Bulley for sir! New head’s vision for Hecky Grammar

Bulley for sir! New head’s vision for Hecky Grammar

“I WANT ‘the Heckmondwike Way’ to be something to be really proud of.”

Those are the words of the new man at the helm of Heckmondwike Grammar School.

Nathan Bulley has taken over the leadership at the high-performing school following the retirement of Mike Cook over the summer.

The former associate head teacher at Harrogate Grammar School has only been in his new job for a matter of weeks but he is keen to get his own message across to both the staff and pupils.

“When I came here on interview and went out in the community, people would say ‘oh that’s so Heckmondwike’ in a bit of a condescending way,” he said.

“So what I am trying to say is that we want the Heckmondwike Way to be something we can be really proud of.

“The next steps in this are going to be working as a community on what exactly the Heckmond-wike Way is and what does it consist of.”

The school is well known for its top exam grades, with 71 per cent of students achieving at least five A* or A grades this year.

However, Mr Bulley was keen to focus on pupils’ enthusiasm and effort as well as natural ability when he spoke to The Press.

“Ability is the starting point, but it has got to be matched by effort and interest in whatever you are doing,” he said.

“So you can be very bright, but if you aren’t putting in any effort, or you aren’t interested in what you are doing, you aren’t going to go anywhere.

“This seems very appropriate for Heckmondwike Grammar School as we do have some very bright students so we have to push them as much as possible.

“The motto of the school is ‘Nil Sine Labore’ (Nothing Without Work) and everybody talks about that motto.

“But that is why I am trying to bring in that third element that students have to be interested in what they are doing as well.”

The father-of-three is a keen historian and originally started out in education as a history teacher.

He is bringing that to Heckmondwike, teaching year seven students the subject as a way of both helping them find their feet at secondary school and introducing himself.

“They are new to the school like me,” said Mr Bulley. “It is a great way to get to learn pupils’ names and actually have a laugh with them.

“You generally don’t get to know pupils until you have been in the school a while so by teaching them I get to know them much quicker.

“It is very rare that you will find me inside during a break or lunchtime.

“I like to get out and about because, although it may sound cheesy, a school isn’t about the buildings, it’s about the people.

“It is about the staff and students and support staff who are some of the best I have ever worked with.

“I think it is a bit unfair for me to come up with ideas and strategies if I’m not doing them myself, which is very important to me.”

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