Half way through the year!

As half term approaches, I have been reflecting on the past few months. I have loved being back at Beckfoot and working alongside incredible staff and students. This is a really special place and I am privileged to lead the school every day.

We had our Beckfoot Trust review this week. I invited six great people to review our school. The staff and students were great throughout and I learnt a lot from the initial feedback. I really wanted to understand from an external perspective whether my vision for the future direction the school is the right one. I also wanted their view on behaviour, personal development of students, quality of teaching and our work around the development of a more coherent curriculum for all our students. In short, the review was a success because our plans are sound, and the school is moving forward. Of course, they found areas for improvement but that is also what I wanted, and we will address those in the coming weeks and months. I must mention that many of our students were involved in the process and were described as incredible young people who love their school and feel proud to be a part of our community. I couldn’t be happier to hear such positive feedback.

On the subject of students, I wanted to tell you how brilliant our Year 11 and Year 13 students have been. They are almost at the end of two full weeks of mock exams and their attitude and approach has been stunning. Our team of invigilators and exams officers have found them to be a joy to work with and support. Our students will go home later today and get some well-earned rest. They will also utilise the half term holiday to get some work done following the feedback already received from their exams. What I really want though, is for them to learn a great deal from the experience. Many will have done well and some not so well. Regardless, it is the learning that stems from the mocks that can make all the difference to a young person as they head towards the real exams. As always, I wish them well.

This week we have seen several events taking place that make you realise how fortunate you are to work at this school (not that I needed to be reminded!) Firstly, High School Musical auditions have concluded with various roles up for grabs. The production team have been left in awe at the talent at this school and the levels of engagement from students. All those who auditioned have a role to play and I can't wait to see the results of all their hard work and commitment during the live extravaganza later this year!

We also sent a group of students to take part in a table cricket tournament on Tuesday.  We came second which means we go to Headingley to play again on 7 May. I’m thrilled! As part of that experience we had five fabulous sixth formers who attended to both support our students but also help to umpire the tournament.  This work was part of YCC Young Leaders training, and they have been successful in their efforts.  They did a fantastic job and were a credit to Beckfoot and to themselves. They represent everything that I wish to engender in our young people because of the values they hold and the way they inspire younger students each day.

Lastly, I am busy recruiting new staff to join our team in September. So far we have recruited three new English teachers, an additional Computer Science teacher and a new Leader of Design and Technology. I am interviewing for a teacher of Science later today and after half term I will be appointing new colleagues in History, Maths and Design. I love the process and am humbled by the number of applicants who want to work at our school. Brilliant!

Have a wonderful, safe and restful half term break and we look forward to welcoming our students back to school on Monday 24 February.



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