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Headteacher's Blog 2 - Friday 16th September

Why Horbury Academy?

As preparations are well underway for our annual Open Evening (see main website for details), I thought I would ask some year 7 students if they would still recommend Horbury Academy to their friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing what they had to say; 

“You should choose Horbury Academy because all the students are kind and will help you if you get lost. The lessons are great and you learn new things, including subjects that you didn’t do in primary school.”  Ella Palmer

“Horbury Academy is a great place with exciting lessons like History, Spanish, French and Design and Technology!” Rishie Patel 

“Horbury Academy is an amazing school because it’s not complicated to find your way around and gives you a fantastic education.” Seren Palmer 

“Come to Horbury Academy because all of the teachers are kind and caring, always there to help you even if you need to talk to them about something. Lessons you think are going to be bad are a lot different from primary school, I thought I would hate Spanish but it’s the opposite!” Georgia Field



“You should choose Horbury Academy because the lessons are really educational and fun at the same time; my favourite lesson is Art and Design.” Alfie Buttle 

“I would choose Horbury Academy because all the teachers are really kind and caring.” Danny Scott 

“You should choose Horbury Academy because the food is brilliant here! My favourite food is the wraps at lunchtime.” Alicia-Jane Richardson 

“You should choose Horbury Academy because the teachers are kind and the lessons are brilliant. The students are really caring and will help you find your way around.”  Ruby Edgar


 Year 7 Holiday Homework

The Senior Leadership Team and I have also had the pleasure of visiting year 7 form groups to look at the Holiday Homework we set them at their Induction Evening. Students had to complete Horbury Bear’s Holiday Diary and produce a self-portrait.  I am sure you will agree with me that they have produced some wonderful work.




Amazing Artists

In last week’s blog I invited parents and carers to our Art Exhibition which took place on Wednesday. I was absolutely amazed at the variety and quality of the work that was on display.  I loved being able to see a glimpse into students’ personalities, hobbies and interests that was channelled through their art work.  It was stunning and shows exactly why GCSE Art students achieved a fantastic 68% A*-C pass rate, with 24% of those grades at A or A* and Art Graphics GCSE students achieved an astounding 72% A*-C pass rate, with 36% of those grades at A or A*.  




 “Food! Glorious Food!”

(No doubt this will please Alicia-Jane!) The catering team will be trying some new style breakfast wraps from next week at midmorning break, starting with cheese and beans or egg and beans; these are priced at £1.40. Please feel free to come along to see our Catering Team to suggest your favourite food options. 

On Thursday 22nd September there will be a noodle bar in the restaurant area, students will be able to choose their topping of either Chilli Chicken or Chickpea and Lentil curry for £1.80 of they add fruit or a tray bake and drink for £2.00. 

If any students need any further information regarding their thumb print or anything to do with the cashless catering account Ms Higgins our Academy Chef will be available at breakfast club between 8.00 – 8.30am daily. 

Get Involved! Extra-Curricular Update

Students in years 7-9 should have been given our new Extra-Curricular programme of activities during period one this week.  I would encourage all students to get involved in at least one of the activities listed as the more you put into the life the more you get out! 

Evidence of this is some lovely sporting news – Izzy Lindley has secured a place on the England Netball Performance Pathway – she will be playing with the Wakefield Satellite Academy again this year.  She was selected from more than 270 athletes, which demonstrates what a brilliant achievement this is. 

Rumour has it that she is not the only Horbury Academy student to have achieved this; please do come and let me know if you have also got in or if you have any other exciting news to share. 

Drama, Dance and Music Opportunities

I’m pleased to also be able to update you with two opportunities for budding actors, dancers and musicians.

The first is to share with you that this year’s Horbury Academy production will be “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The first rehearsal will take place on Tuesday 27th September from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the main hall.  During this first rehearsal Mr Ray and Miss Fisher will explain how students can audition for main parts.  Auditions for principal parts will take place on Thursday 29th September.

The second is to let you know that Ossett Youth Theatre is running open auditions for their next production which will be “Annie the Musical.” The group are holding workshop sessions on Wednesday 21st, 28th September and 5, 12th October from 6.30 p.m. – 8.30 pm. At Trinity Church Hall, Church Street, Ossett in advance of the open auditions on the 19th October.

Happy 100th Birthday – All Things Roald Dahl

You may be aware that Tuesday would have been Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday; knowing this I took the opportunity to find out from staff which of his books was their favourite.  I’m sure you will enjoy reading some of their responses below.

“The Witches is my favourite Roald Dahl story because of the characters and the way they are described. It really stirred my imagination and now every time I see a funny looking older lady I think that she could be a witch!”  Miss Parkinson, Teacher of English 

“The BFG is my favourite book, no rules about how words sound and whizz-popping still makes me laugh out loud!” Miss Gibbs, Assistant Headteacher 

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has to be the greatest Roald Dahl. It shows that having good manners and a little bit of fun can make you achieve.  It’s been made into two great films too!”  Mr Keen, Learning Mentor


‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is my favourite Roald Dahl Book because it tells the tale of a poor boy who achieves far more than richer children through his honesty and the love he has for his family.  It shows that material possessions do not necessarily make you a nice person but being kind, honest and loving is all you need.” Mrs Fisher, LRC Manager 

“Esio Trot is my favourite Roald Dahl book. I love the little love story between Mr Hoppy and Mrs Silver. He has a clever idea to help Mrs Silver, as her tortoise doesn't seem to be growing up. Now I'm an English teacher, I enjoy it even more as Esio Trot is Tortoise backwards and the poem he gives to Mrs Silver to help her tortoise grow, seems gobbledygook but it is real words spelt backwards. Genius!” Miss Booth, Head of Year 7 

“So many happy hours spent reading this with my two children – it was their favourite bedtime story for a long time.” Mrs Parker, Finance Manager 

“I always found the relationship between father and son in Danny heart-warming. In Roald Dahl’s own words: “When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important. A stodgy parent is no fun at all! What a child wants -and DESERVES- is a parent who is SPARKY!" Roald Dahl isn’t just limited to the world of books; I can still hum the tune to his TV series “Tales of the unexpected” and have been lucky enough to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on stage in London and Matilda in New York (both while on visits with the Academy!).” Mr Lloyd, Education Visits Co-Ordinator


 Important Dates for Your Diary: Term One

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).

And Finally … 

It only seems fitting that the last words in this week’s blog belong to Roald Dahl: 

"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." — "The Twits" 

"Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything. Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it." — "James and the Giant Peach"