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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 Update - 13th November 2020

    Published 12/01/21

    Weekly Update - Friday 13/11/2020

    Hello everyone and I hope that you have had a good week!

    We conducted training as a staff on Thursday so that we are ready for our first virtual Parents Evening on the 24th of November.  Year 8 Parents should have received an email informing them how to book your appointments and then how to access the appointments; it’s really easy and the app we use recommends using a smart phone. The appointments are available to book from Monday 16th November from 3pm.

    We would rather meet face to face but this is better than not meeting at all.  It is the first time so please be patient if we have any technical issues.

    We have had 4 positive Covid 19 cases this week and our best wishes go to the 29 Year 9’s and the 35 Year 7’s who are isolating for the next two weeks.

    We have observed a minute's silence this week for Remembrance Day and are raising money for Children in Need through a non-uniform day today.  Guess which Headteacher forgot this morning and is in his usual suit, one of our students said to me this morning ‘are you not wearing non uniform because you don’t like children’!!

    Thank you to all parents who have completed the parental survey and we will share this with you next week. I am going to start a weekly section to the updates sharing 3 of each.

    Things you like about YHS:

    The response back is always quick

    We care for the students and have their best interests at heart

    The Teachers

    Which is the most important improvement you would like to see at York High:

    More Communication between Parents and Teachers

    From this week we will be emailing all parents with the weekly update as well as posting on facebook.  We send home postcards and many teachers make positive phonecalls.  I am really interested to know what communication you want as parents?  Please reply to: or comment/message on facebook.

    PE brought back/Allow students to change out of uniform to do PE

    Currently all students do PE in their uniform and are taking part in low impact activities.  Some our Year 10 and 11 GCSE students have been allowed to come to school in PE kit as it is part of their final course.  They then change after the lesson.  We were looking to offer other opportunities however we then went into the second lockdown where all community sport was put on hold.  The key issue is that we have to clean the changing rooms between each year group and we do not have the staff to do this.  One of the benefits at the moment is that hardly any students are bringing notes to avoid PE and participation levels and engagement are higher for all.  We do not feel that we would gain by allowing students to do high impact PE lessons which would lead to them sitting in a sweaty PE kit for the rest of the day.  When we can we will return to PE in uniform but at the moment the situation will remain the same.

    I would like a priced copy of the school menu sending home or for individual prices to be shown on parentpay

    We will publish an up to date price list on the website and advertise the prices on the facebook site.

    Our answers will not please everyone but I hope everyone appreciates the honesty and openness that you get at YHS, this is another area where we communicate in a way that other schools do not.

    However you are passing lockdown have a great weekend

    Rod Sims

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  • Welcome Back After Half Term

    Published 11/01/21

    Welcome Back After Half Term

    Looking forward to seeing everyone return tomorrow after the half term break.  The announcement over the weekend of a second lockdown starting from Thursday is very different from the first lockdown for York High School and all schools nationally.

    It is business as usual from tomorrow; we will continue to minimise the risk to students and staff through the measures that we have in place.  Hand hygiene and the wearing of face coverings in all communal areas are vitally important in reducing the risk of infection.  Most importantly, if students have any of the symptoms of COVID 19 then they should not attend school.

    The way that we identify contacts in school is by checking all of those who are identified as contacts from 48 hours before  a student develops symptoms or tests positive.  We have had 4 positive tests during the half term but none of these cases fit the criteria that would lead us to identify possible contacts.  In these cases track and trace are responsible for identifying contacts as it is more likely that the virus was transmitted out of school.

    By working together we got through the last half term with minimal disruption, we can not say what next week will bring never mind in a month's time.  The only thing I can say with certainty is that the staff at YHS will be trying their absolute best to deliver top quality education in the safest way possible.

    The way that YHS as a community of parents, students and staff have worked together has been our strength and we will need to continue to work together to get through this next half term.

    All the best,

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Update - 23rd October 2020

    Published 11/01/21

    Weekly Update - Friday 23/10/2020

    First half term of the year is now completed. The big issue have been contact tracing, face coverings and one way systems. I want to thank the staff who have been magnificent this half term and the purposeful 95% of our students who have been fantastic.

    One piece of information is that the City of York Council has decided to fund free school meals over the half term. For all parents of students who receive free school meals the vouchers should be with you soon over e mail or text. I have included the link to FAQ on the Wonde site

    Who knows what will happen on the run up to Christmas but we can guarantee that we will do our best for the students, parents and staff at York High.

    Don’t forget that November 2nd is a training day.

    All the best, see you all back at YHS on Tuesday November 3rd

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Update - 16th October 2020

    Published 11/01/21

    Week 6 Update - Friday 16/10/2020

    It’s a strange end to the week after the announcements yesterday. At the start of the term it felt very strange in school due to the measures we have in place to reduce the risk of Covid transmission and very normal outside of school. Now it feels the opposite, I know many of my Year 11 Maths students were finding it hard to understand why there are two totally different sets of rules in school and out of school. They will need all of our support to understand.

    We have had no further positive cases at the time of writing and now have all of the students back from isolation. It has been a tough week as we have had 20% of our staff absent for many reasons such as self-isolation or where their children have been sent home from school as well as Non Covid illness. The position looks stronger next week but as always in these strange times let’s see what next week brings. We are planning for a variety of scenarios involving staff and student absence. The main reason we have moved from Satchel to Google Classrooms is so that if students have to stay at home as a whole year group then we will be able to have interactive live lessons. For example if it was one of my Maths classes I would “teach” for the first 20 minutes either through use of a webcam, a visualizer or a presentation and then be available for the next 30 minutes to answer questions. Let’s hope we do not get to that position.

    Today we will be sending by email a letter from The South Bank Multi Academy Trust which outlines the plans to explore a merger with the South York Multi Academy Trust. Since joining the South Bank Trust they have been great at allowing us to retain our identity as York High School and we will seek to protect that identity in the future. There are however opportunities in further links with other schools.

    Back to our main business, education! Our students and staff are working hard although both are starting to feel the effects of a long half term especially after school closure.

    We sent out yesterday a link to the parent survey; your views are really important to us especially during these changing times.

    On a positive note we raised over £500 for Mind last week, so well done again to Mr Walker and all involved.

    To all the families who have supported us through the last 5 weeks thank you your support is totally appreciated. Best wishes to any of you whose jobs will be affected by the announcements, if we can help in any way we will, just contact us.

    Enjoy the weekend as best you can.

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Update - 9th October 2020

    Published 11/01/21

    Week 5 Update - Friday 9/10/2020

    We have been fortunate again this week to have recorded no positive cases of Coronavirus.  Our measures to minimise risk are in place and students and staff are following the procedures.  After our initial worries over face coverings all students are now wearing face coverings in the corridors.  In a normal year I would use weekly update to talk about all the extra things that we would be doing in school. Due to the restrictions it feels like an achievement for everyone at YHS to get through the week without incident.

    It is extremely unlikely that we will be able to hold  traditional parents evenings this year so this week we have researched and bought a programme which will allow us to host a virtual parents evening.  Parents will be able to book their own appointments and we will be able to have 1 to 1 video calls to discuss the students progress.  The only tech needed will be a smartphone or tablet/laptop.  Look forward to another new normal!

    We have moved from SMHW (Satchel One) to Google classrooms so that if we have to close to a year group or for a period of time we will be able to deliver interactive lessons.  SMHW was unable to do this,  SMHW was however very good for Homework and currently we are aware that there are teething issues with homework on Google Classrooms.  Next week we will be sending out our parents survey please let us know what needs changing, what you need to know.

    Lastly we do have something extra to a normal week to report.  Well done to all of the students and staff who have taken part in the Hello Yellow fundraising today.  Congratulations to all of those who have walked a mile and to those who found something yellow to wear.  Luckily for me my Leeds Rhinos shirt came in handy again.  Thank you to Mr Walker for organising the event in a covid secure way for very worthwhile cause.

    Enjoy the weekend

    Rod Sims

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  • Weekly Update - 25th September 2020

    Published 11/01/21

    Week 3 Update - Friday 25/09/2020

    This has been a week of highs and lows at YHS. It has been disappointing and upsetting to have confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Year 8 and Year 9. Sadly I think that this could become just our normal way of working as we go forward. Our thoughts and best wishes are with the two students and I think it is worth mentioning at this point that no one wants to be ill or catch coronavirus, nobody is to blame.

    I would like to also pass on our best wishes to the 40 plus students who have been identified as contacts who are having to self-isolate and will be staying at home this weekend. Thank you to the parents of this group who have been really understanding.

    After two weeks of encouraging the students to wear face coverings we still only had a minority who were wearing face coverings in the corridors. After the news on Thursday we have made face coverings compulsory from today. We gave out nearly 150 masks today. We need your help now, can you make sure that your child has a face covering for school, it is from now part of the uniform and we will not be able to give away 150 masks everyday. If a student does not have a mask they will receive a comment in the planner. If there are medical reasons why your child can not wear a mask then please e mail

    This week we have been around school checking lessons and it has been an absolute privilege to see so many top quality lessons, teachers addressing the gaps from school closure in a way that leaves the students feeling confident about their progress. It can seem at the moment that a school revolves around coronavirus but I can reassure you that your children are getting a top quality education.

    I want to finish this week by saying that the one thing that is certain is that we are trying our absolute best on your behalf. We are not medical professionals and we are following the advice that we are given absolutely. The staff at the school are working incredibly hard to make this work. We will not get everything right and some things are out of our control but we will not stop in our efforts to make sure that your children get the best education that they can in the safest way that they can.

    Have a great weekend

    Rod Sims

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