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Happy 5th Birthday Polyglots Programme!

Happy 5th birthday to the FHS Polyglots programme!  And what a way to celebrate; the students who were in Year 7 at the start of the progamme have now finished their GCSEs in Year 11 and in addition have collected their Polyglots early entry examination certificates along the way. This year’s cohort has achieved GCSEs in their additional languages of Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and Dutch and have totalled 4 A*, an A and a B. Two of those students have also achieved A Levels in German and Dutch in that time – before they even begin their Sixth Form studies!  A particular mention for Julia who this year sat her GCSEs in English, Spanish and Dutch as well as taking her A Level Dutch – all in one year!

Julia said “Formby High School has been a very welcoming environment for my first year in England, after moving across the world mid-GCSEs. The polyglots system was a wonderful way for me to feel like my own language and culture was included! I recommend  any student who has the opportunity to participate in the polyglots system to do it.  My experience, challenging myself to take GCSEs and A Level in the same season has given me confidence and ambition.  I am now moving on to do A Levels and then university in the USA before I become a criminal psychologist!  Thank you to everyone at FHS for their support and, especially to the polyglots programme!”

The move into Sixth Form will now see more of this cohort taking their A Levels in their additional language as well as many who also sat their Spanish GCSE and are joining the large Spanish A Level group.  For those with a wider interest in languages there is also the ‘Polyglots Connect’ Sixth Form enrichment programme which introduces students to the varied and wonderful world of language study – from sign language and Koko the gorilla, to subtitling and sound articulation students will discover an array of linguistic topics.

Five years ago when we started the programme, our ‘Polyglot elder’ was French speaking Sixth Form student, Megan, who has now completed her degree in French and Politics at the University of Leeds and will be coming in to school, along with ex-student Jack who is going into his final year also at Leeds in Spanish and Portuguese, to speak to the new Sixth Form group about language studies and life on their respective years abroad in France and Brazil.


In total over its 5 years the Polyglots group has achieved 26 GCSE additional language qualifications, and 8 AS/ A Level qualifications.  Where will your languages take you?  “Far and wide!” it seems is the answer for our Polyglots!


Be more competitive…be a linguist!

GCSE Results 2018

Congratulations to all FHS students who received their GCSE results this morning after a long and no doubt anxious summer break waiting for them! The increased rigour of GCSE examinations and the introduction of numerical grading have meant this cohort of students has been faced with significant challenge and they have risen to that challenge with great energy and determination. This morning as the envelopes were handed out (some ripped open and others tentatively peaked into) the smiles, relief and happiness took over and they soon felt very proud of their achievements, as did their teachers and parents. Results in the new numerically graded GCSEs have held up very well and a staggering 21 students gained the highest grades (9, 8, 7, A* and A) in at least eight subjects. Also pleasing is the breadth of subjects for which students are receiving results; alongside the more traditional, students have achieved excellent grades in a diverse range of GCSEs, including Dutch, Latin and Astronomy. The celebrations are not exclusive to Year 11 with students from Year 10 collecting very impressive GCSE results in English Language and Religious Studies that have laid very solid foundations for great success in Year 11.

Headteacher, Dominic Mackenzie, said “GCSEs are tough and a test of character. To succeed students have to work hard and show resilience and determination. Our students have displayed these characteristics in abundance and deserve the success they have achieved today. Well done to them – they have made their families, teachers and me very proud.”

Mrs Fiona Grieveson, Chair of Governors, said “What a pleasure and source of great pride to be here this morning to see the joy and relief on the faces of our students. Governors are acutely aware of the challenges these students have faced amidst the many national changes and they should feel immensely proud of their results this year. I would also like to offer the Governors’ continued thanks to all the staff for their hard work in preparing the students so thoroughly for their examinations.”

We Remember

In August, members of the Formby branch of The Royal British Legion joined thousands on a pilgrimage of Remembrance to World War I battlefields that culminated in a parade and ceremony in Ypres as part of the end of the First World War centenary commemorations. Local Legion Chairman Ken Ward and Formby Parish Councillor Bernie Prescott represented the Formby Branch and the local community at the event, as standard bearer and wreath layer. The wreath contained a poem entitled ‘We Remember’, written by our very own Josie (Year 9).  Josie’s poem was chosen as the best from Formby she was presented with a certificate by Mr Ward, Cllr Prescott and Formby RBL President, Mrs Butterwick.  As local champions of Remembrance, the Formby Branch of The Royal British Legion is looking to work in partnership with their community to bring their unique Remembrance message to the Menin Gate, on their wreath, where it will be displayed in a wreath installation for viewing by the general public until the end of August

Here is Josie’s incredible poem of remembrance:

We Remember

We remember them in little things
Poppies in the summer, the first bird in spring
The night’s first star that burned too bright
Fallen too soon to survive the fight.

But we do not think it is strange
How, although we think times have changed
It has always been that, in the end,
War does nothing but tear friend from friend.

An unmarked grave, a plain white cross
Is all we have left of so many of the lost
Think of all they lost, all they left
Replaced with the crushing end they had to find.

And ion battles won and battles lost
Let us not forget the cost
And toll that war takes on us all
As it strikes down those who once stood so tall.

We remember them so we don’t forget
Their bravery, sacrifice and loss, and yet
We have not learnt from their pain
And others rise and fall again.