Nearing The End of Term

As we near the end of this term I wanted to share with you some of the fantastic work that has been going on since my last Blog. Indeed, the school feels alive every day with new and exciting ventures happening most of which are designed to continue to broaden horizons for our students.

In mid-June we said goodbye to our Year 11 students who completed their final GCSE exam on Friday 15th. We were able to sit together with them to share some food and then talk to them in a final leaver’s assembly before waving them off and wishing them well. They have been amazing young people and we will miss them. I hope they are getting some much needed rest and I also hope that they will achieve the success they desire and deserve to give them the next step choices we’ve been talking about all year.

We have also started our new academic year and the staff and students have really embraced the opportunity to move up a year and begin new courses of study. High quality teaching and learning lies at the centre of this initiative and I hope it will prove to give our students an added advantage in terms of their progress and learning.

Year 10, now Year 11, have just returned to us following their work experience week. PC Tony Hooson and Mr. McAteer spent the week visiting students in their various workplaces and the reports from employers have been an utter joy to read. Our students really took advantage of the opportunity to immerse themselves in the real world of work and for many, we hope, it will prove to be a major catalyst for their learning throughout Year 11. We had students taking responsibility for incredibly expensive supercars; students who were tasked to design buildings and others who experienced life in various retailers across the city. Some are more determined than ever to become engineers, mechanics, architects, solicitors and other aspirational professions. Whatever their dreams there will never be any substitute for hard work and I am so thrilled that we have been able to resurrect this critically important element of our curriculum provision. Thanks to everyone, especially our students, for making the week such a success.

In other matters our Year 8 students have been involved in a variety of workshops facilitated by the Crafts Council which culminated in a number of them heading off to Leeds University to work with their staff and students. Stunning work has been happening in textiles and also in Art where our Year 10 Art students have been working with local well known artist Craig Dyson to create a sculpture of our Beckfoot Upper Heaton learner. I can’t wait for it to be completed and unveiled.

We have also been hugely involved in the Bradford Literature Festival, the National Writing Day and our Literacy Champions have introduced new and important element to our work in developing literacy across the curriculum. Look out for Raid the Read books and please encourage your child/ward to read for pleasure as this is such an important part of our collective desire to open minds and develop both oracy skills and a more extensive vocabulary.

Our first DoE (Duke of Edinburgh) cohort will complete their Bronze award next week when they undertake and complete their final task involving camping out in the Yorkshire Dales, navigating their way to various areas in the park and also fending for themselves whilst away. Ms. Knight has led the group wonderfully and none of this would have been possible without her efforts and the support of PC Tony Hooson and Mr. Ahmed. Added to that has been the sheer determination and enthusiasm of the Year 9 students who have lived and breathed every minute of their time on the course this year. They have set the bar and I cannot wait for the next bunch to go through this experience.

Over the past few weeks our transition work has been in full flow with Ms. Armitage, Ms. Berry and Ms. Mosby visiting all of our primary feeder schools. Added to that has been some wonderful Maths, D&T and English workshops all designed to work with Year 5 and 6 students to ensure a smoother and more purposeful transition process. Last week we were delighted to welcome our new Year 7 students and their parents/carers to school for an evening. It was a really informative and upbeat event and it was great to get a sense of the young people and their families that have put their trust in us for the next 5 years; it’s an honour. On Wednesday the students themselves came in for most of the day and went to lessons, had lunch and an assembly and got, I hope, a flavour of our school and our expectations of them for when they arrive in September; exciting!

Lastly, you know your school is going in the right direction when you are asked to present at a National School Improvement conference in London; we were! So, last week, Mr. Wrightson and I travelled to London to speak about our school journey at the SSAT National School Improvement conference. It was a privilege to be asked but also to fly the flag for our school, the Beckfoot Trust and for Bradford. We loved it and hope to be involved in other such opportunities as we thrust ahead with phase two of our journey to become an outstanding example of comprehensive education in this part of Bradford.

Have a great week and I will be in touch before the summer.

Take care
Simon

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