Skip to content ↓

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.

Page 2

  • Weekly Round-up 26/10/2018

    Published 26/10/18

    Week 8

    My update today will start with a list of thank you’s.

    Thank you to the students who have worked hard for the last 8 weeks, all of you should have received reports which show attitudes to learning. An average of two or below is excellent. Well done to everyone with an average of 2 or below.

    Thank you to all the parents who have worked with the school in making sure that their children make the best progress possible.

    Thank you to all the staff at York High School who have worked tirelessly with the students in all classes.

    This half term has been transformational thanks to Positive Behaviour. Students and staff alike are saying that they are getting through so much more work than last year. Some of you will be aware of the staffing issues we had last year, in particular in Science and Spanish. This year we have only brought supply teachers into school for 3 days. Last year at the same time it was 46 days. We surveyed at least two tutor groups in each year and 62% of students think that behaviour is better this year than last year. We did not make the changes for behaviour, we made the changes so that more progress and learning could take place in the lessons which would lead to better results. The next steps are in making sure that YHS students make the same progress as other students in other York schools. We have made significant progress towards this and we will be working just as hard in the run up to Christmas.

    Important Dates for the future

    November 5th – Training Day, students are not in school
    November 6th – Students return to school at normal time
    November 6th – Year 8 parents evening
    November 13th - Year 10 and 11 Expectations evening. Come and find out how you can support your son/daughter in achieving their best GCSE grades possible.

    Have a great half term, stay safe and remember to put the clocks back this weekend.

    Rod Sims

    Read More
  • Weekly Round-up 12/10/2018

    Published 15/10/18

    Week 6

    Wow what a great week at YHS!

    Tuesday saw the school welcome prospective parents to our open evening.  Great turn out and some fantastic feedback from those who came.  The science demonstrations were so impressive that the sonic flame thrower set off the fire alarm!  Thank you to all the guides who helped on the evening here are a selection of some of the feedback we received.

    “I just wanted to send you a quick note about our guide last night. We had a year 10 called M, she was friendly, patient and helpful, she put my daughter at ease and answered every question confidently. She was a fantastic ambassador for your school.”

    “I especially wanted to pass on our thanks to R, who escorted us around school and stayed with us all evening, even after the other parents did not return to his tour after the alarm. He was informative, patient and genial. He is credit to you and his family.”

    “Last night I came with my daughter who was a bit nervous and I would like to say the year 7 who has only been there 5/6 weeks was brilliant. He said he was a bit nervous but by the end, he was chatting to us and showed us round answered all our questions made my daughter feel at ease he is an asset to your school. If my daughter can be as confident and outgoing with people who you have never met I know I have made an excellent choice of school.”

    Thank you to all the students and staff for a fabulous evening.

    On Wednesday, Year 9 had an Aspirations day designed to give them careers inspiration.  Year 9 were a credit to the school and the speaker was 6 foot three inches and his leg weighed the same as Mo Farah!

    Mr Walker organised the Mile for Mind with Aqua house to promote good Mental Health.  See the facebook post.

    Today Mr Duarte pulled off the spectacular achievement of getting both Rachel Maskell and Julian Sturdy in to the school for a debate on voting age.  The students asked a series of questions on subjects such as Brexit, Climate Change and if they had met the Queen.

    Sports News

    The results have not gone our way this week but the effort has been there so well done to the Year 7 girls’ football team, the Year 7 netball team and the Year 7 boys’ football team.  The Year 8 boys’ team were unlucky in losing their county cup game 2 – 5.

    Pixl Edge News from Mrs Cooper

    Congratulations to Connor Spark, Georgia Linsey-Bessent, Freya Dawson, Daniel Blair, Emma Smith, Chloe Ball, Abby Ratcliffe, Beth Dowson on completing their PiXL Edge Apprentice course! They have been working extremely hard on developing their leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication skills. They have been excellent ambassadors for the school in a range of different activities and have been a great asset to the performing arts department in particular. These students will now be able to use the skills they have gained to give them ‘The Edge’ when applying for future education and employment.   We look forward to these students starting the next level of the course as a PiXL Edge Graduate.


    What a week time for a well earned rest!

    Have a great weekend

    Rod Sims

    Read More
  • Weekly Round-up 5/10/2018

    Published 08/10/18

    Week 5:


    Big week ahead next week with our Open Evening for all prospective parents on Tuesday and a special event next Friday when our two local MP’s Rachel Maskell and Julian Sturdy will be in the school for a debate about voting age.

    Congratulations to Ignis house for the £180 raised through Cake sales for Macmillan Cancer Support.  Thank you to all those who baked and bought cakes this week.

    This week the new House Captains and House Representatives were appointed and recognised in the House assemblies.  Good luck in your new roles.

    Sports News

    Well done to the Year 7 football team that beat Millthorpe in our local Derby 10 – 5.   Well done to the Year 9 and 10 rugby teams who over the last two weeks have competed at York RI in local tournaments.  Both teams played with commitment and effort.

    Really pleasing to see over 25 students at Netball practice this week.  Good luck to the Year 7 and 8 Girls Netball who play their first match at Millthorpe on Monday.  Good luck to the Year 7 girl’s football team on Wednesday.

    Maths News 

    Well done Beth W of Terra, 7JL who won the first math’s challenge and solved the 3 buses problem correctly so wins £5 cash to spend this weekend. Next week’s challenge is the fairground stall problem make sure you get your entries in!

    I would like to finish this week with an update from Mary Simpson about the Inclusion department which is providing invaluable support for many of our students

    The Start of the Year for the Inclusion Department

    There are several changes to the Inclusion Department this year:  new pupils, new staff and a new learning space.

    Our new raft of year 7 students were welcomed into  school and supported lessons, using the games club and taking advantage of our new resource which is Inclusion 1. Some had already benefited from enhanced transition opportunities, which stood them in good stead for coping with the move to secondary.

    This week parents and carers came along to a welcome evening where Mary Simpson (SENDCo) and Mike Ford (Lead SEND practitioner ) introduced themselves and explained the offer in school for students with additional needs. This is the start of a five year long partnership between home and school to ensure the best possible outcomes for these students.

    Inclusion 1 opened its doors after its recent refurbishment. This is a new learning resource manned by Erica Rose and Sue Barbour for students who have identified needs. The space offers a calm caring classroom where students who are unable to access lessons for whatever reason, can work independently within a learning mentor environment. This space is already having a significant impact on students with attendance difficulties or emotional needs as well as being a base for our learning interventions.

    Mary and Mike are available at all parents evenings but if you have any concerns you would like us to address meanwhile, we would be more than pleased to help.

    Have a good weekend and stay safe

    Rod Sims

    Read More
  • Weekly Round-Up - 30/11/2018

    Published 30/11/18

    Week 13

    Royal Shakespeare Company – Comedy of Errors

    The main purpose of our link to the Royal Shakespeare Company is to make Shakespeare, who is arguably the greatest British writer of all time, accessible to as many people as possible.  Jess Jackson has done amazing work on this project in the past few years.  I have to confess that I am not the greatest fan; I would much prefer 80 minutes of Rugby League to 90 minutes of Shakespeare and attended the performance, with the reluctance of a year 9 walking to a double Math’s lesson.  I was blown away by the skill of the actors, who with costume and a simple set, transformed our school hall for 90 minutes on Wednesday night.  The energy and the life that they brought to something that is nearly 500 years old was breathtaking.  I never thought I would say the following but it was really enjoyable.  Our students and our students to be (the officer) were magnificent and what an opportunity for them to have acted alongside professional Shakespearean actors.  Hopefully more were converted to Shakespeare than just this Head Teacher!  Massive thank you to Jess Jackson for all the work that she has done to create memories for our students that will last a lifetime.

    York High Political Superpower!

    In these Brexit dominated times, politics has never been more important and 8 of our Year 10 students were involved in Project Dare this week.  The event was organised by Mrs Callan who sent me the following email:

    'The 8 Y10 students were absolutely fantastic today. Not only did they do themselves proud, they did the school proud. They produced a media clip (encouraging young people to get out and vote) and presented it to four senior people within the council (including the Chief executive of York City Council!). Their clip was SO good that permission is being sought to get them back to the council in January to professionally record the clip, and use it as official CYC footage on their social media channels. I was really impressed!! 4 students (Grace A, Chloe B, Dom L and Jack P) have also won the prize to meet the Lord Mayor and tour Mansion House on the 12th of Dec.  Just thought you’d like to know how successful they were today, a real joy.'

    Year 11 Practice Exams

    Brilliant attitude and dedication shown by the current Year 11s in their GCSE practice exams this week.  Keep it up next week!

    Sports Report

    Good luck to Jasmine A in Year 7 who has been put forward for Yorkshire Netball trials next week.   

    Great effort from the Year 8 basketball team in their first game against All Saints on Wednesday night. 

    Unfortunately, the Year 9 boy’s rugby tournament was called off due to the weather.  RFU are looking to rearrange this in the New Year.

    Our sports leaders have been really busy over the past couple of weeks delivering our primary schools and disability sporting festivals. Their passion, enthusiasm and professional conduct has been phenomenal.  There are many more events to come so keep up the good work team.

    December 1st tomorrow, so we can properly start thinking about Christmas!

    It is not quite Shakespearean but in the words of my favourite Christmas advert, “Holidays are coming!”

    Have a smashing weekend

    Rod Sims

    Read More
  • Weekly Round-up 28/09/18

    Published 01/10/18


    WEEK 4:

    We finish the week with some late summer sunshine which is most welcome.

    It has been a big week of staff training this week with all teachers involved in Iris training which is a video coaching device that will allow staff to develop their skills in questioning, promoting independent thinking and higher challenge in lessons.  On Thursday all staff spent two hours working on consistency in using the positive behaviour system. 

    Lydia Cooper, who is the member of staff leading on Pixl Edge, sent the following piece to be included in the weekly bulletin:

    There was a PiXL Edge assembly this morning to launch the programme with Year 7.  Six of our Year 9 PiXL Edge Apprentices spoke to the Year 7’s about their experiences.  Josh G, Georgia L-B, Denise H-S, Oscar D, Beth D and Connor S all spoke confidently to the Year 7 students about the activities they had completed and the skills they had gained from completing the programme.  The Year 9 Apprentices certainly showed how their confidence had grown from being part of PiXL Edge and shared how their accreditation will benefit their future studies and employment opportunities.

    Year 7 parents keep an eye out for the letters coming home which will explain Pixl Edge in greater detail and the opportunities that it offers.

    We are starting to see some clear results from the new behavior system, punctuality is a really good example.  The amount of students late to school has reduced by 75% in comparison to last year.  This time last year groups of students were still routinely 10 minutes late to the lesson not only missing 10 minutes out of every 60 of their learning but disrupting the learning of those who were on time.  This was despite numerous staff encouraging them to do the right thing.  Over a 25 lesson week this is the same as three hours extra learning that the students are accessing.

    We do not think that we have got everything right and as already mentioned we are working on consistency.   I would encourage anybody with questions to e mail me directly on  All through this process we have encouraged collaboration so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    This was a great week to be Head of School at York High School. I am very proud of the students and staff at the school.  We are at a crucial turning point for the future of the school and everything at the moment is taking a positive upturn.  I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

    Read More
  • Weekly Round-up 21/09/18

    Published 24/09/18


    WEEK 3 

    As Head of School I receive many communications about our students, and it was with real pride that I received the following e mails from PE teachers at Barlby High and Fulford.

    From Barlby High:  I am writing to thank you for the behaviour of the staff and boys involved in yesterday's U14 match against Barlby High. The conduct of your students was exemplary.  They were very polite when I spoke to them.  All in all it made for a good competitive match played in the right spirit.

    From Fulford:  I just wanted to drop you an email to say how impressed I was with your Y7 boy’s attitude during the football match last night.  Your captain and the boy in midfield who later went in goal were outstanding in terms of attitude and should be commended.


    The students from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park trip have just returned safely.  I hope that they have remained mostly dry!


    Thank you to the parents who gave up their time on Tuesday evening to come to the presentation on Positive Behaviour.   Not everyone agreed with all of the policy but it was really enjoyable just to sit down and discuss all of the improvements we are making at York High this year with people who are committed to supporting the school.


    Enjoy your weekend!


    Rod Sims





    Read More