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Today (Friday 16th) we have finished a busy week and term with three festive concerts showcasing the incredible talent we have in our school. We enjoyed music from our steel band, jazz band, choir, student solo and band performances, comedy performance, and a song written particularly for the occasion. Our Irish dancers were impressive and were joined in a one day only performance by our tutu wearing school staff, giving Michael Flatley a run for his money. We also had a rendition of Hound Dog from our very own Blues Brothers; this provided a preview of the upcoming school musical (opening on 16th March, 2017). Our performers were also on stage until late last night (Thursday) at the Budehaven Christmas Extravaganza, where they played to a packed school hall; so a huge well done to them all.
One of the highlights of the last day of term was being presented with a Christmas surprise by a Year 7 tutor group, 7FCB. The whole tutor group had learned Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in sign language and sang and signed this alongside their classmate who is hearing impaired. Thank you to 7FCB for a great start to the day and a lovely end to the term.
Celebration of Achievement Evening
On Tuesday 13th we held our annual Celebration of Achievement Evening. We welcomed back our 2016 Leavers who were awarded examination certificates along with special awards for highest performance in GCSE, A Levels and BTecs. Congratulations to them all. They certainly achieved some incredible successes and some real personal bests.
When we gather together on such occasions it is easy to visualise the old proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. It really is a team effort – families, carers, friends, teachers, form tutors, support staff, all of us working together to help our children to become the successful young adults who collected their certificates tonight. What a privileged job indeed! We reminded our students to value mistakes and have the courage to fail, to create and take opportunities and to go forth with a moral compass that we hope helps them to make wise decisions for themselves and for the good of our community and society. We told our students how proud we are of their achievements and asked them to always be proud of themselves – of where they come from, of the comprehensive school that they once attended, and of who they are.
Achievement and Rewards Assemblies
Every term we acknowledge those students with the highest achievement points and best attendance records. It has been a pleasure this week to present a selection of Year 7 to Year 11 students with their certificates and Budehaven vouchers for having the top achievement points in the school. These students have embodied the cornerstone of the Budehaven Way, ‘we value education and the chances this gives us in life’.
As part of the ‘Budehaven Way’ we are committed to making connections for our students so that they can meet people in our society who may inspire & empower them. With this in mind, Lydia Pride (Deputy Headteacher) contacted Speakers for Schools, an organisation that helps, ‘leading figures of this generation connect with the next generation in state schools’. We welcomed Tim Clark this term who is retired from his Senior Partner role at Slaughter and May, one of the leading international law firms, and is currently Chair-elect of the international charity Water Aid; senior non-executive director of Big Yellow Group PLC, member of the Board of the National Theatre and is Group Senior Advisor at G3, one of the leading international strategic intelligence groups. We were incredibly fortunate to secure a visit from him given his great number of commitments.
Tim gave an inspirational presentation to our students, sharing his own ambitions and experiences from school, to university, applying to a legal firm, working in international law and the level of commitment that is required to be successful. He provided insight into the legal system and imparted very useful information and advice about moving into the area of intelligence. This certainly helped one of our students, who wishes to apply to the country’s intelligence services, to understand the need to continue with his study of languages in order to have a chance of success. Tim has since been in contact to provide follow on information to help our students make the connections needed for success in their chosen fields of study after school. We would like to thank him for sharing his wisdom and experiences with us.
PTA: Friends of Budehaven
I was very pleased to meet our new Parent Teacher Association earlier this month. They have been working with Anthony O’ Dwyer (Head of RE/PSHE) to set up a new ‘Friends of Budehaven’. I would like to thank them for their time and what I hope will be a successful year of fund raising. Please keep an eye on the website for news where you see their logo. They have some exciting ideas for fundraising for the benefit of our students. Please look out for their stand at future parents’ evenings.
Every Friday our senior leadership team spends the first hour of the day looking at a selection of student books to see how students are developing their mastery of the Key Stage 3 curriculum, or making progress in their GCSE, BTec and A Level subjects. We have been pleased to see students responding well to their teachers’ suggestions for improvement. Students ought to take the time to check their teacher’s comment and to respond to any questions that will help them to improve their work and enable them to make better progress.
Our Year 11 students sat their mock examinations recently and their mock grades and reports will be issued in the first week of term. Reports on student progress will be issued at the start of the Spring Term and the first of the term’s Parents’ Evenings is on January 5th for Year 11. Please check the school calendar for your child’s year group evening.
This week we said farewell to two of our teachers, Clare Shannon who has been at the school for 18 years as Geography teacher and Head of Year; and Callum Wilson who is in his second year here. We wish them the very best of luck in their new ventures. We also send Holly Hutchins, Charlotte Sweeting and Demelza Edwards best wishes for their maternity leave. We have been very fortunate to appoint experienced subject specialists as their replacements.
Wishing you all a restful Christmas break and a happy and successful 2017.
With all good wishes,