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!

Blog: 9th September 2021

It’s been great to welcome students back into school this week following a very successful Summer for Boroughbridge High School. You may have seen the articles on the website sharing the successes of our Year 11 and Year 13 students who are now moving on to a range of destinations including further study, apprenticeships and employment. We also had a Year 6 Summer School which prepared students for the academic year ahead through a range of exciting activities from building a shanty town to creating an animation, baking cookies to making music and developing team building activities with the Fire Service.

We’ve also had a very positive start to the term with students returning with enthusiasm, approaching testing with great maturity and then quickly settling back into lessons and routines. We’ve taken the opportunity in assemblies to revisit our standards and our core commitment to ensuring that everyone in our community is safe, happy and successful.

It’s also been fantastic to welcome our new Year 7 students who are already making a positive contribution to our school community. They’ve been enjoying a wide variety of lessons across the curriculum. In Art, students are creating a Picasso inspired portrait, initially by playing ‘Roll a Picasso’ in which the roll of a dice decides which facial features they will include in their portraits. With safety at the fore, in Food Technology they’ve been developing their skills so that they can cut safely using the bridge and claw methods whilst in Science they’ve been looking at safety in the lab and in particular the hazard symbols that they need to know. Meanwhile in Design Technology, they’ve been challenged to create a graphic logo from their name. Following their first ICT lesson, students can now gain access to the school network and the joys of Google Classroom, whilst also learning about who is on the back of the new £50 note. Over in Humanities, in RE students have begun exploring the question of whether God exists by jumping right in at the deep end, studying the meaning of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s assertion that “God is dead and we have killed him!” whilst in Geography, students are investigating the question ‘What is Geography?’ looking at the different areas and locating popular human and physical features of the UK onto maps. And, if you’d like a weekend reading recommendation, you could join Year 7 in reading Philip Pullman’s exciting story ‘Clockwork’! So with Week 1 completed, there’ll be even more subjects to look forward to next week!

We’re also very pleased to welcome Mrs Gomersal to the Geography Team.

So at the end of a very successful week, have a lovely weekend!


Blog: 23rd July 2021

This week we’ve said farewell to Mrs Hardcastle, Ms Cushen and Miss Mortlock. We thank them for the massive contribution that they’ve made to Boroughbridge High School and wish them well for the future.

And so as we’ve reached the of term, at the end of a challenging year for us all, there’s only one thing left for us to say.


Blog: 16th July 2021

As you’re very much aware, it’s been another challenging week with students being asked to self-isolate whilst others returned to school. Our thoughts are with students and family members who are unwell and we send our best wishes for a speedy recovery. With student wellbeing in mind, Mrs Langford has updated our ‘Emotional and Mental Wellbeing Support’ presentation. You can find it at

Looking forward to happier times, we were delighted last week to ‘meet’ the Year 6 students who will be joining our school community in September. Students and their parents had the opportunity to meet with their Form Tutors and hear more about the transition to Boroughbridge High School. The resources we shared can be found at’re also looking forward to Summer School in four weeks when Year 6 will join us for a week of activities organised and led by Boroughbridge High School staff. Activities will include sporting challenges, team building activities, creative writing, Science experiments, fun with numbers, making your own film and playing instruments. A great way to prepare for secondary education.

So with one week to go to the Summer break, have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 9th July 2021

With the new timetable starting a couple of weeks ago and students in Years 10 and 11 starting their new option subject GCSEs and BTECs, let’s find out what students have been studying in the first two weeks of the course.

As sunflowers start to flower in gardens, GCSE Art and Design students have been involved in a painting masterclass based on the work of Van Gogh. They’ve also been developing their drawing and mark making techniques whilst looking at various artists’ alternative ways of working.

Up in RE, Mr Woodward has had students grappling with the Sikh concept of God as both wholly within every aspect of the universe whilst simultaneously transcending its limitations as well as gaining an understanding of the Sikh aim of achieving liberation from reincarnation through attaining Mukti.

Media Consumption has been the focus in BTEC Creative Media, with students creating a ‘Media Consumption Diary’ recording all of the media they come into contact with, e.g. watching YouTube, reading books, playing on computer games and social media. Mrs Knock says that it was quite a surprise to see how much they can consume in one evening!

GCSE Design Technology students are completing a small-skills based practical to recap how to use the tools and processes in DT. Taking a resourceful stance, they are making a desk tidy out of two materials from the scraps boxes which then have to fit to given parameters. They also carried out some primary research in Boroughbridge to help them to decide which theme to tackle in the NEA tasks.

In GCSE Business, students have been learning about entrepreneurial qualities and the five main legal structures a business can have, from sole traders to Public Limited Companies.

The GCSE Geographers have been studying world cities and urban areas as part of the ‘urban issues’ unit with Mrs Bauwens and with Mrs Hardcastle they have been looking into the natural processes that shape coastal areas as part of the ‘physical landscapes’ unit. Their teachers say that they have made an excellent start to the course and really impressed with their positive attitude and organisation.

GCSE Historians have begun by plotting the rise of Hitler with Mrs Town, looking at conditions in World War I whilst Mr Sellers has taken them back to Tudor England, studying Elizabeth I.

In addition to talking about how they use their mobile phones and whether they get on with their brother, our GCSE Spanish students are brushing up their cooking skills in preparation for a ‘Fiesta’. They will be showcasing their Hispanic specialities in the final week of term.

In BTEC Health and Social Care, students have been learning about human growth and development across the life stages. Mrs Godsell-Wright comments that they have started the course well.

BTEC Performing Arts students have taken full advantage of being back in their base by studying DNA by Dennis Kelly. Already they have cast the play and begun rehearsals taking full advantage of the lighting and staging that is available in the Drama Studio. Mr West said “It is very exciting to see the students being so creative with the set, and working under the stage lights of the studio. We have been without theatre for over a year now, and seeing the students get so involved in the process of bringing a script from page to stage is wonderful.”

Mrs Skilbeck reports that ‘Music began with a boomwhacker-tastic performance of our first set work: Toto’s Africa. Playing the opening Riffs helped us to understand how the intro was put together.  We’ve been composing short pieces using Minor Pentatonic scales like the one David Paich and Jeff Porcaro used in the song.’

As you know, having been very fortunate in recent weeks, our bubble finally burst this week as we’ve had to ask Year 8 and some Key Stage 4 students to self-isolate so learning has been taking place in the classroom and in homes around Boroughbridge. I understand how frustrating this is for parents and students and really appreciate your support with this. We’ll look forward to welcoming students back into school.

There was a buoyant atmosphere in school on Thursday following the Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday. So, with the Final on Sunday along with the Wimbledon Finals, have a lovely weekend!