Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Principal's Blog - July 2019

It is always a real pleasure to look back on the events of a term at Selby High School.

In June, we said goodbye to our year 11 cohort who have worked extremely well throughout their exam period. Their final assembly was full of fond memories of the five years the students have spent at the school, and the Prom was a real success. We are looking forward to seeing all of our year 11 students in August to celebrate their exam results. Of course, a goodbye to one year group means a welcome to another, and last week our new year 7 students came in for their Transition Day. It was great to meet the students, and our staff were very impressed with the hard work and enthusiasm shown by all during the day’s sessions. Our Year 5 Experience Days also gave hundreds of local primary school students the chance to experience some of the things that Selby High School has to offer; the prefect team who supported the days were an absolute credit the school.

The summer term has been packed with the full range of activities and events that make the curriculum at Selby High School so powerful and engaging for the students. Year 8s had an actionpacked week at Bewerley Park, enjoying mountain biking, sailing, canoeing, and gorge walking, to name just a few of the options available. Our intrepid year 10 students also had to put all their outdoor skills to the test on the Duke of Edinburgh Assessment Weekend. We received incredibly positive feedback about our students’ attitude and conduct from members of the public who were in the Robin Hood’s Bay area at the same time. Other trips out that have added so much to our students’ overall experience have included the year 9 trip to Hull University, a filming visit to Castle Museum, the year 8 visit to Eden Camp and the year 7 visit to see William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. Many events have complemented our curriculum in school this term as well, ranging from the Inter House Spelling Bee in Spanish, to the Year 9 Oracy Day, to Enterprise Days for years 7, 8 and 9. As always the Prison Me, No Way Day provided a thought-provoking experience for year 9 students.

This year our Activities Week had the theme of Healthy Planet, Healthy Me. The students in school took part in lots of activities related to this theme, learning about how to improve the environment, and how to maintain a healthy mind and body. Two activities, which really stood out, were the visit to SCRAPs, a local community art project in Selby, and the Selby High School Litter Pick. At SCRAPs students not only learnt how to make items out of recycled goods, but they also had the chance to chat with some of the vulnerable adults who are supported by the charity, which was incredibly beneficial for both our students, and others involved. Our Litter Pick was supported by Selby Council, and by the end of the week, we had gathered over 100 bags of litter from various locations around the Selby area.

Next year, following on from our Activities Week, we are going to have a big focus on reducing single use plastics, and improving our environment. All students will be asked to bring in their own reusable water bottle, and we are putting in four extra water machines to make it easier for students to access free water.

A wide variety of residential trips and visits also took place during Activities Week, including the year 7 Camp, visits to London and Paris, and a football tour to Holland. Meanwhile, year 10 students took part in a week of Work Experience. As always, the feedback from employers has been fantastic, and Selby students can be proud of the way they have represented the school in the wider community. Many students have also taken part in the Discovery Day at Selby College, and the New College Pontefract Taster Day.

We’ve had a tremendous range of sporting activities to celebrate this term.

There have been some tremendous individual performances. Year 8 student Sam Norman performed very well in the recent North Yorkshire Golf Championships, and is now playing for the Yorkshire and England team at U16 level. Year 10 student, Lauren Jones has been selected to represent Volleyball Yorkshire in the Inter-Regional Championships and has been selected for the England Development squad. Congratulations are also due to Robyn Prince who has received the 'Rising Star of the Year' award from West Riding County FA for her work with Leeds United Foundation, helping to coach young girls.

Many other Selby High School students have been developing their leadership potential. Well done to the rugby girls for gaining the following qualifications with the Rugby Club: Ella Parsonage, level 1 rugby referee & young Development Officer; Erin Bradley, Isabella Khosla & Martha Peacock, level 1 rugby referees. Very well done as well to our Year 9 sports leaders who ran the area Primary netball competition, held at Selby High School. The girls did a fantastic job and we would like to thank Stacey Howard, Selby District School Games Organiser, for her lovely feedback. A record number of local primary schools and their pupils attended the Athletics Quads Kids event hosted at school. The Selby High Sports Leaders did a fantastic job organising and running a wide range of athletics competitions for the younger pupils. 

It has also been another busy term for team sports. Well done to our Y7 under 12’s boys’ football team who won the York Cup, beating Archbishop Holgate. After finishing 1-1 in normal time, it went down to penalties where we came out victorious winning 5-4! The under 14 girls reached the semifinal of the North Yorkshire Cup, just missing out to a very strong St John Fishers team.

Meanwhile, the Selby High School Cricket team won the Selby Ashes Cricket series against Brayton Academy. We are delighted to have won the Mel Neary Cricket trophy, something we hope to do again next year! The Selby High School Equestrian Team competed in the NSEA Regional Show jumping Qualifiers on Sunday 30th June; they did some fantastic riding to come 4th in the 90/95cm and have qualified to the National Plate competition in Bedfordshire in November. Anya Lyon, Martha Ward, Issy Khosla and Kaitlyn Fella are looking forward to more team practice over the summer. 

The Sporting year finished in style with another successful Selby High School Sports Day, with excellent involvement from students and staff; we were particularly proud of the leadership shown by the Sports Captains, both in preparation for the event and on the day. Garrett House won the Outdoor Tug of War trophy and Hockney House lifted the Walker Cup (Athletics trophy).

Congratulations also to Aaron Bishop and Izzy Sturmey in year 10 for being awarded the John Darley trophies for sporting effort, attitude, commitment and performance over the last four years at Selby High School.

Finally, a special mention needs to go the Selby High School Race for Life project, which has been a great demonstration of the passion, commitment and energy of the Selby High community. Following weeks of training the girls, boys and staff completed a hugely successful 5km charity run at the school – in preparation for the actual Race for Life in September. Thank you for all involved in organising and running – so far, a massive £1466 has been raised for Cancer charities.

Thanks as ever to all out amazing Selby High School staff who have made all the above events possible!

As always at this time of year, we have some goodbyes to say. Amanda Lumb and Stuart Lewis are moving on this summer, and I would like to echo the words of the Chair of Governors in his recent letter to parents, carers and guardians. Amanda and Stuart have given a huge amount to the school, and have been instrumental in making it the excellent place of learning it is today. I am sure you will join me in wishing them the very best in the future.

We also say goodbye to Liz Roberts, who has decided to take early retirement. Liz has been an inspiring teacher of drama, and an outstanding Year Leader. Abi Minton has gained a much deserved promotion to another school; all the students who have benefited from Abi’s expertise both as a teacher and a pastoral leader will miss her, but I have no doubt that she will do a great job in her new school. Kathryn Fielden is leaving the science department after 7 years of outstanding teaching and Chris Gilbert and Will Johnson are also leaving this year; Chris and Will are both excellent teachers who have given a great deal to the school. I would also like to say a big thank you to Catherine McCoy, Claire Shaw and Anne Todd who have been covering in Science, English and Music respectively. Finally, Wayne Roughley is leaving the Selby High School site team after 16 years and I would like to thank him for all his hard work.

Thank you to all of these staff for their commitment to Selby High School over the years. 

Finally, all that remains is for me to wish you a happy and healthy summer holiday, and we look forward to seeing you in the new school year.

Best wishes,

Nick Hinchliffe