Bingley Grammar School

Mr Atkinson's Friday Update 24.06.22

Dear Parents/Carers,

In my last update I focused on the new year groups. As part of this I would like to highlight Mrs Roberts and Miss McGee and their roles. These two staff members are integral to the pastoral team and are currently working on the transition of Year 6 to Year 7. Next year they will be looking after the new Year 7 with Mrs Roberts also working on transition throughout the year to support the movement to secondary school.

Also this week I wanted to bring your attention to more online safety advice, this time concerning 'Twitch'. It is so important that as parents we know what these sites are and how to support our children. The attached advice highlights 'blocking' which parents/carers can support with. Last weekend a parent contacted me about this very feature and by doing this they were able to support their child.

Also it is important that parents/carers do check their children's devices. When online, children sometimes feel 'protected' as they are behind a keyboard which in turn means they can write things they would never think of saying in public or they feel it will 'disappear' into the ether. However, this is not the case and so it is important to sit down with your child and check their online activity plus also reinforce your expectations.

In my last update I also focused on peer to peer abuse and our policy updates. I will publish the final policy before the summer holidays so you are aware of how we will deal with this as a school community. However, one aspect I must stress is that we want students/parents/carers to report negative behaviour when it starts, not excuse nor accept something as growing up. By reporting it sooner, it then allows us to educate students using restorative practices before having to resort to more punitive measures which include our School's Police Team.

Next week Ms Mdlongwa and Mrs Qayyum (Student Support Officer Yr10) will also be addressing students regarding the work they are completing on the RACE Chartermark Award but also how we will be using this to celebrate diversity in all its forms, from race and ethnicity to sexuality as seen in our Yr8 History curriculum which explores people's experiences through the ages and the protests they had to hold to have their voice heard. With regards to this, this year we have had a clear focus on Hate Crime and Peer to Peer Abuse. Next year we will be continuing with this but linking with more national events such as:

- October - Black History Month
- January - Holocaust Memorial Day
- May - Mental Health Awareness Week
- February - LGBT+ History Month
- June - Learning Disability Week

To do this though we will be looking to involve more students, with our student leaders being integral to this. However, if other students would like to be involved for any of these key focuses they should just let me know by speaking to me or sending me an email.

Looking further ahead Mr Ward and I are currently in the final stages for plans for Personal Development at Bingley Grammar School next year. This involves aspects such as:

- Guest Speakers - One per term for, example this year we have had Nick Butter (Marathon Man) and Sufiya Ahmed (Author)
- House Activities - One per term per year group, ranging from 'University Challenge' to Dodgeball
- LORIC Activities - Extending this to Yr9 with subjects being included in the range of challenges being set for the students, therefore giving them valuable experiences which they can add to their CV's
- Whole Year Group Experiences - Such as the Yr7 and Yr8 Sponsored Walk
- Rewards - Specific events throughout the year to recognise student success

This will then be published to all parents in September for your child's year group therefore allowing you to see what is on offer. Central to this will be the form group with all students having a form tutor next year, something we cannot wait to bring back to BGS and in turn reinvigorate the House system. Mr Ashley is in the final stages of this and we hope to publish this to all students, parents and carers before the summer break.

As ever, thank you for reading and also thank you for the feedback you provide in the parents' questionnaires. Your feedback is considered, acted upon and shared with staff.

Mr Atkinson

Matthew Atkinson - Deputy Headteacher/Designated Safeguarding Lead

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