Dear parents and carers,

As we look forward to the beginning of February I would like to take this opportunity to thank families for your ongoing support. As always, please do not hesitate to contact school if there is anything you would like to discuss with us, we really value all the input we receive both positive and in terms of things we can develop further. Thank you.

Head of Year Awards

Head of year Updates
Year 7 – Miss Kincell, Miss Powell and Miss Cooper
We are very much looking forward to starting our Bikeability courses beginning, students should be collecting letters from their form tutors and returning these as soon as possible in order to book their places. Please remind students to ask for their letters and return them to Miss Powell.

A reminder of the importance of attending clubs in Year 7, it is compulsory for Year 7 to attend at least one club per week and this is checked by form tutors each week. The clubs are such an important way to experience all of the fantastic opportunities we have on offer as well as an excellent opportunity to make new friends. There truly is a club for everyone, clubs which are sports based such as badminton or trampolining, or subject based such as History Club ‘Meanwhile Elsewhere’ or French ‘Escape Rooms’.

Well done to our Students of the Week:
ANn: Eilidh Hitchins – for always living our school values and being kind and polite to everyone. Well Done!
ASu: Sydney Bates – for always being extremely helpful and contributing well to form discussions.
Bl: Iris Lawrence – being a polite and caring member of the form.
Cy: Mya Danks – for always joining in with form time and making lovely contributions discussions.
Gr: Lyla Linfoot King – for being a great friend. Well Done!
Hf: Ada Inal – always contributes to discussions in form time – well done!
Hv: Anais Tuohey – Settling in well and making a positive start
MLn: Maya Lyons – Thank you and well done for your brilliant contributions in form.
MPe: Tilly Hendon – Well done for ‘getting involved’ and working hard in the school show
Mr: Damien Park Bowling for being such a polite and caring student
SMf: Lily Casey – For exceptional character and influence in all elements of school life – such a brilliant first half of Year 7.

Well done to our Head of Year Awards:
Brooke Price 7Gr – for such an excellent week of lessons. Well Done!
Charlie Taylor 7Gr – for having a poem published in a book. Very impressive, well done Charlie!

Library Newsletter
This week we have been busy redesigning book covers and writing reviews for those books on the shortlist for the York Book Awards. The books on the shortlist are;

Where the World Turns Wild – Where the World Turns Wild (Quiz 239139. Level 3.9. Colour Black) For Juniper and her little brother Bear, escaping the cage of the city had always been a secret dream. As they venture further from the city, they soon learn that there’s cruelty in nature as well as beauty. Will they ever find the home they’re searching for? You can listen to the author reading from this book by clicking on the link.

After the War – After the War by Tom Palmer (Quiz 238677. Level 4.8 Colour Purple) Summer 1945. The Second World War is finally over and Yossi, Leo and Mordecai are among three hundred children who arrive in the English Lake District. Having survived the horror of the Nazi concentration camps, they’ve finally reached a place of safety and peace. Can they ever recover? You can read the first chapter by clicking on the link

The Joke Competition

We will have a reading event at some point before we break up for half term, where we can look more closely at the books on the list, and have a vote for the one we think is the best. It will be interesting to see if any of the other schools decide on the same one. We have a couple of copies of Where the World Turns Wild, and Skywake Invasion if you would like to borrow them. The rest can be taken home after our voting event. Speaking of voting… we have the result of AHS best joke. The overall winning joke was a tie!

What happened when there was a kidnapping at school? The teacher woke him up.

Who were the first people to ignore Apple’s terms and conditions? Adam and Eve.

Why can’t you buy a 6 pack of Sprite? Because you’ll always pick Seven-Up

Year 8 – Mrs Avey, Mrs Mennell and Mr Handley
We have an important few weeks ahead but we would like to start by congratulating our Year 8’s for their excellent reports that went home this week. There is a lot to be proud of with these reports and there will be some opportunities for celebration moving forward with details to follow soon.

Following on from reports, a week on Wednesday brings the Year 8 Parents Evening on 9th February. This will be in school and not online as some previous parents evenings have had to be. This is a really important event and we welcome all parents/carers into school to be able to discuss their child’s progress and ask any questions they have. Although we say it each week, we are really proud of our Year 8 students and are really excited for what will be a really positive evening. Students and teachers of Year 8 received their appointment sheets this week. If you could please discuss with your child what time slots you would prefer so they can start making appointments with their teachers – please encourage your child to do this as soon as possible. If you are unable to attend the evening please do let someone in the Year 8 team know.

In our whole year group Act of Collective Worship this week 8CBr took over for their turn to deliver as a form group. We have already had two excellent assemblies from 8Ap and 8Ob and I am pleased that 8CBr have maintained the excellent standards. Their assembly was on big news stories from 2021, some positive and cheerful and some more serious. This was an excellent assembly in which every member of the form contributed in the preparation and delivery of it. It was clear a lot of work had gone into it with each news story having been picked and researched by groups of students.

In form time this week students looked at the next part of our five responsibilities – following instructions. Following reasonable instructions from a staff member in school is something that the vast majority of our students do really well. Our Year 8 students are respectful and show humility and we want to encourage them to continue to do so. We thank you for your support with this as well.

Last week we informed parents of the opportunity for students to take part in the Bike Ability Programme. We were hoping we would have been able to send out letters for the Bike Ability this week but we have not yet been able to. Please do expect these soon from any interested students. They do not have to have done previous Bike Ability levels to be able to take part in this training. For more information please see the link below.

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
As we have crossed the half-way mark for this half-term, there is a lot for Year 9 to be very pleased about as they continue on their AHS Journey. I have been very keen to see that Year 9 lead the way in terms of our focus on the ‘Five Fundamentals’ this half-term, and they have certainly risen to the challenge, which is very pleasing to see.

This week’s Act of Collective Worship across the school centres around the importance of e-safety. This is something that we as a school address regularly, as it is an issue that continues to grow in importance with the prevalence of social media in today’s society. Year 9 will be focussing on a very sensitive story surrounding ‘catfishing’ – the act of luring someone into a false relationship using a false, online persona. 14 year-old Breck Bednar was murdered in 2014 as a victim of catfishing. Brek has been speaking to 18 year-old Lewis Daynes through online gaming chat rooms. Breck was eventually lured to Daynes’ Essex flat where he was murdered. This story highlights the importance of online safety, and students will be given advice on how to prevent this kind of dangerous online interaction, including; always keeping personal information a secret, changing your screen name, blocking people they do not want to chat to, never using your real name, and never meeting people that you do not already know in person. Students will also be encouraged to speak to someone in school if they are affected or upset by anything discussed in this Act of Collective Worship.

Please let me also take this opportunity to remind you again about the upcoming second round of the Year 9 Cultural Experiences Visits. As I have mentioned previously, 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. These trips are an opportunity for students to not only review a local arts exhibition as part of the Silver Arts Award, but help students to progress on their AHS Journey, with the focus for Year 9 being 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 second rotation of these trips will take place on Thursday 17th February. As before, 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. The visits are therefore paid for by the school, and students will need to wear their school uniform. Students will arrive at school as normal on the morning of their trip, and we will ensure that students return to AHS in time for the end of the school day so they can continue their usual arrangements for getting home.

Letters are being posted out to you this week. Please ensure your child returns the medical form attached to this letter to main school reception ASAP. If you have any questions, please do contact me on

Finally, let me take this opportunity to congratulate the winners of the Head of Year Award last week. They are…

Gajindu Abesinghe9SLaFor being so hard-working and conscientious – living the school values into being every day. Well done!
Matthew Lilley9RDnFor continuously having a positive attitude to school, and working so hard across all of his subjects. Well done!

Well done to Matthew and Gajindu – a £5 Amazon gift card will be on its way to you ASAP!

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
It’s been an excellent start to the Spring Term with Year 10, who have settled in well to school life after Christmas. The students seem very keen to build on the strong foundations that were set in the first term and during my walks around school it is lovely to see them working hard in their lessons.

The improvement in uniform standards has been excellent, with the vast majority of our students being compliant toward this. Your support has been greatly appreciated and we thank you in advance for your continued support. Your help in this area is making our job very much easier!

I have had a few students approach me in recent weeks concerned with their work experience placement, having missed Monday’s deadline. I have re-assured them that we understand that it is challenging to find placements this year, as many businesses do not want to take on work experience students, and many people are working from home! However, I take heart in the fact that we have 170 students placed and ready to go for May, so there are opportunities out there if the students stick to it and show resilience in the face of disappointment. If your child is still unable to find a work experience placement, please feel free to contact the school for assistance. We cannot call/email or arrange a placement for every student, but we can try and point you in the right direction. For example, I know for a fact the designer outlet is often a good place to find work experience, with students in the past going from shop to shop until they found a placement. Some students ended up getting a part time job out of this when they turned 16! I think it’s also worth bearing in mind that Work Experience is often about the skills students develop in a place of work, and not always about securing their ‘dream’ placement.

I am really pleased to see the student’s uptake in extracurricular activities continue in a variety of areas. I know that many of our students were involved in the Minster service just prior to Christmas, with the music and Drama they provided being a particular highlight of the evening. I am also delighted to see that a number of students in Y10 are going to be in the school production of ‘Matilda’ later this half term. I’m really looking forward to seeing the show, which should be excellent if the rehearsals are anything to go by! I know that many of our students are also taking part in a range of sports both in and outside of school. I always look forward to hearing how they have got on, competing against the other schools in the district. I know the boys football team were doing well (prior to the Christmas break) and the boys also gave a good account of themselves playing rugby union against more established rugby union schools (with most of our students preferring rugby league!) I know that the girls have also had success playing rugby (and a range of other sports!) this year, and representing the school impeccably in recent tournaments. I congratulate all our students involved in representing the school, in any format, and I am proud of the commitment they are showing to our school community.

In our recent Acts of Collective worship, we have focussed on the idea of ‘Tolerance’ as this is the British value we are focusing on this half term. We feel this is a topic that is becoming more important as the students become older, as students develop different interests or make decisions about their lives. We began by looking at the idea of gender and what this word means. I wanted the students to reflect on the thought that ‘Gender’ is not always as simple as the assigned gender at birth, and in fact can be much more complicated than this. The students responded well to this, and were receptive to the message that in our community we must accept people for who they are, even if it’s complicated to understand. We will follow up the topic of Tolerance by looking at the Holocaust in the coming weeks. This is an important message to students to remind them of the very serious consequences of intolerance toward others.

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 I write this I am reflecting on the fact that there are sixty school days until the beginning of the Summer exam season which begins on May 16th. SIxty days is plenty of time for your young people to achieve the results they need in order to secure their future. Attendance in lessons, positive behaviour, completion of homework and engagement in a thorough revision timetable is key to this achievement.

Some subjects have external examinations:
Enterprise (Business Studies) students have an external exam on Monday 7th February at 1pm
Engineering students have the Practical element of their course on Tuesday 8th February at 9am
Health and Social Care students have an examination on Wednesday 9th February at 9am
Travel and Tourism students have an examination on Wednesday 9th February at 9am; those with a clash will complete this exam in the afternoon at 1pm
IT students have an examination on Thursday 10th February at 9am
Engineering students have the written element of their course on Friday 11th February at 9am

Other students have the high control coursework element of their examinations:
Media students, for part of each day, week beginning Monday 21st March and every day following until Friday 1st April.
Graphics students, for part of each day on the following days: Tuesday 1st March, Friday 4th March, Monday 7th March, Tuesday 8th March, Wednesday 16th March, Thursday 17th March and Friday 18th March.

Modern Foreign Languages will have their Speaking Exams in the final week of April and first week of May.

Physical Education Practical have p6 sessions on Wednesday nights and Thursday lunchtimes; there is also an opportunity for some to improve their grades by taking part in the netball match against Manor school on Monday 31st January. This match will be filmed as evidence of performance.

The February internal core subject exams will take place on the 14th, 15th and 16th. The final Y11 Parents Evening is on March 30th and I look forward to seeing all of you at this significant event.

As you can tell, we are fully into exam season and that is our focus within lessons. Anxiety around exams, coursework and school is completely usual at this time in a teenagers life and we, in school, would encourage you, as parents, to ensure there is a good routine: plenty of sleep, a balanced diet, screen free bedrooms and daily exercise of sixty minutes, in your young person’s life. Sixty school days is enough time for a hedgehog to give birth to two litters of hoglets!

As always we are available by phone, email or in person. Y11 Pastoral Team

Post 16 – Mrs De Lashley, Mrs Walton, Miss Balmer and Mr Charlton
Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) – Our PAL system is in full flow with Y13 supporting Y12 on subject specifics. This takes place during afternoon registration each week. Student mentees will be re-evaluated following the results from the Y12 mock exams. A huge thank you to our Y13 mentors who are an excellent example.

BTEC External Assessments – These have now finished for Y13. When results are issued in March we will hold 1-2-1 meetings with each student to determine next steps and current position.

Y12 Mock Results – Results will be issued to students by their class teachers wc Mon 7th Feb. Following these we will hold 1-2-1 meetings with parents and students’ for those requiring support to make expected progress. Parents Evening is on Wednesday 16th March.

Y13 Lunchtime and Period 6 sessions – Y13 subject support continues. Students should be attending any session that is available for the subjects they study. Some subjects are spending time in the Sixth Form Library getting into good study habits when they do not have a subject session to attend. Should you have any Year 13 queries please do not hesitate to get in touch with Mr Charlton or Mrs De Lashley

Collective Worship

This week the theme of our Form Tutor Collective Worship is Remembering the Holocaust. This is inspired by last weeks Holocaust Memorial Day. It considers the lessons we can learn from this event and other atrocities mankind has commited. Our daily quotes are all on the theme of Living Together.

Monday “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” Irish proverb
Tuesday “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main, any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.” John Donne 16th century English poet and Church of England vicar
Wednesday “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 20th century Christian missionary in India
Thursday “Differences can be wonderful in adding colour and spice to our lives…. the more colour there is, the more beautiful the world becomes.” Holocaust survivor Ernest Levy
Friday “In the face of evil, we must summon our capacity for good. In the face of hate, we must love.” Barack Obama, 44th US President

The Wellbeing Newsletter Issue 41