School Snapshot: Havelock Academy


It’s School Snapshot time again!

Today we have World Language teachers Jacqui and David Dexter talking about Havelock Academy in the UK.

photo by schoolofeverything

About the Academy

We are from Havelock Academy, which is situated in the North-East Lincolnshire town of Grimsby.

The Academy takes its name from the folk-heroic legendary figure called Havelock who was saved by Grim, a Danish fisherman.

There are approximately 870 students in the Academy and 70 teachers. The academy has undergone sweeping changes in the last two years; it is pursuing authorization as an IB World School for all of its first and second form students.

In addition, thanks to the vision of the Principal Nick O’Sullivan, it has added a house system with 8 houses named after Ross trawlers: Archer; Eagle; Fortune; Illustrious; Jaguar; Ramillies; Tiger and Vanguard – these are led by Heads of House, who provide pastoral care.

Furthermore the academy has launched a Sixth Form (year 12), which will eventually enable students to complete their IB education at Havelock.

The academy year is made up of six terms of six weeks, which gives students a chance to regroup after the intense efforts of each action-packed term.

There has also been a huge increase in the co-curriculum programme on offer in term-time and there are activity weeks in the holidays, which offer a wide range of activities from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to designing Piper’s crisp packets for National Express.

A typical day at Havelock

The academy day starts with registration at 8.30 a.m. for the students, although there is a breakfast club from 8.00 a.m. and training for the academy’s tri-athletes in the academy’s swimming pool, which starts before that.

After registration there are two fifty minute lessons followed by a 15 minute break, then two more lessons, followed by tutorial time and lunch at 1.05 p.m. This is divided into two sessions and pupils eat together in House groups with termly House Banquets in the main hall.

The academy has recently gained the status of ‘Healthy School’ and students enjoy the variety of healthy food available at lunchtime. Lunch is followed by two more lessons until the end of school at 3.30 p.m., when the co-curriculum starts.

Most students either walk or cycle to school and they are very proud to wear the smart new uniform. There are many traditions such as the Leavers’ Prom organised this year by Mr. Todd and the annual academy musical, which is ‘The Sound of Music’ this year.

The academy competes in many different sports, but specialises in the triathlon and cross-country running. Each House also has space on the nearby allotments for growing fresh produce; students thoroughly enjoyed the crop of new potatoes earlier this year.

Great school = Great experience

We have been struck by the sense of humour and loyalty displayed by the students in our first year at the academy. My Form 5 tutorial group find the teachers to be helpful and think that the Principal is ‘social’ because he talks to them so frequently.

Executive Director of the Academy, Paul Styles, feels that ‘the students are all excited about the new initiatives that are being launched.’ The new curriculum is engaging them and they are increasingly taking up the co-curricular activities, which are helping to broaden their horizons.

The Sixth Form leadership group is helping with the younger students and is also developing contacts with other schools such as Highgate in London. There are further new contacts with a school in South Africa and with Godwin Middle School in Virginia in the United States.

Jacqui and David Dexter are World Language teachers in the U.K. who recently returned from teaching in Virginia, USA with the Visiting International Faculty Program.

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About the Author: Dr. Cate Brubaker

Dr. Cate Brubaker is on a mission to make re-entry after living abroad a positive, transformational force (even when it’s not easy…especially when it’s not easy)! Cate is the author of the Re-Entry Roadmap workbook and the Study Abroad Re-entry Toolkit. Cate has lived in Germany, worked and traveled in 37 countries on four continents, and has helped all kinds of globetrotters successfully navigate global transitions for over 20 years.

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