Blog: 2nd July 2021

So, it been ‘Happy New School Year’ at Boroughbridge High School as we’ve moved to the new timetable and, whilst we’ve still maintained bubbles, students have been moving around to subject classrooms and seeing parts of the school that they last saw in March 2020. Teachers are similarly delighted to be reunited with their own teaching rooms. Students have made an impressive start to the new school year which will stand them in good stead for the weeks ahead.

Following on from the success of the Year 7 ski trip last week, new Year 9 have had their own experience on the slopes of XScape.

We also have news of Boroughbridge High School’s success in a project carried out throughout lockdown months this year. Mrs Langford reports,

Over the last year, our school has been involved in a project called the Festival of Friends which was aimed at supporting Service students in North Yorkshire and held in conjunction with both York and York St John Universities. We chose to promote Further and Higher Education to our Service students as we felt that this would benefit them the most.

 Since March, the Year 10 and 11 Service students have taken part in the project supported by myself and our Careers Adviser, Angie Rainbow. We started in Lockdown and have held eight one-hour sessions in total to each of the year group bubbles.

 As part of this project, the school submitted a short video starring two of our Y10 students and a case study, detailing what the students have achieved. We were informed late last week that we have been shortlisted for a prize. The online celebration event that was held on Tuesday night was attended by many VIPs – from the military, the Council and the Universities of York and York St John, as well as Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Steve Royle from Britain’s Got Talent. As for the result… we fought off stiff competition from The Joseph Rowntree School in York and won first prize in the secondary category! After well over a year of feeling like life was at a complete standstill, it has been an absolute delight to work with our Service students to help them to plan a brighter future for themselves.’

An excellent achievement and our congratulations go to the Service Student team, Mrs Langford and Mrs Rainbow. We also thought that it was lovely to have this success in Mrs Rainbow’s final week at Boroughbridge High School. Mrs Rainbow joined in July 1997 and has made a massive contribution to our school community. She’s had many roles during her time here including Teaching Assistant and Resource Centre Manager showing total commitment throughout. She has taken an active role in the wider school and community including being a parent governor and a member of the Friends of Boroughbridge. Fundraising has always been her thing with the Rotary Shoe Boxes campaign, the Christmas Fair and the Macmillan Coffee Morning being a regular focus. More recently, she’s been our Sixth Form mentor and Careers Adviser, ensuring that students know what opportunities are available to them and how they can secure them with a genuine belief in Aspiration for All. Most of all though Mrs Rainbow will be missed for her no-nonsense approach, words of wisdom and kindness. We wish her all the best with her future ventures.

A reminder that Monday (5th July) is a Professional Development Day when students do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 25th June 2021

It’s been a week of action with Year 12 Geographers travelling to Redcar sand dunes to study how and why the vegetation changes with distance from the sea in a psammosere.  This will help these A-Level students understand how to collect valid fieldwork data in preparation for them designing their own fieldwork investigation to do over the summer.  Mrs Bauwens reports that the weather was kind to them and the sun shone all day but they ran out of time for ice-cream!

Moving to conditions of a different kind, Year 7 students put on their winter clothing as they made their way to Xscape in Castleton with Mr Field and Mrs Simmonds. As you can see they had a great time and Years 8 and 9 (or 9 and 10 as they’ll be!) can look forward to their own ski trips in the coming weeks.

Following the success of securing the PE grant, this week Mr Field won a Monster Kickabout competition, receiving the prize of a £200 voucher and £1000 of PE equipment which included 30 footballs, on-pitch training equipment, bibs and an electric ball pump. They were put to immediate use in a monster kickabout penalty session.

Fundraising has been at the fore this week for Year 11 students completing National Citizen Service. They’ve been washing cars, selling plants and asking students to guess the number of sweets in a jar, in order to raise money for good local causes.

Someone who has done much fundraising over the years is Mrs Rainbow, our Careers Adviser and 6th Form Learning mentor. She’ll be leaving Boroughbridge High School at the end of next week and I’ll say more about her outstanding contribution to our school community in the next blog.

As part of our safety measures to ensure that students are safe, happy and successful, we’ve practised our Lockdown Drill today. As you would expect, students responded positively, understanding the importance of this sort of drill.  And for your information, over the Summer holidays, we’ll be installing a fence at the front of school to improve the security of the site.

And so we have our new school year and new timetable on Monday to look forward to. As you’ll be aware, we’re also changing how we organise school so that students are taught in subject areas. We’ve got an exciting week ahead.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 18th June 2021

It’s been Exam Week for Years 7, 8 and 9 and so they’ve had the experience of both being in the Exam Hall along with completing in-class assessments. We’re really impressed with the way in which students have prepared for these and also at how quickly they have demonstrated that they know how to conduct themselves in an exam situation. These exams will help us to check students’ progress and also inform our future planning and teaching. This is important at this time of the year for us as it’s the penultimate week of our 2020-2021 school year as we’ll be moving on to our new timetable on 28th June. Doing this enables us to maximise teaching time for our Stage not Age approach at GCSE and helps everyone get fully focused for the year ahead.

With students now able to use the PE changing rooms this week, we’ve been delighted to see the standard of uniform rapidly approaching pre-Covid times. This will continue to be a focus in the coming weeks.

It was excellent to see the initiative shown by some Year 7 students, now that lunch time clubs are possible, in setting up their own band, the Firebirds. I dropped in on their Wednesday lunchtime practice and, along with Mrs Skilbeck, was impressed by their enthusiasm and performance. I’ll look forward to seeing how they develop.

It’s at this time of year that we’re preparing to welcome Year 6 students who will be joining us in September with Mrs Wilson and Mrs Langford visiting primary schools. Unfortunately, we’re unable to have face to face transition days due to Covid restrictions so, instead, we’re planning to have a menu of virtual resources so that they can still ‘meet’ us all and find out about Life in Year 7 at Boroughbridge High School. We’re also really pleased that we’re able to offer a Summer School in August.

National Citizen Service for Year 11 and 12 is well underway this week with an action-packed programme based around skill based, team building and problem solving activities including input from the Army and Fire service. Students appear to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

A reminder that we have a Professional Development Day on Monday 5th July when students do not attend school. We’ll be using that day to plan for our priorities for the year ahead with a focus on our core aim for students to be safe, happy and successful.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 11th June 2021

Whilst it may not seem that long since Britain voted to leave the EU, Donald Trump was elected President of the USA and the Summer Olympics were held in Rio, it was in fact in the year that our Year 11 students were leaving their primary schools and joining the Boroughbridge High School community.

This week it’s been their time to reflect on their journey at Boroughbridge High School and enjoy a number of celebration leaving events.

Following their enjoyable trip to Flamingo Land prior to half term, students embarked on a number of activities this week which they’ve suggested over the last few weeks as to how they’d like to mark the end of their compulsory education. So they’ve created memory posters, nominated each other for Form Awards including categories from most enthusiastic, most courageous and best Christmas door organiser and participated in Form sporting challenges including dodgeball, rounders and benchball.

Then, on Wednesday, the tradition for shirt signing was continued with inspirational, kind or funny messages written to students from students and staff. Students then went to their Leavers’ Assembly where Mrs Godsell-Wright shared pictures from the past, award nominations were revealed and 11BR and 11SF were crowned the winners of the sporting challenges. Then, as is customary at these events, Mr Grierson was accompanied with his rendition of Wonderwall. Students had a leisurely lunch followed by a BBQ and, although they may deny it, could be found having an occasional dance to tracks such as ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever’.

Above all, after the challenges of the last few months it was great to see students enjoying some quality time with their peers and the staff team. A perfect way to celebrate all that they have achieved. We wish the class of 2021 well for the future and will look forward to hearing about their future successes.

We are however delighted that we’ll see so many of them very soon when they return for National Citizen Service next week.

So, with this glorious weather forecast to last, have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 28th May 2021

On Thursday at last the clouds parted and the sun appeared with perfect timing for the Year 13 Celebration Trip to Flamingo Land. At the end of an intense half term it was a great way for them to spend some quality time together with staff who’ve supported them throughout. As you can see a good time was had by all with the day being extended further with a pizza party on their return.

And it’s been an emotional day today for Year 13 with a Leavers’ Presentation this morning where teaching staff and students had the opportunity to reminisce and celebrate all that they’ve achieved in their time at Boroughbridge High School.  Whilst Covid has dramatically changed the experience of Sixth Form that these students have had, they have shown remarkable resilience throughout and demonstrated their strength as a Year group team. This group of young people exemplify all that is in our mission statement. ‘To ensure that all students leave our school not only with the qualifications to access the next stage of their education or career of choice, but with the skills and confidence to make an active contribution to the communities to which they belong.’ Not only were their GCSE results two years ago above average but they have also developed the skills to ensure future success whilst having an incredible impact on our whole school community. They have performed at many concerts, supported in Key Stage 3 lessons, taken part in the appointment of new staff, led numerous lunchtime clubs for younger students and above all been excellent role models. So we give our thanks to Year 13 and wish them all the best for the future.

Today it was the turn of Year 11 to go to Flamingo Land and, as it’s been a rarity of late to have two consecutive fine days, we’ve been very lucky with the weather. They had a great day and this is the first of our Celebration Days for them with their final school day being Wednesday 9th June.

Thanks for your support throughout this half term. Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and half term break!

Blog: 21st May 2021

Whilst Year 10, 11 and 13 in-class assessments continue at pace, the prospect of a rewards trip to Flamingo Land is on the horizon for Years 11 and 13.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in school, Year 7 students have been looking to the future in English exploring how to ensure that their actions secure longer term environmental quality. The videos that they’ve produced portray a powerful message. Others have been producing movie trailers for the novel The Fire Eaters which they’ve just read.

In RE, Year 7 have been asking if the UK should ban the Burqa, exploring the law in France and asking if it is fair. With the weather somewhat inclement at the moment, Year 7 Geographers have been learning about the conditions needed for a hurricane to form and using songs to find out how they form, humming along was optional!

With Eurovision weekend on its way, in MFL, Year 7 have been judging their own Eurovision contest by watching performances and giving their own opinions in French. Magnifique! In Music, they’ve been creating their own sounds by chair drumming to Franz Ferdinand and songs from Shrek.

Taking on the athletics season in PE, Year 7 have been developing new skills in areas such as the High Jump. The PE team have been impressed with the encouragement and support that students have shown each other.

Putting their detective skills to the test in Drama, Year 8 have been creating their own Whodunit/Cluedo style murder mysteries whilst, in PE, a group of 7 students collectively threw the discus the height of the Eiffel Tower (5 throws each) and in a separate shot-put challenge collectively threw the height of the London eye.

In Art, Year 8 have been concentrating on observational drawings from secondary resources. They have been producing tonal drawing of chocolate bars, focusing on highlights, shadows and form.  In DT, students in Years 7 and 8 are taking on the buggy challenge which involves trying to make a buggy travel the furthest using elastic, air or chemical powered cars. All good fun!

A reminder that it’s a Professional Development Day on Wednesday 26th May when students do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend!



Blog: 14th May 2021

Uniform standards are our current focus as you’ll see from the letter sent to parents and carers today. We’re really proud of our uniform and now that students are fully settled back in school, it seems like the right time to focus on each of our standards in turn. Interestingly, looking back in time it appears that our distinctive uniform with our badge representing the town and local area, was not always black. As you’ll know if you attended Boroughbridge High School yourself, when the school opened in September 1981, the uniform was maroon with the badge looking a little different, as displayed at Reception.

Our current uniform was introduced in September 2007 at the end of the school’s 25th Anniversary. The maroon jumper was replaced with our black blazer and gold and black striped tie with an updated badge.

You may have noticed from the dates that we’re approaching a very important school year with the 2021-2022 academic year being our 40th Anniversary. We’re already planning how we can celebrate with the local community when hopefully Covid restrictions will be a thing of the past. Further information will follow in the coming months.

In September 1981 when the school opened, the local paper reported that Boroughbridge High School aimed to ‘build up a reputation as a family affair’. It’s comforting to think that almost forty years later, in very different times, some things remain the same.

Have a lovely weekend!

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!