Dear parents and carers,
I hope families have had a safe and happy weekend. I would like to start this bulletin by commending Year 11 on their conduct throughout the mock exams last week, especially when faced with the unfortunate power outage on Monday. We are very proud of their efforts so far. We are also delighted that we were able to take all of Year 9 out on the first of their Arts Award trips, with successful visits to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Royal Armouries and Media Museum in Bradford. By the end of the year all students will have visited all three venues.
We have another busy week ahead in school. A reminder that we have our annual Minster Service this Wednesday evening. We still have some tickets available for families who would like to join us. These can be accessed via the link below: https://forms.gle/DLvTtyaRFkGH5iAS9
On Thursday we have our Christmas Dinner and on Friday this year’s whole school reward, roller skating – complete with disco, hot chocolate and festive treats will begin. Due to the recent power cut and the knock on effect to Year 11 exams unfortunately Year 9 will have their day postponed until the New Year. A reminder that a consent form has been sent home to parents and this must be completed for them to participate in the skating. This can be accessed via the link below: https://forms.gle/UBZDRTcZspFAVezf8
Head of Year Awards
Head of year Updates
Year 7 – Miss Kincell, Miss Powell and Miss Cooper
We are so excited to begin our festive season in school, seeing the Christmas season as a way to not only get into the holiday spirit but to encourage students to think of others and how they can be supported at this time of year. It’s very easy to focus on writing that perfect Christmas list or finding the right door for the chocolate on the Advent Calendar. We are trying to encourage students to focus on a different kind of calendar this year. Action for Happiness have a calendar for each month but we feel in December it could mean more to some than ever. As you can see, very few of the aims require a monetary contribution, just simply time and compassion. We challenge as many students as possible to take part in this and tweet their action AHS_Year7Kl
Well done to our Students of the Week:
7ANn – Jaimie Bolton – excellent contributions and effort with Christmas decorating. Well done!
7ASu – Karthikeya Pulakanam – for being a fantastic example of joining in wherever possible
7Bl – Iker Martinez-Chavana – chosen as the form rep by 7Bl
7Cy – Lily Anderson, for always helping me in form time and helping with the form christmas lights
7Gr – Lyla Linfoot-King – Thank you for working hard and always doing everything that’s asked of you.
7Hf – Mason Fleetham – for excellent focus and drawings in his mindfulness book.
7Hv – Liam Shepherd – Excellent contributions during form time news
7MLn – Mia Chapman – For being helpful and always doing your best!
7MPe – Eva Krauca – For being selected to be one of our form wellbeing ambassadors. Well done.
7Mr – Leon Broadhead – Making excellent choices and trying your best always.
7SMf – Hetty Doney – For her fantastic netball performance and amazing spirit around school!
Well done to Our Head of Year Awards this Week:
Grace Slack 7ANn – For dedication to extra curricular clubs and school football! Well Done!
Grace Lister 7Mr – For wanting to care for others and the school community. Well Done!
National Tree Planting Week
We are now in National Tree Planting Week. I remember the first campaign when everyone, including schools were encouraged to plant a tree. I was at junior school at the time but I remember the slogan which was Plant a Tree in ’73. It was a yearlong campaign and came about because there was a big problem with Dutch elm disease, which killed off thousands of trees in the UK. This was so successful that the Tree Council was formed, who now organise a tree planting week every year.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Quiz 229118. Level 6.4. Colour Green)
Faith is determined to untangle a mystery about her farther. She has to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets.
The leaves were cold and slightly clammy. There was no mistaking them. She has seen their likeness painstakingly sketched in her father’s journal. This was his greatest secret, his treasure and his undoing. The tree of lies. Now it was hers, and the journey he had never finished stretched out before her. You can read the first few chapters by clicking on the following link. https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Lie_Tree/PZ-dBAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&printsec=frontcover
The Thirteen Storey Treehouse
If you want a lighter read that’s a bit like Wimpy Kid, try The 13-Storey Treehouse. (Quiz 228591. Level 3.9. Colour Black) Andy and Terry live in the world’s coolest treehouse. They have a marshmallow machine, a tank of sharks and burp filled gas bubbles. You can read the first two chapters by clicking on the following link. https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_13_Storey_Treehouse/_7LjBQAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&printsec=frontcover
Mini Library Fayre
As you all know by now, the Christmas Fayre has been cancelled. However, we have but plan B into play. Between now and our Christmas break we will have mini fayres in the library starting on Tuesday with a chocolate tombola and a stationary tombola. Both are 50p per ticket but EVERY ticket wins a prize! We have also had lots of books donated, so we will also have a book sale before we break up.
Year 8 – Mrs Avey, Mrs Mennell and Mr Handley
As ever, we are really pleased with the way our Year 8 students are conducting themselves around school. Overall, they continue to be excellent ambassadors of our school.
This week in our year group collective worship 8Ob took over and delivered an excellent assembly on Thanksgiving. Students have learned the origin of Thanksgiving in America and how we can use the idea of thanksgiving to be appreciative of what we have. Each member of the form had made a card for what they are thankful for and also challenged the Year group to think about this for themselves. It is important to reflect on what we are all grateful for, especially at a time of year that, whilst fun and enjoyable for many, is challenging for others.
In form time students have continued their reflection on community with this week’s focus – ‘Community Brings Acceptance’. Like last week it focuses on an important part of any successful community, accepting others. The challenge this week is to donate towards, raise money or raise awareness for a charity focused around acceptance of people in our community. Good examples are Carecent, a York based homeless charity or Refugee Action York, a charity focused on helping refugees in our city.
Christmas activities are getting into full swing now at school. Next week will bring some opportunities for students to show off their festive spirit. Students will be able to spend some time in forms decorating their form rooms. They are welcome to bring in any decorations to help with this if they want but there is no expectation for this to happen. We are looking forward to seeing which has the best decorated form room.
As you will be aware the School Christmas Fayre had to be cancelled this week. This is a real shame for us in Year 8 especially after Year 8 students did such an amazing job of bringing in donations. Many of these donations have still been used as we were still able to put on a smaller version for staff in the staff room all day Friday 3rd. In addition to this, all Year 8 students are invited to take part in a tombola for chocolate and stationery in the Year7/8 Library on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday break time this coming week. The cost will be 50p per ticket and there are lots of prizes to be won. If your child would like to take part they will need to have cash in hand to buy tickets. All proceeds will still go towards the schools Unity Fund to help our local community.
In the Year 8 Team we like to take any opportunity to recognise students going above and beyond and making the most of their journey whilst at AHS. As our Year group focus is ‘opportunities’ we are pleased to see so many Year 8 students taking up the opportunities on offer throughout this year. Already this half term we have seen the following students complete their Rookie LifeGuard Training – Aya Harper, Aden Smith, Alfred Davies, Amy Luck, Edward Smith, Alex Grist, Sophie Beard, Charlie Hallam, Evie Price and Olivia Thomas. This is a fantastic achievement. There have also been four students who took part in a national cyber security competition and did very well. There has also been excellent attendance at our Year 8 specific clubs with the teachers Science Club and French Club giving particular praise to the students that take part.
As well as this we have also been seeing students making the most of their opportunities in lessons as well. We have had a special mention from Mr Arthur and his History class who work very hard, have an excellent attitude and are a delight. There has also been a shout out from Mr Handley who’s class have been tackling some difficult concepts in their Forces topic but their resilience and ‘stick-ability’ has been fantastic.
As ever, 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
I hope that students and families in Year 9 have had a lovely weekend and it certainly feels like winter has arrived this week! It has been lovely to see the Christmas spirit start to arrive into form rooms with decorations being put up.
We are very pleased to say that Year 9 had an enjoyable and enriching cultural experience on Thursday and we are proud of their attitude and commitment to their arts award. Three trips took place, one to the Royal Armouries in Leeds where students conducted research on history of warfare, hunting and traditional tournaments. The students particularly enjoyed looking at the suits of armour and the samurai collection. Another trip took students to the Media Museum in Bradford where students experienced media in its many different forms such as film, animation, internet and sound. Particular highlights were the wonderlabs where students interacted with installations like the mirrored corridor and used sound to make water move. This was topped off with a visit to the 3D IMAX cinema where students watched a documentary on Antarctica. Furthermore our final trip was to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield. Students were set challenges around the sculptures including to take the best photos. A particularly popular sculpture was the one of Sir Captain Tom Moore. Despite the brisk weather students had a great time and engaged exceptionally well! We very much look forward to the next round of cultural experience trips in the new year, information on these trips will follow in due course.
Polite reminder please can we ensure students are wearing the correct uniform, including footwear and coats, even with the change in weather, uniform still needs to follow the policy, any queries please don’t hesitate to contact the Year 9 team.
Thank you for taking the time to read this parent bulletin. If you have any concerns regarding your child in Year 9, then please do get in touch by emailing email@example.com (Head of Year), firstname.lastname@example.org (Assistant Head of Year) and/or email@example.com (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 – Miss Deacon.
Year 10 – Mr Avery, Miss Johstone and Miss Montagu
The first fall of snow and the cold snap have not dampened the spirits of our Yr 10. We have enjoyed another busy and productive week. I would like to highlight two key events.
First, our students benefited from two hours of high quality sex and relationships education given by specialist facilitators from BigTalk Education. Our goal is to keep our students safe, healthy and happy. Having outside specialists come in enables a freer atmosphere and less embarrassment for the students. They find it easier to ask questions and confidentiality is assured. They also benefit from the specialist knowledge of the facilitators.
There were two sessions, one focusing on knowledge (‘show what you know’) and the other on emotions (‘developing feelings’).
In the ‘show what you know’ session, the facilitators covered the following essential topics: consent, contraception, condoms and the responsibilities of young people. They highlighted the very real risks of STI’s and unplanned parenthood, as well as the positives of pleasure and healthy relationships.
In the ‘developing feelings’ session, they discussed changes in friendships and relationships as young people begin to develop emotional and romantic attachments. The session covered all types of relationships and was fully LGBTQ+ inclusive. They addressed the topics of peer pressure, abusive relationships and gender stereotypes. They also covered contemporary issues such as youth generated images (sexting), internet safety and the dangers of inappropriate websites. They showed how these can warp a young person’s view of social norms. I am sure that we are all aware of the relevance and importance of these matters.
Secondly, and on a different note, Yr 10 watched a live performance of a play based on Charles Dickens’ famous story ‘A Christmas Carol’. They are studying this text for their GCSE exams next year, so it was great to see it brought to life before their eyes. We hope they told you all about Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts!
Should you have any concerns please feel free to contact either myself, Mr Avery (Head of Year), or Mrs Johnstone (Pastoral Support Worker) and we will be happy to arrange a phone call or face to face meeting in school.
Year 11 – Miss Turvey, Miss Reeder and Miss Chambers
We are now halfway through the mock exam period and Year 11 have navigated the first week of this with maturity and grace. We hope that everyone has been able to enjoy a restful weekend as we enter “part two” this week.
Special shout outs for this week is a list of those students who have continued to voluntarily attend Period 6 sessions through the mock period. Of course, we know that there are also a great number of students who have been revising hard at home and showing commitment in other ways – many to part time jobs and extra-curricular commitments too – Period 6 is just one of many avenues of dedication. Nevertheless, we were very impressed by those who elected to stay in school after their exams to attend the teacher-led sessions.
A huge well done to the following Period 6 attendees: Emine Babucheva, Olivia Barton, Tyler Bedford, Brooke Brandon, Jake Burton, Emelia Bulmer, Lewis Dawson, Gideon Dean, Nancy Dickinson, Summer Dixon, Sophie Dobson, Olivia Grant, Jacob Hall, Noah Hill, Oliver Lynch, Ben Middleton, Brooke Mitchell, Neve Mitchell, Amal Salman, Laura Stringer, Kate Suntornsawet, Lauren Taylor, Elliott Watkinson, Isaac Watkinson, Grace Wilson and Tom Wilson.
This week, students will continue to complete the remainder of their mock exams. It is useful to keep in mind that the mock period is a time of heightened pressure on our students, and it is entirely normal for our children to be feeling a little more tired, irritable, stressed and anxious than usual when they come home. This is a proportional response to being asked to work hard and in exam conditions for considerable portions of the school day. The mock period is benefitting your child by allowing them to build up their resilience to exam pressure and for staff to identify how best to support students moving forward from their results. If you do feel your child is disproportionately struggling, please contact the Y11 pastoral team so we can help and support. At school, we are continuing to have an increased pastoral presence around school (including being on hand to chat with students before and after each exam) and Form tutors are using their professional discretion to offer wind-down time in Afternoon registration.
At home, students should continue to take ‘days off’ from revision, have early nights, eat filling and healthy meals (especially breakfast) and take time away from screens and mobile phones. Time to socialise with family and friends is just as important as time spent working. Please do also take the time to share your child’s successes and congratulate them on their efforts; we are so proud of how well they are doing!
For next week, we ask that parents continue to ensure that you child attends school each day unless they are seriously ill or have tested positive for Covid-19. If your child has missed mock exams owing to Covid-19, our Exams Officer has a catch-up plan in place in line with national statutory guidelines. Additionally, if your child has missed mock exams owing to genuine, serious illness or emergency appointments, Miss Turvey has formulated a similar catch-up plan. Being in school is so important during this time as students need to understand that if they miss their real GCSE exams without a strong medical precedent or extenuating circumstance, they will not receive a grade or catch-up opportunity.
There are some exciting dates for the diary this week: This Thursday 9th December will be Christmas Dinner day, which our catering staff have been excitedly preparing for. The cost of Christmas lunch will be main course and a dessert £2.50 and this will be available for students from the main hall for Year 11 from 13:20.
This week is also the Minster Christmas Carol service taking place on Wednesday 8th December. This is a ticketed event as the Minster are required to restrict their numbers to 750. Tickets are free and two tickets may be reserved per booking. Ticket booking can be accessed via this link: https://forms.gle/DLvTtyaRFkGH5iAS9. We are very proud of our Year 11 students who have been rehearsing for this important event in our school calendar, well done to Phoenix Taylor, Alice Barratt, Ben McBride, Rudi Connolly, Grace Wilson, Zach Hindle and Eamon Khaddi.
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
Y11 IAG Meetings and Sixth Form Applications – Those Y11 students that missed IAG meetings prior to the mock exams will be issued new appointments for the end of this week and next, once mock exams are completed. AHS Sixth Form applications are due by the end of term. Students can apply to as many post-16 providers as they wish to hold open a place and they must not feel obligated to take their place with AHS once they have applied. They can also change their subject choices whenever they wish. We require our applications in by the end of term to support timetable planning for next year to ensure your son/daughter has a place and to best accommodate their subject choices.
Y13 Mock Results – Mock results will now be distributed on Monday 13th December to include those results from students that have had catch-up mocks due to absence over the Y13 mock period. Results will be sent home as well as given to students in an assembly held on Monday 13th December. Students will be given the opportunity to reflect on their results and those that require a specific intervention plan will be advised prior to Parents Evening (parents will be involved in those discussions). Students are currently making parents evening appointments for Wednesday 15th December. These appointments will be remote.
Y12 Mock Exams – Y12 will enter a two-week period of revision in school when we return in January and then complete mock exams in the third week back. These exams will be an important measure for us to establish best plans for the rest of this academic term and an indication of suitable curriculum options for Y13. Y12 should be creating a revision plan and starting their consolidation and application practice at home now. A small number of our BTEC subjects sit January external assessments, exam timetables will be released for these subjects.
School Captain Interviews – School Captain Interviews were held last week and it was a real privilege. The candidates were mature, grounded, focused and assertive. It was highly competitive, and a difficult decision must be made to narrow it down to just two School Captains to represent the student body. Congratulations to all that applied, the calibre was exceptional.
Student Leader Minster Support -A huge thank you in advance to those of you that have sons/daughters that are our new Student Leader team. They were so quick to offer support to the Minster Service this year and we look forward to showing them off.