I hope families have had a safe and enjoyable Bank Holiday break and were able to make the most of the long overdue sunshine.

As I reflect on the previous half term it was really good to see Archbishop’s continue to return to something closer to normality with a full range of extracurricular and enrichment activities available for students to enjoy. Alongside this it was great to see both Year 11 and Year 13 have an extended and enjoyable end to the half term, culminating in their impeccable behaviour on their final day in school before half term. These students, like all other year groups, have had a challenging 18 months, but the determination and resilience that they have demonstrated during this time should be commended and at school we are all proud of the well rounded young people they are becoming. We hope to see lots of these students back in school after half term for the transition activities that have been planned.

We must also continue to be mindful that COVID has not disappeared and as a school we will continue to remain cautious in all we do. As such, we will continue with the current arrangements in terms of face coverings until the time when restrictions are further eased nationally. In summary this means that:
– Students will still wear face coverings when they move between lessons or are in indoor social spaces
– Whilst students do not need to wear face coverings in lessons they can continue to do so if they wish
I would like to thank families for their continued support and am happy to feedback that student compliance in this area over recent weeks has been excellent.

It is also possible that given the easing of restrictions in society and given the fact that most of our students test twice a week that there will be further instances of positive cases within our school community. If this occurs those students who have been identified as close contacts (usually via seating plans in lessons) still need to isolate for 10 days. I realise that this is extremely frustrating especially if this has happened more than once or if this occurs just before a holiday as it did last Thursday and I thank families for their ongoing patience and support here. A reminder that if students need to self isolate they will be sent home with a pack of work for the remainder of that day and then work will be uploaded onto Google Classroom for the remainder of the period. Students will also be invited into form time each day via Google Meet. This process is obviously slightly different than during lockdown when teachers were able to deliver live lessons from school to all students at home. Mrs Short, Assistant Headteacher for Curriculum Support (eshort@ahs.pmat.academy) monitors work set on Google Classroom and is always available to support families as needed.

Whilst we have been really pleased with the way students have settled back into the routine of learning, contributing in lessons and benefiting from high quality teaching and learning, we are very mindful of the ongoing need to support students in terms of their wellbeing. We have all been impacted in some way by the last 18 months and as school we are determined to do all we can to support all our students and as families are aware have committed to a very significant increase in pastoral capacity in school. Many of our new Assistant Heads of Year have already started to get to know young people in their year groups, the School Counsellor has been in place since Easter and two new Pastoral Support Workers join our team immediately after half term. We are also currently in the process of appointing a full time School Nurse. I would also remind families that we have a period of ‘drift in’ each morning from 8.30am to 8.45am when students will be greeted by their form tutor and will have access to a range of wellbeing materials. I know that what can amount to an extra 75 minutes interaction with form tutors each week has been welcomed. The latest Wellbeing Newsletter can also be accessed via the link below:

WB. 7th June Wellbeing Newsletter 16

On return to school after the half term break, we need to ensure that uniform is being worn correctly and we are grateful for your support in ensuring that students conform with our uniform guidelines.  These guidelines are available on the school website (https://archbishopholgates.academy/parents/school-life/school-uniform/) but a few reminders would include:

  • Wearing the school’s jumper and not an alternative jumper
  • Wearing a school tie
  • Wearing appropriate trousers or skirts (as described on the school website)
  • Appropriate school shoes and not trainers (as described on the school website)

Archbishop’s uniform is available from Keal Teamwear (keal-teamwear.com).

Over recent months it has been great to see the very large numbers of students wearing their school hoodie both on the way to school and in lessons as a way to keep warm. This half term we will expect all students to remove their hoodies during lessons. If you have any queries about uniform please in the first instance contact Mr Furniss or your child’s Head of Year.

A reminder that through the AHS Unity Fund the school can offer confidential and discrete support to families who are struggling financially. If you are struggling in any way (including uniform) please contact us and we will do our best to help:


Extra Curricular Focus – Mrs Morrison and Music
Mrs Morrison (in partnership with the Arts Council and York Music Hub) has been working extremely hard to put in place as many new and exciting extra-curricular opportunities as possible to support both the return to school and effective transition. This is on top of all the usual activities that the entire music department delivers each week. Details are included below with some spaces still available for certain activities:

– 6 week Music Technology Course on Mondays starting 7th June from 5-7pm. This is now fully booked with 30 places going very quickly.
– 6-week Ukulele Course on Mondays starting 7th June from 5-7pm. There are still some places available on this course.
– Rockgodacademy Taster sessions for Years 4, 5 & 6 and now available for Years 7 & 8  – to take place for 3 hours on Saturday mornings starting on Saturday 19th June. Places are filling up for these. Please visit the Rockgodacademy website for further details or email Mrs Morrison directly: cmorrison@ahs.pmat.academy
– 3 x 2-hour workshops and 3 x 3-hour workshops for year 11 for the first 3 weeks after half term.

Mrs Morrison is currently working with Miss Kincell on a series of further workshops, competitions and other projects, to take place after half term and we will share these details as soon as we have them.

Y11 transition
We are delighted that a number of Y11 students are planning to attend transition sessions from Monday 7th June and look forward to welcoming them back to school.  A reminder that students are not required to wear uniform to these sessions.  All details of sessions taking place each day, including sign up links, can be found on the site here: Home (google.com)

Head of Year Updates
Miss Kincelll and Year 7
It is unbelievable that we are now embarking upon the final half term of Year 7.

Our priority for the remaining weeks of term will be the specific focus of The AHS Journey which is ‘Joining In’. We know that this year has been very unusual in terms of how much you have been able to access. We truly believe that extra-curricular activities are an incredibly important element of joining in with the school community but also making friends. We have had lots of conversations recently where a child has been struggling with friendships, fitting in or their behaviour and we have looked at the extra-curricular time table. Parents have expressed how much of a difference it has made, and we see this every year. Joining teams and clubs opens up another opportunity to meet like minded peers, find new interests and just have fun and live the AHS journey to the full. As such, I challenge all Year 7 students to try at least one new club before the end of term.

As a large school with lots of students, a key priority for us is to ensure we never lose the sense of care for the individual. Therefore, we have made incredible investments in our pastoral systems, adding an assistant Head of Year to each year group and new Pastoral Support Workers from September. However, we are especially lucky in Year 7, as we have our new PSW start with us on Monday and we will begin to work with our Assistant HOY, alongside myself and Miss Greenhalgh. Please direct any questions to the ‘Year 7 Team’ and you will be contacted by one of us. 

Please welcome Harriet Powell our new Pastoral Support Worker:

I’m a non-teaching member of staff and I’ll be here to support Year 7 with any worries or concerns over the final half. I’m very excited to meet you all and get to know you over the next few weeks.And 

Miss Cooper (Maths) our Assistant Head of Year from September:

I will be making sure that Year 7 are supported and helping students to join in with all of the great activities that we have to offer.  You can come and speak to me about any problems you have and I will be there to support you. My role doesn’t officially start until September but you will definitely be seeing me around.

Well done to our Gold Awards in the last week of half term:
Libby Lynch- Well done for your resilience this week, you should be really proud of yourself.
Josh Bailey- Well done for your Well done for being incredibly brave and showing the form your best dancing! Keep it up, Miss Kincell.

 If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact anyone in the Year 7 Team.

Mr Avery and Year 9
I hope the students have had a well deserved rest over half term and are raring to go for one last half term before the summer break. The weather this week has been wonderful, and I hope the students in Year 9 have made up for lost time with family and friends. I was very proud of the students hard work and achievements last term, and I am full of optimism that this will continue as we approach the final stages of the year. Over the coming weeks, the message to students in Year 9 will be about creating a firm foundation for their transition to Year 10, where the hard work really begins toward the all important GCSE examinations in Year 11. I know this message will be taken very seriously by our students, whose determination to succeed has been a constant in a very turbulent twelve months. With this in mind, I thought I would take the opportunity to remind parents and students of our key expectations, in order for the students to hit the ground running on their return.

We expect the students to:
1) Arrive at school in good time and be in registration by 8:45am.
2) Continue to wash hands regularly and wear facemasks outside of lessons.
3) To be in full school uniform.
4) To arrive to lessons in good time.
5) To work hard and remain in a positive mindset toward their studies.

By doing these very simple but important things, the students will have a successful return to school. On the rare occasion that students consistently fail to meet these expectations, there will be consequences in line with the school behaviour policy. In the most extreme cases, parents will be asked to attend a meeting with myself to discuss the conduct of their child. 

This half term presents a host of exciting opportunities for Year 9 students, and I would like the students to look at the summer term as a chance to reflect on the success of the year, but also as a chance to improve as we approach the end of the academic year. As the weather improves, I hope the students will take advantage of our extra curricular programme. It was really pleasing to see so many students getting involved in sport again after school and lunchtimes, and I hope this will continue in the summer term. Year 9’s stage of the AHS Journey relates to ‘Understanding Ourselves and Others’, which will continue to be a key focus in form time and through the Act of Collective Worship we have each week. As part of this I am delighted to announce that Year 9 will begin to have ‘Character and Culture lessons’ in the next few weeks until the summer break. This will replace the Arts Award lessons the students have been taking part in since the start of the year, but I would like to re assure parents that time will be made available to students to finish off aspects of their Arts Award projects where necessary. The Character and Culture lessons will focus on some some of the ‘big ideas’ and issues we face in society: from racism and discrimination, to gang culture and crime, the students human rights and responsibilities, to political choices and ‘fake news’. The curriculum is designed to educate students of core British Values while asking them to reflect on their own thoughts and opinions. The lessons will be taught by members of the senior leadership team and I am very excited to see how the students respond to this opportunity.

As always myself and Miss Clark are here to answer any questions or queries from either parents or students. Please feel free to contact us on navery@ahs.pmat.academy.

I hope our students enjoy the remainder of their half term break, and I am very much looking forward to seeing them all on their return to school.

Miss Turvey and Year 10
Firstly I would like to congratulate 10By, all 28 of them, whose attendance was 100% during the week prior to half term; well done, especially to those who battled through hay fever, summer colds and a level of physical and mental exhaustion which would have felled less resilient teenagers. The statutory reward chocolates await. Yay!

Attendance is a key theme over the next seven weeks for Y10. The first two weeks in the summer term, Monday 7th to Friday 18th June, every teacher in every subject in every lesson will be revising the topics which will be covered by the Y10 Examinations and every homework task, set on the google classroom, will be linked to the revision. The next two weeks of the summer term, Monday 21st to Friday 2nd July, is the Y10 examination period. I am sure I don’t need to reiterate the importance of this time in school and would suggest that, if possible, any medical appointments are booked outside of school hours. The three weeks following the Y10 examinations will be a time of consolidating learning, reviewing the exams and planning for the final year of compulsory mainstream education. 

So, how can you help your child usefully use their time and get the right balance of revision, relaxation and resilience?

  1. Ensure that they get the correct amount of (tech and gadget free) sleep. Eight to ten hours is recommended for a teenager.
  2. Balanced diet and hydration. Drink eight glasses of water each day, more when it is sunny. A hydrated brain works better, stays focussed and improves concentration.
  3. Exercise. Which can be as simple as walking around the block, climbing a tree in the back garden or having a kick about in the local park with some mates. 
  4. Use a timer(egg timer, phone alarm etc.) to chunk up the revision time into manageable bite sized pieces. Spend twenty minutes on each revision task. Time it.
  5. Go tech free. A student does NOT need their mobile phone or gaming equipment accessible when they are revising. And if they are using the google classroom resources to revise, double check they don’t have any other tabs open which might distract them!

Some of you may remember the advert for Mars bars which had the tagline “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play” and, while I am  not promoting the purchase of this particular chocolate confectionery, I do agree with their slogan; it is important during exam season to get a balance. In any 24 hour period a student really needs to have eight hours’ of each; eight hours of solid night time sleep followed by sixteen hours of work and play dovetailed together into manageable chunks. Sitting and “revising” for three hours solidly is not conducive to retention of information and can raise anxiety levels; please don’t do it. Likewise “revising” while listening to their Ipod or sunbathing in the garden or round at a friend’s house is not conducive to retention of information and can raise anxiety levels; please don’t do it.

Due to the covid pandemic, and circumstances beyond any of our control, this is the first time your child will be facing sitting examinations of a reasonable duration in the sports hall; some level of nervous anticipation is completely normal; be it butterflies in the stomach, feeling sick, disturbed sleep, mood swings or burying their head in the sand and using displacement activities ~ it is all completely and utterly normal. As a parent though it can feel a bit like you are wading through treacle when you try and help (or in their eyes hinder) your child’s revision; this article may offer some comfort or support: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2009/may/19/exam-revision.

Your young person should have brought home to you an A5 booklet about exam room rules, an A5 booklet which lets them know which topics they need to revise for each subject for their Y10 exams, an A4 booklet which contains revision skills ideas/revision timetable as well as an A4 sheet of paper which had the Y10 exam timetable on it. The exam time table was also attached to the newsletter dated 7th May 2021. BTec subjects are not being examined this summer due to the continual assessment nature of these courses, another reason why attendance is so important; every lesson counts.

Please remember that Subject staff, Heads of Department, Form tutors and Pastoral staff are all available to help with any queries, concerns, doubts or issues you may have so, please contact us: 01904 411341. I hope the half term sunshine has recharged your child’s batteries and they are ready, eager and energised for the term ahead. 

Miss De Lashley and Post 16
Farewell Year 13
We have bid farewell to Year 13 and what a lovely day it was. The sun came out to allow us to enjoy our ice creams! They have been phenomenal and are the epitome of resilience. They have what it takes to be a future to be proud of and we are honoured to have been a part of that. We look forward to seeing them at Prom and Results Day this summer. We will be sending out details of Results Day shortly.  

Year 12 Subject Support Timetable
As we start to prepare for the summer exams subjects will be offering extra support to their classes during period 6. Students are expected to attend for their subjects where there is a session and availability. Where there are clashes, students should speak to their subject teachers, or Miss Cox about where they should prioritise their time. 

Year 12 have had a very turbulent start to Post-16 and we are keen to ready them for the demands that Year 13 brings. We pride ourselves in supporting strong attendance and we are going to pushing the few within Year 12 that have slipped into bad habits and take odd days off for minor ailments. We understand that feeling your best is certainly what we would hope for each day but we do expect that students come in everyday unless they absolutely cannot. There is much to do to ready students and good habits and good progress start with excellent attendance. If your son/daughter cannot attend school, please contact school before the start of the school day on their behalf. 

Year 12 Next Steps
We will shortly be sending home a letter documenting the year ahead including one-to-one meetings to be held prior to the start of the Autumn term, to review the Summer mock exam results and best progression plan for Year 13. Should you have any questions about any of the plans for the year ahead following the letter, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Collective Worship
Over recent weeks we have been reflecting on How can we ‘be the change we want to see in the world’? This week our form tutor Act of Collective Worship looks at how small actions can make a difference regarding climate justice.

“Taking care of our planet, environment, is something like taking care of our own home. This blue planet is our only home.”
Dalai Lama – Leader of Tibetan Buddhism

“The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it.”
Genesis ch2: v15 – The Bible

The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.’ Pope Emeritus Benedict – Former Head of the Catholic Church

“Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu – former Archbishop of Cape Town

“Future generations stand to inherit a greatly spoiled world. Our children and grandchildren should not have to pay the cost of our generation’s irresponsibility.”
Pope Francis – Head of the Catholic Church