Helen reflects on a memorable year

Headteacher Helen Hannah, back right, with Ferney Lee School pupils and staff
Headteacher Helen Hannah, back right, with Ferney Lee School pupils and staff

AS she prepares for the new academic year, Helen Hannah has been reflecting on her first 12 months as headteacher at Ferney Lee School.

Under her leadership, the school achieved its best ever set of SATs results and also celebrated the building’s centenary.

“Our results were fantastic, the best we have ever had,” she said.

“They exceeded Calderdale’s average in every aspect.”

All of the children achieved level four or five in English, while 92 per cent got level four or five in maths.

“In Ofsted speak we have an outstanding year,” she said.

“All the children either achieved or exceeded the targets they were set.

“Clearly things are working well if kids are getting to where they should be or beyond.

“I would like to say a particular thanks to year six teacher Kelly Wilson for her outstanding teaching which has resulted in this.

“But it’s not just down to her. It’s been a whole team effort.”

Earlier this year, the school celebrated the 100th anniversary of the opening of the building by holding a week of special activities, attended by the whole community and former pupils and staff.

“It was an absolute privilege to be part of the centenary celebrations,” she said.

“Just to facilitate that was great, a real highlight for me.

“After several weeks of planning and hard work, it all came to fruition.”

Last month, the school held a successful forest school pilot project which involved children learning through play in an outdoor setting.

“I was absolutely staggered at the impact on learning, particularly those who might otherwise be disengaged from learning,” she said.

“It’s something I wanted to do right from my first visit when I saw the outdoor space. I knew then it was something that had to be done.”

Music has been a key theme in school life over the past 12 months, and a new behaviour policy has also had pleasing results.

“It has been hugely positive for the staff and children,” she said.

“Behaviour is outstanding in school without exception.”