Blog: 20th November 2020 – Practically Perfect

It’s been a practically perfect week with students across the school being totally hands on!

In Food Technology, Year 7 students have been developing their cutting and chopping skills by preparing fruit salad, Year 8 students have been making and baking muffins in many different flavours and Year 9 have moved on to the main course with pasta and meatballs.

Over in Design Technology, Year 7 students are in the middle of their Blockheads projects. Year 8 students, having finished their designs for their mood lights, are putting in requests for their LED units so that the making process can begin. Meanwhile Year 9, having worked on technical drawings to figure out how to cut and create joints, are now making their MDF trinket boxes.

Up in the Science labs, Year 11 students have been investigating refraction and exploring how acids react with metals, bases and carbonates to produce salts. Chromatography, a process for separating components of a mixture, has been the focus in other classes. Year 10 students have been exploring electrolysis and are also engaged in a fully topical issue; extracting drugs from plants to make vaccines.

There have been a wide variety of sports taking place over in PE. Year 7 boys have been developing their basketball skills whilst Year 7 girls have been getting to grips with a hockey stick. Year 8 girls have been playing netball and Year 8 boys, badminton. Year 9 boys have been playing volleyball and Year 9 girls, football. At Key Stage 4, students have been playing basketball and trampolining. Meanwhile, in GCSE PE, students are starting to appreciate the finer practical points of fitness testing.

A reminder that it’s a Staff Professional Development Day on Wednesday (25th November) when students don’t attend school. Staff will be focusing on further developing our remote learning offer for students who have to self-isolate. The survey for feedback on remote learning is still open at

Finally, our thanks go to the Knaresborough Rotary Club who have very kindly donated ten laptops to support students in both their learning at school and at home. This generous gift will make a huge difference and is very much appreciated.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 13th November 2020

Our Remembrance wreath was laid at the War Memorial by Year 13 students, Harvey and Ewan on Monday morning. With form classes decorating their windows, by the time we all stopped on Wednesday at 11am for the two minutes silence, to pay our respects, the school site was a sea of poppies. Well done to 7SW for their very impressive display.

Today has been a Children in Need extravaganza with a non-uniform day and many children participating in a sponsored walk. Following the deluge of rain in the early hours, we were very relieved to see the rain clouds part and a beautiful crisp autumn day appear. Students enthusiastically walked or ran around the field enjoying the fresh air, safe in the knowledge that they were also raising money for a very good cause whilst, at lunchtime, Key Stage 4 students were also involved in a 5 a-side football competition. Thank you for your support. We’ve raised £1032. Our thanks go to Mr Field for organising this day long event.

It’s been a week of celebration. Your child may have received a certificate congratulating them on having the highest number of positive points available. Today, a large number of certificates and sweet treats have been given to students who, for Attitude to Learning and Behaviour for Learning, achieved good or excellent across all subjects with 30% or more in the ‘excellent’ category.

Our congratulations go to Heather in Year 11 who, this week, was accepted on to the oversubscribed and very prestigious Cambridge University’s Love Languages Masterclasses. C’est superbe!

On the horizon for Year 11 students, and Year 10 for option subjects, are Progress exams which start on Monday 23rd November. These will not only help students to develop their revision skills and exam technique but will also enable teachers to further identify where students have gaps in their knowledge.

You’ll have received the ParentMail asking for your feedback about remote learning. The link is here and will stay live until Monday 30th November. Thanks for the many responses that we’ve already received.

A reminder that we have a Professional Development day on Wednesday 25th November 2020 when children do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend.

As the trees shed their final leaves and students returned from their half term break, thinking of others has been at the fore this week. This a very important time of year for our community and so we are finding ways, despite current challenges, to mark Remembrance Day taking on the British Legion’s theme for 2020 to pay tribute to the men and women of the Second World War generation and to those of today’s who have served and sacrificed to defend our nation. Whilst we are unable to attend a Remembrance Service this year, we will be laying a wreath at the war memorial in Boroughbridge in preparation for Wednesday. We will also be marking two minutes silence across school at 11am on 11th November. Each form group has been making their own poppies to decorate classroom windows and, in Key Stage 3 Art lessons, students have been developing their own take on the poppy symbol as you can see.

Looking ahead to Children in Need on Friday 13th November, we’ll be having a non-uniform day. The Head students will be running a virtual Children-in-Need themed bake-off competition. Further details were in the letter sent earlier in the week. Making the most of our outside space to keep fit and fundraise, students will have the opportunity to take part in a sponsored walk with their bubble and Key Stage 4 students can also compete in an inter-form, 5 a-side competition. All donations this year will be collected through ParentMail (click on Payments then Shop).

Mrs Godsell-Wright has been analysing the rewards points that students have been accruing through their high-quality work and contributions over the last few weeks and next week she’ll be awarding prizes and certificates to recognise this. We’re very grateful to Morrisons for donating a massive amount of prizes and we’d like to thank them also for providing school lunches over half term for those eligible for Free School Meals.

Thanks for your support with face coverings. Students arrived on Thursday fully equipped and, already, wearing face coverings in communal areas has become part of our routine.

So the meaning of the latin phrase, ‘Non sibi sed aliis’? Quite simply, ‘not for ourselves but for others’.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 23rd October 2020

With safety at the fore, in PSHE lessons last week, our Sixth Form students focused on Driver Safety.  This is a timely presentation highlighting the importance of making appropriate decisions, whilst driving, or as a passenger.  A large proportion of the students are currently learning to drive and it is a requirement of the Sixth Form Code of Conduct that students attend the safety presentation before bringing a car onto the school site.

The Sixth Form also provides an annual opportunity for students to visit a University and Apprenticeship Regional Careers Event.  As this could not take place in the usual style this year, a virtual event was provided complete with a friendly welcome, free giveaways and refreshments!  Students spent the afternoon researching degree courses, university locations and attending webinars on topics including student finance, life at university, employability and how to secure an apprenticeship.  Students left armed with quality information to help them with their post-18 plans.

Looking forward to their own post-16 plans, Year 11 have had a tutor time visit from Mrs. Town, our Head of Sixth Form, and were able to watch a video of our current students in their daily sixth form life whilst also hearing from some of our past students who have used the opportunities that they had at BHS to go on to University and a wide range of job roles. To support Year 11 with both their shorter and longer-term goals, Mrs. Rainbow has been carrying out Careers interviews.

To ensure that all options are open to them and with Progress Exams on the horizon for Years 10 and 11 (they start on Monday 23rd November), Mrs. Godsell-Wright took the opportunity, in advance of the half-term break, to speak to students about the importance of revision. Having presented students with a Revision Guide, she shared some revision techniques and tips on putting together a revision timetable. Students were made aware that the Progress Exams will enable them to demonstrate what they know which will be used to inform teaching. The official exams are scheduled to take place in Summer 2021 but, in these uncertain times, the Progress exams take on even greater importance.

Marking Black History Month, Mrs. Langford is developing a display sharing inspirational stories which explore the lives of influential, black Britons who have had an impact on UK laws and equal rights. To complete the display, students have been invited to share their own black heroes.

Our first Parents’ Evening took place this week with phone conversations rather than face to face meetings. However, the same quality of interaction took place with tutors and the pastoral team having the opportunity to talk to parents about how well Year 7 have settled into Boroughbridge High School and the excellent progress that they are making.

Thank you for your support during this rather different yet, nonetheless, successful half term.

I hope that you and your family have a lovely half term break.

Blog: 16th October 2020 – Behind the Scenes

It’s been a pleasure to write the Blog over the last few weeks, celebrating the fact that students are back in school and high-quality learning is taking place. This week I thought we’d take a look behind the scenes.

The day at Boroughbridge High School begins as the clock strikes 7 with the arrival of the Site Team who begin opening the school and carrying out their site walk to check that everything is in place for students and staff.

Arriving shortly after, the Catering Team begin prepping and cooking to make sure that students have hot and cold snack choices at breaktime and hot and cold meal choices at lunch time. Whilst serving and paying takes place behind plastic screens, the same range and quality of experience is enjoyed. Cleaning takes place between year groups but the seating arrangements look more like a classroom than a Dining Hall.

The sound of small plastic trolley wheels moving across the carpark marks the arrival of the Teaching Team who no longer go to their subject base to set up but, instead, make their way to their first teaching room of the day, making sure that they take all of their resources with them along with their visor. It’s possible that they’ll be teaching in five different classrooms in five different zones throughout the day. Making sure that technology is working to support learning is the responsibility of our ICT Manager.

At 8am the Office Team arrive and get ready for the day ahead, which will involve carrying out a plethora of activities including First Aid, with PPE, for students who are unwell. The Office Manager/PA puts in place any cover that we need for any absent staff which thankfully so far, has been few, whilst the Data Manager gets ready to send the daily attendance return to the DfE.

The Teaching Assistant Team collect their visors and make their way to the zones that they’re assigned to, ready to support students. Technicians set out resources.

Students are met by duty staff as they arrive at school. Those travelling on buses are checked for face coverings. They then make their way to their outside space.

At 8.40am students enter their zone, make their way to their first lesson and the learning begins. Tutor time now comes later with students meeting their Form Tutors before or after break. Assemblies are virtual, with Mr Grierson talking this week about the value of teamwork. Walking around the zones during tutor time are the Pastoral Managers, making themselves available for students. Over in the Sixth Form block, similar activities are taking place with tutors and the Sixth Form Learning mentor.

Throughout the day and after school, the Site and Cleaning team systematically work their way around school ensuring that surfaces and handles are cleaned, soap and sanitiser dispensers filled and doors are propped open.

Whilst everyone has the same responsibilities as they did in March, every action and every decision now has to be looked at through Covid-19 safety eyes. Never before has teamwork been so important. At the end of Week 6, there isn’t one person on site who isn’t exhausted but it’s worth it, as the purpose of this teamwork is very clear, to make sure that our school is a place where students are safe, happy and successful.

Have a lovely weekend and, if you’ve got a few minutes, you may like to take a look at our Virtual Open Evening at

Have you ever wondered exactly how cheese is made? If you asked Mrs Simmonds’ Year 9 class they’d be able to tell you, with some students also saying it had put them off eating it for life although, having been on duty in the Dining Hall, I’d suggest otherwise! In another element of Technology; Design Technology, they were trying their hand at 1 and 2 point perspective with Mrs Flowers. Meanwhile, in Maths, with Mrs Price, they’ve been finishing working on all things averages including tables and data comparisons before moving on to their favourite topic of algebra, starting with manipulation and solving. Across KS3, in RS with Mr Woodward, students have been exploring Aristotle’s moral theory of Virtue Ethics, this week honing in on the way in which role models can be used to help an individual develop their own moral character.

In DT, Year 8 have been making the difficult decision of what their lights might be for and for whom, whilst with Mr Errington, in Science, they’ve been revising for their food and digestion test. In Geography with Mrs Bauwens, Year 8 are continuing to focus on China as an emerging superpower.  This week there have been some lively discussions around China’s population issues including the positives and negatives of the controversial one child policy. In Art, with Mrs Bibbings, having already done some beautiful illuminated letters and typography, Year 8 have a new Graphic Design project based on the bold style of American artist, Robert Indiana.

Year 7 computer scientists, with Mrs Knock, have been exploring inside a computer to find out about the hardware components such as RAM and CPU and looking at what software is, whilst in DT they’ve been working out how to use a net to help them make a card version of the blockheads. In Maths, with Mrs Cummins, they’ve been gearing up for their first progress test to demonstrate all of the fantastic methods they’ve learnt in their first Number topic along with developing their mental and written calculation skills including time and money. In Art they’ll be starting their new topic next week, Portraiture and Expressive Typography, using the work of Julian Opie as inspiration. With Mrs Wilson in RE, they’ve been learning about the scientific explanations of how our universe and life began; exploring the Big Bang and Evolution. In Science, students have been identifying the different organs of the body. The week started very well in Science when Dr Lefley quite literally had students ‘conkering’ Forces. You can see for yourselves.

As we’re not able to have our usual extravaganza of an Open Evening next week, students and staff across the school, along with some of our alumni, have been putting together videos and resources to show people how great it is to be part of the Boroughbridge High School team and inviting them to join our school. If you know someone with a child in Year 6 you could share your experience with them. All of the Virtual Open Evening resources will be available to view on the website on Wednesday 14th October.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 2nd October 2020 – A Focus on Key Stage 4

The chords of Mon Precieux by Soprano flowed through the Key Stage 4 zone this week as linguists listened to this pop music to develop and apply new high-level vocabulary to describe the importance of mobile phones in our everyday life! Over in DT, students were diligently working on their own coursework for the exam, developing their drawing skills and including new and emerging technologies in production.

Geographers have mentally zoomed across to Brazil to complete their extended case study of Rio de Janeiro as an example of a city in an emerging economy. They have explored the reasons for the growth of the city, the opportunities and problems this creates and how they are improving the quality of life for the urban poor in Rio. Closer to home, they’ve also taken a virtual tour of the River Tees to investigate how it changes from source to mouth.

Following the global theme, in Business, students have been looking at globalisation and the impact of competition on UK firms as well as consumer and employee laws. They have their chance to demonstrate their knowledge in their topic test next week.  PE students will have a similar opportunity as, having just finished studying their first theory topic, their end of unit test will not only capture knowledge but also how well they can apply this to sporting contexts.

In English, students in Year 10 have been learning about the Gothic movement, from Lord Byron to Edward Scissorhands, before getting stuck into Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Year 11 students have started studying Macbeth. They’re using the text itself and two productions of the play: Rupert Goold’s version from 2010, which was based on his stage adaptation for the Chichester Festival Theatre and Justin Kurzel’s 2015 big screen version.

Percentages (increase, decrease, change, reverse) have been a focus for some Year 11 students in Maths, following a great start on Trigonometry. Others have been solving quadratics of all varieties and understanding the geometric links to the graph of a parabola and, it’s reported, doing particularly well at it too! Year 10 have been rounding values to different degrees of accuracy and re-establishing good study skills for Maths.

In Science, Year 10 have been studying the timely topic of pathogens, including viruses and how they cause disease, whilst also grappling with the particle theory of gases, looking at how particles move and what causes pressure. Year 11 have been revising for their first Science mock. Binary data and binary shifts have been the focus in Computer Science along with how to represent negative binary numbers.

Historians have been learning about the weaknesses in the Weimar Constitution and the flaws in the Treaty of Versailles whilst, in Core RE, students have been exploring the social history of gay rights in the UK and the various responses of the Church to the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Meanwhile in GCSE RE, students have been exploring the causes of the human proclivity to sin and falling victim to temptation as well as the way in which Christianity claims to be able to offer salvation from an eternity in hell.

Art & Design students have been excelling in a painting skills workshop based on Van Gogh’s ‘The Sunflowers’ and a mark making workshop using personal possessions. You can see how

they’ve been getting on. They’ve also started their GCSE coursework project based on the theme of Disguise.

It’s very apparent watching students and teachers at work that much is being learned and that there is a clear shared understanding that every minute of learning, every lesson, every single day, matters.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 25th September – A Focus on the Sixth Form

If you’re wondering what to read this weekend, then you may take some inspiration from the books being used by our Year 13 English Literature students in their coursework which include ‘1984’, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, ‘The Bell Jar’, ‘The Crucible’, ‘We Need to talk about Kevin’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ They’re also getting to grips with Act 1 of Hamlet and studying the poem ‘Ode to a Grayson Perry Urn’, exploring themes of classism, youth and societal problems as well as wondering what future generations will think of our legacy.

Year 13 Psychologists have been exploring connections between approaches in Psychology whilst, in Year 12, they’ve been looking at how Psychologists test their theories and collect data. Staying on the data theme, Year 12 Geographers have been exploring the possibility of a statistical relationship between wind speed and wave height using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient whilst Year 13 Geographers have been using their individual data collection collected over the Summer holidays, at a variety of locations, to write up their independent fieldwork investigations. They’ve also been looking at the impact of urban regeneration schemes whilst Year 12 have been looking to the future considering deciduous woodland as an important and threatened ecosystem in the UK.

Following in the steps of Columbus, Year 13 Historians are starting to explore 16th Century Spain for their NEA (Non-examined assessment).

As with other year groups, Mental Health and Wellbeing is the focus in Sixth Form PSHE and Year 13 are putting together their UCAS personal statements, capturing all of the things that they’ve achieved and outlining how they could make a difference to their university of choice. Putting himself in a very strong position is Harvey in Year 13 who, having been made Deputy Head Student this week, also received his UCAT score putting him in the top 10% of students in the country. The University Clinical Aptitude Test is used in the selection process by the majority of UK University Medical and Dental Schools. Our congratulations go to him.

At this time of year, the Sixth Form are usually busy preparing for the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee morning’ to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. As that isn’t possible this year, instead, we’re going to donate and enjoy a nice cup of coffee (or tea) and cake over the weekend. Look out for the photos on the website.

In sporting news, lower down the school, our congratulations go to Izzy in Year 10 who, over the Summer, represented Boroughbridge High School at the Schools’ Finals at the British Showjumping National Championships at Bolesworth, gaining 6th place in the 1m class and 3rd place in the 1m 10.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 18th September 2020

If you could put anything in the Design Museum, what would it be? That was the question posed by Mrs Flowers to her Year 8 DT classes this week. Meanwhile, next door Mrs Simmonds’ Food Technology class were working out the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients. Over in the Year 9 zone, students were exploring energy in Science with Mr Scott and elements with Dr Lefley.

At Key Stage 4, in Health and Social Care with Mrs Godsell-Wright, students were discussing Relationships and Isolation, which seems somewhat timely whereas in Geography, Mrs Hardcastle’s class were looking at the changes along the long profile of a river. On a technical note, Mrs Knock and her Computer Science class were looking at iteration in Python.

Virtual assemblies this week have focused on new beginnings and making the most of the school year ahead, the importance of team work and maintaining our standards and safety through the Code of Conduct.

Students’ work and attitude to learning have been absolutely fantastic and we’ve been a little frustrated that it’s been difficult to use Rewards stamps to recognise this so we’re going to record these on our management information system which you’ll be able to view on My Child at School. Year 7 parents will receive their log in details over the next couple of weeks.

As Year 7 have now been with us for almost two weeks, we’ve asked for some feedback about their start at BHS. It will probably not surprise you to hear that in response to ‘What is the best thing about being at Boroughbridge High School?’, many responses referred to ‘the amazing school meals’, along with ‘learning new things and meeting new people’, ‘all the lovely teachers’ and ‘all the lessons are really fun’. So, a good start all round!

As temperatures start to fall a little, a quick reminder that students will be outside at breaks and lunchtimes so we’re encouraging them to bring an outdoor coat. Also, if students would like to wear a jumper underneath their blazer (jumpers are optional, blazers are not!) then it should be a plain black knitted V-necked jumper. Round necks, sweatshirt type material or branded jumpers are not allowed. We do not have a school branded jumper in order to keep uniform costs down.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 11th September 2020

After so many months of waiting and planning, we’re delighted to have finally got our whole school community back together. It’s quite difficult to articulate the absolute joy shown by staff and students on being reunited after many months apart.  It’s early days and, understandably, there have been moments of anxiety for all, but staff and students have worked together to make our new approach successful, enabling us to get back to quality face to face teaching and learning, albeit a little different. Thank you for your support with this. Attendance this week has been excellent, giving students the very best chance of settling back into school.

Alongside redesigned curriculum plans to re-engage students and help them in making progress, we’re also working with a focus on students’ mental health and wellbeing. This was one of our reasons for making sure we kept tutor time within our new school day structure and why our focus in PSHE, to begin with, will be on mental health and wellbeing.

It’s also been great to welcome our new Year 7 students to the Boroughbridge High School team. They are quickly settling in and showing confidence in their new surroundings and embracing their new curriculum. Activities that they’ve been involved in this week include identifying the skills that they can develop in Drama, working out ‘What is Geography?’ and, in English, identifying what makes a good story. On Thursday, they had their official school photo taken marking the start of their journey at Boroughbridge High School.

At the other end of the age range, we welcomed our Year 12 students at the beginning of the week and they have made an impressive start to their A-Level studies.

Students have been very organised in bringing their own resources this week. It would be really helpful if, along with pens, pencils, a ruler, eraser, coloured pencils and a scientific calculator, they could also bring a glue stick. A reminder that students will be outside until 8.40am so shouldn’t arrive on site before 8.15am and, as the temperatures start to drop, an outdoor coat would be helpful as students will be outside at break and lunchtime.

We’ve welcomed new staff this week with our new Head of PE, Mr Field and Maths Teacher, Mrs Johnson. During the summer break we said farewell to Teaching Assistants, Mrs Bettney, Miss Pannett, Mr Slator and Mrs Thomas and Caretakers, Mr Hartley and Mr Whittaker. We wish them well in their future ventures. Joining the team are Teaching Assistants, Mrs Brown, Mrs Law, Mr Mitchell and Mrs Weston and Caretakers, Mr Anderson and Mr Chittock.

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