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Weekly Update

Special update this week focussing on the recent Parent Survey but first a quick update on what has been happening in school.  Careers fair was fantastic on Monday we had 31 exhibitors in total from colleges, 6th forms, local and national businesses.


This week in the English department we had a visit from Tony Bower from York schools Youth Trust. He worked with students in years 7, 8, and 9, delivering stories and dramatizations of real people who showed bravery and who suffered during WW2 as a result of the Holocaust. The students in each class were able to write their own inspired poems, expressing the emotions felt during and after the War. Some poems focused on the story of Corrie Ten Boom, a woman who showed great bravery when she hid people in her home, and when she faced a soldier in later life whom she recognised from a concentration camp. We were incredibly impressed with the quality of the writing from all our groups. Tony is currently collating students work to be displayed in York Minster in January as a part of Holocaust Memorial Day, and he was so impressed that he will select some of our students work to be a part of the display – watch this space for more information!

Sports News

Y10 lost 4-1 to Rossett School this week however on the plus side Alfie H and Jack H were outstanding and have been asked to go to North Yorkshire county trials.

Y7 entered a 5 a side tournament won one game, lost three but did a great job. Ewan scored in every game and scored a hat-trick on the last game.  

Unfortunately we are having to cancel the Christmas concert next week after Mr Fisher has badly broken his leg and is off school at the moment.

Brilliant news ahead of the Year 11 parents evening 70% of parents have appointments, look forward to seeing you then.

Congratulations to Reece S, Year 9, who won York and District Junior Player of the Year!

Parental Survey

We ask you your views every term about the school and we act upon the feedback that you give us.  Clare McGarry is the new Parent Governor at YHS and when we met last week to discuss Parent school communication, we discussed the parent survey.   As a result of these discussions we are publishing the results of the survey this week.

156 Parents responded to the survey so thank you for your time.  We do not expect 100% approval and can only improve by listening to you.  The majority of responses are very positive.  We have taken out the ‘don’t know’ responses.  Our style is that for many issues the question only indicates a problem and that we need to understand the problem in more detail to resolve it.  We currently use approximately 20 Digital governors to consult with over email.  In the New Year we will look to recruit more and will consider the issues below in greater depth.  Today I will look at the three lowest answers.

  1. York High school makes me aware of what my child will learn during the year (48% agree/strongly agree)

YHS Response

We are currently developing department on a page documents that will be published on the website.  There has been some excellent work in History where the History postcards have been very effective in informing parents about what children are learning.  This is an area that we will look to develop further.

  1. York High School lets me know how my child is doing.

YHS Response

It is early in the year before many of the parent’s evenings have taken place.  We currently report every half term on Attitude to Learning Grades.  We know that the ATL grades are an indicator of success in a subject and they are much more than effort grades.  If you are getting a 2 you are doing well.  Twice a year we provide parents with actual attainment grades based on final GCSE outcomes.  It is really difficult to be accurate and this is why Mr Burton is currently looking at a different way to assess progress in Key Stage 3.   We will use the digital governors to look into this issue further.

  1. When I raised concerns with York High school they have been dealt with properly

YHS Response

73% of you agree or strongly agree with this comment, however this still leaves 1 in 4 parents who disagree or strongly disagree.  I find this very worrying and am keen to find out what the issues are.  I think that the figures may tie in with the 15% of parents who were unhappy with the way that bullying was dealt with by York High.  In the New Year we are launching an anti-bullying campaign so look out for that in January.  This is an issue where I would welcome any further details either through e mails or through direct messages.

We are not perfect but we are very honest and open, not many other schools ask for parent’s opinions let alone publish the results.  We have always been very clear that only through effective partnerships between School, students and parents will we improve.

Have a lovely weekend

Rod Sims