Latest News

Post Annual Presentation Evening – Late Start to Lessons Friday 24th March 2017 at 11.00am

posted Mar 17, 2017, 3:26 AM by J Grant   [ updated Mar 17, 2017, 3:27 AM ]

Dear Parent/Carer,

You may be aware that this year’s Annual Presentation Evening will be held at the Town Hall in Birmingham and many of the students will be involved in this event either as prize winners or performers.

It has taken a considerable amount of planning to organise this event away from school and it will prove to be a long day for a great many of the students. In acknowledgement of this, it has been agreed with Governors that all students are permitted to arrive a little later to school on the next day, Friday 24th March. Students are therefore asked not to attend school until 11.00am.

I hope this does not cause you too much inconvenience and that you can appreciate the reasons for this decision.

Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing many of you at our Presentation Evening.

Yours faithfully,

Ross Trafford

Determination Application

posted Mar 13, 2017, 4:22 AM by J Grant   [ updated Mar 13, 2017, 4:31 AM ]

Since an RE inspection last year, carried out by the Birmingham City Council which was very successful; however it was raised that the current law stating that our collective worship should be wholly or mainly of a Christian ethos does not suit the religious diversity of our school. In this case an application for determination was recommended in which we follow no particular religious preference but can include religious teachings in our collective worship without the need for them to be specific to Christianity if we wished.

This application was agreed upon by the governors and I have attached the initial application paperwork for your information (please note this was submitted prior to staff changes).

As per any decisions made at Holyhead, the input from staff, parents/carers and students is imperative. If you do have any concerns or questions then simply raise these here.

If you wish to see further details of the application, please see the attached document.

If you have any issues with this application, feel free to contact Ms. L. Clarke in writing by Friday 7th April 2017.

Welcome message by the new Principal

posted Jan 11, 2017, 2:30 AM by J Grant   [ updated Jan 11, 2017, 2:41 AM ]

Holyhead is special because of the commitment to high aspirations, shared by our staff, our students, our parents/carers and the local community. 

The aim of the school is that every young person who leaves us at 16 or 18, goes on to fulfil their potential and contributes to making Soho Ward a place full of pride, ambition, vision and success. 

We are excelling in our pursuit of those aims and our GCSE and A Level results in 2016 have proven once again that we can compete with the top performing schools in the country. Our students use their outstanding achievements to gain access to high quality further/higher education courses and apprenticeships. The number of our students who continue with their education far exceeds the local and national averages. We are very proud of our success and the challenge to every new cohort of students is to surpass the record breaking achievements of those who came before them.

Ofsted and other external agencies recognise the high quality of learning and teaching in a safe and supportive environment. Our latest inspection report highlights many areas where the school continues to provide an ‘outstanding’ education. More important than this, the school remains popular with the local community and the high demand for places is symptomatic of our strong reputation locally and nationally. As a school that is so proud of its community ethos, there can be no greater recognition of the experience we provide.

Increased academic success, however, is not the only benchmark of which we are proud. We are constantly striving to improve the effectiveness of our inter-personal relationships with students and with each other. This year, we are launching an exciting new initiative called ‘The Edge’ which is aimed at improving the character and behaviours of everyone in the school community. Staff and students alike will be taking personal responsibility for
developing characters in five areas:
  • Leadership 
  • Organisation 
  • Resilience 
  • Initiative 
  • Communication 
Much of our work is driven by our not being satisfied with being ‘outstanding’. We are continually looking for opportunities to move the school forward and I am excited about our plans for innovative methods of teaching, creative approaches to curriculum design and high quality student support. Our partnership with the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce) will continue to grow and develop, aiming to enrich society through ideas and action. They are also our central partner in developing Initial Teacher Training (ITT), to provide the next generation of fantastic teachers.

As you are already aware, Martin Bayliss, Holyhead’s Principal for the last 15 years retired at Christmas alongside Amanda Cottam, Senior Vice Principal, who has served the school for 37 years! We will miss them dearly and wish them a happy retirement.

Having been part of the school’s journey since 2006, I am honoured to be taking the school forward as Principal. I intend to continue with the fine example set by my former colleagues. I am committed to maintaining the highest standards and I am confident that by working together there are no limits to what the community of Soho Ward can achieve. Thank you for taking the time to find out a little about our work. You are welcome to visit, at any time. Please visit or follow us on Twitter @holyhead_school for more information.

I look forward to welcoming you and your child to Holyhead in 2017.

Ross Trafford

January 2017

News from RSA Academies

posted Dec 8, 2016, 4:21 AM by J Grant   [ updated ]


posted Nov 28, 2016, 2:24 AM by J Grant   [ updated Nov 28, 2016, 2:26 AM ]

Nine things you need to know about GCSE grades 9 to 1.

Student Support and Welfare - Punctuality

posted Apr 7, 2016, 12:10 AM by J Grant

Dear Parent/Carer,

I would like to thank all parents and carers for supporting our drive to improve punctuality. Very few students are now arriving later than 8.45am.

From 11th April 2016 we will continue to operate the same system of detentions for all students who come late but in order to ensure that lessons are able to start promptly at 8.45am we are asking that all students arrive on site by 8.40am each morning​.

Please reinforce with your son/daughter the need to be in school by 8.40am. Any student arriving through the school gate after this time will deemed to be late. This slight adjustment in time is to enable them to have arrived at their lesson, ready to begin their learning at 8.45am. By working together we can ensure the best possible start to every day for all of our students and make sure we maximise their learning opportunities.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours faithfully,

Adrian McLean
Vice Principal – Student Support and Welfare

Student Support & Welfare - Student hairstyles

posted Apr 7, 2016, 12:05 AM by J Grant   [ updated Apr 7, 2016, 11:49 PM ]

Dear Parent/Carer

We have high standards and expectations regarding our students uniform and thank you for your support with this. It has become apparent that a small minority of students have chosen to have inappropriate hairstyles with bright coloured extensions or hair dye.

I apologise to the vast majority of parents who might wonder why we are sending yet another reminder. Unfortunately, every term we return to find that a very, very small number of students have chosen to have inappropriate hairstyles or colours over the school holiday period.

We have been very clear about what is acceptable at Holyhead and what isn’t. This is done via letters to parents, through the school passport and through regular assemblies. Guidance is also posted on our school website in our uniform policy. We endeavour to be as reasonable as we can with regards to what is and is not acceptable, whilst still allowing students to have some individuality. Hair must be one, natural colour.

I understand that some parents may ask how a haircut/hairstyle can impact on learning. Our response to this is clear: having ‘rules’ makes life easier for everyone and it creates a safer environment. Avoiding extremes of hairstyle means that all students look smart and professional and this impacts on the reputation of the school and the students. If our school reputation is good, students are more likely to get college or work placements in future. Having rules means that boundaries are in place and it teaches students that life and work involves boundaries for all of us. Over 95% of our school population will not be affected in any way by this.

On Monday 22nd February 2016,​ when students return to school after the half term break, any students who do not adhere to the rules will remain off timetable until their hairstyle/colour meets our school policy.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries in respect of the above arrangements and thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely

A McLean
Vice Principal: Student Support & Welfare

RSA Family of Academies

posted Mar 27, 2015, 3:15 AM by J Grant   [ updated Oct 15, 2015, 11:38 PM ]


RSA Academies introductory film

Takeover Day

RSA Replay: New Voices on Climate Change

posted Mar 19, 2015, 2:32 AM by Mark Giudici   [ updated Mar 19, 2015, 4:03 AM ]

Over the years the stage at the RSA has hosted politicians, journalists, professors along with many other distinguished guests. On Tuesday 17th March, former Head Boy and current Vice-President of the Sixth Form, Kobir Ahamed took to the stage and delivered a speech of true passion and conviction about climate change. Watch his speech below:-

YouTube Video

More  information about the event can be found by following the link below:-

Performance League Tables

posted Mar 5, 2015, 11:18 PM by J Grant   [ updated Mar 5, 2015, 11:20 PM ]

Holyhead is pleased to announce the publication of the national GCSE and A Level Performance League tables which show this has been yet another outstanding year for our students. 

Compared to schools locally and nationally Holyhead students have performed exceptionally well. At GCSE, excellent progress has been made in both English and Maths, with 40% of students exceeding their expected grades.

Our Sixth Form continues to go from strength to strength, with all students going on to higher education and many to red brick universities. Our A Level teaching continues to impress with students gaining top grades across the board.

Please click on the link below for further information and to compare Holyhead’s results against other schools:

Performance league table

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