A NEW headteacher is thrilled to have returned to the school where he was head of modern languages eight years ago.
Chris Sylge was appointed headteacher of Honley High School and Specialist Science College during the summer following the retirement of Alan Connor and took up the post last month.
The former acting headteacher of Calder High School in neighbouring Calderdale, says he is thrilled to be at the helm of one of the authority’s best performing comprehensives and is hoping to continue and improve on that tradition.
“My short term goal is to look at the school and get a clear view on its strengths which need to be celebrated and encouraged and look at areas for improvement,” said Mr Sylge.
“I aim to consult as widely as possible with the priorities being to create an exceptional learning centre for the whole community.
“This is already an excellent comprehensive school and my aspiration is for it to become the best in the authority.”
The former Cambridge graduate said while academic success was vital and he would constantly strive for educational excellence (70% of students achieved at least five GCSEs A* to C including English and maths and 80% achieved at least five GCSEs A* to C in this summers examinations), he was determined to ensure that the inclusivity of the school and the welfare and pastoral support which the school was so successful at, remained.
“If you prepare a child to go out into the world, there are a set of values attached to that so they can thrive and survive such as resilience, teamwork and communication skills, risk taking and learning from their mistakes and these skills are as important as qualifications when you go out into the market place.”
He added that the schools strong extra curricular programme such as links with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and its gifted and talented programme were among the driving characteristics of the schools success.
He said while there were several features of the Government White Paper for education which he welcomed particularly around accountability in schools, he expressed concerns about the controversial English baccalaureate, a new measure of school academic attainment awarded to pupils who achieve five A*to C grades in English, Maths, one science, one foreign language and one humanity. This, he said was quite restrictive.
Mr Sylge, who is married with two daughters, is a keen fell runner and a member of the Calder Valley Fell Runners.
He is also a keen cyclist and enjoys European literature, cinema and gastronomy.