I hope everyone has had a good weekend. We are very much looking forward to another successful week of learning across school.

I am delighted to inform parents that as of Monday we are able to launch the beginning of an extra-curricular timetable
A call went out to the staff of AHS to provide extra-curricular provision remotely – and they have not disappointed! Please find attached copy of the Remote Extra-curricular timetable for this half-term. There is plenty for students to involve themselves in, and more activities will be added to this over time so watch this space! My thanks again goes out to all the staff who are working exceptionally hard to provide enriching opportunities to AHS students in these difficult times. We look forward to seeing as many of you taking up these opportunities as possible!

AHS REMOTE Extra Curricular Timetable SPRING TERM (1)

During this period of school closure, we very much wish to ensure that students feel that their efforts are being recognised and appreciated. This is why we are working to ensure the rewards system still continues, although with some alterations to ensure that it works remotely! At such we will be recognising student achievement in the following ways during this period…

Head of Year Award
This will continue to be awarded to two students in each year group each week to recognise exceptional achievements. Nominations will be made by staff regarding engagement with online learning or extra-curricular activities (please see the item on extra-curricular activities in this bulletin). Students will be announced in the bulletin each week, and also in the weekly Act of Collective Worship from Heads of Year on Google Classroom. They will also receive a £5
Amazon gift card which will either be posted out by Heads of Year, or here in school waiting for them when they return. Keep an eye out for the winners in your child’s year group each week!

The new merits system is something students have been eager to engage with since we began rolling it out last September. This took the form of a ‘star’ stamped into the students planners for an exceptional piece of work, or excellent verbal contributions to a lesson. We do not wish to lose this immediate and consistent recognition for excellent work. Therefore, a virtual merit system will be delivered through the use of the ‘Starry-eyes’ emoji. Students should keep an eye out for this on their Google Classrooms as this signifies and excellent piece of work that their teacher is extremely happy with. Heads of Year may also encourage students to count up their merits as a nice way to review all of the hard work they have been completing during this period of time. Again, keep an eye out for the ‘Starry-eyes’ emoji on your child’s work!

As a final way of recognising students hard work during this period of school closure, we also want to see their home-learning exploits on twitter! We encourage you to please, if you so wish, post a piece of your child’s work that they are proud or maybe a picture of their ‘set-up’ as they are working from home, onto twitter. Please include the tag @AHSYork on the post so we can see it, with the nationally recognised hashtag #homelearningheroes as well. We are encouraging staff to do the same so that you can see some of them working from home as well! It will be great to see all the hard work being done at home, and feel a sense of the AHS community even though we currently find ourselves so far apart.

We very much hope that these initiatives go some way to making your children feel their hard work and achievements are being recognised and appreciated by staff all across the school.

Online Learning:
Thank you to parents and students for the feedback we’re getting regarding our online provision, it really is so much appreciated by staff. We will continue to carefully reflect and develop our provision as the half term progresses. Today there are two points for families to be aware of:

1. A small tweak on the suggestion of parent and student feedback:
We are aware that for Year 10 and Year 11 in particular, the amount of live teaching they have each day can be quite intense.  In order to ensure that students (and staff) have time to get a quick drink/have a toilet break/ move around a little in between lessons, we are moving towards lesson that are closer to 50 minutes, rather than 60.  Lessons will still start at the usual time for students and there may be occasions where teachers do need to use the full 60 minutes, but we’re hoping that this change will allow for a small increase in flexibility.
2. A reminder that today Year 9 will begin ‘live teaching’ in some subjects to complement the current narrated resources.
The table below should remind families of which subjects this applies to this week (18th January) and which next week (25th January).

18th 25th

Health & Social Care















Business Studies

Modern Foreign Languages



For subjects starting their live teaching from week commencing 25th January, narrated resources will be available as usual next week, with the teacher on hand to support students and answer any questions. As we explained last week we will keep this provision under review but hope that as we move forward Year 9 will benefit from a blended approach of both high quality narrated resources supported by teacher input and live lessons from their teachers.

We are very proud to be able to build on the already excellent work we have been doing on Wellbeing and introduce our ‘4 steps to Wellbeing’:

  • Each day students will receive Wellbeing suggestions via their Google Classrooms.
  • Each week we will produce and distribute a Wellbeing Newsletter – Please see attached
  • Students have access to a Wellbeing Website with lots of using hints and ideas. https://sites.google.com/archbishopholgates.org/4steps2wellbeing/home
  • We will distribute and keep up to date a document with all the latest resources. – Please see attached

1 – Wellbeing Newsletter

Wellbeing poster

Wellbeing resources

Pathfinder Newsletter
Today’s newsletter to parents is is available on the MAT website:

Head of Year Updates
We’ve a big one from Miss Kincell for Year 7 today….
I must start by saying what a truly outstanding start it has been to the term, the first two weeks of online learning have been absolutely excellent, the dedication and engagement in Year 7 has truly been something to marvel.

 Our Head of Year Award Students: students this week will receive a certificate and voucher in the post, our winners this week are Ava, Thomas and Jonathan.

 Ava Gane for her mathematical notes for correlation and this excellent poster for history (see below) and exceptional work in art.

Thomas Iddon who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in all areas, he especially impressed in maths with the completion of Bright Sparks extension work in Maths, and for his DEAR entry, please read below:

For all who truly believe (the Polar Express)

By Thomas Iddon, 7Cy

Awakened by the sound of an engine hissing,
A conductor beckons me towards the awaiting locomotive,
Whilst I hurry to board the carriage I rip a hole in my dressing gown pocket,
The Polar Express!
Destination “the North Pole”, the conductor hollers,
For all who truly believe.

Hot chocolate is served to all aboard,
The sweet creamy milk warms my heart,
The train powers through the mountains and forests,
Never slowing,
Wolves, rabbits and caribou speed through the landscape,
For all who truly believe.

Brakes squeal,
The train comes to a screeching stop signaling arrival at its destination,
“The North Pole!” the conductor yells,
“Santa will choose one passenger to receive the first gift of Christmas” he cries,
The children whoop with excitement,
For all who truly believe.

Hundreds of elves gather,
The sound of sleigh bells signify the arrival of Santa Claus and his reindeer,
“Let’s have this young fellow right here” he gestured to me,
I choose a silver bell from Santa’s sleigh and place it in my robe,
“This bell is a wonder symbol of the spirit of Christmas as am I” he bellows,
For all who truly believe.

The clock strikes midnight,
The passengers reboard the train,
I reach for the bell but feel only the hole in my pocket,
The train arrives home and the bell remains lost,
I alight the carriage and wave goodbye,
For all who truly believe.

Christmas morning!
My sister hands me an unexpected gift,
The silver bell!
It is silent to my parents,
It rings sweetly to my sister and I,
For all who truly believe.

Jonathan Middleton he is our in school Support Assistants’ choice: Well done for your developed confidence and independence this week.

Our students of the week are- we won’t be doing form by form as usual, I will simply acknowledge any child who is praised by their teachers. I have some absolute superstars working online:

 The following has been outstanding in MFL:

Isaac Ellis
James Dillon
Noah Smee- Brown
Faith Lister
Olivia Lister
Tom Lawrenson

The following have been excellent in history:

Noah Ellis Moore
Scarlett Shaw
Owen Bartholomew
James Dillon
Eddy Merritt
Megan Boddy

Shannon O’Donovan has been working fantastically hard in English.

Robert Wilkinson for his extra effort when completing his food and textiles task.

Flic Munzer for embracing the google classroom and completing the extension work with a lot of creativity

Rhys Hutchinson for his resilience to working in these strange circumstances

Hannah Birkinshaw has been amazing with work. Completed every day, to a high standard – if she is stuck, she is rewatching the Hegarty videos and reattempting quizzes.

Alice Driscoll for her excellent work on witchcraft.

Olivia and Faith Lister have both done outstanding work in English, with real detail and even asking for extension tasks.

Goutham Sunil and Noah Smee-Brown you have been very impressive in RE with both your knowledge and enthusiasm.

Florrie Mangan for excellent work in English

Cowen Mason for working so hard on his maths. He is more than happy to join in a google meet if/when he gets stuck. He’s been a superstar J

Our in school Students of the Week:
Support Assistants’ choice: Well done to Jonathan Middleton for your developed confidence and independence this week.

BS1: Isaac Ellis– well done for your continuous hard work, always being so polite and positive!

BS2: Sam Skelton– Well done for just being fantastic, working independently throughout the week!

AP1: Lucy Johnson- Well done for being independent, consistently working hard and remaining so positive!

Bright Sparks Challenge:
One thing in particular which has stood out this week has been our Bright Sparks Challenge entrances and winners. We normally only choose two, but we’ve had no choice but to select five winners and recognise all of the entrances because they have been so excellent, a £10 voucher and certificate is on its way!

Challenge Winners:
Tilly-Mai Harton
Hollie Smith
Tameem Alrehaily
Loic Clegg
Annie Wedgwood

Here is some of the winning work:

Outstanding contributions to acknowledge:
Tim Lawrence
Claudia Ackerley
Ava Gane
Tom Cain
Aditi Panchal
Chloe Fletcher

 The Bright Sparks challenges are accessible to everyone and include questions which require ingenuity, thoughtfulness, kindness and good old fashioned hard work, so they play to everyone’s strengths. Make sure you have accepted the classroom on google ‘Bright Sparks Challenges’ to prepare for the next set!

The rules are:

  • Choose up to 3 challenges
  • Complete your work in any format you wish- video, artwork, song, poetry, model, essay, poster- whatever you wish!
  • Return to Mr Lever before the deadline – End of term
  • Winners get a £10 gift voucher

 This half terms challenges are:

We have had a lovely time in school this week, the students are really starting to get used to the new environment and have adapted phenomenally. The snow on Thursday was certainly a highlight. Please see below our snow ball fight, followed by hot chocolates and biscuits to warm back through!

Y7 Library Newsletter – From Mrs Murphy
Those students in school have been provided with a small Pop-Up-Library in their classroom. We are reading every day and hope those of you who are working from home are making time to read also. As we are spending more time at home, the majority of us have watched far more TV than usual. Those of us who have access to streaming services such as Netflix have been spoiled for choice, which begs the question ‘How do we decide what to watch?’ We can apply the same question about what to read. So, if you have enjoyed a film recently it might be worth finding out if it started off as a book. Often the book will have more detail than a film so have a go at reading something that you’ve previously watched. Ms Murphy is currently reading to three groups of students in school. We chose Holes, Mr Stink and Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, all of which have been either a film or adapted for TV. Reading to students this week reminded me how much the majority of people love being read aloud to. Why not read this extract to someone in your family, adult or child? Believe me, you will make their day if you do.

Here is Ms Murphy reading to a group of students:

We learned a new word over the holidays which is Jolabokaflod. I know it sounds like a character from a Roald Dahl book, but it is actually the Icelandic tradition of exchanging books with loved ones on Christmas Eve. Loosely translated, Jolabokaflod means ‘Christmas Book Flood’: it is a Christmas Eve tradition dating back to World War Two, where Icelanders give and receive books and read them through the night with chocolate and a hot drink. This sounds like a great tradition to us and maybe we could do something similar over lockdown. We are not out and about, but why not recommend a book to someone, one that you have read and enjoyed. Most books nowadays have book club questions so when your friend has read your recommendation, you could curl up with a hot chocolate and have a virtual book club. Or again, read to someone in your household, maybe do some popcorn reading so that you can enjoy treats and hot chocolate at the same time.

We are going to recommend a book a week for you, our recommendations so far are Holes by Louis Sachar (Quiz Number 203031, level 4.6. Purple) You can read an extract by clicking on the link


The second book is The Thirteen Storey Treehouse, You can read the first chapter of the book by clicking on the link


 If you have access to a printer, and have some ideas of what Andy and Terry would like to build next, click on the link, print out the page, and start designing a few more storeys.


 I would love to hear on twitter what you are reading please send me some pictures, either of your favourite book or a picture of you reading in your favourite spot. Please follow: @AHS_Year7Kl I will start this off and tweet the books I am currently reading!

Well done to our top accelerated readers so far this week:

Eddy Merritt
Lucy Johnson
Callum Cowling
Ben Parry

Well done to our top Hegarty Mathematicians:

Most number of tasks attempted : Eddy Merritt & Matthew Martin (15)
Most number of questions answered correctly : Heather Ashby (148)
Highest total hours of learning (inc. watching videos, attempting and reattempting tasks): Evie Hawksby (5.9)

We hope you are staying safe and well, I will remind you again about the fact that we are not closed. We are here for anything you need please email myself or Miss Greenhalgh the Pastoral support worker any time and we will do everything we can to support you. akincell@archbishopholgates.org or lgreenhalgh@archbishopholgates.org.

Sixth Form Updates from Mr Williams and the team….
It has been another successful week of online learning for our Sixth Form students and so many teachers have told me how much they have enjoyed delivering their live lessons and how engaged students have been. As ever, our Sixth Form students have been a credit to themselves and are maximising the opportunities provided through online learning. This is really important as students need to be able to sustain effective and healthy working patterns over this extended period. Therefore, our aim is to provide as much enrichment, community engagement and further opportunities as possible. This is to enhance the online lesson provision. I would stress that everything we post about enrichment is, at this point, optional. You and your children will know what they can and can’t cope with beyond the live lessons. Despite the difficulties Sixth Formers are facing, we want them to know there is still lots out there for them.

Further to this, form tutors and the Sixth Form leadership team have enjoyed catching up with Sixth Formers. Myself, Miss Cox, Mr Charlton and Miss Walton have enjoyed chatting with any Sixth Form student who has dropped into the daily Google Meet from 1:50-2:10. Remember, we are available everyday for a chat, catch up or support. Form tutors have also enjoyed making phone calls to their tutees and are doing everything they can to catch them at a convenient time and check in with them. From next week, form tutors will also be offering a live form time once a week and will post details of this in their form’s classroom. I strongly urge Sixth Formers to get involved with this; it is important the sense of community and connections are maintained wherever possible. We are, of course, available throughout the day for further support as needed.

Home Learning Updates
We have supported further families with access and devices throughout this week and are now confident that everybody in the Sixth Form can access online lessons appropriately. However, if your circumstances change or you still need further support for your child to access lessons, please contact the Sixth Form team.

We have listened carefully to feedback we have received from parents and students regarding Key Stage 5 lessons and have asked staff to adapt their lessons to ensure they last for 50 minutes, rather than the full hour. Lessons will still start at the same time but this will provide the opportunity for short breaks between back to back lessons whilst also facilitating the opportunity for a conversation with the classroom teacher, at the end, if students need further support.

Student Voice
As Key Stage 5 students, it is important our students are part of the online learning conversation. I have assigned all Year 12 ad Year 13 students a very short survey on google documents. This is to help provide feedback and provide potential ways of further improving how we deliver online lessons. I would urge all Sixth Formers to contribute as every experience is different and we want to ensure every student feels they can get the most out of online lessons. I look forward to feeding these results back to you next week.

Weekly Wellbeing Focus
This week’s well-being resource provided students with simple Positive Psychology Exercises. Next week, we will provide students with resources to explore how to feed your brain effectively.

Sixth Form Shout Outs
Teachers have continued to provide lots of shout outs for our Sixth Form students. Well done to everyone below!

Jess Turton (Maths) Well done for continued effort and perseverance despite finding it tough going at times. Keep trying hard, Mrs Price

Will Hyde (IT) Excellent work in lesson during lockdown and sharing of tech support for other students to use – Nice work and good practical example of school values – Mr Gladstone

Evin Blundell (Sociology) Evin Produced some exceptionally high quality work in her sociology lessons this week very well done and keep it up. Mr Young and Miss Cox

Harry Knight (Sociology) Harry is thinking and working very hard in sociology. Well done and keep it up. Mr Young

Jess Turton (Psychology/ Sociology) Jess continues to work exceptionally hard in both psychology and sociology. Her teachers are very proud of how dedicated she is to her studies.

Tyler Anthony (Psychology) Amazing effort, consistently going over and above. Hard working and producing high quality work. Proactive ini seeking extra support when needed. Well done! Miss Cox 

Katy Weld (Maths) – Fantastic effort in terms of catching up with work following your operation. Well done, from Mrs Price

Hannah Kelly (Geography) Hannah, its great to see you engaging so well with online learning and thank you for being patient with me when we have tech issues. Ms Ramsay

Bobby Lamb (Geography) Bobby, thanks for always being the class voice and telling me whether or not you can see/ hear me on google meet, I do appreciate the interaction! Ms Ramsay

George Messias (Sociology) George has come back from his mocks with a real game plan and is doing very well! Well done. Mr Young

Emily Etty, Emily Brown, Millie Anderson, Katie Machen, Amelie Mackender (Psychology) Consistently excellent effort in psychology and submitted model answers for Schizophrenia EOT. (Miss Cox)

Keir Dinsdale (Psychology) Good effort and application of knowledge and understanding in the Schizophrenia EOT. (Miss Cox)

Enrichment and Opportunities:
A new section has been added to the Year 12 and 13 classrooms called ‘HOY notices – opportunities’. This has been updated with lots of opportunities, extra detail and all necessary links for registration etc. There are lots of opportunities for students here, please encourage students to consider getting involved.

Virtual work experience over February half term – first come first serve, so early registration advised. 

Summer School with Sutton Trust – excellent for those students aiming for Russell Group universities. Application deadline of March 2nd. 

University of Bath – widening participation programme, this is a good one for students thinking of going to University, (deadline for application 29th January). 

Next week – Channel Talent interactive University sessions 

January 20 @ 12:45 – 13:30 Physics: Problem Solving & Thinking Skills with University of Nottingham (KS5)                January 21 @ 14:00 – 15:00 History – Tudors 1485-1603 with Goldsmiths & UEA (KS5)

Pause for thought from our Sixth Formers
Year 12 were asked to reflect upon Year 12 and provide some positive takeaways from 2020, despite the challenges. Here are a sample of them. They made us smile and thought parents might enjoy seeing them too. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Being grateful for friends and family
  • The importance of spending time with family and making the most of everyday, even when there isn’t much to do
  • Don’t dwell on bad situations
  • Learning to cook and developing skills whilst having the time to practise recipes
  • No matter how bad the world seems, there is light
  • Look for the positives
  • Becoming closer to people in lockdown, meeting new people in sixth form and releasing my first song
  • Starting sixth form and meeting new friends was great
  • Proud of my achievements/ GCSE results
  • Take things as they come and accept what you can’t control
  • Alone time is good and important
  • Meeting new people and feeling a part of a great group of friends.
  • If you have faith, when times get tough, you will survive whatever the world throws at you
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Make sure you value the things around you in life because it’s easy for them to be taken away so quickly
  • Take every moment as it comes 
  • People heal with time
  • Learning new skills, taking up new hobbies
  • Proud of staying positive even when things are hard

Collective Worship
This week our Form Tutor Collective Worship is entitled The Secret of Happiness and our daily quotes follow the same theme. We are going to consider how Denmark has yet again been ranked the second-happiest country in the World Happiness Report and how this might link to the concept of Hygge.

Monday – “The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.” – Carl Sandburg; American poet, writer, and editor