On Wednesday 20th January our recently formed dance group of Key Stage 3 students competed in the ‘Great Big Dance Off’ competition at the Alexandra Theatre. They had practiced incredibly hard with their talented Key Stage 4 leader and competed with enthusiasm and skill. Miss Dawkins who supported the team was very proud of them as indeed are we all.
On Thursday 21st January we hosted and competed in the Rotary Club of Stourbridge ‘Youth Speaks’ competition against five other local schools. Both teams were magnificent and our Key Stage 3 team were victorious and now go through to the next round in Coventry. Although not winners in the senior team category there was much praise for our Key Stage 4 team too. Thank you to Miss Clews and Mrs Lait for all their support of the teams. In the same week I was also invited to speak to the Rotary Club of Hagley about the current educational landscape.
We recently held our new look ‘options evening’ which included a ‘Subject Fair’ in the school hall as well as our usual talks from staff. Feedback has been very positive and we are most grateful for the support we are receiving from parents/carers as we negotiate and plan for the many changes at both GCSE and A level.
We hosted a visit to Haybridge of nine educational officials from Hong Kong who were in the UK on a fact finding trip about acadamisation and governance. Our Chair of Governors Sue Fowler and I met with the group who have been most gracious in their feedback, ‘We had a particularly inspiring session with you and Sue and I am moved by your generous, valuable sharing of views and experiences’. The group presented us with a gift which is now in our trophy cabinet in the main reception area.
This year is the sixtieth anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh award and Mr Allington has been encouraging the staff to take on a ‘diamond challenge for a diamond year’. The plan is that up to forty five of us will undertake an expedition in the Black Mountains in May. On a much less energetic note as a Duke of Edinburgh Licensed organisation, Mr Allington and I have also been invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace in June.
Haybridge High School is the 5th school to be successfully accredited with the prestigious NACE Challenge Award for the third time. The NACE Challenge Award is given for high quality work by the whole school, teachers and governors, in challenging all pupils, including those with high abilities, to achieve their best.
NACE Chief Executive Rowena Gaston said: “Since 2006, Haybridge High School, Hagley, Worcestershire, has been developing high quality provision as a NACE Challenge Awarded school for its able pupils, alongside a whole-school commitment to curriculum design and teaching strategies, enabling all children to flourish and achieve to the best of their ability, with many children reaching high levels of attainment. High expectation and personal support over the past years has led to pupils believing in their ability to succeed. Achieving the NACE Challenge Award is a long term commitment to providing challenge in all aspects of school life and Haybridge High School has continued to work hard to achieve this over the last 9 years having tremendously positive outcomes for pupils.”
The Award is given by NACE: the National Association for Able Children in Education, a leading national education organisation and registered charity established for over 30 years. The Association exists to help the daily work of teachers providing for pupils with high abilities whilst enabling all pupils to flourish. It provides advice, training and resources for teachers, including the NACE Challenge Award Self-Evaluation Framework which Haybridge High School has continually used to audit and plan what it provides for more able, gifted and talented pupils. Many thousands of primary and secondary schools are using the NACE Challenge Award Framework to develop their work.
Assessors, who spent a day in the school, were impressed by strong leadership and management of provision which keeps the needs of more able learners at the forefront of the school’s work and the good support and challenge provided by the Governors. Haybridge High School shows itself to be committed to developing a school where all pupils are challenged to be the best they can be. The more able and talented children are challenged and this helps the other learners to see what can be achieved.
Assessors judged the quality of the school’s work by observing lessons, interviewing the pupils, teachers, parents and governors and by looking at the pupils’ work. The initial Award is given when schools demonstrate that they meet the criteria of the Award, and schools are then re-accredited every four years if they continue to be committed to ensuring high-quality provision for more able, gifted and talented pupils. Haybridge High School takes the lead in many areas of professional development in regional school networks – NACE looks forward to continuing to work with Haybridge High School to spread the good word about how best to challenge those many children who will thrive on it.
Welcome to our new blog which colleagues and I will contribute to on a regular basis and which we hope will give you a little more ‘live’ insight into what is happening in school.
As always it’s been a busy start to the term and I suspect that this evening many homes will be enjoying the smell of baking as cakes are prepared for our Macmillan coffee morning on Friday. At the Governors’ meeting on Tuesday Head Boy Jon described the range and variety of charity work which the students, led by the sixth form, take part in during the year and quite rightly the Governors were very impressed. This Christmas we will be supporting Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens by selling Christmas cards which feature some of the entrants in our annual ‘Pets dressed for Christmas’ competition.
Deputy Head Girl Sanjeet was also at the Governors’ meeting to describe the Year 12 visit to Geneva and Cern which takes place every August and is always an incredible experience enabling students to engage with the work of the United Nations. This summer also saw the school awarded the status of a SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) which enables us not only to train new teachers but also award qualified teacher status. We were also delighted to receive recognition in the form of a Good Schools Guide Award 2015, celebrating the success of Girls in Further Mathematics at the school.
If you haven’t already bought a ticket, do please support Mr Corden’s concert on 10th October which is sure to be fabulous.