The new headteacher of The Market Weighton School gives the impression he is on a mission – and he has already introduced new ideas which have had a positive response.
Richard Harrison, 46, who took over as head at the beginning of the term, has an enthusiastic approach to his work.
“It has gone amazingly well and I like to think we have had a fantastic start,” he said.
He describes the 440 students as polite and well mannered and they have responded in a “phenomenal” way to ideas.
He has relaunched the house system that has been at the school for over 40 years and introduced a new rewards system.
This Friday students will be involved in a 13-mile walk to raise money for four charities.
The four charities were picked from a proposed list of 40 and are Macmillan Nurses, Save The Children (with a special interest in responding to the refugee crisis), Water Aid and Dove House Hospice.
“Over 40 charities were suggested by the students and these were the four that came out on top,” he said.
“To be able to support them and do something like that is brilliant,” he continued.
So what are his priorities? “The students in this school are capable of fantastic results and I have every confidence we will get some of the best results in East Riding next year,” he said.
The response has been “excellent” to his view that the school can raise expectations and set high standards for the students to push for.
The 28 teachers are “dedicated” to ensuring high standards in their teaching. Other staff work in support and administration.
“We are working with the local education authority and Wakefield Academy Trust to bring quality to teaching and learning,” he said.
Although the exam results showed “a bit of a dip” this summer he firmly believes that the school has been improving its overall standards over the years.
“As a headteacher the ultimate aim is to get the best exam results and an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report so that is what we are aiming for,” he said.
Overall the exams results showed a 53 per cent achievement in the A*-C grades in the summer but that figure masked the fact that in maths GCSE, for example, it was 72 per cent compared with 65 per cent nationally and in science it was up to 85 per cent.
“So there have been lots of positives in the results,” he said.
This is his first headship having been deputy head of Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough and taught at another school in that area before that. He took over from Gavin Chappell who went to Beverley Grammar School.Born in Beverley Mr Harrison has been teaching for 23 years.