26th March 2021
End of Term Update - March 2021
26 March 2021
End of Term Update
As we end the Spring Term, I wanted to write to you to share some information about a number of things that I hope will help and also ensure a very smooth and purposeful start to the summer term on Monday 12 April 2021.
Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the pandemic and brought back a great deal of memories about how this all began and the impact on our young people. We said goodbye to our students, tried to give our exam classes a good send off and hoped that it would only be a matter of weeks until we were back together again; how wrong we were.
Throughout the last 12 months we have tried our best to get things right and not always successfully. We have listened to feedback, evolved our practice and tried to put students first when it came to making decisions. I am grateful to each of you for your support and honesty. It has helped us to be better, without doubt.
Our students are back and doing really well. We are looking after those who are struggling and also making sure teaching is high quality and learning is strong. The vast majority of our students engaged really well throughout each lockdown and their progress has been great. Others less so. I want to assure you that we will support everyone to be where they should be in the coming weeks and months. Rightly or wrongly, we are avoiding talk of ‘lost learning’ and ‘catch-up’ because I don’t feel that is helpful. Students are already worried and language such as that will only add to their worries.
Our students head off today for the Easter break and many are already telling me they plan to do some work, others saying they are going to read more and some that they are just tired a few days to recharge before they get going. Each one, of course is fine. Our exam groups will perhaps need a different approach but certainly one that allows them to feel in control of their studies and revision.
Talking about exam groups, we have sent home a booklet this week that will help them to focus their revision in readiness for the assessments in May. We have asked a number of them for feedback on the content and each has been very complimentary about what we have included. Indeed, they are all saying that it will help them hugely both with their revision plans and stress levels. I am very relieved that they feel that way because of everything they have been through. Of all the students in school these are the ones that have been most uncertain and anything we can do to better support them is a good thing.
Red Nose Day and the Bradford Schools Pandemic Summit
Two very special events took place in the last week that I must tell you about. Firstly, Red Nose Day was a huge success. Our students in Years 7 and 8 were the driving force behind the day and did an amazing job. They raised over £1,700 which is incredible especially in the midst of a pandemic. The local bank were staggered when we paid in our monies on Monday which made them feel extra special. At such a young age they are exactly the type of young people we are trying to create at Beckfoot. Students that are selfless, considerate, driven, proactive and utterly respectful. Meeting them this week to thank was certainly a highlight.
On a similar theme, our student leaders were involved in the very first Schools Pandemic Recovery Summit which took place yesterday. Over 20 schools and their students came together with various council leaders, Trust CEOs and other very special guests to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the young people of Bradford. It was incredible. We had representation from Misha, Erin, Evie, Jamie, Nick, Evie, Jibrail, Will and Imogen and they were a major part of the presentations as they recounted their experiences and hopes for the future as we emerge from this period. I don’t really think there is anything more powerful that a young person or group of young people telling us how they have felt over the past year and what they need to help them recover and feel hopeful about their futures. Following the summit there are already plans to follow up their ideas and we will be right behind them in any way we can.
Lateral Flow Testing Programme and Test and Trace
I must thank you for your continued commitment to the Lateral Flow Testing programme. It is very important that we continue to test twice weekly over Easter so that we can hopefully have little or no interruption to the summer term. More tests have been provided to staff and students this week to help.
Please continue to log LFT results in the follow two places:
- Government webpage: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result; and
- Our school form located on our website here
Over the Easter break, if your child tests positive on either a LFT or a PCR test, please can you inform us at email@example.com or by leaving a voicemail on the school main telephone 01274 771444.
Uniform Standards and PE kit in the summer term
When we return after the break, we have asked that all students are in full and correct uniform. Standards are very important in any school but especially so at Beckfoot. Our uniform consultation proved very telling that our students and families love the current uniform. That is great and I have listened. We have also tried to be very accommodating in the last few weeks with uniform issues and would ask that everything is sorted for Monday 12 April 2021. Again, I am grateful for your continued support in this matter.
I have mentioned a few times in various correspondence in recent months that listening has been a feature of my work most especially over the past few months. I had some conversations with a few very eloquent and somewhat forceful Year 11 students who were keen to continue to wear PE kit to school on the days they have PE lessons. In all honesty, and until we are through this, I could not argue with them. And so, we will continue to encourage all students in all year groups to wear Beckfoot PE kit on the days they have their PE lessons. I hope it helps.
Finally, on the theme of uniform, I am asking students to no longer wear their coats around school. It was important that we relaxed this rule whilst getting through the winter. However, as we get into the summer, this is no longer necessary. In classrooms, where it is cold, staff may well allow this to continue but not in corridors or indoor communal areas. I hope this makes sense and you can see we have tried to be very accommodating over the past 6 months.
We have a new website and we are very excited about it. It went live this afternoon and is worth a look www.beckfoot.org. It now means that all Beckfoot trust schools have a similar website provision with, of course, specific information pertinent to each individual school community that will help. Any feedback would be great.
I hope you all manage to get some rest over the Easter holiday period. The future is looking very promising and the vaccine rollout is helping. The government are also planning to continue to lift restrictions bit by bit and I am optimistic about what the future holds for us all.