Educating Brighouse: head teacher Liz Cresswell’s view on life at Brighouse High School

Brighouse High School head teacher Liz Cresswell
Brighouse High School head teacher Liz Cresswell

The sad news of the murder of Ann Maguire at Corpus Christi in Leeds has sent ripples of shock throughout the country.

Hearts have gone out to Ann’s family and to the school community, writes Brighouse High School head teacher Liz Cresswell.

Being part of a school we perhaps feel the shock and sadness in a heightened way. I am certain the head teacher and governors made the right decision to stay open; members of a school community need to be able to support each other at times like these.

At Brighouse High we are embarking on the final term of the year and the focus is very much the exam season. Spare a thought for the Year 11 students who, following their prom this weekend, will be taking exams for the first time under the new linear system. For some of them this will mean sitting up to 26 papers.

While the move to put assessments at the end of the course (rather than test at the end of each term) has broadly been positively received by the education community, we all have reservations about the sheer number of tests our young people are sitting.

Undaunted the Year 11s are rising to the challenge and staying positive about the task ahead. I look forward to seeing their hard work being rewarded with some excellent results in August and defy anyone to say that standards have been “dumbed down” again this year or that the qualifications are too easy.

Instead let’s celebrate the achievements of our teenagers.

Preparing students for these tests requires a real team effort. The Brighouse High team consists of 1,400 students, 105 teachers and 103 support staff.

Educating Brighouse is not just about what happens in lessons. We had an excellent example of this last term when students and their families were invited to a maths revision and curry night.

The event was the idea of teacher Jackie Valentine. There were workshops and advice sessions delivered by mathematics specialists and a curry provided by the catering team to sustain everyone through the evening; an innovative approach to learning and real teamwork in action.