Letter from the Head - Friday 2nd February
In this issue: LGBT+ History Month, the consistently high standard of lessons at HP and the Spring term sprint for our exam classes
Part of our pastoral provision at HP is our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion program. Every year we decide upon a range of cultures, faiths and protected characteristics to learn more about as a school. It is vital that we are a school that understands and respects the differences between us, so that we can be the strongest community possible. These events are reviewed annually and can be viewed on our Equality & Diversity webpage through the Information menu. Any students who would like a particular EDI aspect covered through our program should raise them through the School Council and speak to our EDI lead, Miss Martin.
In February, our EDI program will focus on LGBT+ History Month. Following the repeal of Section 28, UK LGBT+ History Month was created to raise awareness of the need for all schools, workplaces and communities to be safe and welcoming spaces. At HP, students will have assemblies looking at prominent historical figures from the LGBT+ community, read some selected texts in DEAR time and have the chance to enter a poetry competition. The title of the poetry competition is “love is love”, and it will be an opportunity for students to write a poem celebrating any type of love that matters to them. Miss Murray, Assistant Headteacher, has written an entry that we will share with students, and we look forward to starting these events next week.
I have been able to spend a lot of time in lessons this week, and it has been an absolute pleasure. Across the school, I saw high-quality explanations and models from our teachers and then our students working incredibly hard in the deliberate practice phase of our lessons. We know that students completing lots of independent work is critical for them to secure the knowledge they are taught. Something we have worked a lot on this year has been increasing opportunities for Turn and Talk in lessons. These are carefully planned opportunities for students to turn to their partner and either discuss or verbally rehearse an answer. The quality of student participation in these Turn and Talks has increased substantially, and it's fantastic to hear our students collectively becoming more confident talking about their learning. At Holmleigh Park, every day is an open day. We regularly have visitors from other schools and multi-academy trusts wanting to collaboratively learn from what we do. If you would ever like to have a tour of the school to see the excellent learning that takes place, I would be very happy to take you around. Please email my PA, Mrs Harrison, at [email protected] if this is something that interests you.
This half-term continues to rocket by, especially for our Y11 and Y13 students. Every Monday morning I speak to all the staff about the Spring term sprint; our internal metaphor for how quickly time will pass and the need to make every minute count for our exam classes. A key message from us to our exam students as the half-term holiday approaches is the need for them to complete as much revision at home as possible. In March, we will have our second set of mocks, and before we know, we will be getting towards Easter. Work will be sent home, but we all need to work together to constantly encourage students to take responsibility and be independent, so that they fulfil their undoubted potential this summer and secure outcomes will give them the widest array of opportunities as they move forward into the next phase of their lives.
I wish you all a lovely weekend,