Headteacher’s Blog – 21st April 2023

It was good to welcome students back to school this week following the Easter break. I hope that you were able to make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend. Years 13, 11 and 10 now have their A-level, GCSE and BTEC exams in sight and we’re all looking forward to the trips and activities that the Summer Term brings.

The importance of reading in supporting success both within and beyond school is unquestionable and consequently, as you’re aware, reading is a big focus for us at BHS. Over the last year or so, we’ve developed a calendar of events to encourage a love of reading. You’ll have found out about these in Mrs. Wellock’s regular reading updates. Alongside this we have reading in Form Time and each subject area has developed strategies and  activities to use in lessons to support students in developing their reading fluency whilst also ensuring that all students can access the curriculum. However, we are also conscious of the Ofsted research published in October 2022, that outlined that nationally,

‘Each year around one quarter of 11-year-olds do not meet the expected standard in reading at the end of primary school. Fewer than 1 in 5 of these pupils can expect to get a GCSE grade 4 in English.’

and we are keen to continue to accelerate students’ reading progress as they move into Year 7 and through our school. Visits to primary schools and conversations with Year 6 teachers enable us to establish students’ reading competency and this, along with KS2 data and screening, enables us to identify where specific intervention is needed. To enhance our offer further and ensure we support phonics, after school on Wednesday, staff had a professional development session with a primary specialist where we gained a real insight into the way that phonics is used to teach reading in primary schools and how we can all build upon this systematically for impact in the secondary classroom.

We were delighted to welcome Mrs. Ennis, our new Head of History, to BHS this week and today we said farewell to Mrs. Brown who has worked as a Teaching Assistant. We thanked her for the significant impact that she’s had not only in lessons but also in extra-curricular activities and wish her well in her new post.

This weekend we have a group of Year 9 and Year 10 students undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition. We wish them well.

Looking ahead to next week, we have Student Council Fundraising Week to raise money to support people in Ukraine and Malawi. There will be lots of lunchtime activities across the week including Guess the name of the Teddy, Sponge a Teacher, a Cake decoration competition and a Bake Sale. So students may like to bring some money with them.

Have a lovely weekend!