Bingley Grammar School

Mr Atkinson's Friday Update

Good afternoon,

Firstly, Happy New Year to all, I hope that all managed to find time for family and friends at this busy time of year. 


Since our return to school much has happened, including assemblies each day linked to our key values and routines:

Belong Grow Succeed Routines block web

These have been led by myself, Mr Ward (AAHT/DDSL), Mr Parapia (AAHT Key Stage Four) and Mr Booth (AAHT Key Stage Three). Within this we have focused on the key routines but also how Belong, Grow, Succeed are living values such as having a respect for all and being a Positive Bystander. Within this, Mr Booth will also be focusing on the role of so-called influencers in people's lives and the negative impact they can have, this is a follow up to his work with Yr 9 last term.  

Within this, Mr Ward has also launched the end of year rewards trip for Yr 7 – Yr 10 to Flamingo Land, This information has been sent to parents and carers.  In addition, Mr Bridge (Senior) is starting the preparation for Yr 11 Prom with details to be published soon. 

Pastoral Changes

This week we have had interviews for our new Head of Year posts. These were created as we identified the increasing need for pastoral care in school. We have now firmly moved away from the traditional teaching Head of Year supported by a non-teaching member of staff and from February 6th will have a non-teaching Head of Year for each year group supported by a non-teaching Assistant Head of Year. The team will be:  

Head of Yr 7 and Transition 
Mrs Roberts 

Assistant Head of Yr 7 
Miss Mulcock  

Head of Yr 8
Mrs Fountain (New to post and BGS, starting February 6th)

Assistant Head of Yr 8
Ms Blagg 

Head of Yr 9 
Mr Bridge (Junior) 

Assistant Head of Yr 9
Mrs Faunch 

Head of Yr 10 
Miss Clough (Promotion, starting 16th January) 

Assistant Head of Yr 10
Interviews being held… 

Head of Yr 11
Mr Bridge (Senior)

Assistant Head of Yr 11
Mrs Qayyum (Maternity starts Friday 13th January) - Mr Parapia AAHT will be working with the year group until they leave 

You may notice that both Mr Bridges are moving from having two year groups to one. They will still support both year groups, however, they will also both be commencing other roles, for example Mr Bridge (Junior) being trained to Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead level and Mr Bridge (Senior) supporting our students who are accessing alternative provision due to their specific needs. This is in line with Mrs Roberts who also moved from having two year groups and now looks after our Peer Mentor scheme as well as transition. This deployment of their expertise will only strengthen the pastoral experience for students at BGS. 

In two weeks, we will also be saying goodbye to Mrs Rawling as she starts a new chapter in her life with her PHD studies. Mrs Rawling has been with BGS since 2001 and within her time has worked in many roles with the pastoral team. Her roles have included Learning Support Assistant, Deputy Study Hall Manager, Study Hall Manager, Assistant Head of Year, Acting Head of Year 10, Acting Head of Year 11, Safeguarding Support Lead. I would like to say thank you to Mrs Rawling for all the support she has given staff, students and parents over the past 21 years, you have been an integral part of the pastoral team. 

Year 11

Y11 students were made aware on Thursday that they will be changing form groups next Tuesday. Mr Ashley (DHT) will be covering this again with Yr 11 on Tuesday morning, followed by new timetables. In their form sessions, they will then focus on revision techniques for a specific subject (English/Maths/Science). Mr Ashley has developed the new groups based on the needs of the students and further rotations will occur in the lead up to the examinations.  

Well Being 

Also since we came back, Place2Be ( led by ex-student Mrs Mahmood, have been building their capacity in school. Two new counsellors are joining her team and they will be ready to work with the students in the coming weeks. In addition, the Mental Health Support Team (NHS) have also embarked on their work with two smaller groups in Yr 7 and Yr 9, as well as Nikki from Think for the Future working with Yr 10 and Yr 11. Having this external support for the students is invaluable. Despite this having a cost implication, we feel it is highly worthwhile as evidenced through the decreasing negative points given out in school, with suspensions down 29% from this time last year. Thank you to Mr Padden (Looked After Children and Wellbeing Lead) who has been pulling these different agencies together under one umbrella here at BGS.

Student Leadership 

Mr Riley (Director of Research & Postgraduate Study and Head of Media) has also met again with our Student Leadership Team. The attached gives you a flavour of what the student leadership group is working towards here at BGS and I cannot wait for the Diversity Day in the Summer Term. 

Reading in School 

Our staff have been busy developing their skills in developing and supporting reading at school. This started with Mr Weston (Headteacher) speaking to all staff about its importance and why Bingley students have a reading lesson on its timetable from Yr 7 – Yr 9, plus how we can then extend this into our subject areas. Since then there have been sessions led by staff regarding this. For example, Mrs Drane (Yr 9 Reading Lead) spoke with teachers leading reading sessions about how to encourage reluctant readers, with the essential aspects being modelling and praise, especially celebrating when a child overcomes a barrier to reading or in many cases adding expression to what they are saying. There were also other sessions led by Mrs Braime/Mrs Kirk and Mrs Hodgson that focused on supporting and developing reading in subject lessons focusing on a reading checklist, emphasising that we are all teachers of reading and how we can use reciprocal reading strategies in our lessons. This work will be continuing over this term. Overall, we want students to recognise active reading is part of our reading culture at BGS, something I know we can do with such positive role models as the staff leading these sessions. 

Road Safety

Finally, I must end on a reminder about road safety at the beginning and end of the day. This week I have been approached by several members of the public regarding parking on double yellow lines and dangerous U turns in the road. I implore you to think about what you are doing when you pick up and drop off your child(ren), student safety is paramount. Unfortunately, there was a road traffic accident (involving vehicles not pedestrians) at the bottom of driveway 2 on Thursday morning. Despite this, some students were being dropped off and some cars were still being driven in a way that caused further congestion. We need to model good road safety and we can all start to do this through the way we drive. I know this is a minority and thank you to those that do have this in mind every day.

Thank you for reading, 

Mr Atkinson 

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