Hanley Castle Update
The new year started with the exciting news that Welland Primary School has completed the process of academy version and started the year as a fully-fledged member of the Hanley and Upton Educational Trust, joining Hanley Castle, Hanley Swan and Kempsey. It was also lovely to welcome a new headteacher, Mrs Margaret Smith, to the HUET team.
Back at Hanley Castle, we are currently in the midst of trialling slightly reorganised school days. Traditionally, we have placed a longer tutor period in the afternoon, before Period 5. We are trying to work out if this longer tutor period would be better placed in the morning, and altering lesson timings, as well as our break and lunchtimes, to attempt to accommodate this. All of our students are being asked for their feedback, and we have already had some very helpful comments from parents. Once the twin trials have been completed, we will be deciding whether change is necessary – or whether to stick with our existing arrangements.
One ‘alarming’ consequence of the trial was an accidental ‘lockdown’ of the school on Monday 4th February. Like all schools, Hanley Castle has an emergency procedure which can be implemented in the case of incidents such as chemical spillages, stray dogs or even intruders. This is signalled by the ringing of six bells. Unfortunately, our helpful engineers set all our bells to ring six times, causing a few beating hearts and an unplanned lockdown drill. In the event, it was a good opportunity to test our systems. It certainly got the week off to a dramatic start!
There has also been fantastic news regarding two of our star sixth form performers. Jamie Emerick and Georgia Cooper have both received offers of university places from Oxford colleges. Jamie has been offered a place at Trinity to read law, While Georgia’s offer is from Brasenose for French and Portuguese.
Friends of Hanley Castle will know that Georgia Cooper is currently our Head Girl. The election process for her replacement has now commenced, with a large field of outstanding candidates. All of our head boys and girls, as well as their deputies, are elected by an electoral college which includes all of our students and all of our staff. The process is a brilliant exercise in democracy, and one which regularly delivers an outstanding student leadership team for the school.
Thursday 14th and Friday 15th February will see our fundraising efforts to build new classrooms at the Maweni School in Tanzania begin in earnest. Valentine’s Day will be marked by the sale of tokens of friendship and love for exchange with those for whom we care. On the following day a ‘Togs for Tanzania’ non-uniform day should raise an even more significant sum of money. Students will be asked for a minimum donation of £1, but any additional money (from students or their generous parents!) will ensure that we come a step closer to our £10,000 target.
On a final note, Hanley Castle is now getting itself fully onto an exam footing. Year 13 mock examinations commence early in March, while Year 11 are already in the midst of revision as they complete their GCSE courses. Exciting times lie ahead