holly Bramald, India Stoppard, Megan Jones and Brogan Rigby. 

Our new Head Girl Madeleine Frampton and her deputies Rhianna Alexander, Eve Waddington and Sabah Khan and our new Head Boy Kieron Audsley and his deputies Luke Henderson, Gabriel Kolodziejczyk and Andrew Beever.



The Rewards Policy

Following feedback from staff and students we have updated our Rewards Policy for 2016-17.  An abridged version of our policy for parents, carers and students can be accessed here.

Re-launch of School Nurse Drop In

I’m pleased to share with you that a School Nurse will be available every other Tuesday lunch time, to offer advice and/or support with health issues. Topics for discussion could include: Healthy lifestyles, emotional wellbeing, stress, smoking cessation, sexual health and immunisations.

If students have anything they wish to discuss then please come along. The School Nurse will be present in the Atrium throughout the designated lunchtime and has access to a private room for any confidential discussions.

If any parents/carers wish to access the School Nurse or are concerned in anyway about the health and well-being of their child please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Robinson our Child Protection Officer or your child’s Head of Year.

 Show My Homework

All students in Years 8 to 11 have today been re-issued with their Show My Homework login details. They have also been given a PIN number for the parental account. Parents and carers only need to use this PIN if they have forgotten their login details or never used the parental account. Existing usernames and passwords from last year will continue to work as normal and parents or carers with more than one child in the Academy should see all of their children’s homework tasks on the same account.

Year 7 students will be given their login details together with the parental login, as well as spending some time learning how to use the system, in their ICT lesson next week.

There is also a free Show My Homework app for Apple and Android phones and tablets which is the easiest way to see homework tasks set.  If you need any support with accessing Show My Homework please do not hesitate to contact us using our dedicated email support address and further details including the login link are on our website homepage in the “Quick Links” section.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Mr Care is busy collating the full range of activities and a booklet will be shared with students in the next two weeks.  However, quick of the mark are the PE department who begin their activities next week.  All activities will take place after school from 2.45 p.m. – 3.45 p.m. and are open to all students.

Tues – Year 7+8 Girls Netball – Sports Hall

             Year 9-11 Boys Rugby – Field

             Year 7+8 Boys Football – Astro Turf

 Wed – Year 9-11 Girls Netball – Sports Hall

            Year 7-11 Girls Football – Astro Turf

            Year 7+8 Boys Rugby – Field

            Year 9+11 Boys Football – Field

Thurs – GCSE PE Practical – Badminton  - Sports Hall

Charity News

Mr Walton, our Head of PE, will be putting on his running shoes this Sunday to take part in the Great North Run for ‘Horbury Churches Together’. Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne the 13.1 mile route takes runners through the city centre towards the River Tyne where thousands of people will cross over the iconic Tyne Bridge, where if he’s lucky, he might get a glimpse of the Red Arrows passing overhead.

Please visit for more details and to make a donation.  All monies will support Horbury Churches Together in providing a range of activities during lunchtimes, after school and holidays for students.

The Daniel Gaskell Foundation

The Daniel Gaskell Foundation has been long supporters of students at Horbury Academy amongst many things they are generous donators to our annual Presentation Evening.  The Daniel Gaskell Foundation also support individuals with grants, further information can be found here.

Important Dates for Your Diary: Term One

Wednesday 14th September 6 – 8 p.m. GCSE Art Exhibition 

Wednesday 21st September – Open Evening, the Academy closes at 12.10 p.m. for all students.  Full details can be found on our letters page. 

Wednesday 28th September – Year 7 Welcome Evening (details to follow) 

Friday 30th September – Reward visit to Alton Towers, Year 7 visit to Chester Zoo 

Friday 21st October – Academy closes for half term 

Monday 31st October – Academy opens after half term 

Thursday 3rd November – Year 7 Meet your form tutor evening (details to follow) 

Wednesday 9th November – Year 10 Launch of Work Experience to parents 

Thursday 17th November – Year 11 Parents’ Evening 

Tuesday 13th December – Horbury’s Got Talent 

Friday 16th December – The Academy closes at 12.10 p.m. for the Christmas holidays and re-opens on Tuesday 3rd January 2017. 

(For the full list of term dates please check the Academy website) 

Head’s Drop In

Headteacher Drop in Sessions will run on the following dates:

Monday 19th September  9 - 10.30 a.m.
Monday 10th October  2 – 4 p.m. 
Thursday 3rd November 4 – 7 p.m.
Monday 21st November 9 – 10.30 a.m. 
Monday 9th January 9 – 10.30 a.m.
Wednesday 1st February 5 – 7 p.m. 
Thursday 2nd March 4 – 6 p.m.
Monday 20th March 9 – 10.30 a.m. 
Monday 8th May 9 – 10.30 a.m.  
Thursday 22nd June 4 – 6 p.m.
Monday 26th June 9 – 10.30 a.m. 

The Headteacher’s Drop In is an open-door opportunity for parents/carers to meet with the Headteacher to discuss any concerns or issues that they may have.  It is also the opportunity for parents/carers to apply for Holidays in Term Time (Please see our Holidays In Term Time Policy for further information).