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Stray FM School News

Stray FM wants to celebrate the achievements of schools and their pupils from across Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale.

Whether you've achieved record results, welcomed a VIP guest, been selected for a prize, or just want to tell us about something awesome that's happened, Stray FM's Schools News is the place to do it.

Simply submit your news here, and it'll appear in our Schools News directory for the next thirty days.

Then, listen to Nick Hancock at Breakfast at 7:40am every weekday morning to hear if it'll be your news that's featured.

All we ask in return is that you post a link to your school news on your school's website - we'll even give you a nice badge to use when you submit your news.

So go on, tell Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale what you're up to...

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Crocheting for possums affected by Australian bush fires

Caring pupils at North Yorkshire independent prep school Belmont Grosvenor have been learning a new skill to help the wildlife affected by Australia’s devastating bush fires.
Youngsters from the ‘outstanding’ Harrogate school have fitted crochet lessons into their break times and produced dozens of colourful woollen nests for the injured possums and birds in South East Australia whose habitats have been ravaged by fire.
After images of the bush fires in Australia hit the news headlines, pupils at co-educational Belmont Grosvenor School, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, have been eager to help their Australian cousins.
Headmistress Mrs Sophia Ashworth Jones: “Here at Belmont Grosvenor School, we may be on the other side of the world, but we are true global citizens with an enormous affinity with ecology and wildlife. Many of us have Antipodean connections and BGS pupils have been really keen to ‘do their bit’ by learning to crochet and making some much needed nests for displaced animals.”
Mrs Ashworth Jones spent two years living and working in Melbourne, Australia, and has family and friends affected by the bush fires.

“With the help of some of our teaching staff and governors, the children have spent break times and lunch times together in our main School Hall crocheting. They picked it up so quickly – it was wonderful to witness them supporting each other and even teaching their parents how to crochet,” she said.

Willow Tree Primary School tackle track and field at inter-school athletics event

A group of Year 3 and 4 pupils at Willow Tree Primary school recently tested some new skills at an inter-school’s athletics competition at Rossett High School. Across a range of tracks and field events, the children demonstrated a positive attitude and generated great support for their teammates ensuring all involved had a fantastic time.

Jade Duncan, one of the school’s Sports Leads says “We’re aiming for another amazing year of sporting achievement at Willow Tree. Our pupils continue to demonstrate huge determination and enthusiasm for all the opportunities they are presented with. We’re really proud of how well they represented the school at this event.”

Willow Tree prides itself on its ongoing commitment to providing access to sports for all children. Last year they took part in a whopping 28 local events across a wide range of sports including hockey, football, cricket, swimming and gymnastics. With teams reaching the final of numerous events, there is a breadth of opportunity given to children at the school. These efforts don’t go unrewarded as demonstrated by achieving the National School Games Mark Gold Award for the fourth time in a row at the end of the last academic school year.

To secure the Gold award, the school had to fulfil a number of strict criteria and with only a limited number of schools being able to achieve the Gold Standard across England, to receive this for the fourth time is of huge significance for the school.

Upper Wharfedale School - Beauty and the Beast

Upper Wharfedale School will be performing Beauty and the Beast the musical on the 6th, 7th and 8th of Feb 2020, with doors opening at 6.30 and the performances starting at 7pm. Tickets are selling fast so be sure to get yours quick! A lot of hard work has gone into the production and promises to be fabulous. So please Be Our Guest and join us! Tickets are available through the school website

Ripon Grammar horse riders make it to prestigious national finals

RIPON Grammar School’s talented young riders have made it to the national finals of a prestigious equestrian competition at Hickstead arena for the second year running.

Three teams of students from across all year groups competed in the challenging qualifying round of the National School Equestrian Association Championships.

Siblings Sophie and Izzy Bean, aged 12 and 15, from Lower Dunsforth, and Imogen and George White, 12 and 14, from Ampleforth, along with Izzy Kirby, 14, from Richmond, have all made it to the finals, which will be held at the famous Hickstead Sussex showground on May 23-25.

One of a small number of state schools taking part, they beat high-performing teams from independent schools throughout the North at the qualifying event, held at the Northallerton Equestrian Centre.

Now they will face teams from all over the country, including Millfield School and Marlborough College, in the finals.

RGS art teacher and keen horse rider Fiona Henson, who helps organise the team, commented: “It is a great achievement to make it to Hickstead for the second year in a row. It was a difficult course and a hugely tough competition and we are very proud of them all.”

Last year, the school’s team came an impressive ninth in the finals out of around 100 competitors and now Mrs Henson is hoping that experience will give them the confidence to do even better this year.

“Getting to Hickstead has really spurred them all on. Their performance last year was awesome,” she said.

Ripon Grammar students benefit from past pupil advice

MORE than 40 past pupils returned to Ripon Grammar School to give current students the benefit of their advice on life after leaving school.

From working as a barista in Berlin to travelling in Australia and volunteering in an orphanage in Ghana, many students were keen to share their experiences of taking a gap year.

They were joined by those studying a range of courses, from animal science and architecture to dentistry, economics, law, medicine, nursing, philosophy and TV and film set design at university, who all offered valuable advice.

Topics covered included everything from living away from home, how to pick the right university, what to do when you don’t get the results you expect and entering the world of work.

One of the key messages to those students struggling to decide what they want to do following A-levels was: “Don’t worry. You can always change your mind.”

Head of sixth form Terry Fell said he was delighted to welcome so many wonderful former pupils back to school for this increasingly popular event and to catch up on their exciting news and experiences of life beyond school.

“Particularly kind was their willingness to share that experience and advice with our lower sixth formers who are on the threshold of starting to form their own plans and aspirations beyond school, and our upper sixth formers who are now just months away from following in their footsteps.”
*RGS Sixth Form Open Evening January 20, 6.30pm. For more information visit:

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