Blog: 14th February 2020

Following a wild weekend of weather courtesy of Storm Ciara, we returned to school on Monday to find school relatively unscathed. I’m aware that this wasn’t necessarily true for all of our families and appreciate the efforts that parents made to ensure that their children were able to get to school.

With Ofcom reporting in 2019 that 99% of 12 to 15 year olds go online for 20 ½ hours per week, an understanding of being critical of sources and questioning published information is vital for our young people so assemblies this week have focused on ‘fake news’ and how to spot it. Further information can be found here

Remaining on the technology theme, Mr Inglis has been exploring how we inspire students to research fast moving topics that may well become obsolete in less than a decade due to a fast-changing world. You can read his blog published by The Royal Society here.

On Monday, GCSE Musicians had a productive visit to Cundall Manor, where they heard the classical set work performed live and analysed with live illustration. Our thanks go to Mrs Skilbeck for organising this opportunity and, as you can see, for her performance.

In English, Year 7 students concluded their travel writing project by bringing into school food to share from the country they’ve each been writing about. Perhaps you can guess which countries they’ve chosen.

Year 9 have been fully focused on their exams this week, having a taste of what’s to come in just over a year’s time when, as part of our Stage not Age approach at KS4, they’ll be taking two of their GCSE option subjects. With that in mind, we can look forward to Year 9 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 11th March when parents and students will have the opportunity to hear about our Key Stage 4 curriculum offer, meet with teachers, and make the important decision about which four option subjects to study over the next two years.

In sporting news this week, Martha (Year 7) has come 6th in North Yorkshire and 15th across the North-East counties in cross country and the footballing season is underway for the girls across the year groups as they start their 7-a-side matches.

And so, after a productive half term at BHS, we look forward to our half term break. I hope that you and your families have a good one!

Blog: 7th February 2020

Year 8 have been travelling the world in Food Technology by creating international cuisine from onion bhajis to spring rolls. I hear that filo pastry folding takes some skill. Following on with the travel theme, in English, Year 7 have been completing travel writing using various foods to help them imagine they’re in a different location.

Tasting of another kind has been embraced by Year 11 students on their Post-16 Taster Days at both King James’s School on Wednesday and BHS on Friday. Engaging in a wide range of subjects and lessons at both sites, students have now gained the information to help them make decisions in the coming months.

As February is UK LGBT+ History month, in assemblies this week, Mrs Godsell-Wright took on this theme sharing the message that labels aren’t important but people are, with a reminder that we should celebrate our individuality.

Thanks to Year 7 parents for attending Parents’ Evening on Wednesday. It was great to recognise the progress that students have made over the last few months. During the evening, the English Team shared some Year 7 reading suggestions to encourage students to widen their reading. If you’d like to see how many of the recommended books you and your children have read then you can find the resource here.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Year 9 Football team played their quarter final in the ESFA Small Schools Cup. The team played with great energy and determination but, despite the very impressive goal with a cross from Will which was headed in by Matt, the final score was a 4-1 defeat. We’re proud of the fact that we were the final state school left in the competition and will look forward to getting involved next year. Meanwhile Year 7 basketballers held a draw in their match against Thirsk School on Thursday.

Key Stage 4 students have had Travel and Tourism and Health and Social Care exams this week. There are, of course, more to come. Next week GCSE Musicians will be visiting Cundall Manor to hear the classical set work, performed live and analysed with live illustration. Year 9 have their exams next week.

Finally, a reminder that we’ve circulated information about a federation proposal between Boroughbridge High School and King James’s School which can also be found on the front page of the website. The consultation runs until Monday 15th March.

Have a lovely weekend!


Blog: 24th January 2020

On Monday morning, up in Science, the atmosphere was quite literally electric as Year 7 used the Van de Graaff generator to explore static electricity. With students being an integral part of the experiment, the braver scientists amongst them took hold of the generator and used their finger to light the Bunsen burner. Impressive stuff.

Down in Food Technology, this week, Year 9 have been making cottage pies whilst in GCSE Music students have been putting together a group performance of ‘We can work it out’ by the Beatles. On Thursday afternoon, Year 7 were coming to the end of their Dance topic in PE. In their final routines they showed the progress that they’ve made demonstrating skill, technique and great team work.

Over in the Sixth Form, Mrs Lake reports that ‘Year 12 Psychologists have been learning about the formation of attachments in children this week as part of developmental Psychology. They had to look after their ‘egg babies’ for one week, keeping them with them at all times! Those who survived could ‘eggs-change’ their babies for a creme egg today. Here is a link to a page we created as a class so we could see the progress. Some were very reluctant to hand their egg babies over this morning!’

Assembly for Years 7 and 8 this week focused on the power of writing with students being introduced to the BBC Radio 2, 500 words competition. We did an activity to generate creative thoughts before listening to a winning entry from last year. Students were encouraged to take part and further details can be found at Other year groups listened to the 90s track Sunscreen by Baz Luhrman (you may remember it!) with the theme of thinking very carefully before taking advice and making decisions.

In sporting news, Martha (Year 7) came 4th across North Yorkshire in Cross Country and will now go on to represent the county. Following on from their success in Year 8, the Year 9 football team have reached the quarter finals of the ESFA Small Schools’ Cup. We’re the last state school in the competition and our next match will be on home turf so we’re looking forward to supporting our team.

Thanks to those parents who attended Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday. Year 11 students will now be very clear about the actions that they need to take to get the best possible results in the summer. Thanks also for your feedback on the questionnaires which will be published on the school website. Next week, it’s Year 10 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 29th.

Next week will also see the start of many lunchtime clubs run by the Student Council. From Media to Music, Art to Debating and Kahoot, students are invited to come along and make the most of their lunchtimes. There’s also the opportunity to get involved in netball after school on Monday evenings. Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 17th January 2020

Climate for Learning has been high on our agenda this week with a focus on maximising learning time, both quality and quantity.  With the vast majority of our students behaving consistently well, in assemblies on Monday, students were reminded of the systems that we have in place to ensure that they are rewarded for the positive contributions that they make to their own learning, and to the wider school community, before being introduced to the new behaviour system. It’s worth saying that the staff team have been working on this strategy since the Summer Term to ensure that we have a personalised system in place which is right for our students and our school. Thanks for your support with this.

Assemblies this week have also focused on consistent high standards with students receiving certificates for having 20 or more ‘Excellent’ comments on their recent tracking. There were many recipients and much applause.

Year 13 have been completing their Progress Exams this week whilst Year 12 welcomed Year 11 to the Sixth Form Information Evening on Wednesday, sharing their experiences of Post-16 options at BHS and our partner school, King James’s.

In lessons this week, Year 7 have been exploring Medieval Kings in History and, in DT, Year 9 have been developing the skills necessary for GCSE through the production of a lovely wooden storage box. They’ve used finger joints, dowel joints, 3D laser printing and nailing before painting their box in a colour of their choice. GCSE Food Technology students have been, through experimentation, working out the properties of different ingredients such as baking powder whilst Year 12 Geographers have been exploring Liverpool as part of their Changing Places topic.

Following on from Progress Exams before the Christmas break, students in Year 11 will have the opportunity to discuss their progress and targets for the coming months at Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 22nd.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 10th January 2020

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break and best wishes for a happy and fulfilling 2020. New starts and resolutions have been the focus of assembles this week with Mr Grierson asking students to make the most of the 55 school days leading up to the Easter break. With the majority of New Year’s resolutions discarded by 12th January, students were invited to think about something manageable that they could change that would make a difference to them in the coming weeks. They’ve written this in their planner and we’ll see how they get on.

In Year 11 Assembly this morning, we zoomed forward to Thursday August 20th when students will receive their GCSE/BTEC results. Students were given an envelope and inside was a certificate showing the grades that they will receive if they get the same grades as for their Progress exams. Whether students were delighted or dismayed (more of the former than the latter!), they now have the feedback that they need to secure success in the Summer. Year 10 also received their results as they’ll be sitting two of their Option subjects in the Summer.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you and Year 11 students to the Sixth Form Information Evening on Wednesday from 6.30pm to 8pm where you can find out more about our Post-16 offer. As you’re aware, we collaborate with King James’s School in Knaresborough at Post-16 which enables us to give students the advantages of being in a small Sixth Form whilst providing the opportunities of being within a larger collaboration. You can also pick up a copy of the Prospectus on the evening but if you’d like to have a look in advance then you can click on the link on the front page of our website.

Year 13 have a busy weekend and week ahead too with Progress exams for them beginning on Monday.

Moved by the plight of animals affected by the Australian bushfires, Year 8 students decided to help by holding a bake sale at break and lunch today, raising an impressive total of more than £130 for WIRES, the Australian wildlife rescue organisation. Well done.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 20th December 2019

It’s been a week of celebration at Boroughbridge High School beginning with the Year 12 Rewards trip to Tenpin Castleford on Monday. Teams of five were formed and the competition began. As you can see, a good time was had by all and it was a great way for students to celebrate their successful first term as Sixth Form students.

Sausage sandwiches and pains au chocolat were on the menu for the Rewards breakfasts on Tuesday and Friday. More than two hundred students across the year groups with top rewards points were invited to enjoy their breakfast together in the Library, before moving on to their lessons.

On Wednesday afternoon when the temperatures were sub-zero and mist was in evidence, Years 7 and 8 and their teachers, walked down to St. James’s Church in Boroughbridge for our annual carol service. We were warmly welcomed by Reader, Mr Moss who led the service. We sang traditional carols and heard confident readers from across Years 7 and 8 tell the Christmas story. There were also performances from Tutti Flutti and the a capella group. We finished with a group version of ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’ before making our way back to school. Thanks to Mrs Skilbeck and Mrs Godsell-Wright for organising the event.

A further festive treat followed on Wednesday evening with the performance of ‘Disorder in Court’. We knew it was going to be a quality event when, as a prequel, the audience were taught an a capella version of ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. There was laughter throughout as a cast from across Years 7 to 9 put Goldilocks and The Big Bad Wolf on trial! All was resolved by the end but not before we’d sung ‘I will survive’ and ‘Day Dream Believer’ followed by our now practised version of ‘Don’t worry, Be happy’. Our congratulations go to the cast and our thanks to Mr West.

We were delighted to welcome past and present students, parents, governors and representatives from the local community to our annual Awards Evening on Thursday. Head students Ruby and Bertie gave the official welcome before Bertie expertly performed ‘Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ on the keyboard. The scene was set for my Headteacher review of the year before I introduced our guest speaker Jenni Kirkwood. Using her experience of being a Dru yoga and meditation teacher and massage therapist, she shared with us the value of reflection, face to face communication and seeing challenges as opportunities. I’m sure that we’ll all continue to reflect on the key messages shared in the coming weeks. Certificates and trophies were then awarded to many students whilst their families and teachers looked on proudly. A true celebration of success.

You may have heard of the competition which has captivated the imagination of many staff and students over the past week – the annual form Christmas Door competition. The competition reached a crescendo this morning as students anticipated the declaration of the winner in the whole school assembly.

Our whole school assembly is such a positive way to end the term with all students in one space reflecting on the past year, achievements and successes. We relived the year with a photo presentation, celebrated students who’d achieved top Rewards points and stamps, and students with excellent attendance, whilst also hearing some excellent musical performances. Student applause determined three winners of the Christmas door competition, 9AC, 9AS and 10GE. You can see why they won!

So, as 2019 draws to a close, we have much to celebrate at Boroughbridge High School and we’re looking forward to the opportunities that 2020 brings. Thank you, as ever, for your ongoing support.  I hope that you and your families have a restful and peaceful Christmas and I look forward to working with you in 2020.


Blog: 13th December 2019

Sporting success this week has included victory for the Year 7 boys’ basketball team and the Year 10 and 11 girls’ football team who secured a shining 6-1 score on an otherwise cold, dark and wet Winter’s afternoon.

On Wednesday, with the usual traditional Christmas songs playing, the Dining Hall was a sea of party hats and crackers as students enjoyed their Christmas lunch. Thanks to our catering team for making it all happen and it was nice to see an occasional party hat creeping into an afternoon lesson.

Thursday night brought an impressive Christmas Cracker Concert with parents, students, staff and governors entertained by an eclectic mix of high-quality performances. The newly formed Swing Band, led by Bertie (Year 12), opened the concert before performances from Elastica, Constantly Vocal, Tutti Flutti (no prizes for guessing the instruments played there) and the Year 9 band. We heard confident individual performances from Rose (Year 8), Toby (Year 9) and Ellie (Year 9) all of whom have either just passed or are about to sit their Royal School of Music exams. Vocal soloists included Aimee (Year 13) with Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’, Emma (Year 9) who sang whilst playing the ukulele before Aimee and Eliza duetted the Lady Gaga track ‘Shallow’. Bertie sang whilst playing the keyboard and Ewan’s (Year 12) instrument of choice was the guitar. Keeping all technical aspects on track was Sam (Year 9). It was a superb evening brought to a crescendo through a competitive rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Well done team and big thanks to Mrs Skilbeck.

Events for next week include the Christmas Drama Show, 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th and we’re looking forward to welcoming back many students for Awards Evening on Thursday 19th. Our school week and term will end with a whole school assembly on Friday morning. Friday is also our Christmas Jumper non-uniform day when we’ll be raising funds for ‘Save the Children’. A reminder that we close at 1.30pm on Friday 20th for the Christmas break.

You may have seen the sad news about the death of David Bellamy earlier in the week. For those of us growing up in the 70s and 80s, his was a familiar face on TV, enthusiastically sharing his passion for the natural world. What you may not know is that his legacy for conservation will live on at Boroughbridge High School in the form of our wildlife area which he opened in the early 90s.

Have a lovely weekend and if you’re still doing that last-minute Christmas shopping then please sign up to amazon smile at which will generate funds for BHS.

Blog: 6th December 2019

A huge thanks to everyone for your support with the Christmas Fair, both in your generous donations and in getting involved on the day. We also had great support from many local businesses, listed at the bottom of the blog. We raised a massive £1116.05 which will be spent on learning resources to directly benefit all students within school.

On Wednesday, students in Years 10 and 11 finally came to the end of their Progress exams. Much marking is now taking place and students have the results to look forward to over the coming weeks.

Thanks to Year 13 parents for attending Parents’ Evening on Wednesday. Possible futures formed part of the conversations with students, parents and teachers discussing university offers and apprenticeships. Shortly after, on a crisp winter’s evening, students from across the year groups were performing Christmas songs in town as part of the Boroughbridge late night shopping event.

On Thursday, we were very happy to welcome Swinefleet Primary School, appropriately dressed in pyjamas, for lunch before they continued on to Wensleydale for a Polar Express experience.

Our own festive activities over the next couple of weeks include the Christmas Cracker Concert from 6.30-8.30pm on Thursday 12th December, the Christmas Drama Show from 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th December and Awards Evening on Thursday 19th December at 7pm.

Students will also have the pleasure of Christmas Dinner next Wednesday (11th December).

Have a lovely weekend!

 We’d like to thank the following businesses for their Christmas Fair contributions; GSPK, Allerton Waste Amey, Morrisons, Newby Hall, Johnsons of Whixley, Fountains Abbey, Urban Hair, Lizzie Cane, Janey Sharp Beauty, Watkins-Wright, Boroughbridge Post Office, Bloomerang, Fink, Gilchrists, Wardrobe, Shahi Raj Tandoori, Minskip Farm Shop, Renaissance Hair and Beauty, The Beauty Shop, Issima, Bowe and Co., Plenty, Black Sheep Brewery and Hambleton Brewery.

‘Squeaky pop’ was the sound coming from Year 7 Science classrooms at the beginning of the week as our young scientists explored the technique used to test for the presence of hydrogen, which is both colourless and odourless. When you have hydrogen gas trapped in a container, you can place a lit splint near it to make the characteristic ‘squeaky pop’ sound as it reacts with the flame. Later in the week the Year 7 scientists were grappling with word equations.

In Art, following on from portraits earlier in the year, Year 7 artists were working on their Jackson Pollock pieces with paint being strategically splattered. The next topic in the Art curriculum will find students exploring the work of Georgia O’Keeffe and designing their own flower in a similar style.

On a religious theme, Year 7 Historians were looking at Medieval religion and using their independent research and analytical skills to explore a range of enquiry questions. Down the corridor in RE, having been inspired by a Frank Turner rock anthem, students were exploring the question ‘Would the world be better without religion?’. Differing opinions promoted lively debate.

Fast forward a few years and Progress Exams are now well underway for students in Years 10 and 11. The good news is that by this time next week they will all be over. The timing of these exams is to ensure that students have time to reflect on what went well and what they need to do to improve before having a well earned break over the Christmas holidays. Teachers use these exams to inform their teaching and plan interventions to ensure that students develop their understanding and skills in the months leading up to the Summer exams.

Events next week include Year 13 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday and, on the same evening in town for late night shopping, there will be musical performances from BHS students from 5.30pm onwards. Other dates for your diary include the Christmas Cracker Concert from 6.30-8.30pm on Thursday 12th December, the Christmas Drama Show from 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th December and Awards Evening on Thursday 19th December at 7pm.

It’s our Christmas Fair tomorrow from 10am to midday. Along with many Christmas stalls, there will also be the opportunity to win impressive raffle prizes including an iPad mini, a bay tree donated by Johnsons of Whixley, a Black Sheep brewery tour, designer handbags and much more. Thank you for the many parental contributions that we’ve received for hampers. You can see a selection of hamper prizes below.


I look forward to seeing many of you at the Christmas Fair and have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 22nd November 2019

Last week ended with an impressive performance by the Year 10/11 Girls’ Football team. At half time it was all level both in score 2-2, and in team performance. Then in the second half, following a motivational talk and refreshments, the girls came out fighting and secured an overall 6-2 victory with Teigan scoring 4 goals and Phoebe and Faith one each. Well done indeed! Further success was apparent in netball on Monday with Year 7 remaining unbeaten and Year 10 girls losing the first part before winning the second part.

Thanks to Year 8 parents for attending Parents’ Evening on Wednesday and for your feedback. A summary of the questionnaire feedback will be published on the Parent section of the website next week.

Conscious that Years 10 and Year 11 are revising hard in anticipation of their Progress Exams, we had a Wellbeing morning on Thursday. Students were invited to try a new skill or hobby to develop strategies for dealing with times of pressure along with the opportunity to support the wellbeing of others. There were students involved in Christmas Crafting and textiles, Art Therapy, felting, baking for Christmas and making Music.

Mr Woodward and Mr Collings were looking at how to stay fit for positive mental health and Mr Woodward’s report of the morning is as follows,

‘We all know that running benefits our physical health, but the benefits to our mental health are sometimes overlooked. Year 10 and 11 found out how neuroscience has shown links between running and increased brain capacity, levels of concentration, focus and feelings of well-being through the release of endorphins and endocannabinoids. Having discussed the benefits of distance running in developing a resilient state of mind which keeps going despite difficulty, we put this knowledge into practice and went for a 12km run around the local fields, paths and tracks. The route was muddy. Really muddy. However, spirits only heightened as the mud and exhaustion levels rose, further proving the point the distance running in a natural environment in good for both the body and the mind: a vital lesson to be remembered by our GCSE students as the approach they progress exams next week and the “real thing” in just a matter of months.’

Over at Morrisons, twenty-five students participated in a Bag Pack raising £230! Students have decided to donate across four Christmas projects; Harrogate homeless project, Crisis, The Salvation Army and Boroughbridge Lions. As the first group were leaving Morrisons, Year 12 were arriving to complete their bag pack raising a further £100 to add to the total and be divided across the chosen charities. Our thanks go to Morrisons for letting us complete the Bag Pack and for their generous donation of food for hampers. Students created the hampers for distribution in the local area and to local foodbanks whilst also taking the time to write cards for Boroughbridge Manor Care Home.

So, a successful wellbeing morning all round!

This Saturday (23rd), some of students will be performing at the Christmas Gift and Food Fair in Ripon Cathedral between 3.20pm and 4pm and next Saturday (30th) it’s our School Christmas Fair from 10am-12noon where you’ll be able to buy raffle tickets for the chance to win an iPad mini, a family pass to Fountains Abbey, vouchers from many local businesses, luxury hampers and much more. Thanks to those who’ve already contributed prizes. It’s not too late to get involved. We’d be very happy to receive further raffle or tombola prizes, money tree contributions or items for the hampers.

A final reminder that Wednesday (27th) is a Professional Development Day when school is not open to students.

Have a lovely weekend!