School Blog

Royds PE

Congratulations to ex student Siraj Sajid on his selection for the Yorkshire Under 19 Schools Cricket Squad. Fantastic achievement! 

DofE Expedition 

Groups continue to make good progress on today’s walks. Some even have time to stop for lunch!

DofE Expedition 

The groups are hitting their checkpoints in good time!

DofE Expedition

“Arggh!!!!!!” Screams ring out through the forest. “There’s a ‘lizard’ in our tent!!”

DofE Expedition 

A lovely morning for walking. The groups should be getting on their way shortly.

DofE Expedition

Just arrived at Shepley Bridge Marina and waiting for the groups to arrive. A lovely evening at the moment for camping!

DofE Expedition

The group is running behind schedule but it’s not the end of the world at the moment.

DofE Expedition 

The first group to make the first checkpoint in Cleckheaton

DofE Expedition 

DofE Expedition groups are setting off as we speak… after emergency shoe repairs at least.

Debate Competition 

Had a great time at Huddersfield Grammar Debate Competition – Royds teams got 2nd and 3rd places!


Wet here today at Bushcraft but the crew are busy with activities: knife craft camouflage , games and tribe performances. We are fuelled on a mountain of pancakes and Rice Krispie goo with the Bushcraft challenge to follow before heading home.Fantastic response from all who slept I the shelters on both nights and all who are learning to work together despite being tired!! A great big shout out for the Y10 whose efforts have been immense.

Well done all!

Royds PE

U13 cricket result- don’t know how but we got a 16 over per side game in tonight. King James 56-5 with some excellent bowling from all nine lads that bowled. Royds Hall 57-3 in reply with 2.3 overs to go. Top knock from Harley retiring with 25 and well supported by Harris 16. Well done lads!

Royds PE

Year 7’s and our primary reception class had an excellent Q and A session with Jonathan Booth today as he prepares for the Rio Paralympics. We wish him all the best for when he competes in September at Rio 2016. Just shows hard work and commitment pay off. #inspiring

Royds PE

Good win tonight for the u13 cricket team. Restricted Huddersfield Grammar to 55-8. Three wickets for Marcus (3-7) and Haris bowled really well.

In reply Royds scored 56-5 with 2.4 overs remaining. Hassan and Marcus were the pick of the batters. Well done and still undefeated in the league.

Manchester Jewish Museum

Years 9 and 10 at Manchester Jewish Museum

DofE Practice Walk

First Royds Hall group back to camp!

Now relaxing in our tents. And Umair says Hello!


DofE Practice Walk

Two of the groups have arrived at Fen Woods and are now setting up tents and preparing for the evening’s camping.

DofE Practice Walk

Almost there!

A quick rest break at Oakwell Hall before starting the last leg to Fan Woods.

DofE Practice Walk

We are making good progress on our walk this morning. We’ve just stopped briefly for a catch up with Miss Mahon’s group.

DofE Practice Walk

Square peg and round hole?

In other news: Aghhh! A Beatle just walked on my foot!!

DofE Practice Walk

This weekend’s practice walk has started in Tong.

Thankfully the weather has cleared up a little bit.

As an aside, within 100m of the starting location, we’ve already had two people fall in wet grass, one perhaps being a member of staff!

Royds PE

U13 Cricket- Took a big squad for the u13 cup game tonight. Really close game which we lost with 9 balls to go. Top batting from Daoud and great bowling from Haris, Harley and Tom. Great effort stumping from Thomas and some really encouraging debuts. Well played to our opponents Salendine Nook

Royds PE

U15 County Cup- Much better team performance today. Top batting from Ben, Amir and Sully. Need to work on the bowling. Well played Shelley and good luck in the next round.

Royds PE

U15 Cricket result- Royds Hall 95-9  (S Hassan 16, J North 14, F Butt 13) Salendine Nook 55 all out ( A Khan 3-4, T Sykes 2-0) m. Great team performance! 

Royds PE

The school cricket season started tonight for the u13 team v Moor End. After being put in to bat Royds Hall scored 114 ao with some good individual batting performances. 

In reply, Moor End got off to a steady start but with some tight accurate bowling Royds Hall turned the screw. In the end Moor End were all out for 81. 

Well done to all the lads involved. #team


Well done to the year 7 and 8 netball teams on winning league titles. A fantastic season by both teams. 

Well done also to the Year 9 and 10 teams on being runners up.


DofE Practice Walk – Emley

Group 2 are almost there!

After stopping for lunch in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park we have now stopped for a quick break in the forest.

Hopefully the group will be back in Emley village on time.   


DofE Practice Walk – Emley 

On today’s Duke of Edinburgh practice walk, group two are making good progress and have just arrived at our first rest point.    


Great team performance from the Year 8 football team tonight. Unfortunately lost 4-3 in the cup quarter final to Kirkburton Middle. Good luck to them in the semi final.

DofE Bronze Award Presentation

The photos below are from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award Ceremony.

Wilson 100: Photo Slideshow Video

A few photos that were taken last Friday at the Wilson 100 events.

DofE Practice Walk

Duke of Edinburgh Award students exploring the Stanza Stone in Marsden   

Wilson 100 – Afternoon Events

I thought I would just share with you a few photos from this afternoon’s Wilson 100 events.

Naming the mansion building The Wilson Building.

Harold Wilson’s son being interviewed by BBC Look North.

Wilson 100 ambassadors talking to Melanie Williams (Executive Head) and Jeremy Haigh (Head of Secondary) about Harold Wilson’s life.

This afternoon’s performance about Harold Wilson’s life.

Radio Leeds Broadcasting Live from RHCS for Wilson 100

BBC Radio Leeds’ Richard Stead is live from Royds Hall as we mark what would have been ‪Harold Wilson‬’s centenary.

Richard Stead broadcasting from RHCS

The Royds Hall ‘history detectives’. They’ll be telling fellow students all about Harold Wilson

Final rehearsals with Royds Hall students and @SatelliteArts

A letter written by Harold Wilson to his former school Royds Hall

Robin Simpson is playing Harold Wilson for Wilson100 play Royds Hall @SatelliteArts

(All content borrowed from BBC Radio Leeds’ Twitter Feed)

Royds PE

Great evening of sport at Royds Hall tonight. Fantastic Hi5 primary netball tournament organised by Mrs Weston and our young leaders.

On the football field the Year 9 team were unlucky in the Huddersfield Schools Cup losing 3-2 after extra time. Well played Newsome!

Royds PE

Very proud of the Year 11 GCSE PE students today during moderation. Great attitude and performances to be proud of. Well done!

Royds PE

Great 27-14 netball win last night for Year 10 against Newsome. Fantastic all round team performance. Well done!

Royds PE

Fantastic turnout again last night at Friday night sports club. 50 students taking part across a range of sports.

World Book Day

The Primary Phase at Royds Hall will be joining in the biggest annual celebration of books this Thursday, 3rd March for World Book Day. We can’t wait to see which costumes our children (and staff) choose to wear to school and we will all enjoy guessing which books their characters have come from. To get us all in the book fest mood, we are starting the week off with a book character quiz in our whole school assembly tomorrow. Jo Jenkinson, Head of the Primary Phase.

Battlefields Day 3

After some excitement with temperamental showers, we had breakfast and set off to Essex Farm, the site of a field hospital that has become famous because the Canadian surgeon and poet John McCrae worked. He famously wrote the poem In Flanders Field that has become emblematic of the early part of the First World War. Importantly for us at Royds, Essex Farm is the site of the the memorial to the West Rising Regiment, many of whom came from Huddersfield and the surrounding area.

We then travelled on to the German cemetery at Langemark, one of the most solemn places we visited. Sheltered under trees, the dark grave markers rest on the ground, some named, many unnamed. At the rear of the cemetery, sculptures of four soldiers pay respect to their fallen colleagues. It was here that Charlotte and Victoria laid a wreath as we all stood in silence to think about soldiers who died fighting in the enemy trenches.

Just down the road was the Colne Valley Cemetery, which we like to visit as it has a name that is so close to home for people at Royds Hall. The cemetery is named after a trench that stood where the cemetery now stands, beautifully kept. Soldiers who fought in the area named all the trenches after places that they were familiar with.

It was time for a break and so we called into Ypres to have lunch and do a bit of shopping. Lots of chocolates and a wide variety of trinkets were purchased in the city but we were all impressed by the beauty of the place that was rebuilt after the destruction of the war.

After the walk in Ypres, we travelled to the huge Commonwealth cemetery at Tyne Cot. The huge rows of gravestones were overwhelming as we read name after name of the young names that lost their lives in the battle of the Somme. At the back of the cemetery, there are walls of even more names where Xara managed to find one of her relatives. Once more we paused to lay another wreath on behalf of the school. Hassan and Naveed placed the wreath on the stone of remembrance as we contemplated the soldiers buried in the cemetery as well as those who were treated at the hospital at Royds Hall.

After a quick meal back at the hotel, we went into Ypres to attend the Last Post at the Menin Gate. Ryan and Claudia were able to lay the school’s wreath as a guards’ band played and thousands watched. It was the 29714th Last Post and was a poignant end to the day.

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Battlefields Day 2

After a good night’s sleep, we set off back into France to the South African memorial and museum at Delville Woods. The place was beautiful and tranquil and it was once again hard to imagine all the horrors of the First Worle War taking place where there are now quiet woodlands and avenues. One solitary tree remains from the original wood and it stands behind the museum that tracks the contribution of South African Forces in the war.

Next was the amazing sight of Lochnagar Crater which is 91 metres in diameter and 21 meters deep. It was created when explosives placed by miners underneath the German trenches were detonated on 1st July 1915, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

After the crater, we traveled to the stunning memorial at Thiepval that stands as testament to the losses on the Somme. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, who designed many of the most famous buildings in London including the Cenotaph, the Thiepval memorial contains an every growing list of names of people known to have died in the Battle of the Somme but whose bodies have not been found. There are over 72,000 names and many of us were able to find the names of people who shared our names or those of people we know.

Next we set off to Beaumont Hamel, where the Canadians, particularly New Foundlanders, battled the German forces. Dominated by the statue of a huge caribou, we could see the trench networks walking distance from each other. At the visitors centre it gave a picture of what a New Foundlanders life would have been like before the war – so alien to what their lives were like on the battlefields.

The last visit of the day was to Railway Hollow, the site of the memorial to the Accrington and Barnsley Pals who signed up together and died together on the Somme. We kneeled in the trenches where the soldiers would have waited for the command to attack and it was a very haunting experience. We went down to the cemetery where Miss Luness played us a song about the dead of the First Wold War. After this we wrote a message on the back of a cross with a poppy on it to one of the soldiers buried in the cemetery. It was a chance to think about what the soldiers might have been thinking about or even what they would have made of today’s world.

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Off To The Battlefields

It seems like days ago since we left Royds Hall at 10pm but it was only yesterday. We had a smooth journey down to Dover and then sailed to Dunkirk accompanied by leprechauns, gangsters, the main characters from Back To The Future and a chain gang – all part of a charity rally down to Switzerland.

Once on the continent, we headed to our first place, the French national military cemetery at Notre Dame De Lorette. It is an enormous site with a church and a lighthouse in the centre. The lighthouse is situated above the resting place of 22 thousand soldiers who could not be identified. A guide called Jean Paul told us about the cemetery and also showed us where both Muslim and Jewish soldiers were buried. We were beginning to see the scale of loss that occurred during the First World War.

Next we travelled close by to the German cemetery at Neuville St. Vaste which was a huge contrast with the French white grave markers we had previously seen. Here simple dark crosses marked the site of the dead, where Christian and Jewish soldiers lie next to each other – so very different from what was to come in the Second World War.

Our last visit of the day was to Vimy Ridge, the scene of an intense battle between Canadian soldiers and German forces. We had the chance to explore a reconstructed part of the trench systems and imagine what it must have been like to fight in such a situation.

We then went up to the huge memorial to the Canadian soldiers that towers over the countryside of Arras. It was breathtaking, huge expanses of white stone reaching up into the skies, symbolising the sacrifice the soldiers made in the war.

After that it was off to the hotel for a meal and a walk around the town of Lo-Reninge, seeing a windmill and a bat. And now off for some sleep – hopefully!

Ethiopian Easter

Happy Easter from Mekelle!

This is the first time we’ve had any internet coverage – can you imagine no Facebook or google?? We arrived on Sunday after a 12 hour journey from minus 2 and snow to 30 degrees and very hot sun. We have delivered Braille books for bedtime funded by you at Royds Hall to very excited students at Mekelle School for the Blind. They have looked after the first books from last year very carefully. Most importantly, the students are wearing their uniforms with real pride and they look great – you provided those too! Many of the children are orphaned or abandoned and those with parents only seeing their families once a year so it means a great deal to know you’re thinking about them.

We went to meet the nurses and doctors at the Mekelle Eye Clinic where the doctors do up to 190 operations a month. Unfortunately only 5 of the Blind School children have had treatment as it’s too late to help them. On Monday we’re taking Haile, who I’ve know since he was 11 and now lives on his own, to the clinic as he desperately wants his cataracts operated on to give him a bit more sight.

When the students leave at 16 they have to learn to live on their own and for many the Blind School is the only home they have ever known. We’re worried about one of the students leaving soon who has no pillow, sheet or blanket. Today we bought every child at the school their own bar of soap for 25p each. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

I’ll try to add pictures later.

Ms Williams

Comenius Cyprus: Day 5

Day 5’s blog is a bit of a photo fest for you!

The final school day of the week started with students going to ‘normal’ lessons. We (teachers) attended two lessons – an art and music lesson which we saw Melissa and Leah enjoying. Matthew and Callum were in other lessons around the school.

After the lessons ended, we all took a coach to two local businesses – a Carob sweet factory and a Herb farm. The Carob sweet factory, whilst very small, was interesting. It is hard to believe in such a small place they can turn a Carob into chocolate type bars and sweets. It seems that Carob must be an acquired taste as the students didn’t seem to like it! After visiting the Carob factory we visited a Herb farm, probably less than 1km away. The moment we got off the coach we were greeted by an amazing herby smell. It was very pleasant! The farm manager allowed us to sample these freshly picked herbs – the Rosemary and Mint were very good.

After visiting the local businesses we drove down the road and visited a local tourist attraction, which is in a wonderful location at the edge of some hills with a little Church built in a cave in the hills. The students stopped here for an hour or so, giving them plenty of time to enjoy the wonderful vista around them. A really stunning location!

Day 6 of the trip, the students will spend time with their host families and relax before we meet them at the airport in Larnaca on day 7.

Art and Music lessons

Carob sweet factory

Herb farm

Comenius Cyprus: Day 4

The plan for the students on day 4 of our Comenius Cyprus trip was a guided tour of Nicosia, taking in important points of interest in and around the old city. We visited old Churches and national history museums and the ‘buffer’ zone and border with Turkish occupied Northern Cyprus. Unfortunately the group did not cross the border into Northern Cyprus.

After touring Nicosia for most of the morning, the students were given a little free time to have a drink, shop and browse Nicosia in their own social groups. After this, the students returned to school and their host families as this took them to the end of the Cypriot school day.

In a few hours, the school will hold a party for the students, host families and staff. I will update this blog with a few photos later on this evening, after the party. (Updated)

Photos from in and around Nicosia

The ‘country’ posters made by the students yesterday

Evening Leaving Party

Callum finds out just how bitter the local freshly picked Lemons are!

Comenius Cyprus: Day 3

As we are a little late adding day 3’s blog, I thought I’d just add a few pictures and a very short description of the day’s activities.

The third day started with the students heading to the school’s teaching kitchen classroom, where they made Cypriot pancakes. These seemed similar to ‘normal’ pancakes, but thinner and a little more oily. While the students were making these pancakes, Melissa and Matthew were interviewed by Cypriot TV, quizzing them about their involvement and feelings about the Comenius project.

After the students made pancakes, they took a short break outside in the courtyard to watch some traditional Cypriot/Greek dancing. I’m pleased to say when the chance arose, all our students joined in with this activity!

After the break, the students returned to lessons where they made posters from a collection of images they brought from home. The posters were designed to sell their home area to the other students from the different project countries.

Making Cypriot Pancakes

Traditional Cypriot-Greek Dancing

Comenius Cyprus: Day 2

Day 2 of our Cyprus Comenius visit started with all the students and staff from the project meeting up to greet the (late arriving) French group. We then enjoyed their presentation about their home region in France, which is a famous wine producing area.

After 35-40 minutes or so we then hit the road to visit the first of today’s destinations – the archaeological museum in Dali. This museum houses many items, such as cutlery and pots unearthed during excavations in Cyprus. The museum also provided a wonderful view of the Cypriot countryside. A grasshopper, found by the students, also seemed to provide them with a great interest and curiosity in it!

After visiting the museum In Dali, we called at a national Cypriot history museum on the North-South Cyprus border. The location of this museum seemed somewhat fitting, in an area that was badly affected by the Turkish invasion in the 1970s. We then visited a local cafe for refreshments (coffee, soft drinks, ice cream..) for about 45 minutes. While on this break, another grasshopper appeared that yet again seemed to please the students no end!

The last part of the day was a visit to the Larnaca salt lakes and the beach. The weather today was perfect for this, pushing 24c and not a cloud in sight! Our students seemed to enjoy this part of the day the most. The guys visited McDonalds and KFC for lunch along with their host family student and the Norwegian students. They then spent a good few hours on the beach with their new friends. The girls did a similar thing, however they also decided to do a little shopping and also visited a local Church – Saint Lazarous’ – which I’m told had spectacular chandeliers!

All in all, I can tell you that today the students have had a ball – probably a day they won’t forget in sometime!

Below are a few pictures from today…

Larnaca beach

Melissa, Leah and Matthew catching some sun – Callum was being camera shy!

Larnaca Salt Lake

The last three photos are at the Dali archaeological museum.

Comenius Cyprus: Day 1

The first day of the Cypriot Comenius experience involved students from each country (in the project) making a small presentation about their home area and something from that region. Our students delivered a small presentation about the Yorkshire Pudding and the sport Rugby – both of which seemed to be very well received!

Our students then attended a normal lesson along with students from their host families – I am told by our students this was an interesting experience as it differs somewhat to what they are used to at home.

The next part of the first day involved a little bit of spare time where our students could socialise and mix with the school’s local students. After a little while, Callum, Matthew, and myself decided to ‘gatecrash’ a PE lesson and get involved with a game of football. Both Callum and Matthew seemed to show some real skill (which is more than can be said about my goal keeping ability!) and enthusiasm in the game – everyone seemed to be impressed with their effort!

The last part of the day – as school finished at about 2pm for the students – involved the students watching how to make Souvlaki, which we then went onto eat for lunch. Having what was essentially a BBQ on a Monday afternoon while basking outside in 22c heat in February seemed to be an unusual experience for us British people!

Day 2 will see us visit Larnaca and various attractions in that area, so be sure to check back tomorrow to see our report!

Live blog from Cyprus!

As we stand here (on a bitterly cold morning, outside school) awaiting four of our students – Melissa, Leah, Callum, and Matthew – and our taxi to Manchester Airport, I thought I would post the first of our blogs from the Cyprus Comenius trip.

During our visit to Cyprus for their Comenius event this week, we will be blogging everyday to share with you our Cypriot Comenius experience.

So stay tuned for more from us, live from Cyprus.

Monday – On The Way Home

Today has been a day that has brought the war close to home in many ways. As well as the visit to the Colne Valley Cemetery, we went to Essex Farm. This is famous for being the place where Canadian poet, John McRae, who wrote In Flanders Fields, served his time as a medic. It is also the home to the monument for the West Riding Division. Alongside our geographical link, we also saw the grave of 15-year-old soldier Valentine Strudwick, the same age as many of our group.

We also went into Poperinge and went to the Place of Execution. We went into the cells where soldiers who had broken the army’s rules were imprisoned. These included some soldiers who were to be executed for desertion, one of whom was from West Yorkshire.

We stood at the Place Of Execution and saw where the death sentences were carried out. It was thought provoking to consider that not all of the soldiers died because of the actions of their enemies.