Helsby High School wins award for exceptional 2015 results.

SSAT Outcomes Award 2015 (photo May 2016)

Helsby High School has been recognised nationally for its exceptional 2015 performance by the

Schools, Students and Teachers network (SSAT). Educational Outcomes data analysis from SSAT

has shown that the school is in the top 10% of non-selective schools nationally for high average

grades achieved by students.

The school’s SSAT Educational Outcomes award was presented at a regional event in Manchester to  Headteacher, John Dowler, where the work of high-achieving, improving and innovating schools and teachers was celebrated.

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said:

‘It’s my great pleasure to commend Helsby High School on their excellent 2015 performance, and to

have the opportunity to highlight and share their great work at the SSAT Educational Outcomes

celebration evening. I have the privilege of visiting a lot of schools and I am always impressed by the

creativity of teachers in engaging and inspiring their students.

‘I hope that SSAT’s Educational Outcomes award will highlight the professionalism, commitment and

hard work of the leaders, teachers and students at Helsby High School. Recognising and sharing

successes like this is at the heart of SSAT’s mission, so I’m delighted to congratulate Helsby High

School on their achievement.’

Oliver is Treading the Boards again!

Oliver H has gone from playing Joe Casey in Helsby High’s outstanding performance of “Our House” to carrying on his role in another production of Our House with Knutsford Musical Theatre Company. Oliver will be performing the lead role of Joe Casey at Northwich Memorial Court 26th-28th May. Please support him & Book your tickets soon!
our house ourhouse2

International Students’ Experience at Helsby High School.


12NBA on their last day before Year 12 study leave officially began: 4 of the 6 international students were in 12NBA.

Since September 2014, Helsby High School has been delighted to accept international students from a wide variety of different European countries, including: Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Hungary. These international students have come to the UK to stay with host families in the local area and have attended the school for between 3-12 months, choosing to study 3 or 4 A Levels. This academic year Helsby High Sixth Form has welcomed 7 international students: Agnete, Alex, Andrea, Ariane, Ingrid, Joest, and Seb who have studied subjects such as English Literature, Media Studies, Art and History to name just a few.

In most cases the students have chosen subjects they are interested in, and have enjoyed taking part fully in all the lessons, and many extra-curricular activities, without the pressure of sitting an exam. However, two students, Joest and Agnete, have decided to sit formal AS examinations; Joest being entered for AS exams in Media Studies, Photography, Geography and French, and Agnete being entered for the Theatre Studies AS exam. This means that when they return home they will already have gained A Levels from the UK (which are of course recognised internationally) to they will be able to add these qualifications to those that they will then proceed to take in their own native countries.

Many of Helsby High’s ‘native’ Sixth Form students have expressed their high admiration for the motivation and work ethic of all the international students, and their ability to seamlessly integrate themselves into the social, academic and extra-curricular aspects of school life, despite studying A Levels in subjects that are delivered in what is (to them!) a foreign language, yet still excelling in their studies.

Alex W’s experience:

When I first came to England I wasn’t quite sure how school would be. I only knew from Austria that there are school uniforms in England and that I can choose my own subjects. However, on my first day at Helsby High School I found out that I did not have to wear a school uniform since I went to the Sixth Form.

On my first day I was also able to choose four subjects out of a wide variety of subjects, including sciences, languages, arts and many more. I chose English Literature, Media Studies, Philosophy & Ethics and History. In all of these subjects I received the same education as every other Helsby High student as well as being offered some catch up material.

In English Literature I could read and analyse Shakespearian tragedy, Crime Writing of before and past 2000s writers. In Media Studies I learned a lot about how stories and issues are represented in the news, movies and magazines and why these things are positioned in a particular way, due to political bias or attempts to exert control; this was especially interesting since my school in Austria does not offer any education about media at all, yet media is such an important aspect of modern life and I am so thankful to gain a better understanding of this wide subject. In Philosophy & Ethics I could learn about different kinds of religious experiences and utilitarianism and how things can be seen many different ways. In History I learnt a lot about British history which was very interesting to understand where the culture and many other things in England actually came from.

I was accepted as a regular student in all of these subjects. I made contributions to the subject and handed in my homework as a fully integrated student at Helsby High School. The school also offered outside of school activities like a Film Club which is a great thing for every student. Outside of my lessons I got to know many different people with many different interests. Every person I met at Helsby High School, teacher or student, was incredibly tolerant and friendly. Helsby High School offered a great environment for me to study and experience the everyday culture of Britain.

 Comments from other international students:

Seb: “The school has been so welcoming. Even though I am not a native English speaker it was definitely possible for me to understand the topics studied in all my subjects and I have really improved my English vocabulary. Studying Media Studies has in particular helped me to understand some of the various social and political issues of the past and present in the UK”.

Ariane: “All the students and teachers have been so friendly and supportive. I have made so many good friends and have had some great experiences, I especially enjoyed attending the York Film Festival back in November as it was a very enjoyable and educational day out of school that complemented my studies very well.”

It should also be noted that in addition to taking exams in 4 different A Levels, Joest has also represented the school at county level in football, being part of the winning team who were awarded the Cheshire Cup; Mr Bennett from the P.E. department expressed how “incredibly proud” he was of Joest and the whole team for working so well together.




ESAA Track and Field Cup Round 1.

Wednesday May 11th saw four of the school’s athletics teams, comprising a total of 44 athletes, competing in round 1 of the ESAA Track and Field Cup at Warrington Athletics Track.

Despite the wet and windy conditions there were some excellent performances from both individuals and teams.

In the Junior Girls (7th place, 226 points) Lottie W (17 pts) and Sadie J (16pts) excelled on the track whilst Daisy P (16pts) was the pick of the performers in the field events.

The Inter Girls (4th place, 245 pts) were led in the track events by Skye M (18 pts) who was also the standout performer in the field where she scored 17 pts.

The Junior Boys also finished in 4th with a total of 274 pts. The best performances on the track came from Sam C (21 pts) and Connor R who despite being a year young scored 17pts in the 800m.

The Inter Boys were the standout team of the day winning the event with a total of 412 pts. This was despite all bar one of the team being year 9 and therefore a year younger than their opponents.

Amongst a plethora of outstanding performances and personal bests, Jim E was the highest scorer on the track with 24 pts in the 100m whilst Isaac R was the highest scorer in the field events with 20 pts for his discus.

The Inter Boys will now go on to compete in the North-West A final at Robin Park in Wigan with a chance to qualify for the national final.

Jim E 100m

Exams Letter 20th May 2016

Exams Letter 200516


Dear Parent/Carer

On behalf of the school, I would like to state how pleased and impressed we have been with the mature attitude of our students during this past week of GCSE examinations.  The students have been organised, prepared and behaved in an impeccable manner – you should be very proud of them, as we are.  Their hard work and dedication, along with that of the staff, will hopefully result in them getting the results that they deserve in August.

In the spirit of cooperation between home and school we decided to allow the vast majority of the year group to study from home on Friday 20th May.  Many parents have expressed their gratitude for allowing their son/daughter to work independently at home, using the information they received from the English sessions on Thursday.

Starting on Monday 23rd May, we have updated the exams and revision timetable that was sent out before the start of the examinations.  Some subjects have not had their final examination yet, so we are continuing with the formal revision sessions that have been taking place in the Sports Hall and other locations in school with subject specialists.  For those subjects that have had their final examination we are proposing that,  on some occasions, students may arrive in school later and leave earlier – details of when this applies are on the updated timetable, attached to this letter.  If your son/daughter is authorised to do this, he/she must use the Sign In/Out book in Student Services, for safeguarding reasons.

We continue to listen to the feedback from students, parents and staff. The vast majority have indicated that the focussed revision sessions have been helpful in the final run up to the exams (which confirms what other schools who have used this approach have found). However, we are balancing this against the desire for students to sometimes also work more independently.

The attached timetable for the week commencing Monday 23rd May clarifies when your son/daughter should be in school.  All formal revision sessions and lessons are compulsory to attend in subjects they have not yet been fully examined in.  As has been the case this week, there may be important updates to examinations that need to be shared with the students.  We can only guarantee they have this information if they are present in school for the formal revision sessions.

During this time of examination stress for Year 11, please be assured the whole school community is working to support all of our young people.  If any student requires extra pastoral support around the exams please email us at year11admin@helsbyhigh.org.uk and we will endeavour to provide the support they need.

Again, I would like to wish your son/daughter every success in the examinations and we would like to thank you for your on-going support, especially during what can be a stressful exam period.  If you would like to discuss the contents of this letter in more detail please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

Yours sincerely

Mr J Cooney

Key Stage 4 Leader

Year 12 History.

On Thursday 12th May, Year 12 History students went to hear the historian David Starkey speaking at The Brindley in Runcorn. David Starkey is one of the leading academics regarding the Tudor period, which constitutes a large part of the History A Level course. The title of his lecture was, ‘The King is Dead!’, and it focused on what can be learnt from events surrounding the death of a Tudor monarch, particularly that of Henry VIII. It offered an interesting perspective on what was going on behind the scenes in the days following his demise, and how interested parties managed it to their advantage. The students found it very interesting, enjoyable and helpful. Harry commented that, “it provided us with information that the majority of candidates won’t have and so we can set ourselves apart in the exam”. Daniela said, “his talk was inspiring and the way he described the story of Henry’s death was like a painter painting a picture”.

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