Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

BSCS recognised for student-led health and wellbeing work

Posted on Tuesday 3rd December 2019 at 9:20 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Jemina Paramore accepting the 'Health in Schools' Gold Award from Sarah Godsell.

Staff and students at Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) are celebrating the achievement of an award which recognises excellent practice in the promotion of health and wellbeing for everyone within the school community.

South Gloucestershire Council’s ‘Health in Schools’ programme brings together the best evidence-based health promotion practice and sets achievable challenges to improve health and wellbeing. The potential benefits of the scheme also go beyond health, as research shows that when children are happy at school,
they achieve more.

The Bradley Stoke school had already been recognised with the Bronze (2016) and Silver (2017) awards, but it has now become one of only three schools across the local authority area to achieve the top Gold award.

One of the main initiatives to have been introduced at the school is the training of Year 11 peer mentors, focussed on supporting incoming Year 7 students during their transition between primary and secondary school. The older students attend transition days in the summer, as well as parent events. When initially launched, the scheme saw around ten students volunteering to be mentors, but this year the number has risen to over 30.

Other strands of student leadership that have been introduced at the school include anti-bullying ambassadors, time-to-talk mentors and EAL (English as an additional language) mentors.

In an effort to challenge the stigma around mental health, the school promotes the concept that body and mind are connected and it encourages conversations about health in general, defined to include both physical health and emotional health. Wellbeing ambassadors are recognisable to other students around the school as they all wear a distinctive pink lanyard.

Elsewhere, the school’s Student Council has had a say in changing the food supplier in order to improve the range of food options and a student support group has been established that meets weekly.

As part of their work towards achieving the Gold award, the student leaders created a video which explores the training they underwent and gathers feedback from some of the peer students they have supported.

Staff: "We couldn’t be prouder of the student leadership team" »

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Wheatfield’s new facilities officially opened

Posted on Thursday 7th November 2019 at 9:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Mayor Tom Aditya cutting a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new play equipment.

Wheatfield Primary School formally unveiled its new play equipment and multi-use games area (MUGA) on Friday 11th October. Despite the rain, children, families and staff came out to watch the mayor of Bradley Stoke, Cllr Tom Aditya, cut the ribbon to officially open the facilities.

The MUGA will allow children to use the school’s outdoor space throughout the winter months for sporting activities such as football, netball and dodgeball. The new play equipment includes rope walks and a miniature climbing wall, encouraging the children to develop a range of skills.

The redevelopment of the Key Stage 2 playground and installation of the MUGA was possible after the school, in conjunction with the Friends of Wheatfield Primary School, raised over £20,000 across the last academic year in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the school’s opening.

This was done through a variety of fundraising events throughout the year, including movie nights, school discos and quiz nights. Families and local businesses were also able to sponsor a brick as part of a legacy pathway being built within the school.

The school came very close to winning the Aviva Community Fund challenge back in November last year. Despite overwhelmingly receiving the highest number of votes in its category, the Aviva selection panel unfortunately decided on another project, although the school was still awarded £500 as a finalist. However, this didn’t slow the fundraising efforts down, with the Marathon Boys’ amazing contribution and the culmination of the year’s fundraising being Wheatfest, held in July, which raised a staggering £6,000.

Headteacher Phil Winterburn said:

“I am enormously proud of the effort and commitment, on behalf of so many people, which has helped to deliver this project. Our children and community now have the facilities they deserve – a fitting way to mark twenty years of Wheatfield Primary School. I would like to extend my thanks to the families, children, staff and sponsors whose support was exceptional. A special thank you to our Friends group who excelled in their fundraising efforts – £20k for 20 years!’

More: Photos of the new MUGA and legacy path »

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BSCS: Realistically, how close do you have to live?

Posted on Thursday 17th October 2019 at 8:48 pm by SH (Editor)

Map showing Bradley Stoke Community School catchment area in a typical year. Radius: 0.666 mile

Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) is one of the most popular schools in South Gloucestershire and it consistently attracts significantly more 1st-preference applications for Year 7 entry than there are places available.

Hence the perennial question we hear around this time of year as parents are making secondary school applications for their offspring: How close do you have to live to BSCS to have a realistic chance of getting in?

In a typical year, around 40 percent of successful entrants are allocated a place without consideration of how far they live from the school because they are in one of the prioritised categories that include: children with special educational needs, looked-after children and siblings of children already at the school.

Once places have been allocated to the prioritised cases, proximity to the school comes into play for the remaining applicants, based on home-to-school distances. Within this process, distances are all measured to three decimal points in a straight line between the address point of the child’s main residence and the address point of the school, using the council’s mapping software, to ensure consistency for all applicants.

It should be added that a second geographical factor, namely residence within the school’s ‘consortium area of responsibility’ (roughly comprising of the Stokes, Filton and Patchway) can theoretically come into play during the process. However, since BSCS opened in 2005, no places at the school have been allocated in any entry year to applicants living outside the consortium area.

As can be seen from the table below, applicants not satisfying the criteria for one of the prioritised categories have typically needed to live within two-thirds of a mile of the school to qualify for a place at BSCS.

Above: Map showing catchment area in a typical year. [Click to enlarge; view larger version (DropBox)]

Table showing Bradley Stoke Community School application statistics 2017-19.

Disclaimer: Past years’ statistics may not be a reliable guide to the actual outcomes in future years, due to changes in demographics and other factors. The description given above is a simplification; please consult the admissions brochure for definitive information.

Related link: Secondary school admissions (SGC)

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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More record-breaking GCSE results at BSCS

Posted on Friday 13th September 2019 at 10:14 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of some of the top-performing students.

Students at Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) are celebrating another exceptional set of GCSE results, with 16 percent of all grades awarded being at the highest possible grade 9 level and 26 percent at grade 7 or above.

The school reports that this year’s results set a new ‘best ever’ standard, in terms of both progress and attainment.

A number of subject areas have performed exceptionally well this year, with an impressive 82 percent of students achieving a grade 4 or above in both English and maths. English results continue to be a particular strength, with 93 percent of students achieving a grade 4 or above. Maths and science departments continue to thrive; with an impressive 87 percent of students in science and 84 percent in maths achieving a grade 4 or above.

BSCS headteacher Steve Moir commented:

“We are all incredibly proud of our students’ achievements and that their immense hard work has paid off to produce another brilliant year of results.”

“There are so many success stories, not just from the individuals in the spotlight for achieving the top grades, but for every young person who has surpassed their own personal targets and made remarkable progress.”

“This success is also the result of the dedication and commitment from our amazing staff, as well as the parents and families of our young people who do so much to help and support.”

Olympus Academy Trust chief executive officer Dave Baker added:

“BSCS has produced another strong set of results to continue the trend of high achievement from the students. I would like to congratulate the students but also thank the staff as this would not be possible without them being willing to go the extra mile for their students, especially in the context of incredibly challenging budgets.”

More: Some of the outstanding individual performances »

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