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Rod Sims - "What's 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 - 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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  • Weekly Round-Up - 8/11/2019

    Published 08/11/19

    Week 9

    I want to start this week with a reminder about the importance of good attendance.  All research shows that good attendance leads to success at school and in future life.  The national average for secondary schools last year was 94.8%.   At York High School we currently have an attendance rate of 92%.  Over half our students last term had an attendance of 97% or more and I want to congratulate those students.  We believe that good attendance is 95% plus, any attendance that is lower will have an effect on students reaching their potential.   If a student attends for 5 years at 90% they will have missed a term and a half of education.  It is the same as half a day off every week.  7.5% of our students (50+) have an attendance of less than 70%.    We support our students to attend school but occasionally we have to take further action such as fixed penalty fines or in the most extreme cases court action, this week several parents were fined a total of nearly £1800 for their children’s non-attendance at York High School.

    Fantastic to be back after the half term working with the superb YHS students.  During the half term Mr Fisher took a group of students to see Blood Brothers.

    Mr Clayton went with 5 of our students to an Independent State Schools partnership event this week and said the following.

    On Wednesday five Year 7s took part in the ISSP event at St Peter's School which set out to decide what the biggest breakthrough in History was. Around 150 young people listened to experts advocating for major developments like the invention of numbers, the wheel and storytelling. They then debated in randomly selected groups before voting on the one they thought most important.

    Was great to see some very passionate debate, with our students often leading the discussion. Was also interesting how much more popular the scientific themes were.

    Fantastic news for the catering team!

    The search for Britain’s next LACA School Chef of the Year is now underway!

    York High School’s Catering Manager, Rebecca Crossley, has successfully completed the local round of the competition and is heading to the regional finals being held at Barnsley College in January 2020. Huge congratulations to Becky on her achievements so far and good luck for the next round!

    Winners of the regional finals will be invited to the national finals in March 2020.

    Entrants have 90 minutes to prepare, cook and serve an imaginative, school compliant two course menu, suitable for serving to 11 year old pupils, primary year 6 or secondary year 7.

    For her dishes in the local round Becky served an Eboracum Burger (a garlic and herb Yorkshire pudding burger with sweet potato and potato chips, salad and coleslaw) followed by a strawberry Minster dessert (strawberry mousse with cream and biscuit top).


    Pictured celebrating her competition success so far are North Yorkshire County Catering staff (l to r): Kath Brecken (previous 2016 competition winner), Rebecca Crossley (YHS Catering Manager) and Kay Oxley (NYCC Facilities Manager). Pictured right: The winning dishes.

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  • Weekly Round-Up - 25/10/2019

    Published 25/10/19

    Week 8

    We reach the end of the half term with students still working hard.  I want to start this week with the magnificent 6 from the year 10 rugby team.  Despite several late no shows the magnificent 6 fronted up in a 9 a side tournament and represented the school with pride.  All the boys were fantastic but Callum C in particular was magnificent in his play and the leadership he showed.

    From this week we are showcasing different departments and this week the focus is on History so I will let YHS legend Mr Hardy tell you about History.

    In History Year 7 have made a fantastic start to York High with an in-depth analysis of the impacts of the Vikings on Britain. Year 8 have been studying the Tudors, and how well Elizabeth dealt with the problems of her reign. This has fed into History Learning Postcards, where some students have been able to talk to relatives about the specific topics they have been learning. Year 9 have been studying the events and experiences of World War One in the trenches. This is of great benefit to the 4 students going on the Centenary Battlefields Tour in November to Belgium and France. These students will certainly have an action-packed adventure next month! Year 9 will continue their study of the 20th century in Spring Term, when we will be running a new trip to London. It is fantastic to see their engagement and interest in the 20th century, with numbers increasing from 40 to 45 on the trip.

    Year 10 have made an excellent start to their GCSEs, with lots of specific detail about improvements to healthcare in their books, as well as some extremely interesting debates in class. Keep it up!

    Elizabethan England returns for Year 11, who are now almost ¾ of the way through the GCSE content. It has been fantastic to see such high attendance figures at History interventions on Thursday evenings! Make sure that you’re revising for your mocks.

    Thanks to everyone for their support this half term and see you all again on November 5th when hopefully England will be the winners of the Rugby World Cup.


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  • Weekly Round-Up - 18/10/2019

    Published 18/10/19

    Weekly Update Week 7

    Nearly at the end of the first half term, it has flown by! It is slightly worrying to think that by the end of next week we will have completed 20% of the year. Here are some of the events from this week.

    Attitude to Learning Grades will be sent in the post to you on Monday. At YHS the most accurate indicator of achieving your potential is an ATL of 2 or better. Here are some of the things that have taken place this week.

    Child Development (Mrs Nicholas)

    The Year 11 Child Development went on their first visit to The Woodland Adventure Company, where they stepped out of their comfort zones to observe a child at play, as part of their coursework.

    Adam (the leader) showed us how to safely strip a piece of willow, which smelt of watermelon, to make fairy wands, with feathers and pine cones.

    Our pupils worked hard to engage the young children and their parents in play activities, they made dens with branches and sticks, chatted with a squirrel puppet, talked about fairy houses, built towers, collected sticks, pine cones and leaves and played hide and seek.

    We were treated to hot chocolate, popcorn and toasted marshmallows around the fire before we came back to school.

    The highlight for Mr Walker and myself was watching the girls run off screaming and laughing, into the woods, whilst Adam chased them with a super soaker, during a game called ‘hunted’, most of them made it back to the tree of safety, dry.

    Sports News (Mr Crane)

    The Year 7 football team unfortunately went down 6 – 0 to Tadcaster a school twice the size of YHS. Well done to Kane who was superb in the way he kept on going and going.

    York High School took 2 teams to Archbishops Holgate School to take part in a rugby league festival run by York City Knights. The Year 7 team played 4 matches beating Fulford and Vale of York and drawing with Archbishops Holgate and King James from Knaresborough. They were excellent throughout the tournament and dominated all their matches and were unlucky not to win all four.

    The Year 9 team played 4 matches beating Vale of York and Joseph Rowntree and drawing with Fulford and Archbishops Holgate. Outstanding effort and performance from this team. Fantastic sportsmanship shown throughout the tournament by all the players.

    Year 7 team: Connor D, Oliver H, Harri A, Stan C, Mattie N, Matthew E, Fletcher S, Jack W, Kio N and Archie M.

    Year 9 team: Reece S, Taylor B, Brad A, Hayden W, Leon N, George D, Jake D, Jake I, Connor M, Bailey C, Kenzie W (Year 8 playing up a year group!).

    Next week we are looking forward to welcoming Year 7 parents to the meet the tutor evening on Wednesday night. Appointment slips have gone home today. Please check your children's bags!

    All the best for the weekend

    Come on England in the Rugby World Cup!

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Round-Up - 4/10/2019

    Published 04/10/19

    Week 5 Update

    Lots happening this week and I will let others tell you

    Mr Kenny - PE

    This week the Year 7 team had their first match of the season. It was a Cup fixture against Manor School. At half time the score was 0-0, two minutes later we scored, two minutes later Manor had equalised. We continued to match their play in all three thirds of the pitch but after an unfortunate error Manor scored. A great first effort for this team.

    Year 8 travelled to Bootham School to meet a strong and well organised side. The outcome was our second loss. We know there are many aspects of our game which require attention and we will be focussing on these in training on a Monday night. 

    Year 9 played at home against the Vale of York.  Once again we fielded a very strong team.  Outstanding performances from Ronnie K, Oliver B, Hayden W and our 'Rookie Goalkeeper' Kyle B helped us secure a 5-3 victory.

    Miss Bettney – History

    I just wanted to say how phenomenal the students I took to the History Masterclass (aspirations to study History at Uni) were last night at Bootham. An Oxford Historian ran a session on how to understand sources, as well as giving a bit of an insight into the Oxford application process, and our students were really engaged. Cam C and Kim C answered loads of questions, and were definitely rivalling some of the A Level students in the room.

    Personally, I have spent the week showing parents round the school as a follow up to Open Evening, especially Hob Moor parents.  It was great to see so many and to showcase the excellent atmosphere and quality learning that was taking place.

    On a more upsetting note I was spoken to by an elderly gentleman who was ridden into by one of our students who were riding their bikes on the path.  Some of the bikes that the boys are riding are heavy and large mountain bikes that do not belong on the path.  Parents please have a word with the kids about riding on the road please.  So far we have had an accident with a pushchair and now an accident with a pensioner.  It is not ok to ride bikes on the pavement.

    Next week we have the expectations evening for Year 10 and 11 to give you an insight into the GCSE courses and how to help your kids revise.  The aim of the evening is 20 minutes from the stage then 40 minutes where you will be able to come away with resources for all subjects or at the very least to know what to order.

    Have a great weekend

    Rod Sims

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