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Rod Sims - What's happening at YHS
Weekly Round-up - 22/1/2020

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 - 22/1/2020

    Published 22/01/20

    Special weekly Briefing


    Good Afternoon

    Unfortunately as I was out of school I was unable to write to you with the weekly briefing last week. I do however want to update you with the work that we are doing to tackle bullying in the school. As previously mentioned Mr Louth launched the Tell Someone Campaign with assemblies in the first week. We followed this up with 200+ posters spreading the message of Tell Someone if you are being bullied. This advertises the different ways that we have for students to tell us about bullying.

    Students can text on 01904 500057, e mail on, send a message on the Facebook site or use the anonymous Drop Box outside Mr Louth’s Office.

    We always encourage students to tell members of staff in particular the Heads of House who are experienced in dealing with these issues. Communication is the key when dealing with bullying and that can often be several conversations over a period of time.

    One of the problems that we face is that there can be confusion over what happens out of school. We have had recently a really unpleasant incident at one of the local parks late on a Friday evening which involved several of our students. We as a school can only take sanctions against what happens in school not what happens on an evening or during a weekend. We have no legal powers outside of school, these incidents should be reported to the Police.

    We are not perfect but just like all other aspects of the school we are trying to improve all the time. This week we have seen all the Senior Leaders and the Heads of House wearing Tell Someone T shirts during the school day to spread the message. Before half term Mr Louth and myself will be setting aside an evening for anyone who wants to come in and discuss any bullying issues that they feel have not been handled correctly.

    We have a joint responsibility as a school and as a community to challenge bullying wherever we see it.

    During last week we had 6 incidents reported that we classed as bullying, 5 involved name calling and one was where a student was hit with a whiteboard. All students involved were challenged over their behaviour and the appropriate school sanctions were given.

    We will continue to challenge any bullying that is reported to us with your support.

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  • Weekly Round-Up - 10/1/2020

    Published 10/01/20

    Week 16


    Happy New Year and welcome to 2020.  I hope that you all had a good Christmas.  At YHS we have hosted the Pathfinder trainee teachers on Tuesday and Thursday they were given a tour of the school by the students and observed lessons.   The feedback that we received was overwhelmingly positive about the friendliness of the staff and the students.  As always when we have visitors from outside of the school they were full of praise for how hard our students worked, how smart they were and how well behaved they were.


    Our Head of Catering Becky Crossley won the regional finals for School Chef of the Year and will be representing York High School at the national finals in March.   As a result of her success Becky has featured on Radio York this morning and has had an article in the Press.  Well done Becky!



    Looking forward to next week Year 11 haver their taster days for York College and other Further education establishments next Tuesday or Thursday.  Our Year 9 students haver their options taster day on Tuesday.  Year 9 parents evening is on the 21st January, make sure that you have booked your appointments.


    On another note this weeks assemblies have been presented by Mr Louth launching our anti bullying campaign Tell Someone as a response to the recent student and parent surveys.  More information to follow in the coming weeks.


    Have a really nice weekend and see you next week.

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-Up - 13/12/2019

    Published 13/12/19

    Weekly Update

    Special update this week focussing on the recent Parent Survey but first a quick update on what has been happening in school.  Careers fair was fantastic on Monday we had 31 exhibitors in total from colleges, 6th forms, local and national businesses.


    This week in the English department we had a visit from Tony Bower from York schools Youth Trust. He worked with students in years 7, 8, and 9, delivering stories and dramatizations of real people who showed bravery and who suffered during WW2 as a result of the Holocaust. The students in each class were able to write their own inspired poems, expressing the emotions felt during and after the War. Some poems focused on the story of Corrie Ten Boom, a woman who showed great bravery when she hid people in her home, and when she faced a soldier in later life whom she recognised from a concentration camp. We were incredibly impressed with the quality of the writing from all our groups. Tony is currently collating students work to be displayed in York Minster in January as a part of Holocaust Memorial Day, and he was so impressed that he will select some of our students work to be a part of the display – watch this space for more information!

    Sports News

    Y10 lost 4-1 to Rossett School this week however on the plus side Alfie H and Jack H were outstanding and have been asked to go to North Yorkshire county trials.

    Y7 entered a 5 a side tournament won one game, lost three but did a great job. Ewan scored in every game and scored a hat-trick on the last game.  

    Unfortunately we are having to cancel the Christmas concert next week after Mr Fisher has badly broken his leg and is off school at the moment.

    Brilliant news ahead of the Year 11 parents evening 70% of parents have appointments, look forward to seeing you then.

    Congratulations to Reece S, Year 9, who won York and District Junior Player of the Year!

    Parental Survey

    We ask you your views every term about the school and we act upon the feedback that you give us.  Clare McGarry is the new Parent Governor at YHS and when we met last week to discuss Parent school communication, we discussed the parent survey.   As a result of these discussions we are publishing the results of the survey this week.

    156 Parents responded to the survey so thank you for your time.  We do not expect 100% approval and can only improve by listening to you.  The majority of responses are very positive.  We have taken out the ‘don’t know’ responses.  Our style is that for many issues the question only indicates a problem and that we need to understand the problem in more detail to resolve it.  We currently use approximately 20 Digital governors to consult with over email.  In the New Year we will look to recruit more and will consider the issues below in greater depth.  Today I will look at the three lowest answers.

    1. York High school makes me aware of what my child will learn during the year (48% agree/strongly agree)

    YHS Response

    We are currently developing department on a page documents that will be published on the website.  There has been some excellent work in History where the History postcards have been very effective in informing parents about what children are learning.  This is an area that we will look to develop further.

    1. York High School lets me know how my child is doing.

    YHS Response

    It is early in the year before many of the parent’s evenings have taken place.  We currently report every half term on Attitude to Learning Grades.  We know that the ATL grades are an indicator of success in a subject and they are much more than effort grades.  If you are getting a 2 you are doing well.  Twice a year we provide parents with actual attainment grades based on final GCSE outcomes.  It is really difficult to be accurate and this is why Mr Burton is currently looking at a different way to assess progress in Key Stage 3.   We will use the digital governors to look into this issue further.

    1. When I raised concerns with York High school they have been dealt with properly

    YHS Response

    73% of you agree or strongly agree with this comment, however this still leaves 1 in 4 parents who disagree or strongly disagree.  I find this very worrying and am keen to find out what the issues are.  I think that the figures may tie in with the 15% of parents who were unhappy with the way that bullying was dealt with by York High.  In the New Year we are launching an anti-bullying campaign so look out for that in January.  This is an issue where I would welcome any further details either through e mails or through direct messages.

    We are not perfect but we are very honest and open, not many other schools ask for parent’s opinions let alone publish the results.  We have always been very clear that only through effective partnerships between School, students and parents will we improve.

    Have a lovely weekend

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-Up - 6/12/19

    Published 06/12/19

    Week 13 Update

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Not the weather that’s for certain.

    Christmas Dinner in school on Wednesday followed by Christmas Jumper day next Friday.  Please bring in a donation of £1 that will go to Save The Children.  Wednesday 18th is the Christmas Concert which starts at 7 pm.  On the final day of term school will be closing at 12.20.  Look out for the new YHS Star Christmas tree decorations that we are giving as rewards this year.

    Year 11 have been amazing over the past two weeks the effort that they have put into the exams has been fantastic.  There are some very weary students at the end of this week.  The exam system that we have in this country is tough, imagine writing for three hours solid every day for two weeks!  Hope to see as many of you as possible on the 17th for year 11 Parents Evening to find out the results.

    Careers News

    Today 21 students visited the University of York to inspire them to go to University.  The students were fantastic receiving a lecture in Psychology and a tour of the campus. 

    On Monday 30 different businesses and post 16 education providers will be in school for the Year 9 and 10 students.

    Poetry Live (Miss Crossley)

    On Thursday 5th December, the English Department took a group of 15 Year 10 and 11 students to Poetry Live at the Town Hall in Leeds. Students heard eight award winning poets like Carol Ann Duffy; and the current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage recite their work and talk about their inspiration. They also had an invaluable session with the chief examiner on how to approach the poetry section of their GCSE exams. The students were a delight to take and thoroughly enjoyed their day - especially seeing John Agard making his way home! 

    Enjoy putting up the decorations this weekend

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-Up - 29/11/2019

    Published 29/11/19

    Week 12

    Hello everybody! A serious week for Year 11 as they have started their practice exams.  The attitude shown in the examination rooms has been brilliant, I hope that they are showing the same attitude in their revision.  This year we are releasing the results at the Year 11 parents evening.  Last year we only had 50% attendance at the Year 11 parents evening where Millthorpe had over 75%.  I am hoping that by releasing the results we will get more parents to attend and we will be able to have really productive conversations.  We can’t do it without your support.  Let’s see if we can beat the fantastic Year 8 turnout of 67%.

    Sports News

    Mr Crane will tell you about the Rugby Festival that took place Wednesday 27th November:

    The Year 10 team lost to a very strong Archbishops Holgate team

    The Year 9s beat Huntington, drew with Archbishops and lost to Fulford

    The Year 7s beat Huntington, Fulford and Vale of York

    They all played really well and had excellent behaviour throughout the evening.

    The teams were:

    Year 7: Connor D, Archie M, Oliver H, Harri A, Ellis B, Owen E, Matthew E, Mattie N, Kio N, Fletcher S.

    Year 9: Bradley A, Oscar A-H, Cobi-Lee F, Harvey S, George D, Hayden W, Connor M, Bailey C, Leon N

    Year 10: Callum C, Jared S, Gio E, Harry H, Ryan Lewis H, Andrew M, Rhys T, Logan R, Jacob M, Aaron B.

    Girls Indoor Cricket took place Thursday 21st November against Fulford. A very strong Fulford team beat York High School. We had 16 girls competing in the competition, some playing cricket for the first time. A special mention for Molly Y and Jasmine A, who were excellent.

    Mr Bower will tell you about some of our fantastic Year 8 pupils:

    Well done to our pupils in Year 8 who received certificates as having highly commendable projects in Religious Studies as part of the national Spirited Arts competition.

    Have a great weekend, can you believe it is the start of advent on Sunday!

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-Up - 15/11/2019

    Published 15/11/19

    Week 10

    What a great week to be at York High School.  This week I have had the pleasure of observing lots of lessons.  The change in the last two years not only in the quality of the teaching but in the attitude to learning from the students is clear to see. 

    Today through a non-uniform day we have raised £623.61 for Children in Need.  Thank you to all of you who have contributed.

    Other events of note this week

    Mrs Haldenby was delighted with the Girls who took part in a Rugby development event, she said:

    Fantastic to see so many girls out playing rugby yesterday afternoon. York knights came in to deliver some coaching in preparation for next month’s festival. The weather was brutal but the girls showed great resilience! Well done girls

    On Monday Mrs Keel went to West Offices for Project Dare I will let her explain the day in her own words:

    On Monday I accompanied 8 of our Year 10 students to West Offices to participate in an opening session for the latest Project Dare based around climate change. The aim is to develop an increased understanding of council plan priorities, specifically cleaner, greener city and aims to increase the number of young people who take action to reduce York’s carbon footprint.

    During the concluding part of this session they were given the opportunity to 'speed date' with council workers from various departments. Staff commented that our students seemed incredibly informed about their Post 16 options, articulate about their passions and far more intelligent than expected (Grrrr!). Particular surprise came from 3 staff members over Oscar and Denise' taking Latin and Astronomy classes. Almost all staff departed the table commenting on what a great bunch they were.

    As the session ended, we were asked to leave the room tidy. Several of our students went above and beyond, by collecting other peoples used cups and rubbish. This was noted by York Cares and CYC staff.

    I was very proud to be accompanying this delightful group and look forward to our next session on Friday 22nd.

    This week our subject focus is on Science so take it away Mr Drury!

    It has been a great start to the year in Science! Years 7 and 8 have been looking at forces and cells, and have been using these to plan their own practicals. They then carried out the very important scientific process of peer review - checking each other’s work and using it to improve their conclusions.

    Year 9 have been thrown in at the deep end this year by getting started with their GCSE content, but they are doing an amazing job! In physics they are looking at energy and energy changes, in chemistry a deeper look inside the structure of the atom, and in biology delving into cells and their processes.

    Year 10 are also doing an outstanding job in their first full term of KS4. It is early days, but many of them are already getting close to the highest grades, and their determination and effort is something they should all be proud of.

    Last but not least is Y11. This is a vital time of year, with practice exams just over a week away, and many of them are stepping up to the challenge admirably. It is always hard to balance revision for so many subjects, but we are all very proud of the effort and resilience that Y11 are showing on a daily basis.

    Long bulletin this week, have a great weekend

    Rod Sims

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