As families are aware colleagues throughout the city have worked effectively in partnership throughout the pandemic, meeting regularly as part of York Schools and Academies Board (YSAB). As part of this we have been grateful for the support of the Local Authority and the guidance from Public Health which has helped inform our decisions over the last year. With this in mind please see attached a joint letter from Amanda Hatton (Director of Children’s Services), Sharon Stoltz (Director of Public Health) and Wendy Watts (Consultant Paediatrician) about children’s symptoms of illness during the pandemic. Please take a moment to read this carefully. Thank you.

Letter to parents non-specific symptoms covid (amended)

We have Year 11 Parents Evening tonight and are very much looking forward to talking with families about the progress students are currently making and how best we can continue to work in partnership to support each young person in the weeks ahead. If families need any last minute support please contact the Year 11 team (Mrs Avey, Mrs Menell, Mrs Hirst and Miss McDermott) who will be happy to help.

Student Wellbeing – Wonderful Wednesday

Year 8 pathway process
Last week you should have received your child’s full report that has been designed to give an indication on academic progress in each subject area. Please contact school if you have not received this information.

You should have also received in the post your child’s pathway booklet which outlines the details regarding course combinations, subject information and the process for making selections.

Please also visit our Year 8 pathway webpage which has been specifically created for your child this year to help provide further information due to these unprecedented times that we find ourselves in.

Please click the link below to access this webpage:

On this webpage you can find out further information about the process, the fantastic transition year and subject information including the Arts Award. Also, on this site as parents you can book an optional meeting with a member senior leadership team should you have any questions specific to your child. In the meantime, should your child wish to speak to a member of the senior leadership team for support through this process please get in touch to arrange this via phone (01904 411341) or email

Year 9 – the Transition year
The whole school curriculum has been constructed to include a transition year (Year 9) which is central to the development and mastery of key skills that underpin higher order concepts within future KS4 teaching.  Alongside this, lessons to aid character development and opportunity for curriculum enrichment provide students with an exceptionally rich, varied and dynamic curriculum offer.

As part of the transition year all students in Year 9 will complete the Arts Award through their continued engagement to the creative practical based subjects. This rich experience allows students to keep the breadth of their curriculum whilst selecting specific courses they wish to study at GCSE. The student’s KS4 journey begins in Year 10 for students as they start their GCSE studies in order to prepare for the summer GCSE examination period in Year 11.

Whilst students are in the process of selecting a small number of optional courses to study at KS4, within Year 9 there is flexibility to change their decision. It is important that students understand that there is scope to swap subjects in Year 9 should they change their mind.

Year 9 is about “Understanding yourself and others.” This is reflected in our unique curriculum design which allows students to explore their own personal development, subject passions and interests whilst allowing them to make fully informed choices about the progression before they embark upon GCSE study in Year 10. The flexibility and alternatives available provide a unique opportunity in Year 9 to ensure students fully understand themselves and the choices that are theirs to make.

Upcoming key dates:

10th FebruaryYear 8 Parents’ EveningParents and carers virtually meet (virtually) each of the teachers for their child and discuss their progress and sound out the potential to take the subject to GCSE standard.
12th FebruaryYear 8 subject choice deadlineAll option applications must be submitted to Mr Green-Harding by this date.

Please note: The curriculum blocks will not be constructed until after the final deadline has elapsed. This means that students will by no means be disadvantaged with regards to their options choices if they wait until after parent’s evening to submit their form.

Head of Year updates – Mr Avery and Year 9…
Another fantastic week for year 9 students, who seem to go from strength to strength adapting to remote learning. Students have become so committed to their remote learning, that on occasion I wonder if they are finding time to relax and have fun? It snowed at school today, and I began envisaging the amount of fun the students would usually be having at break and lunchtime – and the stress this would have caused the staff! I hope the students are finding time to enjoy themselves, even in this challenging time. Exercise, short walks, cooking and time away from a screen seems to be the most popular ways students are ‘switching off’ and looking after their wellbeing.

With the wellbeing of our students in mind, we want to offer an opportunity for the students of Year 9 to manage their work load a little more independently around their live lessons. The head teacher will be sending more information out regarding this in the coming days, however please rest assured we are always reflecting on how we can improve the wellbeing of our students, without impacting on their education.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents of Year 9. I know how challenging working from home and supervising a child can be, but the communication between home and school has been exceptional. The emails, phone calls and text messages explaining if a student is poorly, or at an appointment, or having issues with IT at home really helps us with our registers and tracking of student engagement. Please remember that Miss Clark and I are here to support where we can, and are offering the following to any parent who feels their child would benefit from it:

  • A short wellbeing meeting
  • A wellbeing phone call each week
  • A motivational text at the start of the day
  • Communication with teachers if your child is struggling in a certain subject.

I have been inundated once again with praise for Year 9 in their live lessons this week. To put them all in unfortunately takes up too much room, however here are some highlights:

  • 9c/Gg1 Geographers – so hard working with absolutely superb answers. They are a joy to teach! Dr Paul
  • Thomas and Henry Bate both passed their Grade 7 Associated Board Classical Guitar exam recently. This is an incredible achievement considering the exams only go up to Grade 8 and we would normally expect Year 13 to be on Grade 7/8 by the time they finish their A level music exam!! Well done! Mrs Morrison
  • My Year 9 engineering class are superb, well deserving of recognition – Mr Limbert

Meanwhile in school the students have been working incredibly hard, with a very positive attitude and a smile on their face (well MOST of the time!). This week, a selection of students in school were offered the opportunity to do some cooking with Mrs Cobb, as this was working toward their Food Tech GCSE. The boys did a brilliant job,  cooking an excellent cottage pie and baking some very appealing cupcakes. Needless to say I was hanging around the food tech rooms to ‘supervise’, but was disappointed to leave empty handed at the end of the hour!

I look forward to another week of positive feedback from Year 9 teachers, and I congratulate the year group once again for their resilience, patience and hard work In this difficult time.

 As always, please feel free to contact me on should you have any questions or concerns.

Collective Worship
This week our form tutor collective worship focuses on the question of Does our behaviour really matter? This is considered in the context of working against injustice in society and our local communities, especially racial injustice. It includes an interview with Daniel Eduardo sharing his experience of growing up mixed race. Our daily quotes are on the theme of Justice.

Wednesday – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.