Pupil Leadership


I would like to thank Megan and Charlie, our outgoing Head Boy and Head Girl, for their outstanding contributions to the Academy this academic year. They have both given 100% to the role and been excellent ambassadors for the Academy. They are now well into their GCSE examinations and, along with every other pupil in Year 11, I would like to wish them the very best of luck for the future.

The post of Head Boy or Head Girl in any school is an incredible opportunity for any pupil to take their first steps into leadership. Over the last couple of weeks, our next candidates have not only been through a rigorous application and interview process but they have also introduced themselves in assemblies and talked to pupils during break and lunch times to gather support for their campaign before heading into the all-important pupil vote. The Academy has also been adorned with campaign posters, giving it the true ‘election feel’. I would like to thank Mrs Hoy and Mr Nicholson for all of their work in setting up and supporting our truly democratic election process.

I look forward to sharing the results of the pupil vote with you next week and introducing our new Head Boy and Head Girl of Winifred Holtby Academy.

Merry Christmas


The Autumn Term is nearly finished and it’s been a really busy term for everyone at the Academy. 

On Thursday 7th December we were visited by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors to see how much progress we have made since our last full Section 5 Ofsted Inspection in March. At the end of the day HMI Dimitris Spiliotis reported back to myself, the senior team and our governors that we have taken effective action to become a ‘good’ school since the last inspection and that our capacity for further improvement is strong. I am delighted with this judgement and look forward to sharing the full report with you when it arrives. Our staff are second to none and I would like to thank them for their hard work. I am also pleased that the inspector was impressed with the behaviour and work rate of our pupils. Thanks too to the parents and carers who completed the online survey to share their views of the Academy; your feedback was really positive.

I am always immensely proud of our Academy community, particularly when it comes to supporting others less fortunate than ourselves. Already this year, we have raised nearly £2000 for charities such as MacMillan, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Candlelight. On Friday 15th December staff and pupils will be able to wear Christmas Jumpers in aid of Save the Children. There is a recommended donation of £1 for pupils and staff wishing to wear their Christmas Jumpers on the day. We will also be tucking into our Christmas Dinner on the 19th December and look forward to being joined by some of our local elderly residents who will also be enjoying the Christmas Concert, performed by our many talented pupils. The evening performance of the Christmas Concert will take place on Tuesday 19th December and it promises to be an excellent showcase of our pupils’ many talents.

I look forward to welcoming Parents and Carers of our Year 11 pupils on Tuesday 12th December for our Pre Public Examinations (PPE) Results and Parents’ Consultation Evening. This is a really important evening as Year 11 will not only receive the results of their recent PPE examinations but there will be an opportunity to meet with staff from the Academy as well as post-16 providers to offer additional support in the run up to the GCSE examinations in the Summer Term. If you are a Parent or Carer of a Year 11 pupil, please make sure that your child has made the necessary appointments for you. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Mr Spencer.

Many of you who read this blog will know Mr Bunn and be pleased to hear that he continues to make a strong recovery after his double lung transplant last month. He is now home with his family, just in time for Christmas! Staff at the academy are currently raising money for the Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association, the charity which supported Mr Bunn and his family throughout his operation and recovery period.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and to thank you for your continued support throughout the Autumn Term. I hope that our staff and pupils enjoy a well-deserved break and will return on Monday 8th January well rested and ready for the Spring Term.

Best wishes

Mr Brown

Outstanding attitudes to learning


At the end of last half term, it was a pleasure to reward Danni, Ellie, Ryan, Katie and Jordan with their Principal’s Commendation for achieving the highest number of House Points so far. Their day-to-day conduct and behaviour around the Academy are exemplary and they have demonstrated outstanding attitudes to learning. Well done to you all!

I have been keen for pupils to experience a much wider range of activities beyond the Academy day and for this reason our first outdoor activity residential is taking place this week involving 174 Year 8 pupils and staff from the academy. They are spending 3 days at the Dearne Valley Outdoor Education Centre and experiencing a wide range of outdoor activities. In addition to the great activities on offer, pupils will benefit hugely from working together, supporting each other and facing challenges that they wouldn’t normally experience here. I look forward to sharing pictures and quotes from the pupils and staff with you on the website when they return.

Our Year 11 pupils are now well into the first round of Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs). These are a really important set of internal examinations that provide both staff and pupils with crucial information about how well they are doing and what areas need further support and intervention. For some it will inevitably be a wakeup call and hopefully encourage them to step-up a gear in the run up to the final examinations in the summer. However, we have a huge range of additional support sessions available through our Lesson 6 provision and I would ask parents and carers to encourage attendance at these. We also know that the run-up to GCSE examinations can be a stressful time for parents and carers so please keep an eye out for further support and information from the academy. If you require any specific information, guidance or support, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Spencer at the Academy who will be only too pleased to help. It is vital that Parents and Carers attend the Year 11 information evening on Tuesday 12th December. Pupils will receive the results of their PPEs at the event and a there will be further support and information available from academy staff and post-16 providers.

Thank you for your continued support

Mr Brown

Thank you for your continued support


I would like to thank all parents, carers and pupils who attended our Year 11 Step Up to Success Evening on Tuesday. We had a fantastic turnout and those parents who responded to our questionnaire said they found the evening helpful and informative. If you were not able to attend but would still like some support or information at this crucial stage of Year 11, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Spencer at the Academy. Last year’s pupils who experienced great success at GCSE were committed to good revision planning and attended our Lesson 13 sessions to enhance their subject knowledge and crucial examination techniques. This year we have even more on offer to support our pupils in achieving great GCSE outcomes. So, Year 11, make the most of what is on offer!

As we reflect on our GCSE outcomes at the end of 2017, we are delighted to announce that the proportion of pupils that left the academy with the new Strong Pass (Grade 5+) in English and mathematics matched the national average pass rate. In addition, more pupils than ever left Winifred Holtby Academy with a Standard Pass (Grade 4+) in both English and Mathematics. This is a significant improvement on previous years, meaning that more pupils than ever before have gone on to secure places in further education establishments or other training routes.


Our Year 7 pupils continue to impress us with their fantastic work ethic as well as their high expectations and aspirations. They have joined us from Primary Schools with the skills and attitudes that will ensure that they will achieve great things here at the Academy. Year 8 pupils are getting excited about their residential outdoor pursuit trip, another first for the Academy. We have put this in place to ensure that our pupils have the chance to engage in challenging outdoor activities that they might not normally have the opportunity to take part in. I am sure they will gain a lot from the trip.


As you will have seen from our recent news articles, our staff and pupils have also been very busy raising money for charities, both locally and nationally. Our MacMillan Coffee Morning raised a staggering £1362 and there are further events in the calendar that will raise time for other charities. These include our Socktober charity event, raising awareness of issues facing homeless people, and the Chocolate Christmas Puddings in Wawne House, raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. I am always really proud of the work our pupils and staff do through the House Teams to support those who are less fortunate than us.

Thank you for your continued support of the Academy.

Mr Brown


Welcome back to the Academy


Welcome back to the Academy.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome everyone back to the Academy and I would like to offer a particularly warm welcome to our new Year 7 pupils and our new staff. The new academic year has got off to a great start. Year 7 pupils have settled very quickly and staff have been very complimentary about their positive attitudes to learning and general good behaviour around the building.

We are not only celebrating our best ever GCSE results but also the significant improvements that have been made across the curriculum. Over the last 3 years we have raised our expectations and worked tirelessly to improve the quality of teaching in all subject areas; our results show that this work is now paying off with more pupils than ever leaving Winifred Holtby Academy with good GCSE outcomes. In fact, colleagues at the Local Authority have recently confirmed that we are the most improved secondary school in the city. However, we are not complacent and strive to be even better in years to come.

In my assemblies this week, I have encouraged pupils to have high aspirations for themselves and take responsibility for their own learning and progress. I have also reminded them that high achievement brings greater choice for the future, opens more doors and increases opportunities in later life.

I look forward to sharing key events with you throughout the year and working with pupils, parents, carers and other partners to ensure the future success of all of everyone at the Academy.

Principal’s Commendation

I am delighted to award Abbie, Amber, Toni and Morgan the end of year Principal’s Commendation.

Each of these pupils has gained the highest number of achievement points in their year group. They are truly exceptional individuals who demonstrate outstanding attitudes to learning, impeccable behaviour and a true desire to achieve success in all that they do. Congratulations to you all!

I look forward to welcoming our Year 11 pupils back on Thursday 24th August to collect their eagerly awaited GCSE results. Pupils are invited to come into the Academy between 10.00am and 12.00pm to pick up their results and staff will be available to offer support and advice for those who need it. Representatives from local colleges will also be on hand for anyone who wishes to talk to them about their results and future progression options.

The Academy will open again on Tuesday 5th September and all pupils have been provided with a letter which clearly outlines what time they should arrive. If you require an additional copy of the letter, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s House Team who will be only too happy to help.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our pupils, parents and carers a happy and restful summer holiday and thank you for your continued support of the Academy. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic team of staff for their ongoing hard work and commitment throughout the year.

I look forward to working with you all next year!

Sports Day 2017

On Friday 7th July, pupils took part in our annual sports day. This is a major event in the Academy calendar and the Team PE surpassed themselves this year, putting on the best sports day to date. The weather was also kind to us and we all enjoyed a day outside in the sun!

As well as the usual and more traditional sports day events, pupils were able to try out some different activities such as archery, a climbing wall and the very popular inflatable assault course. New for this year was the Speed Gun challenge in which pupils and staff competed to see whose football strike was the fastest.

The House Teams competed with true spirit, with Sefholme taking home the Sports Day cup for the second year running. The overall atmosphere out on the fields was fantastic, with pupils entering into the true spirit of sports day.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Mr Pindar and Team PE who put together such a great day and ensured that everything ran smoothly.

College Taster Days

Our Year 10 pupils have completed their first two College Taster Days. I would like to thank Mrs Constable for her brilliant organisation, the staff who accompanied the pupils to the colleges and the staff at Wilberforce College and Hull College for hosting the events. I have spoken to a number of the Year 10 pupils who have found the experience incredibly useful, raising their aspirations for the future.

This morning I received the following, very positive email from Mr Cooper, the Principal of Wilberforce College:

Dear Mr Brown

I just wanted to let you know that over the last two days, the conduct of your Year Ten students has been exemplary.  They have been engaged and enthusiastic, open to new experiences, and staff have praised them.

Please pass on our thanks to the students, and to the staff who came with them and  helped to make it two very productive days.
— Mr Cooper

It is always nice to receive such positive feedback about our amazing pupils. Yet again, they have done themselves proud and been an absolute credit to the Academy. I am sure that next week’s visit to Wyke College will be equally positive.

Kind Regards

Enjoy a restful Summer Break

The Year 11 examinations are now all over and we await the results with anticipation. I am really proud of the way in which the vast majority of our Year 11 pupils have worked hard and prepared themselves well for the GCSE examinations. The Year 11 Prom, held at the Guildhall, was a fantastic and memorable event and all those who attended were a real credit to themselves, their families and the Academy.

On Friday 30th June, Mr Anderson and the Rock Challenge team achieved third place in the Northern Finals of Rock Challenge at the Grimsby Auditorium. This is a fabulous achievement for all involved and we are incredibly proud of them all. In addition, the team brought home excellence awards for concept, drama skills, entertainment and a whole host of other prestigious awards. It is also worth noting that our team beat other schools with sixth form students in their teams, particularly given that our own team included over 50% by Year 7 pupils. An amazing achievement – well done to you all!

On Friday 7th July, we are gearing up for our third whole-academy sports day. In addition to the usual and traditional sports day events, we have a great range of ‘try-it’ events. The PE Team have worked incredibly hard to make this the best sports day yet and I know that the House Teams are already building themselves up to a day of great inter-House competition. I look forward to being able to share photos of the day with you before the end of term.

As we head towards the end of another academic year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents, carers and community member for their ongoing support and engagement with the academy. Working in partnership with you ensures that we can get the very best out of everyone.

I hope that all pupils, their families, carers and community members enjoy a restful Summer Break and I look forward to working with you again next year.

The Votes are in!

I am delighted to be able to introduce you to our new Pupil Leadership Team:

  • Megan - Head Girl
  • Charlie - Head Boy
  • Emily – Deputy Head Girl
  • Elliot – Deputy Head Boy
  • Tim – Chair of the Pupil Council

All candidates were required to submit a letter of application, clearly outlining their vision for the Academy and how, in their role, they would help to ensure that their vision could become a reality. They were then interviewed by myself and Mr Fernie before going through to the pupil vote. In addition, all candidates prepared their own campaign which included talking to pupils in assemblies. All in all, the process has been fully democratic, highly rigorous and each of the candidates has shown true leadership qualities throughout. I am confident that they possess the skills required to lead a really effective team of prefects and the ability to listen to the voice of the pupils at the academy. I am really excited at the prospect of working with the Pupil Leadership Team over the course of the next academic year and I know that they will play their part in helping the Academy to achieve great things.

Welcome Back

I would like to wish you a warm welcome back to the Academy for the Summer Term.

As always, the Summer Term is a very busy one, not least due to the start of the GCSE examination season for our Year 11 pupils. We know that they have worked very hard so far and we will continue to provide our support in the run-up to the final examinations. If parents or carers have any additional support requests or needs, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Spencer or Mrs Madeley here at the Academy. Revision sessions have been well-attended over the Easter break and additional opportunities will be available during weekends and the May Half Term break – please check the Year 11 area of the website for further details or contact Mrs Madeley for more information.

On Tuesday 25th April, we are holding our Options Evening for parents, carers and pupils in Years 8 and 9. This is a really important evening, so please make sure that you attend to find out more about the courses available. It is also your chance to talk to teachers about the content and assessment process for each course. There are significant and important changes to GCSE programmes and grades this year and staff will be on hand to explain these to you and provide any additional information.

I look forward to working with you this term. Best Wishes – Mr Brown 

Farewell Mr Bunn

As many of you will now be aware, Mr Bunn made the decision to retire at the end of the Spring Term. His teaching career has spanned an incredible 39 years, the last 29 of which have been here at Winifred Holtby. During his time here, Mr Bunn has taught PE and held a wide range of additional leadership roles including Assistant Headteacher, Head of House and Designated Safeguarding Lead and Child Protection Officer. As well as being a highly valued and respected member of the team here at Winifred Holtby, Mr Bunn has gained recognition for his work locally and regionally. In addition to his track record as an outstanding teacher of PE, he has coached and developed a wide range of staff during his time with us helping them to also become great teachers. We are really going to miss having him around the Academy but we wish him well and sincerely hope he enjoys his well-earned retirement.

Six weeks away

We are now less than six weeks away from the first GCSE examination. Our Year 11 pupils have a huge range of support materials available to them such as GCSE Pod and the PiXL apps. The lesson 13 timetable has been up and running for some time now and all of our Year 11 pupils should be accessing these sessions after school to get extra support from our staff. A copy of the Lesson 13 timetable is available on our website and can be emailed to parents if needed. A wide range of weekend and holiday revision sessions are being provided by our staff and the programme is available from Mr Spencer or Mrs Madeley. We all know that good revision is vital in the run-up to the GCSE examinations but it is also really important to build in some good quality recreation and relaxation time. To help with this, our Revision Wall Planners are available to all of our Year 11 pupils from Mrs Madeley. If any of our parents wish to collect copies of these, please let Mrs Madeley know and they will be left at reception for you to pick up. Finally, if any of our Year 11 pupils or their parents or carers require any additional support or advice in the run up to the GCSE examinations, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Spencer or Mrs Madeley here at the Academy. 

Celebration Evening

This evening we hosted our annual Celebration of Achievement awards ceremony, opened by Millie and Jack, our Head Boy and Head Girl and hosted by Mrs Stanforth and Mr Richardson. We were joined by many parents, carers and other family members as well as distinguished guests and governors. The event was a great success and I was immensely proud to see so many of our amazing pupils receiving recognition of their aspiration and achievements. As well as the Faculty Awards and House Awards, pupils received recognition for their 100% career attendance, community involvement and promotion of our academy ethos. There was also a governors’ special award, presented to Aaron. It was an honour for me to present this year’s Principal’s Award to Eve, a truly remarkable young lady who has excelled against the odds. Well done to every pupil who received an award! 

The Duke of Edinburgh Award

I’m really pleased to announce that today we received our Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme licence. Emma Asquith presented myself, Miss Mennell and Mrs Hoy with the certificate and plaque which will be proudly displayed at the front of the academy. This is a really important achievement for us because the DofE is the world’s leading youth achievement award, giving millions of 14 to 24 year-olds the opportunity to be the very best they can be. Over the coming years, we can expect to see our pupils engaging in Bronze and Silver Award levels, with the hope that they carry on to achieve their Gold Award once they have left the academy. Activities include a volunteering section, a physical section, a skills section and an expedition. We already have many pupils and staff who are keen to be involved in the scheme and I look forward to bringing you news of their achievements over coming months and years! Huge thanks to Miss Mennell and Mrs Hoy for getting the scheme off the ground at Winifred Holtby Academy.

World Book Day 2017

As most of you will be aware, World Book Day has become an important date in the calendar here at the Academy. It is a day on which members of staff come to work dressed as a well-known characters from popular books reinforcing our drive to foster a love of reading amongst our pupils. Year on year, Faculty and House Teams have become more and more competitive and adventurous with their character costumes.

This year we saw the science faculty transformed into “Weird Science”, modern foreign languages into Mordor and “The Lord of the Rings” and the PE staff making a grand entrance as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”, to name but a few.

Listening to feedback from parents, carers and pupils last year, we also gave pupils the opportunity to come to the Academy dressed as characters from their favourite books. The vast majority of staff took part, as did a good number of pupils. Please take a look at the pictures to see the great lengths that our staff and pupils went to in order to make this a really successful day.

Impeccable attitude and behaviour...

The following 5 pupils received the Principal’s Commendation for impeccable attitude and behaviour so far this year in their year group, in addition each pupil has the highest number of achievement points in their year group.

Year 7: Tom

Year 8: Amber

Year 9: Emily

Year 10: Morgan

Year 11: Marc

Congratulations to you all, keep up the good work.”
— Mr Brown

Excellent Year 11 Parents’ Information Evening Attendance!

There are now only 14 weeks left before the start of the Year 11 GCSE examinations. On 19th January, we were delighted that over 90% of our Year 11 parents and carers attended our Parents’ Information Evening. As well as collecting their PPE results, pupils met with subject teachers and tutors setting important short, medium and long term targets in each subject to help them to plan their revision over the final few months. The revision planner wall charts that we provided were really popular. If you would like more copies, please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs Madeley or Mr Spencer who will only be too happy to provide you with some more. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that attended because we place high value on the support and encouragement from home. If you were unable to attend, but would like to speak to your child’s teachers or tutors, please give Mrs Madeley a call and she will organise an appointment or a phone call for you.

Best wishes,
Mr Brown

Christmas boxes...

I was delighted to receive a letter from Rev. Matt at St John’s Church, Bransholme. In his letter he wrote:

Thank you very much for the Christmas Boxes kindly donated by the Tutor Groups and House Teams of Winifred Holtby Academy.

We were very grateful for this generous donation, as were our clients. The boxes were distributed in time for Christmas and were very well received.

As you may be aware the food bank is being used more and more by the local community and is totally reliant on voluntary contributions and donations. So, once again, thank you for considering our cause, it is very much appreciated.
— Rev. Matt at St John’s Church

I am always proud of our pupils and their strong sense of community. Our Christmas Parcels initiative is always very well supported by pupils, their parents and carers and is now a very competitive House Team activity around Christmas time. This year, we filled over 40 Christmas Parcels, with Sefholme House being the clear winners. I would personally like to say thank you to everyone who contributed to this important local community project.

Welcome to our new website!

Our team has been working hard to create a new website which is engaging, informative and easy to navigate.

We will be updating our website regularly with news and information as well as celebrating our pupils’ many successes with you. So, to keep up to date with everything that is going on at Winifred Holtby Academy, please visit the site regularly. Pupils, parents and carers will find links to useful resources and websites that will support learning outside the academy, in addition to more general information.