WELCOME TO OUR BLOG
17th January 2020
Our key value last term was Community and it is great to know that the links we have made with the community are building, not only are we holding a Business Breakfast at the end of January, working closely with local schools, groups and sports clubs but have been proud to have some pupils represent us at the 75th Anniversary Memorial Service commemorating the Wellington Bomber crash in Burbage, this week. Students attended either in their school uniform or wearing their Cadet uniforms with pride. Not only did they attend but were also part of the ceremony, completing readings as part of the service.
This week, having launched an Ambition focus in assemblies last week, the school has been abuzz with pupils setting themselves ambitious goals. For some that is the upcoming GCSE exams and making sure, through revision and support, that they achieve their ambitions and ultimately college or apprenticeship places, for others it has been about getting involved in things that previously they thought were too big a challenge and for a few this has involved trying to get elected to the local Youth Parliament (more on that to follow in subsequent weeks!)
The week has culminated in our annual Celebration Evening where students, who have been nominated for either effort, progress or attainment across the subject range, are rewarded. To get an award is outstanding but to be invited to the Celebration Evening is an ambition that only a select few people achieve. This year, to be invited to the Celebration Evening, a student had to receive at least three awards or be nominated for a special award. The evening was a huge success with a duet from two year 10 pupils, speeches from the Head Boy and Girl and lots of rewarding of young people who we are proud that they are part of our Hasting family, as students at our school. We have challenged everyone to have the ambition to be at the Celebration Evening next year!
‘Pour myself a cup of ambition’ (Dolly Parton ‘9 to 5’)
13th January 2020
A new decade, a new year and a new term. It has been lovely to welcome all of our pupils back to Hastings this week and are pleased to report that they have started well.
Our assemblies this week have focused on the next of our Hastings CARES values which is ‘Ambition’. With so many of us starting 2020 with New Year resolutions and a renewed determination is seems like the perfect value to kick off the new term. We have asked our pupils to consider what they will be pouring in to their ‘cup of ambition’ (thank you Dolly!) and have challenged them to dream big.
Whilst New Year resolutions might work in the short term they rarely last a life time. l’m sure there are many of us out there who have already strayed away from ours! Ambition is about something more long term, and what could be better than an ambition to care for and take action on behalf of our planet?
At the start of this year Prince William launched the ‘Earth Shot’ prize. A prize that will reward and celebrate individual efforts to reverse climate change and offer new solutions to environmental challenges. It will be the responsibility of the next generation to act and we are confident that our pupils will be well equipped to rise to these challenges. There is no reason why a future winner of that prize could not be a Hastings pupil.
This term we hope that more of our pupils have a go at one of our Hastings Ambition Projects, which are set by departments. We would also like to see some new faces on our ‘Wonder Wall’ which celebrates success outside of school. We will also be looking out for pupils that go out of their way to care for our environment.
Wishing you all a very happy new year. I hope that you haven’t broken too many of your resolutions yet. And even if you have it’s never too late to join us in pouring yourself a cup of your own ambition!
It’s all about our community
20th December 2019
It is the end of a long term and both staff and pupils are looking forwards to a well-deserved rest. Our theme for this half term has been community and what a huge amount of things have taken place. Over the course of this term we have been involved with the following, to name a few;
Afternoon tea for ‘Someone Special’ (thanks again to the Co-op, Morrison’s, Loquacious Baker, Petite Chouet), Christmas music night, reverse advent calendars, care packages for those in need at Christmas (with thanks to Fair Share and Aldi for their donations), non-uniform events for Children in Need and Save the Children, a Christmas tree donation from Homebase, benches donated by Future Contractors, the start of our community garden, the re-formation of a PTA (please contact Bev Brown if you are interested), ‘Hot Chocolate Fridays’, Christmas hampers for local care homes, 702 hours of voluntary work completed through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.
These things show that our school has a place to play in being at the heart of our wider community and makes me proud to be co-headteacher here. Whilst everyone enjoys the festivities I hope that we all can reflect on the world around us and encourage each other to involve ourselves in our communities and families, considering those who might love nothing more than a 5 minute telephone call, a shared mince pie or even just a friendly smile.
Wishing everyone a restful Christmas and a happy, successful 2020.
‘Tis the season to make a difference
16th December 2019
Another week of such a long term has almost drawn to a close! Year 11 have finally completed their mock exams and the school has breathed a sigh of relief now that we have returned to our normal timetable. Visiting lessons it is evident that it is back to work as normal and pupils and staff are working as hard as ever, whilst counting down the days!
Now that we have our tree up and decorated on the main stage Christmas definitely feels within touching distance. Thank you to our Student Council and to Homebase who have kindly donated the tree this year.
Festive celebrations will get well underway next week. Christmas Lunch is served on Wednesday and our annual trip to the Belgrade Pantomime on Thursday is always a great way to end the year (oh yes it is!!).
Yesterday we were gripped by election fever as we saw a record turnout at the Hastings polling station. Our candidates have been busy campaigning over the past couple of weeks and got the chance to have their final say in assemblies this week about what difference they would make should they be elected. There were some spurious claims being made including a mandate to abolish the current school uniform and bring back trainers from the Brexit Party candidate! Well done to all candidates for their hard work, to Mrs Limb and the ‘Cake and Debate’ club for organising the mock elections and to our prefects for keeping order on the day.
Thank you to all of those who have made a donation towards our Christmas hampers this year. Pupils in year 8 will be delivering these next week in the hope that they will make a difference to those who need it within our community. This week we have also received news about a difference Hastings has made in central Uganda working with the Children at Risk Action Network. Over the past couple of years Mr Gallagher has travelled to Uganda during the summer holidays to deliver training for their teachers. Our pupils have also raised money to provide resources to be used to enhance learning in their classrooms. Please watch the video link to find out more about the programme and the massive difference that this programme has already made to young people’s lives. The resources seen in the video are ones that we have provided.
6th December 2019
This week I have been inspired by a video, I saw it being shown in a small intervention sessions to help one of our pupils understand the importance of accepting feedback and trying to improve. It wasn’t just apt for that one pupil but for everyone who is part of our Hastings Family, both members of staff and pupils alike. Our year 11 students have just finished their GCSE mock examinations, this has been a hectic three weeks filled with 23 exams and 4 practical days. The teachers are working really hard to get all of these exam papers marked to enable us to give precise and constructive feedback as year 11 enter there final couple of terms with us. The grades they achieve in these exams though an important indicator of what they might achieve in their formal GCSEs in eth summer are not defining. They are an opportunity to get some feedback, just like Austin to then make furether improvements before the summer.
This is a process that happens everyday, everywhere in our school. The feedback that staff and peers give is constantly improving our pupils in everything they do, be that maths, English, science or their conduct around the school. These little bits of feedback from the Hastings Family are like little butterflies flapping their wings. They might not make much difference in isolation but lots of little bits when joined together have huge impact, just like Austin’s Butterfly in the video.
I hope everyone has a restful and relaxing weekend as we near the end of a long term,