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EXECUTIVE PRINCIPAL’S BLOG – Fri 5 Sept 2014

At the end of my first official week in post as the new Executive Principal of Bushey Meads School and Bushey St James Trust, I would like to thank all the students, staff, parents and governors who have made me feel so welcome.

Bushey Meads School is a truly wonderful school to be joining and I am very excited about the future – really looking forward to working alongside all the hard working staff who have achieved so much and created such a great learning community here.

At a time of great change and volatility in education, I would like to congratulate all the hard working Year11 and Sixth Form students who achieved such good results in the summer and wish them well for their future studies. Many of them are joining us here in the Sixth Form – looking extremely smart in their ‘business dress’, ready to learn at the highest level and be real role models and leaders, both here at school and beyond.

Over the coming weeks we will be sharing more information about some of the changes we are making to enhance the school further, but in the meantime do ask you children about the school and what we are doing to ensure that all of them achieve their true potential. Our new school motto is Aspire to Achieve and I hope that we can all work together to make this a reality for everyone.

I would like to wish all students and staff every success for this year and look forward to meeting you all and getting to know you in due course.

Jeremy Turner
Executive Principal


LETTER FROM ACTING HEAD

17 July 2014

 

Dear Parents/carers

As some weeks have passed since the communication regarding the details of the new uniform I thought it worthwhile just recapping on what new items are required for September:

Blazer    +             school regulation                                             Prices from £31.99

Jumper ++          school regulation (optional)                        Prices from £16.50

Ties ++                  with relevant house colour stripe             Prices from £7.99

Shirts+++             white, with collar that buttons

to the neck-line

+ the blazer is only available from dj uniforms for the initial purchase.  This is due to the timeframe involved in the implementation of the new uniform.  As from 2015 both our suppliers – dj unforms and beatschooluniforms will be stocking the blazer.

++ the jumper and tie can be purchased from either of our suppliers

+++ the shirts can be purchased from any supplier of your choice

 

dj uniforms:  45 Bushey High Street, Bushey, WD23 1BD, tel no:  020 8421 9488

Beat school uniforms:  Unit 1, Paramount Industrial Estate, Sandown Rd, Watford, WD24 7XE,

tel no:  0844 8797288

PLEASE NOTE:  It is not anticipated that the stock of the blazer, tie and jumper will be available for purchase until the final week of August.   The reason for this is that the blazer has to be manufactured bespoke with our school badge and of course our order was not placed until June.  A text alert and email will be sent out to inform you as soon as the stock has arrived.  For those of you on holiday during that week, please note the students do not start back to school until Wednesday 3 September so there is the Monday and Tuesday of that week to make your purchases if necessary.

 

In September we will be asking students to bring their redundant sweatshirts and polo-shirts in to school to donate to a charity who will send the items to deserving schools in Kenya.  We will provide you with more information on this in September.

In regard to the house ties, all students have been informed of their House as from September.  These are linked to their existing tutor groups.  The house system theme is trees and the colours for the houses are as follows:

ASH                        pale blue

BEECH                   purple

ELM                       royal blue

MAPLE                  orange

OAK                       maroon

SYCAMORE         yellow

WILLOW               red

The new house system at Bushey Meads will build on the strong, caring, family atmosphere that exists at the school. Whilst students will still be very much part of a ‘horizontal’ year group, they will also enjoy ‘vertical’ house assemblies and special house activities throughout the year alongside students from Years 7 – 13 who are in their house. Student leadership opportunities will also be available through the new house system and students will be encouraged to become House Reps, House and Deputy House Captains and be part of the Student Parliament that helps to run the school.

Also, I would like to make you aware of some changes to assembly, break and lunch times.  Please note, this does not affect start and finish times of the day which remain as 0840– 1515 Monday – Thursday, and 0840 – 1445 on Fridays.

 

                                                               Mon – Thurs                                        Fri

Registration +

Assembly/Tutor time                                  0840-0905                                                            0840-0900

 

Break                                                                    1105-1130                                                            1100-1115

 

Lunch                                                                    1330-1415                                                            1315-1345

 

Please note, as part of our drive to encourage and improve literacy, we expect all students to bring in a reading book of their choice for use within school as from September.

Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very enjoyable summer break, and we look forward to seeing all the students back on Wednesday 3 September for a prompt 0840 start.  We also look forward to Mr Turner starting with us and I am sure you will have the opportunity to meet him in due course if you have not had the pleasure of doing so already.

 

Kind regards

 

Hilary Morawska

Acting Headteacher


REWARDS EVENING 2014

Last week we celebrated our Annual RewardHEADLINES PICTURE_140707 Rewards Evenings Evening and were delighted to have Ms Dorothy Thornhill, Mayor of Watford, as our guest speaker, along with Local Councillors and Governors in attendance.

As always, it is a wonderful evening enjoyed by all who attend and many proud parents/carers along with staff enjoyed witnessing the students being awarded for their hard work and dedication to their learning.

Whilst writing my speech for the evening, I was reminded as to how many opportunities, beyond the everyday job of ensuring progress and engagement within the classroom, our staff provide for our students. Below is some of what we have offered and it is excellent to know that our students have grasped these opportunities and flourished because of them. I hope you enjoy reading what we have offered as much as I was when I recalled what many have experienced:

Our school year starts well before September with our summer schools that support the transition for our new yr 7s. It is always pleasing to see how well our new recruits settle into their learning and how quickly they thrive. Our Open Evening is known to be one of the best in the local area and always sets a high standard for others to follow, with daily, packed school tours for prospective parents, until November. Bushey Meads is always oversubscribed and the first choice for many.

We have always been very proud of our work with our physically impaired students and this year is no exception, they again represented Bushey Meads at the National Junior Games at Stoke Mandeville. A week long affair in which they gained many medals and as many friends. The care, love and attention shown to our Base students, by their staff during that residential trip, run by Mrs Day, is worthy of praise. Indeed, our Base students were privileged to be in the presence of HRH Princess Anne recently, when she visited a narrow-boat reconfigured to support a physically impaired crew and upon which our students had travelled. She was very interested and engaged with our students and was presented with a posy by Lee Keogh. We are often heralded as the National Pan Disability Boccia Champions and our Base students rose to the challenge by reaching the Southern playoffs….Like Andy Murray, we are back in training and have already started this by representing Hertsmere at the Hertfordshire Youth Games.

Ms Fricker has been very busy with her field trips, this year, thus ensuring her students gained the required experiences to support their studies. Year 9 visited Brighton in support of their Geography. Yr 10 worked on their coursework in Weymouth, whilst Yr 12 visited Juniper Hall for their beach combing.

Our Maths staff held Autumn Saturday classes to support GCSE revision. Alongside this, they ensure our junior and senior students enter the maths team challenge where our students constantly fare very well against grammar and independent schools.

We are still very proud of our technology status and even though no longer funded by the school, our staff as part of their promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) within school have worked innovatively with KS5, our Yr 11s and external IT businesses to provide real-world experiences within the classroom. The Yr 9 STEM day promoted the concept of team innovation. In March this year Ms Heartfield enabled our KS 3 and 4 to participate in ” an hour of code”. A worldwide initiative to encourage everyone to get involved in computer science.  Bushey Meads students contributed to the many millions of lines of code written around the world and thoroughly enjoyed designing and creating new apps to rival angry birds and Temple run! We are sure we have some budding Sheryl Sandbergs or Mark zuckerbergs

Business Studies, with Mrs Pinkus, held Enterprise and KPMG events  for our KS4 to experience the business environment to gain an insight into the skills need to be employable young men and women of the future.

It wasn’t long before our yr 7s experienced their first trip, organised by Mr Newbold, as they visited St Albans and its wonderful history as part of integrated Humanities. Our wonderful librarians, Mrs Castle and Mrs Harbin, ensure our students meet living authors by them visiting our school, or us visiting them and adults and children alike are enthralled as the authors cast spells around us with their words. The impact on our students motivation to write after this, is worthy of note

Our science staff have ensured that these subjects, sometimes seen as the hard subjects hold exciting and meaningful trips, with A level students visiting the Institute of Education for Physics in Action lectures. Some Yr 11s took part in the “Experimental challenge” set by Oxford University in the Physics Olympiads.  Mr Pimenteo has just run a physics trip to Cerne. I wonder if they will discovered a little more about the atom.It is the commitment of these trips and support from parents that enables our students to believe in their dreams and we hope to make them a reality.

Not to be outdone, by Physics, Ms Greenwood ensured our Year 12 and 13 Biologists participated in the British Biology Olympiad. we did better than ever this year 6 of our students achieving commended status or higher. Navi Ponrajah achieved a Bronze award having been awarded this at  the ceremony at the Royal Society of Biology on the 26th June.

Building on that success the Year 9 and 10 pupils took part in the Biology challenge. They competed against some of the top schools in the country and again this year we did better than ever. A total of 43 students achieved commended status. three achieved Gold putting them among the top 5% of all competitors. four  achieved Silver and were among the top 10%.

Ms Greenwood also supported our Yr 11 students to gain summer school places at the School of Biosciences at The University of Nottingham. Their pathway already set for success

As always our tireless PE staff ensure our students gain an all round experience of activities regardless of the weather. Their support of our students in their after school and Saturday practices and fixtures means that all students who wish to participate, can participate and are supported to achieve their best in the variety of clubs and team events that they provide.. This also includes a GCSE PE trip to Cornwall where experiences that work towards GCSE results are had and our students find new depths to their courage and tenacity in ensuring their success. Mr Cartledge leads a committed team of staff – through whose encouragement has helped Dominic Ashwell win the Hertfordshire County Athletics Championships Under 17 100m Final in a new County record and personal best of 10.78 seconds. In doing this he broke a record that had stood for 31 years – an amazing feat considering he was running against students in the year above ! He now goes on to represent Hertfordshire in the National Championships in Birmingham on the weekend of 11/12 July. We wish him every luck. Move over Hussain Bolt.

There are many events held after school and during our long winter months, after dark. These extended school events, run by Mrs McManus, and are for our parents and students to join together to work together as a family and they prove very popular and successful. It is lovely to see the community working together.

We are in our second year of presenting our termly young chefs course where after 10 weeks of learning how to cook, our TEN young chefs provide very proud parents and invited guests with a 3 course meal. It is a highlight at the end of every term and one we eagerly await. I have to acknowledge that this could not take place without the support of ABM, our caterers, who freely give of their time and expertise. We will see the new Jamie Oliver rise from the kitchen, I am sure.

Our Drama and English staff, continuing the theme of real-world experiences ensure our students track the plays/literature they are studying by experiencing the production both in local and London’s theatres. Late nights included for Mr Knowles and staff, but the learning continues.

As a school, we appreciate the experiences of external providers and Yr 11, 12 and 13 had the pleasure of learning from motivational speakers. One of our speakers had attempted to row across the Atlantic and used this as a backdrop to preparing for our learning, exams and success. (we will have him back here as our guest of honour if he makes it)

Mrs Pinkus and Mrs Lawrence run our lunch time Debating Society, and are preparing our students for Debating Matters and the Hertfordshire debating competition at the House of Commons . Mrs Pinkus also ensured our Yr 12s attended the ‘battle of dangerous ideas’ debate – I am not sure what dangerous ideas were voted for, as of yet!. Our students would not be as confident nor as successful at debating if it wasn’t for the debating club that is provided for our students, where staff and students keenly debate and vote on current hot topics.

We also have a very successful group of students who won their regional heat of ‘the magistrates court mock trial’ which found them journeying north for the final. They didn’t win, but neither have they lost with the richness gained from these experiences. This, I am sure has planted a seed of a future in Law and thanks to Mrs Knowles, Mrs Bailey and Ms Booth for helping this to happen. Our A level Law students will be learning more about life in court as they visit the Old Bailey, next week.

We achieved our Healthy School’s status, thanks to Mr Cartledge driving this on behalf of the school and I am sure that you are aware of the marvellous work that our PE staff do to keep our children (and staff) fit and healthy. There is nothing more enjoyable than our whole school events where children and staff dress up, keep fit and raise money or participate in athletics events, training and fixtures.

The success of our students is down to many things, the work of you as parents and your commitment to your child and school. The students for their commitment and promise to work for us both and our staff to provide the best of opportunities.

Our Drama and Music staff certainly do this with Mr Knowles, Mrs Lavelle, Ms Wright and Mr Futerill, running the auditions for our many and varied entertainment evenings, including supporting a Holocaust memorial event. These have presented some of our most memorable evenings and indeed some talent for the Broadway stage. If you have had the pleasure of watching our school productions, enjoying our Christmas and Summer entertainment (mainly run by our students), you will see the opportunities provided for all to participate. It’s hard to believe we will soon be starting our auditions for the next production in September. And only last night a group of students, with Mr Knowles won the Crime Prevention Drama Competition at the Maltings Art Theatre.

Planning for the future is essential and some of our KS4 students visited the Oxbridge and Russell Group Student Conference at the Oval, to help them prepare for their future, some of our Yr 10 visited the Herts Open Day at Balliol College, Oxford Universityand our Yr 12 Politics visited the Houses of Parliament, The Supreme Court and Whitehall to help with their studies. We eagerly await for them to become our MPs of the future and ensure our safe retirement!

I cannot forget our annual ski-trip, which I am sure will also remain in the memories of every student who participated. Always a sigh of relief when our skiers return home intact and thanks to Mr Besisira and staff for their Feb half term away with the children.

Mr Chalkley takes some hardy speed-merchants to the british schools karting championships, with heats during the evenings and the finals at a weekend. We did not bring back any trophies, but we did imprint the idea of a future in formula one racing on some of the young minds. Move over Lewis Hamilton.

Mr Chalkley also took Y8, Y9 & Y10 to the Rotary Problem Solving Challenge, which we won. The team built a mechanical arm to move ‘radioactive’ material (in reality a tennis ball). Excellent designing, making and teamwork and engineers of the future. He is also taking students to participate in the Big Bang Science and Technology Fair. The opportunities are endless.

Mr Varsani and Mr Davidson took our Y7, Y8, Y9 maths masterclass students to the LSE where they completed more maths’ challenges and found out about university life. We now know where all these young learners are heading!

Our Yr 8 linguists enjoyed a brilliant week run by Ms Levy in France and Belgium, immersing themselves within the language and culture and it brought home the importance and opportunities of having a second language. Ms Dawson and Ms Reid hosted our french mini-olympics with our primary colleagues next week, where all students were actively learning french throughout the day. Many of our staff and students work with our primary colleagues when they visit the schools to work with the younger children. Our BTEC music students perform to the students at Meadow Wood, thanks for Mrs Lavelle – a treat for them all.

Alongside this, we also hosted for the second time Heads from Nepal who linked with the British Council come to Britain to learn about our education system. They quickly learn to love BMS.

I hope this snapshot of our lives at BMS has helped you to place us all into its context. It has been a great year and we have many more to look forward to.

Ms H Morawska

Acting Headteacher