Dear Parents, Staff and Friends of Ghyll Royd,
I would like to start this end of term letter by saying a huge thank you to each and every one of you for an excellent end to 2022. This time of year is always very special, and I would like to start by thanking the teachers for making it full of festive fun. Thank you to Mrs Evans for a fantastic first term, rounding it off with a week of incredible musical performances by the whole school and nursery.
We returned to school in September on the back of another successful year of SATs results. 100% of children who took the exams achieving and exceeding the age-related expectations, following on from the last few years of no examinations due to Covid. Overall the average scaled score for the school’s SATs results was 110.
Our Reception class are happily adjusting to primary school life. They have flourished in the art room, making this year’s Christmas card and adorning my WOW Wall with their colour monsters and fantastic writing. Their swimming starts in January and I have no doubt they will continue to impress me in sport as they have done in many other areas this term.
Achievements this year
Our biggest achievement came just a few short weeks into the new school year, when three inspectors came to visit. In October, the Independent Schools Inspectorate ran a full compliance and educational quality inspection which assesses all elements of how Ghyll Royd is ran and the opportunities offered to the children. To our delight, the inspectors were full of praise, commending our commitment and passion for our children’s learning and the positive family feel they witnessed from stepping through the front door. A few weeks on from their visit, we received the glowing report confirming that we are ‘Excellent’ in all areas – the Ofsted equivalent to Outstanding.
The children continue to inspire and impress me with their application to their studies and wider interests. This year, two pieces were awarded first prize in the Independent Schools Association’s National Art Competition, out of over 540 schools. One piece received runner up and another highly commended by a panel of judges. The pieces awarded demonstrated a variety of artistic strengths including pottery, needle felting and drawing. Thank you Miss Smith for your enthusiasm for art, which fuels the children’s creative passions.
Our athletes have benefitted from expert coaching this term – a big thank you to Hedley Verity from Wharfedale Rugby Union Football Club and Jackie Laycock from Ben Rhydding Hockey Club. The U11 Rugby team retained the Cup for a second year and our U9 and U11 sports teams demonstrated fantastic teamwork and produced some great results across tournaments and individual games with the local state and independent schools this term. We have loved welcoming new additions to our sports calendar including Cross Country events, Cheerleading and Yoga, thanks to Mr Holliday, Miss Mountain, the School Sports Partnership and SportsCool Leeds North.
This term alone we have raised over £1,000 for charitable causes including Macmillan Cancer Research, Children in Need, Royal British Legion and the LS29 Group. Our school fundraising has also provided the nursery with the latest technologies and communications systems so that, from January, we will be able to send regular updates home via the Tapestry app. Thank you to the PTA and to everyone who buys tickets and donates to the PTA events to make this possible.
Our minibuses are retiring for the Christmas break for a rest after taking our children far and wide this term. Early Years have enjoyed local trips to Stephen H Smiths, Reception visited the King’s Hall with Form 1 and Form 2 loved seeing Mr Pryde in the orchestra pit when they watched Aladdin at Harrogate Theatre. Key Stage 1 took their learning challenge to Kirkstall to explore toys through the years and Forms 3 and 4 became archaeologists on their visit to Jorvik and DIG in York.
Form 3 spent their first two nights away from home ever at Nell Bank, with Forms 5 and 6 heading further afield at Dearne Valley for an adrenaline-fuelled residential. All of Key Stage 2 enjoyed the Winter Wonderland of Stockeld Park which had everyone feeling festive. Thank you to Mr Seddon for taking us to all these wonderful places this term. Another thank you to Seema Buttoo and the Bradford Interfaith team who have welcomed us to their places of worship, allowing us to ask questions and learn more about different religions and cultures. The children and teachers have found the talks and visits very insightful.
It has been wonderful to see the children coming through the doors this term. Thank you, as ever for your efforts in ensuring that they are smart and in full school uniform. In the New Year please make sure the children are coming to school with a coat each day due to the usual changeable weather.
Thank you all in anticipation of your support for the forthcoming year. This is a very special school and one which I feel extremely privileged to be the Headteacher of. It has been a long wait for the inspectors to return, and I am thrilled that all the hard work of teachers, staff, governors and the children shone through. I wish you all the best for the festive season and I will see you all when we return on the 4th January 2022.