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Holmleigh Park High School

Letter from the Head, 24th January 2020

Dear all,

This week marked a couple of important milestones.

First, we are now over halfway through the academic year. Year 11 and Year 13 are even further, with fewer than 60 teaching days to go until their exams begin. They continue to work hard; the GCSE drama students took their practical exams today, and I’m confident they’ll have made huge progress since last year. 

Second, it’s been a year since Ofsted last visited Beaufort Academy. I was rereading the report, and I just couldn’t recognise the school that was described! Our classrooms today are calm and purposeful, and all of students are studying a challenging curriculum. Our teaching and learning is improving daily, and there is a real energy about the school. I’m genuinely looking forward to our next inspection – but in the meantime please do come and see for yourself. You are always welcome to pop in for a tour; every day is an open day!

Many of you will have received progress reports in the last week, and I wanted to outline how these have changed. Previously, students received projected grades. These were based on students’ current classwork, and were intended to show what a student was on track for at GCSE. This is a very difficult thing to do accurately – especially when the exams might still be five years away! We have now moved to a simpler system. We will report to you three times a year, based on actual tests which the students sit in exam conditions. The percentage score tells you how well they did on the test, and the percentage rank tells you how they have done compared to their year group. So a student with a percentage rank of 5% would be in the top 5% of the year group. This is a much more accurate way for you to see if your child is doing as expected or not, and it also allows you to see which subjects they are doing comparatively well in, and which they are struggling with.

It was a pleasure to see so many of you at Year 8 Parents’ Evening on Thursday, and to hear so many positive comments about your children from teachers. Our next evening is for Sixth Form parents, on the 6th February. I look forward to seeing many more of you there.

Finally, more excellent sporting news: Our Year 11 girls’ football team won the district competition this week. The same team has won every year since they were in Year 7, so they are five-times champions. An absolutely exceptional achievement!

Best wishes,

Mr Farmbrough