Friday, 2 March 2018

Principal’s Blog – February 2018

The last half term was a short one, but as always we managed to fit a lot in.

The term started with two intensive weeks of mock exams. Year 11 revision has been enhanced by GCSEPod. This fantastic resource covers the vast majority of subjects studied by students at Selby High, and students from all year groups are able to log in and use it. It’s great for reviewing the work completed in class during the week, keeping on top of previous learning, as well as for more targeted revision for exams.

On the evening of the 6th February, 43 Year 9 students, accompanied by 5 members of staff, embarked on a memorable journey to the Battlefields of Western Europe. Although this trip has been an annual event, it continues to be shaped by the individuals on the trip and the questions it raises about warfare and the horrific conditions endured by so many from both sides. Students had the opportunity to explore a range of monuments around the Ypres Salient. They visited Essex farm where Captain John McCrae wrote his famous ‘In Flanders Field’ poem. Students also placed a signed Leeds United shirt at the exact place the soldiers got out of the trenches and played football in 1914.

Some students traced the tracks of their ancestors at Tyne Cot Commonwealth cemetery and were able to lay a poppy in remembrance of a soldier they had found. The final day involved a trip down to France to the area around the Somme. Here students were able to explore the Wellington Quarry caves that hid over 24,000 soldiers prior to the battle of Arras in 1917.

Although the days were long and involved many thought provoking activities, students also had the opportunity to explore the medieval Belgian town of Ypres and many bought chocolates from the world famous chocolatiers of Belgium. Students’ attitude and behaviour on the trip was a shining example of the high expectations that students set themselves and they continued to ask a range of inquisitive questions back in history lessons after half term.

The students at Selby High made history again this year when they took part in Young Voices, the largest school choir concert in the world. The students performed a wide variety of music spanning the ages; from Stevie Wonder & Toto to contemporary TV theme tunes. The Young Voices concert was an amazing day, and is now a memory that the students will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

It has been another busy term for sporting activities. This half term the school teams have been competing in boys 5 a’ side and Girls 9 a’ side football at Barlby with great success.

Several Selby students took part in the Regional Badminton Final as part of the North Yorkshire School Games. KS3 boys and KS4 boys and girls qualified in late 2017 to represent the Selby District area and the finals took place this week at York RI sports club. The students faced the winning schools from the other 6 districts within North Yorkshire guaranteeing that their badminton performance would be pushed to its limits. The KS4 girls had a good set of results which saw them progress to the semi-final stage. They faced the 2016 champions and were edged out of the competition after a brave performance; they did manage to secure 3rd place in the finals, the best result Selby have experienced at this tournament in recent years.

In other sporting success, the Year 8 Boys football team are through to the Quarter Finals of the North Yorkshire Cup competition following a victory against Archbishop Holgate School. These boys are also still trying to win the York league and are still in the York and District cup competition. The Under 13 girls played Richmond in the quarter finals of the North Yorkshire Cup; a fantastic game was played by both schools, and it went to penalties after finishing 1-1. The girls won on penalties, and showed great resilience to keep going and not give up. They will now face Rossett School in the semi-finals. Our Under 16 girls have progressed to the semi-finals of the North Yorkshire Cup; they will play St John Fisher.

We took three teams to the Yorkshire rugby competition held at York St John University by York City Knights. U13 girls lost out in the last 10 seconds of the game and the U16 girls lost out to Settle school. U15 girls progressed through to the finals. Great rugby was played by all girls.

Continuing the drive for range and diversity of sports offered, nine adrenaline-fuelled Selby pupils took on the thrills on offer at Snozone, Xscape as part of the school’s first trip to a Freestyle skiing lesson. The pupils were taught the basic skills of taking on a ‘kicker’ and a ‘grind box’ under the expert tuition of Snozones’ specialist freestyle coach.

As always, I’d like to pass on my thanks to all the staff who have taken students on activities this half term.

This half term we have been refocusing on our vision and values. In our work with students and staff, the importance of community, participation and working together has been emphasised. Once again several students have out these ideas into practice through their work to raise money for charity. Kennedy Whitehead, in year 8, put on a cake sale with a group of friends to raise money in memory of her best friend, who died of a brain tumour. Kennedy works hard to raise money for her friend’s charity, “Fin’s Journey”. Well done to all other students who put in time and effort to raise money, including Year 7s who raised over £100 for their chosen charity of Selby Hands of Hope by selling Krispy Kremes. 

Please remember to check the school calendar via the school website where you will find details of forthcoming events and activities.

Best wishes,
Mr. Nick Hinchliffe