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Weekly Round-up - 12/10/2018

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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 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.

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  • 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





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  • Weekly Round-up 07/09/18

    Published 07/09/18


    First week back is always a mixture of feelings for the different parts of our school community.

    • Parents are often delighted that the kids are back at school to ease the pressures emotionally and the real financial cost of childcare during the seemingly endless summer holiday
    • Teachers are a mix of enthusiasm and not quite believing that the holidays have gone so quickly.
    • Our students are as always a mix of those who wish the holidays would never end and those who are secretly glad to be back.

    Myself, I am delighted that we are back as this is undoubtedly the most exciting start to a year that I have had at York High School.

    The new Positive Behaviour system is already showing a marked difference to the overall behaviour in the school. The majority of our students have fully understood the system and are working hard in their lessons. There are some students who are struggling to accept the new standards of behaviour, however York High School is now a school that is designed for the quiet and purposeful 90% of students who want to do well. Please take a moment to read the information on the link below about why we will not compromise on our standards after consulting with parents, students and teachers last year.

    All of the changes are designed for our students to maximise their potential.

    Positive Behaviour at YHS

    Year 7 have started brilliantly this week from the first assembly onwards they have been truly impressive.

    14 new teachers have started this week as part of our drive for improvement and they have brought a new enthusiasm to the corridors of York High School.

    I look forward to keeping you up to date with the improvements throughout the year.

    School photos will be taking place on Tuesday, just in case you are wondering why particular care is been taken when getting ready on Tuesday morning!

    Have a good weekend

    Rod Sims


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  • Weekly Round-up 20/07/18

    Published 20/07/18


    Final Week


    What a fabulous final week!  The atmosphere at the sports days for Years 7, 8 and 9 matched the weather.  The events were brilliantly organised by Mrs Haldenby and the PE team.  Aspire week has meant that the Year 10 students have had opportunities to gain advice from over 16 further education establishments and over 30 different businesses.


    Today we have had awards assemblies for all years where every teacher nominates the three students that have shown outstanding effort, the most improvement and the best in class award that goes to the students who are a pleasure to teach.  Over a 100 students in each year were recognised.


    We come to the end of the year, my first year as Head of School.  As always it has been up and down.  The fact that we have become a name to be feared on the debate circuit was a pleasant surprise, the numbers of current and past students attending Pride was a real highlight and our continuing work with the Royal Shakespeare Company has been fabulous, look out for YHS on Look North tonight.  The lows have been the Beast from the East and the ongoing cuts to the budget whilst trying to improve the school.  I would also like to take a moment to say that all our thoughts are with Ryan Miller and his family and we wish him a full recovery.


    I have not regretted becoming the Head of School, well not for long!  I would like to thank all of the parents who have been so supportive across the year, as I always say if you have a problem pick up the phone.  I would also like to thank the students who have worked hard and done the right thing this year.  Your good choices this year will pay off next year.  Most of all I would like to thank the staff who have worked so hard on behalf of the students.


    I believe that at the end of this year York High School is in a fantastic position to improve.  We have worked tirelessly this year to recruit the most talented group of teachers ever at York High School.  1 in 3 of our Teachers next year will be new which will bring a dynamism and energy to the school as we seek to get better year after year.  The new Positive Behaviour policy will make a huge difference in the classroom and to students progress.  I will enjoy the holiday but I cannot wait until September. 


    Thank you to everyone who has supported the school this year.


    See you in September.

    Rod Sims

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