Headteacher’s Blog – 9th June 2023

I hope you had a good half term break. It was great to welcome students back to school on Monday for the last few weeks of our 2022-2023 timetable. You’ll be aware that we move to our new school year and new timetable before the Summer break, to maximise our learning time. This year it will be from 26th June.

In assemblies this week, Mrs. Godsell-Wright has been looking at ethical consumerism, considering how products are marketed to attract young people, what affects the decision-making process and the impact of our possible purchases. It was lovely to see so many students sharing their ideas and participating in the assemblies. 

On Wednesday after school, we welcomed local employers to meet with staff during one of our professional development sessions. Using a speed dating approach, we were able to talk to employers and recruiters from Rabbit Hill, Yoke, the Army, Reed Boardall and Nidd Hall to gather information about the skills and attributes they’re looking for in our young people along with giving information about the wide range of employment and training opportunities that they offer in our local area. As part of our CEIAG Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance programme, Year 10 will have their own opportunity in a couple of weeks to meet with employers and ask their own questions. You can find out more at https://www.boroughbridgehigh.com/curriculum/careershome/

In sporting news, our congratulations go to Sid in Year 7 who had a very successful time at the Dwarf Sports Association national games over half term in Birmingham, bringing home 11 medals. He won four gold medals in 400m cycling, 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke and basketball, three silver medals in 50m backstroke, 100m freestyle and shotput and four bronze medals in 40m sprint, 60m sprint, 4 x 60m relay and javelin. An amazing achievement and we wish him well for his training at Bath University for the world games in Germany in the summer.

On Thursday morning, rugby was the focus for Year 8 boys who were coached by a York City Knights coach in preparation for the Emerging 9’s Rugby League tournament which takes places in a couple of weeks in Warrington.

We’re got a number of trips coming up this term beginning with our residential for Year 9 to Bewerley Park next week and the following week Year 7 will be going on their international trip to Normandy.

With the weather forecast predicting temperatures around 25 degrees next week, students will have the option not to wear their blazer. All other uniform requirements will remain in place. 

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – 28th April 2023

Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 28th April 2023

The weather forecast last weekend wasn’t particularly promising for our Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition but this didn’t faze our team of 22 students who, demonstrating great resilience, completed a very successful expedition. Mrs. Murphy, who led the expedition, said, ‘They all did brilliantly, starting in pouring rain with some of them having soggy boots for the whole weekend. All of the students have proved that they can do it, and know what they need to work on for their assessed weekend in July.’ Our congratulations go to the 22 students and our thanks go to Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Bauwens, Mr Field and Mrs. Macadam for making the expedition possible.

With the cherry blossom on the trees, it really feels like we’re marching towards Summer. Talking about making the most of every moment in Mrs. Godsell-Wright’s assemblies this week she’s been focusing on the importance of approach and attitude. In particular, the 3 ‘P’s, Plan, Prepare and Progress which is particularly pertinent for our Key Stage 4 and 5 students whose exams are underway with the GCSE Art exam this week and French speaking exams and PE moderation next week.

Mrs. Wellock and 7EnA1 had an excellent end to the week last week when, following their study of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and research of the Globe for homework, they brought in their own model versions as you can see. Mrs. Wellock reports that James, Grace, Alice B, Tristan and Henry received some pick and mix as a ‘well done!’ for their efforts.

If you have younger children you may already know that this morning twelve of our Year 10 Sports Leaders have been to Long Marston Primary School to lead a dodgeball tournament for children in Years 1 to 6 from eight local primary schools. It was, by all accounts, a great success. This is just one of the strategies that we have in place to support students in developing their leadership skills. At lunchtime today the School Council, with a successful Bake Sale, raised £83.86 to support people in Ukraine and Malawi.

We have an opportunity for you to get involved in the strategic direction of the school as a parent governor. You will have received a letter on Thursday 27th April with further details. The closing date for nominations is 9a.m. on 12th May 2023.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend!

 

Headteacher’s Blog – 21st April 2023

It was good to welcome students back to school this week following the Easter break. I hope that you were able to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend. Years 13, 11 and 10 now have their A-level, GCSE and BTEC exams in sight and we’re all looking forward to the trips and activities that the Summer Term brings.

The importance of reading in supporting success both within and beyond school is unquestionable and consequently, as you’re aware, reading is a big focus for us at BHS. Over the last year or so, we’ve developed a calendar of events to encourage a love of reading. You’ll have found out about these in Mrs. Wellock’s regular reading updates. Alongside this we have reading in Form Time and each subject area has developed strategies and  activities to use in lessons to support students in developing their reading fluency whilst also ensuring that all students can access the curriculum. However, we are also conscious of the Ofsted research published in October 2022, that outlined that nationally,

‘Each year around one quarter of 11-year-olds do not meet the expected standard in reading at the end of primary school. Fewer than 1 in 5 of these pupils can expect to get a GCSE grade 4 in English.’

and we are keen to continue to accelerate students’ reading progress as they move into Year 7 and through our school. Visits to primary schools and conversations with Year 6 teachers enable us to establish students’ reading competency and this, along with KS2 data and screening, enables us to identify where specific intervention is needed. To enhance our offer further and ensure we support phonics, after school on Wednesday, staff had a professional development session with a primary specialist where we gained a real insight into the way that phonics is used to teach reading in primary schools and how we can all build upon this systematically for impact in the secondary classroom.

We were delighted to welcome Mrs. Ennis, our new Head of History, to BHS this week and today we said farewell to Mrs. Brown who has worked as a Teaching Assistant. We thanked her for the significant impact that she’s had not only in lessons but also in extra-curricular activities and wish her well in her new post.

This weekend we have a group of Year 9 and Year 10 students undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition. We wish them well.

Looking ahead to next week, we have Student Council Fundraising Week to raise money to support people in Ukraine and Malawi. There will be lots of lunchtime activities across the week including Guess the name of the Teddy, Sponge a Teacher, a Cake decoration competition and a Bake Sale. So students may like to bring some money with them.

Have a lovely weekend!

 

 

Headteacher’s Blog – 31st March 2023

As we come to the end of the Spring Term, we have much to celebrate! This term has seen a mass of engaging classroom learning, extra-curricular activities and sporting fixtures.

Following the success of the Year 7 Rocket Car Challenge last Friday the winners were announced. Coming in at a speed of 75 mph were Bella, Ella and Astrid with two groups as runners up at 68 mph. Ben, Theo and Charlie along with Emily, Olivia and Alex. Congratulations to all.

It’s been an exciting sporting week too. Mr. Field reports that,

‘Tuesday saw the Yr7 & 8 boys take on their first Rugby League tournament representing Boroughbridge High School.  Following on from the progress and enthusiasm in recent lessons 26 boys attended after school practice to try and secure a place for the tournament.  The commitment of the boys was exceptional and it became clear that the selection process would be an arduous task.  At the tournament the boys were divided into two playing groups, both teams containing a mix of experienced players and keen sports players.  It was a topsy turvy tournament in concern to the results obtained by both teams. Boroughbridge 1 won their first two games against York High and Manor Academy but lost hard contested games against Tadcaster 1 and King James’s.  Boroughbridge 2 lost their first two games against Vale of York and Manor 2 but nerves settled and confidence grew in the remaining two fixtures with victories against Tadcaster 2 and Huntington.  The boys were rightfully proud of their performance and gave a good representation of Boroughbridge in both their rugby ability and sportsmanship.  We hope that this first tournament since the pandemic is a stepping stone to further rugby success for Boroughbridge High School.’

With the Easter break upon us, Mr. Woodward’s assemblies this week have focused on the move from Winter to Spring and the Hope, New Life, Opportunity and Potential that it brings. He then, as you’d expect with his expertise and knowledge in RE, showed how these themes are reflected through World Religions. He also discussed that often Struggle, Difficulty, Pain and Perseverance are a necessity in order to achieve the positive themes, showing students the relevance of this to their own lives.

It was the Easter music concert last night where a wide range of performances were delivered with great skill and enthusiasm. Alongside this, a quiz and a raffle made for a very enjoyable evening. James, on guitar, performed Live Forever by Oasis, Millie the Wizard of Oz, on flute. Rosey played Bohemian Rhapsody on Piano and Antonio, Max, Ben and Rosey performed Lose Yourself. Rosey (on piano) and Charlotte (vocals) performed Titanium and This is the Life whilst Emily and Olivia performed a lively dance on violin. Ben performed Karma Police on guitar with vocals. The pop choir also put in a couple of performances including Viva la Vida, Thousand Years and Harry Styles’ As it Was. Rose and Neve played Clocks and Rose performed Ballad as a solo. All sound was managed by Maddie, and the evening came to a close with a group rendition, with audience participation, of We Will Rock You including vocals from Mr. Grierson. Congratulations to the performers and our thanks go to Mrs. Skilbeck and our parent volunteers. A total of £100 was raised.

Today we say farewell to Mrs. Lake and thank her for the great contribution that she’s made to our school community including teaching three subjects at A-Level, supporting students with UCAS applications, teaching English and working across the school on curriculum. We wish her well in her new role.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Have a lovely Easter break and we’ll look forward to welcoming students back to school on Monday 17th April.

 

 

Headteacher’s Blog – 24th March 2023

It’s that time of year when the blossom comes out on the trees at the front of school and Year 11 receive their Leavers’ Hoodies which now, as they move through their final weeks at Boroughbridge High School, becomes part of the Year 11 uniform. GCSE Progress exams were completed this week with the French Speaking exams and students are now receiving results, helping them to understand what they need to achieve in the coming weeks. 

Year 8 have had their own experience of exams in the Hall this week and Year 7 get the same opportunity next week. 

In assemblies this week, Mrs. Bauwens has been marking World Water Day (22nd March) which is held to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and the need to sustainably manage our freshwater resources by discussing changes that we can each make to collectively have a greater impact. Students watched the official World Water Day video starring the hummingbird who, in the ancient tale, faced with a great fire makes the decision to start to act, trying to put the fire out one drop at a time. The other animals laugh, but the hummingbird replies, “I’m doing what I can.” The short film then tells the story of the global water and sanitation crisis as if the world were a community of just 100 people. 

You can watch it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUkj3uwCPSE

It’s been the Year 7 Rocket Car challenge today. This morning students designed and created their cars, working as a team, before the racing began this afternoon. We’ll look forward to hearing who designed the fastest car!

 A reminder that it’s our Easter concert next week on Thursday 30th March at 6.30p.m. in the Main Hall. Entry is £3 or £2 for concessions. All are welcome.

Staying with the musical theme, Mrs. Skilbeck wanted to share that it is the Open Day on Saturday at the music centre in Northallerton where ‘Potential young players are welcome to come along on Saturday the 25th of March any time between 9:30 and 11:30am. Visitors can take the opportunity to have a look round, find out what we do and have a go on Clarinet, Trumpet or Violin. No experience is necessary, just bring along plenty of enthusiasm and a passion for making music. New members wishing to join us will be able to start from scratch in a new group from the Summer Term, with up to half a term free of charge. Young players with existing experience will be directed into one of our established ensembles.’  You can find out more at  http://www.northallertonmusiccentre.co.uk/home/and Mrs. Skilbeck will be there as a familiar face if any of our students are interested in attending.

Have a lovely weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headteacher’s Blog – 17th March 2023

Headteacher’s Blog – 17th March 2023

A very well attended Options Evening on Tuesday showed the level of thought and consideration that goes into determining the next stage of education. After a talk in the Hall to put our aspirational curriculum into context, parents, carers and students had the opportunity to talk to option subject teachers about what the KS4 qualifications entail along with speaking to core subject teachers about progress being made. There is now a week for final choices to be made and returned via Google Form.

Assemblies this week also had a theme of the future and, as it’s British Science Week, Mr. Scott talked about the relevance of Science in all aspects of life both now and in the future. Students looked at the timeline of the development of mobile phones with disbelief whilst staff chuckled, remembering the early phones with a battery life of 2 hours and their only capacity to make a phone call! The clear message though was that Science has an important part to play in solutions around health, the planet and technological innovation. You can find out more at https://www.britishscienceweek.org/

On Wednesday we had our Professional Development Day and, whilst it’s often a mystery to students what happens on these days, let me reveal that staff maximised their time through professional development and discussion around areas which help us to challenge, motivate and support our young people including Curriculum, Climate for Learning, Safeguarding updates and Reading. 

Years 10 and 11 have been fully engaged in their second set of Progress exams as we march, at pace, towards the GCSE and BTEC Summer exam season. Year 8 have their own exams next week, followed by Year 7 the week after. 

Today has been non-uniform day as we’ve raised money for Comic Relief, making our contribution to projects in the UK and around the world supported by the charity which has been in existence for 38 years. How many red noses have you purchased over the years?

We’ve welcomed Mrs. Broadhurst as Pastoral Manager this week who will be working alongside Mrs. Hirst and Mrs. Donnelly.

Advance notice that in a couple of weeks’ time we have our Easter concert at 6.30p.m. on Thursday 30th March. All are welcome. 

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteachers Blog

Headteacher’s Blog – 10th March 2023

With a view ahead, Mrs. Bloomfield’s assemblies this week have focused on possible futures as part of National Careers Week (https://nationalcareersweek.com/) looking at the fact that there are numerous routes to different careers and, whilst our young people might not yet know the route they will take, there is a great deal to be positive about as they navigate their way towards future employment. They’ll be getting lots of support within school and beyond through our extensive Careers Education, Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) programme. Year 8 were introduced to their first opportunity to personalise their curriculum at Boroughbridge High School by choosing three subjects from Art, Drama, DT, FT, ICT and Music to deepen and enrich their studies in Year 9 whilst still having the full suite of GCSE/BTEC subjects to choose from at the end of Year 9.  And so, with Options Evening next Tuesday (6p.m.) for Year 9 and their Parents and Carers, this week they’ve been involved in taster sessions to inform their decisions. They’ll choose four option subjects and study two of these in Year 10 and two in Year 11, alongside their Core Subjects as part of our Stage not Age approach.

GCSE Food students have had a productive week of trial and triumph as they’ve completed their practical. From profiteroles to pasties and cheesecake to crunchy chicken, the results were both aesthetically pleasing and very tasty. Next week, Years 10 and 11 will be completing phase 2 of their Progress Exams which will enable them and their teachers to identify how much more they know and how they’ve developed their skills since the December Progress Exams and establish how they need to approach the next couple of months leading up to the exams.

Last night we held our Parent Information Evening on attendance and, in the following discussion, a lot more besides. Thanks to those who attended. Our next one is on Thursday 20th April at 6p.m. when we’ll be looking at Internet Safety. Please let us know if there are any other areas that you would like us to cover in the future.

The Year 8 girls football team were in action this week, competing against local schools. We came fourth and Mrs. Godsell-Wright said that the team played very well and were an absolute credit to BHS.

A reminder that we have a Professional Development Day on Wednesday 15th March when students do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteachers Blog – 03.03.23

Headteacher’s Blog – 3rd March 2023

If you have younger children, then you’ve probably been battling with costumes of your child’s favourite character for World Book Day on Thursday. Here at Boroughbridge High School we’ve taken a DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) approach with teachers, for a couple of lessons in the day, choosing an extract from a favourite book or article relevant to their lesson, topic or subject and reading it aloud to the class before discussing it. So looking at a sample across school, in the Maths Department, Mrs Bloomfield read a passage to Year 7 from “The Number Devil – a Mathematical Adventure” by Hans Magnus Enzensberger which is a fun journey through the world of Mathematics through the eyes of a 12 year old boy who hates Maths but ends up dreaming about it!

In Mrs. Murphy’s Year 7 Maths lesson, student either read or wrote a short story involving a fraction. They then listened to the short stories, lots of food was mentioned in some really imaginative stories. Year 8 had a starter matching up descriptions with graphs. They were then shown a different graph and asked to write a short story that could be represented by the graph. Mrs. Murphy commented that ‘They all had a go and produced some stories that defied gravity.’

In Year 9 History, Mrs. Town read Chapter 1 of ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ as they are starting to study the Holocaust.

 

In GCSE, Mr. Field shared an article tilted ‘Lizzy Yarnold: GB’s two-time Winter Olympic champion calls for stop on high-carbon sponsorship deals’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-sports/64785138 which linked two topics that he has significant interest in; snowsports and the environment. The article also linked perfectly to the specification as it covered topics that students are about to learn about in GCSE PE, Commercialisation of sport.

Mr. Errington and his class read pages 52 to 55 of “Surely You’re joking, Mr Feynman” by R.P.Feynman. Mr. Errington says that ‘Richard Feynman was arguably the world’s greatest theoretical physicist and when I first read his books when I went to school in the 80’s, he inspired me to keep learning and my love of physics.’

In MFL, Y9 students looked at the bilingual (French & English) edition of ‘Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’ and heard excerpts in both languages. Madame Bailie reports that ‘They were very pleased with themselves to recognise some of the French vocabulary!’

Mr Woodward reports that in RE, ‘I read (in a slightly dramatic fashion) extracts from the Book of Job in the Bible to Y9 students as we analysed the Biblical response to the existence of unfair suffering in the world and then, during Lesson 5, extracts from Damian Hall’s “We Can’t Run Away From This” were shared in our exploration of the issue of climate change.’

 

So, not only did students get the opportunity to read and get an insight into their teachers’ reading but they may also have some ideas for future reading.

Setting the scene throughout the week in assemblies was Mr. Cockerill who talked about a range of books from different genres and different times and their impact at the time demonstrating the true power of the written word.

 

 

Next week is our Parent Information Evening on Thursday (9th March) at 6p.m. where Mr. Grierson (Deputy Head) and I will discuss Attendance in the first part of the evening and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you have during the second part. Please e-mail schooladmin@boroughbridgehigh.com if you’d like to attend.

Have a lovely weekend!

 

 

 

 

Headteachers Blog 24.02.23

Headteacher’s Blog – 24th February 2023

There’s been a definite feeling of Spring this week as we’ve returned from our half term break. With Random Acts of Kindness Day on Friday 17th March, Mrs. Hunter’s assemblies this week have explored this theme, looking at people who’ve made it their mission to carry out a random act of kindness each day with students being encouraged to do the same.

As you’re aware our school community is benefiting from working closely with the NHS Wellbeing in Mind team who are based in the Bungalow. With the understanding that sleep is essential for our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, this week they’ve shared some tips for better sleep.

In sporting news, the Year 8 Handball Team were in action on Thursday and, whilst they didn’t win (17-9), Mr. Field reports that ‘After a nervous start they really proved their
resilience in putting on a good performance.  A loss that we will learn from and improve further.  As their first competitive fixture this was a good start and promising for future handball fixtures.’

 

This week we’ve said farewell to Mrs. Collings who is part of the SEN team and Mrs. Brokenbrow who is part of the Catering Team. We thank them for their considerable input to our school community and wish them well for the future.

A reminder that we have a Professional Development Day on Wednesday 15th March when students do not attend school. This will follow the Year 9 Options Evening on Tuesday 14th March.

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteachers Blog 10.02.23

Headteachers Blog – 10th February 2023

Talk is such an important part of learning. Promoting the spoken word can have a huge impact in helping students to understand and voice ideas around complex topics, furthering their chances of progressing their understanding. So what ‘talk’ has been happening in lessons at Boroughbridge High School this week?

Some of the Year 7 Geographers have been discussing the factors which affect microclimate whilst others have just started the topic of earthquakes and have been talking about the devastating impact that the recent earthquake has had on the countries of Turkey and Syria.

In Year 7 French, students have been learning how to change adjectival endings when describing someone’s personality, and using this vocabulary in speaking activities to pay one another compliments whilst, in Food Technology, students discussed fats and oils and how they affect our health if we have too much or too little.

Mrs Macadam reports,  ‘Year 7s have been talking (excitedly) about and tasting food from the countries they have blogged about for their travel writing assessment. (Students prepared and shared a colourful array of food types: risotto, pizza, home-made Jewish bagels, Portuguese tarts, milk tart from Cape Town, Greek baklava, American cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, Moroccan bean stew and cilantro salad, homemade humus, Thai noodles, home-made  Irish soda bread,  churros and lots and lots more!) They were also very lucky to have a talk from Mr. Barfield on survival food from an Antarctic expedition – and got to taste and give opinions on their findings.  It was lots of fun!’

In English, Year 8 students have discussed what makes a great film poster as part of their work on the novel Brother in the Land. In Year 9 Music, good exam technique was discussed as students prepared to take their first listening exam of the mini-option course.

In Maths, Year 10 students have been discussing how simultaneous equations would be used in the world outside of school and what careers you may need to use them in. KS4 Computer Science students have been discussing the future of AI and if it’s a good or bad idea to keep developing AI. In RE, Y10 and Y11 students have been discussing the morality of nuclear weapons, the ethics of peaceful and non-peaceful protest and the multifaceted causes of terrorism. Meanwhile, Year 10 biologists have been discussing how our body responds to a change in the environment. Is it due to the nervous system and a reflex action or is it hormonal control?

Mrs Macadam’s Year 10 have been talking about symbolism, imagery  and recurring motifs in Act 2 scene 2 of “Macbeth”; hands were drawn and decorated with symbols and significant quotations were retrieved and explored.

The Year 11s were captivated by our motivational speaker Al Sylvestor MBE, ex RAF and South Pole explorer,  with thrilling tales of overcoming adversity,  frostbite, never giving up and succeeding against the odds.

He spoke about the qualities needed to succeed in one of the greatest human challenges, to complete a 600 mile walk unaided to the South Pole – hard work, teamwork, honesty, bravery and determination .  He enthused and inspired the students to reflect on how they could use those qualities to prepare and succeed in their GCSEs this Summer. Thinking of possible futures some of our Year 11 students went across to King James’s School, Knaresborough for the Sixth Form taster day. Exciting times ahead!

Assemblies this week have focused on ‘ the power of words’.

It was a busy Year 7 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday with lots of positive conversations about excellent progress being made. Thank you for your support with this.

Advance notice that we have a Professional Development Day on Wednesday 15th March when students do not attend school. This will follow the Year 9 Options Evening on Tuesday 14th March.

Have a lovely weekend and half term break!