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Headteacher’s Blog 20 – Friday 24th February


I am sorry that there was no blog on Friday 10th February.  This was because some critical ICT work took place over the holidays and the system was closed down from 3.30 p.m. that day.  The good news is that we now have a much faster network connection and this week’s blog is a bumper edition (especially when you get to the bronze award section!)

Sporting Heroes!

 Cross Country Success

Congratulations to Caitlan Wigglesworth, in year 9, who recently as part of the Wakefield Schools Cross Country Team competed against other areas around Yorkshire. Caitlan came in 7th out of 61 runners, which means she has been selected to represent West Yorkshire Schools on the 18th of March in Norwich at the English Schools Cross Country competition.  We wish her the very best of luck! 

Hockey Heroes 

It was with great pleasure that I received the following email this week:

“I would once again like to convey my thanks to you for arranging the 4 boys who acted as hockey officials at the Wakefield Primary Hockey Tournament held at Slazengers Hockey Club yesterday. 

The boys arrived promptly and were absolutely fantastic coping with over enthusiastic teachers and equipment that had to be repeatedly retrieved and replaced as it was blown in the strong winds. They maintained a good sense of humour and conducted themselves impeccably throughout the event. I really appreciated the help they gave me, providing chocolate and even packing all my equipment and offering to carry it to my car without being asked. 

These boys are a credit to Horbury Academy and brilliant role models to the younger pupils in attendance.”

Thank you for showing Student Leadership at its best to – Josh Swallow, Callum Killian, Jacob Parsons and Luke Townend.

Netball News

As always our netball teams have been very busy!  (And very successful too).

This week we played netball against Outwood Grange Academy.  The results were as follows: 

Year 7 won 14 – 0                             Player of match Emily Hall

Year 8 won 9 – 2                               Player of match Ella Craven        

Year 9 lost 8 – 6                                 Player of match Caitlin McGrath

Year 10 lost 5 – 7                               Player of match Abbie Collins

And before half term we played Ossett Academy – the results of the two matches played were: 

Year 8 won 12 – 1

Year 7 won 13 – 2

Football Focus

Former Horbury Academy pupil James Bree completed a £3 million move to Aston Villa from Barnsley FC signing a four and a half year deal. James 19, a former Captain of the Academy Football team and prefect, signed for Barnsley in 2012 turning down numerous premiership clubs to stay local and concentrate on his studies.  James became the second youngest player to play for Barnsley making his debut at 16 years old whilst still attending Horbury Academy. James made his debut for Villa in their 2 -1 loss to Nottingham Forrest. The PE Department/Academy are extremely proud of his achievements.

Debate Team!

Just before we broke up for half term Miss Booth and a team of year 10 students attended the annual Horbury and Ossett Phoenix Rotary Club Debate.  Miss Booth’s report follows below:

“The debate topic was: The house believes that obesity is best tackled by... The government and NHS, retailers and producers or family and community.

We were against our MAT school Ossett Academy and the Horbury Churches Youth project team. The team from Horbury Academy was given the role of arguing that obesity is best tackled by the retailers and producers. They argued that brightly coloured packaging attracts customers and brainwashes them to buy too much or junk food, as well arguing that the ever rising costs of healthy food means that families can’t afford some healthier alternatives.

The evening started off with us being welcomed to the club by the members and we then enjoyed a lovely two course meal. The students were polite, courteous and really engaged with the members of the club. They also interacted well with each other and although there was the hint of competition between us all, it was definitely a friendly one.

The debate was excellent, fantastic arguments and delivery was given by all students. I was exceptionally proud of the students, especially the Horbury Academy team who had only had a very short time to prepare.

What was really hard on the evening was not only was Horbury Academy’s team students from our school, but the Horbury Churches Together team also included students from Horbury Academy, in fact, all 4 of them were from here!

However, it wasn’t to be – Ossett Academy won the evening by half a mark that they had gained from their fabulous delivery.

The results:

1.       Ossett Academy

2.       Horbury Academy

3.       Horbury Churches Breakthrough project

The teams were:

Horbury Academy – Amber Roberts, Casey Taylor, Lucy Watson, Luke Mcgrath and Stephanie Najafov

Horbury Churches Breakthrough project – Aaron Daley, Anya Allott-Ratcliffe, Beth Jackson and Megan Coe.

I also received this lovely email praising the students and Miss Booth:

“I’ve been asked by our club members to pass on our grateful thanks to your debating team at last night’s best ever Youth Speaks competition.  Unfortunately you were pipped to the trophy by Ossett Academy by the smallest of margins but you can be very proud of their efforts and the way that they conducted themselves at all times they are brilliant role models for the Academy and their families.  The team were Luke McGrath, Amber Roberts, Casey Taylor and Lucy Watson.  Could we also note the contribution of Miss Booth the teacher who had obviously spent a lot of time with the students preparing for last night”

Mike Robb Chairman of Youth, The Rotary Club of Horbury and Ossett Phoenix

Charity Work

Before half term Emmi Huffinley, in Year 11, organised a charity prom fair, with a fashion show which raised £1116.13 for The Wakefield Hospice. Emmi choreographed the show and hosted the whole evening. Her friends did some modelling for her including, Emma Barker, Holly Charlesworth, Billy Baxby, Mia Hamilton, Keeley Mitchell, Harriet Aisbett and Keiran Audsley. 

To continue their fabulous fund raising efforts and to support The Wakefield Hospice, we are asking students to make a donation on World Book Day.

 Brilliant Bronze!

I was busy before half term and again this week issuing more students with their bronze awards.  It has been absolute honour to meet students who have upheld Horbury Academy expectations and flown high!

Congratulations to: Melissa Walker, Evie Brooke, Isabel Batchelor, Oliver Hamilton, Kobe Jobson, Hollie Armitage, Nicole Phenix, Nathan Byford, Daisy Kay-Brook, Rebecca Riley, Ella Craven, Stephanie Najafov, Matilda Smith, Emily Kemshall, Gemma Marshall, Ella Boote, Mckye Moore, Catherine Garside, Samantha Kirk, Bethany Jackson, Lucas Waite, Madeleine Abbott, Olivia Cheverton, Ahmed Zia, Nell Cranswick, Faith Bromley, Joe Newboult, Serena Laryea, Rebecca Lister, Nikita Conolly, Connor Noble, Matthew Norfolk, Catriona Barnes, Olivia Hall, Ella Rowbottom, Mia Johnson, Kobe Poching, Madeleine Smith, Anisa Khan, Jacob Parsons, Thomas Bowden, Harriet Elsey, Bethany Flanagan, Kadie Stirling, Megan Kelly, Leah Greenwood, Abigail Manning, Gabrielle Green, Chloe Bosah, Safa Khan, Caitlin Powell, Lauren Lockwood, Frances Wraithmell, Leah Firth, Casey Taylor, Tanisha Drummond-Bateman, Mollie Gilbert, Jennifer Boddy, Connor McQuillian, Anya Allott-Ratcliffe, Kaytie-Jo Genty, Saskia Moore, Bethany Cusworth and Olivia Rock.



Well done to: Abigail Collins, Ellie Kendall, Kitty Brear, Sandra Bak, Samantha Kershaw, Daniel Rigby, Ellie Tomlinson, Bethan Elsworth, Josh Sykes, Natalie Cooling, Rachael Kellett, Joe Ellis, Sophie Wilson, Joshua Waddington, Malaya Basir, Olivia Rock, Casey Scotland, Charles Exley, Sophia Carter and Ruby Newbould.



Congratulations to: Sabah Khan, Alexander Jolly, Aaron Brooke, Ashley Townend, Mia Jobson, Lily Carter, James Donnachie, Matthew Crowther, Amy-Leigh Colligan,



Madeline Jackson, Samantha Wilson, Alyssa Rys, Alice Lovett-Johnson, Christopher Gascoigne, Emily Slade, Rebecca Sansom, Emma Bos, Luke Henderson, Charlie Hamilton, Morgan Small, Saira Mahmood, Oliver Dickinson Brown, Erin Lindop, Taylor Plummer, Amber Ball, Jessica Hartley, Sophie Gomersall andHollie Bramald.




In Year 9 congratulations go to: Archie Newton, Tigan Dickens, Yasamin Nasimi, Olivia Farnhill, Holly Auty, Khalid Khan, Andrew Denton, Kayanat Ahmed, Morvyn Gardiner-Mackie, Alyssa Hodson, Georgia Evans, Jemima Wilson, Jessica Campagna, Oscar Richford, Kian Newton, Cate Dewin, Isabelle Lindley, Hollie Bradbury, Abigail Winters, Caitlan Wigglesworth, Charlotte Lindley, Harvey Leveridge, Sophie Smith, Samantha Whitworth, Mary Nell Murphy, Abbiegail Barrett, Emily Hewson, Oliver Kenworthy, Holly Punton, Naomi Frankland, Shannon Shaw, Faye Ambler, Lewis Costello, Katie Wilson, Emily Kershaw, Jamie-Louise Daniels,Tiya Harewood and Maddison Hirst. 




Congratulations also go to: Thomas Kaye, Olivia Hargrave, Charlie Purvis,Ella Beaumont, Ewan James, Eloise Paull, Oliver Brown, Demi Hill, Abigail Sockett, Natan Kujawinski, Leon Bradshaw, Harry Levitt, William Shaw, Tyler Watson, Chloe Kaye, Ellie Ross, Gabriella Thornber and Ruby Pert.




Well done to the following students who also received their bronze awards:Bethany Walker, Tia Austin, Lucy Watson, Cody Hepworth and Lucy Davies.

 Food, Glorious Food!

It’s not just World Book Day that will have our catering team busy over the next few weeks!

Keep Those Brain Cells Working!

PPEs begin next week and to help our key stage 4 students boost their brain power we are giving them all a free breakfast along with a drink. Hopefully this will help our students do their best in their exams and keep their brain cells functioning for longer.

Students - please remember to collect yours from the restaurant at morning breakfast club from 8.00am till 8.30am.

Flipping! Fruity! Flavoursome!

Our year 9 Monday hospitality food group will be assisting Ms Higgins our Academy Chef flip their stuff ready for pancake day on Tuesday 28th February. Their challenge is to flip 500 pancakes in two hours ready to sell to our students over morning break and lunch time.

Pancake toppings include: Banana, chocolate and strawberry: Blueberry, yoghurt and honey and Pineapple, syrup and lemon all priced at 80p. Also available in the main hot meal deal priced at £2 which includes a main course, pancake, topping and drink, with a saving of £1 per meal deal.

Girls Get Tech

On Wednesday a group of girls from years 8 and 9 went to Leeds University for a STEM event.  Mrs Brooks our STEM Co-ordinator told me: “Just a quick note to tell you what a wonderful day we had yesterday at Leeds University!  The event was organised by STEM at Leeds (part of Leeds Uni) and the RAF.  Students learnt about the history of mobile phones and got to ‘play’ with some old models of phones and did some quizzes (of course Horbury Academy won the quiz!).  The workshop they enjoyed the most was making a 3D hologram projector for their phones and they then played some holograms – it was just like on Star Wars watching Princess Leia, pretty impressive stuff and absolutely fascinating! 

They treated us all to a lovely lunch in the Refrectory and then we were given a campus tour of Leeds Uni by some of the students which left our girls extremely inspired and impressed.  All in all a fabulous day out!”

World Book Day – Thursday 2nd March 2017

As you know we will be celebrating World Book Day next Thursday by dressing up as our favourite Roald Dahl characters.  Information about events on the day and costume ideas can be found on our main website.  Our catering team are also getting involved by offering a specially themed Roald Dahl menu on the day – which includes George’s Marvellous Medicine Chicken Soup—80p, Fresh Mudburgers -£1.80 (James and the Giant Peach), Wormy Fries and Hot Noodles made from Poodles on a slice of Garden Hose—£1.80 (James and the Giant Peach), Wonka's Nutty Crunch Surprise—60p (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Bruce Bogtrotter Cake—60p (Matilda).

I can't wait to see students and of course staff, in some fantastic costumes and look forward to sharing with you how much we raise for The Wakefield Hospice.

Ski Trip 2017

We may have thought that storm Doris brought some cold weather our way, but a group of students and staff experienced true cold weather last week during our annual ski trip.

Mr Lloyd told me, “60 students from Years 10 and 11 enjoyed a fantastic week of skiing in the Dachstein West region of Austria during half term. Although we had the highest percentage of beginners we have ever taken their progress through the week was fabulous with all the groups ending the week on the slopes at the top of the mountain.

We also took the opportunity in the evenings to visit a thermal spa in Bad Ischl, watch Salzburg Red Bulls in the national ice hockey play offs and try our hands at ten pin bowling as well as enjoying fun and games back at the accommodation.

Plans are already in place for 2018 and invitation letters will be out to our current years 9 & 10 very soon.”



I am eternally grateful and appreciative of the fact that I work in a school which has staff who are willing to give up their holidays to take student on trips like this! 

And finally …

Did you know, it is only ten school weeks left until GCSE examinations begin!?  This week we have been busy preparing students by completing Walking Talking Mocks.

But, our preparation doesn’t end there!

On Sunday students are invited in for a GCSE English Language revision session. 

Year 11 need to be here from 10.30 – 12.30

Year 10 need to be here from 1.15 until 3.30

I look forward to seeing our students here on Sunday - and remember, you've got to be in, to win!