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Headteacher's Blog 34 – Friday 15th June 2018

Horbury Academy stand up to bullying

We supported Stand Up To Bullying Day in the Academy on Wednesday, sharing information and advice for students affected by bullying, along with advice for parents and carers. In addition to this, Kacey-Marie Harrison and Mrs Fisher, LRC Manager, have been hard at work developing their ideas to support victims of bullying, and alternative ways to report incidences of bullying in the Academy.

Their work is in the development stages but will include an online form for students to report concerns around bullying; a buddy group drop-in session to take place after school in the LRC from September, where students can meet and talk openly; a buddy noticeboard offering information and advice; an information stand at Year 6 Taster Days and Parents’ Evenings to display support available and a bullying booklet for Year 7 students to complete to explain bullying and how it affects people. 

They also came up with the following anti-bullying slogans which have been used on social media and will continue to be used across the new publications and boards as they are produced.



Believe in your true self…

Written by the student ‘Barnardo’s Equality Ambassadors’

Following our training to become student ‘Barnardo’s Equality Ambassadors’, we’ve been busy behind the scenes redrafting our Anti-Bullying Policy, and what better time to launch it than on Stand Up To Bullying Day this Wednesday! You can find our updated policy on the Academy website here.

As well as redrafting this policy, we’ve been working on improving our reporting procedures for students with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning (LGBTQ) issues or questions; improving the availability of LGBTQ literacy for students in the LRC; planning an awareness raising assembly and PSCHE material, and planning our approach to celebrate LGBTQ Week next February!

As ambassadors we 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…so please come and talk to us whenever you need to and remember to take a look at the new LGBTQ publications in the LRC.



Preparations for September

This week saw the last of our Year 6 interviews where we handed out information and were quizzed by the new Year 7 students.  It was lovely to see so many parents, carers and new students in the Academy and I was incredibly proud of the Year 10 students who helped out on the evenings; they were mature, hard-working and certainly made sure Mr Care had plenty of biscuits!

Uniform Update: Miss Gibbs and Mr Ibbertson also held a uniform information evening and I thought it might be helpful to share with you some of the information that they distributed to people who attended:

What has not changed? There are no changes to the requirement for students to wear badged blazers and ties, and to wear the Academy PE kit, and there are no changes to the badging on these items. The requirement for plain shirts, blouses, and shoes is also unchanged.

What has changed? In line with improving expectations in the Accord Academy Trust we are now introducing a requirement that skirts and trousers display the Academy logo. 

Why have we done this?  This has been one area where uniform expectations have not been consistently applied by some students. 

Students at the other secondary academy in the Accord Trust already wear badged skirts and we are looking to apply the same high standards.  Our uniform is non-gender specific and our uniform policy does not discriminate in any way against any student.  The logo will therefore apply to skirts and trousers. 

What assistance can we give? The uniform requirement applies to all students at Horbury Academy regardless of year group.

We recognise that this can be an additional cost to families, and we have already spoken with several parents.  Whilst we cannot waive the uniform requirement, and we cannot fully fund the uniform for all students, we would like to offer the following support for the coming year:

  • We have always offered support towards the costs of uniforms for students who are eligible for Pupil Premium, including students who claim free school meals; this support will continue and is extended to the cost of skirts and trousers;
  • Where two or more siblings attend the Academy, parents will be able to claim a contribution to the cost of a skirt or a pair of trousers for each sibling if parents request this;
  • For a student in Year 11, if they return their skirt or trousers to us at the end of the year in good condition, we will give them £5 off the cost of their prom ticket.

Please contact Mark Ibbertson the Academy Business Manager for more information about any of these points, by emailing, or by telephoning 01924 282740. 


Review of Pastoral Support at Horbury Academy

Mr Brook and the Senior Leadership team are also looking at some potential changes to our pastoral system which may come into effect from September 2018. This would involve us changing from having teachers as our Heads of Year to the creation of a new non-teaching role of Pastoral Year Leader, with one colleague allocated to work with each year group. We believe this change will enable us to support our students more effectively during their time at Horbury Academy.  Once any final decision has been taken we will update parents, carers and students again. In the meantime, there are no changes to our current pastoral system and our Form Tutors and Heads of Year continue to work with their allocated Forms and Year Groups. 


No Wasted Weeks

Yesterday saw the launch of our No Wasted Weeks project, designed to develop Year 5 and 6 students’ skills, knowledge and experience in English and mathematics, to prepare them for the same subjects in Year 7 and beyond.

Students visited the Academy for an introduction to the project and left with a booklet to complete with their teacher over a series of lessons that we have created.

The idea is that they will bring this work back on their transition day, to give our maths and English teachers some insight into the level that they’re working at in Years 5 and 6.

The event was a success and the students were a credit to their schools!



Matrix Challenge 2018

I’ve been asked to let you know about the launch of a new cyber security competition, Matrix Challenge 2018 - a pilot project delivered by West Yorkshire Police and the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit, working with their delivery partners, Cyber Security Challenge UK and Grillatech.

Their goal is to provide 11-17 year olds in West Yorkshire with an opportunity to learn about the proper and legal use of their computing skills and to put their knowledge to the test to compete for a place at a live final hosted by a number of leading industry experts.

All those taking part will be eligible to attend a Careers Event later in the year, attended by some of the biggest and best IT companies looking to advise and nurture their next generation of talent.

Find the challenge, along with more information, at The competition will close at 5pm on Friday 29th June. 


Around the world on a stationary bike!...

A little reminder that our 2017 Enterprise winners are planning a charity bike-a-thon in support of Wakefield Hospice on Thursday 19th July!

Every student in the Academy will take part in an attempt to cycle as far around the world as possible – without actually moving anywhere! To support them, visit their JustGiving page at

The team are also planning a bake sale for the day of the bike-a-thon and will be selling ice creams after school on a Wednesday and Thursday for the next few weeks as the sun continues to shine!



Flying high…literally!

Year 7 students kicked the athletics season off in style on Wednesday evening at Thornes Park. The girls’ team finished in an amazing 4th place, with the boys’ team finishing 7th. A special mention to; Lyla Hodson who won her heat of the 100m, Paige Watson who came second in the 1200m and Georgina Slade who was a joint winner of the high jump competition! Congratulations to all students who competed in a successful first athletics meeting of the year. 


Brilliant Bronze!

Congratulations to the following students who have received Bronze Awards this week; Dylan Grayston, Olivia Peaker, Estella Hornsby, Megan Sugden, Sandra Bak, Josh Sykes, Kieran Lawn, Jaran Craig, Harry Carbutt, Benjamin Haigh, Kitty Brear, Ben Harrod Edwards, Evie Allsop, Benjamin Brooks, Harvey Li, Carter Auty, Dylan Cooper, Luke Hyde, Edward Kendall, Adedoyin Olaleru, Callum Parker, Morvyn Gardiner-Mackie, Emily Kershaw, Archie MacCourt, Finlay Bartholomew and Hannah Firth. 


Stunning Silver!

This week we also got to present Silver Awards to; Leon Wilby, Harris Kitchen, Kate Gallagher, Leon Gibson, Louise McStay, Molly Brown, Joseph Hoyland, Laurence Cook, Harry Levitt, Izel Demir, Brooke Camplin, Natasha Usztan, Emily Hall, Joseph Kendall, Joshua Sheen, Kacey Dudley, Rebecca Kirk , Gina-Marie Walker, Charlotte Farrar, Ella Cove-Mullins, Rachael Kellett   , Morgan Green, Holly Punton, Morgan Gilberthorpe, Jessica Campagna, Helen Butler, Francesca Wainwright, Lucy Squires and Viktoria Norman.      


Glorious Gold!!

We were very pleased to present another Gold Award this week! Congratulations Phoebe Vercelli, May Bailey, Polly Jackson, Isabelle Rouse, Charlie Cookson, Olivia Hargrave, Archie Milner and Lucie Leonard.    


Headteacher’s Award!!

We also had the pleasure of presenting a Headteacher’s Award to Katie Armitage and Samuel Lyons.   


PiXL Perfect!

Well done to; Sophie Clucas, Oliver Brown, Izel Demir, Kacey Dudley, Jake Redmond, Zak Shaw, Lily Gilbert, Phoebe Allerton, Tabitha Bramald, Georgia Field and Nicole Hirst.        



Mouth-watering menus!

Our talented Catering Team have come up with some delicious World Cup themed menus for next week to complement the décor in the Restaurant! Take a look at the below!...



And finally…

On Wednesday our Year 9 rugby team, including two Year 8 students, competed in a Castleford Tigers Sky Try 9’s tournament. The team battled tremendously hard against tough opposition and gave an excellent account of themselves. All games were contested evenly and finished close, as either a draw or with one try separating the two teams. Particular praise goes to Ciaran Costello and Paul Woolley who, despite playing a year above their age category, were among the best players on the field, according to Mr Bull.



P.S. Rumour has it…

That there are some students who have reached our first ever Governors’ Awards!!!! Progress Checks take place next week where there might be a few more students who tip into this award category and after that I can’t wait to invite these award winners to a special awards ceremony!