Welcome Back

I hope you had an enjoyable and restful half term.

We have got off to a flying start this week and our Year 11 students have been sitting their mock exams since Monday. They have been great and have just another few days to go until they are done. The critical thing for them and us is that these tests should provide the information needed around their current strengths and areas for improvement. In turn this should help with intervention and their study plans. They are a very special group of young men and the next few days, weeks and months need to be put to good use for them to achieve the amazing things they are capable of.

Continuing with Year 11, I must let you know about the exploits of five of them last week during their half term. They had applied for a week of work experience with Trust Ford in Huddersfield which was planned for half term. All five were successful with their applications and headed off on the first Monday of their holidays, accompanied by Mr McAteer, to begin their five-day adventure. They did wonderfully and were a credit to not only themselves but to their families and, of course, BUH. At the end of the week one of them was offered an apprenticeship and has accepted. The other impressed equally but see their futures at sixth form and college at least initially. All of them are a shining example of what is possible if you are willing to be proactive, work hard and do not wait for things to come to you. We are very proud of them all.

Our younger students have been equally busy and one of them has created a video to highlight the benefits and joy of reading. He did this in his own time at home and was brave enough to share it with us. It’s stunning and an utter joy to watch. Book reviews are a feature of our work on improving literacy for all and to know that books are allowing our students such incredible and lifelong learning experiences will only serve to make us push this even harder as we move forward as a school.

Our Key Stage 3 linguists established a French speaking café yesterday in Ms Knight’s room. There were croissants, cheese, drinks and all manner of other delights to get stuck into as long as you conversed in French. It was fantastic fun and a very clever way of bringing languages to life in school. I was involved to a degree in that I was hungry and was desperate not to look foolish in front of everyone. I wrote a speech in French, practiced it and then headed up to the café to deliver my few words. I stood there in front of a bustling crowd and proceeded, in French, to tell them I was hungry and would appreciate being fed as quickly as possible adding a great big PLEASE at the end. The obviously took pity on the poor Irish man stood at the front and quickly proceeded to sit me down and feed me. I was happy, they were relieved to get me out of the way and everyone was happy! Thanks hugely to the students involved and to Ms Knight of course.

On Wednesday we welcomed staff from Asda in to continue their work with some of our students around the world of work and the opportunities that exist beyond school and college. They are a huge support to us in helping us deliver our vision for quality provision of careers information, advice and guidance. We are building exciting links with a range of businesses and other providers such as KPMG, PWC and Lloyds Bank to name just a few. It is perhaps one of the most exciting initiatives we have been involved in at BUH, under the leadership of Ms Armitage, and I really hope it will support an even brighter future for all our young people and convince them of the world of opportunity out there if they are willing to engage, work hard and believe that ‘anything is possible’.

In support of that work Ms Armitage is also heavily involved in the Speakers for Schools charity. That group is doing incredible things bringing hugely successful people from all walks of life (Business, Media, Politics and Enterprise) into schools to share their stories and pearls of wisdom. Today we welcome Dr. Zoe Loughlin who is a co-founder/director of the Institute of Making – a multidisciplinary research club for those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to diamonds, socks to cities. She is also a regular on TV and we are very excited to welcome her.

Finally, we also welcomed representatives from Cambridge University into school on Wednesday. They held a workshop with a large group of Year 10 students who possess the ability to stand with the world’s best at such a prestigious higher education institute. They really enjoyed the session and it will hopefully inspire a number of them to think really carefully about their futures and also convince them that they have the ability to do whatever they want in their lives if they are willing to work hard. Another subtle message from me!

Thanks for reading.

Simon

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