Headteacher’s Blog – 23rd February 2024

Students have returned, happily talking about the things they’ve been doing over the half term break and ready for the half term ahead. It’s looking like it will be another busy one with much to look forward to.

In Science Club this week, students have been testing their designed and constructed parachutes. The winning parachute was made by Cole, Ethan and Connor! Miss Camy was very pleased with their efforts commenting that ‘It worked so well due to the large surface area of the parachute slowing the fall of our plasticine models.’ Science Club takes place every Thursday lunchtime in B9 at 12.45p.m. and is open to students in Years 7, 8 and 9.

We were delighted to hear that, over half term, Alice in Year 8 who is a keen bell ringer has become a qualified member of the Yorkshire Association of Change Ringers, one of the youngest to do so. To do this she had to ring a quarter peal which took the team of six ringers 43 minutes and involved 1260 changes. A superb achievement indeed. Following this, Alice was asked to do a Radio interview with BBC Radio York on Thursday morning.

Our work with the Behaviour Hub continues at pace with a visit this week to our partner school, Dixon’s Trinity Academy in Bradford. We’ve also now completed our staff and student surveys which reflect the progress that we’ve made along with giving us a really clear steer on areas of focus for the next part of the journey. I’ve shared some of the results of the student surveys in Assemblies this week. What is really clear is the impact of the introduction of the Learning Phases in ensuring that our learning expectations are clear. A high proportion of students state that ‘I know how my school expects me to behave.’ It also gave me the opportunity to revisit our core values and our commitment to all acting in a way which ensures everyone in our school community is safe, happy and successful.

We were delighted to welcome Amanda Newbold, our North Yorkshire Assistant Director for Education and Skills, on Wednesday. After discussing the actions that we’ve taken over the last few months, and the positive impact of them, we had a tour around the school visiting classrooms, the Intervention Room and Reset room where we saw how our strategies are creating high quality learning and engagement.

 

It’s one of our favourite events in a couple of weeks, on 7th March, World Book Day. We’ll be carrying out activities in lessons and having a Bake Off Competition with all proceeds going to the Read for Good charity. (Please bear in mind that we are a nut free school.)

Upcoming events include our Parent Information Evening on Thursday 7th March at 6p.m. which has a focus on Wellbeing and supporting students with exams. This will be most appropriate for parents and carers of students in Years 10 and 11. As usual, there will also be an opportunity for you to ask general questions about any aspect of school life. Our BHS Big Quiz Night is at 7p.m. on Friday 8th March. You can buy tickets on ParentMail or at Reception for £10. Finally a reminder that our next Professional Development Day is on Thursday 14th March when students do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 9th February 2024

Year 9 have impressed us this week with their calm, organised and positive approach to their exams. There will be lots of marking now taking place so that students can receive their results along with feedback about what they’ve done well and what they need to do to make further improvements.

It was also great to discuss Year 7 progress with parents and carers on Wednesday evening during our online Parent/Carer evening. I’m well aware that there are mixed views on the online approach to these evenings. I will, similarly to the last two years, in the Summer Term, ask for your opinion about whether or not we should continue with this approach.

In assemblies this week, Mrs. Godsell-Wright has focused on Equality and Diversity celebrating with students the strength that we have as a school and wider community because of the varying experiences, skills and abilities of each and everyone of us. It was also a good opportunity to remind students of the Equality Act including how we all need to act to ensure that we are safe, happy and successful.

We had a visit on Wednesday from our Local Authority Adviser to evaluate our progress against our Ofsted and whole school priorities. I’ll include more detail in my Headteacher Update which will be sent out during the week after half term.

On the same day, some of our Year 11 students went across to King James’s School, our federated partner, for the Sixth Form Induction Day. Responses on their return showed that our students are getting themselves fully prepared for both the months ahead and their longer term futures.

This week Year 7 have been completing their Blockbots project. Mr. Groves and Mrs. Hunter have been impressed with their hard work and their results.

 

A reminder that the Friends of Boroughbridge are supporting a Boroughbridge High School Quiz Night on Friday 8th March. You’ll be able to purchase tickets after half term on ParentMail or from Reception for £10 each.

Finally, upcoming events include the Parent/Carer Information evening on Thursday 7th March at 6p.m. focusing on Wellbeing and Supporting Students with exams and the Year 9 Parent/Carers Options Evening on Wednesday 13th March at 6p.m.

Have a good weekend and we’ll look forward to welcoming students back into school on Monday 19th February following the half term break.

Headteacher’s Blog – 2nd February 2024

Students have been invited to ‘Make their Mark’ in assemblies with Mr. Grierson this week. UK Youth Parliament’s Make your Mark gives a unique opportunity for all young people aged between 11-18 to have their say about the biggest issue facing our young people. It is the only national vote available to under 18s in England. You can find out more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy56TGslDNY

We’ve also been able to celebrate students’ success in assemblies by awarding certificates to those students who have done consistently well in their Attitude to Learning, Behaviour for Learning and Homework, as shown in their recent tracking.

Following our focus in previous weeks on group work/pairwork and individual work, this week we’re looking at our final phase of learning, whole classwork.

Examples of this in the last week are, in Maths, Year 9 have completed whole class work to recap and retrieve prior learning of a range of topics in preparation for their progress exams next week whilst during other lessons, students built on their knowledge of circles and volumes of pyramids to find the volume and surface area of cones. Students’ contributions were helping to pull their learning together.

GCSE Historians, in whole class discussion, have been drawing comparisons between current tensions and the start of the Cold War after World War II.

Meanwhile Year 7 have been learning the sound en / an in French, which is the same sound but very different than in English. Students were required to repeat some of the most common words in French with that sound before writing down the meaning in their book.

And in Geography, Year 7 participated in whole class discussion around the factors which affect a microclimate.

A reminder that our Curriculum Progression Maps can be found at https://www.boroughbridgehigh.com/curriculum/subjects/ where you’ll be able to see how your child’s current studies fit into their longer-term curriculum and build upon previous knowledge.

You will be aware that Boroughbridge High School and King James’s School federated in January 2021. Governors and senior leaders have recently reflected on our shared vision and values and agreed the statements below. We hope you agree that this captures our commitment to working together to increase opportunity and excellence for young people in our community.

Federation Vision

A federation of schools united and strengthened by a shared commitment to working collaboratively, to limitless aspirations for every student, and to unlocking the potential in our community.

Values

  • Fostering a positive learning climate for all
  • Promoting academic success and high standards
  • Encouraging positive, confident, and respectful citizens
  • Equipping students for success in a changing world
  • Building a culture of collaboration and partnership across the federation

Looking ahead, next week Year 9 will be demonstrating their progress during their exam week and we’ll look forward to Year 7 Parent/Carer Evening on Wednesday 7th February from 4-6.30p.m. The event is held online. The Public Consultation Meeting regarding the proposal to change the age range at Boroughbridge High School by ceasing the Sixth Form Provision with effect from 31st August 2024 will be held at 6p.m. on Thursday 8th February.

We break up next Friday for half term and a reminder that we have a Professional Development Day on Thursday 14th March when students do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 26th January 2024

Assemblies this week have focused on our commitment to ensuring that everyone is safe, happy and successful. We’ve revisited our expectations about how we make this happen including looking at how we ensure that our students are successful learners. With that in mind, following our focus last week on groupwork and pair work this week, from our phases of learning, I’m going to look at the ‘Individual work’ that has been taking place in classrooms over the last week.

Year 7 in DT have been doing graphic design work, developing skills in 3D isometric drawing, rendering colour and tone as well as letter creation. In English, as part of the ‘Journeys of Discovery’ theme, students escaped the miserable weather by writing a descriptive account of a day in Cape Town whilst others worked individually to write their narrative blogs about hiking and camping in the great outdoors. 

Year 8 Computing students completed an end of topic assessment on Networks, to demonstrate their understanding of key terms such as WAN’s and LAN’s whilst in English they created detailed director’s notes as they reimagined a chapter from the novel ‘Brother in the Land’ into a scene from a dystopian film.  

Year 9 Geographers have been investigating the Amazon rainforest and the dangers it faces with deforestation. In this week’s lessons, they have started to write up and justify their arguments to the question “Should the Trans-Amazonian Highway be built?”. In French, as part of the ‘My village’ topic, students have been reading a text individually in French.

In Biology, Year 11 students have completed a 6-mark question about how carbon moves through the environment, using the carbon cycle they had completed whilst in English they drafted an essay on ‘A Christmas Carol’ considering the character of Scrooge as an outsider to society. 

Our work with the Behaviour Hub is now well underway with further professional development input from the Hub, a whole staff professional development meeting and a visit from a member of staff from our lead school. You will also have received the letter about the student survey which will take place next week which will support our assessment of our current position, action planning and measuring success. 

As part of our Quality Assurance schedule, we’ve been carrying out Subject Reviews of Geography and History along with colleagues from our federated partner, King James’s School. This has enabled us to take a deeper look into the curriculum, teaching and student progress through a combination of curriculum conversations, lesson observations, data analysis, student views and work scrutiny. 

We have two Parent/Carer evenings coming up in the next couple of weeks. On Wednesday 31st January we have Year 8 Parent/Carer evening with Year 7 the following week on Wednesday 7th February. Both are online and from 4-6.30p.m. Please let us know if you haven’t received the information about making appointments. 

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 19th January 2024

With the completion of a full cycle of the timetable, we’re now fully back into routine. A continued focus for us this term is to embed our three phases of learning which, as we’ve reported, is having a positive impact on focus in lessons along with the quality of responses to questions. If you want to know what it looks like in practice then this week I’ll focus on the Group and Pair work which has been taking place in classrooms across the school over the past week. As you can see, the important factor is that students ensure that their talk is about the activity being carried out.  In English, Year 7 students talked in pairs about the best way to sequence a series of pictures into a non-fiction story about a camping trip to the woods whilst in Music they have recalled and discussed in groups the main points to a story connected to a piece of music. In Geography they discussed the impacts, positive and negative, that different weather conditions can have. Up in Science Club, students worked effectively in teams to create lava lamps!

 

 

 

 

In Biology Year 9 students worked in small groups to find out how the conditions in greenhouses are manipulated to increase the profit of commercial plan growers.

 

 

In PE, due to the weather conditions and plummeting temperatures, students have been focusing on muscular strength and endurance as well as cardiovascular endurance by competing in sport related fitness circuits, working in pairs, leading and motivating one another.

In Year 11 Maths, students competed in teams to find and use the nth  term in different sequences. In GCSE RE, students have been discussing the most moral way to respond to the humanitarian crises caused by war which allowed some interesting solutions to issues being discussed in parliament this week.

In the Library on Thursday, 30 Year 10 students took part in a public speaking workshop delivered by the Speakers’ Trust charity. During the day, students were given the skills and the confidence to develop and deliver a speech on a topic they felt passionate about. The aim of the day was to increase students’ confidence and amplify their voices. The day ended with a group vote for the four best speeches.

This week has also seen the start of our work with the DfE Behaviour Hubs programme which is a national programme to improve behaviour in schools. As part of this we have been paired with an exemplary school who will guide us through a year of support. We’re looking forward to maximising the opportunities that this programme offers in continuing to develop and deepen our behaviour culture at pace.

In assemblies this week, Mr. Grierson has been exploring positive peer pressure, talking about how students can choose to make a positive choice in different situations along with a range of techniques which can be used to be assertive if they’re asked to do something that does not fit with their moral code.

In sporting news, the Year 10/11 boys’ football team had a 4-0 victory on Thursday evening with goals scored by Ted (2), Henry and Ed. Congratulations also go to Callum who saved a penalty.

Today you will have received the Consultation document regarding the proposal to change the age range at Boroughbridge High School, by ceasing the Sixth Form Provision with effect from 31st August.

Finally, a date for your diary. Our newly formed Friends of Boroughbridge High School parent/carer group are planning to hold a Curry and Quiz Night on Friday 8th March. We’re hoping to have as many teams as possible. Further details will follow.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 12th January 2024

I hope that you had a great Christmas break. It’s been a pleasure to welcome back students who have arrived well prepared in approach and attitude, along with high standards of uniform. Thank you for your support in making this an excellent start to the Spring Term.  In assemblies this week, Mrs. Godsell-Wright has been talking about purpose and how a new year can give us the opportunity to think about what we want to achieve and how to ensure that we make this happen.  Whilst each of the year groups have a different focus related to their differing points in their secondary school experience, what is common for all is the need to have a positive attitude, maximise opportunities and believe you can achieve.

It was Careers Parent Information evening last night where Mrs. Morgan, our Careers Adviser, was pleased to be able to share our CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) programme and how we prepare our students for life beyond school. This led to further questions about other aspects of school. If you weren’t able to attend, you’ll be able to find the presentation used in the Careers section of the website. We’ll send out a link to you when it’s been uploaded. The topic of the next event is 7th March, 6-7p.m., when we’ll be looking at ‘Wellbeing and supporting students with exams’. Please let us know if there are any other topics that you would like us to cover in future events.

Advance notice that we have a Professional Development Day on Thursday 14th March when students do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 22nd December 2023

Well, what an excellent finish to the Autumn Term! During this week, students have demonstrated everything that is important to the Boroughbridge High School community to ensure we are safe, happy and successful.

 

Taking on the challenge of Snozone after school on Monday, Mr. Field reports ‘Monday proved to be an early white Christmas for 47 pupils as they developed their skiing skills at Snozone, Xscape.  The lucky pupils wrapped up in their snow gear and some donned skis and ski boots for the very first time.  There were a few slips and spills and they came to grasp the prospect of sliding down a snowy slope on skis but all revelled in the pure enjoyment of learning and playing on the snow.  It is hoped that future trips will provide pupils with more experience to develop their snow sports prowess and hopefully provide more Boroughbridge High School pupils with this great experience.’

 

 

Tuesday saw Boroughbridge High School’s first ever Tug of War competition. It’s quite hard to capture in words how fantastic the event was in terms of teamwork, inclusivity, competition and sheer joy. Each year group took their turn and form classes were cheered on and victors applauded whilst cheering tunes were played by our student technical team. Our thanks go to Mr. Field for organising the event and, as you can see, set the festive tone for the day!

 

 

On Thursday lunchtime, whilst Mr. Grierson was leading a very successful karaoke session with superb student participation in the Dining Hall, Miss Camy was presenting  Science Club with their challenge to make the tallest tower. She reports, ‘Most pupils concentrated on height, not giving enough thought to stability and their towers crumbled under the pressure! Mati and James however concentrated on giving their tower a strong base and were the winners!’

 

 

There has been lots of football focus over the last couple of weeks. Year 7 played, as you can see, on the night of the torrential storm. Mr. Field reports, ‘Despite the biblical rain the boys played some fantastic football, losing only one game, whilst winning and drawing two games.  The storm did not dampen the boys’ spirit and they showed great determination in their first outing in representing the school.  It is hoped that the Year 7 team will have more opportunities to demonstrate their football abilities as the year progresses and hopefully encounter success along the way.’

 

 

Meanwhile, the Year 9 football team have also been in action. Here they are after playing against King James’s School in the District Cup. Mr Field commented, ‘It was great to have lots of boys volunteer to be part of the team and we were able to take a full squad of 16 for the game.  The boys lost 5-1 but showed great resilience in their gameplay.’ 

 

 

On Thursday evening, we were delighted to welcome back the class of 2023 for Awards Evening. It was great to be able to celebrate all that is great about Boroughbridge High School before acknowledging all that was achieved by the class of 2023. 

Thinking of others in our community, with your support, last week we raised £91 from the cake and sweet sale. This has funded a Crisis at Christmas place, a Salvation Army Christmas donation and the remaining was donated to Harrogate Homeless Project. Alongside this, students across the school have written Christmas cards for our local care home and we’ve also collected a boot full of donations for the local food bank. 

And so to our whole school assembly this morning. As you’re aware, this has become a Boroughbridge High School tradition where we gather to celebrate our achievements, sharing many photos, awarding many certificate and enjoying performances and communal singing. We also announced the winners of the annual Christmas Door competition which has grown to new competitive heights particularly this year between Mr. Woodward’s form (10SW – right photo) and Dr. Lefley’s (7CL – left photo) who made it to the final two. Applause was used to determine the winner, with the final decision that it was a draw!

 

 

An excellent end to a successful term!

I hope that you and your family have a very happy Christmas and best wishes for 2024.

Headteacher’s Blog – 15 December 2023

As advent calendars mark the countdown to Christmas, Tuesday evening saw a festive delight of music and drama with the annual Christmas concert. Parents, carers and students gathered to enjoy the performances of students from Years 7 to 11 including singing, piano, violin, keyboard, guitar, including a couple of performances of the Pop Choir. The drama group performed the hilarious Pantomania where there was an eclectic mix of pantomime characters…..oh

yes there was! All ran smoothly due to the student technical team. It was an absolutely excellent evening all round!

As you’ll be aware, it was Christmas dinner day on Wednesday and  it was a great event as students ate heartily, pulled crackers, read out  the usual jokes (groaning in response!), before wearing their party hats, some for the rest of the day. Year 9 students James, Stan and Charlie made sure that the Christmas songs kept playing throughout lunchtime and a good time was had by all. Our thanks go to the catering team who served 213 Christmas dinners in total which was no mean feat!

In assemblies this week, Mr. Grierson has been focusing on risk taking, talking with our young people about how teenage brain development means that they are more likely to take risks than older people and how to ensure that they consider their actions to keep themselves safe.

Much has been happening outside of school too. On Monday evening, I was delighted to be invited to speak to the 1322 Club about Boroughbridge High School. It was a privilege to be able to share what happens in school, the curriculum that is taught, how we prepare our students for the future and the contribution that we make to our community before answering questions on a wide range of school and education related topics.

With our commitment to ensure that our students develop the skills and confidence to make an active contribution to the communities to which they belong, we’re always interested to hear of our students’ achievements outside of school. This week, our congratulations go to Amy in Year 11 and her family who were awarded with the Thirsk Auction Christmas Cattle Primestock Show Overall Champion. An amazing achievement!

We had a visit from our Local Authority adviser on Thursday with a focus on Climate for Learning. We visited classrooms, observed assembly and walked around all areas of school. We’re making measurable progress and I’ll share further detail with you in my Headteacher’s Update next week.

Thinking of others, this week, we’ve had a bake sale today and collected food donations to support our local homeless charities. Thank you for your kind donations.

Tutor group competition is at the fore next week as we’re limbering up for the Tug of War next Tuesday and the annual Christmas Door competition which will be judged at the end of the week.

On Thursday evening, we’ll be welcoming back the class of 2023 as Year 11 and Year 13 students will return to collect certificates and receive rewards at our Awards Evening and then, on Friday, we’ll be having our usual whole school assembly to celebrate our achievements and to end the term with festive fun. Students can wear non-uniform with a Christmas theme on Friday and we’ll be raising money for Save the Children. Donations on Parent Mail will be gratefully received. A reminder that school closes for the Christmas break at 1.30p.m. on Friday.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 8th December 2023

Representing Boroughbridge High School, a group of 9 of our service students went to North Yorkshire County Hall with Mrs. Murphy to take part in ‘The Big Conversation’ on Wednesday. The aim was to come up with North Yorkshire’s own armed forces promises directly from the students who took part in rap, art and discussion workshops.  They also had the opportunity to voice their opinion on community, education and wellbeing, as well as give suggestions of areas that could be improved. This is the first time that this particular event has taken place so it was great for us to be able to participate.

Catching up with sporting news, Mr. Field reports that ‘Last Monday saw some Year 7 and Year 8 athletes represent Boroughbridge High School in our first ever venture into Sports Hall Athletics.  Richmond High School hosted the indoor athletics event which saw our athletes compete in various relay races using equipment such as; reversa-boards, high steppers, hurdles and speed bounce, along with field events such as; indoor shot, standing long jump, vertical jump, speed bounce and standing triple jump.  Both Year 7 and Year 8 had already had a taster for Sporthall Athletics so we were able to select those pupils who had shown interest and ability across this wide spectrum of athletic events.  Both year groups performed exceptionally well against the opposition schools and gave absolutely everything in the pursuit of sporting glory.  Both the boys and girls teams from Year 8 finished in a respectable 4th place whilst the Year 7 teams encountered a little more success.  The Year 7 girls team finished in 3rd place, receiving bronze medals for their efforts and the Year 7 boys team finished in 2nd place taking home silver medals.  All the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon competing and the Year 7 teams are already looking forward to improving on their results in next year’s competition.’ Well done to all.

As part of our Reading for Pleasure strategy, Year 7 and Year 8 students were presented with their book of choice as part of the BookTrust Bookbuzz scheme. Students were also encouraged to set a target of the number of books they can read as part of a Readathon which they’ll be participating in.

In assemblies this week, Mrs. Godsell-Wright has been encouraging students to think of others at this time with a view to supporting people within our local community. Opportunities over the next couple of weeks will include Christmas card writing to send to local care homes, bringing in donations of tinned or food in packets to send to our local foodbanks, or baking cakes to bring in for a Bake Sale next Friday (15th December). Any donations you can make will be gratefully received.

If our choir singing at the late night shopping event on Wednesday has whetted your appetite for all things Christmas, then you’ll pleased to hear that preparations are going well for our Christmas Concert which is at 6p.m. on Tuesday 12th December. Along with musical performances, there’ll be a Drama element as Mr. Jackson and Mr. West have joined forces to create a special evening. We’ll look forward to seeing you there. Christmas attire is optional!

We’re also having a pre-loved uniform swap and sale in the Reception area on Tuesday evening which you can visit when you’re at the Christmas concert so if you’ve any uniform that no longer fits then please bring it along. Alternatively, you can drop off uniform donations at Reception at any time or contact schooladmin@boroughbridgehigh.com if you would like to know what we currently have in stock.

Next week, students can look forward to their Christmas dinner on Wednesday lunchtime and I’ve no doubt that a few party hats will make it into afternoon lessons.

A reminder that we finish for the Christmas break at 1.30p.m. on Friday 22nd December.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 1st December 2023

If you passed Boroughbridge High School on Monday, you may have wondered what was happening, well let us reveal all. Mr. Woodward reports, 

Arriving at school to torrential rain on Monday didn’t dampen the spirits of over 130 pupils as we embarked on the challenge of planting more than 200 saplings as part of the Woodland Trust Green Tree School Award. Students from all year groups took part, planting a mix of native hedgerow species such as blackthorn, hawthorn and dog rose alongside some wild-fruiting trees including elder, crab apple, rowan and hazel. Our hope is that these saplings will absorb CO2 as they grow to help have a positive impact in relation to climate change as well as create a rich habitat for local wildlife in our school grounds. We’ll be having another tree planting event in the spring, so if your child missed out this time there’ll be another opportunity to make a positive difference in just a few months!’

I’ve been able to mention this event in assemblies this week, when I’ve talked to students about ‘community’ and the contribution that they’ve been making to ensure that everyone within our school is safe, happy and successful before exploring how our students have been making contributions to our wider community. This includes activities such as our Sports Leaders working with primary school children from around the area and our fundraising for Children-in-Need. It’s also been good to talk to our young people about how the Town Council are working hard to secure funding from developers in our community to provide funding for a Multi Use Games Area ( MUGA ) in our recreation ground  which will be available to them. Students are filling in questionnaires with a deadline of Monday 4th December 2023 to give their feedback on the proposals. You can find out more about the proposal here.

If you’re visiting the St. James’ Christmas Tree festival this weekend, look out for our BHS tree. Mrs. Hunter has been using her artistic skills to design decorations with students adding messages of hope. 

Coming up next week is our second Fundraising Group meeting on Monday 4th at 6p.m. You’re very welcome to join us. On Wednesday 6th, the school’s Pop Choir will be singing at the annual Christmas lights switch on in Boroughbridge. They’ll be around the tree in Hall Square. On Thursday 7th at from 6p.m.-7p.m., we’ll be holding our Parent Information Evening on Attendance. At this we’ll discuss attendance for the first part of the meeting then you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions that you have about any aspect of school life. We’ve then got our Music concert on Tuesday 12th December at 6p.m. We look forward to seeing you at these events. 

We have a busy few weeks ahead!

Have a lovely weekend!