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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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Leading firm says top school is 'good for Yorkshire'

A LEADING accountancy firm has marked the success of a Yorkshire school with a thank-you gift to acknowledge the hard work of staff.

Ripon Grammar School was named top-performing state school in the whole of the North by The Sunday Times for the sixth year in succession.

Saffery Champness partner Alison Robinson presented head of art Fiona Henson, who was picked at random during a staff training day, with two tickets for Champagne afternoon tea at Bettys in Harrogate.

Harrogate-based Mrs Robinson, whose has two sons boarding at the school, said: “Having such a nationally-renowned school in our area isn’t just good for Ripon, it’s good for Yorkshire.

“In my role within Saffery Champness and as an adviser to many Yorkshire business owners, I know how important skills and training are to our region’s economy and I cannot praise the students and staff highly enough for their achievements as this next generation of leaders emerges.”

Headmaster Jonathan Webb, who taped the prize tickets under a random chair during staff training day, said staff appreciated their hard work being acknowledged.

“Teaching can be a very stressful job. We are grateful to Saffery Champness for reminding staff they are valued,” he said.

Mrs Henson heads up one of many highly successful departments at RGS. Of the 18 students who took A-level art at the school last year, 100% of students gained A* or A.

Ripon Grammar School is a state boarding school, which offers students a free education.
* T: 01423 568012)

Hockey players do Yorkshire proud

Ripon Grammar School's U-18 hockey players were the pride of Yorkshire when they competed in the prestigious National Indoor Finals at the weekend.

Although the girls didn’t come away with the trophy, they have now established themselves as one of the top ten girls’ teams in the country, alongside leading independent schools such as Repton, Millfield, Wellington College and Cranleigh.

One of only two state schools to reach this level, their determined and spirited performance against so many much more experienced indoor hockey teams throughout the two-day tournament in Birmingham did us all proud.

PE teacher Siobhan Gilfillan said: “There was some serious talent on show and the first day was really tough. But on the second day they sharpened up and really got into the competition.”

They played extraordinarily well against exceptional teams, she said: “They ended up being beaten 2-0 by both Repton and Wellington College and have to be satisfied with that.”

She added: “It was a great experience for the girls to play against the best U-18 indoor hockey players in the country. They’ve achieved highly at the very highest level.”

Top school offers more places to give students a second chance

ONE of the oldest grammar schools in the country is offering students a second chance at selection testing, with an additional 13 places available for 13-year-olds.

As the top-performing state school in the North, Ripon Grammar School wants to ensure able youngsters with potential don’t miss out on the chance of an outstanding selective education.

Students currently in second form who missed out on a place at 11 years old can now take a test on February 2 for third form entry in September 2019.

Molly Acton, 14, from Skelton-on-Ure took the test last year after her family relocated to North Yorkshire from Bristol and says she settled in immediately.

Thaddeus Davey from Harrogate took the test in 2014 after missing the application date for 11+ testing.

The 18-year-old, who plans to study chemical engineering at university, said: “Taking the 13+ test gave me the opportunity I had been waiting for. It has definitely lived up to my expectations.”

Sola Sowole, 18, from Thirsk, who hopes to study politics, philosophy and economics at university, took the test after moving from Kent: “Everyone was very welcoming,” she said.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb said he hoped pupils unable to take the test aged eleven, or whose previous result did not reflect their potential, could benefit.

RGS, named top state school in the North by The Sunday Times, is a state boarding school, which means education comes free.

*Application deadline : January 31. Contact Mrs Judith Dale, E:, T: 01765 602647, W:

Skelton Newby Hall CE Primary School welcomes new faces for 2019.

The new year has brought with it two new faces to The Federation of Skelton Newby Hall CE Primary School and Sharow CE School. Jacqui Palmer has been appointed as Executive Headteacher and Katie Joyce as Base Leader and Class Teacher at Skelton school. Mrs Palmer has been involved in school leadership for a number of years, most recently as Acting Headteacher at Roecliffe School. She said: “I am thrilled to be joining such a vibrant and enthusiastic team, who are professional, dedicated and possess great expertise. “The children at both schools are keen to tell me about their learning experiences and happy to be part of the school family. “Parents have been welcoming and shown positive support for the change in leadership. “I look forward to being able to lead both schools towards a thriving future.” Miss Joyce joins the school, bringing with her an enthusiasm for science and lots of experience teaching key stage 2, most recently at Mowden Junior School in Darlington. “I am looking forward being part of a lovely village school and community,” she said. “The children and parents have already been very welcoming and I am excited to get to know them better.”

Top school opens its Sixth Form doors

RIPON Grammar School is opening its Sixth Form doors to prospective students from all over the region to give them a taste of the broad and inspiring range of opportunities on offer.

Named top state school in the North by The Sunday Times for the sixth year running and rated outstanding for both education and boarding by Ofsted, the school now has around 50 additional sixth form places for students from other schools, starting in September 2019.

Current fifth formers and parents are invited to the Open Evening on January 21 to meet students and staff, who are keen to demonstrate how much more there is to RGS than outstanding exam results.

As well as discovering more about the exceptional academic programme, prospective students will be able to explore a wide range of enrichment activities, from charity work and business enterprise to sport, music and drama.

While RGS is among the top in the country for results and progress students make, head of sixth form Terry Fell stresses Ripon Grammar School is far from an academic ‘hot house’.

“Students are encouraged to take on leadership roles and develop wider skills and confidence, while the school's thriving boarding community provides a unique preparation for university life."

Since RGS is a state school education is free, with boarding costing around a third of most independent school fees.

*Open Evening: 6.30pm to 9pm on January 21. Application deadline: Monday February 4.

Contact Mrs Emma Griffiths. T: 01765 602647 E: or visit


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