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!

Blog: 20th November 2020 – Practically Perfect

It’s been a practically perfect week with students across the school being totally hands on!

In Food Technology, Year 7 students have been developing their cutting and chopping skills by preparing fruit salad, Year 8 students have been making and baking muffins in many different flavours and Year 9 have moved on to the main course with pasta and meatballs.

Over in Design Technology, Year 7 students are in the middle of their Blockheads projects. Year 8 students, having finished their designs for their mood lights, are putting in requests for their LED units so that the making process can begin. Meanwhile Year 9, having worked on technical drawings to figure out how to cut and create joints, are now making their MDF trinket boxes.

Up in the Science labs, Year 11 students have been investigating refraction and exploring how acids react with metals, bases and carbonates to produce salts. Chromatography, a process for separating components of a mixture, has been the focus in other classes. Year 10 students have been exploring electrolysis and are also engaged in a fully topical issue; extracting drugs from plants to make vaccines.

There have been a wide variety of sports taking place over in PE. Year 7 boys have been developing their basketball skills whilst Year 7 girls have been getting to grips with a hockey stick. Year 8 girls have been playing netball and Year 8 boys, badminton. Year 9 boys have been playing volleyball and Year 9 girls, football. At Key Stage 4, students have been playing basketball and trampolining. Meanwhile, in GCSE PE, students are starting to appreciate the finer practical points of fitness testing.

A reminder that it’s a Staff Professional Development Day on Wednesday (25th November) when students don’t attend school. Staff will be focusing on further developing our remote learning offer for students who have to self-isolate. The survey for feedback on remote learning is still open at

Finally, our thanks go to the Knaresborough Rotary Club who have very kindly donated ten laptops to support students in both their learning at school and at home. This generous gift will make a huge difference and is very much appreciated.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 13th November 2020

Our Remembrance wreath was laid at the War Memorial by Year 13 students, Harvey and Ewan on Monday morning. With form classes decorating their windows, by the time we all stopped on Wednesday at 11am for the two minutes silence, to pay our respects, the school site was a sea of poppies. Well done to 7SW for their very impressive display.

Today has been a Children in Need extravaganza with a non-uniform day and many children participating in a sponsored walk. Following the deluge of rain in the early hours, we were very relieved to see the rain clouds part and a beautiful crisp autumn day appear. Students enthusiastically walked or ran around the field enjoying the fresh air, safe in the knowledge that they were also raising money for a very good cause whilst, at lunchtime, Key Stage 4 students were also involved in a 5 a-side football competition. Thank you for your support. We’ve raised £1032. Our thanks go to Mr Field for organising this day long event.

It’s been a week of celebration. Your child may have received a certificate congratulating them on having the highest number of positive points available. Today, a large number of certificates and sweet treats have been given to students who, for Attitude to Learning and Behaviour for Learning, achieved good or excellent across all subjects with 30% or more in the ‘excellent’ category.

Our congratulations go to Heather in Year 11 who, this week, was accepted on to the oversubscribed and very prestigious Cambridge University’s Love Languages Masterclasses. C’est superbe!

On the horizon for Year 11 students, and Year 10 for option subjects, are Progress exams which start on Monday 23rd November. These will not only help students to develop their revision skills and exam technique but will also enable teachers to further identify where students have gaps in their knowledge.

You’ll have received the ParentMail asking for your feedback about remote learning. The link is here and will stay live until Monday 30th November. Thanks for the many responses that we’ve already received.

A reminder that we have a Professional Development day on Wednesday 25th November 2020 when children do not attend school.

Have a lovely weekend.

As the trees shed their final leaves and students returned from their half term break, thinking of others has been at the fore this week. This a very important time of year for our community and so we are finding ways, despite current challenges, to mark Remembrance Day taking on the British Legion’s theme for 2020 to pay tribute to the men and women of the Second World War generation and to those of today’s who have served and sacrificed to defend our nation. Whilst we are unable to attend a Remembrance Service this year, we will be laying a wreath at the war memorial in Boroughbridge in preparation for Wednesday. We will also be marking two minutes silence across school at 11am on 11th November. Each form group has been making their own poppies to decorate classroom windows and, in Key Stage 3 Art lessons, students have been developing their own take on the poppy symbol as you can see.

Looking ahead to Children in Need on Friday 13th November, we’ll be having a non-uniform day. The Head students will be running a virtual Children-in-Need themed bake-off competition. Further details were in the letter sent earlier in the week. Making the most of our outside space to keep fit and fundraise, students will have the opportunity to take part in a sponsored walk with their bubble and Key Stage 4 students can also compete in an inter-form, 5 a-side competition. All donations this year will be collected through ParentMail (click on Payments then Shop).

Mrs Godsell-Wright has been analysing the rewards points that students have been accruing through their high-quality work and contributions over the last few weeks and next week she’ll be awarding prizes and certificates to recognise this. We’re very grateful to Morrisons for donating a massive amount of prizes and we’d like to thank them also for providing school lunches over half term for those eligible for Free School Meals.

Thanks for your support with face coverings. Students arrived on Thursday fully equipped and, already, wearing face coverings in communal areas has become part of our routine.

So the meaning of the latin phrase, ‘Non sibi sed aliis’? Quite simply, ‘not for ourselves but for others’.

Have a lovely weekend.

Blog: 23rd October 2020

With safety at the fore, in PSHE lessons last week, our Sixth Form students focused on Driver Safety.  This is a timely presentation highlighting the importance of making appropriate decisions, whilst driving, or as a passenger.  A large proportion of the students are currently learning to drive and it is a requirement of the Sixth Form Code of Conduct that students attend the safety presentation before bringing a car onto the school site.

The Sixth Form also provides an annual opportunity for students to visit a University and Apprenticeship Regional Careers Event.  As this could not take place in the usual style this year, a virtual event was provided complete with a friendly welcome, free giveaways and refreshments!  Students spent the afternoon researching degree courses, university locations and attending webinars on topics including student finance, life at university, employability and how to secure an apprenticeship.  Students left armed with quality information to help them with their post-18 plans.

Looking forward to their own post-16 plans, Year 11 have had a tutor time visit from Mrs. Town, our Head of Sixth Form, and were able to watch a video of our current students in their daily sixth form life whilst also hearing from some of our past students who have used the opportunities that they had at BHS to go on to University and a wide range of job roles. To support Year 11 with both their shorter and longer-term goals, Mrs. Rainbow has been carrying out Careers interviews.

To ensure that all options are open to them and with Progress Exams on the horizon for Years 10 and 11 (they start on Monday 23rd November), Mrs. Godsell-Wright took the opportunity, in advance of the half-term break, to speak to students about the importance of revision. Having presented students with a Revision Guide, she shared some revision techniques and tips on putting together a revision timetable. Students were made aware that the Progress Exams will enable them to demonstrate what they know which will be used to inform teaching. The official exams are scheduled to take place in Summer 2021 but, in these uncertain times, the Progress exams take on even greater importance.

Marking Black History Month, Mrs. Langford is developing a display sharing inspirational stories which explore the lives of influential, black Britons who have had an impact on UK laws and equal rights. To complete the display, students have been invited to share their own black heroes.

Our first Parents’ Evening took place this week with phone conversations rather than face to face meetings. However, the same quality of interaction took place with tutors and the pastoral team having the opportunity to talk to parents about how well Year 7 have settled into Boroughbridge High School and the excellent progress that they are making.

Thank you for your support during this rather different yet, nonetheless, successful half term.

I hope that you and your family have a lovely half term break.

Blog: 16th October 2020 – Behind the Scenes

It’s been a pleasure to write the Blog over the last few weeks, celebrating the fact that students are back in school and high-quality learning is taking place. This week I thought we’d take a look behind the scenes.

The day at Boroughbridge High School begins as the clock strikes 7 with the arrival of the Site Team who begin opening the school and carrying out their site walk to check that everything is in place for students and staff.

Arriving shortly after, the Catering Team begin prepping and cooking to make sure that students have hot and cold snack choices at breaktime and hot and cold meal choices at lunch time. Whilst serving and paying takes place behind plastic screens, the same range and quality of experience is enjoyed. Cleaning takes place between year groups but the seating arrangements look more like a classroom than a Dining Hall.

The sound of small plastic trolley wheels moving across the carpark marks the arrival of the Teaching Team who no longer go to their subject base to set up but, instead, make their way to their first teaching room of the day, making sure that they take all of their resources with them along with their visor. It’s possible that they’ll be teaching in five different classrooms in five different zones throughout the day. Making sure that technology is working to support learning is the responsibility of our ICT Manager.

At 8am the Office Team arrive and get ready for the day ahead, which will involve carrying out a plethora of activities including First Aid, with PPE, for students who are unwell. The Office Manager/PA puts in place any cover that we need for any absent staff which thankfully so far, has been few, whilst the Data Manager gets ready to send the daily attendance return to the DfE.

The Teaching Assistant Team collect their visors and make their way to the zones that they’re assigned to, ready to support students. Technicians set out resources.

Students are met by duty staff as they arrive at school. Those travelling on buses are checked for face coverings. They then make their way to their outside space.

At 8.40am students enter their zone, make their way to their first lesson and the learning begins. Tutor time now comes later with students meeting their Form Tutors before or after break. Assemblies are virtual, with Mr Grierson talking this week about the value of teamwork. Walking around the zones during tutor time are the Pastoral Managers, making themselves available for students. Over in the Sixth Form block, similar activities are taking place with tutors and the Sixth Form Learning mentor.

Throughout the day and after school, the Site and Cleaning team systematically work their way around school ensuring that surfaces and handles are cleaned, soap and sanitiser dispensers filled and doors are propped open.

Whilst everyone has the same responsibilities as they did in March, every action and every decision now has to be looked at through Covid-19 safety eyes. Never before has teamwork been so important. At the end of Week 6, there isn’t one person on site who isn’t exhausted but it’s worth it, as the purpose of this teamwork is very clear, to make sure that our school is a place where students are safe, happy and successful.

Have a lovely weekend and, if you’ve got a few minutes, you may like to take a look at our Virtual Open Evening at

Have you ever wondered exactly how cheese is made? If you asked Mrs Simmonds’ Year 9 class they’d be able to tell you, with some students also saying it had put them off eating it for life although, having been on duty in the Dining Hall, I’d suggest otherwise! In another element of Technology; Design Technology, they were trying their hand at 1 and 2 point perspective with Mrs Flowers. Meanwhile, in Maths, with Mrs Price, they’ve been finishing working on all things averages including tables and data comparisons before moving on to their favourite topic of algebra, starting with manipulation and solving. Across KS3, in RS with Mr Woodward, students have been exploring Aristotle’s moral theory of Virtue Ethics, this week honing in on the way in which role models can be used to help an individual develop their own moral character.

In DT, Year 8 have been making the difficult decision of what their lights might be for and for whom, whilst with Mr Errington, in Science, they’ve been revising for their food and digestion test. In Geography with Mrs Bauwens, Year 8 are continuing to focus on China as an emerging superpower.  This week there have been some lively discussions around China’s population issues including the positives and negatives of the controversial one child policy. In Art, with Mrs Bibbings, having already done some beautiful illuminated letters and typography, Year 8 have a new Graphic Design project based on the bold style of American artist, Robert Indiana.

Year 7 computer scientists, with Mrs Knock, have been exploring inside a computer to find out about the hardware components such as RAM and CPU and looking at what software is, whilst in DT they’ve been working out how to use a net to help them make a card version of the blockheads. In Maths, with Mrs Cummins, they’ve been gearing up for their first progress test to demonstrate all of the fantastic methods they’ve learnt in their first Number topic along with developing their mental and written calculation skills including time and money. In Art they’ll be starting their new topic next week, Portraiture and Expressive Typography, using the work of Julian Opie as inspiration. With Mrs Wilson in RE, they’ve been learning about the scientific explanations of how our universe and life began; exploring the Big Bang and Evolution. In Science, students have been identifying the different organs of the body. The week started very well in Science when Dr Lefley quite literally had students ‘conkering’ Forces. You can see for yourselves.

As we’re not able to have our usual extravaganza of an Open Evening next week, students and staff across the school, along with some of our alumni, have been putting together videos and resources to show people how great it is to be part of the Boroughbridge High School team and inviting them to join our school. If you know someone with a child in Year 6 you could share your experience with them. All of the Virtual Open Evening resources will be available to view on the website on Wednesday 14th October.

Have a lovely weekend!

Blog: 2nd October 2020 – A Focus on Key Stage 4

The chords of Mon Precieux by Soprano flowed through the Key Stage 4 zone this week as linguists listened to this pop music to develop and apply new high-level vocabulary to describe the importance of mobile phones in our everyday life! Over in DT, students were diligently working on their own coursework for the exam, developing their drawing skills and including new and emerging technologies in production.

Geographers have mentally zoomed across to Brazil to complete their extended case study of Rio de Janeiro as an example of a city in an emerging economy. They have explored the reasons for the growth of the city, the opportunities and problems this creates and how they are improving the quality of life for the urban poor in Rio. Closer to home, they’ve also taken a virtual tour of the River Tees to investigate how it changes from source to mouth.

Following the global theme, in Business, students have been looking at globalisation and the impact of competition on UK firms as well as consumer and employee laws. They have their chance to demonstrate their knowledge in their topic test next week.  PE students will have a similar opportunity as, having just finished studying their first theory topic, their end of unit test will not only capture knowledge but also how well they can apply this to sporting contexts.

In English, students in Year 10 have been learning about the Gothic movement, from Lord Byron to Edward Scissorhands, before getting stuck into Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Year 11 students have started studying Macbeth. They’re using the text itself and two productions of the play: Rupert Goold’s version from 2010, which was based on his stage adaptation for the Chichester Festival Theatre and Justin Kurzel’s 2015 big screen version.

Percentages (increase, decrease, change, reverse) have been a focus for some Year 11 students in Maths, following a great start on Trigonometry. Others have been solving quadratics of all varieties and understanding the geometric links to the graph of a parabola and, it’s reported, doing particularly well at it too! Year 10 have been rounding values to different degrees of accuracy and re-establishing good study skills for Maths.

In Science, Year 10 have been studying the timely topic of pathogens, including viruses and how they cause disease, whilst also grappling with the particle theory of gases, looking at how particles move and what causes pressure. Year 11 have been revising for their first Science mock. Binary data and binary shifts have been the focus in Computer Science along with how to represent negative binary numbers.

Historians have been learning about the weaknesses in the Weimar Constitution and the flaws in the Treaty of Versailles whilst, in Core RE, students have been exploring the social history of gay rights in the UK and the various responses of the Church to the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Meanwhile in GCSE RE, students have been exploring the causes of the human proclivity to sin and falling victim to temptation as well as the way in which Christianity claims to be able to offer salvation from an eternity in hell.

Art & Design students have been excelling in a painting skills workshop based on Van Gogh’s ‘The Sunflowers’ and a mark making workshop using personal possessions. You can see how

they’ve been getting on. They’ve also started their GCSE coursework project based on the theme of Disguise.

It’s very apparent watching students and teachers at work that much is being learned and that there is a clear shared understanding that every minute of learning, every lesson, every single day, matters.

Have a lovely weekend.