Blog: 10th January 2020

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break and best wishes for a happy and fulfilling 2020. New starts and resolutions have been the focus of assembles this week with Mr Grierson asking students to make the most of the 55 school days leading up to the Easter break. With the majority of New Year’s resolutions discarded by 12th January, students were invited to think about something manageable that they could change that would make a difference to them in the coming weeks. They’ve written this in their planner and we’ll see how they get on.

In Year 11 Assembly this morning, we zoomed forward to Thursday August 20th when students will receive their GCSE/BTEC results. Students were given an envelope and inside was a certificate showing the grades that they will receive if they get the same grades as for their Progress exams. Whether students were delighted or dismayed (more of the former than the latter!), they now have the feedback that they need to secure success in the Summer. Year 10 also received their results as they’ll be sitting two of their Option subjects in the Summer.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you and Year 11 students to the Sixth Form Information Evening on Wednesday from 6.30pm to 8pm where you can find out more about our Post-16 offer. As you’re aware, we collaborate with King James’s School in Knaresborough at Post-16 which enables us to give students the advantages of being in a small Sixth Form whilst providing the opportunities of being within a larger collaboration. You can also pick up a copy of the Prospectus on the evening but if you’d like to have a look in advance then you can click on the link on the front page of our website.

Year 13 have a busy weekend and week ahead too with Progress exams for them beginning on Monday.

Moved by the plight of animals affected by the Australian bushfires, Year 8 students decided to help by holding a bake sale at break and lunch today, raising an impressive total of more than £130 for WIRES, the Australian wildlife rescue organisation. Well done.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 20th December 2019

It’s been a week of celebration at Boroughbridge High School beginning with the Year 12 Rewards trip to Tenpin Castleford on Monday. Teams of five were formed and the competition began. As you can see, a good time was had by all and it was a great way for students to celebrate their successful first term as Sixth Form students.

Sausage sandwiches and pains au chocolat were on the menu for the Rewards breakfasts on Tuesday and Friday. More than two hundred students across the year groups with top rewards points were invited to enjoy their breakfast together in the Library, before moving on to their lessons.

On Wednesday afternoon when the temperatures were sub-zero and mist was in evidence, Years 7 and 8 and their teachers, walked down to St. James’s Church in Boroughbridge for our annual carol service. We were warmly welcomed by Reader, Mr Moss who led the service. We sang traditional carols and heard confident readers from across Years 7 and 8 tell the Christmas story. There were also performances from Tutti Flutti and the a capella group. We finished with a group version of ‘We Wish you a Merry Christmas’ before making our way back to school. Thanks to Mrs Skilbeck and Mrs Godsell-Wright for organising the event.

A further festive treat followed on Wednesday evening with the performance of ‘Disorder in Court’. We knew it was going to be a quality event when, as a prequel, the audience were taught an a capella version of ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. There was laughter throughout as a cast from across Years 7 to 9 put Goldilocks and The Big Bad Wolf on trial! All was resolved by the end but not before we’d sung ‘I will survive’ and ‘Day Dream Believer’ followed by our now practised version of ‘Don’t worry, Be happy’. Our congratulations go to the cast and our thanks to Mr West.

We were delighted to welcome past and present students, parents, governors and representatives from the local community to our annual Awards Evening on Thursday. Head students Ruby and Bertie gave the official welcome before Bertie expertly performed ‘Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ on the keyboard. The scene was set for my Headteacher review of the year before I introduced our guest speaker Jenni Kirkwood. Using her experience of being a Dru yoga and meditation teacher and massage therapist, she shared with us the value of reflection, face to face communication and seeing challenges as opportunities. I’m sure that we’ll all continue to reflect on the key messages shared in the coming weeks. Certificates and trophies were then awarded to many students whilst their families and teachers looked on proudly. A true celebration of success.

You may have heard of the competition which has captivated the imagination of many staff and students over the past week – the annual form Christmas Door competition. The competition reached a crescendo this morning as students anticipated the declaration of the winner in the whole school assembly.

Our whole school assembly is such a positive way to end the term with all students in one space reflecting on the past year, achievements and successes. We relived the year with a photo presentation, celebrated students who’d achieved top Rewards points and stamps, and students with excellent attendance, whilst also hearing some excellent musical performances. Student applause determined three winners of the Christmas door competition, 9AC, 9AS and 10GE. You can see why they won!

So, as 2019 draws to a close, we have much to celebrate at Boroughbridge High School and we’re looking forward to the opportunities that 2020 brings. Thank you, as ever, for your ongoing support.  I hope that you and your families have a restful and peaceful Christmas and I look forward to working with you in 2020.


Blog: 13th December 2019

Sporting success this week has included victory for the Year 7 boys’ basketball team and the Year 10 and 11 girls’ football team who secured a shining 6-1 score on an otherwise cold, dark and wet Winter’s afternoon.

On Wednesday, with the usual traditional Christmas songs playing, the Dining Hall was a sea of party hats and crackers as students enjoyed their Christmas lunch. Thanks to our catering team for making it all happen and it was nice to see an occasional party hat creeping into an afternoon lesson.

Thursday night brought an impressive Christmas Cracker Concert with parents, students, staff and governors entertained by an eclectic mix of high-quality performances. The newly formed Swing Band, led by Bertie (Year 12), opened the concert before performances from Elastica, Constantly Vocal, Tutti Flutti (no prizes for guessing the instruments played there) and the Year 9 band. We heard confident individual performances from Rose (Year 8), Toby (Year 9) and Ellie (Year 9) all of whom have either just passed or are about to sit their Royal School of Music exams. Vocal soloists included Aimee (Year 13) with Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’, Emma (Year 9) who sang whilst playing the ukulele before Aimee and Eliza duetted the Lady Gaga track ‘Shallow’. Bertie sang whilst playing the keyboard and Ewan’s (Year 12) instrument of choice was the guitar. Keeping all technical aspects on track was Sam (Year 9). It was a superb evening brought to a crescendo through a competitive rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Well done team and big thanks to Mrs Skilbeck.

Events for next week include the Christmas Drama Show, 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th and we’re looking forward to welcoming back many students for Awards Evening on Thursday 19th. Our school week and term will end with a whole school assembly on Friday morning. Friday is also our Christmas Jumper non-uniform day when we’ll be raising funds for ‘Save the Children’. A reminder that we close at 1.30pm on Friday 20th for the Christmas break.

You may have seen the sad news about the death of David Bellamy earlier in the week. For those of us growing up in the 70s and 80s, his was a familiar face on TV, enthusiastically sharing his passion for the natural world. What you may not know is that his legacy for conservation will live on at Boroughbridge High School in the form of our wildlife area which he opened in the early 90s.

Have a lovely weekend and if you’re still doing that last-minute Christmas shopping then please sign up to amazon smile at which will generate funds for BHS.

Blog: 6th December 2019

A huge thanks to everyone for your support with the Christmas Fair, both in your generous donations and in getting involved on the day. We also had great support from many local businesses, listed at the bottom of the blog. We raised a massive £1116.05 which will be spent on learning resources to directly benefit all students within school.

On Wednesday, students in Years 10 and 11 finally came to the end of their Progress exams. Much marking is now taking place and students have the results to look forward to over the coming weeks.

Thanks to Year 13 parents for attending Parents’ Evening on Wednesday. Possible futures formed part of the conversations with students, parents and teachers discussing university offers and apprenticeships. Shortly after, on a crisp winter’s evening, students from across the year groups were performing Christmas songs in town as part of the Boroughbridge late night shopping event.

On Thursday, we were very happy to welcome Swinefleet Primary School, appropriately dressed in pyjamas, for lunch before they continued on to Wensleydale for a Polar Express experience.

Our own festive activities over the next couple of weeks include the Christmas Cracker Concert from 6.30-8.30pm on Thursday 12th December, the Christmas Drama Show from 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th December and Awards Evening on Thursday 19th December at 7pm.

Students will also have the pleasure of Christmas Dinner next Wednesday (11th December).

Have a lovely weekend!

 We’d like to thank the following businesses for their Christmas Fair contributions; GSPK, Allerton Waste Amey, Morrisons, Newby Hall, Johnsons of Whixley, Fountains Abbey, Urban Hair, Lizzie Cane, Janey Sharp Beauty, Watkins-Wright, Boroughbridge Post Office, Bloomerang, Fink, Gilchrists, Wardrobe, Shahi Raj Tandoori, Minskip Farm Shop, Renaissance Hair and Beauty, The Beauty Shop, Issima, Bowe and Co., Plenty, Black Sheep Brewery and Hambleton Brewery.

‘Squeaky pop’ was the sound coming from Year 7 Science classrooms at the beginning of the week as our young scientists explored the technique used to test for the presence of hydrogen, which is both colourless and odourless. When you have hydrogen gas trapped in a container, you can place a lit splint near it to make the characteristic ‘squeaky pop’ sound as it reacts with the flame. Later in the week the Year 7 scientists were grappling with word equations.

In Art, following on from portraits earlier in the year, Year 7 artists were working on their Jackson Pollock pieces with paint being strategically splattered. The next topic in the Art curriculum will find students exploring the work of Georgia O’Keeffe and designing their own flower in a similar style.

On a religious theme, Year 7 Historians were looking at Medieval religion and using their independent research and analytical skills to explore a range of enquiry questions. Down the corridor in RE, having been inspired by a Frank Turner rock anthem, students were exploring the question ‘Would the world be better without religion?’. Differing opinions promoted lively debate.

Fast forward a few years and Progress Exams are now well underway for students in Years 10 and 11. The good news is that by this time next week they will all be over. The timing of these exams is to ensure that students have time to reflect on what went well and what they need to do to improve before having a well earned break over the Christmas holidays. Teachers use these exams to inform their teaching and plan interventions to ensure that students develop their understanding and skills in the months leading up to the Summer exams.

Events next week include Year 13 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday and, on the same evening in town for late night shopping, there will be musical performances from BHS students from 5.30pm onwards. Other dates for your diary include the Christmas Cracker Concert from 6.30-8.30pm on Thursday 12th December, the Christmas Drama Show from 6.30pm on Wednesday 18th December and Awards Evening on Thursday 19th December at 7pm.

It’s our Christmas Fair tomorrow from 10am to midday. Along with many Christmas stalls, there will also be the opportunity to win impressive raffle prizes including an iPad mini, a bay tree donated by Johnsons of Whixley, a Black Sheep brewery tour, designer handbags and much more. Thank you for the many parental contributions that we’ve received for hampers. You can see a selection of hamper prizes below.


I look forward to seeing many of you at the Christmas Fair and have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 22nd November 2019

Last week ended with an impressive performance by the Year 10/11 Girls’ Football team. At half time it was all level both in score 2-2, and in team performance. Then in the second half, following a motivational talk and refreshments, the girls came out fighting and secured an overall 6-2 victory with Teigan scoring 4 goals and Phoebe and Faith one each. Well done indeed! Further success was apparent in netball on Monday with Year 7 remaining unbeaten and Year 10 girls losing the first part before winning the second part.

Thanks to Year 8 parents for attending Parents’ Evening on Wednesday and for your feedback. A summary of the questionnaire feedback will be published on the Parent section of the website next week.

Conscious that Years 10 and Year 11 are revising hard in anticipation of their Progress Exams, we had a Wellbeing morning on Thursday. Students were invited to try a new skill or hobby to develop strategies for dealing with times of pressure along with the opportunity to support the wellbeing of others. There were students involved in Christmas Crafting and textiles, Art Therapy, felting, baking for Christmas and making Music.

Mr Woodward and Mr Collings were looking at how to stay fit for positive mental health and Mr Woodward’s report of the morning is as follows,

‘We all know that running benefits our physical health, but the benefits to our mental health are sometimes overlooked. Year 10 and 11 found out how neuroscience has shown links between running and increased brain capacity, levels of concentration, focus and feelings of well-being through the release of endorphins and endocannabinoids. Having discussed the benefits of distance running in developing a resilient state of mind which keeps going despite difficulty, we put this knowledge into practice and went for a 12km run around the local fields, paths and tracks. The route was muddy. Really muddy. However, spirits only heightened as the mud and exhaustion levels rose, further proving the point the distance running in a natural environment in good for both the body and the mind: a vital lesson to be remembered by our GCSE students as the approach they progress exams next week and the “real thing” in just a matter of months.’

Over at Morrisons, twenty-five students participated in a Bag Pack raising £230! Students have decided to donate across four Christmas projects; Harrogate homeless project, Crisis, The Salvation Army and Boroughbridge Lions. As the first group were leaving Morrisons, Year 12 were arriving to complete their bag pack raising a further £100 to add to the total and be divided across the chosen charities. Our thanks go to Morrisons for letting us complete the Bag Pack and for their generous donation of food for hampers. Students created the hampers for distribution in the local area and to local foodbanks whilst also taking the time to write cards for Boroughbridge Manor Care Home.

So, a successful wellbeing morning all round!

This Saturday (23rd), some of students will be performing at the Christmas Gift and Food Fair in Ripon Cathedral between 3.20pm and 4pm and next Saturday (30th) it’s our School Christmas Fair from 10am-12noon where you’ll be able to buy raffle tickets for the chance to win an iPad mini, a family pass to Fountains Abbey, vouchers from many local businesses, luxury hampers and much more. Thanks to those who’ve already contributed prizes. It’s not too late to get involved. We’d be very happy to receive further raffle or tombola prizes, money tree contributions or items for the hampers.

A final reminder that Wednesday (27th) is a Professional Development Day when school is not open to students.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 15th November 2019

Following on from the annual Service Children’s Remembrance Service at Ripon Cathedral on Friday where Deborah had the honour of being the standard bearer for the Royal British Legion’s Military Kids Club, on Sunday, Bertie and Ruby represented the school at the Remembrance Service before laying the wreath at the war memorial. On such an important occasion it was lovely to see how many Boroughbridge High School students are actively involved in community groups.

Whilst we were observing the two minutes’ silence at school on Monday, the Year 10 History Club were doing the same at the Green Howards Museum in Richmond. Having made a poster about Archie White, who was awarded the Victoria Cross Medal during the First World War, they were invited to spend the two minutes silence with students from other local secondary schools and members of the Armed Forces. They were then presented with a banner of their poster which we will display in school. You can see it behind the students in the photo.

Results from last week’s cross country, Harrogate and Craven area, show that we’ve made a pleasing start with Year 7 girls coming 9th out of 16, with Martha taking 5th place. Meanwhile Year 7 boys came 10th out of 16 with Year 8 coming 8th out of 16. We’ll look forward to the next event.

As progress exams are rapidly approaching (25th November to 6th December), Years 10 and 11 have had assembly input on revision along with their own personal copy of their exam timetable. You can see the timetable on the website at

Thinking even further ahead, Year 11 have been visiting the Sixth Form during tutor time to speak to Year 12 about their experience of moving into Post-16 education and to pick up some advice about being successful at GCSE. Year 12 are in a good position to advise, of course, having secured an ‘above average’ Progress 8 score last year themselves. See A date for your diary – our Sixth Form Open Evening will be on Wednesday 15th January 2020, 6.30-8pm.

We’ve been doing our bit for Children in Need over the last week or so with activities organised by our Student Leaders which include a Dodgeball tournament and cake competition, ending with our non-uniform day today. We’ve raised £386.26, so far.

Thank to those parents who came to the Parents’ Forum. Your feedback, as ever, is welcomed. Events next week include Year 8 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday (20th) and some of our students will be performing at the Christmas Gift and Food Fair in Ripon Cathedral on Saturday 23rd November. Following the Year 7 Parents’ Evening a couple of weeks ago, you can see the full feedback from Year 7 Parents’ Evening at:

Finally, a further reminder that Wednesday 27th November is a Professional Development Day when school is not open for students.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 8th November 2019

I hope you had a lovely half term break. As we returned, our thoughts were moving towards our Christmas Fair on Saturday 30th November. You’ll have received a letter asking for hamper prizes and if you’d like to get involved on the day, then please e-mail

Remembrance Day has been the focus of assemblies this week and we’ve been very privileged to welcome a wide range of people who have served or are currently serving in the Forces. With input about WWII and, in particular, D-Day, students have developed their knowledge along with an appreciation of the sacrifices which have been made by many.

Along with more than 500 other children, this morning eleven students from across Years 7 to 9 represented the school at the annual Service Children’s Remembrance Service at Ripon Cathedral. Deborah (Year 9) was the standard bearer for the Royal British Legion’s Military Kids Club. On Sunday, Head Students Ruby and Bertie will be accompanying me to the Remembrance Service at St. James’ before laying a wreath at the War Memorial. It’s a privilege for us to participate in these events in our community.

Sports Awards Evening on Thursday gave us the opportunity to celebrate the sporting achievements of our young people and acknowledge the commitment and attitude that it takes to excel in sport. Our thanks also go to parents for their support. Hosting the evening was Mr. Collings and presenting awards was ex-student, Pete Bielby, who secured his own sporting success in powerlifting. Our congratulations go to the many students who were presented with awards.

Parent Forum next Thursday (14th) from 6-7pm will focus on attendance. Please e-mail if you’d like to attend. Other upcoming events include Non-Uniform Day on Friday (15th) when we’ll be raising money for Children-in-Need. Finally, a reminder that Wednesday 27th November is a Professional Development Day so school will not be open to students.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 25th October 2019

Our congratulations go to Henry, Izzy, Lucie, Phoebe and Theo who completed their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Qualifying Expedition last weekend. Dealing with changeable weather, they worked brilliantly as a team to follow their planned route exploring the Nidderdale AONB. Their Assessor commented on how impressive they were in their kit choices, campcraft at How Stean Gorge and keeping group spirits high throughout. The group were also sought out for guidance overnight by another school’s Bronze team!

On Wednesday evening we welcomed Year 7 and their parents to the Meet the Tutor evening. We’re delighted with the way in which Year 7 have settled into our school community and with the difference that they’re already making. It seems that parents think this too with 100 % of parents agreeing that their child has settled in well. (With 79% strongly agreeing!)

In sporting news, the week began with two netball matches. The Year 7 team, who are being coached by Hannah in Year 12, secured their second victory with an 8-2 score. Meanwhile Year 10, whilst not victorious, had an excellent match with a final score of 3-10. Year 9 footballers were back on the pitch on Thursday afternoon, securing a 5-0 victory. Still got it!

As the sun rose through the mist on Thursday morning, Year 10 and 11 Geographers were setting off for a day of coastal excitement at Hornsea. They measured, recorded, theorised and developed their fieldwork skills with enthusiasm. There were also stories of a seagull rescue but I suspect this may be a fieldwork myth!

Showing their support for others, last Friday Ellie and Lily (Year 11) had a cake sale, making everything themselves, to raise money for Leeds Mind charity. This week, the Sixth Form have taken up this challenge by organising a Cake Break Friday for staff and Sixth Form as part of their strategy to raise money for the Ripon and Knaresborough food banks and homeless shelter with support from the local Lions Charity and Social Services. At lunchtime today Abi, Rachel and Rhianna had their cake sale to raise money for the Marine Conservation Society.

And so, as this half term comes to end, I’d like to thank you for your ongoing support. Have a lovely half term break.

Blog: 18th October 2019

It’s been a week of celebration at Boroughbridge High School. Our week began with the count following the voting for our student leaders. I’m delighted to report that appointed to the position of Head students were Todd, Ruby and Bertie with Deputy Head Students, Emma, Harvey and Kirsten. We’re looking forward to seeing just what they can achieve in the coming months. The first opportunity for them to put their leadership skills into action came almost immediately at our Open Evening on Wednesday.

As the doors opened for the event, there were more than 100 student volunteers in position across the departments to show and share the learning that takes place at Boroughbridge High School. Newly appointed prefects were ready to take Year 5 and 6 students and their parents on their tours whilst, in the Hall, Year 7 and Year 12 students were ready to share their experiences as part of the Headteacher Introductory talks. Ruby and Harvey, both in Year 12, confidently talked about the wide ranging experiences that they’ve had during their five years at Boroughbridge High School, along with high quality teaching and incredible support. They were then followed by Year 7 students, Callie, Flo and Nathan who talked with clarity and enthusiasm about the smooth transition that they’ve made 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 get involved in a wide range of activities from making and tasting pancakes in Food Tech to creative writing in English, from setting fire to bubbles in Science to experiencing a rehearsal in Drama. School dinners were sampled and students searched for clues for the Maths trail. A good time was had by all and it was fantastic to see current and future students working together.

Still full of enthusiasm from the Open Evening, Thursday morning marked the point when the DfE released the provisional Progress 8 scores for schools. Progress 8 aims to capture the progress a student makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school. It is a type of value-added measure, which means that pupils’ results are compared to the actual achievements of other pupils with similar prior attainment. Our congratulations go to our Year 11 students of 2019, staff and governors who secured an ‘above average’ P8 score of 0.27 (against a national average of -0.03 and a North Yorkshire average of 0.1) thereby proving statistically that students at Boroughbridge High School make excellent progress and secure excellent results. Go to if you’d like to explore the data further.

Events next week include the Year 7 ‘Meet the Tutor’ evening on Wednesday from 4pm when Year 7 parents will have the opportunity to discuss how well their child has settled in. Then there’s a Parent Information Evening about the Duke of Edinburgh Award for parents of students in Years 9 and 10 on Thursday (24th October) at 6pm.

Finally, if you’re a Year 6 parent, reading the Blog for the first time, then welcome! We’re looking forward to working with you and your child in the future.

Have a lovely weekend.