Academic success is important but so too is the development of character, resilience and self-confidence: this philosophy underpins all that we do.
A number of groups and societies exist, often meeting at lunch times. They include;
The Debating Society
The society engages students in current affairs and aims to develop their public speaking and communication skills. There has been an interesting variety of topics in the past; we cover the big issues from ‘this house believes recreational marijuana should be legalised’ and ‘this house believes socialism would never work’ through to topical ones such as ‘this house believes junior doctors are right to strike’. With topics on science, foreign affairs, politics and ethics, we try to debate topics to stimulate our thinking and engage ourselves in the world around us. As well as learning about key issues, students have also grown to become confident speakers and have gained invaluable skills for further studies and employment through participation. The group elects a Captain each year.
The Political Society
This group currently meets half-termly to hear speakers such as MPs and political commentators. They are also responsible for helping to run our annual Mock Election. Boys divide into whichever political party reflects their views and form campaign teams with literature reflecting official party policies. They will elect from their number a candidate, agent and campaign manager. It is their job to persuade staff and all other pupils in the school to attend the polling station in Mr Marsden’s classroom that day and cast their vote accordingly.
Others become civil servants, whose job it is to manage the election, ensure real electoral rules are followed and count the votes. This usually takes place on the last Thursday of April, a week before real local or national elections.
Our Sixth Form building is right next to our large, purpose-built Sports Hall. Wednesday afternoon is Sixth Form games, and we encourage boys to stay fit and live active lives. A range of sports is available, from social, non-competitive sport to rugby, football and cricket competitions against other schools in the district and country. In addition, boys play basketball, cross-country and enjoy access to a gym.
The Bar Mock Trial
The Bar Mock Trial is a competition run by the National Citizenship Service in which students are invited to take on various roles (such as barristers, jurors and witnesses) in order to take place in a trial with other schools. Students must learn the witness statements and construct and then present a case in a real court to an actual barrister. It is of enormous use to anyone who is considering a career in law but also to anyone wishing to develop their ability to analyse, reason and present an argument or simply gain a better understanding of our country’s legal system.
This is for people interested in careers in medicine. Speakers, including consultants and GPs, as well as former pupils currently studying medicine, come in and share their experiences. It is led by Dr Sobala who offers support for university applications, including medicine, vets, dentistry and pharmacy.
Music Groups (e.g. Swing Band, Light Orchestra, Choir)
Dr Cloke leads our musicians in a range of activities, from choirs to Big Band. Some go to conservatoires to become professionals, others simply love music. We encourage all musicians to join in and develop their skills.
The Swing Band goes on tour to Skipton’s twin town, Simbach-am-Inn, in Bavaria, Germany. It plays three concerts and tours the sights of the area including Salzburg and the Berchtesgaden salt mines. The Swing Band is just one of the groups organised at school. There is also light orchestra, choir, and brass group to name a few. Although they are all overseen by Dr. Cloke, the Head of Music, the Swing Band is directed by a student.
The facilities in school are plentiful. Sets of acoustic guitars, glockenspiels, keyboards, and other instruments mean that music lessons are incredibly varied. There are also three practice rooms which students may use to do personal practice. Music lessons from the NYCC music service are taught in the practice rooms for a variety of instruments from guitar to accordion.
Student Advisors (Our Peer Support Group)
Sixth Formers help to lead our Student Support group. These are boys who are attached to younger forms, and provide a listening ear and support when this is needed. Membership of this group requires patience, compassion and common sense.
Sixth Form Council
This is chaired by the two Year 12 members of the School Council. Each form sends one representative for a meeting with the Head of Sixth Form each half term. Any issues about Sixth Form life can be raised and discussed.
These are boys in Year 12 who mentor younger boys in their strongest subjects, or Year 13’s who mentor Year 12’s. Being a mentor requires good subject knowledge, confidence and patience. It usually takes place once per week in the library during form time.
The Ermysted’s and Skipton Girls’ Ecological Society (ESES)
This was founded in 2016 to tackle the growing environmental issues that face the younger generation. Sixth Formers from Ermysted’s joined forces with students from the neighbouring Skipton Girls’ High to work towards three goals: to raise awareness of ecological issues within our schools; to raise funds for comprehensive recycling and renewable energy facilities at both sites, and to work together with other organisations in our community to support ecological causes around the globe. Though still in its early stages, the project has so far been very successful, with teachers and pupils getting on-board with surveys, assemblies, and competitions.
Although we have no formal drama department, Sixth Formers assist with our annual entry into the regional Schools’ Shakespeare Competition, an annual House Drama Competition, during which Sixth Form direct younger boys’ mini-productions. One afternoon they perform to the school, in the evening to parents and judges, with the winning house-team earning the most points. A number of boys also write their own plays and musicals which they perform in the Hall, often in conjunction with the Girls’ School.
Every fortnight, you will attend a lecture or seminar during which a speaker or staff member will deal with such topics as the legal system, personal finance, mental health, developments in science, current affairs, politics and sex education. Previous visitors to have included our local MP, a member of the House of Lords, a former British Ambassador, a journalist and a doctor.