It’s Half Term This Week

Where did that time go?

I can’t quite believe that we have almost completed 7 weeks already. I have enjoyed every minute of it and feel that our students have made a very positive start to their year. It has been a half term to remember without doubt and full of firsts for our school.

Last week, and for the first time at this school, we took our entire Year 7 cohort to Nell Bank, an outdoor pursuits centre on the outskirts of Ilkley for some team building and bonding activities. We chose to visit Nell Bank because it is something I have experienced previously and it is an incredible opportunity to build upon our great transition work by taking students out of their comfort zones and challenging them to get to know and work with each other in a setting that is inclusive, friendly and incredibly beautiful. The weather was stunning as was the feedback about our students from the course providers. This is definitely something we will continue for our Year 7 students into the future.

Last week I also discovered that the work of our BUHSL (Beckfoot Upper Heaton Student Leaders) on eco change has been recognised through the award of Bronze Eco school status. They have been determined to make changes in our school in terms of litter, recycling and the use of single use plastics. Only a few weeks ago they presented their thoughts on single use plastics to the entire school forcing all young people and adults to really consider the role they play in making our planet greener. I am very grateful and proud of their work. They are now on with supporting our catering providers with their views on menus and the sale of items that may be considered to be of single use. I’m sure they will deliver change!

This week we will be visited by Michael Maddison as part of a Beckfoot Trust review. He, and others, will be with us for two full days to examine our work and progress since Ofsted visited in March. These reviews are very much part of the Beckfoot Trust way of supporting schools to continuously reflect on their practice and be clear about their priorities for improvement. We have always learned a great deal from these visits and this week will be no different I’m sure. As always, once I have the feedback I will share with our students through assemblies and with you all through this Blog.

Given that it will soon be the season for ghosts, ghouls and fireworks we have been seeking to educate our students on the dangers of fireworks. Working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Fire Service, Mr. Midgley has been leading assemblies on what to look out for in the coming weeks. As difficult as some of the messages were to see and hear I believe this imparting of knowledge to be critical to the safety of our students. Of course it is important to have fun but that should never supersede the need to be safe.

The week off next week must also be used wisely for all our Year 11 students. When we return it will be almost November and they will have only 6 months left prior to their exams. Getting the balance of work and respite is important and we know that those who are fully committed will do just that. The staff will have provided work for them to complete and there is always the website for things like SAM Learning and Corbett Maths!

Finally, I want to thank you all for your continued support for our school community. It is hugely appreciated and we are, I believe, getting stronger all the time. Have a great half term and be safe throughout.

Simon

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