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!

Blog: 20th March 2020

In a challenging and unprecedented week, the strength of our community has been demonstrated in so many ways. Our approach at Boroughbridge High School has been to keep things as normal and in perspective as possible. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the staff team for their efforts throughout and to thank parents and carers for your support, understanding and patience.

So we started the week with a number of engaging learning opportunities. Year 7 reinforced the four operations with fractions through Bingo whilst in Geography they made 3-D drainage basin models which will be used to make a learning display. In French they were learning personal pronouns and in IT made links or created a sentence using 3 or more spreadsheet symbols and key terms. In PE, in gymnastics, they explored travelling and rolls, practising different ways to travel around. In DT, Year 7 had their eyes opened to the exciting world of Computer Aided Design (CAD). Having designed some Alessi inspired spaghetti measurers, they began the tricky task of transferring their designs to a computer programme to be eventually cut out on the laser cutter.

In DT, Year 8 saw the culmination of their design and technology skills as they completed their USB lights. Mrs Flowers says that, ‘It was fantastic to see their faces light up not only with the colour changing LED light from their creations but also with the realisation that using their own skills they’d made something fantastic!’

We welcomed Mr Cooper to the Pastoral Team this week. He’ll be looking after Years 9 and 10 and, during conversations with students, he explained the importance of dealing with stress and to ‘box’ it away until it happens so that you don’t worry about everything.

In Health and Social Care, Years 10 and 11 were doing role plays to demonstrate how care values are important when working with people. In GCSE PE students discussed how athletes may be tempted to use performance enhancing drugs. Meanwhile, down in Maths, Year 10 were extending themselves solving quadratic algebra problems including completing the square, factoring to solve, curve sketching, sketching inequalities and solving iteration problems.

In History, Year 12 were using a collection of contemporary sources to study the attitudes and arguments against women’s suffrage using a speed dating type activity.

Mrs Rainbow, our Careers Adviser, visited Askham Bryan College to see and learn about their unique range of FE and HE courses. They have a great choice for Post-16 and Post-18 education ranging from agriculture, animal care, public service, sport, motor sport and engineering.

The Professional Development Day on Wednesday gave us the opportunity to put together online resources for study at home and, little did we know that less than 36 hours later, the decision to close schools for the majority of students would be announced.

Thursday was a day of confusion as Year 10, 11 and 13 students and their teachers were coming to terms with the fact that they wouldn’t be sitting exams and, for Years 11 and 13, that they would be leaving much sooner than they had anticipated. Whilst we hope to have further celebrations later in the year, we took the opportunity to have a Year 11 leaving assembly this afternoon, celebrating the achievements of our students. Year 13 were presented with their own personalised leaving card, including a photo of their Year 7 selves. We will, of course, continue to provide support to these students in the weeks ahead.

So, as you’re aware, school will close for the majority of students today, opening only for children of key workers and vulnerable students from Monday.

I’ll keep in touch in the coming weeks and will look forward to the time when we all return to school and when, I suspect, we will have a different view of the things we value.

Take care.

Blog: 13th March 2020

You’d be forgiven for thinking that A8 had become the set for Masterchef over the last two weeks as GCSE Food students have been creating three course meals as part of their practical assessment. There’s a great deal of pressure in producing a three-course meal in a set time but students have confidently risen to the challenge. It will probably not surprise you to know that there was no shortage of staff available for the tasting session!

Year 11 have also been completing follow up mocks this week so that we can assess just how much progress they’ve made in the last couple of months and further focus teaching and revision in the coming months.

Tuesday saw the dawn of this year’s Race for the Line Challenge. In Science and Technology lessons over the last few weeks, Year 7 have been designing and refining their plans for their Rocket cars. On Tuesday morning, the filing, sawing and shaping of the polystyrene blocks began with cars being completed by lunchtime. Year 7 then gathered around the outside of the tennis courts as one by one the cars were timed. Some moved so quickly that they were almost impossible to see, with the winning car reaching 94 mph, so we’re feeling quietly confident as we approach the next round. I’d also like to pass on our thanks to Treves in Knaresborough for being our sponsors.

Meanwhile, over in Pateley Bridge on Tuesday, Year 12 Geographers showed strength of character in carrying out primary data collection in wet conditions that were less than ideal!

It was great to hear that many of our students were involved in raising money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance by taking part in the Knaresborough Young Farmers annual tractor run last weekend. We’ll be fundraising for Sport Relief with a non-uniform day next Friday (20th).

Year 9 demonstrated on Wednesday night that they’ve been doing some serious thinking about their futures at Parents/Options evening. With the opportunity to talk to teachers about their current progress before exploring the subjects that they can take, students left feeling confident about what they will study over the next couple of years. Thank you to those parents who attended. Students need to return their forms by Thursday 19th March.

A reminder that next Wednesday (18th March) is a Professional Development Day when students do not attend school and Parent Exam Information evening is on Thursday 19th March from 6-7pm.

You will have received a further letter today about our response to the current Coronavirus situation. We will continue to keep you informed of any updates.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 6th March 2020

Recognising the challenges that lie ahead during the exam season, assemblies for Years 10 and 11 this week focused on successful revision by looking at the little things that make a big difference; the importance of a revision plan, exercise and eating properly, having a good area to work at home, having the right equipment, completing past papers and using feedback from teachers to improve. Students were also reminded of Easter School which takes place during the Easter holidays from 14th to 16th April. A letter explaining how it works and what’s on offer has been sent out. If you’d like to find out more about the exams process then please come along to our Parent Exam Information evening which is on Thursday 19th March from 6-7pm.

As part of Year 9 Futures Week, students had an Aspirations Event where they had the opportunity to consider possibilities by researching careers. This included meeting and working with Ambassadors from Teesside University followed by using a variety of career-based websites including taking the icould ‘Buzz Quiz’ which enabled students to learn about their personality, strengths and possible career direction.  On the Government website students gathered information on the key question ‘What is an Apprenticeship?’ along with learning about Child Employment Regulations.  Students all received a work booklet ‘Thinking About Your Future’ which you could look through with them at home.  Then, in advance of choosing their options, students spent Wednesday experiencing the different subjects that are on offer. There were many enthusiastic conversations throughout the day about the Key Stage 4 curriculum. We’ll look forward to seeing Year 9 students and parents on Wednesday 11th March at 5pm for Parents’ Evening.

On Wednesday afternoon, the ‘Under 13s Girls’ footballers made their debut with schools from across the Harrogate and Craven region. We played well and demonstrated that we have great potential in the coming months and years. We’re at the left of the photo!

Over in the Sixth Form, Year 13 have been completing Mock exams and on Thursday in the Music Block, students and staff were participating in Open Mic night.

Thanks to the parents who attended the Federation consultation meeting. A reminder that the closing date for written responses is Monday 15th March.

It was World Book Day on Thursday and, in assembly on Tuesday, Years 7 and 8 were encouraged to pick up a book and read. Perhaps we should all find a few moments to read a few pages over the weekend. Have a good one!

Blog: 28th February 2020

There was a definite wintry blast as we returned on Monday. I hope that you and your families had a good half term break.

In assemblies this week, Mrs Godsell-Wright has used the start of Lent to emphasise the power of reflection and being the best version of ourselves. The challenge set to students was rather than to give something up, be kind and do something to support other people in our community.

We’ve had sporting successes inside and out of school over the past few weeks. On Wednesday, the Under 16 Girls’ Football Team travelled across to Harrogate. Following some impressive play and competent defence, they had a convincing win, securing a final score of 14-0. Top goal scorers were Teigan (Year 10) and Faith (Year 11). On Thursday afternoon, the Year 9 boys had a somewhat tense match with the half time score of 3-0, in our favour, turning into a 3-3 full time score. With a penalty shoot out to establish the victors, the BHS team finally secured a victory.

In equestrian achievements, Izzy (Year 9) has qualified for the Winter Finals in April, following a very successful performance at the Winter Showjumping Championships in South Wales, where she gained a 2nd and 3rd with her young pony, Dash, who she has trained entirely by herself, shown in the photo.

Meanwhile, over half term, Maisy (Year 9) secured a 5th and two 2nd places in a Showjumping competition in Vilamoura, Portugal. She’s competing again this weekend.

Our congratulations also go to Olive in Year 9 who has trialled and been successful in being selected for Yorkshire Rugby.

Year 9 have some important decisions to make over the next couple of weeks as they choose their GCSE/BTEC option subjects. The process starts next week with students thinking about their futures and experiencing their possible option subjects.

Students may have noticed some changes to their paper resources over the last couple of weeks as we’ve decided to move to using recycled paper within school. Not only does this have a positive environmental impact but it also helps to support our students with dyslexia.

Have a lovely weekend!


Blog: 14th February 2020

Following a wild weekend of weather courtesy of Storm Ciara, we returned to school on Monday to find school relatively unscathed. I’m aware that this wasn’t necessarily true for all of our families and appreciate the efforts that parents made to ensure that their children were able to get to school.

With Ofcom reporting in 2019 that 99% of 12 to 15 year olds go online for 20 ½ hours per week, an understanding of being critical of sources and questioning published information is vital for our young people so assemblies this week have focused on ‘fake news’ and how to spot it. Further information can be found here

Remaining on the technology theme, Mr Inglis has been exploring how we inspire students to research fast moving topics that may well become obsolete in less than a decade due to a fast-changing world. You can read his blog published by The Royal Society here.

On Monday, GCSE Musicians had a productive visit to Cundall Manor, where they heard the classical set work performed live and analysed with live illustration. Our thanks go to Mrs Skilbeck for organising this opportunity and, as you can see, for her performance.

In English, Year 7 students concluded their travel writing project by bringing into school food to share from the country they’ve each been writing about. Perhaps you can guess which countries they’ve chosen.

Year 9 have been fully focused on their exams this week, having a taste of what’s to come in just over a year’s time when, as part of our Stage not Age approach at KS4, they’ll be taking two of their GCSE option subjects. With that in mind, we can look forward to Year 9 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 11th March when parents and students will have the opportunity to hear about our Key Stage 4 curriculum offer, meet with teachers, and make the important decision about which four option subjects to study over the next two years.

In sporting news this week, Martha (Year 7) has come 6th in North Yorkshire and 15th across the North-East counties in cross country and the footballing season is underway for the girls across the year groups as they start their 7-a-side matches.

And so, after a productive half term at BHS, we look forward to our half term break. I hope that you and your families have a good one!

Blog: 7th February 2020

Year 8 have been travelling the world in Food Technology by creating international cuisine from onion bhajis to spring rolls. I hear that filo pastry folding takes some skill. Following on with the travel theme, in English, Year 7 have been completing travel writing using various foods to help them imagine they’re in a different location.

Tasting of another kind has been embraced by Year 11 students on their Post-16 Taster Days at both King James’s School on Wednesday and BHS on Friday. Engaging in a wide range of subjects and lessons at both sites, students have now gained the information to help them make decisions in the coming months.

As February is UK LGBT+ History month, in assemblies this week, Mrs Godsell-Wright took on this theme sharing the message that labels aren’t important but people are, with a reminder that we should celebrate our individuality.

Thanks to Year 7 parents for attending Parents’ Evening on Wednesday. It was great to recognise the progress that students have made over the last few months. During the evening, the English Team shared some Year 7 reading suggestions to encourage students to widen their reading. If you’d like to see how many of the recommended books you and your children have read then you can find the resource here.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Year 9 Football team played their quarter final in the ESFA Small Schools Cup. The team played with great energy and determination but, despite the very impressive goal with a cross from Will which was headed in by Matt, the final score was a 4-1 defeat. We’re proud of the fact that we were the final state school left in the competition and will look forward to getting involved next year. Meanwhile Year 7 basketballers held a draw in their match against Thirsk School on Thursday.

Key Stage 4 students have had Travel and Tourism and Health and Social Care exams this week. There are, of course, more to come. Next week GCSE Musicians will be visiting Cundall Manor to hear the classical set work, performed live and analysed with live illustration. Year 9 have their exams next week.

Finally, a reminder that we’ve circulated information about a federation proposal between Boroughbridge High School and King James’s School which can also be found on the front page of the website. The consultation runs until Monday 15th March.

Have a lovely weekend!


Blog: 24th January 2020

On Monday morning, up in Science, the atmosphere was quite literally electric as Year 7 used the Van de Graaff generator to explore static electricity. With students being an integral part of the experiment, the braver scientists amongst them took hold of the generator and used their finger to light the Bunsen burner. Impressive stuff.

Down in Food Technology, this week, Year 9 have been making cottage pies whilst in GCSE Music students have been putting together a group performance of ‘We can work it out’ by the Beatles. On Thursday afternoon, Year 7 were coming to the end of their Dance topic in PE. In their final routines they showed the progress that they’ve made demonstrating skill, technique and great team work.

Over in the Sixth Form, Mrs Lake reports that ‘Year 12 Psychologists have been learning about the formation of attachments in children this week as part of developmental Psychology. They had to look after their ‘egg babies’ for one week, keeping them with them at all times! Those who survived could ‘eggs-change’ their babies for a creme egg today. Here is a link to a page we created as a class so we could see the progress. Some were very reluctant to hand their egg babies over this morning!’

Assembly for Years 7 and 8 this week focused on the power of writing with students being introduced to the BBC Radio 2, 500 words competition. We did an activity to generate creative thoughts before listening to a winning entry from last year. Students were encouraged to take part and further details can be found at Other year groups listened to the 90s track Sunscreen by Baz Luhrman (you may remember it!) with the theme of thinking very carefully before taking advice and making decisions.

In sporting news, Martha (Year 7) came 4th across North Yorkshire in Cross Country and will now go on to represent the county. Following on from their success in Year 8, the Year 9 football team have reached the quarter finals of the ESFA Small Schools’ Cup. We’re the last state school in the competition and our next match will be on home turf so we’re looking forward to supporting our team.

Thanks to those parents who attended Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday. Year 11 students will now be very clear about the actions that they need to take to get the best possible results in the summer. Thanks also for your feedback on the questionnaires which will be published on the school website. Next week, it’s Year 10 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 29th.

Next week will also see the start of many lunchtime clubs run by the Student Council. From Media to Music, Art to Debating and Kahoot, students are invited to come along and make the most of their lunchtimes. There’s also the opportunity to get involved in netball after school on Monday evenings. Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 17th January 2020

Climate for Learning has been high on our agenda this week with a focus on maximising learning time, both quality and quantity.  With the vast majority of our students behaving consistently well, in assemblies on Monday, students were reminded of the systems that we have in place to ensure that they are rewarded for the positive contributions that they make to their own learning, and to the wider school community, before being introduced to the new behaviour system. It’s worth saying that the staff team have been working on this strategy since the Summer Term to ensure that we have a personalised system in place which is right for our students and our school. Thanks for your support with this.

Assemblies this week have also focused on consistent high standards with students receiving certificates for having 20 or more ‘Excellent’ comments on their recent tracking. There were many recipients and much applause.

Year 13 have been completing their Progress Exams this week whilst Year 12 welcomed Year 11 to the Sixth Form Information Evening on Wednesday, sharing their experiences of Post-16 options at BHS and our partner school, King James’s.

In lessons this week, Year 7 have been exploring Medieval Kings in History and, in DT, Year 9 have been developing the skills necessary for GCSE through the production of a lovely wooden storage box. They’ve used finger joints, dowel joints, 3D laser printing and nailing before painting their box in a colour of their choice. GCSE Food Technology students have been, through experimentation, working out the properties of different ingredients such as baking powder whilst Year 12 Geographers have been exploring Liverpool as part of their Changing Places topic.

Following on from Progress Exams before the Christmas break, students in Year 11 will have the opportunity to discuss their progress and targets for the coming months at Parents’ Evening on Wednesday 22nd.

Have a lovely weekend!

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!