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Headteacher’s Blog 36 – Friday 7th July 2017

Student safety is paramount…

Following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower, I would like to reassure you about the safety of all the children and young people at Horbury Academy. There has been much in the media about the cladding used on Grenfell and the government is ensuring that checks are underway nationally to identify other buildings which may be at risk.

We would like to reassure you that Horbury Academy has an up-to-date fire risk assessment and we ensure fire drills are undertaken regularly. The evacuation of the building takes only a few minutes.  Horbury Academy has a fully functioning sprinkler system and also has an automatic call-out to the Fire Brigade should the fire alarm be triggered.

Our thoughts are with those affected by the Grenfell tragedy and we are confident we are taking all appropriate actions to ensure your children remain safe.


Goodbye Year 11s!

As promised, here are some snaps of our Year 11 Leavers at last week’s Prom, looking stunning and making us feel very proud. Looking forward to seeing you all on results day!



TeachMeet Horbury

On Monday we hosted our third consecutive TeachMeet here at Horbury Academy and it was a big success!

This annual event (as the title suggests…) aims to bring teachers together to network and share good ideas.

Thank you to everyone who came along and to our speakers, particularly our keynote speakers, Mary Myatt and Tom Sherrington. Thank you also to our wonderful student helpers who were very professional and helped the event to run seamlessly!



Do you or your child use Snapchat?...

Snapchat's new ‘SnapMaps’ feature has been highlighted as a cause for concern since its launch a couple of weeks ago, with this video about the feature trending this week. Here’s a bit more information about it to help you and your loved ones to stay safe….

Snap Maps use a device’s location information to locate a user on a virtual map, with street names and buildings also visible. When using Snap Maps for the first time, users are prompted to ‘Allow Snapchat to access location information’. Next, the user is prompted to choose the people they would like to see their location on the map - options include: ‘My friends’, ‘Only me’ (‘Ghost Mode’), or ‘Selected friends’. Depending on the settings chosen, a user’s precise location will be visible to their selected audience on Snapchat.

It’s important that young people understand exactly who can see their location on Snap Maps. Allowing all Snapchat friends (some of whom may be strangers) to see this information can present a risk to young people, as people will be able to see their exact location in real time.

Advice is to have a conversation with your child about what they do online, who they share their location with, and ways they can keep themselves safe. If they are meeting a friend in a busy place, encourage them to use a private message app or text to share personal information like location.

More information and advice can be found on the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre’s Thinkuknow’ parents’ and carers’ guide to Snapchat.


Daniel Gaskell Foundation student grants…

The Daniel Gaskell Foundation is offering grants to ex-students now in higher education. Find out more and download an application form here.


Fancy being a cathedral chorister?

Ever wondered what it is like to sing in the cathedral choir? Well now’s your chance to find out, as Wakefield Cathedral is recruiting new choristers for its choir on Saturday 16th September 12.30pm to 4.30pm. For more information or to book a place call 373923.


Brilliant Bronze!

Congratulations to the following students who have received Bronze Awards this week; Charles Thomas, Billy Pert, Kyle Ramsden, Chloe Wilby, Lewis Barnett, Callum Williams, James Shackleton, Cole Halstead, Declan Costello, Lucinda Shaw, George Lowe, Samuel Armitage, Charlotte Bottomley, Layton Jones, Kalie Hall and Benjamin Mace.



Stunning Silver!

This week I also got to present Silver Awards to; Alicia Kaye, Mary Gibson, Aaron Daley, Leah Firth, Oliver Alderson, Safa Khan, Charlie Hamilton, Seren Palmer, Gilana Milner, Emma Hudders, Paul Woolley, Safina Akhtar, Arbaaz Khan, Ethan Talbot, Courteney Robinson, Thomas Kaye, Jamie-Lee Turner, Caitlin McGrath, Oliver Hamilton, Louis Hargreaves, Adam Favager, Laura Thornton, Charlotte Farrar, Benjamin Haigh, Charles Kendall, Charlotte West, Morgan Gilberthorpe and Sophie Smith.



Glorious Gold!!

I was very pleased to present some more Gold Awards this week! Congratulations Stephanie Najafov, Joshua Barrett and Alicia Denton.



PiXL Perfect!

I also had the pleasure of presenting PiXL Edge Awards to the following students this week; Louis Hargreaves, Sophie Wilson, Esther Greenwood and Abigail Pitman.



Sports Day packed lunches for all students

Order forms for Sports Day packed lunches are now available at each till point for students to complete and return to the catering team by Monday 17 July.


End of term arrangements….

As always at Horbury Academy, the end of term is a busy one! Please check the following information carefully so that you are clear about what’s going on….

Monday 10th July: Year 10 Work Experience begins and the first Ypres Trip departs.

Lessons as normal for all other year groups.

Tuesday 11th July: New Intake Day and Year 7 visit to National Coal Mining Museum. Lessons as normal for years 8 and 9. Year 6 welcome evening at 6.30pm.

Wednesday 12th July: First Ypres trip returns and second Ypres trip departs.

Thursday 13th July: Year 5 Taster Day and Year 7 visit to National Coal Mining Museum. Lessons as normal for years 8 and 9.

Friday 14th July: Last day for Year 10 Work Experience. Second Ypres trip returns. Record Breakers final (at Middlestown Academy) and Year 9 performance of “Teechers”.

Monday 17th July: Lessons as normal.

Tuesday 18th July: Year 7 Pizza Party. Year 8 Reward Trip to Xscape. Year 10 Graduation and Reward party (invite only).

Wednesday 19th July: Sports Day.

Please note, this year Sports Day will be held at Horbury Academy. Due to the decrease in space available for spectators, I am sorry but parents/carers will be unable to attend. If the weather is inclement then Sports Day will be cancelled and lessons will take place as normal. Students will be expected to wear their Horbury Academy PE kit for the full day. All students will be required to have a packed lunch on this day. Packed lunches will be available for all free school meal students and any other student wishing to order a grab bag will be able to do so in advance.

Thursday 20th July: International/STEM day and Year 9 London trip.

Thursday 20th July is our International and STEM day which brings with it a different structure to the Academy Day. The Academy will come to life with an array of cultural activities including art, craft, and dance and sport workshops from around the world.

This is a non-uniform day in return for a donation of £1 which we will transfer to the Peer Support Yorkshire charity who we have been working with in recent weeks to support students and staff affected by the Manchester terror attacks. Their aim is to raise £2,000 to provide free trauma recovery therapy for victims of the MEN arena attack. Find out more here.

Friday 21st July: is also a non-uniform day. Students should be mindful that their choice of clothing for these two non-uniform days will need to be appropriate for a wide range of activities - it is advisable to wear comfortable clothing and flat shoes or trainers.

Students will enjoy an International Celebration and final assemblies and the day will end at 12.15pm.


Dates for your diary from the next academic year…

Autumn term 2017

  • Monday 4th September: Inset day, closed to students
  • Tuesday 5th September: Open for a normal day for Year 7 and Year 11 only
  • Wednesday 6th September: Open for all year groups
  • Wednesday 20th September: Open Evening - the Academy will close to students at 12.30pm
  • Academy closes (half-term) Friday 20th October 2017 at 2.45pm
  • Academy opens Monday 30th October 2017
  • Academy closes (Christmas) Thursday 21st December 2017 at 12.10pm
  • Friday 22nd December: Inset day, closed to students


Spring term 2018

  • Academy opens Monday 8th January 2018
  • Academy closes for students (half-term) Thursday 15th February 2018 at 2.45pm
  • Friday 16th February 2018: Inset day, closed to students
  • Academy opens Monday 26th February 2018
  • Academy closes for students (Easter) Thursday 29th March 2018 at 2.45pm


Summer term 2018

  • Academy opens Monday 16th April 2018
  • Academy closed (May Day) Monday 7th May 2018
  • Academy closes (half-term) Friday 25th May 2018 at 2.45pm
  • Academy opens Monday 4th June 2018
  • Academy closes (Summer) Friday 20th July 2018 at 12.10pm
  • Monday 23rd July 2018: Inset day, closed to students
  • Tuesday 24th July 2018: Inset day, closed to students


Exam dates 2017/18

  • PPE1 - Year 10 English Language plus Year 11 all subjects: w/c 27th November and w/c 4th December 2017
  • Hospitality NEA: w/c 15th January and w/c 22nd January 2018
  • Y11 speaking test: w/c 5th February 2018
  • PPE2 - Year 10 English Language plus Year 11 all subjects: w/c 5th March and w/c 12th March 2018
  • GCSE exams (provisional dates and includes Year 10 GCSE English Language exam window): 14th May through to 22nd June 2018
  • PPEs - Years 9 and 10: w/c 25th June and w/c 2nd July 2018


And finally…

This year, our Year 10 students have taken part in a ‘Building Skills’ pilot in collaboration with ESH Added Value.

During this time, students have received presentations from a variety of businesses around the country, including CiTB, Yorkshire Water and PWC on subjects including; CV building, online appearance, work place jargon and preparing for interview. Three students were interviewed this week about the programme and here's what they had to say. Well done everyone!