WELCOME TO OUR BLOG
11th October 2019
There is a chaos theory that states that if enough butterflies beat their wings at the same time in the Amazonian rainforests, the force created, would be great enough to trigger a hurricane thousands of miles away.
I am often reminded of this at Hastings where it can be the smallest of things that make the biggest difference. Today, everybody has been encouraged to wear something yellow to raise awareness of mental health. It is a small thing, but collectively sends an important message, that we all have a part to play in looking out for each other and making sure that we take time to care for ourselves. The school council have prepared resources which highlight what we do at Hastings to support mental health and how we can all help. Their presentation focused on the point that, ‘Understanding is the key to a more supportive and positive society’. Hopefully, our Hastings family will all take some time today to reflect on this message.
Each half-term we hold our own Butterfly meetings whereby staff and pupils are invited to beat their wings by sharing their own ideas on how to improve our school. So far we have had ideas ranging from a ‘Green Day’ to focus on climate change, more benches on the field, a Hastings House system, use of key stage 4 intervention time to a new toilet block, a PTA, a 6th Form and a later start to the school day! All of the ideas raised will be carefully considered and some will make it onto our school development plan. The meetings are a great reminder that we can all make a difference.
It’s been a great start to the year and we look forward to welcoming our pupils and staff back after a well-deserved break. We wish everyone a happy half-term.
Personal Development Day 1 and some great soup!
7th October 2019
It’s been another busy week at Hastings High School. On Monday we had our first Personal Development day of the year. On these days the timetable is collapsed and pupils rotate through different activities and groups throughout the year. Monday saw year 11 learning about study skills and how to revise through the Elevate program, whilst both year 10 and 11 went to a careers fair held on the school site to get them thinking about their future post Hastings including local colleges and businesses.
In the lower year groups we had a variety of activities ranging from first aid, the dangers of smoking through to oracy, diversity and my favourite enterprise. The enterprise group do a superb job of producing food which is then sold at lunchtime with profits going towards rewards across the school. This week there was a superb combination of spicy sweet potato soup followed by homemade brownies and flapjack (I had to try both!). I was proud of how all the pupils represented the school with a lot of external visitors on site during the day and it was good to see some parents at the careers fair between 3 and 4pm.
The week has ended a little bit wet but all the pupils have coped well with wet break and lunch where they have either not been able to go outside or the field has been closed. As we get into the we will open up the tennis courts winter for lower year groups as a play space at lunchtime but we are still just about clinging onto the last remnants of summer!
Another half-marathon beckons this weekend (weather dependent), I would like to wish all parents who are running either the Leicester half and full marathons this weekend good luck, the big race of the day is to see if I can complete a half marathon before Mr. Jordan completes the full marathon, the race is on!
‘Education is more than a piece of paper at the end of Year 11’ (Erin and Evie year 9)
27th September 2019
This quote was part of a presentation that two of our year 9 Edge Ambassadors delivered during one of our parent information evenings this term. In this sentence they have captured so much of what our curriculum at Hastings aims to achieve; that alongside academic excellence we aim to develop young people that will have the confidence and skills to go out in to this world and make a positive difference.
At our Open Evening last night so many of our pupils demonstrated that they are already well equipped for life beyond Hastings. Pupils from all year groups volunteered to help out in departments or as tour guides and all of them did an amazing job. The comments we have received about our pupils have been overwhelming; ‘fab tour’, ‘very informative’, friendly and helpful’, ‘welcoming’, ‘excellent’, ‘very mature and respectful’, ‘needs a medal’! We cannot thank them enough for representing our school in such a positive way.
A big thank you also has to go to our staff who did a great job of showcasing pupils’ achievements and organising a wide variety of engaging and interactive activities.
We will all sleep well this weekend!
Fire Drill, Rewards and Secondary School being ‘Just Different’
23rd September 2019
It has been another busy week in the life of Hastings High school. This week we have had our first formal fire drill (and our first as Co-Headteachers…). The pupils all left the school quickly and calmly and one of the rare occasions I get to address the whole school at once. Overall the evacuation of the building and being back in lessons took just over 10 minutes, that’s no mean feat with nearly 950 people!
Thursday saw us welcome year 7 parents to our parent information evening, it was great to see everyone and talk them through the amazing adventure that their young people have been embarking on and celebrate how quickly they have become part of our Hastings family.
As with previous weeks I have spent lots of time walking around the school at every available opportunity visiting lessons. This still fills me with joy and we celebrated some excellent contributions to our school values with our ‘Hot Chocolate Friday’. This week we had representatives from all year groups (except year 11 who were busy studying hard) and one girl made a comment that really made me think. She said how much she was really enjoying secondary school and that secondary school was ‘just different’. The young lady in question was so enthusiastic and spoke so eloquently about how each lesson challenged her and how much she was learning and then talked about all the work some of our amazing staff were doing to help her. As she left I thanked her for her comments and told her that the staff she had mentioned would be on our ‘Hot Chocolate’ list next Friday, Her words filled me with pride and hopefully her certificate is already in the fridge!
‘We are what we repeatedly do…’
16th September 2019
Our assemblies this week have been led by Mrs Hardman and have focused on learning habits. Pupils were asked to think about the words of Aristotle and how they can apply them to their daily learning.
At Hastings we believe that all of our pupils are capable of achieving excellence and that with the right habits and motivation anything is possible.
Our teaching and learning framework teaches pupils the habits that they need to pursue excellence. All of our lessons use the first five minutes to recap previous learning, promote oracy so that pupils can articulate and share their ideas and allows time for pupils to use their purple pens to act on feedback.
Developing positive learning habits was also a theme of our year 10 information evening on Thursday. The pursuit of excellence at key stage 4 is determined not just by what happens in the classroom but on how our pupils use these habits to study and revise at home.
According to research it takes 66 days for an action to become automatic. We are only 12 days in to the new academic year and many of our pupils are already well on their way to achieving this. Some of these pupils were nominated to celebrate this with myself, Mr Shipman and a mug of hot chocolate this afternoon! For us, we couldn’t think of a better way to end the week.