October 2021

Someday I will be able to write a newsletter without mentioning Covid. But not this time. Professor Chris Whitty talked about bringing forward the 'exit wave' from Covid restrictions so that it wouldn't overwhelm the NHS during the winter. You may also have seen that the age group with the highest rate of infection growth nationally over the last few weeks has been children aged 12-16. HBS has once again been at the vanguard and I am sorry for the students who have had to self-isolate over the past few weeks. Thankfully, the additional precautions that we introduced seem to be having a positive effect and new case numbers are dropping.
 
The vaccination session for students aged 12-15 on 8th October was successful, with over 450 students being seen on the day and support from police and private security avoided some of the issues that we previously faced with anti-vax protestors. The nursing team from the NHS were very complimentary about our students, praising their politeness and respect. We have no further details yet on how those that wanted to be vaccinated but missed out will be attended to, but I will pass on the information as soon as we hear from the NHS about their plans.
 
In other news, we have received the draft Ofsted report and hope to be able to share this with you in the coming few weeks once it is finalised. I am incredibly proud of our students and staff and am really looking forward to the publication and celebrating this fully.
 
We continue to add to the rich life of the school with success in sport (the senior rugby team defeated my old school 48-0!) and in the arts and I would like to thank parents for helping us with lateral flow testing in advance of fixtures and rehersals to keep everyone safe. We also have some innovative events in support of UK Black History Month, following on from the celebration of global languages with European Day of Languages recently. I also want to pay tribute to Year 11 who are conducting themselves with incredible diligence and respect in undertaking their mock exams.
 
Thank you again for your support for the school and I am particularly grateful for the many messages from parents. It does make a massive difference to our staff to know that their efforts to try to keep things as 'normal' as possible during the pandemic are appreciated.
 
Mr Moane, Head Teacher

Coming up

Over the next few weeks

House points

As of 11 Oct 2021

School news

Chromebook rollout to Year 8
Chromebooks will be required for Year 8 students from January 2022, and Year 8 parents have recently been sent more details about the purchase scheme. The window for using the portal is open until 10th November. 
 
If you need any help using the portal please let me know. Do also let me know if you require further financial support by emailing me directly, jrayner@hitchinboys.co.uk. We will then look at individual circumstances to see what support we can provide as a school.
 
Last week we ran a session for teachers at school looking at how to effectively use Chromebooks in classrooms to make the most of the touchscreen technology. This will help engage all students in class discussions and support teachers in assessing students' knowledge. 
 
The SEN Department have some useful information about Chromebooks and accessibility - more information can be found on the flyers below.
 
Mr Rayner, Assistant Head, Raising Achievment

Tomorrow's Engineers
Coinciding with the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, three of our Year 7 students, Elliot McDonald, Amir Taziny and Zach Willbe will represent our school in the first ever 'Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Schools COP summit', where schools and young people around the UK will come together to explore how engineers are at the heart of tackling the climate crisis. The national virtual summit will take place on Wednesday 13th October between 1pm and 2pm.
 
Mr Hassett, Head of Technology

Year 11 Post-16 Support
Year 11 students are currently preparing for their next steps; they are being informed of their post-16 options via their tutorial sessions. They will be given the opportunity to explore their choices which include traditional A-levels, vocational qualifications and apprenticeships – all being offered from a number of local providers. The post-16 options evening has be re-scheduled and will now take place on Wednesday 17th November. Information regarding what is offered at Sixth Form via the consortium can be found on the Sixth Form Consortium website, which will go live next Monday (18th) - keep an eye on our main website www.hbs.herts.sch.uk and social media for the link.
 
Throughout Year 11 all students will be offered a  30-minute one to one careers meeting with our YC Herts Careers Adviser, who will offer them impartial advice and will guide them through any difficulties they might be facing. If they feel that they need a meeting more urgently and have not yet had one, please advise them to speak to either myself or their Year Head and this can be arranged. 
 
Year 11 students are encouraged to use Unifrog when deciding on Post 16 options as it  holds the world's biggest database of Post 16 and Post 18 opportunities and it brings all the available information into one single, impartial, user-friendly platform to help students make the best choices and submit the strongest applications.
 
In addition to this support, it is crucial that students visit prospective colleges during their open events which will be happening over the coming weeks. . Some colleges require you to register online before attending so please check in advance. Many colleges’ application processes are now open, with the majority of deadlines at the end of January 2022, so please encourage your child to begin actively preparing themselves for this next step. 
 
All young people are required to remain in education or education based training/employment until the age of 18. This is a government policy and must be adhered to.  
 
Open days for some of the local Post-16 providers (please check the websites for more details of times/courses/registration etc.):
 
Oaklands College
Wednesday 10th November 2021
Saturday 13th November 2021
 
North Herts College Tuesday 16th November 2021
Wednesday 17th November 2021
Thursday 18th November 2021
 
Shuttleworth College
Tuesday 9th November 2021
Saturday 13th November 2021
 
Apprenticeship Opportunity
 
Local company Hislop Horticulture are looking to recruit local young people who have an interest in horticulture. They recruit year round for new talent, with September and January intakes at Shuttleworth College for apprentices. More information can be found on the advert below.
 
Finally, please take a look at our Careers specific Newletter here:
 
Mrs Rogers, Careers Co-ordinator

House Update
This year, we are introducing House Days, where the students from that house will have a non-uniform day (wearing their house colour at a cost of £2 per student) and there will be some activities on offer for students as follows:
 
Before School
  • As students arrive to school, they can see how many basketball hoops they can shoot
Breaktime
  • Cake sale – students can bring in cakes and biscuits to sell to raise money for charity
  • Busking – students who play an instrument can busk at various locations around the school site to raise money for charity
Lunchtime
  • Penalty shootout – beat the teacher!
  • MLB Batting Cage Challenge – how good is your baseball?
  • Busking
The format for each House Day will be identical so that we can keep a record of which house has the most participants and which house scores the most points and raises the most money. These points will contribute to which house wins the Times Shield.
 
Finally, the staff have had their own house competition this half term, which was a photography competition. There was a different theme each week, and the winning house was Pierson, who had the most participants and had the winning entry for four out of the five weeks that the competition ran. Below is a selection of some of the photographs.

Are you receiving our emails?
Recently the company that enables us to send emails directly from our database was sold, meaning that the originating address for our has emails changed. We did email all parents before the summer holidays with details of the new address, advising them to add it to their safe senders list. If you are missing some emails this term, this could be the reason why, as your email system may be marking them as spam or rejecting them altogether. If you haven't already done so, please add 9194008@sims-communications.co.uk to your safe senders list. Please also add edulinkone@hitchinboys.co.uk to your safe senders list, as some messages also come from that system. Thank you for your help.

Generation Hitchin
Do you live in Hitchin or the surrounding area? Are you aged between 15 and 18? Do you want to find out what opportunities are available to you locally?
 
Generation Hitchin is an event designed to help you make the most of your future. Meet world-class employers on your doorstep championing careers in Engineering, Construction, Retail, Science, Hospitality, Healthcare, Professional Services, Film and Media and lots more.

During the event, which runs from 3.30pm to 7pm, you will be able to:

  • Watch live talks and workshops
  • Chat with local businesses
  • Find out about work experience, apprenticeship and job opportunities in Hertfordshire
  • Hear about further and higher education courses and training 
  • Meet inspiring young people and gain an insight into their career paths
  • Find out what do to next
Please register here for your ticket for Generation HItchin on 21st October 2021 at HItchin Priory. https://www.hopinto.co.uk/generation-hitchin/
 

Upcoming Careers Events
A group of large UK employers has come together for the fourth consecutive year to create an immersive digital event, to help students navigate the current uncertainty and make informed choices about their prospective careers. The sessions take place in the evening from today until Thursday 21st October and students can register for as many of these sessions as they like. Once you have registered, a confirmation email will be sent to you detailing all the events and the dial in number. 

Employers taking part include the NatWest Group, the UK Civil Service, BT Group, KPMG, teh Met Police and Facebook. The link to register is here:

https://forms.integrate-events.com/#/events/rbs/324798?background=ffffff&font=42145f&page=ffffff

Of goblins, and wolves, and enchanted forests!
It was wonderful to start the year off by being able to welcome all of our students back in, and we loved meeting all of our new Year7s as well as welcoming back familiar faces. Sadly, now we are back to wearing masks and taking Covid precautions we have reintroduced our break and lunchtime rota as follows: 
 
Monday:        break Year 11  lunch Year 7
Tuesday:        break Year 10  lunch Year 8
Wednesday:   break Year 7    lunch Year 9
Thursday:       break Year 8    lunch Years 10 & 11
Friday:            break Year 9    lunch Book Club
 
We are still open until 4.30pm Monday - thursday for socially distanced use.
 
If anyone from any year group is just returning, renewing or quickly choosing a book they can so long as they keep their mask on, but they will not be able to stay in the library if it is not their day.  Thankfully, although our numbers are reduced we are still quite busy at break and lunch, so we are happy librarians!
 
You can see from our picture that we have our Black History Month display up, and already lots of the books have been checked out. This year, we were lucky enough to win the National Book token competition to receive the shorlisted books for the Jhalak Prize for authors of colour, and Woodbridge Emporium kindly sent us a copy of Marcus Rashford's book as they are trying to donate as many copies as possible to school libraries.
 
 
We have a display in the library about the history of fairy stories: 'Fairy Tales: Not just for babies!', our Year 7s and 8s have enjoyed learning about the dark history of fairytales and hearing original versions of them in their library lessons. Some of them have written or are writing their own which we hope to showcase in the next Chronicle.
 
Speaking of writing stories and winning things... we have just launched a house competition to create something to explain what lies beyond the library clock. The clock never tells the right time, or at least not the time at HBS, so we believe it's a portal to another dimension. We are inviting students to write, draw, create, build, film, or record something to let us know what they think lies beyond the clock. All entries can be brought to us in the library, or emailed to library@hitchinboys.co.uk closing date is midnight on 31st October.
 
Library closure: The library will be closed after school on Thursday 14th October as we will be having our half termly meeting of the North Herts Schools Librarians' Group where we will be sharing ways to make what we do even better, and discussing a possible shortlist for next year's North Herts Schools' Book Award.
 
HBS Book Club will be meeting at the Kite in Bucklersbury on Wednesday 13th October at 7pm. This month we have been reading the YA novel, The Lefthanded Bookselllers of London by Garth Nix. It's a lovely, welcoming group, and we aren't afraid to be controversial in our opinions! Please contact Hilary Robertson on hrobertson@hitchinboys.co.uk for more information.
 
Remember you can follow us on Twitter @HBSLibrary
 
Mrs Baugh and Mrs Rushton, Librarians

Follow our Careers team
The HBS Careers Team are always busy updating our Twitter and Instagram Feed. Follow us @HBSCareersInfo
 
We also send lots of information on events, special opportunities, work experience, apprenticeships, internships, to your child'sUnifrog account every week. Please remind them to make a point of logging in and checking each week if they are year 10 or above. If they have forgotten how to log in to Unifrog:
 
  1. Go to Unifrog.org
  2. Sign in
  3. Enter their school email address
  4. Reset their password

All upcoming events and opportunities will appear in their Unifrog account as above and are specific to their year group. It might also be worth scrolling down through the tabs to look up a particular career in the careers library where there will be information on average salary, number of jobs in this area and what qualifications will be needed.
 
 
If they scroll down to the brown Special Opportunities tab (bottom right)  there are lots of extra opportunities in there including scholarships, grants, internships etc.
 
 
We encourage KS4 & 5 students to sign up for some virtual work experience, maybe organise their own work shadowing in the school holidays, to go along to local careers events as these are good places to network and it is all very good practise for life after school.
 
During the second half of the Autumn term our new Year 7 cohort will be introduced to Unifrog via an assembly.  They will each be provided with a log on and from this they can go on to build a profile which will develop over their time at HBS.  All parents are encouraged to use Unifrog with students especially in the early days of using the platform.
 
Some other websites that your son may find useful are:
 
Barclays Life Skills site where they will find help with building their CV, writing covering letters, practise assessment centre tests etc  https://barclayslifeskills.com/young-people/
 
Young Professionals Network: "Create a Young Professionals profile today and find the best apprenticeships, work experience & insight
days with the world’s biggest brands!"
 
Sort: helps young people to figure out their direction 
 
Please feel free to email the careers team if you have any questions. The HBS Careers Team is Mrs Rogers, Ms Bahnsen and Mr Monks.

Angels Support Group
Angels Support Group provides individualised, professional expertise and advice for the families of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and/or Autism. They work alongside parents to build understanding and to empower them to hear their child’s voice, and their key aim is to maximise the individual potential of each child and young person. 
 
Lately they have noticed an increase in need and wanted to reach as many families who could benefit from support as possible. Parents and Carers can join using the membership form at this link
 
 
More information on the attached flyer.

Black History Month at HBS
Black History Month activities started last week at HBS. The theme for this year is WHO AM I?, to encourage discussions around the idea of cultural heritage and how the people around us have helped us to be part of who we are today.
 
Students took part in form time activities including a scavenger hunt (finding the silhouettes of Black Britons around school, reading the clues and guessing their identity); a photo competition (taking a photo the people in their life who are an inspiration along with a sentence that explains why they have an important place) and 'My roots' - discussing the idea of cultural identity and using the world map to pin their place of origin.
 
In support of the event, the librarians put together a display to tie in with BHM, built around the theme of being proud of who you are. The Music Department has also shared a list of music by black composers, which you can download below.