Headteacher’s Update – December 2017

As we approach the end of term and the start of the festive season, it is worth reflecting on some of the key successes and events in what has been a long and very busy term.

Our students have taken part in a wide range of activities this term, ranging from A level Geography residential field trips, visits to Parliament, theatre trips to the pantomime and the numerous activities run as part of our Alternative Curriculum Day. This day saw our students participate in a stock market challenge, creative workshops in Art, DT visits, a visit to the multi-faith centre in Bradford and visits to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. In addition to these visits, specialised English workshops were run in school for our Year 11 students while our Year 13 took part in a very valuable Careers day. All these activities provided excellent enrichment opportunities for our students and I would like to thank all those involved in the leadership, organisation and running of these events.

The Alternative Curriculum Day also saw Fulford School host the North of England Panathlon finals, where this disability event saw disabled students with learning difficulties take part in teams to compete in a range of adapted indoor sports activities. Twenty-two of our Year 10 GCSE PE students officiated at this event where defending champions, Calderdale, retained their crown and where Joseph Rowntree flew the flag for York. Our Head of PE James Shutt, said: “Our pupils got a huge amount out of hosting the final. They’ve had a fabulous time….it has developed life skills …it is valuable leadership experience which will help in their university and job applications.” Student leaders Izzie Mills and Ben Plevey, said they had really enjoyed officiating the event with Ben noting: “It was good watching the smiles on everyone’s faces, especially when they won!” Thanks go to all involved in running this excellent event.

In a continuation of our work with the British Heart Foundation, Fulford once again took part in the annual CPR training via the Restart a Heart day. This day enabled all our Year 7 students to be trained in CPR via sessions run by staff from the North Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Fundraising linked to the day is being used to support the purchase of a further defibrillator and to support the work of the British Heart Foundation.

Our annual Masterchef competition, supported by York Rotary Club, recently took place in the school. We had the largest entry in the city again with 17 students competing on the day. The standard of food was incredibly high with fabulous food such as herb crusted fish, caramel eclairs, clementine meringue pies and salmon ravioli being among some of the highlights. Ella Batty (Y10) and Timothy Mills (Y7) deserve congratulations on winning their heat to progress to the next round. Jackson Goodfellow, Eloise Adams, Louis Formhals and Jessica Lands also deserve praise for their highly commended menus and dishes.

Fulford School once again hosted the York regional final of the UKMT FMSP Senior Team Maths Challenge. This competition, sponsored by Rolls Royce, is for teams of four talented mathematicians in years 12 and 13. The competition attracted 22 schools from York and beyond with teams travelling from as far afield as Scarborough and Wakefield. The team from Fulford, made up of Tom Flatters, Kiran Thapa (year 13), Stephen Mellor and Grace Yang (year 12) emerged as the top state school gaining third place overall.

The breadth of our extra-curricular offers continues to be shown in the success and popularity of the Bridge Club within Fulford. In the recent SIMS Minibridge Pairs competition, which was well attended by teams from the school, brothers Andrew and Daniel Seavers came ninth in the country. This is a remarkable achievement given Andrew only took up the game in September. We look forward to seeing their progress in the future.

Our music provision continues to develop and grow within the school with over 120 students now having music lessons with visiting teachers. In addition to this, we have developed links with the wider community through the Choir performing at the York Blind and Partially Sighted Society Christmas lunch. Mr Hunt has also been out to visit all our intended MAT partners to launch our new South York MAT Orchestra. The music department also continue to be busy in their preparations for the Christmas Concert and as part of the production team for We Will Rock You.

We have recently refurbished the hall and have installed a new light system to improve the staging of our internal events and whole school productions. This new format was put to good use this week in the excellent Christmas fundraising event held by Athena House where over £1200 was raised to support Refugee Action York (RAY) and Parkinson’s UK. Thanks go to our Athena House Captains and to all those who performed and to Abdulla Kadhim who had his hair shaved off to raise funds for these causes! The funds raised at this event are on top of £1387.31 raised earlier in the term.

The success of the school at GCSE and A level was again highlighted by our inclusion in the Sunday Times Parent Power publication. This recognition of our success reflects the hard work and talents of our students, the excellence of our school staff and the support we get from our parents and carers. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all involved in achieving these outcomes and to thank them for the part they have played in the continuing success of the school.

As we begin the New Year Fulford School will officially convert to academy status on 1st January 2018 and will become the founder member of the South York Multi-Academy Trust. Our partner schools will then join Fulford in the South York MAT over an approximately year long period. This development promises to be an exciting new chapter in the life of the school and I would like to thank all those who have supported the school conversion and the establishment of the MAT as we work through this development process.

On behalf of all those in the school, I wish you and your family a fabulous Christmas break and good health and every happiness for the New Year ahead.

Lorna Savage