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Headteacher’s Blog 23 – Friday 9th March 2018

♫ Bring me sunshine ♫

Thank you once again for your support and understanding yesterday when it was necessary to close the Academy.

I sincerely appreciate the disruption that this causes and it was with a heavy heart and a big sigh that I made the decision to close yesterday, however, it was necessary to do so as the Academy grounds and surrounding area were unsafe……I think we’re all keen to see some prolonged sunshine now as we embark upon Spring!

We have now rescheduled our PPE timetable and the new version is available here. We will be in touch about a new date for our Year 10 Parents’ Evening as soon as possible.


PPEs in full flow...

Years 10 and 11 have been sitting their PPE exams this week and it’s been pleasing to see the look of determination and belief on their faces! I wish you all the best of luck with the remainder of these exams!

Parents and carers of students taking their GCSE exams this summer may find this 9 to 1 grade guide useful. It covers why the grades are changing, how they compare with the A* to G scale and how the combined science grade will look.


World Book Day – rescheduled for Thursday 29th March

We’ll now be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 29th March and students can come to school dressed as their favourite book character….just bring a copy of the book cover with you on the day to be in with a chance of winning our competition!

There’s no charge for the day - just lots of activities, including; guess the teacher, find the character, Scratch Club animated games and a photo booth …to name just a few.

Visit our Great Hall to sample one of the following from our Great Feast menu….Ministry of Magic Pasta, Gillyweed Soup with Golden Snitch Rolls, or a Butterbeer Acid Pop, all washed down with some Hogsmeade Fizz!

Remember, we’re currently running Usbourne’s Sponsored Read until the end of March with a prize for the person who has read the most books. If you haven’t already done so, you can visit Mrs Fisher in the LRC for a sponsorship form. Money raised will secure some free books for the LRC so we’ll be asking students for their recommendations!



Introducing our student LGBTQ Ambassadors

I’m delighted to announce that we now have a trained group of staff and student ‘Barnardo’s Equality Ambassadors’ who are ready to start working on our Academy Action Plan to help support students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning (LGBTQ).

Our ambassadors are here to listen, support, advise, challenge and fight for the rights of those who identify as LGBTQ to be able to have the same life chances and experiences as everyone else.

Their role is extremely important in ensuring that a person’s identity does not represent a barrier in their life, and to make sure young people feel safe and empowered to be their full selves. One of their first tasks will be to review our Academy policies, including our; Behaviour Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Uniform Policy and Equality Policy…. We’ll keep you informed on their progress!

Here are our student ambassadors – you’ll notice they’re easily identifiable with their LGBTQ badges!


Student Ambassadors: Ben Aspinall, Danny Wall, Jasmine Bowden, Violet Cristobal, Isaac Butler, Amber Robinson, Laila Ahmed, Alyssia Hall, Taiba Azhar, Bethany Critchett, George Yelland, Kaitlin Potts, Sandra Bak, Courtney Robinson, Scarlett Karch, Sophie Clucas, Ashleigh Jones, Molly Brown, Rishie Patel, Alicia Hesslegrave, Abigail Sockett and Bella Haigh.

Staff Ambassadors: Miss Gibbs, Miss Handley, Miss Hobson, Mrs Robinson, Mr Ostle, Mrs Fawcett-Gibson, Mrs Higgins, Mrs Stringer.


Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week…

We’ve been supporting National Apprenticeship Week this week, looking at the types of apprenticeships available, how they compare to going to University and how to find the right one.

Apprenticeships are a great way for people to progress in work and life, whatever age, gender or educational background. You can find out more here.

Year 11 students can also visit our Careers Advisor, Mr Green, during his careers drop-in sessions, weekly on a Tuesday between 2.45pm and 3.45pm in the LRC.


Tickets on sale for High School Musical!

We’re excited to announce that tickets are now on sale for our production of High School Musical, to take place at 7pm on 27th, 28th and 29th March!

Students can order tickets at Student Support and the wider community can book theirs by calling (01924) 282740 or by visiting our Main Reception.

Tickets are priced as below and payment can be made by cash or cheque (payable to Horbury Academy).

  •  Adults: £5
  • Concessions: £3
  • Family (2 adults, 2 concessions): £13

Doors open at 6.30pm with curtains up at 7pm, and refreshments will be available to purchase before the performance and during the interval.

We hope to see you there!



Young Engineer of the Year 2018

Next Tuesday, Mrs Brooks and Mrs Hirst will be travelling to Birmingham’s NEC with Nicole Hirst for the Big Bang Final, for which she was shortlisted for the Young Engineer of the Year Award 2018!

In preparation for this prestigious event, Nicole spent a day at Huddersfield University during half term where she visited the Engineering Department and learnt how to make a 3D prototype model to take to the finals. Nicole has since been putting the finishing touches to her prototype and presentation, ready for next week. 

Nicole will be judged over two days by various judges, including VIPs and celebrities but whatever the outcome, she’s already flying high and only last week had interest from BBC Click who asked to interview her about her idea! We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you Nicole!



Active weekends

Why not make the most of the apparent lack of snow this weekend (!) and go for a leisurely walk or bike ride with the family? If you like the sound of that, here’s some inspiration…. 


Sports Relief – Friday 23rd March

We’re all set to support Sports Relief on Friday 23rd March, for which students are to wear full Academy uniform.

At lunchtime, students will have the opportunity to compete in several competitions testing strength, flexibility, power and co-ordination, at a cost of 50p per test, or £1 for all four. Keep an eye out more information!


Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Challenge

Mrs Fisher has recently acquired a new skill, which she is putting to great use for the inhabitants of the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home!

With the help of the LRC Craft Club, Mrs Fisher will be completing a patchwork blanket to donate to the charity… and if they get the knack of knitting, they just might do a couple!

If you have any bits of wool or knitting needles that you no longer use, or if you’re a keen knitter and fancy donating a square (here’s the pattern!), our Craft Club would be extremely grateful for the donation!


Parent Governor Elections

I wrote to you recently about the election of a Parent Governor to the Local Governing Body of the Academy.

Five nominations have been received to fill the vacancy, which means that there has to be an election by ballot.  We have therefore sent out a letter and ballot form this week, inviting you to indicate which of the nominees you would wish to be your representative on the Governing Body.

Completed ballot forms should be returned to the Academy no later than Monday 12th March.


Mouth-watering menus!

Next week, we’ll have cheese and tomato pizza cones on offer at break for £1.20.

Remember, we’ll also be providing free brain food for students sitting their PPE exams in the form of a bacon, sausage, or Quorn sausage sandwich, or toast, with an orange or apple cuplet.


Dates for your diary

Here are a few upcoming dates for your diary….

  • Wednesday 14th March: Y11 Parents’ Meeting
  • Friday 16th March: Cineworld
  • Thursday 22nd March: Year 7 Parents’ Evening
  • Friday 23rd March: Sports Relief
  • Tuesday 27th March: Academy production of High School Musical
  • Wednesday 28th March: Academy production of High School Musical
  • Thursday 29th March: Academy production of High School Musical
  • Thursday 29th March: World Book Day
  • Friday 30th March: Bank Holiday


And finally…

Good luck to our very own Lily Gilbert who will be taking her Grade 4 RAD Ballet Exam next week! Can’t wait to hear how you got on, Lily!



Some members of staff from across our Accord Multi Academy Trust are coming together on March 25th to complete Wakefield Hospice’s 10k run! Here’s a link to their fundraising page for more information…good luck everyone!




Well done, once again, to our Year 9 netball team who took part in the Wakefield Schools’ Netball Tournament this week.

Lucy Walker, Cathy Chambers, Ashleigh Jones, Caitlin McGrath, Ella Craven, Jane Chambers and Ella Cove Mullins got through to the semi-final as winners of their group, with the following results:

  • Won 7 – 6 against Silcoates
  • Won 11 – 7 against Freeston 
  • Won 12 – 2 against Outwood
  • Won 9 – 7 against Kings
  • Won 11 - 4 against Ackworth

Our team met Kettlethorpe in the semi-final and unfortunately lost 7 – 4 but they finished a fabulous 3rd place, out of the 12 schools taking part….very well done girls!