Dear parents and carers,

The Autumn term has raced by. It’s almost December and we only have three weeks remaining until the Christmas break and as ever we have a great deal to fit in during this time! A reminder that we are busily preparing for the the Minster Service and families can book their tickets for this via this link:

Over the past couple of weeks Year 11 students have completed their MFL speaking assessments. I know that I speak for Mr Gibson and the whole MFL teaching team when I say that the sensible, proactive and positive manner in which the students have approached these assessments has been excellent – both myself and the MFL team have been hugely impressed by the students’ willingness to give it their best go, despite the understandable nerves that some students felt!

Year 11 mocks also start this week and I have been impressed at the sensible, focused and productive way students have been revising in lessons, guided by their teachers. Over the past two weeks I’ve had the pleasure (along with other members of SLT) of meeting with over 70 Year 11 students during which time we have been discussing how revision has been going, identifying any individual support students need and reinforcing that the key thing about these mocks is for students to simply try their best. It was also good to discuss with students how best to support them as they prepare for their important next steps at the end of this year. As always, as a school we recognise that individual students approach these mocks very differently, with some responding best to the structured opportunities we offer as school and others preferring to structure their own revision, we will however try to consistently reiterate the key message – we just want students to try their best. As always, individual support will be available for all students after the mocks to review how they have done and what they need to help them make further progress.

Whole School Reward – Roller Disco
A reminder that following the success of the Ice Rink as an inclusive whole school reward last year, we will be doing something similar this year, swapping the ice rink for a roller disco. Further details will be shared with students this week, but the process of giving consent for your child is the same as last year with parents needing to give consent for participation using this link below:

Head of Year Awards

Head of Year Updates
Year 7 – Miss Kincell, Miss Powell and Miss Cooper
We hope everyone has a lovely day tomorrow, lots of fun, rest and relaxation. Just a final reminder about Teachers for Tea this week. Please remember students must let us know if they are planning to attend. It is not too late, we just need to know.

Monday 29 November: St Aelred’s, Obaldwick, Stockton on the Forest, Hempland, Badger Hill, Stamford Bridge and Heworth
Tuesday 30 November: Warthill, Lord Deramore’s, Clifton Green and St.Lawrences
Wednesday 1 December: Tang Hall

Please check out the Year 7 twitter page @AHS_Year7Kl to see images of all the excellent enrichment activities taking place.

Well done to our Students of the Week:
ANn – Aaden Luk – For making an excellent start to AHS! Well done Aaden!
ASU – Connor Waterfield – for always contributing well to form discussions
Bl – Sophia Banerjee- Well done to Sophia for always living the school values.
Cy – Layton Drake – for having the most merits in form! Well done
Gr – Charlie Taylor – Thank you for always being kind to others and thinking about their wellbeing
Hf – Ethan Oliver – always polite and kind in form time.
Hv – Freddie-Jae Nicholas – Excellent contributions to form time
MLn – Hannah Coventry – For your excellent contributions and maturity in form discussions.
MPe – Paige Saye – For being superbly helpful during form time every day
Mr – Grace Lister for living out the school values
SMf – Noah Richardson – For a very mature attitude in all form conversations and classes around school.

Well done to Our Head of Year Awards
Lucy Norman – Excellent performance in year 7 netball games. Well Done!
Oli Dilsworth – Well done for an excellent week, we are so proud of your perseverance and resilience.

Library Newsletter
Well, what a fantastic response to our shout out for nominations to the York Book Awards. We have literally hundreds. So many in fact it has been a huge team effort to collate them all. Y7 and Y8 helped us to put them all in alphabetical order, 6th formers looked up the names of authors when it wasn’t on with the book that had been nominated. I’ve been putting all the book names, sorted alphabetically by author name, into a grid. I’ve still got about a hundred or so to enter, so at this point it is still a close-run thing. Hopefully by next week (OK, maybe the one after…) we will know what out favourite book is for AHS. It will be really interesting to see what other schools have picked. I’m going to a librarian meeting on Wednesday so I’ll have a bit more information then, but we’ll have to wait until after Christmas to see the official short list.

Speaking of Christmas a massive thankyou to all those who have been helping us to get ready for the School Christmas Fayre. (Main Hall and gym, Friday 3rd December, 5pm until 8pm. Free entry) We are inundated with fantastic donations and luckily for me you have been so eager to help. As well as our usual library activities, reading, drawing, board games and Lunchtime of Calm to name but a few, we have had one table dedicated to the School Christmas Fayre. We have been bagging up sweets, small gifts and making selection box/book combos, and we have been haggling amongst ourselves trying to decide on prices. It is really kind of you to give up your lunchtimes to help us get ready, it would be an impossible task otherwise.

Speaking of kindness Miss Parsloe has made a fantastic display in her classroom to let everyone know kindnesses that students in her form have shown one another. Have a good look everyone, we will definitely be doing this in the library next year!

Random Book Recommendation
This week’s book recommendation isn’t on any of the themes we have been addressing this week, however I was so pleased when a student said that I book I had recommended was the best this she had ever read, and can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

I first heard the book Half Bad by Sally Green (Quiz number 226984. Level 4.5. Colour Purple) in 2014 when the author read it on the radio. I immediately bought it and devoured the whole thing over a couple of days, even though it isn’t a genre that I would normally choose. If any of you are lucky enough to have access to BBC Sounds, it can be a good idea to listen to a few things to see if anything grabs you. I gave a copy to my niece who was about twelve at the time who also thoroughly enjoyed it and I bought her the next instalments as soon as they were published. Have a look at the synopsis below and you can read a preview using the link.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan is the illegitimate son of the world’s most feared witch. He’s spent his whole life being monitored for signs he may follow the same destructive path as his father. But as tensions escalate, the old boundaries between “good” and “bad” fray and Nathan will discover what sort of person he truly is. This is a roller-coaster ride about a young boy with the will to survive and defy the odds.

Please return your overdue books. We have about 450 books outstanding at the moment. Annoyingly, some of these are book two of a series. So, if you enjoyed book one of a series, checked out book two and then got bored of it and forgot about it I am speaking to you! You are no doubt sick of hearing me say, you are never in trouble for a late return, we are always delighted to see both you and the book. However, it’s very true, please have a good look at home and in your classrooms as the book you have forgotten about is most probably on someone else’s ‘I want to read’ list.

Year 8 – Mrs Avey, Mrs Mennell and Mr Handley
I am pleased to start by highlighting another positive week for Year 8. Our students are continually proving why they have an excellent reputation amongst staff and their peers.

Due to our staff training day on Friday 26th we did not have a full year group Act of Collective Worship this week but all of our Year 8 forms have been able to take part in this during Wednesday’s Form time Collective Worship. Our Form time Acts of Collective Worship from last week and next week both have the theme of ‘Community’, something that we are proud of as a school and as a year group. This week, the topic was ‘Community brings Joy’ and was an opportunity for students to reflect on why Advent is an important time for Christians and how this time of year brings joy for many. It is also important for our students to recognise that this is not the case for everyone and so students have been given challenges that they can complete if they would like. This includes making a list of things that bring them joy and what they are grateful for. Another challenge is to make a gift for someone who may need some support and include a message of joy. The final challenge is to make their own Christmas Crackers using recyclable and biodegradable materials in an attempt to consider our environment. Next week the topic will be ‘Community brings Acceptance’ where there will be similar messages and challenges.

As this week brings the start of December, we are keen for our Year 8 students to have the option of taking part in Christmas themed activities over the next few weeks. Each Year 8 form tutor has an Advent Calendar and will draw a student’s name each day. There are extras for any form over 24 students as we would not want anyone to miss out. There will also be the opportunity to do some decorating of form rooms as there was last year. As well as this, we will have the usual Christmas Service in school that all students will be able to attend. We will also have our Minster Service this year and many Year 8 students will have important contributions to make to this. We will also have a school Christmas Fayre that Year 8 students have kindly brought in many donations for.

Although the vast majority of our Year 8s are always respectful, we do want to take this opportunity to remind all students that it is very important to clean up after themselves when eating in the School Hall or Courtyard Café. A very small number of Year 8s have been leaving a mess and, as a school, it is important to us that students are responsible and respectful in making sure rubbish is put in bins. On the topic of respect, we also want to thank our Year 8s who have been excellent in their conduct around school and remembering to wear their face coverings. This is important for the health and wellbeing of everyone in our school community.

Finally, I’d like to remind all Year 8s to keep an eye out on our Year Group Google Classroom. There are regular student voice surveys posted for important topics such as bullying and the whole school PHSCE. The more feedback we get from students, the better equipped we are to respond to the needs and preferences they have indicated as both a year group and as individuals.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 8, please do contact school reception to get in touch with Mrs Avey (Head of Year 8), Mr Handley (Assistant Head of Year 8) or Mrs Mennell (Year 8 Pastoral Support Worker).

Year 9 – Mr Arthur, Mr Deamer and Mrs Deacon
As you will already be aware, as part of the Year 9 Arts Award course, students will be taking part in a series of exciting Cultural Experiences. Year 9 is an important transition year within school, and we firmly believe it is important that every child has the opportunity to explore their personal development and deepen their cultural experiences. Across three days throughout the year, the entire year group will be divided into thirds and get to experience each of the three visits we have planned on a rotation. This is a great opportunity for students to not only review a local arts exhibition as part of the Silver Arts Award, but the visits also go some way towards students progressing on their AHS Journey, where Year 9’s focus on ‘Understanding yourself and others’.

The locations for these three trips are…

  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
  • The National Science and Media Museum, Bradford
  • The Royal Armouries, Leeds

The first rotation of these trips will take place on this Thursday, 2nd December and all students in Year 9 will be out of school for the day. This is a mandatory visit as part of the student’s Silver Arts Award Qualification. Here are a few important things for students to remember in preparation for Thursday…

  • Students must arrive to school in their uniform, however they can wear comfortable footwear (trainers) if they so wish.
  • Students travelling to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (they will have been given a GREEN letter) will need to ensure they wear boots/wellington boots or footwear they do not mind getting muddy as they will be outside on grass for most of the day. Students on this trip must also ensure they wear plenty of warm clothing.
  • Students must bring their own packed lunches to school for the day. Students who are Free School Meals will have a packed lunch provided for them by school. Students must also not bring any food with them that contain nuts as some students on the trips do have allergies to nuts.
  • Students arrive to school at the normal time, and they will register in there form rooms. Students will then be making their way to the Main Hall where we will head off to the buses for the different trips.
  • Students will need to wear facemasks on the coach to and from the venues. Each coach will have a supply of masks to support with this, but please do ensure your child arrives to school with a mask.
  • Students must bring any medication/inhalers etc… they need with them – they will be their responsibility for the duration of the trip. If they need support from a member of staff, they should let the bus/trip leaders know as soon as possible.
  • The buses will return to school for 3pm in time for students to make their usual way home from school.

Letters should have gone home with your child regarding these visits a couple of weeks ago. This letter contains all the information regarding the specific trip your child will be going on, and a consent/medical form which must be returned urgently to reception ASAP. Please do let school know if you have not received your letter. These trips should be an excellent, culturally enriching experience for all the students involved!

Congratulations to the winners of the Head of Year Award this week – they are…

Nada Nahira9MHeFor settling fantastically well at AHS and being an excellent ambassador of our school values! Well done!Mutual Respect
Molly Anderson9MHeFor continuously being a kind and compassionate person who lives our school values into being every day – Well done!Compassion

Thank you for taking the time to read this parent bulletin. If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 9, then please do get in touch by emailing (head of Year), (Assistant Head of Year) and/or (Pastoral Support Worker); or alternatively, you can call Main School Reception and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you.

Year 10 – Mr Avery, Miss Johstone and Miss Montagu
Greetings all – I hope this latest edition of the Year 10 bulletin finds you safe and well.

It’s strange to think that we are already nearly halfway through the second half term, and that Christmas will soon be upon us! I for one really enjoy this time of year, especially with the build up to Christmas and getting into the festive spirit. I am pleased to say that the dark mornings and evenings don’t seem to have dampened the spirits of Year 10 too much, and the students continue to work hard in their lessons.

One thing that has been really fantastic to see, is the students of year 10 returning to extracurricular clubs and sports teams. I have been so pleased to see so many returning to music clubs such as choir, band and music technology club. Alongside this, I know how well the sports teams have been doing, with the boy’s rugby and football teams picking up where they left off a few years ago with consistent victories. I was also delighted to see a number of girls from year 10 joining the inaugural girl’s rugby team, with a glowing report from Miss Wheater about their level of skill and commitment. I am proud of all the students who represent our school, and I am delighted to see their talents are once again able to flourish.

The students search for work experience seems to be going well, with many placement forms already beginning to return. Please remember our careers advisor Sarah Robinson is on hand to assist any student who might be worried or concerned in making the first phone call to an employer or for assistance with the NYBEP website. I am delighted to announce that on Monday 29th November the students will be taking part in a Careers fair. We have over 30 employers from a variety of sectors in the local job market coming into school to provide the students of Year 10 with important information reading careers in their sector. We hope the students make the most of this opportunity, and I would ask that you encourage them to find out as much as they can from the industry experts.

In other news the students of Year 10 have had the opportunity to receive guidance from ‘The Big Talk’ this week, an organisation dedicated to educating students on healthy relationships. The Big Talk is an important part of the students ongoing statutory RSHE education, and allows them to experience lessons on the topic of healthy relationships from external experts. Operating in 135 schools across the country, their aim is to ensure as many children and young people as possible receive high quality Relationship, Health & Sex Education, to help keep them safe, healthy & happy.

The students received two sessions across Wednesday and Thursday, each lasting an hour. The sessions concentrated on the following:

Developing feelings – The young people discuss changes in friendships and relationships as they may begin to develop emotional and romantic attachments. This covers all types of relationships and as with all of our programme, is fully inclusive. The workshop covers a range of themes that affect relationships and young people’s perception of what constitutes a healthy relationship. We address peer pressure, abusive relationships and gender stereotypes, as well as contemporary issues such as youth generated images (sexting), internet safety and the dangers of inappropriate websites which we demonstrate can warp a young persons’ view of social norms.

RSE: Show what you know – Covering consent, contraception and the responsibilities of young people, we once again highlight the ever present, potential risks of STIs and unplanned parenthood as well as what constitutes a healthy relationship.

We are really excited to be able to welcome The Big Talk into our school, and I feel the experience was highly beneficial to our students in Year 10.

Thank you for all the hard work you are doing at home to continue to support your child, this is having a very significant impact toward their success at school. The Year 10 pastoral team are always available to help with any questions or queries you may have.

Year 11 – Miss Turvey, Miss Reeder and Miss Chambers
As we enter the mock exam period, we are feeling particularly proud of our students for their hard work up to this point, and would like to say a huge thank you for all of your support behind the scenes as students embark on this important practice for their end-of-year exams. Hopefully all students have benefited from a much-needed extra day for rest and private revision over the weekend in the lead up to this.

In addition to mock preparation, a particular shout out to Year 11 drama students who have now all completed their live recorded performances of their devised piece of drama; these will count towards their final grades. Students have been working on this since Year 10 and Miss Barrett and Mrs Mullenger have been very impressed with their quality of work and how well they coped with the pressures of professional staging and line-learning. Many students have been attending additional rehearsals as well as Period 6.

A huge well done to: Theo Barnard, Esme Brooks, Caitlin Calvert, Nancy Dickinson, Connor Evans, Chloe Finch, Amelia Goodliffe, Isobel Hanson, Leona Harvey, Aimee Lansbury, Angelique Marie, Aidan Marr, Ben Middleton, Elizabeth Middleton, Moon Phoenix, Bradley Ray, Ivy Robinson, Ben Rowan, Esme Sharpe, Louisa Shaw and Laura Wilkie.

Over the next two weeks, our students will find their normal routines disrupted as they move between exams. Understandably, many students will find this disrupted routine challenging, and Form times and social times will provide constants each day to help uphold a sense of consistency. In the morning (and in the afternoon), students will attend form time as usual to allow Form tutors to check in and ensure everyone feels prepared for the day ahead. Mock exams will not run over break and lunchtimes. Period 5 will generally be unaffected. Homework and extra-curricular clubs, Period 6s and activities in the library will all run as normal. I would like to draw particular attention to Thursday’s Fitness session run by Mr Mansfield at lunchtime, and Girl’s Wellbeing, Fitness and Boxing after school with Mrs Reeder that could be especially beneficial this fortnight.

Last week, all students went through a presentation created by Miss McDermott (Deputy Head) showing a day-by-day breakdown of the upcoming week to offer clarity and reassurance. When in Year 10, our students really impressed in the way they conducted themselves with mature behaviour and care for their studies through the mock period, and we hope to see this again over the next fortnight. As part of the presentation, students have been reminded of the need to have the following equipment with them over the next fortnight, and should tell their tutors if they are ill-equipped:

  • Black/blue pens (x2)
  • Pencils (x2)
  • Highlighter
  • Calculator
  • Compass
  • Protractor
  • Rubber (desirable)
  • Clear, see-through pencil case (desirable)

The Year 11 pastoral team will continue to have a high presence around school to offer support; Form tutors will check in with students twice daily; and we encourage parents to keep us abridged of any concerns that might arise during the mock period. At home, keeping up consistent routines around revision time, downtime and bedtimes will be vital, as well as ensuring your child has eaten a substantial breakfast.

Looking beyond mocks, we are pleased that the vast majority of Year 11 students have now attended a meeting with a member of the Senior Leadership Team to discuss both the upcoming mocks and their options for next year. It was lovely to hear so much positive feedback from Senior Leaders as to the politeness, enthusiasm and ambition students displayed in these meetings. If you feel your child still requires support around their subject choices, please ask them to speak to their Form tutor who will be able to flag and facilitate this.

Behind the scenes, we are also excitedly beginning the countdown for Christmas and hope students have their advent calendars ready to go this week (something that hopefully our *almost* young adults aren’t too old to enjoy)! This year, we will be holding a best-decorated Form room competition across the school following its popularity last year and we know that Miss Turvey is a formidable force in her behind-the-scenes Christmas preparation. As we begin to enter the Christmas Period, we are certainly looking forward to lots of Christmas cheer, in-school Rewards and festive Acts of Collective worship within Year 11 corresponding with the end of the mock period.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 11, please do get in touch with school reception to contact Miss Turvey (Head of Year 11), Miss Chambers (Assistant Head of Year 11) or Mrs Reeder (Year 11 Pastoral Support Worker).

Post 16 – Mrs De Lashley, Mrs Walton, Miss Balmer and Miss Cox
Y13 Catch-up Assessments – For the following two weeks we will be having catch-up mocks for our students that were unable to sit assessments during the A Level mock week. Those students with assessments have been notified on when their assessment is.

School Captains – I have had the pleasure of reading through our multiple School Captain applications. Applicants will be interviewed this week to determine our 2021-22 School Captains. The competition is strong!

Sixth Form Application Forms – The deadline for Sixth Form applications is when we break for Christmas. Students can apply to as many Post-16 providers as they like with no obligation to eventually take up that place. It is important that is they are considering somewhere, that they apply so that their choices can be considered when the timetable is being devised for next year. We look forward to receiving applications over the coming weeks but if there is anything you would like help with, please do not hesitate to get in touch

Shout Outs

Conall BruceMrs BalmerY12English LitFantastic effort shown through detailed class work/SFS/homework.
Miss Deacon’s Y12 Business ClassMiss DeaconY12BusinessWell done on your commitment to your coursework – I am really impressed, keep it up Y12!
Phaedra WrightMrs BalmerY12English LitFantastic effort shown through detailed classwork/SFS/homework.
12C HistoryCBNY12HISTORYWell done 12c for continuing to smash it with your essays and written work. You’re doing amazing!!
Tom VentressMr ShawY13MediaTom has worked really hard preparing for his Year 13 Media mocks. Well done
Jess MerringtonMrs Hopkinson-KearneyY13BusinessAmazing work on your exam preparation for Unit 6!
Fenton GriffithsK LeplatreY12FrenchAlways positive and committed to studying French in lessons and beyond the curriculum topics.
Caitlin MurphyMrs Hopkinson-KearneyY12BusinessExcellent work on your first Unit 2 exam practice
Peter LazarovK LeplatreY12FrenchSo resilient and committed to his studies, keep up the great work!
Leah WrightMiss JennawayY12SociologyA fab attempt at a 30 mark essay, well done and keep up the great work!
George PyeMiss JennawayY12SociologyFor showing excellent levels of motivation and consistency in class with your work, well done!
Reilly AdamsLvY12BiologyOutstanding effort in the subject.
Fungjee ChanMiss JennawayY12SociologyKeep working hard, you’re doing great and your resilience is paying off.
Billy HearldMiss JennawayY12SociologyFantastic verbal contributions in class, well done!
Fran Berry-MichallatMrs EdmondsonY12English LanguageWell done for your consistent high level effort and quality homework over the last few weeks. Very impressive!
Emma HurstMiss JennawayY12SociologyFor excellent levels of positivity and motivation consistently in all lessons, you are a delight to teach!
Oliver Wootten, Peter Carr, George Burt, Arthur SharpeMrs MorrisonY12MusicThank you so much for all your help supporting the Junior Soul Band on Mondays after school. It’s much appreciated!
Bailey WalkerMiss YorkY12PoliticsBailey, you are so engaged and fabulous in your work with Mrs Cantrell. Keep that going!
12 C/Gg1Dr PaulY12GeographyThanks for working so hard and smashing the 20 marker. Keep up the hard work!
Gabe SmythNcY12ArtFor thoughtful creative artwork and getting stuck into his work every lesson.
Jas DelaneyMr NicholsonY13ArtFor enthusiasm in lessons and her independent project work.
Ari WrightMr NicholsonY13ArtFor making an excellent start to her art essay.
Matty BarberMr BranniganY12SportConsistently high quality work in BTEC Sport.
Georgia HandleyMiss CoxY13Applied psychologyExcellent application of knowledge on the mock. Well done 

 Collective Worship

In the coming weeks our Form Tutor Collective Worship continues to explore the Christian season of Advent.

We continue to explore different communities from the Christmas story, see what they can teach us about community and how they can inspire us to make a difference this Christmas. This week the focus is on Acceptance.

Monday Thought for the Day – “Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring glory to God.” – Letter to the Romans 15:7, The Bible

Tuesday Thought for the Day – “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – The Dalai Lama, leader of Tibetan Buddhism

Wednesday Thought for the Day – “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” – The Gospel of John 7:24, The Bible

Thursday Thought for the Day – “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Friday Thought for the Day – “Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – The Gospel of Mark 12:31, The Bible

The Wellbeing Newsletter Issue 34