Dear parents and carers,

I hope families have had a good Easter break and have made the most of the recent sunshine. We are really looking forward to welcoming students back to school for what is a short (only five weeks) but important half term. I know that students in Year 11 and Year 13 are busily preparing for their forthcoming exams and I would like to reiterate that everyone at school will continue to do everything possible to support students in the weeks to come. If you have any questions or have specific concerns please do not hesitate to contact school where a member of the Year 11 or Post 16 team will be available to help. A reminder that the first GCSE examination is on Monday 16th May and the first A Level examination on Monday 23rd May with BTEC exams for both Year 12 and 13 starting the week beginning Monday 16th May.

We are also looking forward to the forthcoming Year 10 Parents Evening on Wednesday 4th May. I have spent some of Easter writing SLT comments for the Year 10 full reports that will be coming home shortly and I am extremely impressed with the effort and progress of young people across this year group.

Thursday 5th May also sees the third and final Year 9 Cultural trip, linked to the Arts Award, which all students have had access to free of charge. I would like to thank Mr Arthur and Mrs Newton for their efforts in ensuring this has been an ongoing success and a key part of enriching our Year 9 curriculum.

As more families have been returning to school for various whole school events it has been really pleasing to receive lots of positive comments about how good school looks and the range of resources we continue to prioritise. Linked to this I am happy to say that over Easter we have had another outside canopy fitted at the back of school to provide further additional outside social space for the summer months. As ever I will keep families up to date with our plans for further improvements over the summer break.


Covid update
Following on from my letter sent just before the holiday, we would like to take this opportunity to remind families of the new Covid-19 guidance. All children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can return to school when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.

From this Monday asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended by the Government for children or adults, if you have any unopened boxes of test kits we kindly ask that these are returned to school.

The government’s rationale behind the change in guidance is that the population now has much stronger protection against COVID-19 than at any other point in the pandemic. This means we can begin to manage the virus like other respiratory infections thanks to the success of the vaccination programme alongside natural immunity and increased scientific and public understanding about how to manage the virus. As ever we appreciate the ongoing support from families.

After much research over the last year we have decided to move to a new system called ClassCharts that we feel with further support both students in school and communication with parents. As such we are asking all parents to either download the app from their phone store (search “ClassCharts, Parents”) or regularly visit the ClassCharts website. We will also be using whole school events such as Parents Evenings to support families to do this.

Remember the app will allow you to…

  • See how well your child is performing each day by tracking the merits they are awarded.
  • See your child’s attendance. Please remember that for anyone with attendance below 90% this is classified as ‘Persistently Absent’ by the government and as a school we need to be doing everything we can to improve it. We do know that for some students these absences will be unavoidable.
  • Report any absences from the phone.
  • See any detentions your child has received.
  • See any messages (announcements) from the school, including the weekly newsletter.

If you would like any support please do contact your child’s pastoral team who will be very happy to help.

We would like to thank all the parents who have already accessed ClassCharts and would very much welcome any feedback to help us ensure we use this new resource as effectively as possible. If you have any feedback or useful suggestions for how we can use ClassCharts, please complete the feedback form:

New school lottery!
We have also recently registered for a new school lottery. The new lottery allows you to support the school whilst having a chance to win weekly cash prizes.

To sign up please go to:

Please forward this link to any family and friends (over 16) who may also want to play our lottery


Head of Year Updates
Year 7 – Miss Kincell, Miss Powell and Miss Cooper
We are very excited to welcome all of our year 7 students back to school after the Easter Break for the summer term.

It was brilliant to see so many of our students “Joining In” last term in lots of different ways. Well done to all of our students who attended clubs such as trampolining, badminton, creative maths club, science club and many more, it was fantastic to see so many of you there and getting involved! The Year Team also had the pleasure of distributing a large volume of certificates to year 7 before Easter which celebrated all of their achievements in extracurricular sporting activities. Congratulations to those who attended training and represented the school in sporting fixtures.

Further to this, a number of our students successfully completed their Rookie Lifeguard Training with Miss Beard. They learned skills needed to be confident in water, valuable survival rescue and sport skills and learning about water safety. This is a fantastic achievement, well done to all those who worked extremely hard to complete this!

Well done to all of the students who were involved in the Choral Festival and those who performed as part of our Archies Boys Aloud group! Well Done!

All families should have now received their log in for Class Charts, our new school system. If you are having any trouble accessing this please get in touch with the year team and we can support you.

Well done to our Students of the Week for the final week of term:

7Ann – Evan Nobel – living our school values! Well Done!
7ASu – Adam Said – for living our school values! Well Done!
7Bl – Poppy George – for being a delightful member of the form who always takes part in form discussions.
7Cy – Xanthe Brown – for having a great half term, staying positive and keeping organised.
7Gr – Josh Niebniesniak – Thank you for being so generous on Bake Sale day!
7Hf – Libby Ogram – Always working hard and setting a good example to others.
7Hv – Lucas Pereira- Improved behaviour and punctuality, well done!
7MLn – Dexter Dowson – for helping to welcome new students into our school community! Well Done!
7MPe – Niall Turner Moore – for living our school values! Well Done!
7Mr – Isla Hanlon – for living our school values – Well Done!
7SMf – Jayden Thackway – For being positive, funny and engaged in all our form-time discussions. Well done!

Well done to our 2 Head of Year Awards for the final week of term:

Conor Reynolds 7ANn – For living our school values and being an excellent student, always polite to everyone. Well Done!
Leo Deighton 7Bl – For living the school values every day, contributing brilliantly to discussions and for being a fantastic, conscientious student. Well Done!

Library Newsletter
Well done everyone for another wonderful half term. So much has happened in the library. We’ve taken part in World Book Day including a book hunt, International Women’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, York Book Awards and Easter, including making Easter Cards and held a pop-up Easter shop. Big thank you to all of you who helped us get ready for the Easter pop-up shop that took place in the staffroom on the last week of term. We did really well to bag up lots of Easter treats without eating any of it. The total raised in the staffroom was a whopping £700! Of course, we will be having our chocolate tombola in the library, and I will let you know in the next library newsletter how much we raise.

We hope you all had an enjoyable well deserved break! Here is some recommended reading for the next half term.

Sundae Girl – by Cathy Cassidy (Quiz 210783. Level 4.4. Colour Purple) is an ideal ‘lazy’ read for when you want to relax with something not too taxing. Jude’s family are crazy, quirky, bizarre . . . her mum brings her nothing but trouble and her dad thinks he’s Elvis! All she wants is a hassle-free life but it’s not easy when she’s chasing a trail of broken promises. Nothing seems to go Jude’s way, until she realizes the floppy-haired boy from school could be her knight on shining rollerblades. Could be… You can read the first couple of chapters by clicking on the link below.

Millions – Millions by Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Quiz 207463. Level 4. Colour Purple) won the CLIP Carnegie medal fifteen years ago. He has written many books since then, but this was his first, and the whole series is available from the library. The book is the tale of a strange mix of patron saints, brothers and a bag of money that fell from the sky…When a bag stuffed full of money drops out of the sky, Damien and Anthony find themselves rich. Very rich indeed. Suddenly the brothers can buy anything they want. They’ve got millions, but only 17 days to spend it. You can read the start of the book by opening the following link.

Spring Cleaning – As Spring has now sprung, some of you might get around to doing a bit of spring cleaning. If so, don’t forget to hunt down any overdue books. Don’t worry about late returns as you know my mantra is, ‘we are always glad to see both you and the book!’

Year 8 – Mrs Avey, Mrs Mennell and Mr Handley
We hope all Year 8 students and their families had an enjoyable Easter break. As a team we are raring to go and to start the Summer Term. We are really looking forward to seeing the students and hope they are eager to come back into school. When we do return, the Monday morning registration will be extended by 30 minutes in order to allow students to update and track the journey passports. This will a good opportunity to reflect on how much progress they will have already made through the year so far, both academically and in terms of extra-curricular. Our Year 8 students have much to be proud of so far this year.

We will also be using this time as a Year Team to check in on forms, speak to students and also check on uniform. As a whole school we will still be expecting all students to be correctly following our uniform policy. Year 8 have done well with this and we know that this will continue into this coming term.

We are pleased to say that attendance in Year 8 is still the best in the main school. We are really grateful for the support we receive from parents and carers in terms of attendance and that the importance of this is also emphasised at home. As a Year Team we will continue the Year 8 Attendance Challenge this term in which we are wanting to see students improve their attendance, if possible, from the first half of the school year.

The half term to come is a short one a relatively quiet in terms of activities for Year 8. There are a few key dates to be aware of over the half term however:

  • Extended form time Monday P1 to be able to go through their journey passports.
  • The final Bikeability session takes place on Tuesday 26th. The students involved should already know who they are but will be reminded in form time on Monday. Please remember to bring your bikes along for this.
  • Friday 13th May is this half terms form PHSCE session in forms.
  • The final week of half term (23rd-27th May) is a revision week for Year 8 as they will have an assessment week in the first week back in the following half term (6th-10th June.
  • There will also be the next Wellbeing session for our Year Groups Wellbeing Ambassadors (date to be confirmed). The work our Wellbeing Ambassadors do is excellent and we’d like to thank these students for their involvement so far. We will provide a further update on this in the near future.

We’d like to also remind parents and carers of ClassCharts – a new system the school will be introducing that will improve the way we are able to communicate with home and will give students and parents/carers more ownership in tracking positives and rewards but also with negatives such as detentions. There is an app that parents can download to also keep track of what is going on and it will be a key method of communication. If you have any issues accessing the app or website please contact the Year 8 team as we will be able to support. The link below includes a guide to what the Classcharts Parent app will have to offer.

In the final week of the last half term our school hosted a rugby tournament organised by York City Knights for students in Year 8. We want to thank Mr Norris and the PE staff for their support in organising our Year 8 team. 6 schools from across the city took part and our AHS team finished second – a fantastic achievement. The students involved represented the school extremely positively and should be proud of themselves – well done!

The students involved were as follows:

  • Ryan Thompson
  • Goutham Sunil
  • Joel Yates
  • George Redpath
  • Rhys Hutchinson
  • Will Lightfoot
  • Joe Turbine
  • Luca Long
  • Fraser McIntyre
  • Brandon Kovacs
  • Ben Hyde
  • Callum Cowling
  • Charlie Blades
  • Otto Kearns
  • Zane Hunter
  • Riley Barstow

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
A warm welcome back to our fantastic Year 9 students for the final summer term! I hope our students and their families have had a relaxing and well deserved break over the Easter holidays! This year seems to have flown by so far and we are now two thirds completed! Credit is due to our students for their hard work of nearly completing a full school year with no home schooling and our students are doing very well and I am proud of how they have taken it in their stride. It has also been wonderful to see additional elements going on in school such as football and rugby tournaments as well as Matilda!

With the new half term comes a revision of the extensive extra-curricular programme which will be updated for the next half term. I know how enriching these clubs can be for our young people including learning new skills as well as meeting new people, please feel free to encourage your young people to attend.

Please find a copy of our extra-curricular programme here:

Furthermore if you haven’t already can you make sure you have downloaded the parents ClassCharts app on phones and encourage your young people to download the app for students also – this is a great way to interact with school to see all the rewards students are getting along with being able to communicate with school. I know information has already been sent out but if you are unable to logon or require further details please contact the pastoral team and we will be able to support and guide you through it.

With the return of students after a substantial break I wanted to take the opportunity to remind parents about our focus on the fundamentals. I very much want Year 9 to be the trailblazers in the school for driving these standards forward. At the start of this new term it is vital students are turning up on time, and wearing the correct uniform – these are basic standards within school which I know the vast majority of our students meet consistently. If a student struggles with either of these, as a pastoral team we can of course offer support. However, students must ensure they are compliant, and follow staff instructions to follow a reasonable request in making sure they meet these most basic of standards. So far, Year 9’s uniform has been excellent, and I really want to see this continue as we progress throughout the rest of the year, if you need any support in acquiring a uniform please let the pastoral team know and we are more than happy to help.

Final call in regards to the Cultural Experience visits that will be taking place for Year 9 the second week back after the Easter holidays, it is crucial we get permission back (if not already) due to how close the date is. As you will already know, the locations for these three trips are…

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

The final rotation of these trips will take place on Thursday, 5th May 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 is a reminder of the important things for students to remember in preparation for their final visit…

  • 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 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 (although I am very much hoping that for this rotation, the weather will be sunny and dry!).
  • 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 their 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.
  • Each coach will have a supply of face masks and we strongly encourage that students wear face masks on the coach and in crowded indoor spaces. However, the wearing of masks will not be mandatory on this trip in line with government guidance.
  • 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.

Medical and consent forms have been posted home prior to the holidays. As you can see, there is a very tight turnaround for these, so please ensure your child returns theirs ASAP to ensure they can take part in these exciting cultural experience visits.

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 – Miss Deacon.

Year 10 – Mr Avery, Miss Johstone and Miss Montagu
I hope all the students of year 10 have had a restful break and are raring to go for another term. I can’t believe that this is the final term before students enter the all important Year 11, time seems to have flown by over the last 18 months! The summer term always brings a sense of optimism, lighter and longer days seem to have a positive effect on the students (and the staff!).

This is an important term for our students, who will complete the first set of formal mock exams in July. The students will be well prepared for this, and will have plenty of time for revision in lessons and at home before the mock exams are upon us. As Head of Year, I will be finding a balance of stressing the importance of the exams while reminding students that this is their first go at formal examinations, and all we are asking is for them to do their best. The mock exam season is really useful, as we can get the students used to sitting exams as a year group in the sports hall, and use the outcome data to guide our intervention for year 11. There will be plenty more information about the mock exams sent home in due course, however should you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to get in touch with a member of the Year 10 team.

I would also like to remind parents about the upcoming parents evening on the 4th May. This will be a fantastic evening where parents will be able to hear about all the excellent work the students have been completing over the last 12 months. As part of the evening there is an opportunity to book an appointment with either myself or a member of the y10 pastoral team. More details of this will follow in due course.

It’s also hard to believe we are only two weeks away from work experience, and I know how excited many of our students are with the prospect of going on placement. 250 of our students have managed to find a placement, which is an excellent achievement under the current circumstances. I am aware that a minority of our students have struggled to find a placement, and would like to reassure parents that in the worst case scenario we will accept students into school to follow a curriculum for the two weeks when they should have been on placement.

As always should you have any concerns please feel free to contact the Yr 10 team.

Year 11 – Miss Turvey, Miss Reeder and Miss Chambers
We are very much looking forward to welcome Year 11 back for what will be their final term in main school and hope that everyone has had a safe, restful and enjoyable Easter holiday.

Our key focus this half term will be on the upcoming GCSE exams, which will commence for all students on Monday 16th May, starting with RE GCSE. We are feeling well-prepared for the busy and important upcoming half term and feel privileged to be supporting your child through these exciting next steps. In the last exam season (2019), our school was the top performing school in York for the third year running and in the top 4% of school nationally for exam results so we are feeling confident about the road ahead. At this point, we wish for all of our students to keep in mind just how much hard work they put in last half term; the vast majority of Year 11 are now in a very strong position indeed.

Crucially, the weeks ahead will now be an important time for final exam preparation. Research shows that learning should be revisited at regular intervals to embed knowledge deeper into the long-term memory and the even spacing of this greatly improves retention. As such, the combination of regular revision sessions in school and individual revision at home could still make all the difference to your child’s success in their exams.

Throughout this half term, Year 11 students will continue to be in school at the normal times to access the regular revision we know is effective and, for the next three weeks, students will attend their normal lessons. When exams commence, the timetable for Year 11 has been carefully arranged so that students will either be in exams, or in revision sessions for their next upcoming exams. Students will be informed of their timetables in advance of each week and Form tutors will be able to remind students of where they need to go every morning. For a more detailed overview of dates and arrangements, please see the information below which was shared on our Revision Skills evening:

16th MayGCSE and BTEC examinations begin
16th May – 15th JuneStudents will be in school each day, as the usual times. They will be doing either revision sessions with their teachers of in exams.
15th JuneStudents have a Science exam in the morning that all students will be in school for. After the exam, students who do French or History will have revision sessions. Other students will be able to go home after their morning exam, for private revision and study.
16th JuneStudents sitting French and History GCSE will be in school as usual. Those not sitting History or French will have a day to study at home.
17th JuneStudents with a Spanish exam will be in at 9:00am. All other students will be expected in school 11:10am – 1:10pm for Science revision.
20th JuneAll students will be in school for AM registration and to sit their Science exam at 9:00am. Students will be able to go home after this exam.
21st JuneStudents sitting BTEC Hospitality will be expected in school at 11:10am for a revision session at 2:10pm. All other students can study at home.
22nd JuneStudents sitting GCSE Music will be in school for AM registration and their exam at 9:00am. All other students are invited into school for Science revision from 11:10am – 1:10pm. Students sitting Further Maths GCSE will be in school for their Exam at 1:10pm.
23rd JuneAll students are in school for their GCSE Science exam. At the end of the exam they are invited to have ice cream on the from field with their form tutors. The Year 11 Prom will take place that evening.

Over the next few weeks, there are several things you can do to support your child in their revision efforts at home. Things that could be helpful include:

  • Asking them about what they are doing and offering to help by questioning or testing them
  • Encouraging them to use the techniques and ideas in their revision booklet
  • Talking to them about their revision timetable and how they will use it
  • Encourage them to think ahead about the very busy weeks during exam season and how they will use their time
  • Encouraging them to attend period 6 or lunchtime revision sessions
  • Trying to provide a quiet, calm space for them to work. If this is hard, students are welcome to use the library or Homework club space at school
  • Assisting your child to plan their time using their revision timetable and making sure that they take regular breaks to relax – don’t let them work too hard!

We have all worked hard collectively this year to ensure our Year 11s are equipped to manage exam pressure and feel resilient to normal levels of stress. Feelings of anxiety should always be acknowledged and supported, but we also want to provide gentle reassurance that it is completely normal and okay for your child to be feeling anxious about the weeks ahead. In school, students have access to an excellent package of pastoral care and if you feel your child is struggling please do get in touch so that we can discuss additional support your child may benefit from. Equally, we always welcome any feedback on how the upcoming exam season is going for you and your child.

The school Prom is looming ever closer on June 23rd and we will be handing out the final Free Prom Tickets in the coming weeks for those students who have achieved 300 merits and over 90% attendance. To give parents adequate notice for Prom ticket payments, we are going to set a final cut off date of Friday 6th May for students to meet the free ticket requirements. The cost of a Prom ticket will be £40 for students who have not met the necessary criteria. You will be able to pay for your child’s Prom tickets via Parent Pay and the deadline for payments will be Friday 10th June.

The Boggle Hole trip will be taking place on Friday 13th – Saturday 14th May and students attending the trip will be kept informed of any final details. It is not too late for students to return their reply slips for this free revision trip, however we would politely request that these are returned as soon as possible given the expired deadline. Please do get in touch if you have any questions.

If you have any issues regarding your child in Year 11, please contact school reception who will alert the Year 11 team: Miss Turvey (Head of Year 11), Miss Chambers (Assistant Head of Year 11) Mrs Reeder (Year 11 Pastoral Support Worker) or Miss Short (SLT). Thank you.

Post 16 – Mrs De Lashley, Mrs Walton, Miss Balmer and Mr Charlton
Welcome Back! – I hope all of our families enjoyed the Easter break and shared some lovely weather and deserved rest. We enter a pivotal term for both year groups but especially Y13. Both A Level and BTEC external assessments start in May including Y12 BTEC students. This means the coming weeks are potentially highly pressured and it would be sensible to expect students to have elevated levels of emotion. This is in fact an exciting time where all their hard work can be demonstrated in anticipation of their aspirations coming to fruition this summer.

Y12 – BTEC students will have real exams this May. Personalised timetables have been distributed.
Y12 – A Level mock exams are wc 4th July for one week prior to Work Experience in the final week of the summer term.
Y12 – Competitive Admissions support will become more focused as we return this term with tuition being offered from June for those sitting admissions tests. More information to follow.
Y12 – Progression Planning information for all will follow after the May half-term break including a UCAS evening for parents.
Y13 – stand down reminders are below. BTEC and A Level exams commence in May. Personalised timetables have been distributed.

REMINDER: Y13 Leavers

  • Y13 Leavers Celebration Thursday 19th May (Main Hall 7pm)
  • A Level stand down Friday 20th May
  • Prom Friday 24th June (Hilton, York)

REMINDER: Sixth Form Dress Code

We continue to appreciate your support with maintaining dress code standards across the Sixth Form. Below is a reminder of what is expected and those that will be challenged and asked to address their apparel immediately.

  • Cover midriff
  • Cover tops of thighs including if wearing leggings
  • Cover cleavage
  • Remove hats indoors
  • Remove coats/jackets in classrooms

Collective Worship
This week the theme of our Form Tutor Collective Worship is entitled Be a light in the darkness. This is the final session of the Way Maker series. We are now at the end of our journey through Lent and Easter, reflecting on Jesus’ ministry and his example of being a “way maker” and serving others.

Monday: “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Christian leader and human rights campaigner
Tuesday: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo; 19th C. French poet, novelist, essayist, playwright
Wednesday: “Why not dare yourself to become a shining positive light where darkness is the only thing known?” – Edmond Mbiaka; US writer and speaker
Thursday: “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” – Mahatma Gandhi; leader of the Indian independence movement
Friday: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.; Christian leader and civil rights campaigner.

The Wellbeing Newsletter Issue 50