Letter from the Head - 12th November 2021
In this issue: Armistice Day, and introducing Holmleigh Park's Cadet Force!
Please note: Mr Farmbrough has also written to all parents regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for 12-15 year olds next week. If you haven't seen this, please check your emails.
We've had a great week at HPHS.
First of all, I've enjoyed speaking to Year 11s about our upcoming Sixth Form Open Evening on the 25th November. Having already spent time speaking to students at other schools in Gloucester, it's clear that there will be a lot of interest, (but of course, HP students get priority!). If your child is in Year 11 and considering their options, I'd strongly recommend you join us on the 25th - please click here to find out more and to register your attendance.
Much of this week has been spent giving tours to Senior Leadership Teams and Governors from other schools, who have been coming in to see what we are doing at Holmleigh Park. It's lovely to hear that we are becoming established as a school that people want to learn on, but the highlight of these tours is always watching how well your children are doing in lessons. The real highlight was when I took a Senior Leadership Team from a local secondary school in to watch a Year 7 science lesson. It was a great lesson, with challenging questions, and students showing fantastic knowledge. After five minutes, we moved on and the visitors asked if they could see a lower set as well, thinking they'd just seen the top set. I was very proud to explain that we'd just seen Set 4, and that all of our students come into school expecting to work that hard every day.
Thursday was then Armistice Day, and the whole school gathered on the lower playground to pay our respects. It was the first time we'd had the whole school community together since before COVID, and I was incredibly proud of the quiet dignity and respect every single student showed by arriving in complete silence, and then behaving immaculately, despite the cold and the drizzle throughout the Act of Remembrance. I was very grateful to those of our students who attend local cadet units, who wore their uniform to school, and carried out a short parade and wreath laying ceremony. Special thanks have to go to Amelia W in Year 11 who planned and led the parade, and also to Mr Johnson for his very moving performance of the Last Post before our two minute's silence.
After the event, I was particularly moved to receive some emails from local residents who had watched the ceremony, all of whom commented on the exemplary manner in which students conducted themselves. It left me extremely proud.
It also leads me to share an exciting new development, which has been in the works for over a year now. I'm delighted to announce that Holmleigh Park has received approval from the Department for Education and Ministry of Defence to open a Combined Cadet Force. This means, from January 2022, students will be able to attend our Cadet Force as an after school club. Being in any cadet force is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn a wide range of skills, but I'm particularly excited that we've been granted approval to be an RAF section. This means that as well as the standard cadet curriculum, consisting of drill, fieldcraft, first aid, leadership and so on, our students will get the opportunity to fly! In fact, with enough dedication, it's possible for students to progress to solo gliding within the cadets, all at minimal cost. I'm very excited to see our contingent develop, and more information will be shared with eligible year groups in the coming weeks.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.