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Rod Sims - "Whats happening at YHS"

Welcome to our website, here you will find updates from Rod Sims about the last week, and the week ahead.

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  • Weekly Round-up 16/03/18

    Published 16/03/18


    Firstly great news from our debate team who beat Manor this week in the Mace debate at  St Peters School.

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    Congratulations to Harriet, Sam and Oscar who were magnificent.

    Their next competition is a North of England competition during the Easter holidays. Ms Jabbar and Mr Duarte will be working hard in the meantime to get them ready.

    As I write this 15 of our year 11 students and Ms Evans are making huge paper chains and banners to decorate the Astro for our whole school Pounds for Pea event.

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    If you have not read the earlier post we will be raising money for Sands and Sport Relief. On Wednesday we are holding a non uniform day where students are encouraged to wear their most flamboyant socks. During the day all students will walk three legged around the Astro, we are aiming for a combined distance that is the equivalent of York to Birmingham and back. All students to bring a pound or more if you wish to donate.

    This week Mr. Burton, Mrs. Kitchen and I have been into over 30 lessons. We have been delighted by the positivity and enthusiasm with which our students work. It has been fantastic to see the pride that our students take in their learning.

    Next week Friday is a training day so you can look forward to another dull update on how hard we work on the training day so you don’t think we are all at home with our feet up!

    Have a good weekend, surely not more snow!

    Rod Sims, YHS

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  • Weekly Round-up 09/03/18

    Published 09/03/18


    With the weather back to normal everything was a little more relaxed until Thursday.  I walked the dog at 6 in the rain, came into work in a snowstorm at 6.30.  Thankfully there were no disruption, let’s hope that Thursday was the last of winter.

    Year 11's have been working hard this week sitting the second round of mock exams, essential for the teachers to identify the gaps in knowledge that we need to address before the real thing.  Behaviour in the exams was excellent and the effort levels were good, so over to the teachers now who have a heavy marking weekend.

    Education is more than examinations and this week there have been a series celebrations around International Women’s Day.  All departments have been celebrating women who have been outstanding in their fields.  Thanks to Miss Crossley who has organised the celebrations of women this week.




    On another note congratulations to Mr Duarte and the work he is doing with Young Carers it looks like we are well on the way to receiving a prestigious award that only one other Secondary School in York has.

    Also, congratulations to Becky and the catering team for receiving the highest award possible in the recent hygiene inspection.

    And on a final note, if anyone has been worrying all week about my boiler situation – new boiler is now installed thanks to plumbing legend Wayne Miller.

    Have a great weekend.

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-up 02/03/18

    Published 02/03/18


    What a week, where do I start?


    I arrived to find the school cold as the boilers had turned off over the weekend.

    This did mean school cold early on but heating up throughout the day.


    When I arrived at school I was greeted with a rumour that we had asked all students to bring in blankets as we had no heating!!!  Yet the heating working fine and school was warm and toasty.

    Rest of Tuesday passed off without event.


    I have always said that if I was in charge I would never shut the school for weather. Now I am in charge I shut the school!

    Cycled in on Wednesday to find that we had messages from over half the staff that they would be late or would not be able to travel due to the weather.  Several members of staff had been in accidents and some, who had made it to school, were shaken after near accidents.  At that point we would not have had enough staff so reluctantly and rather late we shut the school.  Amazing how quick that message got around!

    I stayed in school all day timing it perfectly so that I rode home in a blizzard!


    I was in school by 7am with the site team and at that point every other secondary school in York was already shut.  Therefore, we decided to shut the school due to the danger of travelling in the weather.


    Got into school for 7am no problems

    • school open
    • boilers working
    • all staff in school
    • but only 77% of the students are in school today.

      As always stood at the gate greeting the students who mostly seemed cross that we had opened at all! 

    On top of all this Boiler at home broken so no central heating or hot water for the last two days in my own house.  The phrase put your own house in order Mr Sims springs to mind.

    What - a - week!!!!!!!

    One last comment, normally snow brings some poor behavior choices as excitement levels rise, I would like to thank the majority of our students for the way that they have enjoyed themselves in a fun but respectable way this week.

    Stay warm and see you next week

    Rod Sims, YHS

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  • Weekly Round-up 09/02/18

    Published 09/02/18


    What a fast and furious half term.  Today was very productive with staff training on Independent practice and reviewing the learning.  The second session was about developing a consistent approach to behaviour based around respect and choices which can be summarised as follows.

    • Respect is like throwing a ball against a wall
      • what you throw against the wall is what you will get back
    • Choices
      • All behaviour is the result of a choice
      • We want our students to make better choices day by day, week by week, term by term and year by year
      • Not just behavioural choices but in their attitude to learning.

    All assemblies this week to years 7 and 10 have had the same theme

    Year 11 have left for an exciting weekend in Lincolnshire learning Maths and English as well as outdoor activities.

    Year 8 are braving the cold at Euro Disney, its currently 2 degrees!

    This morning I posted about wanting more people to attend the Year 11 parents evening.  The post was taken the wrong way by some who thought that I was trying to shame parents who were not attending.  On reflection the quickly written post may have seemed abrupt but it was not meant to shame.  My  intention is to build on the strengths of the community, I do not see the school, parents and the local community as separate.  If we are to move this school back to good then we all need to work together to raise standards.  I would welcome any comments from anyone about ways that we can break down the barriers that sometimes exist between school and parents.  This is why I started writing the weekly update to open up communication.  The School represents the community we serve, we are an open, honest and caring place that is striving to do the best for all our pupils.

    Have a great weekend and enjoy having the kids back for the week!

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-up 02/02/18

    Published 09/02/18


    I was observing Science interview lessons for teachers to start next September today and the teacher had asked the students to share a remarkable fact about themselves. The responses made me stop and think about the amazing breadth of interests and experiences our students have.

    The responses included:

    • I am a junior UK Karate Champion
    • I can tap dance to grade 4
    • I love to draw especially in the style o...f Japanese Anime
    • I love football and I am from Poland

    The two answers below also highlighted the lack of confidence and pride that some of our students have.

    • There is nothing remarkable about me
    • I am not sure.

    We are all remarkable in our own way and should believe in ourselves. We should never underestimate the power of kind words in boosting confidence.

    Well done to the Year 10 and Year 11 students who attended Poetry Live on Thursday with Miss Crossley. The students did the school proud with their behaviour.

    Well done to the students who took part in the Junior Maths Challenge this week.

    It is good to see how many people were appreciative about our warning about the anonymous app sarahah. It so important that we keep our children safe on social media

    Have a good one

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-up 26/01/18

    Published 26/01/18


    Very brief update this week.

    I have spoken to years 7 – 10 about behaving safely on the way to and from school.  Please reinforce the message that road safety is vitally important.

    The Year 8 Blue Skies students were at Linton on Ouse this week working with the RAF.

     Staff at school are working very hard with Year 11 and every night after school there are interventions and extra sessions.  As always the majority of students are working hard before and after school but it is disappointing the number of students who are targeted for the interventions but do not turn up.  The sessions are to give them a better future not for our benefit.

    Have a good weekend

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-up 19/01/18

    Published 19/01/18


    Year 11 visited York College on Tuesday. For the majority of students this was a very successful day and a glimpse into their future.

    Throughout the week we have also had students from the University of York delivering individual tutoring sessions to 20 of our year 11 students, watching the focused way that both sets of students worked with each other was fabulous.

    It was good to see so many parents at the Year 9 parents evening on Tuesday. I hope that you have all decided on your options now.

    It is worrying me the way that some of our students are travelling to and from school. I received a phone call from a member of the public yesterday who had to stop 5 times on Gale Lane because of reckless behaviour. This involved students riding bikes on the wrong side of the road, pushing each other into the road and some running across the road in front of cars. I am appalled and embarrassed by this behaviour. I will be speaking to all students about safety when travelling to and from school in assemblies next week but can I urge everyone who reads the update to impress upon the students who attend YHS the need for safety around traffic. We can only observe the behaviour at the school gate on Cornlands Road. When on gate duty if we see anyone riding bikes recklessly then they will receive a warning and then a ban.

    Please be safe

    Have a lovely weekend

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-up 12/01/18

    Published 12/01/18


    2018 and it’s like we have never been away.  Great to be back and continuing with improving the school and securing good outcomes for all of our students. 

    It has been a busy first week back with the year 9 students having their options taster day on Wednesday.  We are looking forward to seeing Year 9 parents next Tuesday.  As part of our careers work there will be approximately 15 University Students in the library on Tuesday evening who will be able to give advice on specific subject choices as well as the York High staff in the main hall.

    Key stage 3 reports have been posted out today and the key stage 4 reports will be sent out at the start of next week.

    On Wednesday we hosted 20 trainee teachers for the morning and I asked them for feedback about what they had seen during the day.  These were some of the responses

    “The school has a real sense of community”

    “Staff and students have a real pride in the school”

    “Very clear behavioural expectations”

    “Pupils were very welcoming”

    Overall the trainees were very positive about the school, our students and the staff in the school.

    It’s the small things that make teaching such a great job so I will leave you with this – a student who was holding a can of body spray said to me this week “What’s the difference between deodorant and anti-depressant”.  I explained carefully that it was anti perspirant!

    Have a great weekend.

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-up 22/12/17

    Published 22/12/17


    In the words of Noddy Holder ITS CHRIIIISTMAS!

    The highlight of the week has been the Christmas Concert on Wednesday.  This was really well attended and the students were fantastic.  Josh and Denise as hosts were super and meant that I had very little to do!  Massive thanks to all the performers but in particular to Mrs Cross, Mrs Jackson and Mrs Cooper for the hard work and effort that went into the concert.