I would like to start the update tonight with a reminder that each day on Google Classroom we have wellbeing resources and activities for afternoon registration for students to interact with. Whilst subject lessons are important it is also beneficial for young people to consider both their well-being and the experiences of others which is what these resources allow them to do:

Each morning
Wellbeing activities
Monday PM registration
Head of Year Act of Collective Worship (Assembly) either pre-recorded or delivered live via meet
Tuesday PM registration
The News
Wednesday PM registration
Form Tutor Act of Collective Worship
Thursday PM registration
Week 1 – Chapel, Week 2 – Cultural Roadmap
Friday PM registration
AHS Quiz to be completed on Google Classroom

Safeguarding everyone in our school community is vital. If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Gaynor Stainsby or Sam Stead (our Designated Safeguarding Offices during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on 01904 551900, option 3.  They operate an out of hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

Please see the attached document called ‘Safeguarding and Family Support’.  This provides a wide range of links to services which might be helpful.

Safeguarding & Family Support

Head of Year Update – It’s Mr Arthur and Year 8 today…
First of all, I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. This is certainly not the way any of us hoped to begin 2021, however it is important that we make the most of the situation we currently find ourselves in. Year 8 students have now had both of their years at AHS disrupted with school closures, however their resilience and determination is wonderful to see, and they are all certainly a credit to you as parents. As has been mentioned in previous bulletins, as a school we find ourselves in a much better position than we were in the first school closure last March, and I hope you can see that in the quality of provision for Year 8 on Google Classroom. Students in Year 8 are becoming increasingly proficient with using Google Classroom, and are benefitting from not only teacher narrations for their class work, but also the ability to contact their teachers in the time when that lesson would actually be going ahead. We are hoping that this will overcome any barriers with home learning, and that it is a much improved experience from when the schools were closed last spring and summer term. If there are any issues with the Google Classroom provision, please do get in touch. Please be assured that we constantly review our provision, and will continue to work to improve our offer throughout the duration of this wave of government measures.

This week’s Act of Collective Worship focuses on how students can make the most of their experience of online learning, with some ‘top tips’ on how to make sure they stay motivated and working hard. A solid routine is extremely important during these times (which is certainly easier said than done!), and this begins at 8:45 when students register on Google Classroom. Our procedures dictate that if a students has not signed in on Google Classroom in the morning, that someone from the pastoral team will call home to make sure there are no issues with them accessing Google Classroom and their online learning provision. Following their morning registration, students must be following their normal timetable as closely as possible. From 1:55-2:10, there will also be a programme of materials available similar to those they would access should they have been in school (e.g. Collective Worship, Thought for the Week, Chapel, the News etc…) as well as key information, messages and a host of wellbeing resources.

Once again, can I please reiterate how pleased I am with the start that Year 8 have made to this term in extremely difficult circumstances, and the resilience they have shown. Seeing how well the year group have adapted reminded me of the quote I heard recently; “Human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.” This can certainly be said for students in Year 8 who, yet again, are working extremely well in very trying circumstances.

If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 8 that you wish for me to be aware of, particularly if there are any issues surrounding access to our online learning provision, please do get in contact with me at aarthur@archbishopholgates.org, or Mr Deamer (Pastoral Support Worker for Year 8) at rdeamer@archbishopholgates.org.

Are you eligible for support?
Pupil Premium and FSM (Free School Meals)
We’d like to remind parents about the support available if you are struggling as a family. People are often eligible for Free School Meals and don’t realise it:

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.Due to the current situation, your circumstances may have changed. Please apply for FSM through the council here:


Accessing FSM will allow your child to receive a range of support, including meals and help with uniform. It is an extremely discreet process at Archbishop Holgate’s and no child can be identified as free school meals by any other children.

You may also be entitled to Pupil Premium and not realise it. This is money we use, within school, to support your child in a variety of ways. Your child is eligible for PP if you have any of the following:

  • If you are currently FSM
  • If you have received FSM at any point in the last 6 years.
  • If a parent is serving in the forces or receives a pension from the Ministry of Defence.

Pupil premium allows us to support students with trips, revision opportunities, enrichment opportunities and additional academic intervention within school. Again, it really is worth taking up if you are eligible. You can find out more about PP here: https://archbishopholgates.academy/our-school/disadvantaged-students/

Are you struggling but not eligible for the above?
We actively try to remove all barriers and understand that people’s circumstances change all the time. If you are struggling, please talk to us. We can provide short term and long term support, whether with uniform, food or advice on external services. If you require more information, please contact either Mr Williams (Assistant Head) or your child’s Head of Year or Pastoral Support Worker (PSW)

AHS Careers – YorTalks, hosted by the University of York and taking place virtually on 13th January. 16 academics will in just 15 minutes introduce their research on a range of exciting topics from climate change to criminal justice, social media to digital gaming. You can click here to find out more about YorkTalks.

Science shout outs are back thanks to Miss Gray…
– I would like to say how impressed I have been with my year 10 science group this week, superb attendance, behaviour and participation. Fabulous – Miss Gray
– A huge thank you to all my year 11 classes who have showed themselves to be mature, sensible and hardworking. Thank you! – Miss Gray
– My Year 10d Triple Science group have been absolutely this week, showing a real can do attitude and making excellent contributions even when there are the occasional microphone issue. Well done and keep it up. Mr William’s
– A big shout out to my Year 11B3 Combined Science group. Excellent turn and brilliant effort even at 8.50am!! Mr Williams
– Special praise to Matthew Newton for being the first person to join the 11B3 science class google meet this week! Mr Williams
– Superb effort as always from Year 12 Biology group. They are an excellent bunch of students who have been so proactive in their revision work this week. Well done and keep it up. Mr Williams and Mr Lever.
– Great effort from 11C2 on Friday’s lesson. Behaviour was excellent and there was  good, focussed work!  Mr Evans
– Great effort too from 11C4 – they were polite, engaging and worked very hard. Mr Evans
– Very impressive start with 11S3 this week. Great attendance and attitude. Star pupil was definitely Libby Ellerby and some brilliant contributions from Jamie C and Josh.  Lv/Wb
– Great contributions from Year 10 this week.  Shout outs to Ruby Wedge for her patience and advice, to Kyle Noddings for some great answers and questions!!
– Superb effort from my year 11s. Big smile on my face right through Friday’s lesson. Cheers guys! Mr T

A message to families from the Chair of Governors
As Chair of the Governing Body at AHS I wanted to add a short message to the parent bulletin.

First of all thank you for the support you have offered the school since March last year as it has responded to the challenges of Covid-19. This has been hugely appreciated.

The Governing Body also sees the meticulous work that goes into the school’s planning, and the huge amount of time by many committed staff that is required to keep the school safe and Covid-secure for students and staff; indeed many senior staff spent a sizeable proportion of the Christmas holidays planning for the roll-out of mass Covid-19 testing, and the re-opening of schools, only to have to pivot once more at twelve hours’ notice last Monday evening.

School leaders have endured a series of U-turns over school openings and exams; and much detail required from the DfE around many vital issues is still incomplete, missing or ambiguous. In this context it was therefore perhaps surprising to hear the Secretary of State for Education on the 6th January encouraging parents and carers to complain to OFSTED about concerns they might have about the provision of remote learning. In these extreme circumstances, you might believe – as I do – that meaningful support and information to schools to overcome the challenges they face might be more appropriate than implied threat or sanction.

I believe our remote learning provision is first class; although of course better never stops and leaders will want to address any deficiencies and improvements that can be made.

However, I’ve seen many of the hundreds of letters and emails of support for the school, its staff, and its educational provision in recent months. These have been much appreciated by all colleagues and in particular by the school’s leadership.

So if there are serious complaints about the school that remain unresolved after exhausting the normal channels in school, these should of course ultimately be reported to OFSTED. However, if as a parent or carer you wish to express your satisfaction or support with the way the school is dealing with this national emergency, do please also feel free to bring this to OFSTED’s attention.

Yours sincerely

John Hattam, Chair of the Governing Body, Archbishop Holgate’s School

Collective Worship
Since we are now in the first full week of the Spring term our Form Tutor Collective Worship is entitle a Fresh Start. A new term and a new year bring with them new opportunities and the chance for a ‘fresh start’. The old term and the old year are behind us, so it is time to move on into the future.

Tuesday – Don’t start every day with the broken pieces of yesterday. Each day is a new beginning. (Anon)