Friday, 17 February 2017

Principal's Blog - February 2017

Dear Parents, Carers and Guardians,

This half term has flown by with a tremendous number of achievements to celebrate, which tells the story of what has been a short, but highly rewarding and exciting half term. The next half term, before we break for Easter on the 7th April is even shorter, but it will be just as hectic and jam packed with good news stories.

The targets we have set our students in respect of this summer’s GCSE results, whilst challenging, are achievable given the level of support that is available here at school and at home from yourselves. Please encourage your child (ren) to undertake revision/on-line learning and any required catch-up work during the half-term break. It is essential that students realise the level of commitment that is now required from them at this stage of their school career. Those students in their last year at Selby High School, that is Year 11 students, should be undertaking a minimum of twelve hours’ home study per week and beginning to make the social sacrifices which are necessary for success and which in turn will provide choices and chances!

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 from now until the end of June, some of which takes place at weekends and in the school holidays.

Remember, there is no substitute for hard work and, without doubt, it is the key to success!

Talking about working hard, I have some staff news. Mrs Fielden (Science) went on maternity leave at the end of January 2017 and Mrs Mackey (Science) and Mrs Stephenson (Music) will begin their respective maternity leaves on 10th March 2017. Miss Fletcher has joined the science department in place of Mrs Fielden. We are looking forward to welcoming Miss Brigg & Mrs Pickering back from maternity leave on 6th March 2017. With Mrs Pickering’s return we are saying good bye to Miss Martin who has been covering for her during her maternity leave. In addition, Mr Naveed (ICT & Business Studies) left the school at the end of January in order to take his career in a new direction. We wish them both all the very best for the future.

The interviews for my successor will be held on Wednesday 22nd March and Thursday 23rd March 2017. I am sure the Chair of Governors will inform you of the outcome of that process in due course, before my departure on the 7th April 2017.

Immediately after half term, we will be moving into the £1.1m ‘Eckersley Centre’. In addition, to the fantastic new changing facilities, we will have the use of six new state of the art teaching spaces; three of these spaces will be occupied by geography, two by physical education and the final one by English. We have also been able to re-allocate a number of teaching spaces, which in turn will ease the pressure on the timetable and movement around the school. Following the handover process from the contractors, which takes place during the half term break, I will arrange for some photographs of the new building to be posted on the school’s website and tweeted out to you, so that you can see them for yourselves.

In my December Blog, I told you about how much money we have collectively raised during the last 14 years. That figure has now gone past £66k and we received an exciting letter from ‘Comic Relief’, whereby they identified Selby High as one of their leading school money raisers. This notification came hard on the heels of similar news from the BBC Children In Need team. This is a fabulous double accolade and one everyone connected with the school should be justifiably proud of!

Congratulations to all the participants in this year’s Talent Show. The theme this year was super heroes and, once again, the standard was incredibly high, which made it an extremely hard decision for the judges. The Lower School winner was a group of Year 8 girls; Charlotte Armstrong, Emily Hanks, Rachael Hanks and Harriet Leetham with Nicola Klimkowska a very close second. The Upper School winner was Daniel Toone with Matthew Stephenson as the runner-up.

Given that we have experienced some sub-zero temperatures of late, I should like to take this opportunity to remind you, that in the advent of 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 day in question, about the prospects for the following day.

Important Dates for Your Diary
Monday 27th February
School re-opens
Tuesday 28th February
Year 7 YPAA Day
Wednesday 1st March
Shakespeare Company working with Year 11
Thursday 2nd March
Recital & afternoon teas
Monday 6th March
Year 8 Options Launch - Assembly
Tuesday 7th March
Year 10 Science Live trip
Wednesday 8th March
Year 8 Enterprise Day
Wednesday 8th March
Year 8 Options Evening
Monday 13th March
Artsmark Discovery Day
Tuesday 14th March
Year 10 Inside Out
Wednesday 15th March
Year 11 Drivewise presentation
Thursday 23rd March
Romeo & Juliet trip
Friday 24th March
Non-uniform day for Comic Relief
Tuesday 28th March
Year 8 Technology Day
Wednesday 29th March
Year 9 School Leavers injections
Monday 3rd April
Media trip to BBC
Tuesday 4th April
Author workshop in English
Friday 7th April
School closes for holidays

Best wishes
Paul Eckersley