Welcome back to Beckfoot Upper Heaton as we begin our fourth year; it’s incredible just how quickly time passes. Looking back, I am incredibly proud of what we have collectively achieved in such a short space of time and the impact we have had on young people’s lives and the community.
2018 has been a very special year. We have achieved so much including:
- Graded ‘Good’ in all areas by Ofsted
- The story of our journey being published in the SSAT Journal 11
- Being invited to speak at the SSAT School Improvement conference in London in June
- Achieving our best ever GCSE results
I want to say thank you to everyone who has believed in our journey, supported our ambition and contributed to our success in any way.
On Tuesday we welcomed 145 students into Year 7 and they have settled in brilliantly. I am always aware of the need to make sure they are well cared for, feel safe and supported in the early days yet challenged to make the transition to upper school as positive an experience as possible. Staff have been so welcoming and friendly but have also made it clear exactly what is expected of every young person who is a member of our school community. I hope they’ll be happy and successful in the years here and I have little doubt that they will bring great things to BUH in the weeks, months and years ahead.
It’s also been a strong start for our new Year 11 students. They have returned with a determination to make the year ahead the best of their educational journey thus far. Indeed, we met with each one of them and their parents/carers on Tuesday night to agree targets and discuss their ambitions for the future. I was humbled by their approach, honesty and willingness to speak so openly about the challenges of the next nine months. What is absolutely certain is that the staff here will provide them with the best levels of challenge, support and guidance we can offer. They will have no excuses as long as they are willing to work as hard as they can to do their very best whatever level that is.
The remainder of the school is now back with us. As you know we moved all of our students up a year in June and the benefits of that are so evident. We have been able to get straight into our core business of teaching and learning and the students have just got on with things without fuss. Doing assemblies this week and sharing with them just how proud I am of our school and of them has been a joy. I love it!
Our outside spaces are continuing to develop. Our MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) has been freshly marked out and will, yet again, provide the scene for many epic football games at break and lunch this year! Our fields have been extensively remodelled and new drainage put in to ensure they are fit for use all year. I have been frustrated with the timescales but I am now confident they will be an incredible addition to our outside spaces in the new year. My dream is to be able to let students onto those areas to eat, play and relax; it will be special for them and exactly what they deserve.
Our GCSE results this summer have been incredible and our best ever. We are now in the top 5% of similar schools nationally and have the strongest progress measure of any school in the Beckfoot Trust. They are the result of hard work and commitment from staff and students over the past three years and have ensured that all of our students have secured appropriate post-16 provision. They were another very special group and I am so proud of each of them for what they have achieved but also for what they contributed to our school over the years. They have set the bar and we have work to do to continue to improve. I guess it comes back to our Core Purpose and that line that says, ‘anything is possible’!