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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 - 16/11/2018

    Published 16/11/18
    Week 10
    Most changes in schools happen very gradually but I believe that this week we have seen a substantial change at York High School. I was blown away by the level of attendance at the Year 10/11 expectations evening.
    On Tuesday evening we had 230+ parents, carers and students attend the expectations evening. Apart from Year 6 open evenings, we have not seen numbers like that. Last year I wrote in the weekly update about how disappointing the turn out for the same event had been. We listened to the feedback from parents last year and made sure that the evening was well advertised and that timings were clear. We were also clear about what you as parents would take away from the evening.
    We know that if we are to get the best outcomes for our students then we all have to work together; students, staff and parents. Tuesday showed that we are doing this. Due to the impressive attendance, we are working our way through the requests for handouts and revision guides. They will be coming home at the start of next week. You will find at the bottom of this update information on all of the revision guides and where you can get them from.
    Thank you for your patience on the evening and next year we will plan for 230 not 150!
    Finally, I wanted to share an e-mail that I received from Mr Clayton:
    I just wanted to let you know what a success the STEM trip to the Railway Museum was yesterday. It was organised by Mrs Callan and Mrs Keel, as part of the aspirations programme and had 14 Year 7 and Year 8 pupils take part in the Future Engineers Event at the National Railway Museum. The pupils attended workshops on signaling, robotics and coding, and got a chance to question professional engineers about their jobs. They behaved brilliantly throughout the day and really got involved with all the opportunities.
    Have a great weekend
    Rod Sims
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  • Weekly Round-up 9/11/2018

    Published 12/11/18


    Week 9


    A week that started with fireworks saw torrential rain in the middle of the week and finished with a cold morning, winter is coming.


    Congratulations to all the students who represented York High School at Cross Country this week.


    Mrs Haldenby Head of PE said


    30 students represented York High School at the inter schools cross country event on Tuesday at Askham Bryan College.  Two of our students finished within the top 15 in their age category and have been invited to represent York at the North Yorkshire schools event.  


    Well done to the Year 7 students who represented YHS at the first Independent State Schools partnership.  Mr Walker Head of Aqua House made the following comment.


    11 schools from across York participated in the first ISSP event for Year 7 at St Peters School on Tuesday afternoon. Pupils were asked to listen to teachers’ arguments for the greatest breakthrough event in the history of the world, then vote for the event they agreed with. Pupils were mixed into groups from the other schools and debated for and against the breakthrough events.


    The following pupils were outstanding representatives for York High School and despite it being a daunting experience for any individual they rose above it and were fantastic.


    Well done to Jasmine A, Lilly H, Lucy C, Mollie G and Daniel H.


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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • Weekly Round Up - 21/6/2019

    Published 21/06/19

    Week 35

    Finally some sunshine for summer!

    After the Year 11s finished their exams last week, it is time for the other year groups to sit their exams.  The majority of GCSEs have moved away from coursework towards an assessment based solely on the final exam.  We think it is important that students of all years practice exams in the same location and conditions that they will sit their GCSE’s.  Good luck to all of you next week.

    Five of our Year 10s visited Oxford on Thursday.  Pupils had the opportunity to visit Oxford University to find out more about what life is like at the University and in the city. They received a talk about life in one of the colleges, what courses were on offer, the application process and funding. They then had the opportunity to have a Q+A session with pupils about their experience, some of whom had attended schools in York. A tour of the college was followed by lunch in a beautiful old chapel. The afternoon consisted of a lecture from a leading computer scientist which was a great opportunity to see what the teaching was like followed by a tour around Oxford and a quick trip to the science museum. Pupils were polite, engaged and had some great discussions about their future throughout the day.

    Thursday also saw the York and District Athletics Semi Finals. The event was extremely busy:

    Our pupils did us proud, with hard fought performances in all events. Outstanding athletes – Ayrton came 1st place in 100m and Kieran came 1st place in Shot Put.  Good luck to Ayrton and Kieran in the finals!

    Final farewell to the Year 11s at their prom last night.  Everybody looked fantastic and a great night was had by all at the Marriott.

    Looking forward to seeing those who have won awards at prize giving next Thursday.

    Have a lovely weekend

    R Sims

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