Monday, 15 December 2014

Headteacher’s Blog December 2014

Dear Parents, Carers & Guardians

It has been another exciting and spectacular half-term for the arts, science, sport, community service and charity fundraising, as the news stories on the website are testimony to.

We have been working hard to ensure that students receive relevant and regulated homework set in line with the newly published homework expectations. As you will appreciate, it makes life very difficult for my teachers, together with creating an unnecessary additional work load if students fail to complete and hand in their homework. Moreover, it results in unnecessary punishment for students who fail to discharge their responsibilities. I would welcome your support in ensuring that the homework set is completed and handed in by the required date. It is also worth remembering that a student’s participation with an electronic homework can and will be checked by staff. Any failure to complete homework, electronic or otherwise, will, after one occasion being given to rectify the situation, result in a student having to undertake a punishment.

Please encourage your child (ren) to undertake some on-line learning, revision and any required catch-up work during the Christmas holidays, so that they can hit the ground running in January, together with making sure they are on track. Remember, there is no substitute for hard work!
Our new independent learning and effort rewards system ‘Selby Keys’ is bedding in well and helping students to rapidly develop the skills necessary to be a successful learner in today’s educational climate.

Your co-operation in helping to maintain the now established high standards of uniform, together with attendance and punctuality, from the outset of the Spring Term in January will be much appreciated. In this respect it is worth remembering that students should wear their blazers at all times, in addition to any school jumper or cardigan, unless instructed to do otherwise by a member of staff.  We will also continue our campaign, during 2015, to educate everyone connected with the school what bullying is and what it isn’t, together with convincing all concerned of the virtues of being a ‘telling school’.   

As winter tightens its grip may I once again remind you, that in adverse weather conditions, a decision as to whether or not to open the school will be made, at the latest, by 6.30am. If closure is necessary an announcement will then be made on BBC Radio York & Minster FM. The school’s website will also carry information about any school closure and we will tweet and SMS message you with information. Once the school is open it will remain open until the end of the day unless it becomes clear that students risk becoming stranded, because of any worsening conditions. If the school has to close we will make a decision, whenever possible, by the end of the closure day about the prospects for the following day.

As we say at Selby High School and as we look forward to 2015, it is more important that we are more successful tomorrow than we are today! 

On that note I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the staff and governors to wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year! 

Paul Eckersley                                                                                                                                                                 Headteacher

Dates for next half term:

Monday 5th January -                     School re-opens
Monday 12th January -                   Year 10 Democracy Day
Monday 19th January -                   Year 7 Young Voices at Sheffield Arena
Monday 19th January -                   Ski trip Parents’ Information Evening
Wednesday 21st January -             Year 11 trip to National Media Museum
Monday 26th January -                   Year 8 Options Evening
Tuesday 27th January -                   Year 7 Enterprise Day
Monday 2nd – Friday 13th Feb -     Year 11 Mock Examinations
Thursday 5th February -                  Year 9 Parents Evening
Friday 13th February -                     Non-uniform day for House Charities
Friday 13th February -                     School closes for holidays

Friday, 24 October 2014

Headteacher's first blog of 2014 - 15

Headteacher’s Blog
October 2014 

Dear Parents/Carers/Guardians

Welcome to my first blog of this academic year and what an exciting start to the new school year it has been! I have attached a copy of our 2013-2014 Highlights booklet and we are already planning for 2014-2015 to be another year to remember. The 2014 Governor’s Awards Evening, which was held at Selby Abbey on the 15th October 2014 was a truly glittering occasion and wonderful showcase for everything we hold dear at Selby High School. As you will have seen from the news feed on the school’s website our students are, once again, doing some great things, so the 2015 Governors’ Awards are set to be yet another spectacular evening!

 Our new Student Guidance Base; “The Gibson Guidance Centre”, will be opening straight after half-term. The official opening of this £250k facility is currently being planned to take place in December 2014. The centre is to be named after the school’s Chair of Governors, Mr Grant Gibson who in his ten years fulfilling that role has provided so much support to our young people to ensure that they make informed and correct decisions. 
I would like to thank you for your support in getting the new school year off to such a fantastic start. The uniform standards have been excellent and students have, therefore, avoided unnecessary punishments, which deflect us from our main purpose of everyone securing top class results and achieving their full potential. Thank you for your support in ensuring your child(ren) are properly turned out for school, together with being ‘keen to treat others just like they would wish to be treated themselves’; a simple phrase, but such an important one for Selby High School. Moreover, students’ behaviour for learning needs to be such that it allows both them and their fellow students to make the maximum progress possible.

We send a large number of emails and letters including numbered ones out to parents, carers and guardians, but any communication system will only work well if people regularly check their messages. In this regard I should be grateful if you would check your emails at least twice a week, together with following us on Twitter @selbyhigh. The hyperlink to the school’s website is:

Top class home/school communications are critical so why not write a note to your child’s Form Tutor or Head of House to let us know what is going well or areas of concern that you may have. In addition, please use the Student Planner to provide a written explanation of any absences, but please also telephone the school on the first day of absence to let us know:

Telephone Number: 01757-703327 and select the option for reporting a student absence

I look forward to seeing you at the Consultation Day for Parents’/Carers’/Guardians’ on Tuesday 16th December 2014. Don’t forget to book your appointment between 9.36am and 7.36pm, when the slips are issued. The length of appointments will be twelve minutes. 

In addition, the following are important dates for your diary.

Monday 3rd November - School re-opens

Monday 3rd November – Friday 14th November – Year 11 mock examinations
Tuesday 11th November – Tuesday 18th November – Book Fair in LRC
Tuesday 2nd December – Year 11 Parents Evening
Thursday 4th December – Year 10 Speed Networking with Industry
Monday 8th & Tuesday 9th December – Seasonal flu immunisations for Years 7 & 8
Thursday 11th December – Year 7 Theatre trip
Friday 12th December – Tracker 1 issued
Tuesday 16th December – Consultation Day
Friday 19th December – School closes for holidays

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer 2014 blog

Dear Parents/Carers/Guardians

Welcome to my last blog of this academic year and what a fabulous year it has been, but you already know that from the website and Twitter news feeds!

We will be publishing our 2013-2014 Highlights booklet at the end of September so don’t forget to look out for your copy. It is certain to be a bumper edition, but we are already planning for 2014-2015 to be another year to remember

Talking about developments, this summer we will be constructing our new Student Guidance Base. This £250K facility will hopefully be finished at the end of September; watch this space.
I would like to thank you for all your support this year, because as we tell your child(ren) success is all about team work and the part you play is vital. Discussing and clarifying issues with your child(ren) is an important daily routine. Occasionally, we have to deal with problems that have arisen as a result of miss information that could have been avoided, if only students had engaged in a frank and honest conversation with their parents, carers or guardians.

In addition, we send a large number of emails and letters including numbered ones out to parents, carers and guardians, but any communication system will only work well if people regularly check their messages. In this regard I should be grateful if you would check your emails at least twice a week, together with following us on Twitter @selbyhigh. The hyperlink to the school’s website is:

We have a new calendar available from September that can, once again, be accessed via the school website.

Once again, I look forward to your continued help in ensuring your child is properly turned out for school throughout the 2014-2015 academic year and ‘keen to treat others just like they would wish to be treated themselves’; a simple phrase, but such an important one for Selby High School. 

I have just received information from NHS England that on 8th & 9th December 2014 students in Years 7 & 8 will receive a childhood seasonal flu inoculation as part of an immunisation pilot project that we have been chosen for. Consent forms and information packs will be available in September 2014.  

From September, the daily maximum spend for students in Food4Thought will be £4.50 to reflect inflationary price increases averaging 5%.  Please note, this is the first price rise for three years.

In addition, the following are important dates for your diary.

Monday 1st September           – Training Day – school closed to students
Tuesday 2nd September           – School re-opens – Year 7 students only
Wednesday 3rd September     – School opens to all students
Friday 19th September – School photographs & HSA signing by Mr Eckersley
Tuesday 23rd September         – Raising Aspirations Evening
Monday 29th September         – Training Day – school closed to students
Monday 29th September         – Open Evening for prospective parents
Tuesday 30th September         – Training Day – school closed to students
Wednesday 1st October          – Shakespeare Schools Festival cast workshop
Wednesday 15th October        – Governors Awards Evening at Selby Abbey
Thursday 16th October            – Shakespeare Schools Festival dress rehearsal and performance
Thursday 16th October            – ‘Get Skilled’ careers event at Elland Road
Thursday 23rd October            – Year 7 Consultation Evening

Staffing Changes from September 2014

Mrs Barbara Palmer (cleaner), retired from her position with effect from 27th June 2014; after 13 years’ service to the school.
Mr Luke Parkinson (English teacher) has secured a new post as a teacher of English at Beckfoot School in Bingley, which is much nearer to where he lives.
Miss Rebecca Lloyd (mathematics teacher) has secured a new position at the Biddick Academy, an 11-16 school in the North East of England.  
Miss Lynne Eagles (ASSM) has successfully secured a place on the Primary PGCE course at York St. John’s University.
Mr Ben Lewis (HLTA mathematics) has secured a NQT teaching position in respect of physical education at Hornsea High School in the East Riding of Yorkshire.  
Mr Carl Booth (SSM), who completed his GTP QTS with us, has been appointed as a PTI with one of the newly formed RAF Reservist Units.
Mr Tom Oldfield (SSM) has secured a PGCE place at Sheffield Hallam University in design and technology.
Miss Hayley Dobson (SSC Ensuring Entitlement Officer) has secured a new position as a Student Support Officer at Rossett School in Harrogate.
Mr Rob Claxton (SSM) will be leaving to take up a post within the local council.
Mr Robert Macdonald (science teacher) who has, since his retirement as Head of Science in 2012, been teaching science two days a week part-time has, in the short term, finished his contract, but we hope to welcome him back to do some work in the future.

We are moving to a faculty structure to further improve our provision, comprising:
o  Mrs Jackie Seils Head of the Faculty of Global Languages, which will encompass Business & Enterprise, Mathematics and MFL. In addition, she will be the leader of The Faculty Heads Group.
o  Mr Gary Bowell Head of the Faculty of English & Social Sciences which will encompass English, History, Media, RE & Sociology
o  Miss Rebecca Brigg Head of the Faculty of Personal, Pure & Physical Sciences, which will encompass Computer Science, Geography, PSHEE & C & Science
o  Mr Derek Block Head of the Faculty of Performance & Creative Arts, which will encompass Art, Design & Technology, Dance, Performing Arts & Physical Education

Moreover, we have appointed four Associate Assistant Headteachers. The Associate Assistant Headteachers Miss Lizzie Crawford, Miss Vicki Gorton, Miss Samantha Johnson and Miss Gail Smith will work alongside our T&L Lead Practitioners, Mrs Jackie Seils, Mrs Samantha Sheard and Miss Lydia Jackson to develop our teaching and learning to routinely outstanding:

Following Miss Smith’s promotion, Mr Stephen Field (PE teacher) has been appointed as the Assistant Curriculum Area Leader for Physical Education.  With Miss Gorton’s promotion, Mrs Jennifer Mackey will step up temporarily to Assistant Curriculum Area Leader for Science in addition to her duties as Transition Co-ordinator and Mrs Sarah Wardell (Assistant AIM Co-ordinator) will take on the additional responsibilities of KS3 Science Progress Co-ordinator in a temporary capacity whilst Mrs Katherine Fielden is on maternity leave.  Dr Paul O’Gorman (ASL for PSHEE & C and ALM for Garrett House) will become the Curriculum Area Leader for PSHEE & C and Mr Simon Birkenshaw (SL for ADT and soon to be Curriculum Area Leader for design & technology) will take on the additional leadership responsibilities for careers education and work experience.  Mr Andrew Milson who taught at the school between 2010 and 2012 will be returning to teach science and Miss Rebecca Harwood and Mr Colum McArdle have been appointed to the positions of Assistant learning Manager for Garrett & Mason Houses respectively

Mr David Martin and Mr James Dyke will be joining the school to teach English, Mrs Rachel Blatchford and Mr Nicholas Blanchflower to teach mathematics and computer studies respectively and Mrs Sharon Baron will be our new Examinations Officer.  Miss Noelle Burston; Ms Elaine Cowling; Ms Demi Wright and Mrs Iryna Durham will be joining our team of SSMs and Mrs Tina Clayton who will become new SSC Ensuring Entitlement Officer.

Finally last, but by no means least, I would like to announce the retirement of Mr Michael Dobson (Head of PSHEE & C and Careers Education & Guidance) in August 2014 after 30 years at the school and 38 years in public service as a teacher. We wish him a happy and healthy retirement and pay tribute to his dedicated and selfless service.

Have a wonderful summer!!

Paul Eckersley

Friday, 23 May 2014

Headteacher’s Blog May 2014

Dear Parents, Carers & Guardians,

It has been an incredibly busy, but hugely rewarding half-term as the news stories on our website are testimony to and clearly highlights the tremendous range of opportunities available to our students, together with the impact they have had both locally and nationally. I would like to thank you for the on-going support you provide in order to ensure that our youngsters can engage with these activities. We are looking forward to welcoming a maximum intake into the school in September for the seventh consecutive year as more and more people want to take advantage of the exciting opportunities and excellent education Selby High School provides.

We continue to work relentlessly to drive up standards and improve the accommodation and resources. Over half-term we will be starting the refurbishment of SC3 & SC4, which will provide more top class science facilities for our students. In addition, the enabling works will be starting in readiness for building the new Guidance Base which will start in July and be completed for the start of the new academic year. During the summer vacation, we will also be continuing with our corridor modernisation and painting & decorating programme, together with our annual maintenance programme.

In addition, we are currently working closely with an architect and a project management company putting together the plans for new sports changing rooms and changes to the sports hall to accommodate, amongst other things, Selby’s very own wheelchair sports centre and additional classrooms. Moreover, we are seeking additional funding for this project from various sporting organisations and other sponsors; so if you or anyone you know would like to sponsor all or some of the project for negotiated publicity rights, then please get in touch.

Once again, I am seeking your continued and much appreciated co-operation in ensuring that your child is wearing the correct uniform, including their House tie, when the weather is not too hot. If we experience a heat wave we will of course issue separate daily instructions in respect of wearing blazers and ties. It is also important that they bring the right equipment to all lessons. It is vital, as you will appreciate, that students approach their studies with the correct focus, attitude and determination to achieve at the highest level and aim for excellence in all that they do.

Every student’s aim should be to become a Selby 5* student. Talking of which we will be taking 303 students on an all-expenses paid trip to Flamingo Land, split over two days, 7th and 11th July 2014, to celebrate being a 5* student on all their trackers this year, together with putting on a free film show for the 435 4* students!  Over 88% of students are currently either a 4* or 5* students with 46% being 5* students. This is a tremendous achievement; thank you for all that you do in ensuring your child(ren) put the maximum effort into their studies; there is no substitute for hard work!

Staffing Update for Parents, Carers and Guardians
Since my last Blog the following members of staff have left Selby High School to take on new challenges.  Mrs Andrea Lawson (Examination Officer and Office Manager for Student Services), has taken up the position of P.A. to the Headteacher at Woodthorpe Primary School, York; Mr Richard Hanson (Assistant Headteacher), has moved to the Outwood Grange Academy Trust to become one of their Vice Principals and Mrs Sharon Wilson (HLTA) has taken up the post of Transition Co-ordinator at Tadcaster Grammar School.  Mrs Kay Crompton (English teacher) decided to take a career break and left the school’s employment at Easter.

Mrs Yvonne Bruce has taken up post as both an exam invigilator and a midday supervisor to cover the outdoor eating area.

We are advertising for a new Examinations Officer. Currently, the position is being undertaken on a temporary basis by Mrs Laura Currey. The new Office Manager is Mrs Gillian Reed who will undertake this role in addition to her duties as the school’s Cover Officer.

Mrs June Jarrold (cleaner), having worked at the school for ten years, retired on Friday 9th May 2014 two days short of her 75th birthday. We wish her a well-deserved retirement!

Mrs Margaret Legge (cleaner) started work as June’s replacement on Monday 12th May 2014.

Mr Mark Jennings (ASSM) is leaving the school on 11th June 2014 to pursue a career in accountancy.

Watch this space for my end of term Staffing Update

Important dates for next half term:
  •      Monday 2nd – Friday 6th June – Bewerley Park visit (Year 8)
  •      Monday 9th June 5.30pm – Parents’/Carers’/Guardians’ meeting regarding Barcelona trip
  •     Tuesday 10th June 5.00pm – Parents’/Carers’/Guardians’ meeting regarding Belgium trip
  •     Tuesday 24th June – Sports Day (we have chosen two reserve dates in case of bad weather; Wednesday 25th June and Friday 27th June
  •     Wednesday 25th June 7pm – Year 11 Prom
  •     Monday 30th June – Friday 4th July – Activities Week
  •     Monday 7th July – Year 7 & 8 5* students trip to Flamingo Land
  •     Monday 7th July – Year 9 Enterprise Day
  •     Monday 7th July 5.00pm – Year 10 Careers Fair
  •     Wednesday 9th July – Year 9 Prison Me No Way
  •     Thursday 10th July – Year 10 Taster Day at Selby College
  •     Friday 11th July – Year 7 Enterprise Day
  •     Friday 11th July – Year 9 & 10 5* students trip to Flamingo Land
  •     Monday 14th – Friday 18th July – History trip to France and Belgium
  •     Wednesday 16th July – 4* students Film Day
  •     Monday 21st July – Parents’/Carers’/Guardians’ Consultation Day
  •     Tuesday 22nd July – School closes for holiday

Yours sincerely,

Paul Eckersley


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Headteacher’s Blog April 2014

Dear Parents, Carers & Guardians

Welcome to my Easter Blog

As you will be aware from our daily news feed our successes of the first term have continued at a pace and the achievements of our young people have been simply spectacular and never cease to impress me. These on-going achievements, together with our track record of success mean that once more, we will be welcoming a maximum intake of 237 Year 7 students in September 2014. It is interesting to note, that despite this year’s Year 6 cohort being small, there were over 260 applications to join the school.

Our target for 75% of Year 11 students achieving 5 A*-C GCSE grades including English and mathematics, whilst challenging, is achievable.  It is essential, however, that students realise the level of commitment that is now required from them at this stage of their school career. This commitment should also be extended to ensure that they turn up for scheduled booster and intervention sessions that are taking place both after school and during the supported study programme during May and June. Some of these sessions will take place at weekends and during holidays, including over the Easter vacation.

The Easter holidays will provide all those students who are preparing for public examinations with the perfect opportunity to undertake some quality revision. Also remember the impact that MyMaths, SAM Learning, BBC Bitesize and other e-learning sites can have on your child’s results. I am sure you will join me in wishing all our students the very best with both their preparation and their actual tests and examinations. We will be waiting for the results every bit as anxiously as they will as we look to set more new records for ourselves.

I have been informed that there is a rumour circulating that I will be leaving the school this summer to take on the leadership of Selby College. That is not true. I am committed to serving Selby High School as we move towards being rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Incidentally, since the new Ofsted Inspection Framework was introduced in September 2013 we remain one of only three secondary schools in North Yorkshire to achieve a ‘good judgement.’ Nationally, since September 2013 66% of schools have received a RI (requiring improvement) or below judgement; clearly illustrating the punishing nature of the new inspection framework. Moreover, only 6 schools nationally have received an outstanding judgement.

I hope you have a restful and peaceful Easter!

Yours sincerely

Paul Eckersley

Important Dates for Diary

Training Day (school closed to students) – Tuesday 22nd April
School re-opens for – Wednesday 23rd April

Early May Bank Holiday – Monday 5th May

School re-opens – Tuesday 6th May

Trestle Workshop event – Thursday 8th May

Duke of Edinburgh practice weekend – Friday 9th – Sunday 11th May

Eurofest languages event – Tuesday 20th May

School closes for holidays – Friday 23rd May

Monday, 24 February 2014

Welcome to the blog site

Thank you for checking out our new Blog site, we will be updating you with our latest news and information on a half termly basis. If you require any further information please contact Mrs Adele Keepfer on 01757 703327

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Our first Headteacher's blog

Introduction to the new Headteacher's Blog
In October 2003 I wrote my first In-Site message, it announced the arrival of the school’s new newsletter and the desire by myself and the other members of staff at the school to develop a close working relationship with yourselves based upon excellent communication systems. The newsletter contained only two black and white photographs and a number of brief articles which covered items such as the opening of the new LRC, fundraising activities to become a specialist school and for ‘Helping Hands’, together with a review of the annual Hi & Bye concert and an acknowledgement of Alice Leake’s achievement of becoming the National British Schools orienteering champion. From this very simple beginning,In-Site has served the school well, recording and recognising the achievements of students and staff,in over 60 editions during the last ten years.

In this technological age, however, we now feel that a half termly In-Site newsletter is no longer the most relevant method of relaying the successes and experience of our students to parents, carers and guardians. As a result of our extensive communication systems, we now often publish as much information in a week as we did in a whole half term in 2003. Our twitter account, website, email and texting services mean news from the school is instantly published. In addition our School App, means that information from the school is also available, even when one is on the move. This edition of In-Site is, therefore, to be the last in its current form.

As we say goodbye to In-Site I would like to announce the launch of its replacement, ‘The Headteachers Half Term Blog’. This blog will contain much of the same information contained in In-Site, but in an electronic format. Access should be available to all through apps on smart phones, as well as directly from the school website. The blog will still carry my half term message, as well as comment on the successes, events and activities of the students at Selby High School. In addition it will contain notices of important future events and links to news stories. Although this is the last edition of In-Site and the end of an era at Selby High School, we are all looking forward to seeing how our new Blog develops, together with reflecting on its success in 10 years’ time!

Paul Eckersley B.Ed.[Hons], MA, NPQH