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Headteacher's Blog 

Batley's First ever Great Batley Bake Off

We were delighted to welcome the rugby player Kyle Wood, our highly trained cake eating learners and Jo Cox's sister- Kim Leadbeater together with her mum and dad Jean and Gordon. These esteemed colleagues formed our Bake Off judging panel and the quality of the cakes entered was absolutely superb! Our Jo Cox Conference Centre was decked out from top to toe with red and white gingham in true Great Get Together style and we welcomed many visitors, parents and members of our local community for coffee and cake. We were delighted that members of the Jo Cox Foundation in London were also able to join us on this auspicious occasion.  

The panel were tough and the cakes were judged on their presentation, their texture and taste. Marks were awarded and Bilal was a superb host. Watch out Mary Berry. After much deliberations (and repeat tasting!) the awards were presented as follows: 

  • 1st Place: Mrs Farrar
  • 2nd Place: Mrs Aswat 
  • 3rd Place: Mrs Abid

Congratulations to all our entrants and to the winners. It was a wonderful event and the cakes were all superb- particularly Mrs Dent's cat. After the competition we then went outside to plant the tree in memory of Jo Cox outside of the conference centre. 

More In Common

Your challenge for this week is to Connect4Jo. 

Hopefully you've seen this on national (and local) social media, but if not, then you are hearing about it now. Various celebrities are all on board and it's rather like the ice bucket challenge. All you need to do is meet someone new, have a photo taken of you both forming the heart and post it on the #Connect4Jo site.

Explain why you have far more in common now with that person and them nominate someone else to Connect4Jo.

The purpose of this to get more people talking and connecting with others. It's also a fun way to meet new people and get people talking. Let's get connecting.

See myself and Mr Raies born in different countries, grew up speaking different languages, support different football teams (come on Leeds!) and we share the same goal of effectively educating Tomorrow's Successful Men in Batley.

A MASSIVE thank you

I honestly cannot thank our amazing community enough for the fantastic support you have shown our school council with regard to their collections for Batley Food Bank. The boys set our learning community the target of 1500 cans/items of food and we massively exceeded that.

We managed to collect almost 2000 food items plus £300 in cash that the boys went shopping with and bought even more cans and some hygiene products. The food bank received a bumper donation and that's all down to a tremendous team effort. Well done everyone. Your support for the people in need in Batley is overwhelming. A particularly well done to Mr Rasib's form group as they alone raised over £200 and donated a huge amount of cans as well- best form effort in the whole school- well done! 

TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More.

Batley's Big Iftar

Batley held our second ever Big Iftar event on Saturday 9th June and it was a  roaring success. The sunshine was booked and Batley Memorial Gardens was filled with over 800 people. Our MP Tracey Brabin attended, as did Gwen Lowe the Mayor of Kirklees and Mr & Mrs Leadbeater the parents of Jo Cox. Jo's sister Kim, made a moving speech and all of the these Great Get Together events are inspired by Jo Cox.

There were some wonderful speeches from a local vicar, an Imam and even a translation of part of the the Qur'an into Yorkshire! We were treated to performances from the children of Purwell Infants School and Warwick Road primary school. They explained to the community what Ramadan is all about and why people fast. There were some lovely songs from the children and then everyone enjoyed a fantastic meal together.

Thank you to everyone who supported the event, volunteered their time, donated food, dates, water, cakes, pizza, pasta, biryani, ice cream etc.

A community is only as good as the people within it and ours is truly fantastic because of all of you. People make places and all of you make our place, Batley, truly fantastic. What a wonderful team of people, what a wonderful area to live in, work in and raise our children in. 

BBEST Community Hub launched at BTH




Batley Town Hall was alive with the launch of the BBEST Community Hub on Wednesday 25 April. The collaboration of the 20 schools in Batley and Birstall was celebrated with wonderful enthusiasm at the community event. Over 30 community groups and organisations joined together to showcase some of the great things going on in our area and launch the Hub to the parents and carers in the 20 schools.

Throughout the afternoon there were several performances from children who attend schools within the hub, and UBHS was very proud of the inspiring speeches made by our boys about their reflections on their experiences from the recent trip to India. We are lucky to have such talented children in our schools and so many inspirational teachers who are supporting them

Over 400 people enjoyed the performances, refreshments, raffle and celebration of all things great about our area.

The aim of the Hub is to support the community so that all children can learn effectively and reach their full potential in the 20 schools.

The winning raffle numbers have been published on the new website

For more information about the BBEST Hub, follow us on Twitter @BBEST_HUB, take a look at our website or contact Allison, the Hub Coordinator

Photos by Nathan Towers

Fantastic Football

This weekend witnessed a fantastic football final as part of the annual Spen Valley Schools Competition. Upper Batley High School’s U16 team have worked hard throughout the academic year and have beaten every other team in the Local Authority to reach this nail biting final.

Our boys played superbly well as a team and it was a tense, hard fought game throughout. Parents, staff and learners alike, all cheered them on from the touchline. Mr Chopdat even used the opportunity to link the game to maths which means as well as playing the boys were preparing for their up and coming GCSEs.

Thank you to Mr Hallam and Mr Brayford for coaching the boys so well and for working so hard with them being the scenes and on the day itself.

Well done to our team for being such great finalists. You are fantastic ambassadors for our school and great role models for all of our younger teams. What a wonderful way to end your time at UBHS and your final year. Absolutely brilliant, well done!

Keeping our Community Safe

On Thursday 15th February we welcomed the Fire Service, the police and paramedics from the ambulance service amongst others to our school for a special “Keeping YOU Safe” day. Our Year 10 learners took part in a range of practical workshops to find out all about the different issues and challenges facing young people. Our learners heard from expert practitioners about how to keep themselves safe with regard to their own mental health and wellbeing, including staying safe online; how to protect themselves from knife crime; drug awareness and being confident to say no to things you do not want to do; the dangers of underage driving and the dangers of reckless driving.

It was a hard hitting day but a day that showed our young people that there is a whole world out there. Our learners were reminded of all of the great things they can explore like travel and culture, but were also reminded of what they should say no to.

We thank all of the professional services who gave up their time to come into school to educate our boys on these hugely significant social issues. Education provides knowledge and knowledge enables children to make confident and informed decisions about their lives and their futures.

Headteacher lunch: service with a smile 

I was delighted to serve a special rewards lunch to 10 of our outstanding learners of the half term on Friday. These boys have worked incredibly hard between December and February. They have excellent attendance, high levels of positive sleuths, no negative sleuths, no lates and excellent recommendations from all of their teachers for making great progress in every one of their subjects.

Well done boys we all know the harder you work the luckier you will be and you've worked superbly well this half term.

It was difficult for the Year Leaders to choose as so many of our boys are making great progress this year. That means it's an even bigger WELL DONE to these 10 learners for being selected.


Amazing, nail biting UBHS quiz night

Thank you to everyone who attended the first ever UBHS Quiz Night on Friday evening. It was an absolute pleasure to welcome back so many ex boys. We met first hand Tomorrow's Successful Men and it was wonderful to hear their stories about how successful they have been and where they are now.

Our very own Mrs Goldthorpe proved herself to be an outstanding Quiz master and Mrs Dent, Mrs Clyne and the India team organised a wonderful evening with prizes galore. Many waited with baited breath for the raffle draw for the flights to Morocco. There really were some amazing prizes on offer.

The evening raised over £1000 (which is absolutely amazing!) and we are immensely grateful to members of staff, governors, our local community, the Deputy Mayor (who gave a lovely speech and had carried out her research well about our super school), parents, friends and everyone who attended.

We all enjoyed a lovely meal together (the majority of which was provided by the wonderful parents) and some amazing entertainment from a terrific magician. Oh what a night! Our India team could not have hoped for better. Thank you to everyone and well done to our boys (and their families) for their great organisation skills.

Happy New Year

Welcome back and I’d like to wish everyone in the Upper Batley High School community a fabulous 2018. I hope you have all enjoyed some lovely family time over the holiday period and we know this is going to be a great year for our wonderful school.

In December we were thrilled to raise a substantial amount of money, together with food and toiletries to support Batley Food Bank and the Homeless Charity. Thank you to everyone who supported this charity work last term and to everyone who gave so generously to those in need, and those less fortunate than ourselves. Helping our local community is a crucial part of the work we undertake in school and we are very proud of how hard our learners work in this area.

This year a group of UBHS learners will be going to India in just a few weeks’ time to work in a hearing impaired school and a visually impaired school. We have a target of £10,000 in order to buy much needed equipment and resources to take over with the UBHS team and we are nearly there (just £1,000 to go). Please see Mrs Dent if you are able to contribute towards us meeting our target.Even just £2 can make a massive difference! 

We hope you will join us for the Going for Gold session on Monday 8th January to review the progress your son is making and we have several information sessions running throughout the day for parents to attend and find out more about maximising your son’s progress to ensure he achieves his potential at school.

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish our whole learning community a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2017 has been an award winning year for UBHS and we are incredibly proud of everything our boys and our wonderful school have achieved.

Here’s to a fantastic 2018 filled with happiness, success, good health, peace, friends, family, fun and laughter. We hope you all enjoy the festive period.

I also apologise for the singing (well at least for mine anyway, Mr Rodwell is fantastic!) in the attached video. Our newly formed staff ‘choir’ wanted to spread a little festive cheer in the season of good will. One of our dear friends from our More In Common charity group has recently undergone surgery so this special video was designed to bring a smile to her face- get well soon Mandy!

Once again season’s greetings to our whole community and we wish you a very Happy New Year!   

Parent Power

There is nothing more influential on a young person’s life than their parents. I have worked in education for almost 20 years, yet I have never worked in a community where parents value their son’s education, and commit to it as wholeheartedly as they do in Batley. It is wonderful to see and a real credit to our community that parents and families are ambitious for what their son can achieve.

Thank you to all of the parents who attended our Parent Forum on Monday night. It was our best ever turnout and this group is a key way for parents to hear about the future plans for Upper Batley High School and have their say in how our school runs. Thank you to everyone who gave up their time on a cold winter’s evening. Your support for our school is greatly appreciated.

Just a reminder to all parents about the many different ways in which we regularly communicate with you and how you can effectively communicate with us:

  • We email out a weekly newsletter every Monday (and it’s on our website)
  • Text messages
  • School Website
  • School APP (download for free)
  • Letters
  • 5 Year Leaders- one specifically for each year group
  • SLT (Senior Leadership Team) please call myself or any member of my team anytime
  • Going for Gold Days (first day of every term, so 3 per school year)
  • Questionnaires- there are at least 5 opportunities per year for parents to feedback in written form (every going for gold day, every parents evening and the progress evening)
  • Open Door Policy (please just call if you have a question or query, or call to make an appointment, we love for parents to come in to school).
  • Governors
  • Headteacher’s Blog (on the website)
  • Governors’ Blog (on the website)
  • Parents’ Forum (one meeting per term)

Careers Convention

What a fantastic day for our young people on Thursday when nearly 30 different providers came into school. Our boys were treated to a wonderful experience where they could chat to a wide variety of businesses, colleges, universities and other providers about what career options are available to them in the future and exactly what an apprenticeship involves. Their education with us at UBHS is juts the key to unlock the door to a bright future for our boys.

What better way to train than when you are being paid to do so?

Thank you to Mr Sherrard, Mrs Backley and Ms Grogan for organising such a fabulous day and a MASSIVE thank you to all of the parent s who came for the parental workshop. It is wonderful that you value your son’s future so highly. They will be far more successful from your support, guidance, love and encouragement. Well done.

Presentation Evening

This was an amazing evening to celebrate the fantastic achievements of our wonderful young men. It is lovely to see young people work hard and achieve great rewards for their hard work. Many awards and prizes were presented and we had several truly inspirational speakers. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and for the wonderful parents who came to support their sons.

Education is the greatest weapon we can use to change the world and a great education unlocks the door to a bright and successful future for all of our boys. Our main wish for all the learners who study with us is that they enjoy learning, they always try their best, there are successful and resilient (as every expert was once a beginner) and that they achieve their ambitions. What we all hope is for our boys to have a job that they love, so when we make up on a morning they enjoy going to work and they get both personal and professional satisfaction from work.  With hard work and perseverance anything is possible! 

Children In Need 

Oh what a day!

A truly fabulous fund raising day was held at UBHS on Friday 17th November to raise money for Children In Need. Our School Council worked hard to plan the day's events and there was a vast array of activities to behold. To name just a few;

  • Staff, parents and visitors to our site were asked to pay to park
  • Everyone wore yellow for Children In Need
  • Staff (or those brave enough) wearing onsies
  • Headteacher as your slave for the day
  • Gunge the teacher was 50pm per nomination and Mr Hazelwood was the (un)lucky winner!
  • Penalty Shoot Out
  • Cake sale
  • Beat the teacher (with the awesome Mr Julienne in the net)
  • Raffle

A huge well done to Mr Farrar who masterminded this day together with our School Council and new Head Boy, Adam. We had a target of £700 and we smashed it! Our super school raised £1081 for this great cause, really well done to everyone and thank you to all friends, staff, learners and parents for your generous contributions.

Careers Extravaganza

Our Year 9 boys were treated to an amazing careers day on Thursday. A huge thank you to Mrs Brackley, Mr Sherrard and Mrs Grogan for organising and coordinating this. Delroy Beverley visited and gave a truly inspirational speech to our boys about his life story and how he has managed to be so successful. From humble beginnings in Jamaica he is now the director of Nottingham City Homes and has advised Prime Ministers. Delroy is a highly motivated leader with outstanding general management and board experience. He is also an Alumni for both Oxford and Cambridge Business Schools.

He worked with our Year 9 boys for the full day by advising them, supporting them and inspiring them to always have high aspirations and be the best that they can be. We were absolutely delighted when one of our boys impressed Delroy so much that he was offered ongoing support and a paid place through University! Wow what an amazing opportunity for one of our young men, well done. 

Well done to our MP- Tracy Brabin

Welcome back to the second half term of this academic year 2017/18. We hope you’ve had a lovely break and enjoyed lots of quality family time together. It is going to be an exciting half term at Upper Batley High School with our Going for Gold high achievement strategy, our new Career Pathways programme and our ‘Parents and their Sons’ joint learning project.

We would like to thank our MP Tracy Brabin for campaigning on our behalf for Fairer Funding in Schools over the half term break. Our school has lost a significant amount of funding over the past 12 months and that is set to continue over the next few years unless the government change the way the funding is allocated to schools. We will always do our best for your children in Batley, as we know you are all aware and we always go the extra mile, but we want the government to allocate funding where it is needed to ensure every child has the best possible education. Thank you to Tracy for publically supporting all our schools in this key area.

Afterall, education is the greatest weapon we can use to change the world.

Better than Brexit

Last week was a very exciting week for staff and learners at Upper Batley High School as our whole learning community voted for who they would like to be the next Head Boy.

Although lots of boys applied, four young men made it to the shortlist and they were all truly fantastic when they made their speeches. Trying to decide on just one boy to represent our school in this prestigious leadership position is a tough call. The boys all have so much to offer and all four of them are winners in my mind by making it this far in the selection process.

The vote will be announced during local democracy week and I look forward to working with the successful candidate as we continue to develop our school. Upper Batley High School is the school of choice for high achieving boys in Kirklees and the Head Boy’s main role is to represent our ever increasing in size learner population and work with myself, the senior leadership team and the governors. 

Watch this space to find out the name of the winner and to hear their maiden speech.

Outstanding Achievements at UBHS

I was absolutely delighted to personally serve a special rewards lunch to the highest achieving learners in the school this week. The award winning boys had 100% attendance, no negative behaviour points and outstanding progress this term. Myself and Mr Kang, the Deputy Headteacher, treated the boys to a special fish & chip Friday lunch and first class table service.

Upper Batley High School is celebrating excellent GCSE results in 2017 and a record intake of learners into its High Achieving learning community.

We are incredibly proud of our high achieving boys. They have high aspirations, exciting career goals and they work hard each and every day to achieve these. The Leadership Team are thrilled to reward them and praise their hard work and high achievements. Our school places a huge emphasis on high achievement and outstanding careers education. We have just been awarded the Careers Chartermark for our outstanding provision in careers education. We are the school of choice for high achieving boys in Kirklees." 

Tracy Brabin, MP Visits our Successful School 

What an amazing first week back for the whole Upper Batley High School Team. We achieved great GCSE results in 2017, with 100% pass rate and every boy leaving us with qualifications to go on to further education, employment or training. Well done to the whole team! We also have a record number of year 7 boys joining our team this September as our reputation for high academic standards coupled with exemplary behaviour and pastoral care, spreads far and wide.

We were also delighted to welcome Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley & Spen. Tracy came to congratulate the boys on their hard work and to talk to them about Global Citizenship. Tracy and her friends from Global Enterprise chatted to our boys about what they can do to make our world a better place. The School Council are now buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm. 

Going for Gold

As all parents know we have only the very highest expectations for your son and what he will achieve during his time with us. He needs to have his full uniform and equipment each and every day so that he is equipped to learn. When our MP Tracy Brabin visited us last week she was blown away by how smart our boys are. “Dress smart think smart” is part of our motto.

Your son has his targets for this year and we expect him to work towards achieving his Gold targets (hence the Going for Gold) by the end of this academic year. Who knows he may even beat those targets and achieve a Platinum special award. Some boys did last year! Let’s go for it and between home, school and our boys themselves we will have a hard working and high achieving year this year!

Only effort grades of O (Outstanding) and G (Good) are accepted at Upper Batley High School. Your son now has 6 weeks until his first progress report. Let’s reach for the stars and Go For Gold! 

Step Into The Future in Batley

On Thursday 29th June Batley saw a fantastic parade of over 1000 people throughout the town centre. The parade was led by a samba band and Brazilian drummer and 22 different schools were represented. The parade was a visual spectacular with every school wearing a different coloured TShirt and carrying their own individually designed unique banner.

The children were all from year 6 & 7 and this event was part of a transition project for young people across Batley and Birstall. The children walked from Batley Market Place up to the Bull Dogs Stadium where they took part in a wide range of different activities including art, music and dance. They all performed a song together and several children made speeches about what community means to them. This event was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and showcase the diversity, skills and talents our fantastic community has to offer. Thank you to everyone who attended the event to show your support. Batley & Birstall are fantastic places to live and work.

Celebrity Visits Batley

Eddie Izzard visited Batley with over 500 others to complete a special running course

around Oakwell Hall, in memory of Jo Cox. Over 200 people entered the family fun run and over 300 took part in the 6.5km run. Eddie showed his running stamina and ran in both races together with Jo Cox's family and friends. It was a wonderful day to celebrate Jo's life and everything she stood for and bring our community together in a superb family event. Well done to all of the More In Common organises and the Friends of Oakwell Hall (a truly magnificent location).

Several events have been held this weekend in memory of Jo Cox and all of the people who lost their loved ones in the horrific Grenfell Tower fire and the attack on the mosque at Finsbury Park. A vigil was held at Batley Town Hall on Saturday at 5pm. Thank you to everyone from our community who attended any of these events to show your support.

Big Iftar and Great Get Together

Batley Market place saw hundreds of people attend a Great Get Together by day and a Big Iftar event in the evening. The market place was trimmed with red and white gingham and the sun shone brightly. The events started at 9am and ran through until 12.30am- the people of Batley & Spen came in their hundreds to show their tremendous community support. More than 140,000 Great Get Together events were held up and down the country.

It was joyful to see thousands upon thousands of photos of people across the country celebrating community and togetherness. Sometimes we just need an excuse to get together, and when we do, it’s clear that there’s much more that unites us, exactly as Jo said in her maiden speech. These events are not political but rather designed to show the rich diversity our communities offer and show all terrorists, no matter where their hate comes from, that they will not divide us and we will not cower. Together we can create a platform to focus on the things we have in common and bring our communities together. That is a legacy that Jo would be proud of.