Headteacher’s Blog – June 2018

As we move into the summer months and closer towards the end of the academic year, I thought it would be timely to share a few updates with you, along with some key dates for the term ahead.

I am delighted to confirm that prior to half-term, the school’s governing body voted unanimously in support of two significant changes to our school: the structure of the school day from September 2018 and the pastoral structure from September 2019. There is now a section on our school website dedicated to keeping you informed about the progress we are making towards each of these changes. It can be accessed using the following link (https://www.bournside.gloucs.sch.uk/changes) and presently contains two documents, which will be of interest to you: first, a parent information guide (this document was sent to all parents at the end of April and explains in detail the reasons for making each change and what each will involve). Secondly, a frequently asked questions (FAQs) document (compiled using questions and comments from parents at the Parent Information Evening, held in school on Tuesday 1st May). This section of our website will continue to be updated over the coming months with any information relevant to these two changes. I look forward to working with you over the coming months as we progress through a very exciting transition for our school and your children.

In the recent Parent Voice Survey, a number of parents/carers commented on the use of mobile technology in the school. This is a debatable topic and it will divide opinion amongst parents/carers for sure. As you are aware, we are proud to be a Technology Enhanced Learning school and part of our school vision is to become an Apple Distinguished School; the first of its kind in our county and a goal that we are moving rapidly towards. Through our work in this area, our students benefit from new and innovative ways to learn, alongside more traditional methods too. However, throughout this year I have become increasingly concerned by the growing number of students who are using mobile phones and iPods inappropriately in school. This ranges from using mobile phones whilst walking through crowded corridors and using devices whilst sat eating lunch with other students and staff, rather than conversing. This still remains a relatively small proportion of our students, however, this number is growing and I wish to work with our staff, you as parents/carers and also our students, to address this issue. Therefore, from 3rd September 2018 the following will apply:

  1. The school’s Dining Centre will be ‘device free’ before/after school, at breaktime and lunchtime.
  2. No mobiles/iPods should be seen or heard in lessons (*)
  3. No mobiles/iPods should be seen or heard inside the school building between lessons (*)
  4. The only time that headphone wires are allowed is during lessons, connected to an iPad/PC and used for a specific learning purpose. (*)

(*) The only exceptions to the above apply to sixth form students who may use their mobile/iPod/headphones during lessons if the teacher gives them permission for that single lesson or during their independent study periods in the dining centre, learning centre and sixth form courtyard.

You will see from the above that students’ use of iPads in lessons will remain unaffected.

Students who do not comply with the above expectation will have their device(s) confiscated and it will be securely stored in the school reception. Only the student’s parents/carers will be permitted to collect the device during normal reception opening hours (8:00am – 4:30pm Monday to Thursday and 8:00am – 4:00pm on Friday) and the device will be made available after 3:15pm on the day of confiscation.

I am confident that this will support our students making safe and appropriate choices as they progress towards adulthood and would ask for your support, particularly in the early stages of the new system.

Term 6 is incredibly busy with so many additional opportunities for our students to engage in. Below are a selection of the key events taking place at the school between now and the end of term:

Year 10 Parent Teacher Consultation Evening (Thursday 14th June)

Appointments can be made using the school’s online booking system. A letter giving details of how to make bookings has already been issued to parents/carers of year 10 students.

Year 5 Taster Day 1 (Wednesday 20th June)

We welcome 139 year 5 students from St Mark’s Primary School and Warden Hill Primary School to come and spend the day with us and experience life at Bournside.

Year 5 Taster Day 2 (Thursday 21st June)

As above, but on this occasion we welcome 175 students from Lakeside Primary School, Naunton Park Primary School and St James’ Primary School.

Year 12 UCAS Convention (Tuesday 26th June)

A fantastic opportunity for our year 12 students to continue their exploration of life beyond Bournside, whether that be university, apprenticeship or employment. Reply slips should be handed back to Mrs Cullen (Sixth Form Administration Leader)

Year 12 Destinations talk to parents (Wednesday 27th June)

A letter regarding this has been issued to parents/carers of year 12 students.

Year 12 Mock Interviews (Thursday 28th June)

Each student in year 12 will prepare for and sit a mock interview with an external visitor, as preparation for future university, apprenticeship and employment selection processes.

Year 11 Prom (Friday 29th June)

This memorable celebration will be held at the Pittville Pump Rooms and information regarding this has already been issued to parents of year 11 students.

Year 6 Information Evening (Monday 2nd July)

We welcome parents/carers of year 6 students who will be joining us in September 2018 to attend a 45-minute information evening. Letters confirming the details of this event will be issued nearer the time.

Year 6 Induction Days (Tuesday 3rd July and Wednesday 4th July)

We open our doors for the first time to the 300 year 6 students who will be joining us in September 2018, for their two induction days.

Year 12 Parent Teacher Consultation Evening (Thursday 5th July)

Appointments can be made using the school’s online booking system nearer the time. A letter giving details of how to make bookings will be sent in due course.

Summer Concert (Wednesday 11th July)

The perfect way to end a fantastic year of musical performance at the school. Further details regarding this event will be issued nearer the time.

Sixth Form Induction Day (Thursday 12th July)

We welcome students who will be joining our year 12 cohort in September to come and spend the day with us and engage in a range of sixth form lessons and activities. Students have already been made aware of this event.

Sports Awards Evening (Thursday 12th July)

Our outstanding sporting performers will be invited to attend this celebration event. Invites and further details will be sent nearer the time.

Sports Day (Tuesday 17th July; reserve day is Thursday 19th July)

We welcome all parents/carers of year 7-10 students to join us between 12:45pm and 3:00pm for an afternoon of sporting activity on the school field. Further details regarding this event will be issued nearer the time and parents/carers who plan to attend will be asked to confirm this in advance.

Year 8 Learning Experience Days (Tuesday 10th – Thursday 12th July, inclusive)

All year 8 students will participate in the following three events over the three-day period: visit to St Fagan’s National Museum of History, solar-powered car creation day at Bournside and a creative art event. Further details will be shared with students and parents closer to the time.

Year 13 Graduation Ball (Friday 13th July)

A final celebration for students in year 13 will be held at the Hatherley Manor Hotel. Information regarding this has already been issued to parents of year 13 students.

Final day of term 6 (Friday 20th July)

As is normally the case on the final day of term, students will be dismissed from school at 12:30pm to enable staff to meet and say farewell to departing colleagues.

Start of the new school year – September 2018

As per our published school calendar, the new term will begin at the following times:

  • Year 7: Wednesday 5th September at 8:50am
  • Year 8-11: Wednesday 5th September at 9:50am
  • Year 12 and 13: Thursday 6th September at 8:45am

Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our school and I look forward to seeing you over the coming months.

Best wishes,

Gareth Burton