Whilst many people dream of a life on the stage, 150 students from Ralph Thoresby School learned what it takes to succeed with the country’s most prestigious theatre school, RADA.

Speaking at a special presentation facilitated by Robert Peston’s ‘Speakers for Schools’ charity, RADA’s director Edward Kemp shared his views on the possibility of growth at the heart of the world-famous Acting and Technical Theatre school.

RADA has helped to produce a galaxy of stars ranging from Richard Attenborough to Gemma Arterton and from Mark Addy to Sean Bean. Students at Ralph Thoresby School learned that their own commitment and hard work can yield similar impressive outcomes to the alumni of Gower Street’s most famous college.

In the year that Ralph Thoresby School students achieved their best ever GCSE and A Level results, staff have worked tirelessly to help every student aspire to excel in the community into which they graduate. Guaranteed work experience, partnerships with the world’s most successful universities and phenomenal extra-curricular opportunities are helping every young person secure a future that stretches, challenges and rewards.

Mr Kemp spoke passionately about the scope to transform oneself beyond natural abilities and to embrace a world in which they have no previous experience. Students made powerful connections between Ralph Thoresby School’s ethos of ‘Ambition and Achievement for All’ and the philosophy of success which has been laid as a cornerstone of RADA since it was founded in 1904.

Headteacher, Will Carr, was delighted that students could learn from Edward’s significant experience at the cutting edge of performing arts. He added, ‘It’s wonderful for Ralph Thoresby students to hear someone of such gravitas speaking in our theatre! There’s a powerful message there that you can go on from Ralph Thoresby to achieve great things. Fantastic that Edward was able to be with us today’.


Throughout their first term at Ralph Thoresby School students in year 7 took part in our extended learning project. There were 12 tasks that required students to design, build, and promote an imaginary theme park.

The quality of the work produced was fantastic. Many amazing models and creations were delivered to school ready for judging. Some fantastic portfolios that had a range of tasks inside gave the judges a hard time in selecting the winners.

The winners were:
Alfie Needham
Rebecca Harrison
Oliver Hargrove
Alex Tyler
Jack Bougton-Sherwin

Huge congratulations to these students. Our winners will receive an all expenses paid pass to the end of year rewards day trip in summer 2017.

15th– 17 October 2017

We are delighted to offer all of our KS4 and KS5 History students a fantastic opportunity to visit the City of Berlin, where many key historical events of the 20th Century have been played out. 


Between 15 – 17 October 2017, students will have the opportunity to experience everything that Historic Berlin has to offer. From Checkpoint Charlie, to the Stasi Prison and The Reichstag, this trip is a unique opportunity to emerge yourself in some of the most dramatic settings that 20th Century history has to offer. 


Trip Organiser, Rachel Liptrott, comments, ‘I am really looking forward to sharing some hands on history with our pupils, this is fantastic opportunity to experience the harsh realities of the communist Germany and develop understanding of some of the most remarkable events of the modern word. Unforgettable memories will be made and I am confident that students will develop a lifelong love of learning.’ 


The launch event for this trip took place on Wednesday 7th December. Students have been asked to complete an E1 form and passport information sheet and return it with a non-refundable deposit of £50 by Friday 7 January 2017. 


Please download the information sheets or contact Rachel Liptrott at school or via e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for additional clarification.

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There were jubilant scenes in Leeds’ Merrion Centre on Saturday 6th of December as two RTS teams in the business enterprise programme, LEAP, went head to head with 30 other teams with astounding results.


Qualitees and Aurum Jewellery put candidates in ‘The Apprentice’ to shame as they enticed the crowds with their vibrant selection of hipster fashion and gift-wrapped luxury accessories.


Although it is only Ralph Thoresby’s second foray into the city-wide programme, students were able to compete well with students from GSAL, Woodhouse Grove, St Aidan’s Harrogate and Allerton High to prove they have what it takes to succeed in the tough corporate world. Both teams received plaudits from the judges who commended them for their ability to interact with the crowds and create powerful and purposeful marketing programmes.


Qualitees, led by Beth Bracewell, reigned victorious on the day after achieving one of the highest scores in the competition’s history. The Lord Mayor was pleased to present them a special reward, which came courtesy of the Merrion Centre.


The competition runs until April and both teams will have another chance to sell to the public at a Valentine’s trade fair in February. Additionally, they will be busy supplying the massive demand for their products at various school events. Both teams will continue to be mentored by Associate Director of Land Securities, Helen Green.


LEAP’s in-school co-ordinator, Stewart McGill, commented, ‘The students from both teams have shown they have got real entrepreneurial spirit and it is without doubt that this sort of scheme helps students to stand out from the masses in both UCAS and job applications.


‘Ralph Thoresby’s mix of enterprise initiatives stand out across the city as giving our learners the opportunities they deserve to put into practice the skills they have developed in school.’

The cast and crew of 'Ghost' had a great (if a little chilly!) time fundraising for the production. Activities involved a delicious bake sale, guess how many sweets in the jar and the obligatory sponge the teacher / sixth former! We managed to raise a fair amount, and still have a further fundraising event on the 14th December at 7pm in which some of our talented students will be showcasing their talents in the Drama Studio. Tickets are priced at £1 (available on the door). A large chunk of our proceeds will also be donated to local festive charities. 
In other news, tickets for 'Ghost' are now on sale! Based on the award winning film, the musical tells the tale of Sam Wheat, who, in a set up by his supposed best friend, is killed in the streets of New York and has to journey 'between worlds' to see justice done and to protect the love of his life, Molly. Tickets are £6 adults, £4 concessions and are available from school reception. 


Talented Y10 student Ollie Brown brought Christmas cheer to scores of residents at the annual festive lights switch-on.


Following his success at this year’s award-winning school production of ’13 The Musical’ and his regular involvement as a chorister at Leeds Minster, Ollie was a natural choice for event organisers who were eager to give over a thousand guests reason to celebrate.


Despite having less than 24 hours to prepare, Ollie wowed he crowds with a splendid performance comprising Greenday’s ‘Time of Your Life’. However, it was his tribute to David Bowie and a pitch-perfect performance of ‘Space Oddity’ that really drew attention.


Flanked by the Lord Mayor and other members of the council, Ollie was able to enjoy the official switch-on. Following the performances, a major firework display lit up the night sky.


The council-organised event was this year compered by presenters from Radio Aire and also saw special appearances from Ronnie the Rhino and a local Brownie Guide group who sang a selection of Christmas songs.


One person described it as ‘The best ever Christmas lights night in Crossgates’, which is easy to understand given the outstanding Ralph Thoresby talent on show!

GCSEs in England are being reformed and will be graded with a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade. English literature, English language and maths will be the first subjects to be graded in this way from August 2017. The subjects with the highest numbers of candidates (e.g. arts, humanities, languages) will follow in 2018 and most others in 2019. This is happening as GCSEs are being reformed to make them more challenging, to keep pace with employers’ and universities demands.

In the first year each new GCSE subject is introduced, students who would have got a grade C or better will get a grade 4 or better. Students who would have got a Grade A or better will get a 7 or better in the first year. Grade 9 will be more difficult to achieve than a grade A*. The extra top grade will also make it easier for employers and universities to distinguish between the most able students

To see how the numbered grades compare to the current A* to G system, click here or Google "ofqual 9 to 1 postcard". More information about when subjects will switch to the new grades is available on the Ofqual website here.

Our culture of 'Ambition and achievement for all' has been celebrated at a recent event for 96 specially chosen students from across Y7-Y11.

Ralph Thoresby School is delighted to have partnered with York University to enable dozens of young people to engage with their innovative university programme, Shine.

Shine has been created to help young people to learn about the huge range of opportunities that lay ahead of them.

Students will continue to participate in the programme over their remaining time at school and will visit the university at least once a year. Every year, there is a special competition to widen their understanding of university. What's more, Y10 participants will head over to the university to take part in a three day 'Easter Residential', where they will live as students.

This is just one of the many opportunities open to students at RTS. This year, more than 50 Sixth Form students have taken part in award-winning university programmes, including one current Y13 who spent time learning about the American system at Yale University.

Assistant Headteacher, Stewart McGill, has added, 'We are honoured to be taking part in the programme, which will offer so many opportunities to our young people. Learning about university life will help each participant to make a reasoned decision about whether HE is for them.'

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Thursday 13th October saw the official launch of work experience to Y10 and Y12 students and their families.
Work experience for all students in these two years has been introduced to our calendar and reflects our ethos of 'Ambition and Achievement for All'.
Y10 students will take part in the week-long scheme between 26th-30th June 2017.
Y12 students will develop their skills between 3rd-7th July 2017.
All students will have exceptional access to support from the careers team and their mentors. The attached PowerPoint is designed to help you in supporting with the process.
The return of OP1 forms should take place on or before the deadline of 4th January 2017.
Additional information can be obtained from Stewart McGill at school or via e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Ralph Thoresby School believes that leaving education with exceptional opportunities alone is insufficient for students.

Participating widely in extra-curricular opportunities helps to develop many skills, which is why our staff offer an exceptional range of extra-curricular activities. Participation is free and students should speak directly to the member of staff leading the provision.

Additional information can be obtained from Stewart McGill (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Please find attached information relating to Eid-Ul-Adha.


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Please see the comprehensive list below for class codes which relate to your child's timetable.

Code Description
Ab Arabic
Ar Art
B3 BTEC Business 12/13
Ba Applied Biology
Bi Biology
Bs Bus St
Cc College Catch up
Ch Chemistry
Co College
Cp Computing
Dr Drama
Ea Eng(A)
Eb Econ/Bus
Ec Economics
Ee Ex English
El English Literature
En English
Er Eng/R
Fm Further Maths
Fr French
Ge German
Gg Geography
H2 H&SC L2
H3 BTEC Health & Social
Hi History
Hs Health & S
Ia ICT Applied
Im I Media
In Intervention 121
Li Literacy
Ls Life Skill
Lt Literacy
Lw Law
Ma Mathematic
Mb BTEC Music 12/13
Me Mentor
Mf Further Ma
Mr MathResit
Mu Music
Nu Numeracy
Pd Product Design
Ph Physics
Po Politics
Pr Philosophy Religion and
Pt Photography
Py Psych
Re Relig
S3 BTEC Sport L3
Sc Science
So Sociol
Sp Sports Stu
St Supervised Study
Su Supp
Tf Food
Tg Graphics
Tr Tech/R
Ts Theatre
Tx Textiles
Ur Urdu


The hard work has paid off and for an outstanding cohort of Year 11 students, who are today celebrating Ralph Thoresby School’s best ever GCSE results. 


One of the many impressive measures shows that 60% of students have secured good GCSE qualifications in both English and maths, representing a 12 percentage point increase since 2015. This is set against a backdrop of a national decline in the proportion of students achieving this in recent years. 


Key to Ralph Thoresby School’s success is a commitment to ensuring that every student makes exceptional progress, irrespective of the outcomes they have achieved in their primary schools. In English, for example, a substantially higher proportion of students at Ralph Thoresby School have made the high level of progress the government expects students to make. Pleasingly, almost a half of our students have made progress that exceeds that national expectation. 


Our popular Saturday School, which is widely offered by departments to boost confidence in the challenging Year 11 exams is one way that students accessing the Pupil Premium have benefited. This year, over a half of students at Ralph Thoresby School accessing the fund achieved GCSE passes in maths and English, a figure which is more than 10% higher than elsewhere in the country. 


Building on success at every level is in the DNA of staff at Ralph Thoresby School. In the maths department, for example, 2 students achieved the monumental feat of securing the A-Distinction in the fiendishly challenging GCSE Further Maths qualification. Less than 1 school in every hundred has been able to support 2 or more students to this, the highest level of maths attainment in UK assessment. 


One student who will be celebrating more than most is Sam Whitaker, who overnight became Ralph Thoresby School’s most successful ever student. His 10 A* and 1 A grade is testament to his exceptional work ethic. Sam achieved 12 grades higher than his target, and demonstrates how Ralph Thoresby School’s innovative aspirational target setting is driving forward ambition at every level. 


Headteacher, Will Carr, notes that outstanding outcomes for year eleven are just one part of the entire school community’s track record of achievement. He comments ‘I’m delighted we have achieved our best ever results at both GCSE and A Level this year. The relentless focus on achievement from Year 7 onwards is really starting to pay off. We’ll celebrate briefly but the hard work of ensuring that success continues to grow at Ralph Thoresby has already begun’

Ralph Thoresby Sixth Form students had double the reason to celebrate on A-Level results day as twice the national average of students were accepted to prestigious Russell Group universities.

According to the most recent Department for Education (2012) statistics, one in ten university students study at traditional research intensive universities, which include Oxford, Cambridge and Durham.

Ralph Thoresby’s continuing upward trend has seen more than 20% of university applicants accepting courses including medicine, law and architecture at universities where globally renowned research is deemed to be outstanding. Results at Ralph Thoresby have exceeded targets again this year with 94% of students achieving 3 or more A Levels and 86% of students achieving at least one A*-B grade. What’s more, a higher proportion of students have received the top A* grades than ever before.

These outcomes buck the regional trend, where there has been a recent decline in the number of Yorkshire students commencing studies at Russell Group universities and the number of students securing the highest grades in subjects like economics, maths, further maths and physics.

Assistant Headteacher, Stewart McGill, argues that the mixture of outstanding lessons and individualised pastoral guidance helps the students in reaching their true potential. He adds, ‘It’s great to see so many students going on to universities where world-class research will place them at the cutting edge of their chosen field. This aspiration begins early, with students accessing university programmes from as early as Key Stage 3. This year, for example, more than a quarter of students have participated in summer schools, which have been provided by the likes of Cambridge and Yale.’

Students at Ralph Thoresby School are prepared for their futures through innovative study programmes. Continued work with Lawnswood School in developing an exciting Partnership Sixth Form, means that course selections will be designed to ensure that every child can achieve and exceed their targets.

With almost 80% of students choosing to go on to university study and many more securing Higher Apprenticeships, Ralph Thoresby School has evidenced that it is a school that strives to pave the way to rewarding futures.

Headteacher, Will Carr, notes that outstanding outcomes in Sixth Form are just one part of the entire school community’s track record of achievement. He comments ‘I’m delighted to see that we have exceeded our targets yet again this year as the school continues to go from strength to strength. More importantly, it is fantastic to see that every Ralph Thoresby student who applied for higher education will gain a place.’



Adam Bricklebank in year 10 has been awarded 'Young achiever' award by the Yorkshire Choice Awards this year.  Adam has been recognised for his extraordinary fundraising work with Wheatfields Hospice.  Amongst other things, Adam took part in a 'Brave The Shave' campaign which raised thousands of pounds for this worthy charity. We at Ralph Thoresby are proud to work with Adam who is an inspiration to many and look forward to supporting him with all his future fundraising events. Well done Adam. 







There is a Progress Evening for selected Y11 students on Monday 14th March.  It is from 4.30pm until 6.30pm.  Your child will have received a letter to inform them of the subjects they need to make appointments with.  It is not an event for all students, just those that have received a letter.
It is important that you attend if your child has been requested to come.
Any issues please contact Mr Babington or Mrs McGill.

The UKMT ‘Intermediate Maths Challenge’ is a fiendishly difficult annual maths quiz for students in Years 9-11. 


This year, almost seventy of our talented students took part in the Challenge, which seeks to test algebra, geometry and numeracy skills from outside of the National Curriculum. 


Only a tiny percentage of students nationally receive a certificate. Such is the level of difficulty, that to receive a certificate requires a mark of just 41 out of 135. 


13 of the participants will receive either a Bronze, Silver or Gold certificate, which rewards the high-level problem-solving skills the maths team seeks to develop in all of our students. 


What makes this a truly outstanding year is that for the first time ever, a student has achieved FULL MARKS. 


Year 9 student, Joe Plumb, achieved the incredible feat after benefiting from the department’s problem-solving curriculum. 


Year 10 students Travis Byrne and Oscar Jackson also achieved marks high enough to be entered to the next round and will engage in a worldwide maths challenge in March. 


Both Joe and Oscar fall within the top 500 maths problem solvers in the UK and may well be invited to participate in a special maths summer school at Oxford University’s ‘Maths Institute’. 


Assistant headteacher and head of maths, Stewart McGill, has added ‘All certificate winners have every reason to celebrate. However, the three students who have been entered into the next stage of the competition ought to be incredibly proud of their unique achievements. 


Ralph Thoresby School’s maths department strives to prepare all learners for an increasingly challenging STEM economy. Developing a love of problem-solving is at the heart of what we do and it is excellent to see the hard work of the students and the maths team is really paying off.’

This year, we’ve seen the introduction of our Student Leadership Team, and as part of our role as prefects we’ve organised a fundraiser for a charity of our choice, which this year is Guide Dogs.

 Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind, which means Guide Dogs need to train more guide dog puppies. It costs Guide Dogs around £50,000 to support a guide dog from birth to retirement. We would like to raise at least £1500 to name a puppy (we’re hoping to name it ‘Ralph’) and if we’re successful we’ll get updates and a visit in school from our puppy.

We will be hosting a fundraising day on Friday 12th February; information on how you can be involved will be up on posters around school. This day will also be a non-uniform day throughout school, and we ask for a donation of £1 per student, to help us achieve our target amount, to name our puppy.