Bushey Meads is a successful non-selective comprehensive school which converted to Academy Status to form an innovative Multi Academy Trust together with Little Reddings Primary School in February 2012. We have an excellent reputation in the local community and are consequently heavily oversubscribed, with over 900 applications received in 2014 for the 170 Year 7 places. Our sixth form is popular, attracting the majority of our own Year 11 students as well as students each year from other schools, all of whom settle in remarkably quickly and strike up lasting friendships with our existing students.
The school occupies a 26-acre Green Belt site adjoining farmland, a riding school and housing. Bushey is a very attractive and affluent area, with a village green, listed buildings, golf courses and a range of shops and amenities. House prices in Bushey are relatively high. Watford town centre is only three miles from the school and offers many sports, leisure and arts facilities, a very extensive shopping centre and a good range of affordable accommodation, including flats and houses for rent.
Transport links are good. Buses run from Bushey to Watford and to Stanmore. Trains from Stanmore underground station, three miles from the school, run directly into the West End, City of London and Docklands. Mainline trains from Bushey and Watford Junction stations run to central London and to the Midlands and North West England.
Bushey Meads provides a happy, safe and calm learning environment. We have an excellent well-qualified, enthusiastic and committed staff, many of whom are heavily involved in professional development. Operating on a foundation of traditional values, Bushey Meads is an institution that welcomes change and regards itself as being at the forefront of development.
In February 2012 Bushey Meads School had its first Ofsted inspection under the new framework. The inspectors reported:
‘The senior leadership team’s pursuit of excellence has been uncompromising and increasingly successful. Standards have been improved each year since the last inspection and achievement for all students, including the disabled students is good.’
The school is working towards Ofsted Outstanding status.
Bushey Meads prides itself on being a high achieving comprehensive school. Our trend of improvement has been continuous from 2006 to 2011, increasing from 48% 5 +A*-C GCSE including English and Mathematics to 74%. In 2012 and 2013 the school has remained stable around 65% following the adjustments made to core subject C / D borderline grades. In 2013 the school exceeded its targets at A*-A with 23% of the students achieving this level. In addition, 23% also achieved the English Baccalaureate standard, again exceeding our target. 71% of students achieved A*-C in English and 72% in Mathematics. At Key Stage 5 results for A Level have achieved an ALPs ‘good’ rating and a three year rating of outstanding. Our current Year 11 are one of the most able cohort within the school and we have high expectations of them in 2014.
Our successes in previous years have been recognised by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and the A level Performance System when Bushey Meads was presented with achievement awards for:
• most improved school – 2009 & 2010
• 70% and above at 5 + A* – C (including English and Mathematics) – 2011
• best value added compared to similar schools – 2009
• high achieving school award – 2010
• top 10% achieving schools and colleges for A level – 2009, 2010 and 2011
Through our regular and robust assessment system we closely track and monitor the progress of our students, hereby ensuring swift intervention. Our highly able students thrive under the watchful eye of every staff member and the highly able co-ordinator, ensuring that targets are achieved and students are supported to achieve their places in Higher Education.
All students receive outstanding academic and emotional support, advice and guidance which ensures a happy, fulfilled and well-rounded student.
Bushey Meads School is a specialist technology college. The Design & Technology subjects, (Electronics, Textiles, Catering & Graphic Products) plus ICT and Computer Science that make up our Technology Specialism are followed by the majority of our students as a Technology option at Key Stage 4.
We also have a specialism in providing education to Physically and Neurologically Impaired students and can take up to 16 students in this category. We are very proud of this tradition, believing that the physically-able majority in the school benefits as much from this arrangement as do the physically-impaired. The school has been featured in the TES, a ‘London Today’ television programme, a TTA training video, the DfE publication ‘Inclusion: SEN and Disabilities’ and an HMI good practice report due to the success of this integration.
Bushey Meads School forms part of the Bushey St James Trust with Little Reddings Primary School. The schools both became an Academy in February 2012. The purpose behind the joint application is to develop links between primary and secondary phase education.
There are five 60-minute lessons per day. The main school day runs from 8.40am to 3.15pm, with an early closure on Friday at 2.45pm. In addition, Bushey Meads operates a ‘twilight curriculum’ until 5.30pm, Monday to Thursday, for a number of sixth form subjects.
Most students in most subjects are taught in ability pathways and are guided throughout their career to ensure the most appropriate route to success.
The Sixth Form
The large, vibrant sixth form is an important feature of our comprehensive school. We are very pleased to have seen our numbers grow to around 210, with the potential for further growth to 250 if, as we expect, the proportion of students undertaking two-year courses continues to rise as the more able students currently in the lower years of the school enter the sixth form. The Sixth form exists in a small partnership with Bushey Academy.
At Bushey Meads we offer a Careers and Work Related learning programme throughout years 7 to 13. This is delivered primarily through WRL (Work Related Learning) and Enterprise days in KS4/5 and Choice lessons in KS3.
During year 10 we offer a 2 day Work Shadowing event to enable all students to experience the world of work.
In order to support the individual needs of our students we also offer vocational courses to a small number of identified students. We operate this through our partnerships with local colleges and providers. This has proved extremely successful in allowing our students to develop skills in areas that reflect their strengths and prepare them with an appropriate pathway for the future.
At Bushey Meads we have been extensively refurbishing the school. In addition to redecoration; new roofs, ICT suites, increased student use of Google Chrome Books, refurbished dining hall, installation of an astro turf, Hospitality and Catering Rooms have been developed. In 2013 we modernised the changing rooms and gym.
We are currently planning our third stage of refurbishment to commence in 2014.
We are also at the early stages for planning to expand our premises to accommodate an increase in Year 7 intake by one form ready for September 2015. This is especially exciting as this will include a brand new sixth form centre along with additional new classrooms.
A wide range of lunchtime, after school and weekend sporting and extra-curricular activities are in place, which are popular among students. The student voice has been enhanced using an online system to discuss ideas with students and gain their feedback which, alongside a member of our leadership team who overseas all discussions, ensures student feedback is presented to the Headteacher and appropriate staff for review and action.
Bushey Meads has many close partnerships with schools and businesses and has hosted overseas visits of Headteachers from Malaysia, China and Nepal, as well as hosting and visiting a school in the Czech Republic.
We are committed to safeguarding children and young people. We adhere to stringent recruitment procedures and all post holders are subject to a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure & Barring Services check.
Finally, we are proud to be the secondary school with the highest improvement trend in Hertfordshire. All of the staff, governors and students are delighted with the significant progress the school has made over the last few years and it represents the combined effort of all working together to achieve the very best.
Executive Principal and Headteacher of Bushey Meads School