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Holmleigh Park High School

Letter from the Head - Friday 22nd September 2023

In this issue: Launch of Fun Fridays, Year 7 Invictus recitals and how we continually develop our teaching at HP

Dear all,

A major development for us this year is the advancement of our character education program and providing more opportunities for house competitions. We have now launched our Fun Fridays which take place weekly at lunchtime in the Sports Hall. Every department in the school has put themselves forward to run a wide range of activities for students to put themselves forward in their house teams to earn house points. We kicked off Fun Fridays last week with an extremely competitive and entertaining Tug of War contest. The PE department followed this up today with a basketball ‘hoop shooting’ competition. Please follow us on our social media channels for photographs and videos of our Fun Fridays.

Our Year 7 students were set a challenge by Mr O’Gallagher at the end of last week. He performed a fully memorised, and passionate, recital of William Ernest Henley's famous poem ‘Invictus’. The central theme of the poem is to never lose hope no matter the circumstance, and how you control your fate and decide your future. At HP we always ask our students to take responsibility and the poem links incredibly well with this. Mr O’Gallagher’s challenge was to see if any of our Year 7 students could memorise and recite the poem themselves. Our first successful Year 7 recital happened as soon as Monday morning and there were then several more throughout the week to earn house points. Well done to all of those Year 7s who rose to the challenge so quickly.

One of the many factors that makes HP so brilliant is our dedicated teachers’ continued desire to be the best they can be in every lesson. At Open Evening I spoke about the fact that every teacher, including myself, receives regular coaching, much in the same way that sportspeople do. We are now delighted to start receiving training on how to use ‘IRIS Connect’. This is a new innovation in teacher professional development, which uses a secure video system to enable teachers to watch back and reflect on any sections of a lesson they may choose to record. Any lesson phases captured by IRIS Connect are only accessible by the teacher that recorded them. The recordings would take place in a normal lesson and will not require any additional participation. If you need any more information or if you have any questions regarding this upcoming project then please do get in touch.

Finally, an update on making MCAS transactions for school food payments. We have been told this week that lots of transactions are now going through, with particular success occurring if you delete your existing debit or credit card details and then re-enter them. As there is not yet total consistency with payments going through, we are continuing with the daily £5 overdraft for any student who requires to use it. A reminder that per previous communication from myself on this that this will accrue a negative account balance that needs to be paid off once the issue is fixed.

I wish you all a lovely weekend,

Mr Hudson