Friday, 14 February 2020

Principal's Blog - February 2020

On Wednesday afternoon of this week we had a great opportunity to see the fantastic community spirit of Selby High School in action, as 250 students from our local primary schools came to see our whole school production of “Annie”. It was a proud moment for me, to be able to invite so many young people in our community to see a demonstration of all that is the very best about Selby High School. The students involved, from the actors, singers and dancers to the musicians and the stage crew, were such fabulous role models for the youngsters in the audience.

This event was followed by brilliant performances of “Annie” for two lucky audiences on Wednesday and Thursday evening. Director Sally Lewis and her team produced an exceptional show, which was full of pace and energy and rich in comedy, but also took the time to consider some of the serious issues which were important in 1930s America, when the show is set, and are still very relevant today. The New York streets and houses were brought to life by the lively dance routines, the imaginative set and the vivid back-drops. From a superb ensemble performance, it is difficult to pick out highlights, but a special mention needs to go to lead role Kate Ripley, who performed through the pain of an ankle injury, and to Chloe Drake whose memorable performance of “Little Girls” capped a great comic role. Thanks so much to all the staff and students who gave up so much of their time to bring a little bit of West End magic to Selby.

In recent weeks students have been showing their commitment to helping others, with lots of different initiatives taking place. A group of Year 11s had the brilliant idea of selling individual rolos which were delivered today (Valentine’s Day!) to raise money for the charity YoungMinds. In another entrepreneurial event, the student leaders of each house have been given £35 start-up money, and have been tasked with raising as much money for St Leonard’s Hospice as they can. Finally, teams of our Student Wellbeing Ambassadors started visits to local primary schools this week, to support the young people with their transition to secondary school. These visits will continue to take place after half term, giving lots of our ambassadors a chance to contribute to this important work.

We’ve had lots of other things going on since our return from the Christmas holidays. Author Hilary Robinson enthralled our year 7 and 8 students, delivering two exceptional presentations about her new book 'A Song For Will: The Lost Gardeners of Heligan'. Hilary took the students back in time to appreciate the hardships and loss of life that WW1 brought to the country. Hilary's new book consists of a series of emotional and informative letters that span from 1914-1918. The letters reveal the stories of the gardeners of Heligan during WW1. Hilary researched these men in detail and found a connection between Selby and one of the gardeners of Heligan, John Varey, who married a Selby woman and settled in Scarborough. Hilary also brought a special surprise with her to Selby High School. John Varey's great niece, Helen Varey, kindly came along with Hilary and spoke about John and passed around photos of him in his regiment uniform.

In another fantastic addition to our history curriculum, for the second year running, year 9 students were involved in a live webcast with a holocaust survivor. Susan Pollack MBE survived both Auschwitz and Belsen camps and shared her moving testimony with schools and other centres across the country to mark holocaust memorial day.  

We were also hoping to welcome popular sports author Matt Oldfield this week, but unfortunately Storm Ciara had other ideas. Instead, he will come to us at some point later on in the school year. The year 10 RE group were treated to an exploration of religion, philosophy and culture when Bishop John of Selby came in to do a question and answer session with them. Finally, our second annual Flood-A-School event was a great success; several university student ambassadors came into school to visit different lessons and inform our students about some of the different pathways and courses that can be studied at university.

Numerous trips and visits to local colleges and other educational establishments have enhanced the careers curriculum this half term including visits for year 10 and 11 students to Selby College, York College, Bishop Burton College and Askham Bryan College. It was a real privilege to be invited to attend the Award Ceremony for a group of our year 10 students who had been involved in a project with an organisation called Groundworks, as part of our work with the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). The boys had spent one day a week for six weeks doing a Level 1 Horticulture course, learning a variety of new skills and helping to make improvements to the local community. A new cohort start the same project after half term, so we wish them the best of luck with this.

The sporting calendar has been as busy as ever. Year 11 girls took part in the YCK Foundation Festival of rugby. The girls in the team have dedicated five years of commitment to their school rugby, and have not only played rugby union to a very high standard, but have also tried their hand at rugby league. With the success of the year 11 girls in mind, it was great to see lots of year 7 and 8 girls take part in a morning of Rugby Union activity at Selby RUFC, as part of the All Schools Programme. The event was supported by special guests Bill Sweeney, Sports Minister, Nigel Adams former rugby star, Bill Beaumont and you can read more about it here:…

Other sports teams that have won their matches recently, include the year 9 boys football team who won their quarter final match against Sherburn, and the U13 girls who won their quarter final 7-0! Our year 7 indoor athletics team also had a very successful evening recently. The girls finished second and the boys won the event, going through to the North Yorkshire Finals. Big congratulations also go to some individuals: Neve Burden was picked for the U17 North Yorkshire Hockey team this year; Izzy Khosla was selected for North Yorkshire and Gemma Gibson represented West Yorkshire in hockey.

We have two exciting trips coming up over the next couple of weeks. Selby High Ski Trip to Aosta, Italy is all set to go on the 29th of Feb. 30 very excited pupils are kitted out and fully prepared from their Xscape lessons. Meanwhile, 53 year 9 students are preparing to visit the Belgian battlefields during the half term holidays.  

Finally, Pam Thomas, our school receptionist, will be leaving the school on the 28th February, after over 20 years of service to the school. Many of you will have experienced Pam’s professionalism, kindness and helpfulness, and will appreciate the fantastic contribution that she has made to the school community. On behalf of the school, I would like to wish Pam all the very best in the future.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy half term.
Nick Hinchliffe

Forthcoming dates
24th February                                     School re-opens
26th February                                      Year 8 Options Evening 5.30pm
29th February – 7th March                Ski trip
4th March                                             Drop Down Day
4th March                                             Young Shakespeare Theatre Co
5th March                                             World Book Day
9th March                                             KS4 Progress Day
16th – 27th March                               Year 10 mocks
17th March                                          Year 7 STAR testing
26th March                                          Year 9 Consultation Evening
2nd April                                                School closes for holidays
3rd April                                                Training Day – school closed to students

Friday, 20 December 2019

Principal's Blog - December 2019

We’ve had another excellent half term here at Selby High School. The Governors Awards Evening on the 6th November set the tone for the rest of the half term, showcasing the hard work and talent of our students - not least in the magical musical performances of the night. Selby Abbey was packed with students and their parents and carers, and students received awards for their achievement and effort in the full range of school subjects, as well as for Services to the Community and for sports and the performing arts. Keeping in this spirit, we have finished off this term with a series of Reward Assemblies for each year group, continuing our focus on celebrating the positives. 

As ever, the curriculum has been enriched with numerous additional activities. Our first Curriculum Theme Day took place on the 15th November. The normal timetable was suspended, and each year group focused on a different topic area related to our Values Curriculum. This year we are early adopters of the new Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) Curriculum that will come into effect for all schools from September 2020, and this was the focus for Year 8 and Year 11. Year 9 enjoyed the YOLO (You Only Live Once) Live Theatre Production, which explores risk taking behaviours in a thoroughly engaging way. Meanwhile our Year 7s became Young Entrepreneurs, inventing and marketing a new chocolate bar. For Year 10s, the focus was health and wellbeing. There will be two further Curriculum Theme Days later on in the year.

Another exciting addition to our curriculum over the last year has been our Year 9 Enrichment Curriculum, which takes place on a Friday afternoon and is designed to ensure that students continue to follow a broad and balanced curriculum, to complement their options choices. All students choose four different options throughout the course of the year. Options range from Oil Painting, to Bike Mechanics, to Play in a Day, to making an afternoon tea. The feedback suggests that students have really enjoyed their Friday afternoon activities, and this aspect of the curriculum has given the young people a chance to develop their talents as well as learn new skills. 

Events and trips in an out of school have also contributed to the curriculum. Lots of our Year 10 and 11 students and their parents and carers, came to our annual Careers Fair on the 18th November. Over 25 Colleges, higher education institutions and employers were represented at the event. The “Women of the Future Event” at Drax Power Station on the 20th November, was another event designed to give Selby students a wider taste of the opportunities that will be available to them when they leave school. Year 10 students have also been busy choosing their work experience placements which will be running in the final week of the summer term. Four of our intrepid Year 10 students have already gained some valuable work life skills through the Groundworks Project; for a day a week, the students involved have been working hard on improving the local area including tree planting and general maintenance. 

In addition, there have been theatre trips this half term to The Woman in Black and to The Wizard of Oz. Hopefully, these visits have whet the appetite for our own upcoming performance of Annie, which takes place on the 12th and 13th of February. Tickets for Annie will go on sale after the Christmas holidays, and we’re looking forward to seeing as many families as possible at this event.

I’m sure that many of you will have followed the amazing World War One project that Miss McCabe and a group of students have been working on, and which has received coverage on local radio and in the Selby Times. Following a visit to the Belgian battlefields earlier on in the year, the students who took part in the trip were asked to think of a project to demonstrate their learning. From this, came the idea of sending a letter to houses in Selby where a First World War soldier had lived before the war. Households were encouraged to display a card in remembrance of the sacrifices made by the people of Selby. This project really captured the imagination of the community, and brought the older and younger generations together in a very positive way. In recognition of this fantastic piece of work, Miss McCabe and the students involved, were invited to a ceremony in the tower of London, where they received the National Legacy 110 Award.

Selby students have revealed their generosity of spirit and creativity in other ways as well. There have been numerous activities to raise money for a variety of charities. Some of these have been whole school, like the Tug of War for Selby Hands of Hope, and the non-uniform day to raise money for Children in Need. Some have been organised by individual students, to raise money for charities close to their hearts, through collections and bun sales. It was also great to see the generosity of our students at harvest time, when hundreds of items of food were donated to support local food banks.

We’ve had a busy sporting schedule since last half term. Both our girls and boys football teams have been successful in the North Yorkshire Cup competition. The Year 8 and Year 9 Boys and the Girls team are still going strong, and will have their next cup fixtures in the New Year. In other sports, Anya Lyon represented Selby High School at the National Schools Equestrian Association in the Grassroots Regional Championships, and built on her previous finals qualification for 70cm by qualifying for 60cm and 75 cm and coming 5th and 6th respectively. Congratulations are also due to Issy Khosla and Ella Jellett who have been selected to play for the North Yorkshire Hockey team.

The Indoor Tug of War competition was a huge success, with students from all year groups competing and getting into the Christmas spirit. The Year 11 Sports Captains did an amazing job of ensuring that all four houses were represented by strong teams in all the events. The overall winning house was Hockney, but all houses won individual events. Staff also took part in their own tug of war competition at lunchtime, with ‘Team Field’ winning 3 out of 3 rounds. 

Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival
On Saturday 16th November a group of 10 talented dancers took to the stage to take part in the Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival at Central Hall, University of York. The dancers had been working incredibly hard, rehearsing at lunchtime and after school since the summer and were feeling ready to perform and share their dance piece at this spectacular venue in front of a live audience.

The piece was choreographed as a collaboration between Miss Holt and the dancers, and used the festival’s theme of reflection to create a work that explored how we view ourselves and others, asking us to reflect on what is important. The performance was well received by the audience and our performers gained a standing ovation and high praise from industry professionals. Despite a few technical difficulties in the final performance, the dancers were extremely dedicated and showed exceeding levels of professionalism, maturity and outstanding ability to perform with control and confidence in this high-pressure environment. We are looking forward to participating in the Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival again next year.

Active Life Skills Programme with North Yorkshire Sport
North Yorkshire Sport and Great Britain Olympic Swimmer James Kirton have been working with 7 Year 9 and 10 boys through the Active Life Skills Programme, which is designed to inspire young people to create a brighter future for themselves by supporting the development of skills and opportunities in their local area. The students have been attending mentoring and activity sessions run by James every Tuesday evening for 12 weeks at school. The programme has helped students to build their confidence and resilience, and the sessions culminated in the boys organising and running a successful Inter-School basketball competition for around 40 Year 7, 8 and 9 students at the school.

Thanks as ever, to all the staff- and students- who have made all the above events possible. This year, 73 students have been trained up as Sports Leaders, and it has been brilliant to see them provide great opportunities for younger students from our local primary schools as well.

Finally, I’d like to pass on my very best wishes to one of our PE teachers, Steve Field, who is taking up a new position in a local Special School after the Christmas Holidays. Over the years, hundreds of students have benefited not only from his teaching, but also from the many trips and activities that he has organised. 

I’d like to finish by wishing you all a very healthy and happy Christmas holiday and look forward to seeing all of our students again in January.

Best wishes,

Mr. Nick Hinchliffe

Forthcoming dates
6th January                   School re-opens
6th – 14th January        Year 11 Mocks
7th January                   Year 8 Consultation Evening
22nd January                Year 11 trip to Bishop Burton College
12th & 13th February   Production of ‘Annie’
14th February               School closes for holidays

Friday, 25 October 2019

Principal's Blog - October 2019

At Selby High School we pride ourselves on the fantastic curriculum on offer, both within and beyond the classroom, and the range of activities that have taken place in the first half term of this year once again highlights our commitment to providing a fantastic experience for our students.

On the 16th October, the entire year 9 cohort took part in this year’s Restart a Heart Day, during which they were trained in the important skill of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Selby High School was one of over 160 schools across Yorkshire involved in the project, which was overseen by around 850 volunteers from within each of the regional fire services and police forces, as well as hospital staff, university students and many other organisations. Over 40,000 students were trained this year, which takes the total number of students trained in Yorkshire to nearly 150,000. 

Opportunities to experience and take part in the Performing Arts are growing in the school. Last week we welcomed the FRED Travelling Theatre Company in to deliver a performance of A Christmas Carol to our year 11 students who will be studying Dickens’ famous story after the half term break. Rehearsals for our whole school production of Annie are now well under way, and we know that we are in for a treat of acting, music and dance. The performances will take place in February, and it would be great to see as many of you as possible supporting our talented young people. Students from Selby High School are performing in the Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival on Saturday, 16th November at Central Hall, University of York. Tickets are now available on their website using the link, We have also been very pleased with the development of the school choir, which is now 40 strong.   

In other curriculum-based activities, our students have had a chance to find out a bit more about the Selby High School staff during National Languages Day and National Poetry Day. Posters and displays around school have revealed our staff members’ favourite phrases in other languages and their favourite poems, and students have been involved in competitions based on this.

In addition to these experiences within school, there have already been numerous trips and visits this year. Four students had the opportunity to visit the battlefields in Belgium during a special trip linked to First World War poetry. Since their return, the students have been working on a History project, which involves them writing to the former addresses of 88 Selby soldiers who were killed in the First World War. If you live in the Selby area, you may even get one of their letters and, if so, we would be really grateful if you could participate in the project by displaying your window card around Remembrance Day. In other trips, a group of year 11 students visited Cambridge to discover more about University life and the Spanish team took a group of year 11s to New College, Pontefract for a languages taster day; we hope to be able to develop our links further in the future to provide a similar opportunity in other subject areas. Slightly further afield, a group of our students had a brilliant time visiting the UK’s biggest gaming event- EGX- at the ExCel Centre in London.

We have put on a number of events this year to further build the partnership between the school and our parents and carers. The focus of the Key Stage 3 Supporting Success Evening was literacy, home learning and knowledge organisers, and in the Key Stage 4 Evening this week, a wide range of workshops were on offer, providing information on a range of topics relevant to preparing for the exams at the end of the key stage. If you missed this evening, all the resources are now available on our website, under the parents section. It was also great to see so many parents and carers of our new year 7 parents at the recent Settling-In Evening. This was a chance to meet the form tutor, and look at some of the high quality work that students have already produced since they started with us.  

The sporting calendar has been rich and varied so far this year. The Race for Life Event in York was a massive success, following weeks of training, with 80 students and 25 staff members taking part. A big thank you to Classroom Clothing who sponsored the Race for Life T-shirts. An amazing £3,569.82 was raised through this event. 

We’ve had lots of football fixtures this half term with games for all year groups with both boys and girls teams competing. A massive well done to the U13 Girls 6 a side football team in the EFL area competition held at Doncaster Rovers recently. The girls finished in the top spot to qualify out of 8 schools from the Selby and Doncaster area. They then won their semi-final 1-0 to get to the final, which they just lost on penalties. Congratulations are also due to Year 8 students, Joe Meek & Billy Dickinson who have successfully trialled for the York Schoolboys Football team. 

Selby High School Equestrian Team competed at the National Schools Equestrian Association show jumping regional qualifiers at Bishop Burton College on Saturday, 28th September. Several riders are now going on to represent the school at the National Plate competition in Keysoe, Bedford in November. Ellie McNeil competed as an individual rider for the school in the 1.10m class and won first place! She will represent the school at the National championships at Addington Manor in Buckinghamshire in October. Freddie Wilks and Anya Lyon also competed for Selby High School Equestrian Team at the Grassroots show jumping regional qualifiers at Epworth Equestrian centre, Lincolnshire. Anya had a fantastic clear round and will now compete at the regional finals in Lincolnshire on Sunday 3rd November.

In other sporitng news, preparations are well underway for the Ski Trip next year, and Mr Field has been running a number of visits to Snozone where students have enjoyed skiing and snowboarding lessons and activities.

Below is a list of upcoming events- we are really looking forward to celebrating our students’ success at the Governors Awards on the 6th November. We have already had our 100% assembly, in which 155 students from years 8 to 11 were presented with a certificate and a badge to recognise their achievement.   

Finally, we are delighted to announce the introduction of Selby High School’s official Facebook page. Please search for @Selbyhighschoolofficial in the Facebook search bar and click ‘like’ then share with your family and friends. The Facebook page will be used to inform the public about our events, trips, celebrations and important information. Our Twitter account has been successful over the past few years and we wanted to expand our presence and audience on social media by creating a Facebook page. The public will not be able to directly communicate with the Facebook page but there are direct links to the school’s email address, phone number and website. We encourage people to like, share and invite friends to like the Facebook page so that people will not miss out on what Selby High School has to offer. It would be great to see the community supporting our school and we hope you will get a flavour of what a great place Selby High School is to learn and work.

Have a happy and healthy half term break, and we look forward to seeing our students again in November!

Best wishes,

Nick Hinchliffe


Forthcoming dates
4th – 14th November       Year 11 Mocks
                                           Year 8 Assessment
6th November                   Governors’ Awards Evening
16th November                 Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival
18th November                 Careers Fair (5pm)
2nd December                    Year 8 HPV
3rd December                    Year 7 Theatre Trip
5th December                    Year 11 Poetry Live Trip
11th December                  Year 11 Consultation Evening
18th December                  Christmas Show (7pm)
20th December                  Year 7 Science Fair
                                             School closes for holidays

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

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Principal's Blog - April 2019

Principal’s Blog
The long spring term has been filled with activities and events at Selby High School. The last half term has been as busy as ever, culminating in our now famous Selby High School Talent Show, this year entitled, “The Greatest Show… Man”. A full capacity audience enjoyed an evening of singing, comedy and music. Well done to the Key Stage 3 winner, Bronte Willows for her powerful rendition of “Skyfall”, and Key Stage 4 winner, Kate Hinken, who sang a beautiful version of “I Will Always Love You.” 
Earlier on in the half term, we celebrated World Book Day with Drop Everything and Read, which saw every person in the building reading at the same time. We’ve had record-breaking borrowing from the LRC this year, and it’s great to see students in every year group reading for pleasure. The Shakespeare Company performance of Romeo and Juliet was another key event of the half term; our year 11 students were treated to a fantastic performance of the famous play, here at Selby High School. Year 10s will be glad to know that we’ve already booked them in again for next year! In visits out of the school, students from a range of year groups travelled to York Theatre Royal to enjoy a dramatisation of the novel “Noughts and Crosses” and a group of sports enthusiasts took part in a hugely successful trip to the national stadium at Twickenham to watch the England men’s team play against Italy.
Our Careers Programme has seen two of the most important activities of the year for year 10 students in recent weeks. In both events we’ve welcomed in representatives from our local business community and a range of other employees. The first event was the Mock Interview day in which each student experienced what a real life interview might be like. In the second event - Speed Networking - groups of students were able to ask questions of our visiting employees. Our guests were very impressed with the confidence and the positive outlook of the students on both occasions.
The Belgium trip for year 9 students took place right at the end of the last half term. Students and staff had an excellent time on the visit and I know from the students’ feedback that the trip was a huge success. The students’ behaviour and attitude throughout the trip was a shining example of what the students at Selby High School are capable of and they really demonstrated the maturity required for an intense trip that centred around remembering those that had paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The group visited several cemeteries for the war dead and the huge scale of these generated many responsible and mature questions about the total cost of war. They also visited some reconstructed trenches at Hill 62 and Bayernwald, which allowed students to get in to the trenches and gain a feel for the size and atmosphere of what the trench system was like. As always on a school visit, staff worked tirelessly on the trip from the moment they arrived at the bus bay at 10:45pm after a full day at work to the point they got back off the bus on Saturday and it is certainly the dedication of those staff that makes the trip run so smoothly and means that it has become so popular over the years with students. 
The Sports team have been as busy as ever, and we’ve been really pleased to see Selby students represented beyond the school too. Well done to the Year 9 and 10 girls selected to represent Yorkshire Rugby and huge congratulations to Year 8 student Sam Norman, who came 4th in the recent North Yorkshire Golf Championships. We’re also very excited for Year 10 student Lauren Jones, who has been selected to represent Volleyball Yorkshire in the Inter-Regional Championships in May. Good luck Lauren! Very well done to our Y9 sports leaders who ran the area Primary netball competition, held at Selby High School this week. The girls did a fantastic job and we'd like to thank Stacey Howard, Selby District School Games Organiser for her lovely feedback. Congratulations are also due to the rugby girls for gaining the following qualifications: Ella Parsonage, level 1 rugby referee & young Development Officer. Erin Bradley, Isabella Khosla & Martha Peacock, level 1 rugby referees. It’s great to see students developing their skills outside of school activities.
The U13, U14 and U15 girls rugby teams did very well in their North Yorkshire Cup matches. Despite being a rugby union school, the girls proved they can compete to a good level in league. The girls were a credit to the school and should be very proud of their efforts. We’re grateful to York Knights for their support & to Kay Rollinson for coming down and prepping the girls. Kay tweeted: “Outstanding effort from every single player. Tackles were solid. Passing was impressive. Biggest thing for me today was your never say die attitudes and 100% encouragement for your team mates. Couple of years and you'll be in a ladies kit for real.”
On the 20th March a number of our intrepid students took part in the RowLeeds indoor championships. This is a fun filled, fast paced, multi-lane rowing competition which students trained for in the weeks running up to the event. It was made extra special with the GB Rowing Team there to cheer them on! Congratulations to the students who made it to the podium in the rowing competition. All students and staff loved the event, and we're looking forward to entering again in the future. 
Thanks as ever to all the staff whose commitment and dedication means that all of the above activities can take place.  
I was very proud to be able to write to you recently with news that Selby High School had achieved the Wellbeing Award. This award recognises the hard work that staff and students have put in to raising the awareness of wellbeing and mental health issues, and the fantastic range of support that is currently on offer in the school.
On the 2nd May, the Tour de Yorkshire is coming to Selby. This is a really exciting opportunity for the local community, but it will cause some road closures and disruptions - I’ve written home separately about these. On the 8th June, staff and students will be flying the flag for Selby High School at the York LGBT Pride event. Please let us know if you would like to take part.
It just remains for me to wish you a happy and healthy Easter break.
Nick Hinchliffe

Forthcoming dates for next half term

Monday 29th April                    School re-opens

Tuesday 30th April                    Year 10 Parents Evening

Monday 6th May                       Early May Bank Holiday – school closed

Tues 7th - Fri 10th May             Year 10 Mock Exams

Thursday 9th May                     Year 9 trip to Hull University

                                                     Paris Trip Parents Information Meeting

Friday 10th May                         Year 11 Celebration Assembly

Monday 13th May                     Year 11 Exam series starts

Thursday 16th May                   Year 9 vaccinations

Friday 24th May                         School closes for holidays

Friday, 1 March 2019

Principal's Blog - February 2019

As another busy half term comes to an end, it’s good to reflect on all the hard work and achievements of our students at Selby High School. We’ve seen a significant rise in attendance this year to well above the national average, so we can be sure that more and more students are benefitting from the full learning experience that we have on offer.

Year 11s have been working very hard towards their exams in the summer, and the vast majority showed a great attitude and approach to their mock exams in January. On top of the normal timetable there has been a busy programme of session 6, lunch-time sessions and other additional revision opportunities.  

The Holocaust Memorial Day on the 27th January, was an incredibly powerful occasion, and an important reminder of the need for all of us to remember and reflect on events in the past. In a live broadcast, watched by our year 9 students, Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro, answered questions from students in the live audience and from audiences watching around the world. This week we’ve also had our annual trip to Belgium, to visit the battlefields and other important memorials of World War One. The students have had some memorable and moving experiences in the winter sunshine - you can follow their journey @selbyhigh on twitter.

This year alongside our whole school focus on literacy, we have been developing our approaches to numeracy across the curriculum. World Number Day was our opportunity to celebrate not just how important and relevant, but also how enjoyable, maths can be. It was great to see the inventiveness of students and staff who used the non-uniform day to display numbers in a variety of imaginative ways.  

On Friday 1st February, 60 Year 9 girls took part in a STEM workshop which was delivered by The Smallpiece Trust, a charity designed to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to 12-17 year olds. The aim of the workshop was to inspire young engineers, and allow them to get hands on experience of a STEM project. The project was themed around “Smart Buildings”, specifically the 21st century challenge of providing clean water. The winning team managed to create a fully working water filtration system, while presenting their ideas to the rest of the group in a coherent and professional manner.

We’ve had a busy programme of sporting activities. The U13 Boys Football team got through to the semi-final of the north Yorkshire cup following wins against Rossett and Thirsk in the Quarterfinal and the U13, U14 and U15 Girls Rugby League teams have all qualified for their regional competitions after winning against the York and Selby Schools in their categories. The U12 5-a-side football team came 3rd in The North Yorkshire 5-a-side football competition. Following their win in the York schools competition before Christmas, the U14 Girls Football team beat Northallerton 6-2 and are now through to the North Yorkshire Cup Semi Final.

This week we’ve had success in a number of big competitions. On Thursday the U14 Girls were the Futsal West Riding winners and are now through to the regional competition. Today the U16 boys played in their Futsal West Riding competition. They won the league format – winning 4 out of 4 games against Croften, Leeds College, Alltoffs, and Spen Valley. But unfortunately lost the final to Alltoffs 2-1. 

Well done to all the pupils involved in the local fixtures this half term. The girls 5-a-side football teams and boys basketball players all enjoyed the experience and represented the school successfully.

Sam Norman has been entered for the Yorkshire schools Golf competition, following his successful match play outside of school and well done to Ella Parsonage, Abi Moore, Isla Ramsay, Danielle Moore, Izzy Sturmey and Erin Bradley for successfully getting into the Yorkshire Girls Rugby Union Squad.

Thanks as ever to all the staff who put so much time in to organising and supporting the activities.

We have two goodbyes to say. Mr Katebe has taken a position in a school in China - we wish him the very best on his new adventure. Mr Grundy, the Facilities Manager, will also be moving on at the end of March. Mr Grundy has played a pivotal role in the development of the school facilities over the past few years; I’d like to say a massive thanks to him for all the work he has put into improving the site and wish him all the best for the future. It’s also great to welcome back members of staff as well at this time of year and Mrs Pickering (English) and Mrs Cooper (Technology) both return following their maternity leave.

We have a packed programme of events for after half term in the run up to the Easter holidays, as can be seen below:

Monday 4th March                           School re-opens

                                                             Year 8 Options Assembly

Tuesday 5th March                           Year 8 Options Evening 5.30pm

Wednesday 6th March                    Shakespeare Company performance

Friday 15th March                             Non uniform day for Comic Relief

Friday 22nd March                            Youth Voice event

Monday 25th March                         Young Enterprise Showcase

Wednesday 27th March                  Year 10 Inside Out

Friday 29th March                             Year 10 Mock Interviews with Industry

Wednesday 3rd April                        Year 9 Parents Evening

Thursday 4th April                             Year 8 Theatre trip

Wednesday 10th April                     Year 10 Speed Networking

                                                              Talent Show 7pm

Friday 12th April                                 School closes for holidays

Finally, I’d like to wish you a happy half term.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Principal's Blog - December 2018

As usual it has been a full and exciting half term. On Wednesday 7th November we celebrated our students’ success at the Governors’ Awards Evening. Alongside the presentation of trophies for progress and achievement across the full range of subjects, guests enjoyed some brilliant musical performances from the students. For the first time we presented the new Head Boy and Head Girl with a trophy, and the hard work and commitment of all our student leaders was acknowledged in a variety of awards.  

On Friday, 9th November, House Captains attended the Remembrance Service at Selby Cemetery; this was particularly poignant this year as it is the 100 year commemoration of the end of the First World War. Oliver Tranter played the last post, and Sapphire Loring in Year 8, played a key role in the ceremony, having already produced our beautiful poppy display within school. The Remembrance Service was the culmination of a powerful piece of work, led by our history team, and celebrated through assemblies, in which staff and students remembered the sacrifices of relatives who had been involved in the war.

Students have been demonstrating their leadership skills in other ways too. Through cake sales, donation of gifts and other fund raising activities, Selby students continue to show their commitment to others in the community. Selby High School has supported the Selby Hands of Hope Christmas campaign, raised over a thousand pounds for Children in Need, and contributed to a range of other charities. Closer to home, our Student Leadership group, including the School Council, have been working hard to raise money for a project of their own choosing. Over the coming months, the group will be running a variety of activities to raise money for outdoor coverings to provide a better experience for students at break and lunch time. The Pop-Up Cinema in the week running up to Christmas was a great success, and the non-uniform day on the last day of term will raise additional funds.

As always, we’ve had numerous additional activities to support our curriculum. The Careers Fair on Monday, 12th November, was very well supported by local colleges, businesses and organisations, and it was great to see so many students, parents and carers at the event. We also had a very successful trip to York University for the Medical School Taster Day. Key stage 4 media students recently took part in a tour of the Emmerdale Studios, learning about a wide range of roles involved with the production of a hit TV show. In school, Year 9 explored risky behaviours through the YOLO Theatre performance, and year 8s created and marketed an outfit assigned to a given country in their Enterprise Day. On the last day of term, year7s enjoyed their science fair, as the best experiments in the year group were presented by the young scientists.  

The festive period has been celebrated in lots of different ways. The LRC has run a wide range of quizzes and other activities, including Christmas Crafts for year7; students have also been keen to borrow the Christmas themed books that have been available. The school choir entertained residents at a local care home, and were also a central part of our fantastic Christmas Concert; in the first half we enjoyed brilliant performances from a number of our singers and dancers and in the second half we were treated to Selby’s very own Christmas pantomime; Aladdin. A huge thanks to the talented cast, and all the staff who put so much time and effort in to presenting such a fun-filled evening.

It’s been another action-packed half-term for our sports teams. The Christmas season was enlivened as always with the Inter-House Indoor Tug of War, which this year was won by Mason. I was so pleased to see so many different students participating in and enjoying this event.

As usual, we’ve entered teams into an impressive range of sports. We had a brilliant afternoon at Askham Bryan College with 14 schools competing in a York & District cross country event. A total of 140 students, representing all year groups competed, with many of our students placing in the top 20. Well done everyone!

The U13 girls played really well in their first hockey game against Reed School this year but unfortunately were not quite strong enough to get a winning result. However, the U14 team drew on their experience with an impressive victory. Following the qualifying heats, our Year 9 and 10 girls have progressed to the North Yorkshire rugby union finals after Christmas, and congratulations are also in order for our Year 7 and 8 girls who finished runners up in the EFL Cup. They were unbeaten all tournament and only conceded two goals, but didn’t win due to goal difference. The Year 7 girls’ football team have had a great start to the term. A win against Carlton and draws with Barlby A and Barlby B means they have finished 2nd in the local fixtures. Huge congratulations to our U14 Girls Football team who have progressed to the next round of their cup after beating Norton 7-1. There was also a fantastic effort against strong competition from our SHS equestrian team, who took part in the NSEA UK national show-jumping championships at Keysoe. The girls should be very proud of themselves coming 9th in the country, narrowly missing out on 8th place rosettes. 

The Year 8 boys football team showed true resilience and character to come from behind three times to win their North Yorkshire County Cup game away at Rossett; the game was decided on penalties after a thrilling contest and the boys now progress to the next round where further challenges await; this victory will provide good belief in their ability to be successful in the face of adversity.

The boys’ Year 7 football squad also proved their winning credentials by securing victory in the York District School Football Association 5-a-side competition. The team narrowly beat Sherburn 2-1 to set up the final against Fulford. The game was entering its dying stages when Sheraz Henderson latched onto a poor clearance and rocketed a shot into the top left corner: 2-1 Selby. The game management showed by the Selby boys was exceptional and again, all the boys played their part in securing the win. We await the next round where we hope to compete against the winners from the other district winners from North Yorkshire.

Well done and thank you to the 20 year 9 sports leaders who ran the local primary schools sports hall athletics completion. 10 primaries and nearly 300 year 5 and 6 pupils took part. We’ve also had a successful first term with the PE primary link with Selby CP, which has allowed primary school students to access a range of sports they would not normally have the opportunity to, with the support of Selby High staff and pupils. 

Could I finish by saying a huge thank you to all the staff who have made this range of fixtures possible, and to all the other staff in the school who go above and beyond to provide such a great experience for the students of Selby High. Finally, may I wish you all a happy, safe and successful Christmas and New Year.

Dates for the Diary
Monday 7th January
School re-opens
Monday 14th – Friday 18th January
Year 11 mock exams
Tuesday 15th & Thursday 17th January
Year 11 Taster Days at York College
Monday 4th February
Year 8 girls HPV vaccinations
Thursday 21st February
Consultation Day
Year 11 Mock Results Assembly