Blog: 26th February 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 12th February 2021

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

Wildlife Pond

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

Music Competition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parents/Carers’ survey

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

 Some Sad News

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

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

Take care and stay safe.

Rob Grierson

Deputy Headteacher

Blog: 5th February 2021

The early morning drive into school is starting to happen in something that doesn’t completely resemble winter darkness.  The first traces of bulbs planted are starting to pop their heads up around the school grounds as we anticipate explosions of colour decorating our beautiful campus.  We are one week away from half term and the first signs of spring give us hope of better times ahead.

This week has been officially designated ‘Children’s Mental Health Week, and every day of every week we are mindful of the mental health of the young people who we look after.   The theme for this year is ‘Express yourself’.  There are lots of great resources available at

In this week’s blog I thought I’d give you a little flavour of the types of things that we’ve doing to look after our young people’s mental health who come into school.

The importance of exercise is so important to help get the happy chemicals flowing and Mr Field has been providing a number of activities from badminton to football to fitness drills.  Mrs Godsell Wright has helped to provide some light relief with her dance classes in the dance studio – let’s do the time warp again and the macarena both popular.

At breaks and lunchtime, the hot chocolates have been popular, warming them up as our young people enjoyed sculpting the snow and having some playful snowball fights.

The importance of music was emphasised as Mr Grierson shared with the students ‘the top ten songs scientifically proven to make you happy – don’t stop him now cause he’s having a good time. Some of our talented musicians have been accessing our drum kit and guitars to give them a well-earned break from the computer screen.

Our pastoral team have been having one to one catch ups and staff and students have been boosting each other up with kind words of encouragement.

Since the last lockdown we’ve had a 500% increase in the number of children coming into school and this has made it increasingly challenging to deliver our remote learning and live lessons whilst keeping the school going, so if you’re a key worker and there is scope not to send your child into school some of the time, that would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend, stay safe and look after each other.

Blog Guest writer Mr Grierson Deputy Headteacher


Blog: 29th January – Back to The Future

It’s almost a year ago to the day the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the UK.  It was just down the road at the University of York.  Little did we know that a full year later, our normal lives, including our schooling would be so dramatically affected.  I thought it would be interesting to look back at what we were doing when normal was just normal, and not the ‘new normal’.  The idea for this blog is based on the large number of repeats currently on tv, and the recent scientific revelations that nostalgia is good for general well-being.

Here’s a flavour of what we did when we took normal for granted:

If you’ve ever cooked too much spaghetti, then Year 7 may have the solution for you. They’ve been making spaghetti measurers of all shapes and sizes taking on a variety of themes! In French, Year 7 have been increasing their vocabulary before using Quizlet live to compete in teams against their classmates, demonstrating their increasing grasp of the French language.

 In Year 10 PSHE this week, students have been exploring risky behaviours and learning how to keep themselves safe. Topics have included healthy relationships and appropriate use of social media. It was lovely to see so many parents and students at the Year 10 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday. Questionnaire responses will be published on the website next week. BTEC students in Years 10 and 11 have an important week ahead with their first external exams in Health and Social Care and Travel and Tourism.

 Year 11 will also have the opportunity to experience the future as they embark on A-Level taster days at King James’s School on Wednesday and BHS on Friday.

Thinking even further ahead, Year 9 will have the opportunity to go to Bewerley Park to experience the Great Outdoors in July. 

Instead of assemblies for most year groups this week, we’ve been visiting tutor groups to see just how they prepare for the day ahead. We’ve seen planner and uniform checks, reading, homework time, equipment checks, quizzes and birthday celebrations! Classes also marked Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday by watching a video and carrying out thoughtful activities to remember the millions of people who were murdered or whose lives were changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 

Year 11 had their assembly today and we welcomed visitors from the National Citizen Service who shared with students the Summer time opportunities that the scheme can bring. A large number of students got involved last year and benefited greatly from the experience so we’re hoping for the same this year.

On a positive we have been given a tentative date of the 8th March to start to come back and we’ve enriched our vocabularies with term like circuit breakers, lockdowns, pandemic, flattening the curve, whilst simultaneously enriching our scientific knowledge about r rates, spiky proteins and vaccine efficacy.

Thank you for all your continued support.

Take care everybody and keep an eye out for Mr Grierson’s weekly remote learning news on Monday.

Blog: 15th January 2021

As we move into the second week of remote learning, let’s begin by focusing on the learning taking place at Key Stage 3.

In Geography, Year 7 have spent the last two weeks consolidating map skills. Through solving puzzles and creating mystery maps, they have been practising using direction and grid references. To complete the topic of ‘Weather and Climate’ Year 8 have been learning how hurricanes form, creating a storyboard to show the different stages.  Some excellent work has been submitted by students investigating Hurricane Katrina, the world’s most expensive hurricane to date! Year 9 are continuing to investigate Tropical Rainforests and this week have begun to look at why they are such a valuable resource.

In Science Year 7 and 8 are looking into space. Challenging stuff as the next time they revisit this topic will be in Year 11 and, as Mr Errington says, which other subject lets you look back in time every time you look up at the stars?

Doing some time travel themselves, in Year 7 History students have been investigating how the Barons dealt with their frustrations towards King John’s rule, and how the Magna Carta came to be created in 1215. Zooming forward, Year 9 Historians are looking at the causes of World War Two whilst in Religious Studies, students are learning about the teachings the Buddha gave to help his followers manage the inevitable suffering that all people experience as part of the human condition with Year 7 students continuing their introduction to Buddhism and the Life of Siddhartha Gautama and asking the question “Where is happiness found?”

In French, Year 7 have been describing their personalities using complex adjectives and honing their pronunciation skills and, despite the snowy weather, Year 8 have been ordering their favourite ice cream flavours- une boule de glace au chocolat s’il vous plaît!

In Art & Design, as you can see, Year 7 have been using mark making to create tone, texture and form in their work on insects while in ICT, they have been exploring Scratch to develop their programming skills, using variables to store data such as the score. At a time when computers have taken on even greater significance, Year 8 have begun to look at how computers work, starting with identifying inputs, outputs and storage devices used in computers.

In DT, Years 7 and 8 have been looking at client and user needs whilst in Year 9 energy has been the focus with students looking at where it comes from and how sustainably it is produced whilst in Food Technology, Year 8 students have been set a practical linked to their theory lesson on carbohydrates.

In Maths, Year 7 have been investigating angles and using angle facts in problem solving, Year 8 have been finishing off algebra, working with some challenges whilst multiplying out double brackets and understanding inequalities. Meanwhile, Year 9 are studying compound measures (speed, distance, time & pressure, force, area) as part of the ratio and proportion unit.

Students have also been accessing their drum and piano lessons in a Google Meet lesson.

With an eye on the Sport England research that says that only 44.9% of children and young people are currently meeting the guidelines of taking part in sport and physical activity for an average of 60 minutes or more a day, the Strava Club has now gone live at Boroughbridge High School. This will help students to stay in touch with and motivate each other whilst they take part in their daily exercise. This coincides with the launch of the whole school ‘Couch to 5k’ challenge. Completing the weekly training through the NHS app will keep students active and provide a valuable break from the computer screen. To help document all the personal achievements each student has been tasked with creating a weekly activity blog to showcase their physical achievements and their creative writing skills.  Mr, Field reports that some Year 9 students have already submitted some fantastic examples and we are looking forward to receiving many more to see what activities everyone has been doing.

Having had a live session with Mr Grierson on Looking After Yourself during Lockdown, which will be a regular feature, next week Key Stage 3 students will begin their live subject sessions too.

They’ve gone really well for Key Stage 4 students this week with a Year 11 Maths group catching up via a live lesson with the focus on ensuring that students had access to the many resources used and know how to get the most out of them. Meanwhile, in French, students have enjoyed live lessons and practising ‘crazy’ translations live using ‘flippity’. The first live lesson with the GCSE PE group was a great success too with a fantastic turn out and some great work produced.

So, all year groups will start with their new timetable next week designed to support them in creating a good working routine whilst also ensuring that they experience a wide range of teaching and learning activities. Bring on Week 3!

Take care.

So here it is, 2021! It’s not been the start to the term that we were all expecting, or indeed hoping for with a return to Home Learning for most students. However, as usual our whole school community has risen to the challenge.

With the Summer exams being cancelled and the DfE and Ofqual working on a fair way to award grades, it’s essential that our exam classes continue to work hard and complete all work to put themselves in a strong position and so I’m going to focus on what our Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students have been learning this week, some in a classroom at school and many more in homes in surrounding settlements.

Getting 2021 off to a more positive start, in French, students have been writing their New Year’s Resolutions in French using the future tense of course!

With health and wellbeing at the fore, in Health and Social Care students have been analysing how our choices affect our lives in the short and long term. Thinking of physical health and fitness in PE, students have been looking at the long-term effects of exercise and injuries in sport with pictures of gruesome sports injuries! With solutions in mind, students have developed the knowledge of how to prevent and treat these injuries should they encounter them. Keeping healthy from within, Food Preparation and Nutrition students have started their coursework and have the choice of researching, planning and cooking from the three tasks set. The impact of mobile phone use on health, along with how robot arms are performing operations in hospitals, has been the focus for Computer Science students as they’ve begun to look at the legal, ethical and environmental impact of computers.

As our first winter snow is falling, GCSE geographers have been looking at the impact of extreme weather in the UK as part of a unit on natural hazards, focusing on the impact of storms. Staying with Humanities, in RE, students are beginning their independent study of the ethics of human relationships whilst in History, students are investigating the key question, ‘How did Hitler establish a dictatorship?’.

With an eye on times of greater freedom, Travel and Tourism students have been working on a tourist information guide for a UK destination. Where would you choose? Researching sources of finance available to large and small firms and identifying the advantages and drawbacks of each has been the focus of Business students. In Art, Craft and Design students have been starting to consider design ideas for their final piece based on the theme of Disguise, looking at artists to inspire their design choices.

In Maths, Year 10 students have been working on a range of topics with some students recapping earlier topics and others calculating averages and using data in a real-life context. Year 11 have been working on compound measures, estimation and accuracy, creating constructions and accurately drawing loci and exploring 3D shapes, looking at formal calculations for volume and surface of prisms, cylinders, cones and pyramids, with spheres to come next week.

In Science, all KS4 students have been plugging gaps in knowledge identified from the Progress exams whilst in Design Technology, some online revision has been taking place with students also getting to grips with their design ideas, adding labels and notes, ready to analyse against their specifications.

A-Level students have been completing their UCAS applications, identifying their Universities of choice and using their personal statements to demonstrate their wealth of skills and achievements. They’ve also shown their usual high level of initiative by creating Google Meet groups so that they can discuss their lessons virtually to keep connected during this period of home learning.

Geographers have been studying the main stores and flows of water in the world and how changes over time in one can have significant global consequences, along with pollution in urban areas and how it can be reduced. Biologists have been focusing on exam technique for longer answer questions from Unit 4. Taking full advantage of the National Theatre’s offer to provide schools free access to a range of their plays during the lockdown period, Year 13 English Literature students watched a love production of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ starring Gillian Anderson as Blanche DuBois. Following that they will be revising the dramatic devices used by Tennessee Williams in the play.

Year 13 Psychologists have been studying psychological explanations for schizophrenia on Google Meet lessons and Year 12 have been learning about the behavioural approach. Year 13 Mathematicians have been looking at the normal distribution and working on trigonometric identities which they first met in Year 12. Historians have been researching 16th Century Spain for their Non-exam assessment.

So, whilst the school building may be closed for the majority of students, learning certainly isn’t. Thanks for your support with this. Take care.

One hundred Christmas cards were carefully written with festive messages and best wishes by the Health and Social Care group and, following a quarantine period, are being delivered to Boroughbridge Manor and Riverside Court. We were also very grateful for the £165 donations from staff and students to buy food for our local foodbanks.

Christmas Dinner got us into the Christmas mood on Tuesday and, in and amongst the festivities, we’ve continued with high quality learning with Year 7 making cakes with many different flavourings. Meanwhile, with temperatures beginning to fall, Year 7 scientists have been doing a small science project on insulation using the Raspberry Pi computers and a temperature probe. Mr Errington reports that the students have made a really good start with Charlie and Isaac managing to connect some LEDs and light them.

The Christmas window competition has reached new heights as gradually around the school, windows turned into festive extravaganzas. You can see a few of them here. Decision making was tough so we decided each year group deserved a winner.

Meanwhile, around the school, we’ve also been able to view the Christmas baubles that KS3 classes have been producing.

And so, to end the week with a flourish, we’ve been wearing our Christmas jumpers today and have raised £302 for Save the Children. During extended form time, students received subject awards for their hard work and achievements. They finished by watching a unique staff video performance of ‘Last Covid Christmas’ to a tune you’ll be very familiar with performed by Bertie and Ewan (Year 13) and a range of staff in varying locations.

Thanks again to all parents who completed the survey on remote learning. We’ll share the outcomes and our follow up actions in the New Year.

So, as 2020 draws to a close, I would like to thank you for your support through what has been a challenging year for us all. Your commitment to remote learning during the lockdown period has formed a strong foundation for us to support students in making excellent progress this term. I hope that you and your families have a restful and peaceful Christmas and we look forward to working with you in 2021.

Christmas is in the air this week with Mrs Godsell-Wright’s virtual assembly focusing on Advent and the true meaning of Christmas. Taking on these themes of thinking of and helping others, the BTEC Health and Social Care class will be following our annual tradition of writing cards with Christmas messages to take to local care homes. We’re also collecting monetary donations for local foodbanks. If you’d like to contribute, please put your donation in an envelope marked ‘Foodbank’ which can be handed in at Reception or to the Pastoral Team.

This week has seen the launch of the Form Christmas window competition, as an alternative to our usual Christmas door competition. 7SW set the standard with their excellent Remembrance window display so we’ll see how the forms and their tutors rise to this particular challenge. Judging will take place next Thursday.

Other things to look forward to next week include Christmas Dinner Day on Tuesday accompanied by festive music. Students who are less enthusiastic about Christmas Dinner will be able to have a sandwich alternative. This would also be a very appropriate time to thank the Kitchen Team for their hard work throughout the Autumn Term to maintain our range of hot and cold meals for students despite these challenging times.

Students will hopefully use a few minutes this weekend to find their Christmas jumpers to wear on Friday on our non-uniform day. We’ll be raising money for ‘Save the Children’. Donations can be made through ParentMail.

A reminder that school will close for the Christmas holidays after students have registered at 1.30pm on Friday 18th December.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 4th December – Around the World

Headteacher’s Blog – Around the World

At a time when travel isn’t possible, I thought that it would be interesting to see where students have been going to in lessons this week.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 27th November 2020 – Making Good Progress

Progress exams are well underway, giving students in Years 10 and 11 a real experience of taking an exam in the Exam Hall under JCQ regulations. These exams will be a learning tool for all, as students develop their revision and exam technique and teachers get the information that they need to plan the teaching and learning ahead.

Lower down the school, Year 7 have been involved in Science practicals including chromatography and how to use a Bunsen burner. This morning, in ICT, they were using the Raspberry Pi to begin their exploration of the world of programming and electronics.

Our thanks go to those Key Stage 3 parents who have been supporting their children with Home Learning over the past week. We’ll look forward to welcoming students back later next week.

Our Professional Development Day on Wednesday was focused around developing our remote learning offer with staff expanding their use of the GoogleDrive and GoogleClassroom where students can access their work when self-isolating. A final reminder that the survey on remote learning can be found at the following link will be open until Monday 30th November.

All successful communities have respect for one another at their heart and this formed the basis of Mrs Godsell-Wright’s virtual assembly this week. As the definition for respect is ‘due regard for the feelings, wishes or rights of others’, students were asked to reflect on the fact that words and actions have consequences. This was reinforced by watching the 2020 Anti-Bullying week video on the theme United against Bullying which can be found here

Finally, as we move towards Federation with King James’s School, you should have received a ballot pack with information about the nominees for Parent Governors and how to vote. Students were given this in form time on Thursday and parents of those self-isolating will have had them posted to them. If you haven’t received yours then please contact

Have a lovely weekend!