Heads blog

It’s been an eventful few days at Beckfoot and I want to share what has been happening around school since my last Blog a week ago.

We’ve had a relatively quiet week in terms of Covid and the slight spike in cases last week was not all that surprising following half term. Who knows what lies ahead but I want to reassure you all that we are determined to always stay open to educate our students and enable them to lead a largely normal life for much of their week. I say this because they are doing incredibly well at school. They are happy, engaged and amongst friends and I cannot stress enough the importance of this. I am also pleased that many of you feel able to share your concerns and we are all too happy to chat to you about these and, hopefully, put your mind at ease. Thanks, as always, for your incredible support and messages; they really do make a difference to my staff and me.

I have been meeting with my staff this week to talk about exam classes. I have been asking all 94 of them (yes, 94!) about their students and the progress they have made since returning to school. I have loved seeing the staff one to one and talking to them about things that really matter for our young people. I have been stunned by the level of preparation for those meetings, the detail they can go into about each child but, mostly, because of their care and passion for each student in their care. This week has provided yet another reminder to me about how fortunate I am at Beckfoot to have such committed and dedicated staff, further strengthened by the appointment of remarkable new staff.

The season of fundraising and getting involved in charitable causes has also arrived. Today is Children in Need day and, despite lockdown, we have asked each child and staff member, where possible, to contribute £1 via Parentpay for the privilege of wearing non-uniform. Many have been thinking about what to wear since last week and I’m sure the students have too! I love these events for lots of reasons but mainly because our students make a difference to the lives of others. They have spent some time in their tutor groups thinking about others and reflecting on what contributions they can make to those around them, and the wider world. Today will be a success regardless of how much we raise and the frustrations of not being able to do all the things we usually do.

The staff are also doing their bit and many of the male staff have embarked on the growth of facial hair for Movember to raise money and awareness of health and well-being issues facing men every day. I have paid my money and begun the journey of the moustache. At this point the feedback I have received has been mixed. In fact, it has been more pity than anything else. My children are no kinder, but I am determined to go the full 30 days and do my little bit at this time.

Continuing the theme of charitable work, I want to recognise and praise the efforts of one of our Year 9 students, Emma-Leigh, who has, for many years, been involved in a lot of charity work and is determined to make a difference to her city. She has recently received an NHS Young Hero Certificate of Appreciation Award in recognition of her work in her local area. She is currently working to raise money for Martin House and we are very proud of her.

The ‘All in Award’ cast of Beckfoot and Hazelbeck School have worked incredibly hard with Mr Lawal to produce a stunning video to celebrate Performing Arts. Click here to take a look.

As you know I really want to hear about and celebrate the achievements of students within and beyond school and this week we were told of some dance success. Emily in Year 10 and her younger sister have been selected for the Yorkshire Dance Elite Associates Team following rigorous auditions involving young dancers from across Yorkshire and the North East. Emily will now embark on a training schedule involving tuition from experts in the areas of Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Commercial Dance. It’s fantastic news and we are very proud of Emily.

Before I finish, I need to remind us all about the continuing need to keep ourselves safe. The use of face coverings is compulsory in school (on corridors and in communal indoor areas) and on all forms of public transport. Washing hands regularly and not touching the face are easy ways to help combat the spread of the virus as is the ‘Catch, it Bin it, Kill it’ approach to coughing and sneezing. Keeping apart two meters and avoiding face to face communication where possible also helps. I hope that if everyone sticks to the rules, we will get through this and look forward to the new year and a return to normality.

Take care.
Simon

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