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Headteacher's Blog 9 - Friday 11th November


It was very important that we stopped lessons this morning and gathered to observe two minutes silence to remember those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms we all enjoy. I always find this an incredibly moving and powerful Academy ceremony; it is a privilege to watch the students who represent our future standing so firm in their respect for our past. My thanks go to Mr Gillard who not only led the ceremony this morning, but has also led special assemblies this week to mark Remembrance.


“All the world’s a stage”

Students from Years 7 to 9 took to the stage at the Carriage Works Theatre in Leeds on Monday as part of the Shakespeare in Schools Festival. It was brilliant to see them perform “Hamlet” and I was so proud of their confidence. A special congratulations has to go to the two members of the Stage Crew who carried out their roles with complete concentration and thank you also goes to Miss Gillatt and Miss Parkinson who have given up hours of their time to rehearse with the cast. 


Year 10 GCSE Drama students were lucky enough to visit London this week to see a performance of “The Woman in Black.” Students also got to see some of the key sites in our capital and experience travel on the London Underground! Thank you goes to Miss Fisher who organised this trip.



For students interested in the performing arts The ‘Hear Our Voices' project will run on Monday evenings at St Georges Community Centre for young people aged 8 to 14/15 Years from 5pm to 6pm. They are hoping to put a performance for the residents at Croftlands Independent Living Centre in Ossett – similar to the performance they did in the summer.

“Let it Snow, Let it Snow …”

And so it did on Wednesday! Thank you to all the parents and carers who made sure that their child was in the Academy on time. I know how hard travel can be in inclement weather and your support is much appreciated.

As we move into winter I thought it was worth reminding everyone about our procedures for adverse weather conditions. In bad weather it is always our default position to seek to keep the Academy open and we value the support of our families in this. 

That said, the safety of our community is the most important consideration and in circumstances of exceptional weather we have, in the past, had to close. We only consider this option after taking into consideration the safety of the site and the safety of all the journeys undertaken. 

We know that it is important to communicate early with families and we try to make any closure decision before our children have started their journey. If we have to close we post it on the Academy web site, our twitter feed, on our mobile phone apps and send a text message.  We will also put an answerphone message on the telephone.  If there are no ‘closure’ messages, then you should assume Horbury Academy is open as usual. 

We always formally notify Wakefield Council if we are closed. They post this on their school closure web page, from which local radio stations read out lists of closed schools.  Our experience is, however, that this is not reliable, so please check the information sources directly from us. 

Year 10 Information Evening

Luckily the cold weather didn’t put off Year 10 parents, carers and students, with over 250 people attending our Year 10 Parents Information Evening on Wednesday evening.

A strong message regarding the importance and high expectations of the new GCSEs was communicated, together with the Careers Education Impartial Information Advice and Guidance that we offer over the final two years of each students career here at Horbury. For further information regarding CEIIAG please see the website:

A Moment of Boasting –

Whilst we may be in a Multi-Academy Trust with Ossett Academy and sixth form, it doesn’t stop me feeling extremely proud of our netballers’ success this week. Congratulations go to all our teams; just look at these results! 

Year 10 won 12 – 5; the player of match was Olivia Hall and Year 9 won 12 -4; the player of match was Sophie Kershaw

And it’s not just against Ossett that our netballers shine. Last half term we played Crofton and Year 7 won 6 – 2 and Year 8 won 8 – 3!

And against Kettlethorpe School Year 9 won 3 – 1 and Year 10 won 11 – 0!

(Let’s hope England do as well against Scotland tonight at football!) 

Attendance Matters!

Some good news! I was wrong in last week’s blog when I reported that last half term’s attendance was 94.5% - that was the total for the last week of the half term and not the full half term. The overall figure for the half term was 95.66% which is not quite our target of 96% but a lot closer! 

Sadly though, this week there are no form groups with 100% attendance and the Attendance Team’s bag of goodies remain untouched. Let’s hope it’s a different story next week! 

“Who’s been eating my porridge?”

Thanks to our fantastic catering team, all students can now enjoy a delicious bowl of “Horbury Bear” porridge for 60p at break time. They can also warm themselves up with a hot chocolate at 80p (our hot chocolate is made with soya milk which is a plant based milk alternative and dairy free - suitable for students who have a lactose intolerant diet).

Student Leaders

I am delighted to share with you photographs of our recently elected student leaders in Years 7 – 10.

Our Year 7 student council representatives are: Archie Ambler, Lily Gilbert, Scarlett Karch, Caitlyn Heywood, Molly Brown, Emily Hall, Louise Wood, Harry Levitt, Henry Brown, Dylan Sanderson, Jake Redmond, Danny Scott, Alice Whitehead, Ethan Talbot, Amy Lovett-Johnson, Cameron Noble, Ashley Jones and L’tye Lashington.


Our Year 8 student council representatives are: Josh Thompson, Melissa Walker, Noah Brook, Adam Akhtar, Courtney Woods, Oliver Hamilton, Nicole Hirst, Amy Armitage, Hateam Zulfqar, Joshua Thomas, Joshua Waddington, Yahyah Keitha, Aaron Allot-Ratcliffe, Sam Spiers, Leyyah Hewlet, Rachael Kellet, Evie Brook and Catherine Chambers.                                                    

In Year 9 our student council representatives are: Helen Butler, Eleanor Ineson, Rye Ward, Maddie Hirst, Kayanat Ahmed, Matthew Wilson, Isabelle Lindley, Cameron Craig, Charlotte Lindley, Dan Flooks, Alyssa Hodson, Emily Crooks, Kacey Harrison, Callum Jaques and Emily Crooks.


Our Year 10 student council representatives are: Riannon McGinty, Leah Firth, Maddie Dickinson-Brown, Tanisha Drummond-Bateman, Ellie Kendall, Austin Jones, Lewis Ratcliffe, Connor Noble, Cody Hepworth, Stepanie Najafov, Elliot Richardson, Harriet Elsey, Bethany Jackson, Matthew Norfolk, Connor McQuillan and Rebecca Lister.

“On the Buses”

Or not as it were! Unfortunately Arriva Buses have just informed us that there will be industrial action taking place on Monday 14th November.

The School Special services 535 and 536 will not be running and service buses may also be affected. Parents and students are advised to make alternative arrangements for getting to and from school on Monday.

For further information please see

And finally …

Don’t forget that next Friday we are fund-raising for Children in Need. The day will be a non-uniform day with students expected to pay a £1.00 to “wear it spotty or yellow.” Students are also encouraged to bring in spare change so that they can participate in the activities that will be taking place at break and lunchtime.