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Holmleigh Park High School

Letter from the Head - Friday 29th April 2022

In this update: Smart watches, and the final stretch for Year 11 and 13. 

Dear all,

Before sharing what's been happening this week, I want to update you on a couple of points about items which are not allowed in school.

One of the best things about our school is that mobile phones are not permitted, and it really is wonderful to see children being children - talking to each other and playing, instead of burying their heads in their phones. Unfortunately, in the last few months we've noticed more and more smart watches, which students are using to check messages and so on. I'm sure you'll appreciate that - just like with phones - we don't want these to start becoming a distraction, so from next week, smart watches will not be permitted in school. For clarity, by smart watches we mean watches which allow messaging, apps etc - most commonly these are either made by Apple of Samsung. A few examples are shown below. Normal digital watches which just tell the time, have stopwatch features etc are of course fine!

In addition, as we return to warmer weather please can I also remind parents that coats/hoods should not be worn in the playground unless the weather deteriorates, and that energy / sugary drinks should not be brought into school. Thank you in advance for your support. 

Moving on, we've had a busy first week back. In particular, we've hosted a lot of Headteachers and Deputy Headteachers who have been visiting to find out how we run Holmleigh Park, and they have all been hugely complimentary about how hard children continue to work in lessons. 

Staff very much enjoyed the Year 7 parents' evening last night. We are aware that a few parents experienced technical issues logging on to Edulink for the first time, and Mr Park has been in touch with Year 7 parents to whom this applies. 

Of course, our main focus for the next few weeks are of course Year 11 and Year 13, who are now on the final stretch before their GCSE, A Level and BTEC exams this summer. Both year groups continue to amaze me with the resilience they have shown despite all the disruption to their education in the last two years. I am confident that they will do extremely well.

We will of course be stepping up our support for students, and Mr Hogarth and Mrs Marsden-Green will both be in touch next week with an outline of the additional early Morning, Saturday and Half Termrevision sessions we are putting on. The key message at this stage is that attendance really matters. There is a lot of misinformation circulating on social media about how students will just get predicted grades if they miss exams or underperform due to having missed school because of COVID, and I'm afraid this is absolutely not the case. It's essential students are in school every day, and in particular that they attend all exams. Again, Mr Hogarth and Mrs Marsden-Green will be writing with more information. We have also been issuing additional revision materials - again, what they do in the next few weeks will make an absolutely huge difference!

With best wishes, and I hope you enjoy the bank holiday weekend,

Mr Farmbrough