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 22nd January 2021

As we move into another week of lockdown, we will focus on what’s happening at Key stage 5…

We have been delighted by the dedication and engagement of our year 12 and year 13 students during lockdown.  They have been an absolute credit to themselves, their family and the school, and we are very proud of them.

Here’s a little flavour of the types of things that they have been doing:

Year 12 geographers  have been looking at the impacts of sea level rise on Kiribati and Canvey Island and putting our knowledge to the test practising some exam questions.

Y13 Psychologists have started work on forensic psychology, discussing the process of offender profiling. The Y12 Psychologists have explored and evaluated how we define abnormalities in the psychopathology topic.

Our historians are looking at the Sixteenth Century Counter Reformation in history and also the fascinating and diverse topics –

  • Y12 Why did the Liberals win a landslide victory in 1906?
  • Y13 Post War Britain, was there a cultural revolution in the 1960s?

Year 12 and 13 form time was led by the student leaders and we did a general knowledge quiz written by Hannah (with a small contribution from James with a Geography question) Currently Jess, Maisie, Megan and Emma are top of the leader board (the lack of football knowledge definitely held the staff team back!!)

A big thank those who have already sent in their applications for Sixth Form. The Federation with King James School gives them an offer of over 30 subjects.  The open evening information, video and prospectus are all on the website and you can email or post applications to Mrs Town, head of Sixth Form, at

For any students in need of support or careers guidance about what to do next, please contact Mrs Rainbow at

Finally, please keep a look out for information next week about the ‘virtual’ Year 11 taster day.

Take care and be safe

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.