With the first snow of the winter yesterday I have included, in case you missed it, the section from last week’s blog about our winter weather arrangements at the bottom of this Blog.

We will increasingly use the new school app to communicate with home in these circumstances, so if you have not already downloaded it the details are here and our ‘handy guide’ is here.


Assemblies this week have been a part of the White Ribbon Campaign which pledges never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence and abuse to women, with a message to all about practicing tolerance, respect and kindness, and standing against violence, bullying and sexism in all forms. It dovetails with 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence highlighting the connection between human rights and domestic violence. To communicate this message our students watched the first 8 minutes of Michelle Obama’s October 17 speech in New Hampshire.

This represented a good opportunity to remind all our community of the ‘Tell Us’ button on the school website; this is a confidential email contact which presents an easy way for adults or children to raise a matter with school and allows us to offer support.


Our Sixth Form is owned by the student body, and congratulations to Tom Blakey, Christabelle Day, Abbie Jones and Emma Appleson who successfully applied to become members of the Executive Body of the Sixth Form Council.   Additional congratulations go to Christabelle and Abbie who will take up positions as Council Leaders. Well done them all!


I am so full of admiration for students who earn their Music ‘grades’, and it was a joy to congratulate Aidan Harris on his Grade 5 piano this week.


I was pleased today to recognise Isobel Day and Billy Gale for their great approach to Year 11 with hot chocolate today.


Sir John Townsley joined me for much of PD Hour this week, where we were delighted to congratulate Ethan Kleist, Ellie Boam, Marley Wilson, Joe Jeffries, Millie Heffernan, Sophie Jackson, Eve Kavanagh, Rebecca Speight, Saskia Irwin, Aidan Harris, Corey Franks, Olivia Cope, Katelyn Turton, Bella Coppock, Akanni Jaji, Annaliese Irwin, Grace Truman and Leah Turner for great weeks.


There’s great work in Year 8 textiles from Maisie Trutch, Millie Edwards, Ethan Abel, Billie Hedley and Mary Latham.   They were set a brief to create a creature toy suitable for young children, using their knowledge of appliqué, embroidery and the sewing machine to manufacture their final products following their design work.




Thank you for your support for the Book Fair. We sold £800 worth of books, which is great, but it also means we received £80 of new books for the library, which is even better.


We had a great start to the basketball season this week with the U13 boys’ team travelling to Fulford.  The boys played some fantastic basketball and were excellent in defence, winning the game 36-14; Christian Boden was player of the match. Our U15 side followed this up with a very good win at Bootham. The whole team were excellent in a very disciplined performance. Lee Wharmby was our player of the match in a 35-27 win.

The Year 11 boys’ football team hosted Allerton Grange on a very cold and blustery evening. We took the lead very early through Ghanim Abdullah, with this being added to by Louis Fletcher and Owen Hindley, before our opponents scored a late consolation in our 3-1 win.  Oliver Hills was player of the match for a brilliant performance in defensive midfield.


Our Christmas tree has gone up, and on Tuesday 12th December we have our Christmas concert. I commend the event to you.

Our buses will come in to school after period 3 on Friday 15th December. If students are entitled to a free lunch, or want to buy food, it will be available during first break.

There will be Christmas dinners served on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th December. As there will be no Friday lunches, ‘Fish and Chip Friday’ will be moving to Tuesday 12th December.

There will be celebration assemblies in the last week of term recognising the many who have achieved really well this term.

On Friday 15th December we will be supporting Save the Children with their Christmas Jumper appeal, and we will be inviting students and staff, in return for a contribution of £1, to replace their school jumper with a Christmas themed jumper. This is a voluntary event, and we are not asking families to buy a special jumper for the day. Mrs Ryder’s letter home about this is here.

There are however still two weeks before the end of term, and the focus of us all remains on making best use of this time and securing good progress.



It is our default position to keep the school open; we know that when students attend they also achieve, and routine unbroken attendance is the first and most significant platform on which academic success is built.  When it snows the decision to keep the school open is always balanced with an assessment of the risk to the health, safety and well-being of all our school community, and with particular consideration given to the safety of everybody’s journey to and from school.

In extreme, and thankfully rare, circumstances we have looked at the weather and our assessment of risk has determined that we should close for the day. In this situation we notify parents through the school app, email and twitter. The school telephone will also have an appropriate answer phone message. We only make these decisions one day at a time, and we have never had to close the school on two consecutive days.

There is a Leeds City Council web-based system to notify parents of school closures, that local radio stations then read out early in the morning. We have found this to be dreadfully unreliable, so please only use information that you have received directly from school.


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