Executive Principal's Blog

Executive Principal’s Blog – 5.2.21: “Don’t Feel Guilty – we are here for you!”




Executive Principal’s Blog:

5th February 2021



Bushey Meads News

Executive Principal’s Blog – 5.2.21: “Don’t Feel Guilty – we are here for you!”

I know you join with me in thanking all the staff at Bushey Meads School for their hard work and commitment to your children at this difficult time. Our teachers especially have had to adapt in a matter of just a few weeks to the additional complexities of delivering live lessons, sometimes with students also physically present in their classroom. They really have gone the extra mile, shared so much best practice and achieved great success as always. This has been reflected in the numerous emails of thanks for the new dynamic these live lessons have brought into your homes and the increased engagement in learning noted. We do really appreciate these messages – so thank you!

I was privileged earlier today to be able to remotely join a live lesson delivered by one of our ‘Live Lesson Champions’ Mr Besisira and was very impressed with his outstanding lesson and the hard work demonstrated by his Year 11 students.

Nearly 300 of our students have attended school since January 4th for face to face lessons and have been extremely positive about the welcome the staff have provided for them and of course the access to quality in-person lessons. On January 28th we welcomed 165 to the school. On average the attendance has been 125 per day. (10 – 13% of our cohort). It seems to have levelled out at 150 a day – mainly Key Stage 3 students.

We always said from Day 1 on January 4th that we would let the ‘dust settle’ on attendance and look at a possible rota approach to staffing which continues to meet the needs of the student cohort attending for face to face lessons. With live lessons now working so well, we are moving towards our teachers delivering their live lessons from home from after the half term holiday but also, where needed, delivering the hybrid lessons in school to accommodate the students attending to be with their teachers in person.

As Headteachers we are all navigating the constant changes in government policy and direction and our messaging has adapted to the daily guidance issued by the DfE. We continue to stand by all our appropriate communications sent out from the school this term regarding which students are allowed to attend school for face to face lessons.
For those of you who care to accurately notice the detail you would have spotted a subtle shift in what was said prior to and after the Prime Minister’s latest ‘lockdown’ announcement at 8.00 pm on Tuesday 5th January. The communication that day was sent out at 3.00 pm, before the change in policy. This was something not reported accurately in the rather biased local press article that some of you may have noticed last week.As school we have never deviated from the government guidance and never will, but will continue to always put children first in all that we do – whether working from home or in school. This lockdown is different to the one we all experienced in March 2020 and despite the very clear guidance I feel for you as parents juggling all the pressure of home schooling, working and family life. Please do not feel guilty about sending your children to school if they are entitled to a place.

The school has received a number of very honest emails from parents and I hope this one example gives you the peace that you need at this difficult time.

Dear Mrs Blowers,
I just wanted to send a quick thank you for the postcard that you sent to my son last week. Even though he has been at school, it’s nice for him to get some positive encouragement! On another note, I would like to say that I have been grateful for the emails encouraging key worker children to attend school. It made my decision about whether to send him easier and as this lockdown has put greater pressure on teachers than the last, I would never have been able to support him in the same way as I could back in the spring, as I spend much of my time teaching my own students online. I feel that some schools have made key worker parents feel guilty about wanting to send their children in and I’m very appreciative that Bushey Meads hasn’t done this! Kind regards,
Key Stage 3 Parent

Thank you as always for your continued support. As usual please do click on the link to read our latest BMS News.

With very best wishes,

Jeremy Turner
Executive Principal