It was really good to have the opportunity yesterday to meet with all our prospective School Captains in Year 12. I very much enjoyed hearing about their ideas for the Sixth Form and was extremely impressed both by their resilience and determination to succeed at this challenging time and how proud they are of being part of our school community. Our AHS Journey is designed to develop students into well rounded young people who live out the values of our school and this was very evident in our Year 12 students yesterday.

We also had a busy evening of meetings with Year 8 families discussing possible option choices for the important transition year before GCSE studies. It was good to hear positive feedback in terms of the Arts Award in Year 9 which ensures that all students continue to study creative subjects as well as the flexibility to change choices during Year 9 if needed. As ever there were also a number of conversations around language choices and why it is important for the majority of students to continue with either their French or German. I know Mr Arthur, Mr Green-Harding and other members of SLT are available for any further discussions as needed this week.

Activities for Half term
I think everyone is looking forward to half term and a break from five lessons of online learning each day. Whilst students have managed this exceptionally well it is important that there is time for rest and recuperation at half term. That said there will be some students and families that will want to remain engaged with learning so like we did in the summer we have put together a February Half-Term Activities menu described below by Mr Arthur. This is of course completely optional.

A little like we did for the Summer Holidays last year, we want to give students some ideas for fun activities they can do throughout the Half-term break! These are designed to be more fun and relaxing, and they have been provided by different departments across the school. We very much hope your child finds something to their liking on the menu – they just need to read the short description, click the link, and off they go! The activities can be found of your child’s Year Group Google Classroom, or by clicking the link below.

Student Wellbeing – Thankful Thursday

YoungMinds have produced the attached 2 documents to support parents and carers during coronavirus.  They have some really useful ideas and information around ways to support your child throughout the pandemic.



Head of Year updates – Miss Turvey and Year 10…
Team ten have made it (nearly) ~ one more sleep, ten lessons and then a week of stress free non screen time. Yay! How has this final week been? Any plans for half term? I personally feel it would be rude not to celebrate Chinese New Year on Friday 12th with a Chinese meal, and then Sunday 14th is Valentine’s Day so, potentially posh dinner followed by copious amounts of chocolates and then Tuesday 16th is Shrove Tuesday, so pancakes with ricotta cheese and spinach, followed by pancakes with cheese and tomato, followed by pancakes with grated chocolate and cinnamon, and you have to have the traditional pancake with sugar and lemon juice as well.  Might delay starting the couch to 5k until Wednesday 17th!

It has been an interesting, challenging, stressful and sometimes really difficult six weeks since we came back to online school after Christmas and your children have done fantastically well;  active engagement in google classrooms, help, technical advice and IT support for teachers who were not completely up to speed with google, lovely emails letting us know how they are doing, some fabulous lockdown limericks coming in (keep them coming), great conversations with tutors and ownership of their learning. Who knows what the Prime Minister might say on the 22nd of February, but hopefully it will not be long before we can all meet face to face. If it were me making the speech I would have to champion the positive and productive work ethic of Y10 who are digging deep into their resilience reserves and proactively working to ensure a better future.

So, whether your half term is full of decluttering, digging vegetables beds, dragging the kids on country walks, den building in the garden, having carpet picnics, binging on box sets or just sleeping, my wish for you all is a week of rest, relaxation, recuperation, and restoration, so that we can return reenergised, rejuvenated and revived, raring to reengage responsibly with our digital resources. Whatever half term brings, stay safe, take care, have fun, Miss T.

Food Corner
Wow, what a year it has been.  Looking back to this time last year, we were all raring to go in the push for Easter holidays, ready for the fun of summer term, sports day, saying farewell to our Year 11 and 13s… then, dare I say it… Covid happened.  For some people it meant more time at home with family and for others, it meant learning new things and different working practises.  Here at Archbishop Holgate’s we are committed to helping the local economy, we source all our food from local suppliers ensuring it is delivered fresh and with the least carbon footprint possible.  The school’s Allotment Club has even provided some vegetables to reduce our footprint further.

During the first lockdown we worked hard to deliver packed lunches to all the primary schools within the academy and feed our own key worker children.

In the run up to September there was a lot of work going on behind the scenes, Covid risk assessments, new menus, making sure measures were in place for staff and students’ safety.  We adapted menus to offer a good balanced diet, within an affordable price range.  We welcomed Mrs Thompson to the catering team and she has gone on to complete her Food Safety Level 2 certificate.  Well done!!!

Mrs Creaser oversaw the opening of the new ‘upper school’ eating area and kitchen, working with SLT and students to make it a success.

Our favourite day of the whole year was a difficult one to plan, Christmas dinner day.  We are keeping everything crossed, that this December, we can offer the full experience Year 7s missed out on.

At the end of Christmas term we bid a fond farewell to our Catering Manager, Mr Richardson, and welcomed Mrs Calvert in his place.  But fear not, she comes with experience of school kitchens after working at St Peter’s School for a number of years.  Mrs Creaser accepted a career progression to Deputy Catering Manager to work alongside Mrs Calvert ensuring the children have the best experience possible.

Suddenly it was lockdown the trilogy.  We once again undertook lots of behind the scenes training, shoutout to Miss Robson for completing her Level 2 Food Safety also.  Menus were adapted and reduced to cater for a much smaller audience.  Offerings such as sausage and mash, carbonara, even the legendary Archie’s pizza made an appearance.

This second half of the spring term, the catering team are looking at the experience as a whole with regards to school lunches.  We will be working closely with students devising ways to enhance our catering facilities.

Our summer term objective will be ‘healthy food, healthy mind’, because children’s mental health is paramount.

Watch this space for upcoming competitions, prizes and also a new menu which will be emailed to all parents to either print or save to see which days their children would like a school lunch.

We hope you enjoy the half term break and look forward to welcoming many more students back after half term.

Collective Worship
Over the next 6 weeks our Collective Worship is based on material from the Archbishop of York Youth Trust. Called Pilgrim Pathways it will take pupils on a pilgrimage journey through Lent, looking at items that are important on a walking pilgrimage. Each item symbolises ideas that can help them when facing challenges in their personal life journey. The first item is a lamp.

Thursday – “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer, 19th C. theologian and philosopher