Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Ex-BSCS student now has former head as ‘boss’

Posted on Friday 29th December 2017 at 10:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Dave Baker with Amelia Newport at Charborough Road Primary School.

One of the first cohort of students to attend Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) has found that she now has her former headteacher as ‘boss’ after taking on her first full-time job since completing her A-levels at the school.

Amelia Newport, who started at BSCS in 2005 and progressed to be amongst the first entrants into the school’s brand new Post-16 centre in 2010, is now a fully qualified teacher on the staff of Charborough Road Primary School.

The Filton primary, like BSCS, is a member of the Olympus Academy Trust (OAT), which means that Amelia is now on first name terms with her ultimate boss, OAT chief executive officer Dave Baker, who was her headteacher during her early years at BSCS.

Her new job is the latest in a series of educational ‘firsts’ for Amelia, which began when she started at Bradley Stoke’s Wheatfield Primary School when it first opened its doors in 1998.

Speaking to the Journal, Amelia explained how she believes learning in brand new environments inspired her to make the most of the educational opportunities on offer and eventually take up teaching as a profession: “Growing up I always liked school and a massive part of that was the teachers who dedicated their time to giving me the best possible education I could have received. I was lucky enough to go to not only one, but two brand new schools built in the Bradley Stoke area.”

“At BSCS, I was fortunate to enjoy a purpose built building with a team who had created a unique and fun learning environment. It was there that I was able to begin to looking into the possibility of becoming a teacher, the career I’d wanted since I turned 7 after having a string of fantastic and enthusiastic teachers at Wheatfield Primary School.”

After finishing her GCSEs, Amelia studied English Language, History and Geography in the BSCS sixth form. This was followed by a three-year undergraduate degree course at the University of the West of England where she studied Education, Learning and Development.

Amelia continued: “My degree focused on the importance of student voice in teaching and how to work with children to build the best learning environments for them using their ideas and understanding. During my dissertation work I actually went back to Wheatfield and used its fantastic parental engagement skills for the basis of my thesis. It was surreal to go back and be sat across from Mrs (Lois) Haydon, one of the women who had made me want to teach in the first place nearly fifteen years previously.”

More: "I just need to make sure I don’t slip up and call Dave ‘Sir’" »

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Bradley Stoke school welcomes its first four-legged member of staff!

Posted on Thursday 21st December 2017 at 10:29 pm by Nikki Hallur

Photo of Year 7 students with Wally the Dog.

Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS), which includes primary and secondary education levels, has welcomed a dog into the school setting. At five-and-a-half months old, Wally is just a puppy, but he is gradually being trained to interact with pupils who may benefit from the therapeutic effects of interacting with dogs.

The idea to have a school dog came about as a result of a discussion between three members of staff: Tom Hill (assistant headteacher and head of sixth form), Susie Beresford-Wylie (director of student support) and Steve Moir (headteacher). Tom Hill heard of Wally, a cocker spaniel, through family friends who had just got a puppy themselves. The dog now belongs to Mr Hill and he lends him to the school for three days a week, so the school has not incurred any expenses for Wally’s upkeep. During school hours, Paula Warren (PA to deputy and assistant heads) helps with Wally’s interactions with the students, which involves mainly secondary level but occasionally also primary level children.

Photo of Wally sitting on a tree stump.

Mrs Warren said most of the parents and children have “responded very positively”. Mr Hill pointed out that there are a few pupils who are scared of dogs and a few who are allergic to dogs: the school has a list of these pupils, who are kept away from Wally at all times.

Currently Wally needs to sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day because he is still very young and needs to grow, but he has already got a blog on the school website, and he has helped many of the children with his presence. One student said: “Wally puts a smile on my face and makes me feel calm,” whilst another said: “When I was feeling upset and worried, Mrs Warren asked me if I wanted to see Wally. I played with him for a few minutes and it made me feel a lot better.”

Yet another pupil detailed how, when feeling stressed, taking Wally “outside around the fields to get some fresh air” helped to feel “a lot better and less stressed”.

More: "Wally puts a smile on everyone’s faces with a wag of his tail" »

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Disappointment at Meadowbrook Ofsted verdict

Posted on Thursday 21st December 2017 at 9:11 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Meadowbrook Primary School, taken from Crystal Way.

Meadowbrook Primary School is disappointed with the result of a recent Ofsted Inspection which has judged that the school “requires improvement”. The school was inspected in October and was judged as “good” in only two of the five areas. The school was also judged as “requires improvement” in the last inspection in March 2014. However, the recent judgement is based on a different inspection framework and the many positive comments in the report would suggest that the school has made significant progress since the last inspection.

Inspectors noted many positive aspects at Meadowbrook, including the good personal development, behaviour and welfare of the pupils and good Early Years provision. The report states:

  • Leaders and teachers place pupils’ welfare at the heart of their work. They form effective partnerships with parents. Pupils enjoy coming to school. They say that they are well looked after. They behave well and are polite and respectful.
  • Lunchtime and playtimes are happy, sociable occasions. Pupils enjoy chatting and playing with their friends. Pupils are well supervised and follow well-established rules.
  • Leaders encourage pupils to take on various positions of responsibility. Pupils are very proud to represent the school.
  • Stronger teaching in the school is characterised by high expectations, well-pitched learning activities and clear explanations. This helps pupils remain focused and enables them to practise and secure skills in different subjects.
  • Children make a good start in Reception, developing their knowledge, understanding and skills well. Consequently, the proportion of children reaching a good level of development by the end of Reception is high. Children are well prepared to move into Year 1.
  • Leadership of early years is good.
  • Phonics teaching is well planned and allows pupils to practise and develop their reading skills. As a result, pupils achieve well.
  • The exciting and interesting indoor and outdoor environments invite children to engage in rich and varied activities. As a result, they develop a range of skills.

The report acknowledged that the leaders and governors have worked hard with the Olympus Academy Trust to create a stable staffing structure. They understand what needs to improve and there is evidence that they are taking the necessary action to bring this about. At the time of the inspection some of the improvement strategies had not yet been embedded fully or consistently applied.

More: Head says judgement " feels somewhat harsh" »

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Getting to know the new headteachers

Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017 at 10:18 pm by Nikki Hallur

Photos of Philip Winterburn, Nicola Antwis and Janet Dickson.

No fewer than three primary schools in the local area have welcomed new headteachers this year. Wheatfield Primary School, Holy Trinity Primary and Stoke Lodge Primary all enter a new chapter of leadership, and we got in touch with them to find out a little more about their new heads.

Philip Winterburn is the new headteacher for Wheatfield Primary. He says the “warm atmosphere, friendly staff and polite children” impressed him when he first visited the school. He was previously headteacher at Cherry Garden Primary School in Bitton. Mr Winterburn says he views Bristol as home, having worked in Bristol schools for over 21 years. He spent his childhood in Merseyside and Buckinghamshire, but he has been settled in this part of the country since 1992.

Recalling his own experiences of school, Mr Winterburn says he loved going to primary school, and specially enjoyed English and creative writing. He has even written a children’s book, which remains unpublished despite encouraging letters he received from the publishers he sent his manuscript to.

Mr Winterburn likes to keep fit, running 10ks and half marathons, with the aim of doing a full marathon someday. He also has an interest in music and enjoys the variety of new bands and venues Bristol has to offer. His free time is spent with his wife and two daughters, aged 9 and 11.

Speaking of his new role at Wheatfield Primary, Mr Winterburn says: “My first job as the new headteacher is to get to know the children, staff and families really well and to learn about the school’s many strengths. It takes time to build relationships and trust, but this is an essential foundation for a new school leader. As we move forward, I want to see Wheatfield grow and develop into an outstanding school for its children and community. I have had very positive start at the school and am really looking forward to the months and years ahead.”

More: New heads at Stoke Lodge and Holy Trinity »

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