Sunday Times North Independent School of the Year

Senior School Weekly Bulletin

21 January 2022

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Principal’s message

The UN International Day of Education is observed on the 24 January every year. UNESCO has chosen this year’s theme to be ‘Changing Course, Transforming Education’, to mark the possibilities for us to come out of the COVID pandemic with fresh eyes, to strengthen and welcome the revival of education after a most unusual two years.

This day reminds us that education is ‘a human right, a public good and a public responsibility’. So for all of the benefits that we have, and the opportunities we love to create for our pupils here at GSAL, we must always remember those who do not have such advantages.

From the outset, both of our founding schools (Leeds Grammar School in 1552 and Leeds Girls’ High School in 1876) understood the importance of looking beyond ourselves to benefit others. Today, that sense of philanthropy continues as generous donors still support over 120 pupils to attend this school on means-tested bursaries, so that they can join GSAL on academic merit, not deterred by financial background. Today also sees GSAL pupils giving their time and talents to volunteer in a wide variety of local projects, to raise thousands of pounds for good causes and for the school to share its resources with other schools, too.

So as we welcomed hundreds of children through our gates this morning on entrance exam day full of expectations, ambitions – and a good bundle of nerves for good measure – it reminds us of that undiminished responsibility, that whatever life throws at us and whatever is required of us at any time, as Nelson Mandela said,  “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Sue Woodroofe

Accessing links in the bulletin
Please be aware that in order to access links you will need to login with your GSAL email address which is If you have forgotten your username or password please email your year group administrator.

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Whole school notices


Face coverings

From Monday 24 January, face coverings will no longer be required in classrooms for staff and for pupils in Year 7 and above. However, anyone can continue to wear a mask should they wish to.

From Monday 24 January, face coverings continue to be required in corridors and communal areas, including on school transport, both for travelling to and from school, as well as for trips and fixtures.

We will review the updated government guidance about removing masks from corridors and communal areas next Wednesday when we see the latest COVID figures in our community. We will be back in touch when this policy changes in school.

Where possible, face coverings should be reusable to prevent unnecessary waste.

COVID-19 vaccinations – Tue 1 Feb

The NHS Leeds School Immunisation Service will be vaccinating pupils aged 12-15 on Tuesday 1 February 2022. Please read this letter for information about the vaccination programme which includes a link to the form to enable you to give or refuse consent. Please note the deadline to submit the form is Saturday 29 January. If you have any questions please contact

Can you help the PFA?

We are looking for parents to help strengthen the senior school parent community – could you help?  The aim is to foster friendships and a sense of community in the senior school through social events and clubs.

What we need are ideas and participation in clubs and activities such as:

  • Parent sports events: 5-a-side football matches, netball nights, summer cricket events, running or walking/dog walking clubs etc
  • Parent choir/singing/music group, book club etc
  • Parent social evening out, prom night out for parents, parents’ ball, International Food Festival and any more you can think of!

We know you have many more ideas and experience to contribute and if you would like to add or take part, then please email We would like to welcome any parents from senior school to create a fun and inclusive community spirit.

Sport update

Please find Mr O’Brien’s weekly sports update here.

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Year 7 notices

Parents’ evening

Tue 25 Jan & Wed 2 Feb

Please see the attached letter from Mr Gibbin, Head of Y7.

Language options

Please see the attached letter for Y7 parents regarding language options.

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Year 12 notices

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

This letter from Mrs Andrea Walker, Head of Careers and EPQ regarding the EPQ was sent to Year 12 pupils this week.

Biology A-level revision guides

Revision guides are now available for Year 12 students studying Biology A-level. Information on how to order is included in the letter from Lynne Gilbert, Head of Biology.

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Year 13 notices

Biology A-level revision guides

Revision guides are now available for Year 13 students studying Biology A-level. Information on how to order is included in the letter from Lynne Gilbert, Head of Biology.

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Key dates

Fri 11 Feb – School closes for half-term

Mon 21 Feb – School reopens

Fri 1 Apr – Term ends

Wed 20 Apr – Term begins

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