Monday, 5 November 2018

Principal's Blog - October 2018

The first half term has been a really successful one for us at Selby High School. One of the great privileges of my job is being able to show visitors around school, and to get a clear picture of all the fantastic learning that our young people are involved in on a daily basis. Without exception, our visitors have commented on the friendly, calm and purposeful atmosphere across the school. One feature OFSTED commented on when they came to visit us in June, was the excellent work of student leaders across the school. The Student Councils and Wellbeing Councils have already been active this year, exploring a range of ideas for improving the school, and in October 14 students were trained to as Wellbeing Ambassadors.
Our new year 7s have settled in very well and are playing a full role in the life of the school. It was great to see many of them, as well as students from other year groups, helping out at the Open Evening on 1st October. Other key events this half term have included the 100% Attendance Assembly, which included a good number of year 11s who have never missed a day of school, whilst they have been at Selby High School. We were also involved in the Re-start a Heart project, which aims to train up as many young people as possible in this important aspect of First Aid. Our year 9 students were part of 29,768 students trained across Yorkshire this year. We also welcomed parents, carers and guardians from year 7 and 8 to our KS3 Supporting for Success Evening, and look forward to delivering the Key Stage 4 event on 26th November.
There have also been a wide range of activities taking place out of school. Students from a number of different year groups performed “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Shakespeare Schools Festival at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York. Students have also enjoyed a number of successful visits in the November sunshine. Trips have included Photography in Leeds, Geography coursework in Bridlington, and a visit to Cambridge, to see what life and learning is like at the University there.
As ever our sporting teams have been involved in numerous fixtures. Year 9 boys and girls football teams are through to the North Yorkshire cup second round with a 6-0 win against Sherburn and a 5-0 win against Richmond, respectively. The Year 7 boys football team are through to the second round of the York schools cup with a 4-2 penalty victory over Barlby, after a 1-1 draw at the end of full time. The Year 8 boys football team are not only through to the second round of the York schools cup with a 4-1 victory against Fulford but are also top of their York School league having played and won all 4 league games, conceding only 2 goals but scoring 21.
Well done to all year groups who have taken part in the local festival fixtures in Netball and Rugby this half term. The attendance at Netball and rugby club after school and at lunchtime has been excellent and these sessions will continue after half term.
Finally, the Selby High School Equestrian team goes from strength to strength. On Saturday, 22nd September the team went to the National Schools Equestrian Association regional show jumping qualifier competition at Bishop Burton College, and performed very well. Everyone jumped fantastically and did the school team proud coming in an amazing 6th place in the 85cm event with Kaytlyn Fella, Issy Khosla, Ellie McNeil and Martha Ward as a team which takes them through to the National Championships, as places 1-6 qualify. In the 95cm event we had Issy Khosla, Ellie McNeil and Martha Ward as a team of only 3 instead of the 4 allowed (best 3 scores count) and they rode brilliantly to come 4th, again qualifying to the national championships. In the 95cm Ellie McNeil rode a fantastic course and came 2nd individually.
Thanks as always to all the staff who are so generous with their time in organising and supervising the impressive range of activities we have on offer.
I hope you have a happy and safe holiday, and look forward to seeing all the students on the 5th November.

Best wishes,

Nick Hinchliffe

Forthcoming dates:

Monday 5th November
School re-opens
Wednesday 7th November
Governors Awards Evening
Monday 12th November
Year 11 mock exams start
Upper School Careers Fair 5pm
Tuesday 13th November
Book Fair in LRC starts
Year 9 YOLO
Tuesday 20th November
Year 8 Enterprise day
Monday 26th November
KS4 Supporting for Success Evening
Tuesday 18th December
Year 11 Parents Evening 5pm
Thursday 20th December
Christmas Concert 7pm
Friday 21st December
School closes for holidays

Friday, 20 July 2018

Principal's Blog - July 2018

Dear Parents, Carers and Guardians,  

We’ve had a busy and exciting half term at Selby High School. Our Activities Week was a great success. In school, students enjoyed a wide range of activities, including old favourites such as the birds of prey, and Bouncy Bounce, alongside some new sessions, including magic, circus skills and beat boxing. We were blessed with glorious weather for the week, which contributed to the great success of the year 7 camp. I was at the camp on the night of the England vs Columbia game, when staff and students enjoyed a thrilling match, and I know that the rest of the week included many other enjoyable activities.   

There were numerous other trips and visits during the week, with Selby High School students visiting Paris, Snowdonia and Wimbledon. Closer to home, following on from an excellent “Industry Speed Dating” activity, where students were able to speak to representatives from businesses about career choices, our Year 10 students had a very successful Work Experience week. The feedback we have received from providers has been extremely positive, and we are very proud of how our students represented their school during this week. Last week, year 10 students visited Selby College and Pontefract New College, to get a taste of what the next stage of their education might look like. 

I’m sure you will join me in saying a massive thank you to all the staff who put so much additional time and effort into organising the activities, experiences and residential trips throughout Activities Week, and into all the other opportunities that have been provided this year. This half term alone has seen an impressive array of events. In June, year 8s enjoyed a week of outdoor activities at Bewerley Park. In school we had a powerful curriculum day with Prison Me No Way, as well as our annual Spanish Spelling Bee competition, and we took another team to Selby College for the Eurofest Contest. Of course the year was topped off with our trips to Flamingo Land for our 4 Keys students. It’s great to be able to reward our students for all their hard work and effort and I know they had a great time in the sunshine.

After a busy exam season, our year 11s were able to relax and enjoy themselves at the Prom, which took place at Carlton Towers. Students arrived by helicopter, classic car, motorbike and tractor to enjoy a lovely evening of dining and dancing.  

The final term of school is also transition season. We welcomed all our new year 7 students who attended transition days in school this week and last week. This year we had more than ten of our local primary schools send their year 5 pupils in for taster days at Selby High School. Thanks to the staff and our amazing prefects, who ensured that these days ran so smoothly.  

It’s been yet another tremendous half term for sport. Our athletics season has had some major highlights, with a record 44 students qualifying for the York School Athletics Final on the 26th June; a massive well done to all who took part. We came away from the competition with 5 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 13 bronze medals. Other exciting sporting events have included the Girls Beach Rugby in Bridlington, for our year 8 and 9 rugby players, as well as our year 9 and 10 boys having the chance to work with ex Rugby League player Lee Crooks as part of a Rugby RFL player development and talent identification opportunity with Hull FC. 37 intrepid adventurers have successfully completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition, with a 2 night adventure in Robin Hood’s Bay and our Sports Captains also helped out with the Brayton Primary Sports Day, representing our school with great maturity. 

The sporting season concluded as always with a fantastic Sports Day. After many battles of strength in the sun, Mason House won the outdoor Tug of War competition. The House Athletics competition was the closest we have seen at Selby High for years; Garrett and Hockney gained the same amount of points, with Garrett lifting the trophy because they had won the most events. 

Even with all the activities described above, we have still kept a clear focus on our core business of providing excellent teaching and learning for our young people, and it was great to receive recognition from OFSTED who visited us on 12th June, who confirmed that we are still a good school, and were full of praise for much of the work we are doing. The letter from OFSTED provides us with a strong framework to take Selby High School on the next stage of its journey to being an outstanding school.  

As always at this time of year, we have to say goodbye to some members of staff. Teachers Shaun Martin, Naomi Sellars, Melissa Samwell, Caroline Young, Rebecca Fox, Henna Iqbal and our Senior Science Technician Lynne Caddy are leaving this year. Our Financial Director Kerry Longley has decided to set up her own business and is also leaving the school after 12 years’ service. I’d like to say thank you to all these staff who have contributed so much to the success of the school. In addition, Rebecca Cooper and Alix Charlton are taking maternity leave. I’m really pleased to say that we have been able to recruit some excellent new staff members. The following staff are joining us in September: Josie Earnshaw (School Business Manager), Kathryn Lee (Curriculum Leader for MFL); Jonathan Smith (Curriculum Leader for Computer Studies and Business Studies); Isobel Sewell, Nicola Fletcher and Marie Jefferson are all joining the English team, Jason Choi is joining the maths team, Will Johnson will be part of the science team, and Michael Hainsworth will be teaching Life Development. Our new Senior Science Technician is Alex Sambrook, and we will be welcoming Julie Barker to the Finance Team. Neil Brownless will be doing the DT maternity cover for us. 

Finally, I’d like to wish you a happy and safe summer holiday. On that note I have attached a sheet from North Yorkshire County Council with tips to stay healthy and safe over the summer break.  

We know we couldn’t do the job we do in school without the ongoing support of parents, carers and guardians.  

It’s in working together as a community that we are able to make such a positive impact on our young people’s lives. Thank you also for all the many messages of support we have received from parents, carers and guardians this week. It is much appreciated by all of our staff.

Best wishes, 

Nick Hinchliffe 

Monday, 4 June 2018

Principal's Blog - May 2018

The sunshine has been out and it’s been another busy, exciting half term at Selby High School.

Year 11 are currently in the midst of their GCSE examinations. After a fun-filled Celebration Assembly on the 11th May, Year 11s have returned to the hard work of exams and booster sessions. The attitude and commitment of students in their exams has been outstanding so far. Half term will be an important time to do some final revision and preparations, and I wish all year 11 students the best of luck with their remaining examinations. The Year 11 Prom takes place on Wednesday 27th June and this will be a great opportunity to celebrate their time at the school.

As always, there have been a wide range of additional activities taking place to support the curriculum. Year 10 students have visited Leeds University, and Year 9 students have been to Hull University, as part of our extensive guidance on future choices. Students have continued to benefit from participation in the NCOP project with activities this term including a Project Dare follow up activity with students working as a team with the support of outreach workers to prepare a whole school resource. A number of exciting opportunities are planned for the remainder of the summer term including an e-mentoring opportunity for year 9 NCOP students. GCSE Pod will be officially launched with all Year 9 students after half term. The Year 10 Mock Interview Day, during which representatives from local businesses come in to give students a real-life interview experience, was also a great success. In addition to this there has been a Business Studies visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park Education Centre, we’ve participated in the Intermediate Maths Challenge, and a group of our intrepid Year 10s have taken part in their Duke of Edinburgh practice weekend. Finally, a group of Year 9 girls represented the school at the North Yorkshire School Games Dance Festival; this event also gave six of our Sports Leaders a chance to demonstrate their skills, and make Selby High School proud.

The sporting calendar has once again been action-packed, and we’ve experienced some great successes. This week, our Year 9 and 10 boys took part in the National Futsal Finals, representing Doncaster Rovers. After winning all three of the group games, we progressed into the semi-finals where we played the pre-tournament favourites, Chelsea FC. In what was a tight game, James Hymers scored the winner which led to a contest with Exeter City in the final. Nerves were at their highest in what was an evenly matched game, but the match winner came from Jacob Braybrooke to finish off a great team move. Well done to all involved, who are now National Champions.

There have been many other achievements for Selby High School this half term. Our Year 8 Boys and Year 9 Girls rugby teams took part in the RUFU Tournament in Leeds. We saw a great demonstration of all the rugby core values as the boys managed to walk away with the Fair Play Trophy and the girls team won all their games, finishing top of the table. The Year 8 Boys Football team brought another trophy home for Selby High School, winning the York and District FA Cup Final, 5-4 against Fulford. The U13 Girls and the Year 8 Boys also put in fantastic performances, with both teams finishing runners-up in the North Yorkshire Cup Finals. Meanwhile our Equestrians have continued to perform well in competition, with Lucy Williams performing very creditably in the County Show Jumping Championships.

This week the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force. We’ve done a full review of our data processes, and have updated all relevant policies. Included with this principal’s blog is a copy of our updated main Privacy Notice, which is also available on the website in our new GDPR section. The Privacy Notice lets you know exactly how and why we use your data, and gives you information about how to contact our Data Protection Officer (DPO). Our DPO is a company called Veritau, who will support and challenge the school in its use of data.

Selby High Students have also been doing some great work in support of charity this half term. Jessica Machin, Kelsey Elgie, Caitlin Machin and Emily John recently raised money for Stand up for Cancer. A big thank you to staff and students who purchased cakes, buns and key rings to raise money for a great cause and their bake sale raised a total of £45.47.

I’d like to finish by wishing you all a happy and healthy half term break. We’ve got lots planned for the final half term of the summer, including Bewerley Park for Year 8, and Activities Week for the whole school.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Nick Hinchliffe

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Principal’s Blog – March 2018

As the days get longer and - following a final sprinkling of April snow - the spring weather finally seems to be on its way, it’s good to reflect on another busy half term at Selby High School.
As always our curriculum has been enriched by a variety of activities.  Year 10 enjoyed the “Inside Out” drama performance which explored a range of issues including mental health and staying safe online.  Three members of the Fire Service came in to school to deliver some important messages to year 11s about staying safe when driving or travelling with friends in cars, in the Drivewise assembly.  The year 8s developed their enterprise and marketing skills as they explored different fashions from around the world, during their Enterprise Day.  In visits out of school, a group of year 7 and 8 students took part in the Leeds Festival of Science at Leeds University, designing DNA bracelets, and we were also represented at the “Girls and Gadgets” event at Keele University.
Students have continued to benefit from participation in the NCOP ”FutureHy” project, which encourages students to aspire towards University or higher level apprenticeships.  Activities this term including a second Project Dare with engineering firm ARUP. In addition, a group of year 9 students attended a careers conference at York University and students have been receiving additional careers support sessions on Tuesday mornings. A number of exciting opportunities are planned for the summer term. GCSE Pod continues to be used extensively by students in supporting their revision studies; we are now one of the top users in the country!
Several events this half term have highlighted the skills and determination of Selby High School Students.  The Talent Show in March was a roaring success, with all tickets sold in advance of the event.  The audience was treated to a feast of singing, music, drama and comedy.  The Sports Relief event on Friday, 23rd May, involved lots of students and staff running a mile around the school field, many being sponsored for their efforts.  A fantastic £1,826 was raised for the charity.  Numerous other fundraising events have taken place during lunchtimes, highlighting the generosity and hard work of our students.
We’ve had another very successful and enjoyable half term for sport at the school.  The Year 8 Boys’ football team are through to the North Yorkshire County Cup final after beating Bedale in the quarter finals and King James, Knaresborough in the semi-finals. The Under 13 Girls’ football team have also made it through to the North Riding Cup Final, beating Rossett School 3-2 in an exciting encounter.  The boys and girls Under 13 and Under 15 are through to the regional round of the Kinder Futsal competition having had success in earlier area rounds against Doncaster schools.
Our young equestrian team continue to go from strength to strength, competing recently at the National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) show jumping qualifiers on Sunday 25th February. Held at Northallerton Equestrian Centre, our 90cm team of Lucy Williams, Sarah Wheatley, Isabella Khosla and Martha Ward were placed third at their first qualifier, out of nearly twenty teams.  Riding Captain, Lucy Williams, won the class and will now represent Selby High School at the NSEA National Championships in Bedfordshire on Saturday 21st April, as Champion for North Yorkshire.  The 80cm team, where Kaytlyn Fella replaced Sarah Wheatley, finished on a very respectable eight faults, with Lucy placed third individually.
Seven budding young coaches embarked upon the North Yorkshire Sport Coaches Academy Workshop to develop their sports coaching potential.  The conference at Fulford High School, brought together the best young sports leaders from all seven districts covered by North Yorkshire to offer them specialist sports coaching sessions.  Pupils from various schools and colleges were invited to take part in this county wide conference.  The sports represented included, rugby union, football, tennis, netball, cricket and hockey.  Each young leader from Selby chose a sport in which to develop their coaching and leading abilities.  The pupils were also fortunate to listen to an inspiring speech by Paralympian Craig McCann, hearing how important future coaches are to inspiring future sporting greats.