Blog: 7th May 2021

With the phrase ‘unprecedented times’ being well used over the last fourteen months, much has been asked of our young people. Recognising this, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza has launched ‘The Big Ask’, the first stage in the Childhood Commission, a once in a generation review of the future of childhood. The aim is to gather children’s views and priorities for the future, so that the Government can take them into account as they plan how to rebuild after the pandemic. ‘The Big Ask’ aims to find out what children’s concerns and aspirations about the future are. We’re very keen for the students at Boroughbridge High School to have their say so, following an assembly, they are being given the opportunity to complete the survey in ICT lessons. The views of parents are also being sought. To access the survey go to

We’ve been delighted to secure the National Citizen Service at Boroughbridge High School for our Year 11 students for two weeks in June. As part of the Government scheme, Harrogate Town AFC Community Foundation will be leading the programme which incorporates a number of themes including adventure and outdoor pursuits activities, enterprise and the world of work, living independently, wellbeing workshops and political engagement. Students will also have the opportunity to carry out a social action project to help our local community. Students are currently signing up with Mrs Godsell-Wright and you can find out more at

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that we were delighted to have been awarded the Music Mark. You can read the full article about how we’ve approached Music during the pandemic at the following link.

Finally, today has been the much anticipated moment when the hoodies for Year 11 have arrived. Black blazers have been replaced by a sea of brightly coloured hoodies. Happy times!

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 30th April 2021

As students in Years 10, 11 and 13 work their way through their in-class assessment timetables, we’re being impressed on a daily basis by their approach to their final few weeks. Thank you for your support.

We thought that you’d like to see some of the Year 8 Art work that is currently underway. Students are completing their jointed puppets designs based on the work of artist Clare Youngs. They have experimented with a mixed media approach using a range of materials whilst focusing on animals and birds, as you can see.

If you’re a fan of The Yorkshire Vet, then watch out for Noah in Tuesday’s programme at 8pm. on Channel 5. Noah left Boroughbridge High School Sixth Form in 2020 and we’re delighted to hear that he’s had a great first year at Liverpool University studying Veterinary Science.

A couple of dates for your diary. Our final two Professional Days of this academic year are on Wednesday 26th May and Monday 5th July. (Please note that this was originally scheduled for the following week.) Students are not required to attend school on these days.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend!

With the sun in the sky and the blossom buds bursting, our Key Stage 3 students have been benefiting from practical learning.

The fine weather has seen the welcome return of practical Drama lessons, with outdoor distanced work on the field next to the Drama Studio. Year 7 and 8 students have had the chance to put their lockdown theory into practice exploring the characters from Italian Theatre ‘Commedia Dell’Arte’, whilst Year 9 students have been studying how to bring in tension and suspense to some scary Drama scenes, before embracing their inner Scorsese by producing their own Thriller film trailer.

In PE, team games have been at the fore with all Key Stage 3 groups getting involved in games missed due to the Winter lockdown. Year 7 have been playing rugby and football, Year 8, Handball and Football and Year 9 exploring the sport of Lacrosse and developing their skills in football. Mr Field said, ‘The year groups have impressed with their ability to transfer skills and understanding from other team games to the activities they are studying now.  I’m not sure if the pupils are solar powered but they have put some great effort into the activities since the Easter break.’

Developing their practical skills inside, in Science Year 7 have been finding out how much oxygen is in the air by burning candles and measuring the amount of oxygen used. Meanwhile, Year 8 have been trying to establish which, of their samples of rock salt, has the most sodium chloride in it.

In ICT, Year 8 have been exploring animation software, in particular, stop-motion animation. They have experimented with ‘cut-out’ animation this week.

Y7 have been developing their spreadsheet skills using Microsoft Excel. This week they discovered how to format a spreadsheet to make it easier to read, some even completed the ‘conditional formatting’ challenge.

In Design Technology, Year 7 are making their Blockhead in wood, with Year 8 completing their LED lights and Year 9 developing their drawing. Meanwhile, down in Food Technology, Year 7 have been making crumble, Year 8 potato skins and jam tarts and Year 9 deluxe sausage rolls!

Year 7 have been doing some on site Geography fieldwork, collecting data to explore the microclimate of Boroughbridge High School.

Looking to the future, and considering our school environment, Ms Cushen and her Year 7 and 8 English groups have been developing their persuasive English techniques by coming up with solutions to problems created by climate change both now and in the future. Ms Cushen said ‘Year 7’s have been working in virtual groups, which resulted in presentations to the class. They were brilliant, especially as they all worked after school to get it done.’ Year 8’s will be presenting their work next week.

In Art and Design Year 9 have been using the photorealistic work of artist Sarah Graham as their inspiration for some coloured pencil pieces based on Chupa Chups lollies. (Other lollies are available!)

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 16th April 2021 – Music to our ears!

We’re delighted that Boroughbridge High School has been successfully nominated to receive the Music Mark. We were recognised for our efforts to facilitate instrumental lessons during lockdown, and for keeping as much practical music as possible in our curriculum, despite the restrictions of a Covid safe school. Our congratulations go to Mrs Skilbeck who reports,

Our students have been keeping busy since the pandemic began and both in and out of school they have continued learning via Skype, Zoom and Google Meet. Our Drama Department made space for socially distanced lessons with taped out areas around keyboards, drum kits and guitar amps for students and teachers to safely carry on with their music, and we have even been able to offer lessons to new students.  Our peripatetic teachers have adapted to online lessons without breaking stride and kept the music playing.

 I recently surveyed the staff and students to see how they had been getting on with music throughout the lockdown and the responses included passing instrumental and singing exams from grade 3 to grade 8; singing in online choirs and recordings; family bands; and playing ukuleles, keyboards, pianos, guitars, violins, cello, trumpet and drum kits of both electronic and noisy varieties.  

 The sixth form legends that are Bertie and Ewan have also been busy writing songs and have both released their music on Spotify during lockdown, clocking up followers at a rate of knots. Bertie’s band have also managed to sneak a few busking sessions in between lockdowns and made a record amount entertaining York locals and bringing a bit of joy to the streets – perhaps you saw them?’

Before the Easter break, you will have received the information about the Relationships and Sex Education Parental Consultation. If you wish to respond and haven’t already, then please do so by Friday 23rd April and e-mail if you would like us to resend it.

Finally, we were all saddened by the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh and appreciate the opportunities that the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has brought to the students of Boroughbridge High School over the years.


Have a lovely weekend.

Deep thinking has been the focus in RE for Year 9 students where they’ve been learning about S. Mill’s Harm Principle which is a philosophical theory that is normally covered at A-Level, along with the psychological concept of compartmentalisation. Mr Woodward has been incredibly impressed with their approach as they’ve demonstrated excellent skills, producing some detailed explanations, and applied these ideas in lessons.

Meanwhile, in Year 7 Science lessons, students have been studying Reproduction and carried out a practical experiment using a beaker, egg and fluid to emulate how the amniotic fluid protects a baby in the womb.

Using the school site to its full potential, Mr Grierson’s Travel and Tourism BTEC group visited the school wildlife area to think about the sorts of things that need to be considered when opening a tourist attraction including access, management and marketing.

Poetry has been the focus in Year 8 English lessons where students have been writing poems to enter in the Miller Home competition open to all local schools. The challenge was to write individual poems with a focus on what makes living in Boroughbridge special. Having written their poems, students shared them and then began their own judging to establish their favourites. Mrs Macadam was hugely impressed by the enthusiasm of students and the creativity that they displayed. In the top three were Year 8 students, Lily, Joseph and Kaela.

We were absolutely delighted to hear on Wednesday that Kaela had won first prize. Well done indeed! You can see her being presented with her chocolate hamper and here are the first six lines of her winning poem.

Twelve years ago I was brought into this world

          where flowers bloomed without fail and

          all leaves fell every autumn.


          I grew up near the Devil’s arrows.

          Where my mum would sing to me of the stones

          “Thrice to thine, thrice to mine, thrice again to make it nine!’   


To read the rest of her poem and the other two in the top three, look at the News section of the website.

A year on from the first day of lockdown, on Tuesday at midday the school fell silent to think about those who have died or been badly affected by Covid-19. It was important for us to share this moment as a school community.

So as this unprecedented Spring Term draws to a close all that remains is for me, on behalf of all at Boroughbridge High School, to wish you and your families a very happy Easter break.

Blog: 19th March 2021

The move to Home Lateral Flow testing is on its way with students completing their final in school tests over the next few days. Not only have we had staff team members taking on new roles to make this process run smoothly but we’ve also had a number of volunteers from the local community whose time and support have been much appreciated.

As the weather has taken a turn for the better, students have been able to use the grassed areas in their zoned outside spaces during breaks and lunch times. Sharing an appreciation of the great outdoors herself is former student Cora Herbert who, in her final year at Newcastle University studying Politics and History, is featured in the current National Trust magazine. You can read more in the news section of the website.

With as many as 1 in 5 children and young people across the UK being young carers, virtual assembly this week marked Young Carers Action Day on 16th March. It focused on the support that young people give to the people that they care for along with how organisations such as Harrogate, Craven and Selby Young Carers can support them as carers. You can find out more at

Look out for the information about the parental consultation on ‘Relationships and Sex Education’. We’d appreciate your feedback.

It’s hard to believe that the first Red Nose Day was in 1988 and so, 33 years later, our non-uniform day today raised £417 for Comic Relief. Thank you for your support.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 12th March 2021

It’s been so lovely to have everyone back in school this week. Whilst there were feelings of excitement and nervousness in equal measure at the start of the week (for staff as well as students!), we’ve very quickly settled back into our school routines. Our children have been absolutely fantastic and their excellent behaviour and attitude on their return has enabled us to carry out the lateral flow testing quickly and efficiently. They’ve also been very organised with bringing and wearing face coverings. This wouldn’t have happened without your support so thanks to you too. I’m also hoping that, for the majority of you, as the week has drawn on you’ve reclaimed the dining tables, desks and devices that have been used over the last few months for Remote Learning.

With face to face teaching and learning well underway, Year 9 have been considering their subject options for GCSE. Having personalised their curriculum at the end of Year 8, they now have the opportunity to choose the four subjects which they would like to study over the next two years, with two being completed in Year 10 and two in Year 11 as part of our Stage not Age curriculum. So, to inform their choices, they’ve had taster sessions from each of the subjects. Year 8 will be finding out about their mini-options for their Year 9 studies next week.

Something for us all to look forward to next Friday (19th) is Red Nose day when we’ll be having a non-uniform day to raise money for Comic Relief. You can make a donation (minimum £1) through Parent Mail.

So, all in all it’s been a good week and, as you can see, we found our own particular pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 5th March 2021

At last it’s almost here, the week when we can welcome back all of our students. Preparations have been taking place for weeks with the test centre being created in the Library, deep cleaning across the school and maintenance both inside and out. And it would seem that, not only is the building ready for students, but also the outside environment. The snow now seems like a distant memory and, with the arrival of meteorological spring, the daffodils are getting ready to burst open.

Over on the far side of the site, the first part of the restoration of the wildlife area has now been completed and, as you can see, it’s looking very impressive. The overgrowth has been cleared to make room for one of the largest bug hotels of all time and we’re looking forward to the Summer when students will be able to use the dry-stone trough for pond dipping. Daffodils planted by Workskills groups in years gone by are almost ready to flower and are surrounded by newly planted saplings.

Our thanks for the funding for the restoration go to The Two Ridings Community Foundation and Allerton Park Landscape and Heritage Fund and to Mrs Hutchinson for securing the funding.

Along with preparations at school, I’m sure that preparations have also been taking place at home with children trying to find their uniform, school bag and planner!

Have a lovely weekend and we’ll look forward to welcoming students back next week.

Blog: 26th February 2021

We’re delighted that we’ll soon be able to welcome students back in to school so, as we move into the penultimate week of remote learning, let’s see what learning has been happening in homes around the county along with classrooms in school.

Starting with Key Stage 3 and, on a musical theme, Year 7 took a break from beat box ‘zipping’ and learnt to read pitch notation, testing what they could remember in a massive Kahoot quiz. Keeping active, in PE they took part in a Zumba session. Aristotle and Virtue Ethics was the focus in RE where this week they asked the question, ‘Is Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) a good role model for today? The overwhelming answer was “Yes”. The question being answered in Maths was ‘What is a fraction?’ Live lessons in DT had students looking at smart materials and in English, Year 7 were starting to study the adventure genre and writing stories based around a fictional construct. In celebration of International Mother Language Day on Sunday 21st February, in MFL, students are learning all about the world’s minority, endangered and extinct languages. They had a go at practising greetings and numbers in Ugandan.

Year 8 Geographers, following the theme of creative coasts, have produced some amazing work creating coastal features using a medium of their choice. These have ranged from wooden caves, arches, stacks and stumps to models of spits and animations to show the formation of landforms.

In Art and Design, Year 8 have been focusing on mindfulness by creating a variety of patterns that will adorn their jointed animal puppets. In RE, Y8 (and Year 9) have been exploring Human Rights and the role and uses of wealth from secular and Buddhist perspectives. Meanwhile in Maths, they’ve been finding treasures on a coordinate grid and moving on to plotting linear graphs. In English students are learning about people with big ideas and how they convey those through great persuasive writing and speaking.

Years 8 and 9, in MFL this week, have been enjoying some off-screen time and embarking on a European Food Challenge. Here’s the first entry of chocolate eclairs from Olivia in Year 8.

Looking at food from a different angle, in Art, students have been looking at photorealistic artist Sarah Graham and have been producing some artist responses. In MFL, before half-term, the Year 9’s did a nature walk in French and Spanish and took some amazing pictures on their travels. Have a look at Abi’s.

Year 9 Spaniards also showed off their creative side by writing Love poems for their Valentine loves.  In Maths, students have been looking at number properties with a particular focus on the highest common factor and lowest common multiple in problem solving before moving on to index laws. And, if you fancy some weekend reading, perhaps you’d like to join Year 9 who, in English, are reading S.E. Hinton’s novel, The Outsiders.

At Key Stage 4, it’s coursework all the way for Health and Social care students where they are completing Component 2, demonstrating care values and also, in Food Preparation where students are putting the finishing touches to their coursework. In GCSE Art and Design, students have been bringing together their project based on Disguise and, having completed their design ideas are now experimenting with biro mark making. In GCSE RE, students have been evaluating the extent to which sexism has been eradicated from modern British society and the morality of divorce from Christian and secular perspectives whilst in Core RE, Year 10 students have been developing an understanding of Buddhist perspectives in relation to religious freedom in a multi-faith society.

In other core subjects, Mathematicians in Year 11 have been working with scatter graphs and frequency polygons and how they are used in real life to predict trends and inform business choices whilst other students are looking at standard index form, converting numbers and using standard index form numbers in calculations. Year 10 have been drawing straight line graphs from a table of values. In English, Year 10 have been learning about how writers convey a message or arguments whilst Year 11 are revising ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’! Year 11 Scientists have been learning about Fleming’s left-hand rule and the right-hand grip rule when using motors.

Of great current relevance, in Year 12 CEFS, students have been looking at financial planning and informed choices. Year 12 Psychologists have been learning about conducting experiments in Psychology and have begun planning their own. Historians in Year 12 have been Britain studying the Liberal Reforms from 1906-1914 along with looking at literary works that were on the Catholic Index. Year 12 Geographers have started a new topic about Ecosystems under Stress which will include looking at how ecosystems function and their relationship to human activities.

Year 13 Mathematicians have been using numerical methods to solve equations whilst Year 13 Biologists have been looking at receptors and reflex arcs which will lead into homeostasis of internal systems along with genetics including codominance and epistasis. In Psychology, students have been revisiting research methods whilst in English Literature students have been analysing key characters in Hamlet. Year 13 Geographers have just finished looking at the importance of water to life and, this week, have started to look at the significance of carbon stores at a variety of scales along with beginning to explore globalisation. Year 13 Historians are looking at the introduction of the welfare state 1945-1951 whilst also finishing their NEA. In virtual form time, Year 12 and 13 had to put their brains together for Mrs Rainbow’s ‘Yorkshire Quiz’.

So, all in all, another productive week of learning with thanks to you for all that you are doing to support this.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 12th February 2021

Another week has whizzed by in the blink of an eye and there is a mixed bag of things to tell you about in this week’s blog.

Wildlife Pond

This beautiful image is from the little hidden gem at the back of our school – our wildlife pond.  Mrs Hutchinson successfully bid for some community funding, and work has started to revitalise the area.  As the project progresses we will update with some more pictures.  We are hoping to use this area for some outdoor learning in the summer.

Music Competition

During lockdown and through the power of social media, the world seems to have gone absolutely mad over ‘sea shanties’.  “The Wellerman” recently went viral and earned the performer, Nathan Evans a record deal.

Read the story here if it’s somehow passed you by: Story Here

Mrs Skilbeck, the face and voice of music at Boroughbridge High school has set up the following competition:

Record your own version over half term to win a prize from the Music Department – you can use Tiktok to layer up over the original (like Andrew Lloyd Webber!) or make a brand-new version using any recording app or platform.  Stick to the original style or create a fusion version – be creative!

If you don’t use Tiktok, then ‘acapella’ is a free app that lets you layer up parts. There are loads of others, or just record a video or audio mp3 or m4a.

Upload them to Google drive, and/or send in the links to your versions by Friday 26th February to

Parents/Carers’ survey

Thanks to everybody who has already completed the parents/carers’ online survey about remote learning.  I will keep the link which was sent on ParentMail open until Friday 19th and feedback the results via the weekly remote news video.

 Some Sad News

Mr Wragg, our previous Head of Science sadly passed away.  Although only here for a couple of years, he was an outstanding teacher who made a real difference to the young people at this school.

Thank you all so much for support and kind words of encouragement over the 6 weeks.  Have a great half term.  Hopefully we will have some concrete information about the date for returning to school and the government’s plan for centre assessed grades for GCSE, A-Level and BTEC qualifications. Announcements are due on 22nd February so we will update you as soon as we know anything.

Take care and stay safe.

Rob Grierson

Deputy Headteacher