The start of the new school year at the Holgate Academy also marked the launch of a fresh era after the retirement of its principal.
Holgate waved a fond farewell before Christmas to Sue Forsey, who stood down at the end of 35 years’ service with the school.
Replacing her for the new term as acting principal is Matt Pennington, who has been Ms Forsey’s number two since October.
A well-respected teacher, Ms Forsey said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with the staff and students at Holgate.
“The year 2020 is the beginning of a new decade, with lots of positive changes for the academy.
“I would like to wish everyone at Holgate every success for the future.”
Ms Forsey’s departure comes nine months after a critical Ofsted report, which said Holgate ‘required improvement’ in four out of five areas and branded the quality of teaching inconsistent.
However, Mr Pennington was full of praise for the outgoing head. He said: “We would like to thank Ms Forsey for her passion for education, her commitment to the academy and its students, and to wish her all the very best in her retirement.”
Mr Pennington brings a wealth of experience to Holgate, having been assistant principal and part of the senior leadership team at Retford Oaks Academy for a number of years.
He said: “I am extremely excited to lead the Holgate Academy into 2020.
“Our focus ahead will be on ensuring our students know and remember more. We want them to develop a love for learning and to enjoy their lessons.
“Our fundamental philosophy is that the feeling of success raises student confidence and a desire to improve. Whether they take small steps in a subject they find difficult orstrides in an area they excel, we want to ensure each student has every opportunity to succeed.
“I would like to thank students, staff, parents and carers who have been so welcoming since I began working at Holgate.
“Our exciting plans to move the academy forward include a tailored approach to behaviour and attendance, ensuring we provide bespoke support that allows students to access learning and more routes to success.”