COLUMN: Boroughbridge High School news

A scene from the school's production of Wilde Nights.
A scene from the school's production of Wilde Nights.

The festive season has meant an even bigger schedule at the high school. Pupils have been busy with Christmas concerts, fairs and school projects.


The GCSE and A-level awards evening, held on the final Thursday of term, was very well-attended by past and present students who were presented with their GCSE and A-level certificates by special guest Joanna Crosse, broadcaster and voice coach.

In addition, a number of special awards were also given to pupils for outstanding achievement. 
Joe Miles, currently studying philosphy, politics and economics at Oxford University, collected the 1322 Committee prize for the best A-level results, and Rachel Gilby collected the Chamber of Trade Award for her excellent GCSE results. Tom Palmer collected the Boroughbridge Lions Award for his outstanding contribution to the drama department, Joshua Fleming took the Mark Kettlewell Enterprise Award and Kieran Hussell won the Robert Hornby Award for her contribution to school life. Daniel Ainsley claimed the Boroughbridge Town Council Award for Work in the Community.


The school’s Festive Fair, which took place on December 1, proved a huge success. It featured a huge range of stalls from food and crafts produced by local businesses to more children friendly stalls run by pupils from Years 7 and 8. Santa and Mrs Santa were also a massive draw in their seasonal grotto and the school band and choir provided wonderful musical accompaniment, helped out by pupils from the primary schools in Roecliffe and Marton-cum-Grafton. The day proved a huge success, raising well over £1,400.


The busiest group at this time of year is always the music department. December 6 saw members of the choir and the string group descend on the stunning St Peter’s Church in Harrogate where they performed Ding Dong Merrily on High and Gabriel’s Message to ensure the congregation were thoroughly entertained. This was all part of BBC Radio York’s carol service which was broadcast on Sunday, December 16, and repeated on Christmas morning.

The Festive Fair also featured the world premiere of the charity single written by Mr Lanzilotti, called In My Dream. The song is available on iTunes and was performed live at York Minster on December 22. 
Dementia Forward’s Santa Fun Run on December 2 saw a very cold and frosty morning with the school swing band rocking Ripon Racecourse.

Another cold night for the musicians saw the choir and swing band head into Boroughbridge town centre to entertain the masses as part of the town’s annual late night shopping event. 
Temperatures hovering around freezing did not stop the performers keeping people warm with renditions of Like a Prayer and Rockin’ Robin.

The choir and swing band also entertained a crowd of 700 people at the Royal Hall Harrogate as part of the Action for Children concert. With ensembles from several primary schools and one other Harrogate secondary school, this shows the esteem in which our young musicians are held.

For the second year, our choir was asked to provide the music for the Fountains Abbey Carols by Candlelight Service, the choir’s fourth performance in five days.

December also saw the finals of annual RnB competition, our inter-school singing competition with the two schools in Ripon. Jordan Marczak (Year 7) was placed second overall in the Lower School competition, but despite the best efforts of the Upper School competitors, none managed to be placed in the top three.

All the ensembles performed to a packed house at the annual school Christmas concert, with performances from the Year 7 choirs, the string group and even some old faces coming back to make an appearance.

The final week of the Christmas half term also saw a very special event for the music department with pupils past and present coming together to raise awareness and funds for two charities close to the school’s heart this year – the World Child Cancer Organisation, and CandleLighters.


It certainly was a Wilde Night when Boroughbridge High School’s latest drama production took to the stage. Having lost one performance to a wild night of foul weather, the Performing Arts department successfully staged a selection of witty snippets from the plays of Oscar Wilde.

Oscar Wilde took London by storm with his first comedy, Lady Windermere’s Fan. The combination of dazzling wit, subtle social criticism, sumptuous settings and the theme of a guilty secret – Molly Tymon portraying Lady Windermere perfectly, with Kate Eden as “the other women” Lady Erlynne. 
This piece was full of outstanding performances from Nathan Jordan (Lord Darlington); Laura Lowther (Duchess of Berwick) and Will Acaster as a delightful Dumby.

Jack Priestley playing Kelvil and Dylan Hannon as Lord Illingworth stood out as two Year 9 pupils who mastered Wilde’s language faultlessly in A Woman of No Importance.

A woman should not interfere in her husband’s career (An Ideal Husband) and Abi Thompson was a flawless Lady Markby with Tom Florence playing glorious Vicomte de Nanjac. Oscar Wilde’s characters are masters of conversation and the quick fire responses from Becky Thompson as Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest were unforgettable. 
Experiencing and watching the lives of these Victorian characters, played so brilliantly by all, was extremely enjoyable.


Continuing the success of the art department, work by Chloe McGowan and Hannah Smith will appear in the Dacre Son and Hartley corporate calendar that will be displayed in homes and businesses throughout the region. 
Leading estate agent Dacre, Son and Hartley invited hundreds of school pupils from across West and North Yorkshire to enter the competition and draw a picture depicting their favourite day out. 
John Lightowler who heads up Dacre, Son and Hartley’s Boroughbridge office, presented the pupils with artists’ hampers from Oilicana Stationers and they each won £25 worth of vouchers for the school’s art department. 
John explained: “We always pride ourselves on working closely with the communities in which we operate and it’s fantastic to be able to involve local schools and encourage pupils to participate in this creative competition.”

Fine art A-level students made the trip to London to take in the biggest art galleries in the country. Taking in first of all the contemporary Tate Modern, the pupils then strolled down the Thames to the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Seeing famous artworks such as Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and work by British masters including Turner, Stubbs and Gainsborough surely provided the inspiration to reach even greater heights.


Competing against pupils from King James’ and Nidderdale, Chris Warner in Year 10 was placed second in the Rotary Challenge Young Chef competition.


As ever, the school’s Challenge Day saw pupils taking part in a huge variety of activities.

Year 7 pupils had a series of taster sessions in Spanish, including establishing links with a Spanish school. Year 8 pupils made the trip to the Royal Armouries in Leeds to learn more about Tudor times and the English Civil War. Year 9 pupils took part in a business challenge, while the Year 10 pupils were filming for the day. Year 11 pupils were given a break following the stress of their mock examinations and were challenged to do something different. Activities ranging from a nature walk to making things from felt, gingerbread or recycled things all proved a welcome break!


The poet Craig Bradley visited school and worked with some of our Year 7 and 9 students.


The debut of the school equestrian team proved a stunning success.

The Christmas showjumping competition at Bishop Burton College saw a number of great results. Beth Grant placed fifth individually and in the team event Beth along with Nicole Baddeley, Zoe Thompson and Charlotte Gamble finished winners in the 80cm class. Jodi Bintcliffe, Nicole and Zoe were placed fourth in the 90cm class. There have also been a number of other sporting fixtures. The Year 8/9 netball team won 11-4 against Tadcaster while the Year 7 team lost to the same opponents 7-4. The Year 7 girls’ hockey team lost out to a strong Queen Ethelburga’s team 2-0.