Heckmondwike Grammar School celebrating 125 years of excellence

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Yorkshire’s Heckmondwike Grammar School is celebrating 125 years of excellence with a special open day to honour its past, present and future.

All former, current and potential students, staff, family and friends are invited to the milestone anniversary party on Saturday, July 1.

The doors will be open to welcome anyone interested in looking around the school.There will be guided tours, live music from the school’s wonderful ensembles, afternoon tea and lots of opportunities to reminisce and celebrate the first 125 years of this great institution.

FULL DETAILS: For latest, updated information and more details, visit the school’s web site at www.heckgrammar.co.uk.

PROSPECTUS: Check out the school’s page-turning online eMag prospectus featuring videos, word search, thumbnail views, web, email and phone links. It can also be downloaded or printed – CLICK HERE.

Heckmondwike Grammar School has grown in size and stature and is now one of the top performing schools in the North of England, serving a diverse community across West Yorkshire.

To formally mark the anniversary, the whole school community, made up of approximately 1,700 students and staff, depicted “HGS 125” on its multi use games area.The event was captured by drone to create a celebratory video, a cake was cut and HGS radio was presented by students with 125 years of music.Other events are planned throughout the year, including a display of 125 years of HGS artefacts, plus the open day on Saturday, July 1.

Headteacher Peter Roberts, himself a past student of the school, says It has never been in a stronger position to welcome future generations and for them to take advantage of all the school has to offer.

It is ranked number two in the North of England and in the top 20 per cent of schools for top A level results.Mr Roberts was preceded as a student at the school by his grandmother, father and uncle. His brother and sister also attended and they were succeeded by his daughter and son, who have since gone on to university.

To make it a real family affair Mr Roberts’s wife joined the school as a teacher in 2016.

He is looking forward to welcoming guests on the open day and said: "We have a philosophy based on 125 years of tradition, that once a Heckmondwike student, always a Heckmondwike student and our mutual support can stretch way beyond school years into adulthood.

"Many staff have been at the school a long time and are hugely experienced in teaching very able, aspirant grammar school students from year seven, up to the highest standards of A level.

Heckmondwike Grammar School celebrating its 125th anniversaryHeckmondwike Grammar School celebrating its 125th anniversary
Heckmondwike Grammar School celebrating its 125th anniversary

"We have a very strong reputation in the local area, regionally and even nationally as a school which does all it can to support students in achieving the highest grades and progressing to the best possible destinations.

"The success of Heckmondwike Grammar School can be illustrated in many ways: our exam outcomes at both GCSE and A level are consistently excellent, We have a plethora of extra-curricular activities centred around the House system, typically over 80 per cent of our students continue in to the sixth form and of these a similar proportion progress into high calibre undergraduate courses.

"Most importantly, we want all of the children who come to the school to enjoy their school days and from this foundation become thoughtful, articulate, confident and responsible members of society."

Heckmondwike Grammar School opened its doors for the first time in 1889.

Heckmondwike Grammar School's old entrance as it once lookedHeckmondwike Grammar School's old entrance as it once looked
Heckmondwike Grammar School's old entrance as it once looked

Since then there have been 11 headteachers, two World Wars, 30 UK Prime ministers and a global pandemic, to name just a few of the historical happenings.

When it first opened, it was initially called Heckmondwike Higher Grade School and encompassed senior and infants’ sections. The secondary section then became known as the School of Science, when the infants were moved to an alternative site.

In 1929 the school was re-named Heckmondwike Grammar school.

Back then it served only the close knit textile town of Heckmondwike, where students and typically staff walked to school, living and working together.

Now in 2023, the school serves a much wider area, with many of the 1,500-plus students travelling from the outer reaches of West Yorkshire and indeed a few from even further afield.

Staff now number over 180 and similarly some travel long distances to work at the prestigious school.

How the campus looks todayHow the campus looks today
How the campus looks today

Over the 125 years, it has remained on its High Street site and the original building is still fully intact and has a prominent vista overlooking the town.

Behind the Victorian façade, the school has tastefully been extended to provide state of the art facilities to students.

The school has a strong ethos and set of values that have guided it throughout its 125-year history. Its motto is Nil Sine Labore (Nothing Without Work), which serves as a reminder that hard work brings rewards.

Heckmondwike Grammar School community also values respect, responsibility, and excellence, and works together as a team to achieve academic excellence and personal potential.

As it embraces the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, it continues to uphold its traditions, values, and high expectations.

The school aims to provide students and staff with every opportunity to flourish and develop their skills and talents, while also providing academic rigor and nurturing ambition and aspiration.