Headteacher’s Update – May 2017

The time since the last update has seen a number of activities take place and considerable success gained by our school teams and individual students. Updates on several of these successes have featured on our school website. In addition to this, we are aware of a quickening of the pace as we now enter the exam season for our Year 11 and our A level students. We wish all our students every success as they enter this crucial stage of their education and we also send our best wishes for their individual examinations.

Our school visits have included successful trips to Berlin, Iceland and Valencia in addition to our visit to various London galleries.

At the end of the spring term, 32 Year 12 and 13 Geography students enjoyed five nights in the land of ice and fire, where they experienced some of Iceland’s most amazing landscapes. Students experienced breath taking sights such as icebergs breaking off from the Jokulsarlon glacier, walking behind a 60 metre high waterfall, watching Strokkur geyser erupt, walking along a rift valley between the two tectonic plates, bathing in the Blue Lagoon and completing a glacial trek. Although the weather tested the waterproof clothing, the group showed impressive enthusiasm, team support and positivity. This fieldtrip really brought Geography to life for our students and they could apply what they have learned in class to this first-hand experience. The visit inspired a sense of wonder about Iceland’s incredible landscape and created many happy memories for everyone. Thanks go to Mr Hickling and the Geography staff involved for providing this fabulous experience for our students.

The annual football development tour took place to Valencia this year. Our students had exclusive access to the Paterna training facilities with scheduled training sessions with club pro-coaching staff, pre-arranged matches against local opposition and a behind the scenes tour of Mestalla Stadium. The facilities were tremendous and the training staff were incredibly helpful and professional. Our students attended a football game at Villarreal football club against Athletic Bilbao where they saw an exciting game with Villarreal winning 3-1. Our student teams enjoyed tough matches against the Valencia youth teams and combined this with some excellent relaxation in the evenings. The trip was extremely enjoyable and enabled the students to develop their football skills. I would like to thank Mrs Jagger and the staff supporting the visit for giving up their holidays in order to attend the trip.

Our football season has seen remarkable success this year culminating in two league championships and three cup successes. The Year 7 team coached by Mr Wardell have grown in confidence and finished their league season in 3rd position. Following on from this success, our Year 8 team coached by Mr Rigg and Mr Kisby won their league after some great performances. They had further success by winning the cup competition by beating Tadcaster 5-2 in the final. This success continued with our Year 9 team also winning their league and cup competitions. In a remarkable achievement, this team have played the entire season without conceding a goal! Mr Knight’s outstanding coaching has clearly played a part in this.  While all the Year 9 team players have worked incredibly hard this year and should be rightly proud of their success, particular mention goes to Jacob Kirby in goal, Sam Sadler, Alfie Evans and Ed Hammond for particularly strong performances.

The Year 10 football team led by Mr Bonsels made a good start to the season and finished in 4th position. In their final season together,  the  Y11 team that have been with Mr Shutt for the past 5 years finished this year as winners of the Ebor league. This victory led to a tough encounter with the runner up of the Jorvik league, Canon Lee. Mr Shutt noted that the team probably played their best game ever in their victory in this match with their 8-1 victory. This winning form continued in their 3-1 defeat of All Saints in the league final. Mr Shutt is rightly proud of both the sporting success of his players and of the young men that they have become. The outstanding progress of this team can be seen in the fact that Niall Huggins and Isaac Overton have both been given professional academy contracts. Niall will be continuing his development at Leeds United while Isaac continues at York City. We wish both players every success in their future playing careers.

Our individual sporting success continues through Antonia Bunyan’s award of a place on the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme for her fantastic progress in Goalball. Antonia’s excellence in this sport was recognised recently through her receiving the title of Young Disabled Sportsperson of the Year in a recent regional ceremony. Again, we wish Antonia every success in this programme.

Congratulations go to our year 7 and 8 students who recently raised money for Comic Relief by participating in ‘Sponsored Sums’. The generosity of their friends and family enabled students to raise a fantastic total of £4003! We are always very appreciative of the generosity of our school community. Our Maths department would like to thank you for your support in making this such a success.

Our Parents’ Evening attendance has reached record levels this year and our advice and guidance sessions for parents have also been very well attended. Our careers information and advice and guidance programme has underpinned our Year 8 and 11 options choices and our inaugural ‘Shape your Future Event’ was a great success. This event was attended by nearly 500 students and parents with input from a wide range of employers. I would like to extend particular thanks to Mr Jones, Julia Massey from CYC and Phil Ruxton from Croda for their support in planning and running this event.

Congratulations go to Evie Bradley, Katie Marsden, Beth Suckling and Katelyn How for their participation in a national engineering final at the NEC with their innovative dust monitor product. The team combined their innovative design with strong technical research and the creation of a good prototype demonstrating programming, 3D printing and some very strong work around their business case. This was a fantastic achievement for the girls and I would like to thank Ms James, the DT staff and Mr Dring for their ongoing support for this project.

Last term 20 students from year 9 and 10 entered the Biology Challenge run by the Royal Society of Biology. This national competition tested students’ general understanding of Biology and how it can be applied in the world around them. Seven students achieved commendations and twelve students achieved bronze, silver or gold awards. Our highest scoring student, Hannah Bailey in Year 9, achieved a gold award placing her in the top 5% of students nationally and Hannah has been invited to attend an awards ceremony in London later in July. I would like to congratulate all the students who took part in this and to thank Dr Williams for providing them with this opportunity.

In further STEM success, Jack Curry, from Year 8, successfully completed his Silver Crest Award project. Jack investigated the growth of bacteria from different soil samples around school and spoke about his work at the monthly Café Scientifique event in York.

Following our work with the Anne Frank Trust, three Year 9 pupils, Olivia Carrington, Minnie Riley and Lucy Bolton, took part in York’s Holocaust Memorial Day Commemoration at York Minster. The girls spoke of their experiences as Anne Frank Ambassadors and what they had learnt from their new roles, as well as their hopes about how these messages, and the importance of educating young people about Anne’s story, could be kept alive and applied to the way we treat others today. The girls spoke eloquently and with great confidence in what was a very poignant and memorable evening. I would like to thank all the students who have supported the work of the Anne Frank Trust in the school and in the community and to thank Ms Carter and Ms Bowen for their support for this invaluable work.

Fulford students again organised and hosted our annual Tea Party for senior citizens. Many residents from local nursing homes enjoyed a morning filled with quizzes, bingo and music before being provided with refreshments made by our students. Thanks go to our Work Skills Group and to staff and students from the Food Technology, Art and Music departments for their work in helping with this event.

Maya Birch, Julia Sinkinson, David Critchley and Doug Anderson worked with Music department staff to stage a performance at the Woodlands Neurological Rehabilitation Centre. Staff at the centre spoke highly of the skill and poise shown by our students and of the impact of their performance. This is an excellent example of the work of our students within the local community.

Our community links were extended by the participation of a number of our Year 9 students in a creative writing project at Beningbrough Hall led by author Daniel Ingram-Brown. It was a brilliant day in which the students were able to let their imaginations flow and produce independent pieces of fiction writing, inspired by their surroundings. All involved commented on how fabulous the students had been and on the creativity of their ideas- especially their willingness to share their writing and to offer a supportive critique of each other’s work.

Last half term a large group of Year 11 and Year 10 students attended the West Yorkshire Playhouse to view a production of Romeo and Juliet. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and invaluable opportunity for our GCSE students to see another of their set texts performed live. It was an imaginative adaptation and students returned talking about the creative choices that the director had made including casting a female Mercutio!

Congratulations go to Josh Fernandez for reaching the Final of the Historical Association Great Debate at the Imperial War Museum following his success in the earlier regional round. This is the first time we have participated in this competition and Josh has set a high bar for our future participation.

Congratulations go to Emma Turner and Calum Duffus-Hodson who have won the English Bridge Union SIMS Minibridge pairs competition which was open to all schools and bridge clubs in the UK. This was an incredible achievement. A similar event was held for bridge pairs and our team of Jonah Stevens, Daniel Seavers, Josh Glover and Henry Brock achieved very credible placings of 127th and 289th out of 419 pairs in the country. Our Minibridge team comprised Emma Turner, Calum Duffus-Hodson, Elizabeth Burlison, Katelyn How, Harvey Holden, Ben Coultish, Adam Salt and Luke Dundas with the Bridge team comprising Josh Glover, Henry Brock, Jonah Stevens and Daniel Seavers. Thanks go to Mrs White for her ongoing support for our Bridge players.




As you can see from the above, this has been a very busy and successful time for the staff and students in our school. I would like to congratulate our students on their achievements and to thank our staff for the wide range of opportunities they have provided for the students in our school.

Lorna Savage