Recruiting inspiring Headteachers for high performing schools

Whitehall Park School

We are searching for new headteachers for Whitehall Park School (London, Archway), Whiteknights Primary School (Reading) and The Heights Primary (Caversham) in Berkshire.

This is a fantastic opportunity to lead excellent schools – all with high attainment records – in delivering the BPET and schools’ vision, which is for all pupils to receive a broad and balanced curriculum that combines academic rigour with highly enriched opportunities, delivering a personalised approach to education and exceptional outcomes for all.

The Heights Primary School

We are seeking senior leaders in the primary sector; the ideal candidates will have a strong track record in leadership and core learning. They will have to be capable of interpreting, developing and implementing the BPET education vision; have excellent communications skills in order to promote the school to their own communities, and deliver a high standard of education through a broad and balanced curriculum.

You will be part of a successful and growing trust, receive unparalleled support and access to career advancement through our network of schools and development programmes.

To apply

Whiteknights Primary School

Saxton Bampfylde Ltd is acting as an employment agency advisor to the Bellevue Place Education Trust on these appointments. Applications should be received by noon on 12 March 2024.

Please visit using reference SBMEB. Alternatively telephone +44 (0)20 7227 0880 (during office hours).

Evendons Primary School pupils visit 10 Downing Street

Akshata Murty, the Prime Minister’s wife, hosts a Lessons at 10 with Commando Chef Mike Beaton, to promote cooking and healthy eating with school children from Evendons Primary School. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street.

A group of 15 children from Evendons Primary School had the incredible opportunity to visit 10 Downing Street recently.

The Year 6 pupils were invited by the PM’s wife, Akshata Murty, as part of her initiative called Lessons at 10. The program aims to inspire primary school children by inviting them to the prime minister’s residence and sharing the message “be what you want to be”. The theme of these visits changes every week, and our pupils were offered a cooking class with Mike Beaton, also known as Commando Chef.

Upon their arrival, the children were welcomed with orange juice and biscuits. They had the privilege of meeting Mrs Murty who spoke to them about her own children, and how she enjoys spending her free time. Mr Beaton, on the other hand, shared incredible stories from his past as a Royal Marine, and how he now dedicates his time inspiring young people to cook and teaching them about leading a healthy lifestyle. He showed the children how to prepare a delicious turkey mince wrap and, after the demonstration, the children had the opportunity to cook their own with Mrs Murty’s assistance, ensuring an enjoyable and engaging experience. The children then sat down at a very grand table to indulge in their culinary creations.

The lunch was followed by a guided tour of Downing Street. They had the privilege of visiting the White Room, where they had the unique opportunity to sit on the official State Chair, typically reserved exclusively for heads of state during their visits to No 10. They also held the London 2012 Olympic torch and marvelled at the many artefacts within the residence.

Notable pieces included moon particles gifted by Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, and an impressive collection of artworks that held captivating histories and stories. Furthermore, the children delighted in discovering quirky elements such as hidden or fake doors, which added an extra sense of excitement to their visit. During their exploration, they also caught a glimpse of Larry the Cat, famous Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, who was curled up by the window.

The 15 pupils selected to attend the visit were chosen by lottery, and had an unforgettable time. They eagerly shared their experience with the rest of the school during a whole-school assembly, and since their visit to Downing Street they have been cooking turkey mince wraps at home for their families, inspired by their memorable experience.

Evendons Primary School expansion works completed

We are delighted that the Evendons Primary School‘s expansion works are now complete, offering pupils better spaces, a more stimulating environment and, consequentially, wider breadth of opportunities for learning.

Major works for the Reception and Year 1 classrooms took place during the summer, with the final details put in place during the last few weeks. The works will allow 42 more spaces across the school, and Evendons will be able to welcome 60 children every year, for a total of 420 pupils across all year-groups. This is an increase of 11% on the current admission numbers for an outstanding school (Ofsted) which is oversubscribed.

These substantial works were the first since the school was founded, and were only possible through the opportunities that being part of a multi-academy trust like BPET provides. This has been a major investment of about £500,000 which was welcome by pupils, parents and teachers alike.

Richard Crompton, BPET Director of Operations, who worked closely with the building company, said: “Working with our appointed architects, Wilby & Burnett, and the principal contractor, IMS Building Solutions, we have been able to transform the learning environment for our Reception and Year 1 children. The extra space, brighter rooms and new break-out areas have given our oldest classrooms a new lease of life. I am delighted that this refurbishment also allows us to welcome more pupils to the school each year, and provide them with the best possible facilities. My thanks go to Wilby & Burnett and IMS who worked tirelessly over the summer to ensure that children returned in September without any interruptions”.

Wokingham Local Authority has been fully supportive of the expansion.

The Heights Primary School joins BPET

We are delighted to welcome The Heights Primary into our family of schools!

The Heights increases BPET to 11 primary schools. Collectively, BPET schools are now educating 3,680 children across London and Berkshire.

The Heights is a government funded, non-selective, highly inclusive primary school for the Caversham Heights and Mapledurham area (West Cavesham, Berkshire). The school opened in September 2014 and moved into its permanent current site in Caversham Heights during the summer of 2021.

The new building offers pupils a greater range of facilities including a purpose built hall, activity studio, full production kitchen, Learning Resource Centre, group rooms a multi-user games area, a sensory garden and an artificially turfed outdoor play area.

The Heights has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted, has a waiting list of local parents who highly rate the broad curriculum and excellent educational offer. The schools’ motto ‘Achieving Success Promoting Individual Responsibility & Excellence (ASPIRE)’ aligns completely with BPET’s values of Learn, Enjoy, Succeed, and we have a common vision to nurture the full potential in each child, support their growth into confident, all-rounders individuals ready to thrive.

Karen Edwards, Headteacher, said: “We are excited to start this new phase with BPET. During the last few months we have already been supported by the trust, and have been made to feel very welcome by the central team and other schools. We are appreciative of this and are looking forward to continue this journey of growth, collaborating and contributing to our new family of schools.”

Mark Greatrex, BPET Chief Executive, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Karen, her team and her pupils to be part of BPET. The Heights is a fantastic school much loved by local parents who regard it very highly, and we are looking forward to working with them to support and develop together.”

Poetry Recital Competition

To recite or not to recite?

November 2023 saw our brand new Performance Poetry Recital Competition take place for the first time.

Each participating child prepared to recite a poem written by a published author or by themselves. In the first round of the competition they recited their chosen poem to their own class, who voted on the best performers to go through to the next stage. The semi-finals followed, and participants performed in a whole-school assembly, where teachers and staff chose the finalists to go through to the finals.

Pupils for Kilburn Grange School, Deer Park School, Watling Park School, Rivermead Primary School and Evendons Primary School (remotely) took part in the finals reciting in front of other finalists, the judge Stephanie Hilder – BPET Specialist English Adviser – and the teachers who escorted them to the venue.

The judge was keen to explain to the finalists the importance of participating in the whole process and learning at every stage, and not to put too much focus on the final recognition of the awards. In consultation with all other teachers and adults in the room, Ms Hilder bestowed feedback, certificates and awards, and named Rivermead Primary School as the overall winner of the competition.

She said: “I was blown away by the standard of the competition finalists. The commitment, passion and verve shown by every single pupil made me want to shout from the rooftops and dance through the trees! Huge congratulations to the eventual winners, and to every child who performed for us and shared their love of a poem, you made my heart sing. Definitely a day to remember.”

Videos from the winning performers will be entered to the Poetry by Heart competition, with the change to perform at the Globe theatre.

Many thanks to Victoria Coward, Deer Park School Deputy Headteacher who organised the competition.

Invictus Games 2023

For the first time this year, we hosted the BPET Invictus Games for children in Key Stage 2 who are low in confidence or with special needs.

Our Sports Champions Dan Bavington and Jack Briley led the way, with the support of all schools’ sports coaches, in bringing to BPET this new competition where everyone is a winner.

Teams of 10 children from Rutherford Park School, Kilburn Grange School, Watling Park School, Deer Park School and Whitehall Park School came together to experience boccia, new age kurling, dangerball and archery. Each pupil gained points for their team; however the real focus was on trying out news sports, building confidence, feeling part of a team and enjoying the physical movement and the overall experience. Everyone received a medal in recognition of their efforts and participation.

Mr Bavington said: “All BPET schools work to make sure all pupils grow and develop a love for sport; through the Invictus Games we are able to make sure that every pupil has the ability to represent and participate in sport.”

Mark Greatrex, BPET Chief Executive, said: “These new games are a wonderful opportunity to get children together to enjoy a sporting competition across the schools. developing confidence and self-esteem. Thank you to Dan and Jack for arranging these, and to Watling Park School for hosting.”

BPET Conference 2023

The annual BPET Conference with nearly 300 delegates from 10 BPET schools – and guests from two more schools which will soon join our trust – came together on 30 October 2023 at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in the Docklands (London) for a day of learning, collaboration and networking.

We believe that ‘learn, enjoy, succeed’ does not only apply to pupils in our schools, but to everyone at BPET. The conference offered staff the opportunity to choose between 40 workshop sessions led by experts, thinkers and leaders in their fields in order to upskill, challenge and inspire every employee.

The main presentation was delivered by the Chief Executive, the Interim Director of Education and Education Support, a new service provided to all employees which offers mental health support 24/7. Whilst we congratulated our schools for what they already do well, we also offered sessions to challenge the status quo in education and prepare staff for future developments in society – such as Artificial Intelligence – and also on a personal level, such as leadership development.

And whilst sessions on maths mastery, English proficiency and children emotional development were as popular as ever, we also offered professional development opportunities to support staff, who are vital to the smooth running of a school.

The spirit of the day has been very much about working as one big team for the benefit of the children we collectively serve. In the words of the Interim Director of Education, Alison Colenso: “Our strength is our collaboration. Let connections made today continue throughout the year, and in the future”.

One headteacher commented: “I know the day will have a positive impact on our school development this year and beyond”, whilst member of staff said: “Brilliant event that truly inspired me and my teaching. Looking forward to the next conference.”

Chief Executive Mark Greatrex said: “Opportunities such as the annual conference, together with our wide variety of continuing professional development opportunities do not only benefit our staff, but ultimately all our pupils, who are at centre of everything we do.”


Evendons Primary School gets ‘Eco School’ Green Flag Accreditation

We are very proud of Evendons Primary School, our Outstanding STEM school in Wokingham (Berkshire), who has been awarded the Eco School Green Flag last September.

Back in 2021, the school had already developed a green programme with a series of initiatives and events which were part of – and driven by – the school’s curriculum. But thanks to the passion of some members of staff, Evendons decided to take their green commitment to the next level.

During the 2022-2023 school year, the school’s action plan revolved around three key elements: travel, waste and school grounds, and an Eco-Committee was formed involving 14 pupils from Reception to Year 6. The committee created an “Eco Code”, a collection of memorable slogans such as “Walk, bike or take a hike” that the pupils put forward after collective creative sessions.

Evendons also worked together with My Journey Wokingham regarding their sustainable travel policies, and received a Platinum Award for their efforts in this regard.

Other significant examples have been the challenges children posed to school suppliers: letters were written to suppliers requesting to share information about their sustainable practices; also a whole Eco Day was created where visitors were invited to come to school and observe the grounds and its wildlife, and plant 100 trees in what is now known as the Queen Canopy.

Instrumental to deliver the green agenda was Year 3 teacher Holly Wright, who has even bigger plans for the current academic year.

Headteacher Stacey Read says: “I am very proud of our teachers and our pupils, who understand the importance to look after the environment we live in, and take action towards a greener future.”

Launching our School Centred Initial Teacher Training

Since BPET was founded, we had a long-standing ambition: to train teachers in our schools.

This is now a reality.

We have partnered with Teach First to deliver our School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme. Teach First is a national charity that trains teachers with a focus to make a difference in their local communities. They have been training teachers for 20 years and are the largest initial teacher training provider in the UK.

As a trust, we have a clear vision to deliver the highest standards of education, blended from the best of the state and independent sectors, and we want aspiring teachers to join us to deliver this exciting vision for the benefit of the pupils we serve.

The SCITT programme is one-year long and involves a mix of live training in class, self-directed study and one-to-one support. The training is ideal for people who are eager to learn on the job and make a difference in their community from day one. Read more details here on the programme and eligibility requirements.

Alison Colenso, Interim Director of Education, said: “Training to teach is probably the most powerful way to have a positive impact on society. We want to nurture future teachers just as much as we nurture and educate our pupils. Joining us will enable aspiring teachers to hit the ground running and learn from experienced BPET staff. This is ultimately a great opportunity and we look forward to welcoming our first cohort.”

Mark Greatrex, BPET Chief Executive said: “Being able to train teachers in BPET schools has been a personal ambition of mine for years. This is a milestone for us and I’m beyond delighted we are finally delivering a SCITT programme in our schools; I’m looking forward to welcome new talent through our doors”.

Liz O’Mara, Head of School Partnerships SCITT at Teach First, said: “We are delighted that he Bellevue Place Education Trust have joined up with Teach First for Initial Teacher Training. This partnership is an exciting opportunity for graduates or career changers to learn from expert teachers and mentors within their vibrant trust, alongside benefiting from initial teacher training developed by Teach First who are the largest initial teacher training provider in the country, with over 20 years’ experience. Our collaborative approach will enable the start of a meaningful career, making a real difference to children in your communities.”


Ofsted confirms Watling Park School to be Good in all areas

Watling Park School was visited by Ofsted inspectors in June 2023 and was judged as ‘Good’ once more, which is a confirmation of their first inspection in 2018.

It was clear to inspectors that the school is a happy and safe place which caters for all children’s needs. The report highlights leaders’ high aspirations of what pupils can and should accomplish, and children’s enthusiasm in striving to do well and being proud of their achievements.

The report goes on to praise the breadth of activities on offer mentioning musical productions, trips to museums and dance festivals, print making workshops and residentials, as well as competitions with other schools within the same trust. All these out-of-classroom activities strengthen children’s learning, nurture them as all-rounders and add to their positive experience of primary school.

Inspectors also noted the children’s desire to contribute to school’s life: “They are proud of the roles that they have in school, for example as members of the school’s parliament and the green council. They felt that their contributions are valued, that they are listened to, and that they make a difference to their school and wider community.” Read the full report here.

Liz Haynes, Headteacher, says: “I’m really proud of our dedicated staff at Watling. We work together in the interest of the children, and I’m glad that Ofsted recognised our watertight approach to phonics and reading, as well as our solid safeguarding procedures. I’m also pleased that they appreciated how our extra-curricular activities can enrich children’s learning. I’m looking forward to leading Watling Park School to achieve even better outcomes”.

In addition to the school’s high praises, Ofsted commented on the support offered by the Bellevue Place Education Trust (BPET), of which Watling Park School is part, and noticed how the trust and the local advisory board provide structure as well as challenge to school leaders in order to ensure accountability and progress.

Mark Greatrex, BPET Chief Executive, says: “We are delighted that Watling Park School has been confirmed as a Good school. We built the school from the ground and are proud of how it has developed over time. Our job as a trust is to make sure that all our children learn, enjoy and, as a result, succeed and I think they are doing just that at Watling Park School”.

Watling Park School has recently opened a new playpark on its extensive grounds, and produces its own energy thanks to solar panels installed on the roof.