Hitchin Boys' School "Striving for Excellence"

Secondary North Hertfordshire District

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Description

Background: Hitchin Boys’ School is a high achieving, all-ability, single sex school with over 1,400 pupils (aged 11-18) on roll and a mixed sixth form, which forms part of the highly successful Hitchin Schools’ consortium.

Hitchin itself is a historic market town of approximately 35,000 inhabitants in North Hertfordshire 25 minutes from London by rail line and close to the A1(M) and M1.

The school population is a truly comprehensive ability intake and reflects the demographic of the locality with some 24% of students coming from BAME backgrounds and approximately 9% of all students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Our ethos: At Hitchin Boys’ we pride ourselves on offering a warm and friendly environment where our students are encouraged to fulfil their academic potential whilst developing a solid foundation of spiritual, social, moral and cultural awareness. Hitchin Boys’ School helps all students to achieve according to their ability, and we celebrate success in many ways other than exam grades, ensuring that all our students go on to the next step in their lives with a feeling of achievement and self-worth. We are committed to caring for each and every one of our students and helping them become well-rounded, successful young adults.

Following Ofsted's visit to Hitchin Boys' School in September 2021, we were delighted to announce that we have once again received top marks by retaining the judgement of ‘Outstanding’. Inspectors concluded that the curriculum at Hitchin Boys’ is highly ambitious for all students. It is designed very well and ensures pupils not only learn rich subject knowledge, but also grow in their awareness of the world around them. As the report noted, “The school is a calm place for pupils to learn and be themselves.” The full report is available on the school website (https://www.hbs.herts.sch.uk).

Facilities: The school is a historic site itself with Grade II listed buildings as well as state of the art facilities which opened in 2019 including a 220-seater auditorium with cutting edge recording technology.

The school has consistently been over-subscribed for many years, and Hertfordshire County Council provided funding which has enabled us to increase our facilities to accommodate an additional 45 students in every new intake. This has provided some financial support to help us through these difficult times in education, it also means that there will be new roles created within the school to manage demands both academic and pastoral of these increased numbers.

Curriculum: From 2018 the school has an 8-form entry school and runs a 25-period week. For most subjects students are taught in these groups until Year 8 when some setting takes place. Class sizes are low overall. Strong consortium links exist with the other local secondary schools, Hitchin Girls’ and The Priory School.

The curriculum has always been broad and balanced with an explicit commitment to maintaining the full range of learning, knowledge, understanding and skills in all aspects of the students’ education, including the humanities and linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technical, social, physical and artistic learning.

All students in KS4 study the usual core of English, Maths and Science, and also either History or Geography (or both in many cases) and almost every boy studies a Modern Foreign Language up to GCSE and then a wide range of option choices. The creative aspects of learning in Art, Drama and Music and Technology play a significant part in the life of the school. The uptake of Science & Maths is very strong in 6th Form and with large groups taking all humanities subjects (History, Geography, Sociology, Philosophy & Ethics) to A-Level, it is fair to say that the school provides significant breadth ensuring students keep their options for life open as long as possible.

Examination results: Pupils traditionally score well at public examination, with over 80% going into the sixth form from Year 11 and our students continue to achieve at the highest level. 2019 was the last time students sat public exams which are referenced below, and are consistently above national averages.

The following highlights are from the DFE performance tables, https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/
 Over a third of GCSE results are at grade 7 or above.
 Progress 8 score of 0.41 (above average)
 75% of pupils achieving grade 5 or above in English and Maths.
 Attainment 8 score of 59.3
 At A level a progress score of 0.2 (above average)

Extra-curricular programme: Extra-curricular activities are an important part of school life. Over 500 students playing representative sport for the school, over 250 students learning and performing music on an extra-curricular basis, a thriving House system and many other clubs, societies and events. The annual musical theatre production runs over three days every year involving upwards of 50 students and 10 staff (“Spamalot” in 2018; “Cabaret” in 2019). We hold three main charity events every year raising in the region of £ 9,000 each time. Sporting excellence is also a defining feature of the school in many sports. In 2019 the school represented England at the Athletic World Championships.

Finally, it would be difficult to list all the opportunities for extra-curricular school trips students because there are so many ranging from day trips to art galleries to life-changing trips abroad such as China, Malaysia, Iceland and Japan.

It is this determination to give students the best possible experience both in and outside the classroom which characterises Hitchin Boys’ School and we hope this has given you a flavour of the variety, breadth and success of our school – of which you may soon become an important part!
 

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