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