Headteacher’s Update – July 2018

As we near the final part of the summer term, we say a fond farewell to our Year 11 and Year 13 students following the end of their examinations and the conclusion of our Year 11 Prom and Year 13 Ball. These rites of passage events were incredibly stylish and highly enjoyable. The fabulous weather on both evenings certainly added to these occasions.

I would like to congratulate our students who took their GCSE, AS and A level exams this summer on the manner of their preparation for these assessments and for their conduct during what can be a very stressful period for many. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all parents and staff for their support for our students both in the lead up to, and during, the exam period. Many hours of planning, preparation and assessment were put in by teaching staff, and there were numerous revision sessions outside the school day. I am incredibly grateful to all staff who have supported these activities.

The final half term of the year is often a busy one and this year is no exception. Our Year 6 transition process is now almost complete and we have also had many activities taking place both within and beyond school.

We have now appointed our Junior House Captain Team and Student Presidents for 2018/19 after a series of high quality interviews, recruiting from a very strong field of candidates. These roles offer our students the chance to act as strong role models within our community and to take on crucial leadership roles within our school. This will include our School Presidents attending future meetings of our school governing body. Our boys’ Student President is David Walters and Vice-President is Sam Flemming.  For the girls’ Mary Holmes is Student President and Beth Davies Vice-President.

Details of House Captains are as below:

House Captains Vice Captains
Zetta Butler Joe Ward Ella Batty Doug Anderson
Poppy Maart Mohamed Danina Jenny Sayer Jonah Stevens
Rebecca Sharman Seb Hughes Ava Haughton Henri Robinson
Lorien Birch Tim Daft Rebecca Dawes Ben Mancais

Our Mental Health Champions have been very busy working with staff and external agencies to promote awareness of mental health issues in the school and to provide peer led support for students. Our recent non-uniform day will provide resources to support this work and will benefit all those in the school community through the provision of support via assemblies, online support and guidance, a publicity campaign, the development of our Peer Mentor programme and via a Mental Health Awareness day that will be held next term. This work, in addition to the creation of our Wellbeing worker roles in main school and in the sixth form and our creation of a new Safeguarding and Attendance role – highlights the importance we are placing on mental health and wellbeing within the school and our commitment to support our students and their families.

The summer term involves a particularly busy schedule of school visits and activities. These include residential visits to the Ardeche, Wimbledon, East Barnby (A Level Biology), Sicily (GCSE Geography) and the conclusion of the DoE expeditions. The recent Alternative Curriculum Day saw students visit Fountains Abbey, Flamborough Head and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In addition to this, large numbers of our student have taken part in a range of other visits and STEM activities throughout the year. These include visits ranging from Business Studies trips to the local Co-op to Year 12 travelling to destinations such as Vienna and Washington. I would like to thank our staff for the time and effort they have put in to plan and conduct these activities and for the fantastic opportunities they have offered our students.

 

Mrs Jagger called the latest Ardeche water sports trip as one of the highlights of her year and described those who participated as delightful students who were exceptional in their behaviour and their approach to all the activities and adventures. Thanks got to Mr Kisby, Miss Chapman, Miss Pugh and Mr Bonsels who joined Mrs Jagger and the students on this trip. Our students took part in beach games, sailing catamarans, body boarding, swimming, banana boating and climbing, with the second part of the trip involving a Canadian Canoe descent down the Ardeche gorge in spectacular surroundings. Ice cream, pizza, games and a disco added to the fun and Mrs Jagger said it was one of the best trips ever.

Thanks go to Mr Wood and the staff who have led the DoE programme and the final expeditions which took place in record breaking temperatures this year. Well done to all the students involved for coping with the extra demands caused by the hot weather and for remaining cheerful and resilient throughout. The completion of this award is something you should all be very proud of.

Our STEM work goes from strength to strength with almost 100 Fulford students from nearly all year groups attending events at the Hull-York Medical School this year.  This included 24 Year 9 students attending a medical discovery day at York University.  The morning was spent in the department of Biology with the afternoon involving a range of activities in the HYMS teaching laboratories, where students experienced the chance to practice various clinical skills such as running an ECG trace and measuring blood pressure. The workshop also highlighted the diversity of careers and pathways that modern medical training offers. Whether or not these students ultimately pursue a career in medicine, it is great to see students aiming high and developing a real sense of aspiration in their study of Science. Thanks go to Mr Bailey and the Science staff for facilitating these experiences.

Mr Dring and our Computing staff, along with our Year 10 iMedia students, have built on our plastic recycling campaign by raising money via a crowd funding pitch video to buy equipment to turn waste plastic bottles into 3D printer filament. Work is continuing in school on this excellent project, which has a fabulous real-life application.

Considerable work is taking place in school to develop and strengthen our Careers provision. Our Year 12 will complete a week of work experience this term and we plan to extend this offer into the lower school by offering this to Year 10 students in the near future. Our recent Progression events have seen a range of employer and sector led workshops for our sixth form students, in addition to considerable support for those applying for Higher Education. I would particularly like to thank Ms Booth and the sixth form team for the fabulous support they offer our students in this area. Our appointment of a new Careers post within the school means we will now be able to strengthen the advice, guidance and employer engagement with students in the lower school.

Our inaugural Sports Award evening was a fabulous event that was incredibly well attended. Well done to all those who received awards and to all those who have taken part in sporting activities over the course of the year. Fuller details of our sporting success is given at the end of this update. I would like to thank all those staff involved in organising and hosting the Sports Award event and to all the staff who have given their time to support and run our sports teams and sports events throughout the year.

In an excellent example of the breadth of extra-curricular provision on offer within the school, congratulations go to Douglas Duffus-Hodson and William Harris who have successfully completed the Mini-Bridge Award. This award is part of the National Junior Bridge Award Scheme to stimulate enthusiasm for junior bridge among young players. Well done to both boys on this success and thanks go to Mrs White for her work to promote Bridge playing within the school.

Our Year 9 Drama students have just completed some stunning performances in our annual ‘Living History’ project with York Cemetery. The project involved students devising pieces about the life stories of individual people buried in the cemetery which were then performed to the public. This proved to be a really interesting and informative event and one that was very well attended. All those involved put in stunning performances and they deserve particular praise for doing this in incredibly hot conditions. Thank go to Mrs Windrum, Miss Greene and Miss Crudgington for supporting this event.

Our Music and Drama showcase events prior to the end of term highlight the talent that we have in the performing arts in the school. This was evidenced in the stunning performances in ‘We Will Rock’ you earlier this year and in the music evets we have held this year. The strength and depth of musical skill both in the school, and that will join us in the future, is shown to excellent effect in our South York MAT orchestra. Our student talent will also be on display through our end of term exhibition of the work completed by our DT, Art and Photography students. This talent was impressively showcased in our Textiles Fashion Show earlier this year. Well done to all the students involved in both the creative and performing arts for the quality of the work you have produced and to the staff who have supported our students in their performances, productions and exhibitions.

Our engagement with civic events has continued this year through our promotion of Holocaust Memorial Day via a film featuring pupils of Fulford School that was shown across primary and secondary schools in York. This highlighted the significance of ‘The Power of Words’ and encouraged some very thought-provoking discussions. The link to the video can be found here: https://www.creativelearningpartnerships.org/hmd2018. Thanks go to Mrs Carter for her work to support this. In addition to this, students have recently taken part in Refugee Art week competition.   The quality of work from Fulford School was particularly praised by the judges with Abby Botterill taking second prize in the 11-16 age group.  Thanks go to Ms Howson for her support for our students working on this project. Thanks also go to the students and staff who gave up their weekend to support York Pride and to promote the issues of diversity, tolerance and respect in the school and our wider community.

The run in to the end of term sees us recognise the progress, achievement and engagement of our students via reward lunches for those receiving the best reports in each year group and via our House Award assemblies. These events provide a great opportunity to celebrate the strength and depth of talent in our student body and to note the contribution made by the students in our school. Well done to all those receiving these awards.

Please note that we will be sharing any updates during the summer via our school Twitter and Facebook page so please ensure you sign up to these. We will also be using both forms of social media to provide more regular updates on the work of the school and issues impacting on young people throughout the next academic year.

The activities above give a flavour of the pace of work in the school and they help showcase the commitment of our staff to provide the best possible support and opportunities for students both within and beyond the formal curriculum. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff for their efforts throughout the year and for the role they play in making Fulford such a special place to work and study. I would like to thank those staff leaving us for the part they have played in the success of the school and to wish the new staff joining us every happiness and success in their new posts.

Finally, I must thank our students and their families for their hard work, support and engagement throughout the year. Our school community remain both a pleasure and a privilege to work with. I wish all our students successful outcomes in the summer examinations and I hope you all have a restful and enjoyable summer break.

Lorna Savage
Headteacher

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