As Headteacher at Archbishop Holgate’s School, I am delighted to welcome you to our community.  I feel a deep sense of privilege in undertaking this role and the opportunity to work with and lead a community with such incredible outcomes and rich history.  Our vision is ambitious, outward-facing and inclusive and built upon the Gospel values and beliefs which are central to all that we set out to achieve for our young people and our families.  The phrase ‘Life to the fullest,’ John 10:10 is at the very heart of our work; so too are the values which underpin our daily interactions here at Archbishop Holgate’s – Justice, Compassion, Forgiveness and Trust.  Achievements which include an Outstanding judgement for both Ofsted and SIAMS do not come about by accident, but are the result of incredibly hard work, uncompromisingly high standards and an approach which ensures that regardless of the size of our community, every member is valued as unique, individual and made in the image of God.  Thus, our principles are built on not only achieving the very best academic outcomes, but on the growth and development of each young person so that they are strong, resilient, kind and determined to make a difference to the world and the future each will inhabit.

I feel a real excitement when I think of the year ahead and the wealth of opportunities, experiences and success that awaits us.  I believe firmly that the quality of our relationships is intrinsic to this success and in navigating challenge whenever it arises.  I know that as a community, communication is a key aspect of our work and I hope that the bonds of openness, welcome and understanding continue to strengthen between our staff, students, parents and carers and members of our wider community.  It is fundamentally important that these bonds are built upon mutual respect, kindness and honesty and I especially look forward to getting to know the students and families who are the foundation of our work.  I hope to ensure that our communication with families remains purposeful, informative and frequent.  This year we have taken some measures to simplify this process and hopefully this will continue to provide a strong sense of connection and clarity.  Each week, families will receive a Headteacher’s message which will reflect on our most recent achievements and share general information for the week ahead.  In addition to this, families will continue to receive a weekly newsletter with more detailed information regarding events, information and updates from various aspects of our school life.  I truly hope that we continue to work openly and supportively of each other as the months unfold.

Whilst working with the school over recent months, I have been incredibly impressed by the wealth of opportunities available to our young people.  Such experiences are central to broadening horizons and creating lifelong memories and will continue throughout our next academic year.  We also hope to develop our Rewards and Recognition system, so that students feel a continued pride in their daily and larger achievements.  The incentives will not simply be driven by academic success, but in rewarding personal commitment, resilience, integrity and kindness.

Archbishop Holgate’s has a reputation for the very highest quality teaching and learning and a curriculum which embraces each student so that every individual is able to flourish, thrive and fulfil their purpose.  I am committed to ensuring that this continues to be central to our work.  Our standards on behaviour, uniform, punctuality and attendance will be high because we believe that this is absolutely necessary in preparing young people for the future.  It is my aim to work collaboratively with families and the wider community to ensure that all stakeholders feel a strong sense of investment because the view of students, parents and cares are valued and listened to.

The AHS journey is one of the school’s great successes and evidences very clearly our steadfast work around shaping and developing the whole person.  I firmly believe that the pastoral care provided to our students is second to none and is underpinned by a ‘no stone unturned’ approach to care and vigilance.

We understand that the trust you have placed in us is a great privilege and our work to support the lives of our students is a serious undertaking.  Time in education goes fast and is precious and it is our intention to ensure that every young person enjoys their years at Archbishop Holgate’s and leaves us with incredibly happy memories, a strong sense of self-worth and values, and a future they can truly embrace and live ‘to the full.’

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

Marie Townsley