Merry Christmas Everyone!

The end of term is here.  Just 5 more sleeps until the big man arrives!

It has been a very long and successful term. There have been incredible highs but some lows that have saddened the Beckfoot community. I’ll say more about those later.

At the end of November, we had a Trust training day entitled ‘No Child Left Behind’. The opening speaker was David Laws, former MP, with a strong message for us all on the importance of education for every child. Throughout the day we attended various workshops including Child Development, Parental Engagement, Study Skills, Mental Health and Wellbeing. The day ended with an inspirational speech from former Belle Vue Boys student (now Beckfoot Upper Heaton), Shakeel Dad. Shakeel is now a partner in a big solicitor’s company in Leeds and his career has been one of incredible success. He spoke of aspiration, the importance of education and family and his journey, which was hugely influenced by his teachers. It was very moving and marked the closing of a memorable and inspirational day.

One of Beckfoot’s greatest strengths is to help young people to understand the world around them and the opportunities that will be available to them when they leave school, be it locally, nationally or abroad. Our Year 8 and 9 students have been involved in Enterprise Challenge Days and mock interviews with a range of local employers. The students were amazing, and I was struck by their desire to make an impression and do special things in their lives. I am very grateful to the team for providing such opportunities for our students.

At the start of the month our Year 9 students received their SSAT national awards. The evening will live long in my memory for two reasons. Firstly, the student speeches and secondly our guest speaker, Hamza Mujtaba. Hamza is an ex-student who is now a doctor at Airedale Hospital and a film maker with a strong reputation across the world for his documentaries and promotional videos. I loved having him with us because he is a wonderful lad and he represents everything I want for our students for their future.

Last night I attended my first Christmas concert for five years. Wow! I loved every minute of it and was very emotional about the whole evening. It’s incredible to witness the talent we have here and the dedication of our staff who make all these events possible. I loved the sense of pride emanating from our students and the confidence that has been instilled in them to perform and enjoy themselves. I particularly loved the words about Matt Stimpson from our sixth form students who will leave in June. They clearly love the man and all he has done alongside them. That is special.

Finally, I want to thank you for your support of me, my staff and our students over the past few weeks. We have been deeply saddened by the loss of 2 students, Raees and Ishah. Both were very special young people and we miss them greatly. Our students have been incredibly strong and inspire us every day to be better people. The light that shines from us all at Beckfoot shines a little less brightly at the moment and our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this time.

Have a wonderful, peaceful and safe Christmas holiday. Get some rest. Spend time with those you love and we look forward to seeing you in 2020!




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