Headteacher’s Blog – 29th September 2023

You may remember that we had a Summer reading competition where students were invited to take a photo of themselves or a family member ‘in the act of reading (and loving it)’! Last week, in Year 8 assembly, the winners were announced. Showing an impressive level of creativity, here they are with Emily in 1st place, Millie in 2nd place and Theo and Lola in 3rd place.  Well done to them all.

Our Sports Leaders have been in action again this week, leading a Football Festival for children from local primary schools.

In assemblies this week, Mrs. Godsell-Wright has been reinforcing the importance of safeguarding, reminding students of possible risks, how it’s important to report to members of staff and how we all have a responsibility to act in a way which ensures that everyone within our school community is safe, happy and successful.

As you’re aware, in response to our Ofsted inspection, at the beginning of term we introduced expectations for each aspect of learning in lessons; whole class work, group/pair work and individual work. This is already having a significant impact on the quality of questioning and student response in lessons along with creating the opportunities for students to develop their ideas and thinking. This has been one of the focus areas of lessons observations that have taken place across the school over the last couple of weeks as part of our Quality Assurance Cycle. Along with this focus on Climate for Learning, we’ve also been looking at Behaviour for Learning and have welcomed staff from our federated partner, King James’s School to carry out a behaviour review with us this week. We’re looking forward to a reciprocal visit in the coming weeks. I’ll be sending out a letter soon to update you on our progress.

Thank you to the parents and carers who have responded to the google survey with kind offers of support for the school. There’s still time to complete the form here and you can now complete it without a google account.

Have a lovely weekend!



Headteacher’s Blog – 22nd September 2023

It’s been attendance all the way in assemblies this week as Mr. Grierson talked to students about the importance of high attendance in securing good outcomes and resulting life chances. With the mantra ‘Every day counts’, students were helped to understand the impact that missing a day each month can have on learning across the year. You’ll be receiving an Attendance Update soon.

Students have been embracing the extra-curricular activities on offer with Mr. Field reporting that 130 students have accessed an extra-curricular activity this week. So that’s around 28% of our students giving some of their own time to get involved in sport. Well done!

Our focus this week goes on to Year 7 as the students who have joined us most recently. This week their studies have been broad and varied. In Food Technology, they’ve been developing their culinary skills, learning how to cut safely and add flavour with herbs and spices by making potato wedges. If you ask, they’ll be able to explain the difference between a herb and a spice. In Design Technology, drawing skills are the focus with students completing a 3-D drawing in oblique of their block head toys that they will be making.

In Maths, students have been involved with directed numbers (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing) and rounding numbers. In Science, students have been looking at the effects of friction and water resistance in Science. To put it into context, they experimented with their shoes to find out which surfaces had the least amount of friction. Then they made different shapes out of plasticine to see which shape was the most streamlined. They’ve also been studying elements, compounds and mixture.

In English, students have been considering the character traits of archetypal heroes and villains whist reading Philip Pullman’s novel ‘Clockwork’.

In Geography, students have been looking at settlement locations. This has required them to think about what makes a good place to build a settlement and link this to real places around the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, in History, they’ve been looking into the Vikings asking, ‘When did they invade?’ and ‘What were they like?’ whilst also developing their historical skills including chronology and interpretations.

It was lovely to see so many parents, carers and students at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Information Evening on Wednesday. Students need to sign up by 13th October. They can collect a form from Reception or Mrs Murphy.

A reminder that it’s our Year 5 and 6 Open Evening on Wednesday 11th October 6-8.30p.m. In order to prepare for the event, we’ll be closing school at 1.30p.m. We’ll then look forward to welcoming students back for the evening to carry out activities and share with our visitors what makes Boroughbridge High School a great place to be. We’ve already started to update our Prospectus and I thought you might like to see a couple of photos.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 15th September 2023

Now that we’re on to Week 2 of the Autumn Term, we feel fully back into routine. In assemblies this week, following the success of last year, Mrs. Murphy talked to students in Years 9, 10 and 11 about next steps with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. There is an information evening next week for parents, carers and students at 6.30p.m. on Wednesday 20th September.

The WellBeing in Mind Team led the Year 7 assembly on Friday. For those who are new to the school, the Wellbeing in Mind Team (WiMT) is a Mental Health Support Team (MHST) which is an NHS service that has been introduced as part of the national plans to expand mental health services for children, young people, and their families within schools and colleges. We are delighted that the team are based at Boroughbridge High School and work at schools across our locality. The Wellbeing in Mind Team aims to positively impact the mental health and wellbeing and we’re very much aware of how this service has benefited our students.

Thank you if you were able to attend the Expectations Evenings on either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday this week. It was great to be able to share in detail what we’re doing and developing in school and to answer questions on every aspect of school life including our recent Ofsted inspection. Your feedback is critical in shaping our plans. There were also many offers from parents and carers of ways to support the school which are appreciated. I’ll send out a GoogleForm early next week to capture how we can work together on areas such as fundraising.

Our sports leaders were in action again on Wednesday helping to lead a football tournament for primary children from local schools. The weather was glorious and it was a great event all round.

It’s the launch of our Book Club next week so, if they haven’t already, your child still has time to read ‘The Blue Book of Nebo.‘ before Monday when they can go along to the library at lunchtime to discuss it.

Have a lovely weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog – 8th September 2023

I hope that you and your families have had a lovely Summer. We had a successful Summer at Boroughbridge High School, celebrating with Year 13 and Year 11 students as they collected their results and shared with us the many destinations that they are going on to. We wish them well for the future and look forward to welcoming them back to our Awards Evening at the end of the Autumn Term. Because of our Stage not Age approach, Year 10 also got two of their GCSE/BTEC results. Their results, along with the experience of completing their two qualifications, puts them in a strong position to embrace the challenges of Year 11.

Having an incredibly successful summer was Sid in Year 8 who you may remember from an earlier blog was in training for the 8th World Dwarf Games in Köln in Germany which is an event specifically for people with all forms of dwarfism, held every four years. The event took place over 10 days of competition and Sid was one of over 520 competitors from 29 countries. In an all-round inspiring competition, Sid did his country proud and returned home with a remarkable 8 medals from both team and individual events; Gold individual breaststroke, Gold individual backstroke, Silver individual 100m IM, Silver team sprint relay, Silver team football, Silver team basketball, Bronze individual freestyle and Bronze individual discus. Our congratulations go to him.

We’ve had a really smooth start to the term, helped by the fact that we start our new academic year in June so the majority of students had already experienced four weeks of their new timetable before the Summer break. It’s also been great to welcome our new Year 7 students who are settling in well following their three Induction Days in July with many also attending Summer School.

We’ve taken the opportunity of a new term to reinforce our expectations. A key focus has been on Behaviour for Learning, introducing our expectations for the three different elements of learning: whole classwork, group and pair work and individual work. Thank you for your support in ensuring that your child has returned to school in full uniform – it’s appreciated.

On Monday, we were delighted to welcome to the staff team Mr. Atkinson (Head of Geography), Ms. Gogoi (Maths), Mr. Jackson (Music), Miss Kelly (English), Ms. Llaurado (MFL) and Mrs. Wright (GTA).

Looking ahead, next week students in Years 9, 10 and 11 will have assemblies on the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme with an information evening for parents/carers and students at 6.30p.m. on 20th September.

A reminder that next week ‘Expectations’ Evenings will be held for Parents and Carers at 6p.m. on Monday 11th September for Year 7; Tuesday 12th September for Years 8 and 9; and Wednesday 13th September for Years 10 and 11 where you’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions that you have about our recent Ofsted inspection. Please e-mail schooladmin@boroughbridgehigh.com stating which evening you wish to attend.

Have a lovely weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog – 21st July 2023

Flamingo Land was the destination for the Rewards trip on Monday. Two hundred excited students enjoyed rides, ice creams, visiting the zoo and spending some quality time together as a reward for their consistently high standards throughout the year. 

Following inclement weather conditions last Friday, all our hopes were resting on a fine day on Wednesday for one of the absolute highlights of our school year, Sports Day. With field events taking place across the last couple of weeks and during the Wednesday morning session, the whole school congregated on the field for the track events. Accompanied by Mr. Cockerill’s own particular style of DJing with tracks from the 80s to present day, teams across the year groups showed great speed, resilience and teamwork as they battled to score points for their form group, cheered on by their peers. Just as the final baton was passed in the relay, the raindrops started which was indeed perfect timing. Students then had to wait, in eager anticipation, to hear the winners announced at our whole school assembly today.

Yesterday the Woodland Trust Group had a great day at ‘Hackfall’. Mr. Woodward reports, ‘The Woodland Trust group had a “tree-mendous” day out at Hackfall Woods near Grewelthorpe where we did some leaf identification which revealed a wide range of species in the woodland. We also took part in some Shinrinyoku, the Japanese art of forest bathing, a meditative practice which translates as “absorbing the forest atmosphere”. Having stilled our minds and become “at one” with the forest, students then listened to “The Peace of Wild Things”, a poem by Wendell Berry and set about writing their own version in the presence of the trees. It wasn’t all work, though. We had time to build a dam (and deconstruct it afterwards so as to not disrupt the flow of the water!), explore the woods and play a multitude of games including “Forest Fire”, “Creeping Coyotes” and “Predators”. A wonderful and wild time was had by all; the perfect end to a busy term!’

We found out today that we’ve been awarded the Woodland Trust Gold ‘Green Tree School’ Award. Congratulations to Mr. Woodward and Team!

And so, to mark the end of another productive and successful year, we all made our way to the Sports Hall today for our end of year whole school assembly. We started with in house musical entertainment then students clapped and cheered as they watched photos of the wide range of activities that they’ve participated in across the year. Subject awards were next on the list with students being given certificates acknowledging the excellent work that has been produced and high standards achieved. Sporting awards followed and then came the moment that we’ve been waiting for since Sports Day on Wednesday – the big reveal of the winners. Here they are, 8JW, 9SF, 10DR and 11JF. All in all a great celebration of all that we value in our school community. 

A reminder that, a good Summer read would be ‘The Blue Book of Nebo’ by Manon Steffan Ros, shortlisted for the Yoto Carnegie Medal, which we’ll be discussing in our first Book Club for students and staff in September.

With the Summer holidays now upon us, on behalf of the staff team, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support and wish you and your family a great Summer break. Students return to school on Tuesday 5th September. 


Headteacher’s Blog – 14th July 2023

With a somewhat mixed weather forecast, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award Qualifying Expedition could have been thwarted but the resilience of our young people made sure that the expedition was a great success!

Mrs. Murphy reported that ‘All the students did brilliantly with a rather testing weekend.  On Saturday they were given false hope, with a lovely sunny start, but within 2 hours it had started raining, with thunder at times and it didn’t let up for another 5 hours!  Luckily it did stop in time for everyone to get to the campsite, so tents were pitched in the dry.  They cooked their food and had a relaxing evening by the tents chatting, no energy for sports this time.  Overnight there was rain, thunder and lightning but everyone stayed dry and it was brighter with clear skies in the morning.  The walking conditions were much nicer on Sunday, but we had lots of sore shoulders, backs and feet to contend with! The groups worked really well together, keeping up their morale and finished in good time.  A fantastic achievement, completed by all the 21 students who started!’

As a reward for the excellent contribution that our Sports Leaders have made to young people in our local primary schools and for representing the school in sports teams, on Tuesday, they went on a trip to Manchester City Football Club. They had the experience of ‘A day in the life of a professional footballer’ which included visiting many parts of the stadium, home and away dressing rooms, media conferencing, executive hospitality, the stands and match day gym facilities for the players. Throughout the tour the psychology behind all decisions was explained.

They watched video clips of the players talking about their routines as well as having the explanation of the psychology behind the different parts of the stadium such as the colour of the dressing rooms and the entry points of the different teams. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

As part of their GCSE, the Key Stage 4 Geographers went on fieldwork on Wednesday or Thursday to Leeds, where they investigated the urban environment. The focus of the day was to study how the quality of housing and the environment varies between different areas of the city and how the waterfront area has been redeveloped. They were two incredibly productive days with high quality primary data being collected and staff praising students for their enthusiastic, focused approach. In the Autumn term, they have a trip to the Holderness Coast, where they’ll investigate coastal processes.

In assemblies this week, Mrs. Godsell-Wright and Mr. Grierson have talked with students about Summer safety, looking at the 5 ways of wellbeing to ensure that students look after both their physical and mental health whilst they’re aware from school.

You’ll be aware that we had originally scheduled Sports Day for today but with wet weather forecast, we’ve postponed it to next Wednesday which appears, looking at the rain bouncing off the windows, to have been the right decision!

So we’re three weeks into the new timetable and, with one week to go to the Summer break, we’ve got lots to fit in including the rewards trip to Flamingo Land, Sports Day, an EcoGroup trip and a whole school assembly. We’ll certainly make the most of the final week.

A reminder that school will close for the Summer break at 1.30p.m. on Friday 21st July.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 7th July 2023

We’ve now completed the second week of our new timetable and if you think the pace is slowing as we move towards the Summer break, you’d be wrong! Tuesday was an important day for our new Year 11 students who continued on their post -16 careers journey at the Careers Networking event. Students certainly looked the part as they arrived wearing business clothing. Following an assembly and lesson exploring different careers and skill requirements they took part in a ‘Meet the Employer’ event where they interviewed local, national and international employers to find out about a range of different careers and employment sectors. Along with learning a great deal, students had the opportunity to think seriously about their next steps and also thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Whilst the Careers event was taking place, over in the Assembly Hall, Year 8 had gathered with the English Team to reveal the winners of ‘The Joy of Reading’ photography competition. It was a great opportunity to celebrate two passions and the quality was so high that there were two winners in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place! So in 1st place were George and Abdullah, in 2nd place, Amelia and Millie and in 3rd place, Edith and Laila, and Ben. Very impressive indeed.

For those who just missed out, the next challenge is going to be a Summer Reading Photo competition. We’ll look forward to seeing the entries.

Staying on the creative theme, our Year 11 Art students were delighted to be invited to Boroughbridge Primary School on Monday to use their skills to transform a Library space. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and created artwork which will be hopefully be enjoyed by many for years to come.

It’s also been an exciting week, welcoming Year 6 students to our school community to prepare them for their start in Year 7 in September. We were delighted to welcome parents and carers along with their children on Monday so that they could meet their Form Tutor and find out more about the school, before starting the first of three Induction Days on Wednesday. Students have experienced a wide range of subjects, met with lots of staff, familiarised themselves with classroom routines and discovered what an amazing food range we have available at lunchtimes! Older students have formed an important part of the Induction Days, acting as guides to make sure that everyone knew where they were going. We’ve had a great week and are looking forward to welcoming students back for Summer school before the Autumn Term starts.

With vaping widely reported as being an issue for young people, in assemblies this week Mr. Grierson has been sharing the facts about the possible dangers both in the short and long term of using vapes.

We’ve had 50 responses to our question around having online or face to face Parent/Carer Evenings next year. There’s still time to respond so if you’d like to share your views, please go to https://forms.gle/R83beU84FzosVLrw7. The deadline is Monday 12th July.

This weekend students in Years 10 and 11 will be carrying out their Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award Qualifying Expedition and we’ve got a number of trips to look forward to next week. Next Friday afternoon will be our Sports Day and further information about this will follow next week.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 30th June 2023

Oh what a night! As you can see, the Year 11 Prom last Friday was a great success. With sparkles and smart suits, the evening gave staff and students alike the opportunity to celebrate. Students arrived in tractors, a pick up, tractor units, a caravan, a Mustang and a Lamborghini. After a lovely three course meal, everyone danced the night away. Our students, as ever, were polite, considerate, thankful and happy which was great to see. Our thanks go to Mrs. Godsell-Wright for organising the event and to The Bridge Inn for making it a special evening.

This week has marked the start of our 2023 – 2024 timetable with students quickly becoming familiar with new classes and, at times, new teachers. The focus of assemblies this week has therefore been on reinforcing our school standards with our collective responsibility to act in a way which ensures that all are safe, happy and successful. In particular, we explored how students maximise learning when they Arrive on time, Be prepared, Contribute, Develop thinking and Engage with learning.

I was delighted to receive some new artwork for my office produced by Freya, Annabel, Kiki and Oliver, four of our Year 9 students. This impressive dystopian art was inspired by SweetTooth and their own English work.

Last night the Summer Sounds concert became a lovely Open Mic night where parents, carers and students were treated to a range of performances including piano, guitar, flute, drums, vocalists and the school choir. Well done to all.

We have another exciting week ahead as we welcome our new Year 7 students for their Induction Days from Wednesday to Friday.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 23rd June 2023

Late on Sunday evening, 60 excited Year 7 students and 5 members of staff climbed aboard the coach, destination Normandy. We’ve had selected messages and photos over the last few days, so we know the ferry crossing was great, the hotel comfortable and the snail sampling variable! They are due back in Boroughbridge late this evening so I’m sure we’ll hear of lots more adventures in the week ahead.

Back in school, Mr. Woodward reports, ‘Wednesday was the Summer Solstice and, while “Tree Dressing Day” isn’t until December the 4th, we thought we’d get out and dress the tree that welcomes visitors to Boroughbridge High School. Ribbon, painted sticks, knitting and homemade leaf bunting adorned with quotes inspiring people to appreciate the natural world were draped and tangled around the tree. This activity formed part of a range of tasks that some of our students have been engaging in as part of the Woodland Trust Green Tree Schools Award that we’re currently working on.

But what is “Tree Dressing”? I hear you cry! It’s an event created in 1990 with the aim of encouraging people to engage with and celebrate nature in a non-religious homage to ancient rituals from around the world. Common Ground, the organisation who developed the idea of Tree Dressing Day, say,  Trees have long been celebrated for their spiritual significance. The simplicity of tying strips of cloth or yarn to a tree is universal and timeless. The old Celtic custom of tying cloth dipped in water from a holy well to a ‘clootie tree’ echoes the practice in

Japan of decorating trees with strips of white paper, or tanzaku, bearing wishes and poems. The twenty-first century trend of ‘yarn bombing’ in Europe and North America transforms the local landscape with bright fabrics and yarns, like the Buddhist tradition of tying ribbons around the trunk of the Bodhi tree in homage to Buddha, or the annual Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan when coloured strings are tied onto trees and plants to call upon the power of nature to protect loved ones.

So, well done to Spencer, Piran, Oliver, Stan, Tyler, Tyla, Freya, Kowenna, Scarlett and Ruby for your excellent work and a special mention to Chloe and Katie from Year 3 at Boroughbridge Primary School for providing some lovely finger knitting to add to our decorations!’

Whilst some of Year 7 were in France the rest of the year group were immersed in poetry on Wednesday. Mrs. Macadam reports, ‘Year 7 spent an intense day on Wednesday with poets Rose Drew and Alan Glitch, owners and publishers of Stairwell books in York.  They learned the art of writing and performing poetry.  Each and every student responded enthusiastically to the workshop and the poets and teachers were stunned by the quality of the work that was produced during the day.  It was wonderful to see them grow and to see even the shyest of students go from reluctant to confident performers by the end of the day.  The visiting poets commented not only on the quality of the work but the immaculate behaviour of the students and their respect and encouragement of each other. It was a proud moment for the staff. ‘

Following the success of the inaugural Colour Run last year, 83 girls set off on Thursday to the North Yorkshire Sport Wellbeing Festival, held in Dalby Forest which featured team and individual activities created to support, listen, engage and challenge students through a fun creative and interactive experience including laser tag, yoga and rural Art. The Colour Run itself was a 2km course set within the forest with students starting the course in a white t-shirt and ending with a joyful rainbow of colour! A great time was had by all.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Knock took a team of students to Leeds for a day of inspiration and discovery all focused on women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industries hosted by Stemettes and NewDay. Mrs. Knock e-mailed during the morning session to say ‘There are three other schools here and our students are currently in groups designing a chat bot for a financial website. So proud of the girls! They are working with other schools in groups, taking leading roles and making fab contributions.’ Purwa and Maddison’s group won the group competition. Well done!

The exam season is now over and we’re so proud of the way in which Years 10, 11 and 13 have approached this exam season. Year 11 will begin their celebrations with the Prom this evening. We’ll show you the photos next week!

And so, on Monday, we begin our new timetable. Not only does this enable us to create sufficient time to teach our option subjects at GCSE through our Stage not Age approach but it 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. Gains all round!

A reminder that it’s our Summer Music concert next Thursday evening at 6.30p.m.   All are welcome.


Headteacher’s Blog – 16th June 2023

With the summery weather upon us, it was the perfect time for Year 9 to embark upon their trip to Bewerley Park. Mr. Grierson reports, ‘39 intrepid young adventurers and 4 enthusiastic staff members enjoyed 3 action packed days at Bewerley Park Outdoor Education Centre.  Resilience and team work were the order of the day as the students were given the opportunity to squeeze through the tightest spaces as they scaled Brimham Rocks.  Mrs Murphy successfully navigated the ‘cheese press’ and Mrs. Cummins the ‘leap of faith’!  As the scorching weather continued throughout the week, the students took every opportunity to cool down in the local rivers and ponds whilst kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding. The ghyll scrambling was a particularly popular activity as students climbed up a stream, dived into plunge pools and slid down natural inclines. For those with a head for heights there was the High Ropes activities including a leap of faith to catch a trapeze high up in the summer sky. In the evenings there was a walk through the stunning countryside, orienteering and Mr Field’s nightly rounders games.  Students acquitted themselves well, doing themselves and school proud.’

There’s been excitement in the school too this week with Mr. Woodward reporting that ‘The Woodland Trust Green Tree Award Group spent some time in the woodland area on the school site putting their photography and observation skills to the test. Their challenge was to take photos of nature from different perspectives. We discussed how looking at the same place from a myriad of different viewpoints can reveal entirely different experiences and how often we can find a much more interesting and inspiring view of things not by going somewhere new but by looking at the familiar in a different way (a good metaphor for life in general).  Students were then free to explore the woodland with them lying on the ground, climbing trees and getting up close with plants, trees and fungi to see things differently.’

Meanwhile, in Science, Year 8 have been investigating the forces involved in flying. Dr. Lefley reports that ‘After learning about the theory of flight, students went on to construct a scale model of a hand glider.  Using moments to ensure the models were correctly balanced, they then went on to test their projects. Many flew on their maiden flight, however a couple didn’t quite make it!

In assemblies this week, Harrogate College came in to speak to Year 10 about the range of pathways open to them post-16 before sharing information about the courses that they have on offer. Years 7 to 9 heard about the World Cup from Mrs. Godsell-Wright whilst also celebrating the wider benefits that playing football brings.

Continuing, of course, have been the Summer exams which, by this time next week, will have been completed with the Year 11 Prom to look forward to. Year 7 are also looking ahead with eager anticipation to their trip to Normandy.

We’ll have lots to tell you about in the coming weeks.

Have a lovely weekend!