Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 12th July 2024

Our GCSE Geographers set off on their first fieldtrip of the course to Leeds this week. Mrs. Gomersal reports, ‘The purpose of the trip was to investigate inequalities in housing across Leeds. Tasked with the job of collecting primary data in the form of bi-polar surveys, field sketches and car surveys, come heavy rain or glorious sunshine, all students showed huge motivation and resilience to get the job done! Well done Geographers, a fabulous start to the course. Roll on October when we visit Hornsea.’

With the Summer break only a week away, assemblies this week have focused on Summer safety with Mrs. Godsell-Wright talking with students about how to look after themselves over the Summer break and the importance of keeping active and connected with friends and family. She also focused on how to remain safe online and reminded students of how they can stay safe around water.

On Tuesday evening we experienced an excellent Music concert with performances of an eclectic mix of pieces from Oasis to ELO. Along with soloists Charlotte, Rosey, James, Austin, Larissa and Ruby, the Pop Choir and Keyboard club entertained the audience of parents, carers, staff, governors and students. Technical aspects were taken care of by James and Antonio resulting in an all-round excellent evening!

Some of our students have been away on a military service children residential at Hartington Hall. Last night, Mrs. Murphy reported that ’Everyone has had a really good first day, climbing, abseiling, scrambling and squeezing themselves through gaps in rocks.’ We’ll look forward to hearing what they got up to today.

Staff and students have enjoyed the Great Yorkshire Show today as a reward for their hard work throughout the year. The smiles and conversation as students got off the coaches clearly demonstrated that the trip has been a successful one!

Next week we have Sports Day to look forward to on Tuesday and a reminder that we finish for the Summer break at 1.30p.m. on Friday 19th July.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 5th July 2024

 

The weather was finally kind for a Duke of Edinburgh expedition last weekend as our Year 10 group embarked upon their Bronze qualifying expedition. Students showed remarkable resilience and staff were impressed with their emerging skills and positive attitudes. Our congratulations go to our students and thanks to Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Bauwens, Mr. Lough and Mr. Swain for making the expedition possible.

 

We’ve had a great week welcoming our new Year 7 students to the Boroughbridge High School family. Having spoken with students and their parents and carers on Monday evening, it was lovely to see students return on Wednesday morning for their three Induction Days. Along with getting familiar with the layout of the school, meeting new friends and school staff, they’ve experienced a wide range of lessons and completed many varied activities. The school dinners were also a real hit. Making a guest appearance on Friday for the Sports afternoon were our former Year 11 Sports Leaders. It was a superb afternoon, resulting in an excellent end to three fantastic Induction Days.

We’ve now completed one full cycle of the new timetable with students getting used to new classes, new teachers and, for some, new subjects. This, as ever, will enable us to have a productive end to the Summer Term and a smooth start to the Autumn Term. One addition to our Key Stage 3 curriculum this year is ‘The Child:ReWild project’ led by Mr. Woodward which follows Forest School principles and gives a group of our young people the opportunity to work on a skills-based curriculum for a session each fortnight, learning a range of outdoor skills, getting a practical and first hand understanding of the natural environment whilst also developing resilience. As you can see, the first few sessions are going well!

Our Year 10 students who have been working with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service on the Sustainable Futures Careers project finished their work today by presenting their projects and research to Alexis Percival, Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s Environmental & Sustainability Manager. Mrs. Town and Mrs. Morgan report that ‘The students did a fantastic job and showed great awareness of how different businesses are having to adapt their practices to consider a sustainable future. Presentations included a range of topics from how to engage teenagers with the environment to how to design a green ambulance station of the future.’ Well done to all.

Sports Day was launched this week (and will take place in the final week) with Mr. Field talking to the whole school about the events that are taking place and the importance of participation as well as performance. Having explained how points can be gained from starting and finishing events as well as being placed, form classes are now thinking strategically about who should enter each event.

Thank you very much for your responses to the Parent/Carer questionnaire. We’ve had 115 replies which will enable us to compare with the survey carried out by Ofsted just over a year ago and we’re using your feedback to shape our plans for next year. I’ll give you further details in the final Headteacher’s Update of the year.

The Friends of Boroughbridge High School raised a fantastic £200 at the Boroughbridge Lions Summer Fete last Sunday. Thank you for your support with this.

We have much to look forward to in the coming two weeks. GCSE Geographers will be going on their first field trip of the course to Leeds to look at housing inequalities within the city. Next Tuesday, it’s our Summer Concert at 6p.m. in the Main Hall. All are welcome. Whilst there will be no charge, donations would be appreciated. Then, on Friday, it’s our Rewards Trip to the Great Yorkshire Show. Exciting times! A reminder that school closes at 1.30p.m. on Friday 19th July for the Summer break.

 Have a lovely weekend!

Headteachers Blog – 28th June 2024

It’s been Happy New Year this week as students have all moved up to their new year groups and received their new timetables. They are settling into it very well along with quickly adapting to the new timings of our school day. We now have form time at the beginning of the school day so that we can make sure that students are physically and mentally prepared for learning. Assemblies have been a good opportunity to reinforce standards and routines so that we can build upon the progress already made.

Following the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Expeditions, there was a regrouping on Monday night when students returned to school to give their presentations, watched on by friends, families and staff. Whilst the presentations were very different, both groups demonstrated that it had been a valuable experience, that they’d learnt lots, developed a whole higher level of resilience and, most of all,  had a truly great time! The Bronze group will have their own share of excitement this weekend on their qualifying expedition.

Next week we’re looking forward to welcoming our new Year 7 students for their Induction Days. There has been lots of preparation for this moment with Mrs. Donnelly, Mrs. Town and Mrs. Leeming visiting more than 35 primary schools. We’ll have the opportunity to speak with parents, carers and students on Monday evening before students will visit us for their three Induction Days from Wednesday to Friday. This is always a really exciting time as we welcome new students into our school community, looking forward to seeing the contributions that they will make.

 

 

Thank you for your contributions for the tombola and, in advance, to the Friends of Boroughbridge High School for running it at the Summer Fete on Sunday. We’d love to see you there and, if you’re able to help out for an hour, please e-mail Foboroughbridgehs@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

There’s still time to complete our Parent/Carer survey to give your feedback about your child’s current experience of school. There are 14 multi-choice questions with a further two where you have the opportunity to leave longer comments. Thank you for the responses that we’ve received so far.

We’ve currently got vacancies for General Teaching Assistants. If you’re interested in the role then you can find out more at https://www.boroughbridgehigh.com/vacancies/

A date for your diary! It’s the Summer Concert on Tuesday 9th July at 6p.m. in the Main Hall. All are welcome. Whilst there will be no charge, any donations would be appreciated.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 21st June 2024

Oh what a night! Celebration has been in the air as we’ve reached the end of the GCSE and BTEC exams this week. To mark the end of their time at Boroughbridge High School, in usual tradition, we had the Year 11 Prom at The Bridge Inn last night. An eclectic range of transport was used to arrive and, after recent dubious Summer weather, the sun finally started shining. It was a family event as parents and carers came to see students arrive and many group photos were taken. It was an all-round fantastic evening with everyone thoroughly enjoying spending some quality time together. Our thanks go to our Year 11 students who have made a hugely positive contribution to our school community, playing an important part in our school improvement journey and acting as positive role models to younger students. We wish them every success and will look forward to welcoming them back into school for their results in August.

Year 10 had been showing their commitment earlier in the day by arriving in smart business dress ready for their annual careers networking event. It was a very productive and successful day with Mrs. Town reporting, ‘Yesterday, all year 10 students were involved in our annual careers day where we welcomed 11 local and national employers into school. As they begin to consider their post-16 pathways, students were able to find out about a range of different careers and interview the employers before learning more about the world of work, interview skills and CV writing. The students were a credit to the school and many of the employers commented on how mature their questioning had been. We would like to thank the employers who came in and, in particular, our Enterprise Adviser, Mrs Lorraine Kirbitson for organising this great event.’

Earlier in the week, Year 8 had been putting their Geography skills to the test in a field trip to Whitby. Mrs. Gomersal reports, ‘Year 8 visited sunny Whitby on Wednesday in order to carry out Geography fieldwork. The purpose of the trip was to collect primary data in order to help investigate whether Whitby should be protected against coastal erosion. Students carried out various different data collection methods including a land use map, bi-polar surveys of coastal management and a field-sketch of the striking East Cliff of Whitby. The sun shone and students enthusiastically completed their work in this beautiful coastal location. It was a first trip to Whitby for the Geography department but one that we definitely wish to continue to run, providing the glorious weather can be repeated again next year!  What a treat!’

Ms. Camy reports that the last Science club of the year went out with a bang as students watched the screaming jelly baby experiment.

We also received the certificate this week showing that our students, for their Duke of Edinburgh Award, have spent 221 hours volunteering – an impressive amount!

 

A reminder that there’s a link, in the Headteacher’s Update sent out yesterday, to the Parent/Carer View questionnaire. We’d really appreciate your feedback so that we can evaluate the progress that we’ve made and to inform our planning for next year. Replies by Monday 1st July would be appreciated.

And so we look forward to starting our new academic year and new timetable on Monday (24th).

Have a lovely weekend!

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!