End of Term Letter

Headteacher David Martin sat on bench with Head pupils

Mr Martin reflects on 2019 in his Christmas blog, featuring our 9th place national ranking in The Sunday Times and our Open Day.

Dear Parents,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the Autumn Term and share with you the exciting news and events taking us into 2020. First and foremost, our 2019 highlights are now available to view by clicking on this link.

Open Day

We held our first Open Day of the year alongside the Cross Country on Saturday 9th November with a record number of prospective families visiting the School and Pre-School. Over 20 families met with staff, parents and governors and had the chance to view the facilities, the children’s fantastic work which they have produced and attended music and clay workshops with our Form 5 and 6 classes who were brilliant ambassadors for the school. We received wonderful feedback with families commenting on how happy the children seemed and how they instantly felt the ‘caring family feel’ which we pride ourselves on.


The School and Pre-School has continued to grow this term with pupils joining us from two years old all the way up to new families joining us in Upper Key Stage 2 – I am sure you will help me in welcoming the new families who are starting with us over the coming weeks.

As the School and Pre-School pupil numbers increase, we will be looking to extend our teaching staff in Key Stage 1 and Early Years in the new year to build on our nurturing and professional team and continue to provide our high adult to pupil ratio. The staff’s commitment to providing the very best educational experience for your children has been recognised recently with several awards and accreditations which I would like to mention below.


We have been ranked as the top small school in the North of England in a celebration of the Independent Schools sector. Our School and Pre-School were finalists in the 2019 Independent Schools of the Year Awards, surpassing our 2018 shortlisting. Whittled down from over 250 entries, we were one of three schools nominated for the Small Independent School award and overall one of five other Yorkshire schools in the finals. The independent judging panel which included Andrew Fleck, Principal at Sedbergh School and Sue Woodroofe, Headteacher at Grammar School at Leeds, said they were “overwhelmed by the inspiring stories”.

This nationally recognised achievement adds to a long list of accolades for the School. Ghyll Royd has recently achieved: – A fifth year of consecutive SATs and Entrance Exam success which will has been recognised in The Sunday Times Top 100 Schools Parent Power League – Pending accreditation towards Platinum Artsmark Status – 4 ISA National Art Awards – School Sports Partnership Regional Hockey Winners – Gold School Active Games Mark – Gold in the Green Tree Schools Award.

“Very exciting times”

Chair of Governors Phil Stephenson shares our pride: “The quality of the work and effort put in to making Ghyll Royd such a brilliant place to be is now quantified by the many accolades held by the school. No other school in the area offers a varied, quality curriculum with such a warm family feel. Mr Martin and all the staff have worked tremendously hard to provide the very best education for children aged 2-11. As we move into 2020, we look forward to welcoming our holiday club providers Camp Xplode to the school and building on our 50-week nursery. These are very exciting times to be part of the school.”

The accolades could not have come at a better time as we enter our 130th year of providing exceptional education. To celebrate this anniversary the School organised an Anniversary Ball on Saturday 14th December at the Cavendish Pavilion on the Bolton Abbey Estate. The evening featured complimentary gin and wine, entertainment by the fabulous Party Nuts Band and a 3 course meal provided by the Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel.  All 30 staff and the school governors were also in attendance and the 120 attendees had a ‘ball’! There was a fundraising element on the night and a total will be shared in the New Year.

Thank you once again for your support, it is never taken for granted and it is very much appreciated by myself and all associated with Ghyll Royd. I hope you can enjoy the busy few weeks that lie ahead as we move into the Ghyll Royd festive period.

Wishing you all the best in 2020!