Headteacher's Blog History
Lest We Forget
This week we remember all those who lost their lives in wars and tragedies across the globe, so that we can live as we do and enjoy the freedoms of the country as we know it today. We also think about the families who have lost their loved ones, and those people who have been injured both physically and emotionally. Mr Rodwell, UBHS's Head of More In Common, is attending the Batley Memorial Service today together with some of our learners, as our UBHS Community pays our respects.
November- time to be the best that you can be
Welcome back and I hope you all enjoyed lots of quality family time over half term. We had a fantastic half term at UBHS with a record number of boys joining the UBHS Team in September and 14 new members of staff coming on board. Everyone has settled in well, especially our new therapy dog Vinnie. UBHS goes from strength to strength each and every year. Our learning community has taken part in several key charity events already this year including the Breast Cancer Awareness day, Show Racism the Red Card and collections for Batley Food Bank. Thank you to everyone who support us last half term. Your donations really do make a positive difference- thank you. This half term we focus on being the very best version of ourselves each and every day. Always doing our best, always trying our best, and helping others whenever we can. That's what makes our school so great, we are a family where we all support and help each other. Other the half term break we have been busy repainting the site, repainting and refurbishing classrooms and our roof works continue in our Creatives department. UBHS is the school of choice in Batley.
Boys Don't Try
Is the title of the book- but we think they do at UBHS. This week we are delighted to welcome the co-author of this bestselling book, Matt Pinkett, to UBHS to speak to our whole staff team, and our Head Boy, about his exciting research into why boys underachieve compared to girls. At UBHS our boys achieve really well and in most areas, they achieve way above the national average. UBHS is the school of choice for high achieving boys.
Mastery of Learning
This week we invite all parents & carers to our Mastery of Revision session on Monday 21st October from 5-6pm. This exciting event has been masterminded by Mr Parkin (Associate AHT) to help learners know how and what to do to make learning "stick" and for all parents to see how you can help & support your son with his revision. Come along for a free pack of revision materials, and some top tips and how to revise. We hope to see you all there (and parents/carers of boys in year 7,8 and 9 are also welcome- it is never too early to start working hard!)
Our Big Day Out
This week our whole learning community takes part in our Big Day Out. The purpose of this day is to build positive relationships between staff and learners, and learners and learners, for the year ahead. The day also provides our learners with the opportunity to try something new- a new skill such as archery or croquet, or a different experience such as go carting or Go Ape (an aerial assault course). Learning is all about trying new things, and experiencing new activities and new opportunities. Plus learning doesn't only take place in the classroom.
Making learning stick
We have renamed our homework this year to Extended Learning. The purpose of this for our boys to see that in order to become really proficient in every subject area, they need to practise and use that learning. It doesn't matter if they do are not able to work at home, they can complete their Extended Learning tasks in school in our morning breakfast clubs (open from 7.30am each day), during break time, at lunchtime or after school. We have a wide range of learning spaces and computer rooms open for boys to use when they wish to work at school. After all, practise does make perfect. Please check you son's planner each day to see what Extended Learning tasks he has been given this week. If he says he hasn't been given any- call his year leader as that is perhaps not quite true.
Raise the roof
Our refurbishment works continue above our Creatives Department and although the work causes some disruption currently, it is going to be fantastic when we have all new windows and a new roof that doesn't leak! We were successful in bidding for almost one million pounds for this work and it will help to transform this whole area of school. Over the summer period maths moved into our main tower block as we needed more maths classrooms for our expanding school size, Humanities moved over to the other side of school and have made a superb subject focused area there and we have 3 brand new MFL classrooms. UBHS is the school of choice in Batley and we firmly believe the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little bit extra!
Oh what a night
This week is our annual Open Evening on Wednesday 18th September between 5.30-7.30pm, and we hope you can join us if you have a son who will start high school in September 2020. We achieved a great Ofsted report in March 2019, great GCSE results in summer 2019, have an award winning Career Pathways programme (and were 1 of only a few schools to achieve 100% in all 8 Gatsby benchmarks), a Barnyard, a Forest School and SO much more. You will need to see it to believe it. We look forward to meeting you on Wednesday and showing you around the school of choice for high achieving boys in Batley.
Hopefully you have had chance to look around our school site when you visited us during our Going for Gold day. Over the summer holidays the UBHS Team have been really busy with some major refurbishments. We have secured almost £1 million for a full roof and window refurbishment of our creative's area- this work commenced over the summer and will be on going until February 2020. Our library has undergone a full refit, we have 2 new computer rooms and many new Chromebooks, our site has been painted, we have lockers and most exciting of all we have brand new state of the art toilets! Thank you to everyone who supported us in fundraising for these school developments. Each year our school gets better and better. If you haven't visited yet- come and take a look.
Following our great Ofsted inspection in March 2019, we are delighted to announce our great GCSE results this summer. Congratulations to all our boys and to our expert staff team who supported these learners in achieving this success. We wish them all the very best of luck in their next steps, whether that be college, training or employment as they journey into the world as Tomorrow's Successful Men. These year 11 boys achieved UBHS's best ever GCSE results and a record number of the highest GCSE grades- grades 8 and 9. Well done to all!
We also welcome our biggest ever number of learners into our year 7 this year. We are thrilled you are joining the UBHS Team and we look forward to you having 5 fun filled, high achieving years in our learning community.
I hope everyone has enjoyed the half term break and some quality family time together. It is hard to believe that it is March this week and that there are only 9 teaching weeks left until the actual GCSE examinations commence this year. Over half term several GCSE Master Class sessions have been running to support our boys in making progress in every GCSE subject. Thank you to all staff who delivered these classes and well done to all boys who attended each session every lesson of every counts and effective revision is crucial at this stage of year 10 and year 11. This week is also the time when year 6 learners and their families find out the school they will be going to in September and we are delighted to say that UBHS has a record number of first choices and we will be full with a waiting list for the first time ever in September 2019. UBHS is the school of choice for high achieving boys.
Having a ball in Huddersfield
Not only does Huddersfield have a super football team but it also hosts the Huddersfield 100 Ball. Myself and Mrs Dent were delighted to be invited to this wonderful event as part of the Batley & Spen More in Common team, working with the Jo Cox Foundation, London.
The ball was in aid of raising money for three key local groups- and we were there representing the education part of the More In Common group. In memory of Jo and to keep Jo's legacy going, the group works hard to promote building compassion and cohesive communities, promoting respect and equality. We take part in several key projects such as the Great Get Together in June and the Step into the Future Walk. in 2018 we also held the Mince Pie Moments in December. These were key events in terms of celebrating all that is great about Batley and the fantastic people who live and work here.
The evening was a huge success raising significant funds for the three charities/ groups the ball was supporting and the Blues Brothers entertainment was super. Well done to all of the organizers and the generous donations made on the night.
Our site team always work incredibly hard to ensure our school and buildings are kept looking fantastic. Despite us having an old building (1959) when you walk round our school you wouldn't really guess. So far this school year as well as the usual maintenance our site team have been painting to keep our learning zones vibrant and fresh; a specialist team have been in to resurface the sports hall floor which looks superb; our main staircase has been replaced and the first batch of lockers have arrived. Thank you to our highly skilled site team, and to all parents and friends of UBHS for their generation donations. School budgets are incredibly tight now across the whole country so we have to be creative in our approach to fundraising and 'cut our cloth' accordingly. One thing we will never do is let our standards drop with regard to learning. Our next fundraising projects are for the full refurbishment of our main school library and for more lockers. Any shopping you might wish to do online please remember to go via the link on our website and use School Angel. It won't cost you anymore, but it does help to raise money for our school, just see the link on our website. Thank you!
A crucial part of our UBHS Career Pathways work is boys experiencing the world of work via their work experience programme and via them preparing for the world of work from year 7 onwards. Every year group experiences the careers convention and meets local colleges, businesses and successful people from across our community. These experiences are designed to raise the boys aspirations so they know what qualifications they need to peruse the next steps for their chosen career. With hard work, determination and talent anything is possible.
Upper Batley High School was delighted to host the BBC Bitesize Schools roadshow tour to get learners thinking about their careers and also to raise awareness of their website which contains help and information for all learners to use.
Thanks to Mr Sherrard (our very own Careers Leader) and Miss Grogan for organising this exciting event as part of our Careers Programme. The roadshow really highlighted the different paths learners can take to reach the careers they want, and at UBHS we are always looking for opportunities to enhance our learners and open their minds. This event was part of a huge array of events that we hold in school throughout the year to aid our boys with their journey from school to the outside world to make them Tomorrow's Successful Men.
Chambre de Commerce
This week we were thrilled to have a visiting speaker from the Chamber of Commerce here at UBHS. In today’s world, multilingualism has become more than just ‘important’. Knowing a foreign language other than your native language has evolved to be extremely beneficial.
UBHS has hosted a speaker from Enable2 via Chambre de Commerce….to inspire our learners regarding the importance of learning another language. The speaker showed our boys that learning another language can open many doors and opportunities for the future. A huge thank you to Mr Raeis for organising this inspiring event.
Love to Read at UBHS
The Love to Read project has been fantastic at UBHS. Not only have our learners made significant progress with their reading by improving their reading ages, (which is no mean feat with teenage boys) but probably more importantly, they really have developed an enjoyment of reading. Reading is a life skill which not only has practical applications in all aspects of life, from reading emails and letters, to reading signage in shop windows, utility bills etc, but is an effective way to relax and unwind. In our current times where life is often furiously busy and going at a roaring pace, finding a quiet 30 minutes to read is relaxing, calming and often soothing. Once boys have found the right book for them to read (and I don't believe anyone hates reading, they just may not yet have found the right type of book for them!) then it can provide that much needed 'space' for escapism, adventure or enchantment. It is possible to grab their attention with more than just a PS4 and the latest game!
The Batley Buzz is evident and in full swing. Go on- drop everything and read- you've got 10 minutes!
Mince Pie Moments
This Monday was our winter Great Get Together, where friends of UBHS were able to relax, meet new people and enjoy a mince pie, delicious samosas and tasty spring rolls. We would also like to say a big thank you to Absolutely Catering for sponsoring this event. The homemade food was delicious! Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend.
We also managed to raise money for Batley Food Bank as well so a great morning was had by all.
Thanks to all our parents and careers for their support this term. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and wish you the very best for 2019. We look forward to seeing you on between 9am and 6pm on Monday 7th January for our Going for Gold day and let’s see if your son is on track to meet, or exceed, his Gold targets this year.
The Batley Buzz was evident on Sunday when UBHS hosted the elderly person's Christmas Party in our Jo Cox Conference Centre. There were lights, cameras, festive presents, mince pies and lots of delicious cakes and treats. It was lovely to see our Jo Cox Conference centre packed with people enjoying themselves and sharing stories about batley past and present. We were treated to some festive songs from one of our brilliant Year 7 learners, and our very own musical superstar Mr Rodwell. Myself and Mr Sherrard also joined in- but I will make no comment about our singing, however the enthusiasm and festive cheer was plenty. Thank you to everyone who attended, who volunteered their time on the day and who supported this great community event.
UBHS was filled with local businesses, colleges, education providers and uniformed services this week for our annual careers Convention. Learners from all 5 year groups visited the interactive exhibition to speak to local and national providers about what career opportunities they can offer our boys, what skills and qualifications the boys need to achieve, and what opportunities there are in these different businesses/industries. The hall was packed and there was a brilliant Batley atmosphere all day.
Thank you also to the 40 parents/carers who attended the special workshop for parents as there is no better time than today to start thinking about your son's future.
This week UBHS was very proud to welcome local Councillor Masood Ahmed to our wonderful school. Cllr Ahmed visited together with Martin Green from Kirklees. They toured the school and spoke to many of our learners and staff.
They were incredibly impressed by how well behaved our boys were, how focused they were on their studies and by how well they could articulate their future careers goals and ambitions. They were also impressed by the interaction between staff and learners, by how well our staff know our boys and what a real family feel our school has as we deliver great outcomes for our boys. they praised us on our hard work and on the recent careers Hub launch, which we are proud to Co-Lead on this exciting initiative- one of only 20 such Hubs across the whole UK. The key is the limit for UBHS.
UBHS was proud to co-host (alongside Batley Girls) the launch of the Careers Hub at The University of Huddersfield last week. We are one of only 20 such Hubs across the entire United Kingdom and this is not only a brilliant opportunity to put Batley on the map, but it is a fantastic opportunity for our boys to see the vast array of career opportunities available to them and see the exciting prospects ahead of them. Well done to our three boys who spoke at the launch, they were an absolute credit to our school, to their families and most importantly to themselves. Fantastic!
Oh what a night!
Our school hall was packed and the Batley Buzz was tangible during our annual Presentation Evening last Thursday. We were thrilled to welcome Kim Leadbeater as our Inspirational Speaker for the evening and we were delighted to see so many of our boys awarded special prizes this year. Really well done to all our worthy award winners.
Guests, staff and learners were treated to an enchanting song delivered entirely in French by our talented linguists (well done to Mr Raies, the mastermind of the performance) and Mr Rodwell and his team of African drummers were truly spectacular and the perfect way to end the evening. Mr Farrar organised the event superbly well and we are all already looking forward to next year’s event.
Bears in Batley
You didn’t need to go into the woods this week to find a pack of bears, they were right here in UBHS. Staff dressed up for the day and there were Pudsey bears all around our corridors to raise money for this every worthwhile charity. Mr Farrar and the Learner Leadership Group masterminded a week packed full of events. Activities included a bake sale; wear something yellow for children in need; penalty shootout; beat the keeper (well done to Mr Julienne); gunge a teacher (Mr Usman demonstrated great team spirit here!) and I saw myself be auctioned off to the highest bidder as a slave for the day! We managed to raise a magnificent £1200. Well done to everyone who supported this great cause. There are many children out there much less fortunate than ourselves and we hope this money will help enable them to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
Lest we forget
This weekend UBHS was delighted to be invited to take part in the Batley Remembrance Service. Mr & Mrs Farrar, myself and our School Council attended the event which saw Batley memorial gardens absolutely jam packed despite the heavy downpour of rain. It is important to remember those who lost their lives, or lost their loved ones, through various conflicts which have sadly happened across the globe. We pay tribute and thanks to those who have suffered in the past to ensure we can live the life we live today and have a brighter future ahead.
We were also thrilled to receive a VIP invitation to attend the War & Peace service at Huddersfield Town Hall as honoured guests of the Mayor of Kirklees, Gwen Lowe. Gwen was a Batley Girl herself and her brother is a former learner of Upper Batley High School. The event featured Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and Huddersfield Choral Society and was absolutely superb.
I hope you have all had a fantastic half term and enjoyed lots of quality family time together. There can be nothing better than the time spent with your loved ones and we hope all of our boys are well rested ready for the exciting term ahead. Over the half term break our new signage has been installed in the Bistro and we hope you'll be impressed by the designs when you see them. The design theme was the skills we are keen to develop in every leaner within our community and those are the skills of being proactive, resilient, independent, determined and enterprising. We have PRIDE in being part of such a great learning community.
Interact Coffee morning
Our School Council worked hard to bake cakes for over 200 people for our Interact Coffee Morning on Friday. The vent was entirely organised by the learners and was great experience for them in terms of planning, hosting and tidying up after a large event. The Mayor of Kirklees attended and colleagues from the MP, Tracy Brabin's office, along with parents, friends of UBHs and lots of learners and staff. Well done to the boys for organising such a great morning and for raising funds for such worthwhile causes of Polio Plus, A Down's Syndrome School in Pakistan and Kirkwood Hospice . Our school is always keen to help other parts of our community so these charity events are important both for developing the skillset of our boys, and for raising much needed funds for local and national charities. The boys are now already planning their Children In Need events for November.
Year 10 Work Experience Week
This week our year 10 learners are all out experiencing the world of work as part of their Career Pathways portfolio. This week is a wonderful opportunity for our learners to get a real taste of working life and experience a real work place setting. The boys have had to research their chosen field of work, write a letter of application, have a mock interview, call the company and then work there for one week. We look forward to hearing all about their week and the skills they have developed when they return. Good luck to all our year 10 boys.
Mastery of Revision
Thank you to all of the parents and carers who attended our Mastery of Revision session for year 10 & 11. The evening was hosted by Mr Parkin, our Head of Humanities, and was a brilliant opportunity for parents to hear all about how they can support their son with his revision at home. Teachers were on hand to offer subject specific expert help, advice and guidance to boys and their families and everyone who attended received a free revision pack of materials. If anyone missed the evening and would like further information then please just contact Mr Parkin or Mr Hussain (Year 11 Year Leader).
UBHS Shows Racism the Red Card
This week UBHS was proud to host the Kirklees Show Racism the Red Card event. We welcomed several high profile sports stars to our school, alongside the national equalities leader for the GMB and several local GMB staff. Insightful speeches were given by everyone and there were some honest accounts of how these high profile people have challenged racism, sexism, bullying and homophobia as they were growing up, or even in their chosen careers, yet one of them has overcome those prejudices and become stronger for it.
We thank everyone who came along today and shared their personal stories and as a school we show all forms of racism the red card.
Super Science Teacher
Over the past 2 weeks our very own science and Forest School teacher Mrs Dent, has been travelling in India and working in a Hearing Impaired and a visually impaired school. Mrs Dent has been spreading the Batley Buzz far and wide and has delivered STEM lessons (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to over 300 children in India. Mrs Dent has been supporting these young people with key skills and knowledge and developing their problem solving skills and their thinking skills. Well done Mrs Dent!
A group of staff and learners have this week enjoyed a trip to Wembley to see England play. Mr Cutler was very proud to organise this event for all those boys who had achieved their Gold progress targets in 2017/18 and for those who have excellent attendance, punctuality, effort and behaviour so far this term. Come on England!
This week Mr Kang and I were absolutely delighted to be invited to London for the launch of the Parliamentary Review. UBHS was thrilled to be invited to contribute to this national, prestigious publication. It is superb for our achievements in Batley to have been recognised at a national level. We attended a launch event and met Ed Balls and George Osbourne, alongside other successful schools and businesses whose success has been recognised and was celebrated throughout this evening event. If you haven't seen a copy of the publication yet then please do take a look online or pop in to main reception to see a copy.
Restart the Heart
Our new year 7 learners have been taking part in valuable first aid lessons this week via the restart your heart session. Doctors and trained medical professionals came into UBHS to teach our learners some essential first aid skills. Our boys were superb and very quick learners. The medical team said they were the best group of children they have worked with! Well done to all of our year 7 learners.
Anne Frank Exhibition
Over the next weeks UBHS is proud to host the Anne Frank exhibition and our year 8 learners have received their training. Our boys will now deliver a workshop to other UBHS learners, to staff and to year 6 learners all about the story of Anne Frank, her life and why we still remember her now.
The boys have learned a wealth of key facts about Anne, her family, the war and the impact the war had locally and nationally. Please take the time to pop into school and see the exhibition for yourselves. You won't be disappointed.
Coffee and cake anyone?
This week saw our Macmillan Coffee morning take place and we were delighted to receive so many visitors. Our School Council organised the event and baked an enormous amount of buns and cakes, plus they hosted a cake competition in the style of the Batley Bake off and we were thrilled that so many parents and friends of UBHS attended. Thank you for your support. Cancer has touched the lives of so many of staff (past and present) and so many of our families, this is a key charity that we are always keen to support. Please give generously if you can. Even the smallest amount can make the biggest difference.
We are also thrilled to see one of families support this charity with the whole family 'braving the shave'. Mum, dad and two brothers were all incredibly brave on Saturday when they shaved their heads to raise even more for this great cause! Well done the Gresham family!
The school of choice for high achieving boys
We needed extra car parking attendants at this year's Open Evening when we received a record number of parents and year 5 & 6 boys visiting us. Batley was bursting at the seams with the number of people queuing to get into the car park, and we were delighted to show so many families around our wonderful school so they can see firsthand why we are the school of choice for high achieving boys. Parents took part in amazing science activities, taste tested our school dinners, played the drums and saw how much fun maths and English can be. We look forward to seeing you all next September when you join the UBHS team.
New Scientist Live
What could be better than a trip to London? A trip to London that includes a visit to the New Scientist live show! Well done to Mr Patel for organising this exciting educational visit for our boys. A key part of our Career Pathways work is to widen our boys horizons and show them the plethora of jobs out there that are available to them, as well as giving them the opportunity to travel and visit our wonderful capital city.
The Mayor of Kirklees
We were thrilled this week that the Mayor of Kirklees choice to launch her charity week of activities here at UBHS. Mr Farrar and the School Council team organised a wide range of fund raising activities this week from a Batley Bake off, to cake sales, penalty shoot outs and an art competition. There was a specific activity every day to support the Mayors' campaign to raise money for both Kirkwood Hospice and the RSPCA. Well done to all of our organises and thank you to everyone who made a donation to these great causes.
Here's to an exciting 2018-19 at UBHS
We hope you have all enjoyed a great summer break and lots of quality family time together. It has been an exciting break at UBHS where the hard work at our school never ceases, as you know. We have had summer school, soccer school, the Words not Deeds theatre production, to name just a few of the fun summer activities our boys have taken part in. All have gone exceedingly well.
We have also had some building work undertaken. Our S corridor and Business Studies department has been refurbished and is now a bright and airy, one way system. The boys toilets have been refurbished and look fantastic. We also have a new security gate at the front of school to help safeguard our school community and the school has been fully painted. The school is looking fantastic and we welcome several new members of staff to our highly skilled, expert staff team, and we welcome our new catering manager, Michael, who started last week.
We also offer a very warm welcome to all our new year 7 learners and we can't wait to meet you all as you start your journey with Upper Batley High School. You have an exciting time ahead of you, packed with hard work and high achievement.
Our motto is always Believe, Achieve and you will Succeed. Respect lies at the heart of everything we do and we are passionate about being better than brilliant in Batley.
Our 2018 exam results were again hugely successful with the highest ever number of 7,8 and 9 grades (the highest grades children can achieve in their GCSEs). Read more about our results on our website and in our PRIDE magazine. We are immensely proud of our year 11 learners and we wish them every success as they go on to further education, employment or training.