Blog: 26th November 2021

Careers past, present and future have been the focus of Mr Grierson’s assemblies this week. In an ever-changing jobs market, highly influenced by technology, students reflected on jobs that no longer exist such as a lamplighter or working in a typing pool, before thinking of jobs which are increasing in demand now such as in health and social care. Students were asked to think about how jobs might change in the future. Who knows how many jobs will be generated by the ‘green’ agenda, for example?

Focusing on possible futures is a high priority for students in Years 10 and 11 who are currently preparing for their Progress Exams which begin next week. After the disruption of the last couple of years, this will give them the opportunity to develop and deepen their revision techniques and have the experience of sitting a sequence of exams.

Elections are also underway for Head Students with four Year 11 students beginning their impressive election campaign. Staff have seen election videos and letters this week to inform their votes and students will be able to get involved next week. We’ll let you know the outcome in due course.

Students from Years 9 and 10, along with the English Team, have been getting into the festive spirit with a trip to Middlesbrough Theatre last night to see ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was an excellent production with an interesting depiction of the ghosts which was enjoyed by all. Students will be studying this novella as part of their GCSE English Literature course so it was an excellent opportunity for them to experience live theatre as an introduction to the text.

Maintaining the festive theme, we’ll be Carol Singing in Boroughbridge on Wednesday evening as part of the late-night shopping event. We hope to see you there.

With wintry weather forecast, have a lovely weekend!


Blog: 19th November 2021

The week started on a very positive note with 54 students attending the Rewards Breakfast on Monday morning to celebrate their excellent effort and achievement during the first half of the Autumn Term.

Piran and Kyle, both in Year 7, were the first students to read six books this term and complete their reading loyalty card! They received a certificate and a book to add to their collections. Kyle has had his eye on this book about gymnast Simone Biles after seeing a poster with it on in

Mrs Wellock’s classroom at the start of the year. Piran was gifted a book called ‘How to Save the World with a Chicken and an Egg’ by Emma Shevah. The boys also enjoyed a hot chocolate each during their last lesson of the week.

We’re also looking forward to seeing how our Key Stage 3 students get on with the Readathon.

We’ve had sporting success with the Year 11 Football team reaching the third round of the England FA Small Schools’ Cup following an impressive 5-0 win over the team from Newcastle School for Boys. Goal scorers were Leverett (3), Burland (1) and Sellers (1). Bring on the next round!

Assemblies this week have been focused around Anti-Bullying week with Mr Grierson sharing the theme for this year ‘One Kind Word’. Students were asked to consider the five key kindness questions before identifying the difference between a bystander and an upstander and what we can all do to make sure that everyone in our school community is safe and happy.

We’ve been thinking of others today with our annual fundraising for Children in Need. Rowan (Y8) won the cake competition, Harry (Y7) won Name the Teddy and Matthew (Y8) accurately guessed the number of sweets in the jar. This, along with a non-uniform day and sponging of teachers and prefects (our thanks go to Mr Grierson, Mr Field, Amelia, Carli and Toby), has resulted in us raising a total of £614.30. Thank you very much for your kind contributions.

A reminder that it’s a Professional Development Day on Wednesday 24th November when students do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend!


Blog: 12th November 2021

Autumn definitely has a magical quality at Boroughbridge High School, as the trees shed their final leaves. With Remembrance Day upon us this is, of course, a very important time of year for our community. Remembrance Day has been the focus of assemblies this week, recognising that in 2021 we are marking 100 years since the nation’s collective Remembrance traditions were first brought together. Students were asked to think about the men and women of the First and Second World War generation and to those of today’s who have served and sacrificed to defend our nation. At 11am on Thursday 11th, we marked two minutes silence across the school and earlier today some of our Key Stage 3 students virtually attended the Service to Remember from Ripon Cathedral. On Sunday, Year 11 prefects Carli and Izzy will be joining me for the Remembrance Service at the War Memorial in Boroughbridge, before laying a wreath on behalf of our school community.

Following the completion of the first half term, rewards points that students have been gaining through their high quality work and contributions have been totalled and a variety of rewards awarded! You may have received a postcard, your child may have received a certificate or they may have been invited to the Rewards Breakfast on Monday. Every day is an opportunity to secure further reward points!

Looking to the week ahead, it’s Children in Need on Friday 19th November, so we’ll be having a non-uniform day with other activities happening throughout the day. We’re asking for a donation of £1 which can be paid through ParentMail but you are welcome to donate more if you wish to.

Have a lovely weekend.


Blog: 5th November 2021

The more that you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Dr. Seuss

 With this is mind the English Team have launched the Read for Good Readathon with students in Years 7, 8 and 9 which runs from Monday 8th November until Friday 10th December.  Students can choose whatever they want to read – from comics to classics and audio books to blogs, to encourage reading for fun. Money raised from sponsorship will help to provide a regular supply of brand new books and a resident storyteller to every major children’s hospital in the UK. School will also get Scholastic book vouchers worth 20% of everything raised. So let the reading begin!

If you’re thinking “My child isn’t interested in reading, and I can’t get them off a screen!” then click here for a parent/carer guide on how to support reluctant readers.

Staff have been visiting places themselves through the medium of the written word by sharing their favourite and current reads.

Starting with the backbone of England, Mr Woodward has just finished ‘In it for the Long Run’ by record breaking British ultra runner Damian Hall. He describes it as an easy but inspiring read of how a man started running in his mid-30s and went on to break the record for completing the 268 mile Pennine Way (all while picking up litter as he went!).

Moving to the west, Mrs Wellock is currently reading ‘The Shepherd’s Life’ by James Rebanks set in the hills and mountains of the Lake District.

Moving across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA, which is the base of Cassandra Clare who wrote ‘The Mortal Instruments’ currently being read by Mrs Bloomfield. ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, set on Long Island near New York City is Mrs Town’s favourite book and she’d also recommend ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ by Richard Osman. American writer Jodi Picoult’s, ‘The Book of Two Ways’ is Mrs Skilbeck’s choice.

Moving further west, Mrs Bibbings recommends ‘Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Train’ by Cheryl Strayed the story of a woman who, with no experience or training, hiked more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—alone!

From the continent of North America to the continent of Europe, Mrs Hutchinson’s favourite book is ‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell, set on the sunny Greek island of Corfu.

Zooming north to the ‘middle of nowhere or the middle of Finland’, Mrs Gomersal is reading the magical story of ‘The Boy Called Christmas’ by Matt Haig to her children, already getting in the festive spirit.

Moving eastwards to Asia, Madame Reed shares her favourite story of all time, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini, a beautifully written story about the resilience of women and their spirit of mind, set in Afghanistan. Moving west to Syria, Mrs Bailie, who loves Donal Ryan’s writing and describes ‘From a Low and Quiet Sea’ as an engrossing and moving read about three people whose stories lead to an unexpected ending.

I’m enjoying the Booker Prize Winner, ‘The Promise’ by Damon Galgut set in South Africa.

Set in the fictional Aurient, Mr West is reading the aptly named ‘Interesting Times’ by Terry Pratchett.  Staying with the fantasy setting, Mrs Flowers is currently reading ‘The Throne of Glass’ by Sara J. Maas and Mrs Webb would recommend ‘Percy Jackson – The Last Olympian’ by Rick Riordan.

And if you’d like to reflect on parenting, Mrs Lake would recommend as an interesting read ‘The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read’ by Philippa Perry.

So, in the coming weeks, we’ll look forward to hearing about the places that our students visit in the Readathon.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope you have the opportunity to turn a few pages of your current read!

Blog: 22nd October 2021

As we break up for our half term holiday, it’s a very appropriate moment to celebrate a very successful start to the academic year and to thank you for your support in making it so.

It was great to welcome Year 7 parents to our Meet the Tutor evening on Tuesday, particularly as families were not able to attend an Open Evening last year, due to the pandemic. Conversations were positive and demonstrated the excellent start that Year 7 have made to their secondary education.

A reminder that you can view the curriculum maps for all subjects for all year groups at

Assemblies this week have been led by the NHS Wellbeing in Mind team, outlining how they’re going to be working alongside school staff with this exciting project where education and NHS healthcare work together for the benefit of our young people. They shared an Anna Freud video which I’m sure resonated with many of our young people exploring the fact that we all have mental health and ‘it’s ok to be not ok’. You can view it at

Now that students have completed their questionnaires, we’ll be looking at how we can work together to support our community.

The Young Writers’ Empowered Poetry competition has recognised that the last eighteen months have been hard for students with remote learning and periods of isolation. The competition invites students to find and use their voice to express themselves through poetry. Our Key Stage 3 entries have been sent away and we’ll let you know how we get on.

Showing their creativity in an alternative way, our Year 9 Artists have been working individually and in pairs to recreate some iconic Tim Burton characters bringing a little spookiness to the Art and Design department.

Have a lovely half term break!

Blog: 15th October 2021

Wednesday was a day of celebration as we prepared to hold our first face to face Open Evening since 2019. We were delighted to welcome over one hundred and fifty families to Boroughbridge High School. Year 7 were ready to share their experience as part of the Headteacher Introductory talks. Kyle, Luke, Lola, Olivia, Ruby and Sienna talked with confidence and enthusiasm about their move from Primary School, clearly demonstrating how well they’ve settled into life at Boroughbridge High School.  Following this, our visitors had the opportunity to meet staff and students and find out for themselves why students are safe, happy and successful.

With more than 80 students, including our newly appointed Year 11 Prefects, around the school, Year 6 were able to get involved in a wide range of activities. In English, the backdrop of Darkwood Manor set the scene for creative writing whilst a rehearsal was underway in Drama. A performance was also taking place in the Music Block.

Up in Humanities, philosophical questions were being posed in RE, Historical sources were shared and Mapskills were being tested in Geography. A range of questions were also at the fore in Science, such as ‘Can you set fire to bubbles?’, ‘What colour will the Bunsen go?’, ‘What makes a rocket car rocket?’ and ‘What makes a popper pop?’. There was also a heart and lung dissection underway and students could view the STEM projects which have taken place including our prestigious research with the Royal Society. Halloween breads were being made in Food Technology and in Modern Foreign Languages, snacks such as pain au chocolat and drinks were available if they could be requested in flawless French!

Meanwhile, around the school, students had to search for Blockheads from Design Technology and followed the Maths trail, solving mathematical clues to win a prize. Over in the Sports Hall, there were a range of sports taking place with both parents and children having a go! In the Art classroom, work from Year 7 up to Year 11 students was on display showing how students make progress across the years and in Computing and ICT, the inside of a computer was being explored. Everyone also had the opportunity to sample dishes from the school food menu.

So we all had an excellent evening, sharing and showcasing Boroughbridge High School to our visitors and we’re looking forward to welcoming Year 6 back, later in the year.

Next Tuesday (19th) is Year 7 ‘Meet the Tutor’ evening when Year 7 parents will have the opportunity to discuss how well their child has settled in.

We’re also delighted that the NHS are going to be working with us on the ‘Wellbeing in Mind’ project, the first part of which is a survey for students to complete. You’ll have received a letter about this, this morning, and we’d appreciate your help in making sure that your child completes this. Thank you in advance.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 8th October 2021

There’s always an air of mystery surrounding Professional Development Days when staff are in school without students. These days were introduced in 1988 by the then Education Secretary, Kenneth Baker, and were therefore often called Baker days with more recent terms including INSET days and Training Days. But what actually happens on these days? Let the demystification begin! Here at BHS, we use these days, to work together as a staff team to drive forward our strategic priorities which run through everything that we do. For this academic year (2021-2022) we have four overarching priorities,

Attendance, Building Resilience, Climate for Learning and Developing the Curriculum.

The main focus of our Professional Development Day today is Developing the Curriculum with all subject areas having an opportunity to reflect deeply on our current curriculum identifying strengths and evaluating the impact on students. The curriculum, is defined by Ofsted as

‘The substance of what is taught. It is the specific plan of what learners need to know and should be able to do. The curriculum shapes and determines what learners of all ages will get out of their educational experience.’

As you’ll be aware our overarching aim is at BHS to ensure that all students leave our school, not only with the qualifications they need to access the next stage of their education or career of choice, but with the skills and confidence to make an active contribution to the communities to which they belong. Our ‘above average’ results and wide range of destinations evidences that our curriculum enables students to do this but we are always looking for ways to improve and we’re also very aware that our recovery curriculum, following the pandemic, must ensure that students continue to make excellent progress to secure future success.

Our approach to curriculum planning has always been to expose students to a wide range of subjects ensuring breadth and depth. We have a three-year Key Stage 3 but, at the end of Year 8, students do have the opportunity to personalise their curriculum before making their Option choices at the end of Year 9. Then, at Key Stage 4, we operate a Stage not Age curriculum for Option subjects meaning that students in Years 10 and 11 are taught together and complete two of their Options at the end of Year 10 with the following two at the end of Year 11 when they also take their Core subjects. There are many benefits to this, including the fact that we can offer a wider range of subjects, students develop and deepen exam technique and revision is made more manageable.

Alongside this, students also have woven throughout their time, core Physical Education and the PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic Education) curriculum which supports students in developing the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives now and in the future. It also helps students to stay healthy, safe and prepared for life and work in modern Britain. Needless to say, it also supports students in achieving their academic potential. This is an area that is constantly developed as outside factors and pressures on our young people change.

So as the Professional Development Day draws to a close this afternoon, the thinking, discussion and planning that will have taken place will ensure that our students continue to access an ever evolving curriculum securing an experience at Boroughbridge High School where they are safe, happy and successful.

Have a lovely weekend!


Blog: 1st October 2021

With football fixtures back on the calendar, the Year 9 team had an impressive 9-2 victory against Caedmon College, Whitby on Tuesday and have progressed to the next round of the England FA Small Schools’ Cup. Goal scorers were Jack (6), Isaac (2) and Lucas (1). Following them on Thursday were the Year 11 team (some of whom were runners up of the competition in 2019) who scored 4-0 against St. Aidan’s in Darlington. Goal scorers were Harry, Jack, Matt and Will. We’ll look forward to matches in the weeks ahead.

GCSE Geographers were out on fieldwork on Monday and Tuesday investigating the urban area of Leeds. They visited four locations around the city studying the quality of housing and looking at how different areas have been improved. The weather held for most of the day, despite the forecast but, as Mrs Bauwens says, ‘it wouldn’t be a geography fieldtrip without a little rain!’

Assemblies this week, led by Mrs Town, have focused on the difference that each individual can make and the leadership opportunities available to students at Boroughbridge High School. Students in Year 11 can apply to become prefects whilst students across the school can put themselves forward to be Form Representatives on the School Council. We’re looking forward to getting the new student leadership team together.

Following our success in the Festival of Friends’ Service Pupils’ Project last term, we’ve now received our winners’ trophy along with the publication of our article in the official booklet outlining the projects that have taken place across North Yorkshire and the City of York.

The languages team wished everyone Bonne chance/ buena suerte/ buona fortuna / manuia as they took on the Languages Escape Room Challenge to celebrate the European Day of Languages on 26th September. If you’d like to try it yourself, you can find it at

We’ve also had our first virtual Parents’ Evening this week for Year 9 with others to follow. Thank you for the feedback on the Google Form that we’ve already received. It’s not too late to complete it.

And just before I finish, we thought you might like to see the Year 8’s Animal Passport pieces using marks as tone which Mrs Bibbings was particularly pleased with and you can see why.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 24th September 2021

Assemblies this week have focused on attendance with Mr Grierson outlining the importance of being in school every day for every lesson as there really is no better way to learn than being taught face to face. Not surprisingly, there are also statistics which prove that high attendance is linked to excellent exam results and, in turn, a higher future income.

So, just in case there is any doubt about exactly how much learning can take place in an hour’s lesson then it’s worth knowing that, in a lesson this week, GCSE RE students grappled with an introduction to twelve key adjectives that are used in Christianity to define the being that is God; followed by analysis of these concepts whereby students first extracted ways in which a belief in such a being might influence behaviour and world views of those of faith and then explored the way in which different concepts supported/complemented each other. Finally, students then evaluated the logical consistency of such characteristics by identifying traits which counteracted each other, leading to a robust argument against the existence of such a being.

PE students in their practical lesson were using a video of volleyball game play to develop overhead serve technique whilst, in their theory lesson, they were looking at aerobic and anaerobic respiration, examining the short-term effects of exercise on the body.

Historians were looking at Elizabeth I and her religious settlement, demonstrating their progress in an assessment, whilst in other areas of History, they looked at the 1923 Crisis Year in Germany, Invasion of the Ruhr, Hyperinflation and the Munich Putsch. Across the corridor, Geographers were using photographs to identify differences in the nature and quality of life in different areas of a city. They then studied the Burgess model, a simplified diagram of how land use in a city varies from the centre to the edge, finishing by looking into the different characteristics of each different zone and the reasons for this.

Dividing numbers into a ratio, finding missing values within a ratio and problem-solving using ratios was the mission of the Mathematicians whilst in BTEC ICT students learnt about typography, fonts, typefaces, serif and san serif, font styles and how they can portray meaning, as well as how legibility can be affected. The students were then asked to explore and experiment with fonts, using a desktop publishing package, gathering examples of all the areas they looked at.

In Business, students learnt about key laws and protections in place for employees and why they exist, why businesses must abide by these laws and the consequences of breaking them. The laws they looked at were the Consumer Rights Act, the Equality Act, the Health and Safety at Work Act and the National Minimum and Living Wage.

Linguists researched, identified, learned and applied the common and irregular verbs for two tenses in Spanish, the present continuous and the perfect.

In DT, the focus was the mechanical and physical properties of materials, how these help designers make choices for their products and how they go about analysing their needs versus their choice of materials. Food Preparation students have been looking at micronutrients analysing the role of various vitamins in the body and in their practical lesson examining the use of a baking powder as a raising agent.

Taking on the Arts, in Music students learnt why different keys have certain sharp and flat notes, and the order that those sharps and flats always take. They learnt how to find out which two keys shared the same key signature, (related keys) then composed 8 bar chord sequences in those two keys adding cadences at the end, that they had learnt about in a previous lesson. They made circles of fifths out of card to help show which chords are primary (major) in any major key: chords I IV and V; and which are secondary (minor): chords ii, iii and vi; and which chord is always diminished: chord vii, and when to use each type.  They then learnt some handy phrases to help remember all of this for the listening exam, and wrote these notes up in their books.

In BTEC Performing Arts students have been looking at the anatomy of the voice and used this information to create a robust pre-performance physical and vocal warm up routine whilst in GCSE Art, Craft and Design are beginning to research artists for their coursework project based on the theme of Disguise, they are also creating mood boards to give them inspiration for their initial ideas.

Whilst reading Act Two of Macbeth, in English, students learned about the role of witches in Jacobean Britain and James I’s interest in them; we’ve explored the relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan; we’ve explored how the famous ‘porter’ scene is a Shakespearean parody of the 17th century concept of equivocation.

In Science, Year 10 have been looking at scalars, vectors and contact forces in one lesson whilst examining ultrasound in another. Having completed a mock exam, Year 11 students have been getting their feedback and developing their revision technique.

So every lesson really does matter!

In other news, we’ve had a Sixth Form and Staff Coffee morning today, raising £140.72 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 17th September 2021

As we enter our second week, there’s a welcome air of normality as extra-curricular and sporting activities are well underway. At the beginning of the week, Year 10 headed off to Xscape to take on a skiing experience. All year groups can now access afterschool netball and football with Crossfit taking place for Years 9, 10 and 11.

Meanwhile over in the Music Block, Year 8’s ‘The Firebirds’ and Year 11’s ‘Entropy’ rock bands have started their practice with both, Mrs Skilbeck comments, making a great start! The Choir and Ukulele group will start next week and instrumental lessons have started with some of Year 7 already taking part. If you’d like to know more about instrumental lessons, then please contact Mrs Skilbeck. In other exciting news, we’re just waiting for confirmation that we can get the licence to start rehearsals for this year’s musical – watch this space!

Mrs Bauwens is also planning fieldtrips to Leeds and Hornsea for GCSE Geography students.

We’re thinking ahead to Open Evening which this year, thankfully, we’ll be holding at school on Wednesday 13th October from 6 until 8.30pm. In order to prepare for the event, when we’ll be welcoming Year 5 and 6 students and their parents, we’ll be closing school at 1.30pm. You’ll be receiving further details soon, as we’ll be looking forward to students coming back for the evening to show just what takes place at Boroughbridge High School.

Assemblies this week, led by Mr Grierson and Mrs Godsell-Wright, have focused on student safety with clear reminders of actions students need to take to ensure that everyone in our community is safe, happy and successful. A key message was that students need to talk to any adult if they have any concerns.

Have a lovely weekend!