Whetstone Bridge Road,
NE46 3JB.
Tel: 01434 610300

Welcome to Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham
Community and Leisure Courses Spring and Summer 2014

Welcome Mr Atkins

Mr Atkins Executive Headteacher

We are delighted to welcome Mr Atkins as the new Executive Headteacher of the Queen Elizabeth High School / Hexham Middle School Federation.

Mr Atkins joins QE/HMS following 5 successful years as a Headteacher at a school in London. He commented: “I am delighted to be taking up post as Executive Headteacher of Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School. The staff, students and governors whom I’ve had the opportunity to meet so far could not have been more friendly and welcoming, and have given me an excellent impression. I am very much looking forward to working with everyone towards the ongoing happiness and success of both schools.”

As Executive Headteacher, Mr Atkins’ role is to ensure that the quality of provision at both schools in the Federation is as it should be, and to set the strategic direction. Mr Byers, as Head of School, will continue to run Queen Elizabeth High on a day-to-day basis.


Welcome from Executive Headteacher, Mr Atkins

I'd like to welcome you to the new academic year at Queen Elizabeth High School and to introduce myself to you as Executive Headteacher of the Hexham Middle School and Queen Elizabeth High School Hard Federation. Having been appointed to the post way back in March, I am delighted to be finally getting started in earnest!

The role of executive headteacher is a relatively new one in schools, although it is becoming increasingly common as more and more individual schools establish formal partnership arrangements with others. In essence, my role is to ensure that the quality of provision at both schools in the Federation is as it should be, and to set the strategic direction. It is a role that is less day-to-day 'hands on' operational than would be the case for the traditional ‘headteacher’. As such, the role of Head of School has real significance and much greater prominence 'on the ground' and is, in practice, the de facto 'headteacher' on a day-to-day basis as far as parents and students are concerned.

With this in mind I am absolutely delighted (and the school is very fortunate) to have Mr Byers as Head of School. Working alongside Mr Byers and the rest of the Senior Leadership Team, I am optimistic about a very bright future ahead. We share the same high expectations for Queen Elizabeth High School: first class teaching and leadership, outstanding academic achievement, exceptional care, guidance and support, and excellent enrichment provision, to ensure that all of our students are well-equipped to take their next steps and have the foundations established to go onto lead happy and fulfilling adult lives.

To hear more about our vision and how we intend to realise it, I would like to invite you to attend an information evening at the school – dates and times for each year group are detailed below:

Year GroupDateTime
Year 9Thursday 11 September6.00pm
Year 10Thursday 11 September7.00pm
Year 11Thursday 11 September8.00pm
Year 13Tuesday 16 September6.00pm
Year 12Tuesday 16 September7.00pmAs part of Welcome to Sixth Form Evening

I do hope you can attend and I very much look forward to seeing you then.

Mr G Atkins
Executive Headteacher


LAMDA Students

LAMDA Students

Last Friday we celebrated the excellent achievements of this year's LAMDA cohort with a ceremony in the walled gardens. Students from year 10 and 13 performed a series of monologues to a visiting examiner, impressing with both their acting skills, theatre knowledge and courage.


Welcome from Head of School Mr Byers

Mr Byers Head of School

In 1599 Queen Elizabeth I granted the people of Hexham a charter to establish a school because of their “outstanding eagerness to promote good learning”. Over 400 years later Queen Elizabeth High School continues to flourish as a friendly, welcoming and high achieving community school, educating over 1300 students, including over 400 in the Sixth Form.

The success of our school is built on positive relationships and a partnership between our students, their parents and our staff. We all want the same thing: for students to be happy and successful and to enjoy learning.

In 2014 we were the highest performing school in Northumberland with 76% of students achieving 5 A*-C grades including English and maths. 36% of all GCSE grades were graded A* or A, and at A Level over 50% of entries were awarded the top grades of A*-B. Our progress levels for students of all abilities are amongst the best in the region.

We don’t focus only on academic standards. We believe that extra-curricular activities are an essential part of school life and many of our students take part in the opportunities we offer in sport, the performing arts, foreign trips, and a large number of clubs and societies.

Ofsted has praised us for our inclusive nature and the quality of advice, guidance and support we offer is exceptional. The staff and students are enormously proud of this school and I hope that if you visit us or send your children here, you will share this pride and passion for learning

Mr A Byers
Head of School


Best Ever Exam Results

We are delighted to say that the hard work of the students and staff, and the improvements we have made in teaching and learning over the last three years, have resulted in the best set of exam results in the school’s history. The 2014 performance tables will not be officially published until January 2015 but early indications show that we are now the top performing school in Northumberland, North Durham, West Gateshead and East Cumbria.


Exam Success and Information Evenings

As most of you will be aware, Queen Elizabeth High School has undergone significant changes over the last three years with the twin aims of improving the quality of provision and raising achievement. Those of you who have heard me speak at events over this time will know the high aspirations we all have and how we expected these changes to have had a significant impact on exam results this year. Indeed, I have said this so often recently that I was as nervous as the students themselves this summer when the results were published.

I am delighted to say that the hard work of the students and staff, and the changes we have made, have resulted in the best set of exam results in the school’s history and the best in Northumberland. Although the results from all schools have yet to be officially published, early indications show that we are now the top performing school in Tynedale, North Durham and West Gateshead, the areas with schools that parents in our catchment area might choose to send their children to.

At GCSE level, 76% of students achieved the headline indicator of 5 A*-C grades including English Language and Maths. This was an increase of 7% on 2013. 36% of all entries at GCSE were awarded the top grades of A*/A, again the best in our history. The percentage of students achieving A*-C grades in maths and English Language, the most important subjects for progression onto sixth form courses, apprenticeships and college courses, was 88% and 84% respectively. At AS level, we achieved our best results ever. The percentage of entries awarded the top grades of A and B increased from 39% to 53%. At A Level, we maintained our performance of last year which saw us placed in the top 10 state, independent or faith schools in the North East. 55% of students achieved A*-B grades, another record. We are not complacent about our success and I am delighted to be working with Mr Atkins, the senior leadership team and our fantastic staff to ensure that the successes of this year are repeated next year and beyond.

I hope that you will be able to attend the meetings so that we can explain how we plan to improve further and how you can help us to support your child this year. As well as outlining our vision for QEHS with you, we will share key dates and events for the year and outline the intervention and support your child will receive.

I look forward to seeing you on the 11th or 16th September. We have several sessions running on these evenings to cover each year group, so to avoid congestion please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before the scheduled start time as the car park will be very busy.

Mr A Byers
Head of School