Dear Parents, Students and Staff
What a superb end to the year! In the last two weeks, we have celebrated our graduation prizegiving with Year 13; end of year prizegiving with Year 11 and 12; bid goodbye to this years student leaders and welcomed the 2020 leaders headed by Helena C and Ollie P; we have completed junior school Learning Conversations, students went on a music tour to our contributing schools, we celebrated final assemblies with Year 9 and 10 – as well as a whole host of other smaller special events to celebrate the end of another highly successful year at HVHS.
Student leaders from Years 11 and 12 have been meeting to prepare for 2020. The number of events that our students participate in, and indeed organise and run, is truly exceptional and reflects our philosophy that education is about so much more than just what happens behind the door of a classroom. The ideas and plans that these groups have are exciting and I am looking forward to helping them implement them next year.
We have had one year of living by our new school values. It amazes me how seamlessly these values have become part of the fabric of who we are, or who we aspire to be. We are in the role of guiding teenagers and preparing them for their futures - and hopefully - a life where they contribute positively to their communities. Many of our students already model and encourage these values. The level of volunteerism and service to our school and community is heartening. However, some students need help understanding what being kind and welcoming looks like in a Year 9 class, or on the sports field or at Queensgate after school. A big part of our role is guiding these students to change their behaviour so that it better aligns with our school’s expectations and values. I would like to thank the students, staff and families who have run support groups and workshops, provided opportunities that stretch and challenge students, and used restorative conversations or chats, sometimes more than once, to help students learn and grow. We persevere with our students, and we don’t give up.
Next year sees us working within a new school timetable. Gone are Week A and Week B; gone are the three different sets of times of the day, depending on the day of the week. It is all replaced by a simple model that sees all days except Wednesday start at 9.00 am. We are hoping that this slightly later start time allows families and staff to better prepare for the day ahead. Would you please ensure that you discuss transport to school with your students so that everyone arrives on time? A 50 minute mentor time has also been timetabled. The focus of this spell will be dedicated to the academic and pastoral care of each student.
While many of us are excited to be heading into the Xmas break - this is also a time of sadness when we must say goodbye to a number of students and their families – goodbye of course to our graduating Year 13 students, who now move onto their further education and careers pathways, and goodbye also to a small number staff who are leaving the school. Wherever your journey takes you next, we wish you well and please stay in touch.
To our community, have a wonderful summer break with your friends and families and I look forward to seeing you again in January.
With best wishes