I would like to start this final bulletin of a very busy first week of the new half term by thanking all our families for the ongoing support which will be more important than ever over the coming weeks. I really appreciate the positive comments about our decision to get all our students back into school on Monday 8th March and this is something that we are fully committed to. I will write in more detail next week about the arrangements for the return to school but all the successful safety measures we have in place will be retained along with an even stronger focus on wearing face coverings and the introduction of a one way system in some areas of school. The zones that students are based in with remain until after Easter when we will be looking at allowing subject teachers to return to their normal teaching rooms. In summary the students will be returning to the room and arrangements that they were used to in the Autumn term.

I also appreciate the overwhelming response to the initiation we sent out yesterday for students to be tested next week. We have planned extremely carefully and have timetabled to test the whole school twice next week. We wanted to ensure that we could offer testing arrangements on the school site and hope that families will view this positively. At the start of next week we will also be providing information about how families can book a test at the city sites should they miss their slot at school. To help facilitate this process each form group has been given two specific time slots during the week to ensure that we limit the number of students on site at any time and to make sure that the necessary gap between testing is in place. I’m really sorry if the slot you have been given is not as convenient as you would like but these are the restraints that we are working within. We would strongly recommend that students are tested next week although this is a completely voluntary process and those who choose not to be tested will still of course be welcomed back into school on the 8th March. As you would expect staff involved in this process have been trained and I would remind families that in January we were the first school in the city to have our testing procedures signed off by Public Health who were impressed with what we have in place. There will of course also be friendly faces around the Sports Hall to welcome students next week! If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact school.

We will also be carefully considering over the coming days the full impact of the announcement from the Education Secretary in terms of how grades will be awarded for Year 11 and Year 13 in the summer. As Miss McDermott explains below, we will provide a full summary to parents as soon as we receive additional information, in the meantime, our requirements remain unchanging – students should attend their lessons, complete their work to the best of their ability and contact school should they need any support or guidance. As ever we remain completely committed to support each student to achieve the best grades possible.

Resources to prepare for returning to school
Please find attached a document with guidance and ideas to prepare your child for their return to school.  The resource has been prepared by the NHS.

NHS resource for students – Return to school countdown – Secondary and Post 16 –

Head of Year Update – Year 11 and Mrs Avey…
We very much look forward to welcoming our year 11 students back on Monday  8th March, after fulfilling all of the testing criteria. Their well being remains a top priority for us and we are continuing to post well- being guidance, information and support on their year 11 classroom. The team is also always at the end of the phone or an email message should you or they need to contact us quickly. We do require them to continue to attend on line  lessons  in the meantime and to continue to complete the work to the best of their ability. The order forms for the hoodies and year books are still coming in – thank you -and  if you have not completed one , please remember the final date is 8th March. The best email address to use is mmennell@archbishopholgates.org. If you have had any difficulties accessing the form, we can post an order form to you and it can be returned to main reception. Please just contact us if you would prefer to do this.

Also following the government announcement,  we are much more optimistic that the Year 11 prom, to further reward our students, will be allowed to take place. We are therefore, extremely excited to announce that we have booked a venue at the Racecourse for Thursday  15th July to hopefully  include a welcome drink, a two course meal, a disco, a photo booth and an end of evening ice cream. There will be a cost to yourselves, however –  as we are financing the hoodies and yearbooks-  but we anticipate that it will be no more than £40 per ticket at the most. We are acutely aware that this is still a significant cost and are hoping that by giving you 4 months’ notice, it is a help. We also will be looking at various ways to raise money over the next couple of months  to help reduce the cost. Likewise  will be reinstating Project Prom.  We have an array of gowns, suits and accessories which we want to loan out free of charge and we welcome anyone to contact us should you wish to arrange for an appointment to view from  the 15th March. Simply contact Mrs Hirst at ghirst@archbishopholgates.org. As the holding of a  Prom is a reward,  we are confident that our students will continue to give of their best in order to deserve a attendance there.

We are aware that most of our Y11 students will have seen the announcement made by the DFE that they will not be using an algorithm as part of centre-assessed grades, but will instead base these grades on teacher assessment. Whilst we look forward to receiving further detail about this from the DFE, we are confident that our young people will not be disadvantaged by this and will continue to perform outstandingly well, as per our tradition of exceptional progress and achievement for our Y11 and Y13 students.  We know that both parents and students will be keen to know what teacher assessment will look like and how this will be carried out and how the remaining time in school will be structured,  we will provide a full summary to parents as soon as we receive additional information, in the meantime, our requirements remain unchanging – students should attend their lessons, complete their work to the best of their ability and contact the Y11 team should they need any support or guidance.

Recommended reads of the week from Miss Short
Year 7
Where the World Turns Wild (Colour Black Quiz number 239139 Genre Fantasy)
Animals, trees, flowers, our city forbids them all… Juniper Greene lives in a walled city from which nature has been banished. While most people seem content to live in such a cage, she and her little brother Bear dream of escaping into the wild. To the one place humans have survived outside of cities. To where their mother is. Will they ever find the home they’re searching for?
You can read a short extract, synopsis and a review of the book by opening the link below.

Year 8 – Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (Colour Purple. Young Adult Read. Quiz number 237775)
As the school bell ring signalling the end of the day, the kids in Latimer Middle School stream out of their classrooms and begin their journeys home. Here are ten stories about ten walks home – ten different kids, their friendships, their worries. Themes of friendship and compassion weave these stories together. You can meet the author and read some of the book by opening the link below.

Year 9 Malamander by Thomas Taylor. (Quiz 237106. Colour Purple. Genre Fantasy)
No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander.
You can read the first thirteen chapters of Malamander by opening the link below.

KS4 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, author Harper Lee uses memorable characters to explore civil rights and racism in the segregated Southern United States of the 1930s. Told through the eyes of Scout Finch, you learn about her father Atticus Finch, an attorney who hopelessly strives to prove the innocence of a black man unjustly accused of rape; and about Boo Radley, a mysterious neighbour who saves Scout and her brother Jem from being killed. You can read an extract here and learn about the author here:

KS5 – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
This is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist. You can read an extract and analysis here:

Artist of the week from Mrs Halifax…

Emma Walton has produced these fantastic drawings of Robin Hood’s Bay.  With a particular emphasis on perspective and surface texture, they are really excellent examples of A-level work.

Student Wellbeing – Feel-Good Friday

Collective Worship
During half-term it was the start of the Christian season of Lent and we are going to continue with our Pilgrim Pathways theme over the coming weeks, based on material from the Archbishop of York Youth Trust. When we set out on a journey, we make a plan. We might look at a map or set up the Satnav to guide us. The key item on our pilgrimage today is a map.

Friday – “God will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” – The Bible, The book of Isaiah 58: 11