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Holmleigh Park High School

Letter from the Head, 20th December 2019

Dear all,

I write this on Friday afternoon, having just said goodbye to your children for the Christmas Holidays.

On the first day of September, I asked students to do three things: Work hard, be kind, and take responsibility.

They have exceeded my expectations in every possible way, and I’ve had a great week handing out certificates to many of them in assemblies.

The amount of hard work they have put in this term has been absolutely phenomenal. Even in their last lessons today, every single class were learning up until the final bell. It is having a massive effect; Year 11’s mock grades in November were equal to last year’s actual GCSE results. They’ve caught this up in just a few months, and with six months until their GCSEs we’d expect them to make massive progress. They’ve got this, and we will be with them every step of the way.

I’ve also been moved by their kindness. When I arrived in September, the students were well-behaved, but still quite uncertain in the face of so much change. The feeling now is very different; it is a much happier school. It’s been wonderful to watch them get into the Christmas spirit. I was particularly proud this week of Natalie, Tyler and Eva in Year 12 who volunteered to perform a selection of Christmas carols for our local community at the Pike and Musket – where I received some lovely comments about the school’s transformation.

Last but not least, the students have been taking much more responsibility for their actions. While we still have some way to go, the numbers of students getting detentions, OSP referrals, or exclusions have gone down steadily since September as students make the right decisions more often. Incidents of bullying, violent behaviour and disruption to learning have dropped massively in the past six months too. Even at 14:50 today, on the last day of a very long term, in every classroom I visited every student was focused on their reading. Every single visitor to the school has been hugely impressed by our students’ focus and self-discipline.

Finally, I’d like to thank you for the warm welcome into your community; it is an absolute privilege to lead this wonderful school. I’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and I look forward to seeing your children again next year on Tuesday 7th January. 

Best wishes,

Mr Farmbrough