Mr Roberts’ Newsletter

19 Jul 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope this letters finds you well. It’s been a while since my last newsletter and I did point out that I felt that a weekly letter wasn’t a good use of my time given the feedback I have received from you. Believe me, I have not been inundated with requests to start writing again!

Having said all that, I thought it would be timely to update you on a few significant changes for next year and a recap on the current position of the school.

We continue to evidence outstanding achievement and progress for all groups of pupils, especially from entry in year 5 to exit in year 8.

99% of pupils make expected progress, with a large proportion making better than expected progress. Individuals that haven’t made that progress have had significant issues with health and/or attendance.

In terms of attainment on exit, the picture is similarly very strong. Using nationally benchmarked tests pupils show that they perform well above the national mean in both English and Maths. 88% of our pupils leave at National Expectation or above in English, while 84% leave at National Expectation or above in maths. In science, pupils this year have performed roughly in line with national standards. Our pupils still have a broad and rich curriculum, supplemented by a wide range of extra-curricular activities – too numerous to mention. In RE, 91% of pupils are at National Expectation on exit from St Bede’s.

The end of key stage 2 ( SATs) test that happens in the middle of our school years (year 6) shows that we continue to improve rapidly. Over the last 4 years, we have gone from being well below National Standard to consistently at and above. This year, 85% of our pupils achieved the Expected Standard in writing, of which 16% are working at Greater Depth. In reading, huge progress from last year has continued, as 84% achieved the Expected Standard, of which 31% are working at Greater Depth. In maths, an area that we have traditionally struggled with, we have exceeded National Expectation significantly to achieve 85% of pupils working at National Expectation and 25% are working at Greater Depth.

I would publicly like to thank all of the school community for their drive, focus, creativity and determination to support and encourage pupils to achieve these outcomes.

Some of you may not have been aware but I have also been acting as the Multi Academy’s (MAC) Accounting Officer. This role has meant that, alongside the Directors, I have been working to ensure that our MAC meets the requirements of the academies financial handbook- which all academy schools have to follow.

In March, I was appointed through a selection process as the Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) for Our Lady of Lourdes MAC, a small change in title but significant change in terms of my role. This is a paid temporary post, with the additional responsibility to be accountable to OFSTED, BDES, DfE, ESFA and the Regional School Commissioner for outcomes and standards across the MAC schools. My work is predominantly working with the Directors and the Executive Group (that’s all of the Head teachers of the MAC schools) to ensure that in all areas pupils are getting the best provision possible.

This will require additional amount of time within my existing role. Therefore, the Directors have appointed Mr Payton as Head of School for the 2 days that I am doing the CAO role. He will be the first point of call in terms of issues arising on a daily basis from September. Please rest assured that, as a parent or carer, you will not see any change in the way that the school is lead or managed. Mr Payton and I have always worked collaboratively and we both share the same vision for St Bede’s. As always, the Form Tutor is your first port of call for any issue in school and this will continue to be the case moving forward. Mr Payton is well known by all parents and carers, especially from his time in charge of behaviour and safeguarding. You will all know that he strives to get the very best for all of our pupils, staff and the school as a whole.

We are fully staffed in September, with a couple of staff out on maternity leave. It’s timely to say a thank you to the staff that are leaving us to either retire or have a have a career change.  This includes Mrs Bowers, Mr Kitchen, Miss Leatt, Mrs Russell and Mrs West. I’d like to thank them all for their years of service and commitment to the school community.

I’d like to remind you to check our uniform expectations on our website in readiness for September. This will ensure that there is no confusion should you be obtaining new school uniform.

Finally I’d like to wish you all a wonderful summer and hope to see you and all pupils, fit and fully refreshed, in September.

Kind Regards

Mr Roberts