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Link Group


Link Group has been running for over 20 years at Huntington School. The school welcome senior citizens from the local community, into school, every Wednesday afternoon to meet students, take part in an activity and have a cup of tea. It is a brilliant opportunity for local seniors to meet and socialise and a brilliant opportunity for our students to meet people they wouldn’t come across in their everyday lives and to gain skills such as communication, team work and problem solving.

If you would like to come along to the Link Group, contact Mrs Hewitt at the school.

Here is the Link Group Blog were you can find out what they have been up to, week by week:


Today the link group were preparing for Huntington fire service to visit them and tell them all about what they do, their main roles within the fire service and how they can protect themselves from fires occurring within their homes.  The fire service explained to the elderly residents of link group that it is very important to have a fire alarm or invest in one and to make sure that their fire alarms are checked weekly, they also said that it is important to unplug electrical objects through the night to reduce risks of fires and gave each person a leaflet they could fill in and send off in the post.

After the fire service had visited link group, y9-y12 choir came to sing to the elderly residents and performed 3 songs that they had been practising for the live lounge performance tomorrow night.

The whole of link group enjoyed the choir’s performance and gave them a huge round of applause at the end of the session.

Then everyone relaxed with a nice cup of hot tea, a custard cream and a good old natter.


Today in Link group we all listened to a talk to do with publishing by an author who has published over 400 books and written 7 of her own. She gave an inspirational speech and then asked us all to recall a story from our past and write it down.  The senior citizens within our group told us about their experience working in the Rowntree’s factory. Iris, a member of Link group, said how she worked there since she was 14 years of age until she was 60. Within that time of working at the factory she was working in the ‘cream department of packing’ with her first wage being 10 shillings and 4 pence!


Today at link group we had many heated debates as the debate group joined us and lead discussions about: euthanasia, stereotypes of teens and even religion.  They were all able to put their own points across throughout the debates as they answered questions about the set topics. This led to multiple discussions about these topics with the students who take debating for PDP.  One quote from the ladies was ‘it was the best debating we have done’ this shows that link group really enjoyed these debates. They were all ready for their tea a biscuits afterwards. Thank you to Mrs Wood for bringing her debaters to join us.


This week Mr Willis the Head of Procurement at the York Teaching Hospital NHS Hospital Trust. It was a very informative talk about the NHS, how expectations, technology and the age of the population have an impact on health care. Mr Willis also kept the Link Group entertained with a quiz about the cost of certain things, a knee is more expensive than a hip and they go through over 6000 loaves of bread a week. Mr Willis brought some surgical item with him; this is if you break your upper arm.


Today Mrs Hewitt read a section from the book Sweethearts, it is a collection of tales from the Rowntree factory from 1920 onwards. The section she read was about a visit to the factory dentist, it was interesting as some of the Link Group have worked at Rowntree’s and even experienced the dentist. There were some interesting discussions about the differences from the days of Rowntree’s to nowadays including the age you went to work, how many pairs of shoes you owned and even if you had a bathroom in your house.


Link Group were welcomed back by the newly married Mrs Hewitt who gave a fabulous talk about her wedding and honeymoon. Link Group thoroughly enjoyed it but are sad they missed out on the puddings! Not only did Mrs Hewitt make, ice and stack all 3 tiers of her wedding cake she also made, 2 types of chocolate brownies, 2 types of parkin, a chocolate trifle, a sherry trifle, a non-alcoholic trifle and a amaretto trifle, a lemon meringue roulade, a plum meringue roulade, a lemon cheesecake and an Eton mess. There was also a cupcake tower supplied by her bridesmaid Helen and a blueberry pie supplied by her Grandma Rose. The only thing that the Link Group found more impressive than the puddings was the shawl her Grandma knitted, it was 2 ply wool knitted on 11’s. It was delicate and elegant.


This was the final week of Link Group for the year and as it was so close to Christmas we played some party games including pass the parcel to Christmas music. We said a fond fair well to Mr Price, he is the Head of Sixth Form, who is about to leave to start a new life in Australia. His office is just off the room the Link Group meets in so he often pops through and has been known to cause some trouble occasionally. The most controversial surrounding the proper filling of a Victoria Sponge Cake. The Link Group made a toast to Miss Mower as she gets married at the weekend. We also had the Link Group Christmas cake which Miss Mower baked 3 months ago and had been keeping it well fed with brandy and some delicious mince pies baked by Kerry and Jess.


This week was an exciting week as we ventured to Pear Tree Farm at Monks Cross for our Christmas Meal out. We enjoyed starters from soup of the day to prawn cocktail and a fig tart. Our main courses were from the Carvery, there was a selection of meat including Turkey of course and a wide variety of vegetables not forgetting the sprouts! Pudding was slightly disappointing as there was no Sherry Trifle but everyone was happy with their final choice.

A big thank you to Mr Meehan and Mr and Mrs Dawson who helped with transport and supervision.


On the 4th December Mr Saltmer was kind enough to bring along his piano and show off his performing skills. He had recently been involved in the production of A Christmas Carol at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre so we heard a few songs from that and then had a good old sing along to some Christmas carols to get us in the festive spirit.


Today the Duke of Edinburgh Students came to Link Group, as most of them had served with Link Group in summer term it was nice to have them back again. They told the Link Group all about their expedition, the uncomfortable conditions, the kit failures and how to successfully go to the toilet in the great outdoors. The boys and the girls had a tent race in which the girls won, of course.

In order to get into the team spirit the Link Group and students them performed 2 challenges, the first to build a bridge from paper, post its, paper clips and one meter of cello tape. The second challenge was slightly stickier, they had to build the tallest tower out of marshmallows and dried spaghetti.


Today in Link group Mr Mattan came in to give us a talk on York’s Bar Walls trail. Mr Mattan gave us a presentation on where the trails are and where abouts you can spot the symbols directing you from one side of the walls to the other. He showed us many interesting photos he had taken of his journey around the bar walls and when different parts of the bar walls were built and who built them. Mr Mattan told us about different cafes situated amongst the bar walls, which he said were very nice when he visited them. After Mr Mattan’s talk, Mr Saltmer showed us a video which some of the students had made for charity week, called ‘the 2nd Best Song Ever’. The video helped to raise money for Children in Need and was a song about Huntington School. After this the link group enjoyed having their tea and biscuits and hope Mr Mattan will come back and give another exciting talk.

york bar walls


Us students have just returned from half term, so Link Group today was about performing our half term stories. The seniors then voted for the best performance, and there were great prizes for the best stories. The students had done very different things in the half term, so everybody had something different to contribute with, and many had funny stories that the seniors found very amusing. Every student did very well, and the seniors were impressed and entertained.


Today in link group we had another fascinating talk. The talk was from Pam Bayliss, who is involved in the 100 years celebration of St.Andrews Church. She gave a presentation on Huntington and how it has changed through the last century. Some interesting facts that members of link group recalled that were new to the 6th formers were that Huntington School used to be Yates’ farm; the pub The Flag and Whistle used to be a train station and there did not used to be a connecting road between Huntington and New Earswick. People had to use Sleeper Path to get from village to village as it used to be a narrow road. Afterwards, whilst enjoying their tea and biscuits link group enjoyed discussing their own individual memories of Huntington over the years.

a picture of huntington school before it was built on

This afternoon in Link Group we had a presentation from Local Historian, Ivan Martin about Edwardian York. It included interesting  facts about York itself and fascinating pictures from the 1920s of the town centre and all the old, popular shops. The before and after pictures gave an amazing insight into how our city has developed over the years. Some of the adverts we saw are comical to us now as they are so different to what we are used to. We all thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and hope to see Ivan back in the future.


For the second week back at Link Group, packs of cards were handed around and the 6th Formers each organised card games to play within small groups. Favourites included Go Fish and Snap (once we remembered how to play them!), and it was an excellent opportunity for the 6th formers to get to know the group members and each other a bit more. After the games, tea and biscuits were served along with a healthy serving of more chatting and getting to know each other!


Today was the first session of link group where a presentation was given by Miss Mower about Miss Mower’s summer and welcoming the members back for another term, Miss Mower’s 3rd year with the Link Group.


Students introduced themselves with their current studies, future ambitions and an embarrassing story or party trick to make anyone laugh, there were quite a lot of embarrassing stories about horses and falling over but the group let themselves down on the Party tricks, only some dancing eyebrows and a hand stand among the 18 students!



Wow, this term has absolutely flown by and I’ve not had time to update you all on the activities of the Link Group but hopefully you will accept my apologies and this summary of the term so far.




As I’m writing this it is Tuesday 26th March and currently 1 degree outside. I am preparing myself for tomorrow’s trip to Scarborough, I’m going to need lots of layers of clothes, my pocket money for some tasty fish and chips and of course, the sick bucket for on the way home!


So that has been the Link Group this term, thank you to Mr Wilson, Mr Barewell, the Student Teachers and the Travel and Tourism Girls for organising the trip.


The calendar for the next term has some brilliant things to come, we hope you all have an Eggcelent Easter and see you in April for more Link Group fun and games!




17th April


24th April


1st May

Hannah from York Archaeological Trust

8th May

Our Lives by the CoPE Croup

15th May

IB Students Choice

22nd May

Mr Price

29th May

No Link Group HALF TERM

5th June

Man Down Under

12th June

No Link Group SPORTS DAY

19th June

Summer Trip

26th June


3rd July


10th July

End of Year Tea Party





This week was supposed to be a tea party but the students organising it were on an art trip so Mr Barewell entertained them on his accordion followed by tea and cake, almost a tea party but not quite.




Lambing Live was the title of this week Link Group and Miss Mower had endeavoured to film a sheep lambing. After spending the weekend at her parents farm on Sunday afternoon she thought she had finally got lucky with her very own sheep, Hetty, as she started to show signs of labour. The first lamb only had its head out and no legs, so Miss Mower had to put the camera down and help Hetty with the delivery of her first lamb. The second water bag was out and Hetty laid down to push but once again the camera had to be put down as this lamb was coming out backwards! Finally, with the third lamb, Miss Mower managed to film the arrival.





Mr Wilson visited Link Group this week and told them of his tales of last summer. Mr Wilson got the chance to work on the closing ceremony of the Olympics, he meet some famous people and even Mo Farah!




The student teachers who have spent the last term getting to grips in the classroom where let loose on the Link Group and talked to them about whatever came to mind, from not feeling adult enough to teach, juggling family life and teaching and even what it’s like to always know you are going to be a teacher.




Link Group braved the cold again to come out and as it was nearly Valentine’s Day it seemed appropriate to do some wedding planning with the Link Group. There was an update about Miss Mower’s wedding plan, lots of pictures of all the wedding dresses she has tried on so far and even the chance to look at modern day weddings. Did you know the average wedding costs £15,000! And if you think that unbelievable, Shelagh got married in 1952, she was a triplet and all three sisters got married in the same year so their parents gave each of them £50 for their wedding. Shelagh managed to organise an entire wedding and reception for 40 guests and still have £12 to buy a gas cooker. £50 is the equivalent of £1132 today! The Link Group ladies brought their wedding albums and even some dresses. Miss Mower had a fantastic time and the Link Group shared some lovely fond memories too.

Here is Miss Mower in Anne’s wedding dress:

Miss Mower Wedding Dress




Mrs Wood brought her PDP group of debaters to talk to the link group. The students introduced the topics of capital Punishment, immigration, euthanasia and legalising drugs. It turned out, the link group wanted to bring back capital punishment, limit immigration and allow euthanasia but not to legalise drugs.




Unfortunately the Wilberforce Trust was unable to make this week and so Miss Mower improvised with a Quiz! There were pictures rounds, countries, anagrams that total 10 rounds in all.




Miss Mower welcomed the group back to school; thankfully the common room was warm as outside the temperature had reached minus 5.5! The new students introduced themselves followed by a presentation about Miss Mowers Christmas including the Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and the famous Christmas Jumper.

Here is the Christmas pudding!

Christmas Pudding




Wow! I can’t believe it’s nearly 2013! And here is the Link Group programme for the Spring Term.




16th       Happy New Year with Christmas cake

23rd       Wilberforce Trust

30th       School Closed – No Link Group



6th         Debating

13th       Valentines Wedding Planning

20th       Half Term – No Link Group

27th       Student Teachers



6th         Mr Wilson Presents

13th       Lambing Live

20th       CoPE Presentation and Tea Party

27th       Mr Price Presents




This week saw the annual Christmas Link Group Dinner; we popped down the road to the Bowls Club for a fabulous three course meal. Everyone was in high Christmas spirits and had a lovely time. This was also an opportunity for the students to say goodbye to the members as it will be there last session, next week the Link Group will be at the Panto and in January it will be a new group of students who will be with the Link Group on a Wednesday afternoon. Thank you to the students for all your help this term, you have been fabulous!




In every Link Group programme there is a week where the students have to organise an afternoon and they chose to hire Mr Saltmer and his piano to get the Link Group in the Christmas Spirits with a festive sing along! If you would like to experience the delights of Mr Saltmer’s soothing tones and high energy power ballads then get yourself a copy of Mr Saltmer’s CD, titled “A Pinch of Saltmer” it's available from reception for £15.95. The perfect gift for Christmas!




This week the Link Group was hosted by Mrs Dawson, a big thank you for stepping in at the last minute! Christine from St Leonards Hospice came to Link Group to tell them all about the history, work of and plans for the future of the hospice. Link Group had a wonderful time and even gave a little collection to the hospice. Thank you to Christine and Barbara for holding the fort!


St Leonard's Hospice




This week saw the Link Group participate in the annual quiz. There were 10 rounds including music, film, cake, general knowledge, sport and even a picture round.


> Betsy's Big Pub Quiz (click here)

> Answers (click here)


Teams were made up of both Link Group members and students with the questions from a range of decades. Out of 55 the winning team scored 42 and the losing team 17.


See below the winning team who graciously shared there sweet prize:


Link Group Quiz Winners




This week was a very busy week for Miss Mower, with the year 10 Aspiring Enterprise Day and meeting the University of York mentors for the new academic year, so Mr Tomsett kindly set in and took the Link Group through his fascination with heist movies.


Thanks to Adam from Vital for the technical support involved in letting the Link Group see the “kitchen” scene from the God Father.




With Bonfire night having only just passed the Link Group came back from half term and went straight into the science lab. It had been quite a few years since the Link Group had been in a science lab but the classroom behaviour soon returned with a naughty back row and giggling.
Trev and Debs the science technicans had a range of demonstrations and activities planned, a large bang, setting Miss Mower on fire and identifying which chemical make the different colours in a fire work.

A big thank you to Trev and Debs for a fantastic afternoon.

Link Group Bonfire 1  Link Group Bonfire 2  Miss Mower on FIRE ! ! !



This week another PDP option joined Link Group. The Masterchef PDP students gave up there lunchtime to make biscuits and buns in time for the Link Group to decorate. As Halloween was just around the corner Mrs Burns decided on a ghoulish theme. The Link Group members where challenged to turn the biscuits into spider webs and the buns into ghosts.

The office staff leant a hand to judge the competition. Joyce Foster won best bun for her ghost with hair and Hazel Phillips won best biscuit with a big beastly spider.

Thank you very much to Mrs Burns and the Masterchef students.


Link Group Halloween Bun 1   Link Group Halloween Bun 2




This week the Ruth Richards came along to Link Group and bought 5 suitcases, bursting with vintage items along with her. She came to encourage the seniors to reminisce about their pasts, what they remember from their childhood and what they could remember from the items. Pictured below are some of the seniors perusing newspapers, looking at antique dolls and even perfume from the 1940’s which is still stocked in Boots!


Huntington Link Group Vintage
As Ruth explained, “vintage” is  a very fashionable thing and current trend with over 10 vintage stores in York and anything from old sewing machine tables being used for interior design, thick brim glasses featuring on X factor contestants and even tin and enamel kitchen wear being supplied in Barnitts!

It was a great opportunity for students and seniors to discuss vintage items from past and present see below, Joyce explaining to Aisling about how she would help her dad with his Stamp Collection.
Huntington Link Group Vintage 2

The Link Group had a thoroughly lovely time and even staff came to look at some of the items, there was a few confessions from the Link Group of items that they still have hidden away such as China sets, sewing machines and Wedding dresses which might come in handy for Link Group Coordinator, Betsy, as she announced her engagement this week.

A big thank you to Ruth Richards for sharing her lovely collection and stories this week.

This week the Link Group went on an exciting outing to York Cocoa House in Blake Street. They took part in a workshop for York 800 in which they reminisced about Rowntrees and the memories they have of the chocolate industry in York. Many of the Link Group members have fond memories of Rowntree’s, two of the group meet at the bus stop on their first day in the rowntree’s factory and are still friends 65 years later. Two other members meet there, married and were talking about it today, 50 years later.

Huntington School Cocoa House 1

The York Cocoa House is a spectacular place and was so welcoming, accommodating and thoughtful. Thank you to Sophie and the staff for making it such a wonderful afternoon. Visit www.yorkcocoahouse.co.uk/ for more information.

Pictured below are Link Group members and students capturing their memories:

Huntington School Cocoa House 2



This week Sylvia Jobling from Huntington Memorial Hall was kind enough to come to Link Group to talk about the Hall and what goes on there. In particular the Scarecrow festival that Huntington School have been taking part in for the last three years. Scarecrows have included the Big 8 and the house name sake’s with Amy Johnson winning best entry from the school 2012.

For more information about the hall or the scarecrow festival go to www.hmh.org.uk

Huntington Link Group Scarecrows

A big thank you to Sylvia for coming along and all the effort that went into this week’s Link Group.

This week the Link Group came back together after having a short break over the summer holidays. It was lovely to welcome back all of the members and some who have returned following a spell of bad health.

As each term the Link Group get a new gaggle of students, they introduced themselves to the members and told them their names, what they are studying and what their hopes are for the future.

Miss Mower then informed them over everything that had happened over the summer and what is on the Link Group calendar for the next term.

September 26 Welcome Back – Catch up!
October 3 Huntington’s Scarecrows
October 10 Chocolate Week
October 17 Reminiscence
October 24 Master Chef Cupcake Decorations
October 31 NO LINK - Half Term
November 7 Science with Mr Gillen
November 14 Heists with Mr Tomsett
November 21 Betsy’s Big Pub Quiz
November 28 St Leonards Hospice
December 5 Students Decide
December 12 Christmas Meal
December 19 Panto