Award-winning Heckmondwike Grammar School welcomes pupils and parents to open evenings

This state grammar school is non fee paying and is ranked as the Secondary School of The Year 2024 in the North of England in the Sunday Times Parent Power Guide

Headteacher Peter Roberts is proud of the high level of education given to its students and is excited to welcome a new cohort.

The catchment area for the school is far and wide, because of the standards on offer, and the opportunities available. Very good West Yorkshire public transport links and a growing number of coach services make this possible.

Mr Roberts said: “I am a former HGS student and four generations of my family have gone through the school, including my two children. Therefore, I would like to think I am a good judge of what a school should offer both parents and students.”

Here are some of the questions parents should consider asking the school, and the answers they would get at HGS:

How well will my child be looked after?

This is the most important question any parent could ask.

Each student at HGS meets their tutor at the start of every school day – allowing them to talk through issues, talk one on one and make sure everyone is ready to go.

There are then five hours of superb teaching, provided by expert teachers who have studied their subject to a graduate level. They are also all trained to provide whatever student support is needed. Pastoral and academic support is also provided by Heads of Year with an aim of making students safe, happy and confident. Through this approach, they are able to reach their maximum potential. A welfare officer and counsellors are also on hand, in case they are needed.

Will school be enjoyable for my child?

Students at HGS have a high academic ability and say that need to be challenged to be their very best. Because they also feel safe, they can be happy and confident in their approach  

Teaching is taken to a level that provokes debate and critical thought. To enable this the school expects hard work, but an ethos playing hard as well. Extra-curricular activities range greatly, from sports to music, chess to drama, and new activities are added every year. Students are also encouraged to run their own societies. The House system serves the school very well, adding a competitive element to everyday life.

As a result of all this stimulation and encouragement, behaviour at HGS is excellent, as is expected by students and parents.

How good are the exam results?

The school has an outstanding track record of examination success at GCSE and A level. The wonderful teaching staff are supported by top rate facilities including industry standard laboratories and workshops, a fully equipped performing arts studio, outstanding subject based classrooms with the latest ICT facilities, as well as sporting facilities including a full sized astroturf pitch, sports hall and extensive grass pitches. At GCSE, the mean grade is 8.2 and on average, in all subjects, students achieve approximately 0.8 of a grade higher than they would be expected to, given their prior attainment. This places the school in the top 5% of all schools nationally. At A level, HGS offers more than 20 subjects, and classes are made up of students who have completed their GCSEs with HGS and have shown aspiration at schools across West Yorkshire. This means a high proportion go on to Oxford and Cambridge, and over overall 90% enter higher education or high calibre apprenticeships.

A careers team at the school have a wealth of experience and contacts to support students on life choices for their futures.

Is there a place for my child?

To enter year 7 an entrance examination has to be taken, on Monday 16 September 2024, for students who then will be in year 6. If successful they will start at HGS in September 2025. The entrance exam has two papers with a range of reasoning skills tested, and a third paper testing creative writing. Successful students are usually in the top 25% national rank of academic ability. Approximately 90% of students live outside of the Heckmondwike area, showing the desirability of the school.

Final considerations

HGS advises parents ask the same questions of headteachers at other schools to see which school best suits their needs and ambitions. If the answer is HGS there are open evenings on the 19 or 20 of June 2024 and registration for the entrance exam has a deadline of 12 noon on Monday 24 June 2024.

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