‘Sidelined’ subjects are ‘still really important’ in school says Horndean headteacher

HTC headteacher Julie Summerfield celebrated the success students achieved in 'sidelined' subjects such as art, dance and languages on GCSE results day 2018
HTC headteacher Julie Summerfield celebrated the success students achieved in 'sidelined' subjects such as art, dance and languages on GCSE results day 2018

SUBJECTS that can be shelved in comparison to those often considered more important, such as English, maths and science, are ‘still really important’, according to one headteacher.

Horndean Technology College celebrated the success its pupils achieved in subjects like acting, dance, music and languages on GCSE results day yesterday.

Julie Summerfield, headteacher at the school, said staff work hard to make sure such subjects are still of interest to students.

She said: ‘Our German teacher, Mr Surgeon, was named Best German Teacher of the Year by the German Embassy this year.

‘Ninety-four per cent of students who took German got a 9-4 pass grade, with 83 per cent getting a 9-5 pass grade and 38 per cent a 9-7 grade.

‘That rubber stamps why he got the award – because of the government’s policy languages and the arts are being sidelined, but we work hard to make sure those subjects are still successful, and we celebrate how well students do in them.’

Ella Lyons, 16 and from Horndean, got a distinction star in acting and dance, two 4s, three 5s and one 6.

She said: ‘My performing arts grades mean the most to me because I’m going to The Brighton Academy stage school in September.

‘I’ll be doing a three-year course there and my main goal is to end up on the West End performing in musicals.

‘Hopefully by the end of stage school I’ll have an agent – I’ve got big dreams.

‘I had to get these grades to get into the stage school, 500-odd people auditioned and they only take on 20 per year group.’

James Edwards, from Clanfield, is ‘sold’ on the idea of becoming a part of the Royal Marines Service Band. With an interest in brass instruments, the 16-year-old celebrated a 9 in music postal moderation, as well as another 9, two 7s and two 6s yesterday.

‘Music postal moderation is a listening exam,’ he said.

‘They play music in the exam room and we have to answer questions about it. We got given the sheet music to what was playing and there were gaps we had to fill in – in an exam situation that is really difficult, very nerve-wracking.

‘I’m big time into brass instruments, I’m part of the Hampshire County Youth Brass Band and I used to be a part of the junior band.

‘I’m taking biology, chemistry and music at Alton College and I’m torn between doing optometry at university or joining the Royal Marines Band Service. They’re very different things, but I’m quite sold on the band service.’

Computer science is another less popular subject offered at the school, but one that is ‘very important’ according to Mrs Summerfield, and not offered by all secondary schools.

Molly Bruce, 16 and from Waterlooville, achieved a grade 9 in computer science.

She said: ‘I’m happy about my results, it means I can do A-levels at Alton College in maths, further maths, physics and computer science.

‘I want to go to university to do computer science and eventually work in cyber security.

‘The support here has been really good.’