Blog: 27th September 2019

Influenced by the excitement of the World Cycling Championships this week, Mr Grierson’s assemblies have had a similar theme, looking at the success of people from the past such as Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Graeme Obree. Yes, I know, who? Apparently he broke the world hour record in July 1993 and April 1994 but is perhaps best known for the Old Faithful bicycle he built which included parts from a washing machine. What did they all have in common? Yes, you guessed it, the secret to their success was commitment, dedication, hard work and training.

Talking of such things, now that Year 7 have completed two cycles of their timetable, I thought I’d pop into a few lessons to see what they’ve been learning. Starting in Art, I saw students developing their self-portraits, mastering the skill of portrait proportion. In comparison to two weeks ago, when their work was beginning to take shape, portraits were now fully recognisable. The finishing touch is for them to add a facial expression to show how they felt in their first week at BHS. You’ll be pleased to know that many smiles were on display. Up in Science, the focus was Atoms, Elements and Compounds with students counting up to 20 in elements before singing the Elements Song to consolidate their learning. If you’d like to sing along at home, you can find it on YouTube. Over the corridor, in History, students were exploring Anglo-Saxon Britain examining areas such as place names, food and jobs before comparing it to life in Roman Britain. A couple of classrooms away, in RE, students were working in groups to identify people responsible for acts of atrocity. Much discussion was taking place.

Appearing in a Science lab soon will be the Safety Posters designed and developed by Year 7 over the Summer holidays following their Induction days in July. Judging has now taken place and our congratulations go to Niamh H for this fantastic poster.

Staff and Sixth Form students were raising money for Macmillan this morning by taking part in the World’s Biggest Coffee morning.  I’ll let you know how much we raised next week.

Enjoy the cycling and have a lovely weekend.


Blog: 20th September 2019

Students have been asked to make their mark in assemblies this week by taking part in the annual Make your Mark ballot, the largest consultation of young people in the country. Students were asked to choose from UK wide topics such as protecting the environment, votes at 16 and improving mental health services before identifying issues closer to home. The outcome of the vote will determine what is debated by the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons in November.

In preparation for Open Evening on Wednesday 16th October, Miss Flowers has been using her photography skills to capture daily life at Boroughbridge High School for our new prospectus.

On Thursday afternoon, with the sun still shining brightly on the playing fields of Boroughbridge High School, Year 7 boys were embarking upon their first football match supported by parents and friends. Following a fast-paced game, the score was 3-2 as the final whistle blew, with BHS the victors. Over on the netball courts, the newly formed Year 10 Girls’ Netball team were taking on their opposition with increasing confidence. Despite their 10-6 defeat, they demonstrated that we have much to look forward to in the coming months.

With another week of reward stamp collection, a quick reminder that you can view your child’s rewards, attendance and behaviour log on My Child at School.  If you are a parent of a Year 7 student then you’ll be receiving your log-in details at the Year 7 Tutor/Parent Evening on Wednesday 23rd October. If you would like your log in details before then, please contact Mrs Johnstone at

A final reminder that we close at 2.30pm next Friday (27th September) for the UCI World Championships.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 13th September 2019

Showing that they’re still on form, the Year 9 Football Team started the week well with a 7-0 victory on Monday evening. Year 7 boys began their lunchtime football practice this week with their first match next Thursday. Watch this space!

Just as the Year 9 football team were returning to school on Monday evening, Mr Grierson and I were on our way to the Service of Institution at St. Andrew’s Church, Aldborough to welcome the Reverend Karen Gardiner into our community.

Assemblies for Years 7 to 10 this week have focused on making a positive start and maintaining a positive attitude. Delivered by Mrs Godsell-Wright they’ve not surprisingly had a sporting twist with students being encouraged to think of the finishing line, identify what they need to do to get there and accept that a certain amount of resilience will be needed. This morning, as part of our Careers Programme, Year 11 found out from Mrs Rainbow about the visit that’s planned for them on Wednesday 2nd October to Skills Yorkshire at Leeds Football Club where they’ll be able to think of the future by finding out about a wide range of companies, colleges and organisations. Letters have gone out on ParentMail.

In classrooms this week we’ve had Year 7 creating veggie burgers in Food Technology before separating sand and salt from water in Chemistry and developing basketball skills in PE. Year 8 historians have been learning about Henry VIII whilst Year 9 were exploring mean, median and mode in Maths and preparing a python program using a simple while loop in ICT. Over in Science Year 10 were calculating density of materials, remembering to use the all important units in their answers whilst writing Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde essays in English. Across all of the year groups, it has been particularly pleasing to see an increasing number of Reward stamps as the week has gone on, recognising the positive contributions that our students are making.

As temperatures start to fall a little, a quick reminder that if students would like to wear a jumper underneath their blazer (jumpers are optional, blazers are not!) then it should be a plain black knitted V-neck jumper. Round necks and sweatshirt type material are not allowed. We don’t have a school branded jumper in order to keep uniform costs down.

A reminder that we close at 2.30pm on Friday 27th September for the UCI World Championships.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 6th September 2019

Following a very successful summer with both A-Level students and GCSE students securing excellent results, we’ve had a focused and positive start to our new term. We welcomed back many of our students into Year 12 who are now well underway with their A-Levels. We also welcomed our new Year 7 students who have made an impressive start to their time at Boroughbridge High School.

Assemblies this week have focused on our Standards and how our everyday actions enable us to operate as an effective community where we are safe, happy and therefore successful. I was also able to introduce our new Rewards Stamps which will run alongside the existing reward strategy. All staff have a stamp and students will be rewarded when they do something extra to support a positive Climate for Learning during form time, lessons and social time. Watch out for the stamps in your child’s planner and weekly totals will be added to My Child at School each Monday.

As we started our academic year in June, lessons have started at pace this week with GCSE Food students crafting cheesecakes, Year 7 drawing self-portraits in Art, grappling with number puzzles in Maths and learning the names of countries in MFL. Year 8 scientists have been examining food and digestion whilst working with estimations, averages and circles in Maths. 3D Pythagoras has been the Maths focus for Year 9 students whilst they’ve been programming around the big track in DT. Year 10 have been examining Jekyll and Hyde in English whilst looking at the impact of natural disasters in BTEC Travel and Tourism. Year 11 have been completing mock exams in Science. So, all in all, a very productive week!

Our congratulations go to Miss Whiles who had a healthy baby boy during the summer break. Both are well.

As little jerseys appear across Boroughbridge in preparation for the UCI World Championships (I even managed to knit a few myself over the summer), you’ll have seen in the newsletter we will be closing at 2.30pm on Friday 27th September, in order to enable students and staff to get home before road closures or to have the opportunity to watch the race with their families.

In other sport, our congratulations go to former BHS student Craig MacGillivray who has been called up to the senior Scotland football squad.

Have a lovely weekend!


Headteacher’s Blog: 19th July 2019

Last week ended noisily with an excellent performance of ‘We Will Rock You’. With 15 cast members and a substantial band the audience were subconsciously invited to relive their youth as the next generation sang all of our favourite Queen songs cleverly crafted into a dramatic narrative. Well done to all.

It was a beautiful sunny day on Tuesday as our students with top rewards points, boarded the coaches bound for Flamingo Land with the promise of rides and a zoo experience. Our thanks went to Harron Homes for paying for the coaches and, speaking to the students on their return, it was clear that a good time had been had by all. There were tales of Cliffhanger and Velocity along with sightings of giraffes, camels, hippos and yes, of course, flamingos! This is just one of the ways in which we reward students. In September, we’ll be adding to our Rewards strategy so watch this space.

Wednesday was our final Challenge Day of the year. Year 8 went on a historical journey visiting Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey whilst Year 9 were involved in Healthy Lifestyles starting with their own, having a rounders tournament. They also learnt how to save lives using CPR as part of the British Heart Foundation Restart a Heart campaign. Year 10 were ‘Living Dangerously’, exploring possible risks that young people face and how to deal with them. They had input from the Police around keeping safe, explored social norms, discussed mental health and wellbeing and the impact of substance abuse along with participating in an LGBT workshop with Barnardo’s. Meanwhile, Year 11 arrived at school in business dress, ready to engage with a range of employers in a Speed Networking activity with the support of NYBEP. Ready with their wide ranging questions they discovered what different employers are looking for in employees along with the range of career options available to them. To follow up they created their own CV and personal statement. Sixth Form students were developing their own personal statements to be used for applying for University, apprenticeships and future employment.

Keeping up the challenge in RE this week, Mr. Woodward has been getting Year 8 to use their creative heads. He reports, ‘We’ve studied the character of the person of Jesus and explored modern artistic representations of his physical form. Students have debated why artists have depicted Jesus as, amongst other things, a gang member, a woman, a gay man, the Buddha, various races and also, oddly, Ronald McDonald. Having had some in-depth, and often abstract and analytic discussions students created their own images to metaphorically represent the person of Jesus as seen through the life events mentioned in the Gospels.’

So, as you can see, there’s no such thing as a slowing of pace in the final week of term!

As has become our custom at Boroughbridge High School, we finished the term today with a whole school assembly, bringing together the whole community in one space to celebrate our progress and achievements in the last year. With photo slideshows, form tutor and pastoral team awards, special awards and musical performances it was a great event culminating in the big reveal of the Sports Day winners. This obviously brings out great competition in both staff and students alike. So I can now reveal that the winners in each year group were 8JW, 9AS, 10SC and 11NC with a special award going to 9PK for being the best supporting team. They had banners and everything! There was also a very poignant moment in the assembly as we applauded staff who are leaving as a way of marking our thanks for the massive contribution that they’ve made to Boroughbridge High School.

And so another year comes to an end. It’s been an absolute pleasure for me to share in the Blog the weekly happenings and the achievements of your children at Boroughbridge High School. I hope that you and your families have a lovely summer break.


Headteacher’s Blog: 12th July 2019

There was magic in the air on Wednesday when Year 5 and 6 students from Great Ouseburn visited us for their Harry Potter day. After drama, creative writing and leaf tracing in the morning, they finished the day in DT making their very own wand with a special box to keep it in. Meanwhile, in another part of school, Year 5 students from Kirby Hill were completing their Inquiry day and watching a preview of ‘We Will Rock You’.

It was lovely to receive a letter from the North Yorkshire County Schools FA congratulating the Year 8 Football team on reaching the final of the ESFA Small School’s Cup. You can see it here.

Today has also been a day of sporting excellence as we’ve had field events this morning and track events this afternoon for Sports Day. There was a fantastic atmosphere as students competing were encouraged by the cheering crowds with points being secured for form totals. We’ll reveal the winning forms at our whole school assembly next Friday.

As part of our Quality Assurance processes, lesson observations have been taking place across the school over the past few weeks and we’ve observed classes with students of all ages from Year 8 to Year 13. It’s been great to see the level of focus and engagement of our students in these first few weeks of our new timetable and school year.

So, with five (well, actually 4 and a half) school days to go we’ve got a number of exciting events to look forward to next week. This includes the Rewards trip on Tuesday where students who’ve scored the highest points, and therefore have been consistent in their committed approach to learning over the last term, will be going to Flamingo Land for the day.  Our congratulations go to those students. Our thanks go to Harron Homes who presented us with a cheque for £500 this morning to pay for the coaches for the Rewards Trip.

On Wednesday, we’ll have our final Challenge Day of the year. It’s a big day for Year 11 who, dressed for business, will be meeting with employers from the local community with a focus on interviews. Year 8 will be enjoying the great outdoors at Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey. Year 9 will be exploring Healthy Lifestyles and Year 10 will be learning how to keep themselves safe. Year 13 will be looking to the future as they begin the UCAS application process following their work experience last week. A somewhat packed day!

Our warmest congratulations go to Mrs Donnelly and her family on the birth of a baby girl. Both mother and baby are well.

Have a lovely weekend. I’m going to start mine by watching the performance of ‘We Will Rock You’ at 7pm in the School Hall. You’re very welcome to join me.

Headteacher’s Blog: 5th July 2019

It’s been a week of new beginnings as, on Wednesday, we welcomed our new Year 7 students for September and welcomed back our new Year 12 students who looked almost as nervous and somewhat less glamorous than they had a few evenings before when they’d celebrated at the Year 11 Prom. Oh, what a night that was! There was glitter, sparkles, glamour, sharp suits, sweeping dresses, lots of hugs, lots of laughter and great celebration. It was an absolute pleasure for staff to spend the evening with such a lovely group of young people and such a great way for them to end their formal time at BHS. We were not surprised to hear that they’d continued in a similar way at the much talked about After-Prom Party hosted by Tia. I thought I’d share the lovely e-mail from her Dad who said that ‘without exception they partied hard, but were extremely pleasant, polite and fun to hang out with. They were all a credit to themselves, to their parents, to you, to your staff, and the school!’

We’ve also welcomed Year 5 students from Staveley Community Primary School and Dishforth Airfield Primary School for our Year 5 BHS experience days this week. They took part in an Inquiry Day where they solved Maths puzzles, carried out computer programming, took on Sports challenges and recreated ‘The Eye of the Tiger’ in Music demonstrating great resilience and skill.

Meanwhile, GCSE Geographers have been in the Yorkshire Dales, collecting primary data to investigate and evaluate the impact of tourism on Malham.

You may remember that I mentioned the Race for the Line competition last week but, at that time, the results were unknown. Well, they’re now in! The winning car went at 101 mph but sadly it wasn’t ours! But with double the number of schools entering this year, and 60 schools in the final, we were very proud to be fourth with a speed of 94.39 mph, only losing out on a trophy by 0.1 of a millisecond!

So today has been the last of our three Year 6 Induction Days and we’ve had a great week. Students now know their way around the school, who their teachers are, who to go to for help and, very importantly, how to get their dinner in the Dining Hall! We hope they enjoy their final few days in primary school and will look forward to seeing them in September.

A reminder that Thursday (11th July) is a Professional Development Day, when students do not attend school. As you’ll be aware, we do this to coincide the Great Yorkshire Show so that you can take your children if you wish to.

You’re very welcome to join us next Friday at 7pm in the School Hall for a performance of ‘We Will Rock You’. Tickets will be available on the door.


Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog: 28th June 2019

On Wednesday, Mrs Wellock along with Year 10 students, Phoebe, Amara, Rebecca, Ella, Isabel H, Isobel M, Hollie, Emily, Abi, Clarissa, Poppy and Isabelle S set off for York University for a day immersed in English. Students attended a range of workshops delivered by the PGCE trainees including using forensic linguistics to solve the case of a death on the campus; thinking about storytelling over time (How did people tell stories in the past without writing? How might a story change when it is retold? What are the earliest forms of the written word?); fairy tales and literary theory (Do fairy tales influence society or does society influence fairy tales?) and didactic theatre. Whilst they still have a little time to go, they were encouraged to think about the possibility of studying English at A-Level and beyond. Mrs Wellock reported that the students were brilliant, displaying exemplary behaviour and a real willingness to step out of their comfort zones.

As they were departing from school, we were welcoming our Australian visitors. Mr Inglis, through his STEM work has developed a link with Cumberland High School in New South Wales and we were delighted to welcome staff and students. After a visit to Kirby Hill Primary School, students had the opportunity to participate in lessons at BHS before carrying out their own Science experiments. The day ended with a barbecue and talk of the Conference at York University the following day. So, on Thursday morning with resources at the ready, the team set off to meet up with our Australian visitors for their presentations in York. Just in case you are wondering, that’s a bee!


Meanwhile down in Duxford, Dr Lefley and his Year 8 team were competing in the Race for the Line finals. After extensive planning, use of the hot wire cutter and much enthusiasm, the car was ready for competition. The result is yet to be announced!

Out in the community last week some of our students were performing in Bugsy Malone whilst this week our musicians will be performing on Saturday at Nun Monkton Village Feast Day between 2 and 2.40pm. My apologies go to Madi (Year 8), one of the stars of Bugsy who I omitted to mention in the Blog last week.

It’s National School Sport Week and the focus of the Five Ways to Wellbeing has also been the focus of assemblies this week. We’ve explored each of the ways identifying what it might mean to us individually and actions we can take to look after both our physical and mental health.

Thanks to The Crown for being an excellent venue last Friday for the Year 13 Leavers’ Meal. We had a lovely meal and it was a great opportunity for thanks and wishing all well for the future. This Friday we’ll be at The Bridge Inn for the Year 11 Prom.

We’ve got another busy week ahead and are looking forward to welcoming Year 6 into our school community when they visit us for their Induction Days from Wednesday to Friday. Exciting times!

Have a lovely weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog: 21st June 2019

Our 2019-2020 academic year is now underway and we’ve had an excellent week with students showing renewed focus approaching a new timetable, new subjects and new teachers with enthusiasm.

But if your child was disappointed not to be taught by Mr Cockerill today, then let me explain. Mr Cockerill was not only attending the NATE (National Association for the Teaching of English) conference but he’ll also be sharing his literary passion by presenting a workshop on ‘Teaching Creative Writing of Narrative through moving image’ so that teachers and students from across the country can benefit from his creativity. He’ll be back in action at BHS on Monday.

Whilst we’re on the English theme, Mrs Wellock (formerly Miss Stonehouse!) and her Carnegie Book Club are working their way through the Carnegie award shortlist. If you’d like to join them, you can find the shortlist here.  I’m told that ‘Bone Talk’ is a particular favourite.

Moving from national to international, on Wednesday, Mr Inglis and his research team will be welcoming staff and students from Australia who will be visiting Kirby Hill Primary School to discuss the joint STEM project which we’ve been working on before visiting lessons at BHS, carrying out scientific experiments and concluding with a sociable barbecue. You can read more about the work that they’ve been doing in the Gatsby research paper which you can find at this link  We feature on page 21.

Closer to home you may see Morgan (Year 8), Bella (Year 9), Jess (Year 9) and Abi (Year 10) treading the boards this weekend as part of the Boroughbridge Hightimers’ Production of Bugsy Malone. We’ll be able to see them in action in ‘We Will Rock You’ in a few weeks’ time at BHS.

Our community is also getting ready to welcome the UCI Road World Championships in September. Our first contribution to the event will be to get our needles clicking to knit jerseys to create bunting to be displayed along the route and around the town. If you’d like to get involved then click  for the knitting pattern and further information. Our community contact is Hazel Goss. Give her a call on 01423 323123 if you’d like some wool to get started.

Part of our mission at Boroughbridge High School is to ensure that students develop ‘the skills and confidence to make an active contribution to the communities to which they belong’ and, as you can see, they demonstrate this daily!

So as the new academic year was starting for many, Year 13 were completing their final exams. Well done, Year 13, you did it! We’re having their Leavers’ Meal at The Crown tonight to celebrate.

Finally, you are warmly invited (parents and students) to visit the Art Department, Room A21, on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th June from 4-6pm to view the GCSE and A-Level Art and Photography work. Prepare to be impressed.

Have a lovely weekend.


Headteacher’s Blog: 14th June 2019

Well, what a week for weather. Hard to believe that this time last year we were enjoying, or enduring, temperatures of over 25 degrees. Still it was perfect for canoeing as demonstrated by Year 9 on their Bewerley Park trip.  On Tuesday morning almost 50 students boarded the bus for their outdoor experience. We’ve had daily photos from Mr Grierson showing the range of exciting activities taking place which you can find on the front page of the website. If you’ve ever wondered about students’ resilience then wonder no more. They’ve been canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking and gorge walking, orienteering and taking a ‘leap of faith’. Well done Year 9 and thanks to Mr Grierson, Mr Collings, Miss Cummins, Miss Rayner and Mr Johnstone for taking students on the trip.

Novelty cakes have been the focus for Year 8 Food Technology lessons. The creativity demonstrated has been most impressive and included elephants, unicorns, strawberries, butterflies and handbags. I’m sure that there have been some tasty teatimes.

Today has been an exciting day for Year 11 (and Year 10!) as the final GCSE exam has taken place. I’d like to take this opportunity to recognise how superb their approach has been to the whole exam season. They’ve been exemplary in their punctuality, attitude and conduct. Thanks for your support too. You all deserve to have a restful weekend! Thanks also to Mrs Johnstone, our Exams’ Officer, who works tirelessly to ensure that the exams run smoothly and that students get the support that they need.

And so, as we look forward to next week, it’s Happy New Year for Boroughbridge High School as we ‘flip’ our timetable forward so that Year 10 move into Year 11, Year 9 into Year 10 and so on. Not only does this help us to maintain focus in the final weeks of the Summer Term, it gives students in Years 10, 11 and 13 more than 20 hours of GCSE or A-Level learning time before the Summer break.

Have a lovely weekend.