Friday, 21 July 2017

Principal's Blog - July 2017

Dear Parents, Carers and Guardians,
The last seven weeks have flown by, and my first half term at Selby High School is drawing to a close. I have had such a warm welcome from staff, students, governors and parents, carers and guardians, and have really appreciated the positive and friendly atmosphere in the school.  Selby High School is certainly a very special place, and I look forward to working with all members of the school community on the next phase of the school’s development.
As the school year comes to an end it is always a good opportunity to reflect on the many successes of the year.  The year 11 students conducted themselves extremely well throughout the examination period, and I wish them all the very best in their future choices.  Similarly, many of our local business providers contacted the school to say how well the year 10s did on their work experience.  Many of our subjects were teaching new GCSE specifications this year, and in key stage 3 a brand new life after levels curriculum was delivered.  Staff have been working very hard over the last few weeks to review, and improve even further, the curriculum on offer.
An impressive range of trips, visits, experiences and projects were organised during our recent Activities Week.  Students travelled to Barcelona, Paris, Snowdonia and London, and year 7s enjoyed their camp in the new location of Silverwood this year.  In school, the activities included the Segway experience, numerous arts and crafts activities and a historical research project.  I’m sure you will join me in thanking all the staff who put so much time and effort into ensuring that the week was a great success.
Other activities have enhanced our curriculum this half term, including Prison Me No Way, in which year 9 learnt about the crime and justice system. We have also continued our commitment to providing outstanding advice and guidance, to help students make their choices about the future.  The Careers Fair on 26th June was a great success and very well attended, and year 10 visited Selby College last week to experience the range of courses on offer to them when they leave school.  To top off an exciting and varied year, we had a tremendous Sports Day.  In a closely fought contest, Palin emerged the ultimate winners, and as Mr Block said, it was the extra points won by those who participated and completed events that ultimately sealed victory.  The year was topped off with two fantastic trips to Flamingo Land for our 4 Keys students.
As always at this time of year we need to say farewell to some of our colleagues.  Cheryl Baxter, Dave Potts and Ginine Smith are leaving our support team.  Dave is retiring after 10 years of service and we wish him all the best in the future.  Kelly Tomlinson from the English department and Lola Brackenbury from the science team are also moving on.  We are looking forward to welcoming three new teachers in September.  Mr Williams will be joining the English team, and our science team welcomes Mr Gilbert and Mr Foster.   In September, Simon Cahill and Sarah Cooke will be joining our site team.  Sarah will be shadowing Barbara Collinson, who is retiring in September after many years of service to the school and the authority.  We also appointed our first apprentice this week.  Ex-Selby High School student Amy Hurdle will be our Apprentice Science Technician.  We hope to employ several more apprentices over the coming year. 
I’m really looking forward to an exciting year next year.  Our two main teaching and learning priorities will focus on literacy, and developing independence and resilience in our learners.  We are also making some changes to our behaviour policy, which I know will lead to an even better learning environment for all our young people.  Thank you in advance for supporting the school by ensuring that students are in full school uniform and fully equipped on their first day back in September.
Could I finish by wishing you and your family a happy and safe summer holidays.  It is a great time for students to relax and unwind; I’d like to emphasise the safety information which was sent home to all families, and ask young people to take extra care when on-line and when out and about on the roads and waterways this summer.   It’s also a good idea to keep the brain active; some reading every day will make a big difference, alongside regular discussions around the news and current affairs.  I’d also recommend that our GCSE students put some time aside for going over their notes and ensuring that all tasks set by their teachers over the summer holidays are completed to the best of their ability.
Have a great summer.
Best wishes,

Nick Hinchliffe

Forthcoming dates (for a full list of events and activities please see the school calendar)

Monday 4th September                Training Day – school closed to students
Tuesday 5th September                School re-opens – Year 7 students only
Wednesday 6th September         School re-opens – Year 7 & Year 11 students only
Thursday 7th September              School open to all students
Friday 15th September                 School photographs
Monday 2nd October                    Training Day – school closed to students
                                                          Open Evening for prospective parents
Tuesday 3rd October                    School re-opens to students
                                                          Shakespeare Schools Festival Cast Workshop
Wednesday 11th October            Governors’ Awards Evening at Selby Abbey
Monday 16th October                  Year 9 Re-start a Heart day
Friday 20th October                      School closes for holidays (end of day)