At HGSS we expect students to work hard as we believe the 11+test or Key Stage 2 SATs results do not define a child’s potential, but that they are just a single measure of a child at that particular time.
We run a resilience programme in Year 7 and Year 9 as we recognise that for some, learning a concept may just take a little longer, and that to learn it a child needs to persevere. The education we deliver is not an end in itself, but the foundation for a fulfilling life.
As a school we expect students to take up enrichment and extra-curricular offers and to work hard at these. We recognise students develop a range of skills from attending such events and they grow their leadership skills as a result. In taking up such opportunities, students meet a wide-range of individuals and further improve their speaking and presentation skills.
We know that students are under pressure to produce quality work whilst leading busy, active lives, and it is tough, but nevertheless, it is an important lesson. We believe that as students push themselves in such ways, they begin to achieve what they previously only ever dreamt.
By attending a mixed, non-selective school, we know all HGSS students have the benefit of meeting many other students from a wide-range of backgrounds, with a multitude of cultures and experiences amongst them. All students undertake a GCSE in Religious Education as we believe that being knowledgeable about other religions and viewpoints breeds greater tolerance and respect.
We expect and encourage HGSS students to contribute to, and improve, our school community by displaying manners such as opening doors, being on time, smiling and so on.
Students take part in weekly PSHCE sessions where they explore British values, current affairs and a wide-range of topics exploring online digital footprints, drug and alcohol awareness, bullying, keeping yourself safe online, financial awareness, character and so on.
Through the above experiences we expect all HGSS students to develop the skills to thrive in a fast-paced world, to be knowledgeable about current affairs, to be ready to express a viewpoint, to be tolerant of others from all backgrounds, to act selflessly and importantly to have integrity so that they can identify right from wrong.
We encourage students to pursue their interests and moments in lessons. Some of these at the time may seem divergent from the path they are trying to tread, but when done with an open mind, such experiences only enrich us and ultimately develop a passion inside us to keep pursuing the best version of ourselves.
Our curriculum challenges all of our learners to develop knowledge and skills across a wide range of subjects and interests. Students have a broad, mixed curriculum in Years 7 and 8, and study their GCSE options from Year 9. We offer a range of academic and vocational qualifications in our sixth form. We have a number of high performing department areas that achieve consistently strong exam results, across Key Stages 4 and 5. We have a very strong commitment to professional development to ensure our staff are themselves well supported.
“No excuses” means that we expect students to have exemplary punctuality and attendance and to be polite and courteous at all times. We have the highest expectations of behaviour as we run a calm, orderly environment. We set out our Code of Conduct clearly in our Home School Agreement that students and parents are asked to sign. Poor or disruptive behaviour is not tolerated.
Students are taught to think outside the box. They are encouraged to be individual. The school offers a range of exciting activities that encourage Curiosity. We are constantly looking for opportunities for cross curricular opportunities such as the “cells” project taught in Science and Art, which encourages students to identify how subjects collide.
Problem solving is taught across all subjects and students are encouraged to work in teams as well as individually, preparing them for life.
The school is a “hub” for the Arts, including Art, Textiles, Photography, Music and Drama. We hold the very prestigious Platinum Artsmark. Some of the staff in the Arts subjects train other teachers, and network meetings held at the school, provide support for schools in the county.
Students take part in performances and events in the Arts, and are hugely successful in local and National competitions. They benefit from visiting artists, awards events and other creative practitioners.
Students are encouraged to get involved in extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities as they often take students to places and get students to achieve in ways they never thought possible.