Headteacher’s Blog – 14th June 2024


Our thanks this week go to the Boroughbridge Lions who have kindly bought three new microscopes for the Science Department. We were delighted to welcome President John Alder to present the microscopes which, as you can see, are already in use.


On Thursday after school, Year 7 enjoyed a Movie Night linked to our reading strategy. Armed with snacks and drinks, students thoroughly enjoyed their viewing of ‘Wonder’. The event also marked the launch of the next Book Club book, ‘White Bird’ by R.J. Palacio.




It’s been action all the way for some of our Year 9 students who have been getting to grips with the great outdoors at Bewerley Park this week. Experiences were varied including gorge walking, sailing and mountain biking. We’ll look forward to hearing about all they’ve achieved when they’re back in school next week.

In Science club, students were dissecting anchovies! They were able find the spine, the stomach and the gills, however, we didn’t think it was a good idea to include photos this time!

We’ve also had a visit from our Local Authority adviser this week with a focus on History, Forest School, Behaviour for Learning and Attendance. It was another positive visit and I’ll share further details in my next Headteacher’s Update.



In assemblies this week, Mr. Grierson and I have been talking with students about our core values which ensure that everyone in our school community is safe, happy and successful. We’re very proud of the progress that we’ve made as a whole school community over the last academic year and, whilst we understand our school values, we’d like to capture them in a few words or phrases. We’d like each and every member of our school community to contribute and so, at the end of each assembly, each student has been asked to write down what, through their lived experience, they consider our core values to be. Staff have also carried out a similar activity and we’ll be looking at all responses as part of our Professional Development Day on 21st June. A reminder that students do not attend school on this day.



Looking further ahead, the Friends of Boroughbridge High School will be holding a tombola at the Summer Fete organised by Boroughbridge Lions and we’d like to ask for your help. Firstly, any tombola prizes would be gratefully received. Alcohol prizes would need to be delivered to reception by parents and carers but all other prizes can be sent with children. Prizes don’t need to be expensive for example, a bar of chocolate, a toy, a book, bubble bath or nail varnish. Secondly, if you and your child are able to volunteer to be at the stall for an hour then please e-mail Foboroughbridgehs@gmail.com stating which hour you’re available between 11a.m. and 4p.m. on Sunday 30th June. Thanks in advance for your support.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 7th June 2024

I hope you had a good half term break. We’ve had a productive start to the second half of the Summer Term. Students in Years 10 and 11 have continued with their exams with Year 10 also preparing for the start of their new GCSE and BTEC option subjects when we move to the new timetable on Monday 24th June.

On Tuesday a group of Year 9 students who are completing the ‘Your Sustainable Future Project’ partnered with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service visited the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Call Centre in York.  They found out more about the call centre whilst also looking at the sustainability projects taking place at the location before beginning to work on their projects in their small teams. Whilst the weather was reported to have been disappointing, the quality of the input, activities and engagement of students certainly made up for it. We’ll keep you updated as the project develops.

On Thursday, it was the annual Well-being Colour run hosted by North Yorkshire Sport. This event has been created to provide an opportunity for students to complete well-being and physical activities with their friends. Set in Dalby Forest, students visited the event village where there were activities to complete and inspiring talks from leading sportspeople along with completing a 2km course set within the forest. The students had a great time as you can see!


As part of our quality assurance, we’ve had two Governor visits this week, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday, with a focus on our key priorities of behaviour, engagement and attendance. During both visits, Governors were impressed with the high standards of behaviour both in classrooms and on corridors, the level of engagement of students and high uniform standards. This was mirrored in Mrs. Godsell-Wright’s assemblies about celebrations and our own celebration of students’ achievements with certificates being awarded to those who achieved all ‘Excellent’ and ‘Good’ in their latest tracking. The numbers of students achieving this continues to increase as the year progresses.

Our congratulations also go to Oliver and Toby in Year 9 who have been recognised for their innovative designs during the Raspberry Pi Competition. If you weren’t aware, a Raspberry Pi is a general purpose computer, usually with a Linux operating system which has the ability to run multiple programs.

There is still time for you to give us feedback about whether you’d prefer online or face to face Parent/Carer evenings next year. You can do so at the following link – https://forms.gle/f3JtJezyx85ncPst5

A reminder that Friday 21st June is a Professional Development Day when students do not attend school.


Finally, a local community event to look forward to is the Boroughbridge Summer Fete organised by the Boroughbridge Lions on 30th June.

Have a lovely weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog – 24th May 2024

It’s been another busy half term with exams, revision, more exams, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and a Rocket Car challenge. There’s more to come in the half term ahead with the Year 9 Bewerley Park trip fast approaching. It was great to welcome parents and carers to the meeting on Tuesday evening where Mr. Field talked through the trip and activities. Everyone seemed excited by the many and varied possible activities such as mountain biking and water sports but possibly a little less excited about having to be up and ready for an 8a.m. breakfast.

A thought that may need to be kept in mind during the trip was shared by Mr. Grierson in assemblies where he introduced students to the concept of ‘yet’! Rather than accepting that we can’t do something, he explored how saying yet at the end of the sentence changes your whole mindset and possible outcomes.

And so, with only twelve more days of exams to go after half term, Thursday marked our official start to Year 11 Study Leave although students are very welcome to continue to attend lessons after half term. To mark the end of their time at Boroughbridge High School, we had our Leavers’ Assembly, showing Year 7 photos taken at the time that at the top of the charts was Ed Sheeran featuring Stormzy with ‘Take Me Back To London’ and Liverpool were top of the Premier League table. Mrs Godsell-Wright was keen to share that West Ham were 5th! And, despite the pandemic hitting when they were still in Year 7, the images of their journey through BHS showed that they have made the most of every opportunity and made a significant contribution to the BHS community. We’ll look forward to celebrating further at the Prom following the end of the exams.

Up in Science Club this week, students discovered that you can make battery out of fruit. Yes, fruit! Year 7 concluded that the best fruits were apples with greatest effect when the electrodes were made out of magnesium and copper.

We’re planning for the year ahead, and are about to make a decision about whether or not to keep Parent/Carer evenings online or go back to face to face events. You can share your opinion here – https://forms.gle/f3JtJezyx85ncPst5

We’re currently recruiting for General Teaching Assistants. If you’re interested in working with us at Boroughbridge High School, then you can find out further details at https://www.boroughbridgehigh.com/vacancies/

Have a lovely Bank holiday weekend and we’ll look forward to welcoming students back into school after the half term break on Monday 3rd June.


Headteacher’s Blog – 17th May 2024

It’s been another week of focus for Years 10 and 11 as we move into the second week of the Summer exams. An important part of exam preparation is having quality sleep and so, in Mrs. Godsell-Wright’s assemblies this week, the topic was sleep and relaxation. She talked about the importance of sleep and its effect on us along with strategies to help students to sleep better. The top four were setting your internal sleep clock by waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day. Secondly, making sure your bedroom is dark with all devices switched off! Thirdly, getting sufficient exercise and finally finding ways to relax before bedtime. All in all, excellent tips.

There has been much excitement in Science Club over the last couple of weeks. Ms.Camy reports that ‘For the last 2 weeks in science club, we have been making a floating bat and a disc boomerang. The floating bat worked really well but a bit more skill was needed when throwing the boomerang!’ In fact, as you can see, some ties had to be removed!

We’ve also been interviewing for new staff this week.  One of the activities for candidates is a student interview where questions created by students are used to find out more. Our Year 9 team this week were very impressive both in the questions they asked and the helpful and insightful feedback they gave me. I’ll give you further details about our appointments in
my Headteacher Update next week.

As part of Ofsted’s Big Listen, they’ve asked the National Centre for Social Research to carry out a short survey on their behalf and would like to hear from parents and carers. They are interested in views of, and any experiences with, Ofsted, including Ofsted’s inspection, regulation and reporting practices. They really want to hear from a wide range of parents and carers, even if you don’t have strong opinions about Ofsted. The survey findings will be used to help Ofsted improve the way it works in the future. You’ll have received an e-mail today with further details and the link to the survey.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 10th May 2024

Whilst most of us were enjoying a more leisurely weekend, 10 of our Year 10 and 11 students were immersed in their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Qualifying expedition. The weather certainly wasn’t helpful with Mrs. Murphy describing it as ‘a bit bleak’. Students set off on a dry Friday with rain later in the day before waking up on Saturday to a low mist with poor visibility and high winds followed by, thankfully, a brighter Sunday! Despite this, students showed remarkable resilience coping with the weather conditions and low temperatures and managing to remain dry. Along with overnight camping they managed their walks coping admirably with the slippery slopes and the sheep who themselves were having navigational challenges! Mrs. Murphy reports that ‘both groups remained very positive and stayed close together supporting each other throughout the weekend.’ So, an all round successful and character building experience. Our congratulations go to our students and our thanks go to Mrs. Murphy, Mr. Lough and Mr. Swain for their support throughout the weekend.

As part of our CEIAG programme, in assemblies this week, Mr Grierson has been looking at jobs of the future using technology including careers in robotics, cyber security and green technology jobs, recognising that we are preparing students in school for jobs that may not yet exist!

Exciting things have been happening up in Geography where Mrs. Gomersal reports,

‘In Geography, throughout the past 2 weeks, Year 9 students have been working in groups to create an invention and scheme that will help to close the development gap in a fictional country in Africa. The students prepared a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style pitch to their class and many built and designed prototypes of their designs. Year 9 impressed us not only with their creative ideas of ‘Appropriate Technology’ but also their enthusiasm and courage to present their work and speak as high-level Geographers. Well done, Year 9!’

After years of building their knowledge and skills, students in Years 10 and 11 have begun their written GCSE and BTEC exams this week with many more to come. Talking of which, last night it was a real treat to see the BTEC Performing Arts Assessment pieces based around the theme of ‘Treasured Memories’. The two performances contrasted greatly in terms of context, one based around Anne Frank and the other set in a Care Home, but both showed real creativity, teamwork and commitment from our students. Thank you to the parents and carers who were able to support the evening too.

Following our reading fundraising earlier in the year, we’ve received a certificate this week thanking us for raising £149.60 for the Read for Good charity which provides brand new books along with storyteller visits to brighten up the days of children in all of the UK’s main children’s hospitals.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 3rd May 2024

It’s been another intense week with coursework deadlines, MFL speaking exams, PE moderation and exam practice. With preparation going well, students are increasingly ready for the exams which start on Thursday 9th May.

In assemblies this week, I’ve focused on Expectations, recognising the progress that we’ve made as a whole school community, along with reinforcing the routines and behaviours which ensure that we maximise learning quality and quantity. A particular area of focus for us has been the quality of questioning in the classroom. One of the measurable impacts of our introduction of the learning phases has been the increased quality of students’ responses during whole class questioning with students being selected to share their thoughts and ideas. Through this we’ve increased students’ confidence and developed their thinking. This was recognised again in a visit that we had from our Local Authority adviser this week who was supporting our Curriculum Quality Assurance with a focus on Science. A reminder that you can see more detail about our curriculum along with the Progression Maps for each subject so that you can see what your child will be studying throughout their time at BHS at https://www.boroughbridgehigh.com/curriculum/ As an example, you can see the RE progression map here.

Our Year 9 Sports Leaders have been in action again this week, working with Year 6 from our local primary schools. This is an excellent way for our new cohort of Year 7 students to meet students from our school and start to make links. Our transition process has already begun with Mrs. Donnelly (Pastoral Manager for Year 7), Mrs. Leeming (Senior Advanced Teaching Assistant) and Mrs. Town (SENCO) going out to visit Year 6 students and their teachers.

Looking ahead to the second half of the Summer Term, we have a Professional Development Day on Friday 21st June when students do not attend school. We’ve chosen this day as it marks the end of our current timetable with students moving up to their new year group and timetable on Monday 24th June. We’ve done this for a number of years as it really helps us to maximise the time in the Summer Term, creating sufficient time to teach our option subjects at GCSE through our Stage not Age approach and also gives all students a renewed sense of focus as we move towards the end of term. An added benefit is that it reduces anxiety over the Summer holiday as students have already experienced four weeks of their new timetable, new classes and new teachers and teachers can plan effectively for the year ahead, having already met and got to know their classes.

With the Bank Holiday ahead, 10 of our Year 10 and 11 students will be undertaking their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying expedition. We wish them well!

Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 26th April 2024

25 Year 9 students set off for their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze expedition last weekend and 25 returned having had a great time and learned a great deal! Mrs. Murphy reports, ‘Our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award participants completed their practice expedition in the countryside around Pateley Bridge last weekend.  We were very fortunate to have dry weather, but it was very cold overnight.  Some of the students also had the opportunity to have a guided tour around the dairy farm, where we were staying.  The 25 students learnt lots about navigating, camping and also themselves over the weekend and they all know what to change or improve for the qualifying expedition in June.’  We give a big thank you to Mrs Murphy, Mrs Bauwens, Mr Lough, Mr Groves and Mr Murphy for supporting the students throughout the weekend.

On Monday, in annual tradition, Year 11 received their hoodies, marking the fact that we are hurtling towards the start of the exams. With their focus firmly on this, the Primary School Sports event held at Kirk Hammerton on Wednesday was led by our Year 9 Sports Leaders, showing that they have what it takes to lead, support and encourage the next generation of students.

Back in school on Wednesday, the Science Department and Year 7 were revving up for the Rocket Car Challenge. Mr. Scott reports, ‘Students designed the shape of their car and then spent the morning with saws, files and sandpaper seeing their vision of the fastest car come to life.  In the afternoon all of the cars were sent down the track with the speeds being recorded. Speeds ranged from 50mph up to the winning speed of 72mph. All of the students really got involved in the day and produced some fabulous cars.’

As part of our Quality Assurance, over the last two weeks, we’ve been carrying out lesson observations with a focus on the areas that we’ve been developing. This has included routines for the beginning and end of lessons, targeted questioning and engagement of students. Across the school we can clearly see the impact of our work around learning phases including selecting students to answer questions. I’ll give you further details in my next Headteacher’s Update.

Retrieval practice continues to be a focus and, in History, Year 9 were retrieving their knowledge of the Holocaust whereas in Maths, they were using a retrieval grid to cover a range of topics, including converting measures and using angle facts. In RE, students took on a new, challenging take on retrieval grids based on “the wall” from the TV show “Only Connect” when reviewing their unit of work on evil and suffering. Year 7 have been using retrieval grids for the Living Together topic in Science, positive relationships in PSHCE and earthquakes in Geography. Meanwhile, in DT, Years 10 and 11 were analysing and connecting images to retrieve knowledge.

As April 22nd marks Earth Day, in assemblies this week, Mr. Grierson has been talking about the impact of plastics on ecosystems along with what we can all do to make a difference in the amount of plastic we generate with the aim to build a plastic-free planet.

Last week, you’ll have received the invitation to the Federation reading event hosted at King James’s School, Knaresborough. You still have time to book your place at Reading Evening Form The link will close on Monday 29th April.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 19th April 2024

We are certainly in the Revision season, with practical formal exams already underway. With this in mind, our focus in lessons is to ensure that our Year 10 and 11 students not only have the subject knowledge content that they require but also the skills to be successful. So to give you a flavour of what has been happening around the school,

In Science, students have been completing past paper questions and getting feedback on exam technique. As you’d expect, each week the questions have been strategically selected so that key areas of content have been revisited and where there are gaps in knowledge, retaught.  In particular, in Biology, students have been revising diseases and how we can prevent infections. There has also been the opportunity to redo the required practicals. In Chemistry, students have been looking at the language used in the question before identifying the scientific language needed in the answer and looking at how to answer extended questions.

In English Literature, students have been Revising the Power and Conflict poems using strategies for learning quotations off by heart, reading model essay responses written by examiners and deconstructing model essays to write their own plans. They’ve then had the experience of writing a timed essay using revision grids and learned quotations, comparing Exposure and Remains. Meanwhile, in English Language, students have been focusing on Paper 1 looking at 8-mark questions examining language and structure and revising terminology.

Up in Humanities, in History, students have been working through past papers for the Early Elizabethan England topic which is on Paper 2. They’ve looked into the language of the questions and techniques used to answer the questions. In GCSE RE students were “Brain vomitting” everything they knew about various moral issues and then playing a game of last team standing to see who could recall the most before then structuring their learning into knowledge organisers which focused their revision on the themes that may arise in the summer exams.

In DT, students are covering materials and processes at using tabulated worksheets and image sorts with Powerpoint whilst in Music, students have been working on exam technique and how to structure responses for 8-mark questions for the Set Works.

In MFL, students are preparing for the different elements of the speaking exam, honing speaking skills by reading out loud and self-correcting pronunciation using the phonetic spelling. They also practised using prompts and the first letter of every word to learn a sentence, using timers to develop fluency and practice preparing role plays in 4 minutes! Finally, they used hot seating where you speak in French for as long as you can, getting a partner to time you!

Alongside this, there are revision and intervention sessions at lunchtimes and after school and we’ve also developed a Form Time revision programme where students look at generic revision techniques during one tutor time with further tutor times on Maths, English and Science.

Looking to the future, Year 11 students who have applied to King James’s School in Knaresborough for their post-16 studies had an interview with Mr. O’Hara, Director of Sixth Form this morning.

In assemblies this week, Miss Kelly, a member of our English Team and leader of PSHCE talked with students about the Growing up in North Yorkshire survey, a Health Related Behaviour Survey, which you’ll have received a letter about this week. The survey is completely anonymous and has proven, over the years, to be a valuable way of finding out the views of our young people to enable us to ensure that they get the support that they need.

The Month of the Military Child, in April, is a campaign to raise awareness about the important role Service Children play in the Armed Forces community. As part of this, this afternoon, ten of our students, created a tile each, as you can see, which will be used, along with contributions from other local schools, to produce a piece of artwork of 100 pieces to raise awareness.

You will have received a letter about a Federation reading event hosted at King James’s School in Knaresborough on Tuesday 7th May where you will have the opportunity to hear from Gervase Phinn, a local author, along with how you can support your child with reading.

This weekend, 25, Year 9 students will be carrying out their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition. We wish them well for a successful weekend.

I hope that you have a lovely weekend too!

Headteacher’s Blog – 12th April 2024

I hope you had a lovely Easter break. It was great to welcome students back into school on Monday and hear about what they’d been doing over the holidays. Uniform standards have remained impressively high and our thanks go to parents and carers for your support with this.

Year 7 returned to their first set of formal exams at Boroughbridge High School. We do exams for each of our year groups so that they get into the routine of exam hall conditions so by the time they get to Year 10, they feel confident in doing so. Year 7 have certainly risen to this challenge this week arriving fully equipped, entering and exiting the Exam Hall silently and carrying out each exam in full exam conditions. Over the next few weeks they’ll be getting their results, receiving confirmation of things that they do well and identifying areas for improvement.

Remaining on the focus of exams, with the GCSE and BTEC season rapidly approaching, Mrs. Bauwens, our Exams Officer, has reminded Year 11 students of the JCQ regulations and Year 10 will have a similar session next week.

Across the year groups, students have quickly settled back into school life and routines. We were pleased to welcome our Local Authority adviser on Thursday for a visit focused on Behaviour for Learning. We had a full day with visits to many lessons across the curriculum and year groups, along with observing Year 7 entering the Exam Hall at the beginning of the day, watching assembly, walking around at social times and speaking to groups of staff and students. It was a great opportunity for us to demonstrate the progress that we’ve made with high standards of uniform and behaviour being consistently observed. We will, of course, as I outlined in my Headteacher’s Update, continue on our improvement journey.

In assemblies this week, Mrs. Godsell-Wright has focused on resilience, talking with students about how they can develop theirs whilst using inspiring examples such as Russ Cook who, you may have read, completed a gruelling feat of running the length of Africa whilst facing many challenges along the way. Students were invited to give their own examples and, this morning, Year 7 students described how Greta Thunberg in her environmental campaigns and Marcus Rashford with his Free School Meals campaign had shown great resilience.

As part of their fundraising efforts, the Friends of Boroughbridge High School are organising the School Lottery. If you’d like to take part, please click here.

On Thursday, a group of Year 11 students took part in NYBEP’s employability skills scheme, learning all about the employment application process from CV writing and how to stand out from the crowd, to interviews and employability skills. They took part in activities that they might face at assessment centres and completed group challenges to develop their team work skills, critical thinking, planning and resilience.

We were delighted to welcome back Madame Reed from maternity leave before the Easter break and this week we’ve welcomed to the staff team our new Attendance Officer, Mr. Hepburn.  

For next week, a reminder that we will be holding a Scholastics Book Fair on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th April in the school library. The book fair will be open 1-1:30pm and 3:45-4:15pm for students to browse and purchase any books that they would like. Parents and carers are welcome to call in to the after school sessions too – please sign in at the main reception. The fair will be cashless and so students will need to either complete a ‘wishlist’ and purchase books online at home or pay via debit card.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 22nd March 2024

You may remember the weather last weekend. It wasn’t great but, whatever you were doing, you’re likely to have been warmer and drier than our Year 10/11 students out on their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Practice expedition. But, as ever, they showed remarkable resilience. Mrs. Murphy reports,

‘The 10 Silver Duke of Edinburgh participants successfully completed their practice expedition at the weekend.  We travelled straight from school on Friday in the glorious sunshine, but unfortunately when we made camp in Settle it had started to rain.  This changeable weather continued throughout the weekend including a very wet overnight stay in a campsite in Malham on Saturday.  Mr Lough and Mr Murphy supported the groups navigating via checkpoints throughout the two days.  The students did brilliantly and remained positive throughout despite the tiredness, sore feet and backs.  Everyone was ready for a well-earned shower!’

Our congratulations go to our students for a successful expedition and our thanks to Mrs. Murphy, Mr. Murphy, Mrs. Macadam and Mr. Lough for making the expedition possible. We’ll look forward to the Silver Qualifying Expedition in May.


Year 9 were supporting their learning in English with a viewing of The Crucible with Mrs. Macadam on Monday evening whilst parents, carers and staff were treated to the Musical Showcase with Mr. Jackson on Tuesday.

Year 8 exams have taken place this week with students arriving well prepared and showing a clear understanding of exam room expectations. Year 7 will be having their exams on our return from the Easter break.

In Science Club this week, students made a rainbow in a burette! Adding acid and alkalis together in the same burette results in a solution with different pHs whilst adding universal indicator means they could see the pHs in different colours!

In assemblies this week, Mr. Grierson has explored how being creative and ‘The Arts’ can help our mental health and well-being. He talked about the power of mindfulness and using activities such as colouring or dancing to support positive mental health. Staying with the creative theme, in Art over the last couple of weeks, Year 8 have been looking at the illustrations of Tim Burton and layering whilst Year 9 have been exploring using acrylic paint and blending with great success.








It’s been an important week for William in Year 7 who has juvenile arthritis and was invited to be the first ever child guest speaker for Versus Arthritis at their annual Arthritis Fellows Conference. William prepared and presented his own PowerPoint describing what it is like to have juvenile arthritis at the age of 11. His audience was over 100 adults comprising of consultants, scientists, fellowship students, researchers, Versus Arthritis staff and campaigners. William described what it is like to have arthritis as a child, what his pain is like, how it affects his daily life, how he sometimes has to use crutches and the help he needs.

William explained how friends at school help him and described how singing helps relieve his pain. In fact, he is a Chorister at Ripon Cathedral and has been since he was 7 years old. There are now 70 members in the Choir of Choristers and Scholars and last term William was selected from the choir to be awarded the Dean’s medal for his leadership skills in mentoring new choristers. Excellent achievements indeed.


The Sports Leaders were involved in Primary sport on Wednesday morning and it was great to then see the next generation of leaders, the Year 9 Football activators, carrying out an assembly to Year 7. Mrs. Godsell-Wright says, ‘The leaders did fantastically well in delivering the assembly and they have inspired over 35 young people to take part and then join an after-school club after Easter.’



There is much research about the value of the natural environment in supporting positive mental health and wellbeing and, if you’ve visited the school over the last couple of weeks, you can’t fail to have noticed the beautiful blossom. Spring is certainly here!

Have a lovely weekend and Easter break!