I can’t quite believe that half term has arrived, and we have completed eight weeks of the academic year. It has flown by and I have thoroughly enjoyed being back at Beckfoot. Since I last blogged so much has happened!

In sporting news all our teams are flying. Results are strong in football, netball, badminton, basketball and table tennis to name but a few. SPA is such a wonderful provision and I love to see so many of our young people engaged each week. Another three of our girls have been selected to represent our school at Bradford Schools for netball and my congratulations go to Evie, Libby and Fearne.

We had an incredible careers event last week as part of our CEIAG provision. Over 60 employers and education providers came into school to share information with our students in Years 9, 10, 11 and Post 16. The main hall was alive with a buzz of excitement from students as they considered what the future might hold for them. It was lovely talking to them about their dreams and aspirations and what really struck me was how ambitious each of them was. If events like this can inspire young minds and convince them that anything is possible with hard work, then they will always be worth doing. Thanks to all the staff who made it happen and contributed to its success.

Our student leaders have been busy organising a charity concert to be held here on Thursday 14 November in aid of Martin House Hospice. They have visited Martin House and have organised everything from the acts, marketing, refreshments and tickets to make the event a success. They came to our staff briefing on Monday to talk about how we can all support and have left me in awe of just how selfless and incredible they all are. I wish them well in their quest to raise over £2000 and have little doubt they will get there. I’m sure it will be a great event.

Speaking of special events, I had the pleasure and privilege to attend the All in Award concert last week. This is a joint production between Beckfoot and Hazelbeck with additional contribution from Beckfoot Upper Heaton. I loved the entire evening and was taken on an emotional rollercoaster as I watched all the acts perform. It also reminded me of how special our two schools are and the incredible opportunities that exist as a result of our co-location. A huge thanks to Ms Hammond and Ms Avey for their organisation, energy and passion. I loved it!

Continuing the creative theme, we had our Creative Showcase event last night displaying stunning work from last year's A-level and GCSE students and work from across the faculty in Music, Art, Technology, Dance and Drama. It was a real treat and it was great to provide this type of opportunity for both our students and our community.

Our Red-Carpet Awards have been taking place all week in recognition of the many students who have exceeded expectations across school since September. It is important to make them feel special. I really want them to understand the benefits of having a great attitude to learning, a strong approach to their attendance and punctuality and a commitment to our school in general. They have enjoyed treats ranging from films, sport and computing to ‘pizza and chill’. They have humbled me with their manners and appreciation. Thanks to Mr Darling, Ms Wintersgill and everyone who has made this possible.

Finally, our Year 11 students begin their mocks immediately after half term. I know it’s a tough year, but we are determined to ensure they are well supported and cared for throughout. We are trying to utilise all the time available to make sure they are ready to do amazing things next summer. We will introduce a new approach to tutoring for many of them with a focus on English, Maths and Science. We will have mentoring in place for those who need it, a bespoke Period 6 provision to ensure those with gaps in their knowledge can be supported and a strategy that is designed to be all encompassing in terms of support to best prepare them for the year that lies ahead. I spoke to them on Monday and explained that this year is the most important to get right regardless of anything that has gone before. It’s important to view Year 11 students differently to all other year groups and in doing so throw themselves completely into what is being offered. It’s about the bigger picture for them and helping them to secure bright futures either here or elsewhere for September 2020. I wish them well.

Please do enjoy half term. Be sure that students get some rest and that those doing exams are well prepared. Be happy, safe and return to us on Monday 4 November ready for the march towards Christmas.

Take care.

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