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Principal's update 19 January 2024

Published on 19/01/24

Dear Parents and Carers

This week, students in Year 10 have completed their first mock GCSE exams and have coped brilliantly. Their behaviour and attitude have been exemplary.

A number of parents and carers have queried some marks on attendance certificates.  We are really grateful that you are taking the time to look at them.  Most queries relate to unauthorised absence.  Generally, if an absence is unauthorised, it is because we have been unable to understand why a young person is not in school.  You can notify school of an absence either by emailing the or via the absence phone line.  Please share brief details of the reason for absence.

What’s going on in school:

  • This week we welcomed a representative from Buxton Opera House to talk to GCSE drama students about a 2 week work experience opportunity, covering a range of skills, such as working front of house, creating a show and touring it around local primary schools. If any students 14+ are interested, they should speak to Miss Starbuck for more details. 

  • Y9 kicked of our interhouse rowing tournament this week, with Mam Tor winning for the boys, Kinder winning for the girls and Lose Hill winning the mixed category. Well done to all involved.

  • As part of their fitness module in PE lessons, students took part in cross country running this week and had great fun in challenging conditions! Good luck to all the HVC cross country runners this weekend, as they prepare to represent the High Peak at the Derbyshire Schools Cross Country Championship at Moorways in Derby.

  • Key Stage 4 English:  Y10: Their next literature text is William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Please encourage your young person to watch a version of the text to support their understanding of the plot. There are additional pre-learning and revision materials on the Macbeth Enrichment Learning which students can access on Teams - Files - Class Materials.

Y11: It is nearly time for their mock exams on English Language Paper 2 (non-fiction viewpoints and perspective) and Literature Paper 1 (Macbeth and A Christmas Carol). Revision materials for both are available on Teams - Literature Class - files - Class Materials.   

  • Key Stage 3 English:  Y7 have started their learning on Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful. Look on ClassCharts for the new Enrichment Home Learning to uncover some fun and engaging activities to accompany the unit. Please remind your young person that they should be aiming to complete an hour of reading at home per week. Have they completed their free Book Buzz text yet? Y8: Poetry by Heart is back! 

Year 9 Options Evening – 4.30 – 7.00pm, Thursday 25 January

Parents and students are invited to the Year 9 Options Information evening on Thursday 25 January. This will comprise an Options presentation in the Hall at 4.30pm with Mrs Jones and Mr Beeden followed by an opportunity to find out about the courses available in Key Stage 4. Subject information presentations will take place every 15 minutes. Please use the planner on our website to plan your subject visits - KS4 Options

Y11 Mock Exams

The Y11 mock exams start with the French speaking exams on Monday 29 January, these will run until Thursday 1  February with the written mock exams starting on Monday 5 February.  The mock timetable can be accessed by the link below.  Students will be handed their statement of entry nearer the time. Exams - Hope Valley College (

Sparx Maths Homework

Here is a message from our Maths Team:  We know that you want to support your child's maths progress, so we would to explain how Sparx works and how you can help your young person complete their homework each week. 

Sparx provides personalized homework to each student, with questions that are challenging yet achievable, and tailored to their learning needs. Most of the homework each week will be based on recently learnt topics, but will also include some questions from previous topics to help reinforce learning.  Your young person’s homework will be set on Wednesday and due back in the following Wednesday, every week.  Those who complete their homework earlier will be better placed to get any help they need from their teachers, as well as accruing extra rewards. Failure to complete Sparx maths homework will be highlighted on Classcharts, and students will also be asked to attend detentions during lunchtimes in order to catch up.  Encourage them to start their homework early so they can get help from their teacher before the deadline if they get stuck. Independent research carried out by Cambridge University found that, “Actively working on Sparx for the recommended one hour of homework per week for just one school year was associated with an increase of almost 30 per cent of a GCSE grade.  This indicates that students using Sparx make significantly more progress than students without Sparx.” 

Sheffield Sixth Form Applications

Any Y11 students applying to Sheffield sixth forms need to submit their application onto Sheffield Progress by the end of Monday 22 January as this will ensure that each application can be checked before it is submitted. 

BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions?

HVC will be hosting an edition of BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? on Friday 16th February. Any Questions? was first broadcast in October 1948. Every week it visits a different part of the country with a panel of four speakers who answer questions from the audience. The programme provides the opportunity for people to challenge politicians, policy makers, writers and thinkers. The audience will be able to submit questions on the night and the programme will be broadcast live on Radio 4 at 8pm. Doors will open from 6.30pm for audience members to arrive and will close at 7.15pm. Tickets can be booked using the following link:


Thank you for reading our communication. Here are some helpful email addresses, should you need to contact us:

Kind regards

Gaynor Jones, Principal
Hope Valley College

T: 01433 620555