In the summer term of 2021, Year 5 of Rutherford House School, Balham were inspired to start start a ‘Save the Water Vole’ campaign after reading the classic novel Wind in the Willows and researching the animal.
They started a petition on change.org hoping for 1,000 signatures. Since then they have received over 50,000 signatures after high profile media coverage on ITV London News and the story being covered locally and in specialist environmental press.
As reported on 1st October 2021 in the SW Londoner, the year group have now received responses from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
In the article it states:
“Head of Direct Communications at No.10 Mandy Goridge responded to the school’s petition on behalf of the Prime Minister. She told Rutherford House School that while she would be bringing the issue to Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Prime Minister wouldn’t be able to support the campaign.
Rutherford House School’s petition cited heavy pollution and housing development as reasons for water voles’ declining numbers.
Wandsworth Council’s Director of Environment and Community Services, Paul Chadwick, told an Overview and Scrutiny Committee earlier this week that they wouldn’t be able to reintroduce water voles to Wandsworth yet.
He did say that the Wandsworth Council was taking steps to improve habitats in the borough and protect rivers from pollution, citing its recently published biodiversity plan.”
These actions are a good step forward and we are delighted that the campaign has raised so much awareness. We know the staff and pupils involved have learned so much, not only about Water Voles, Pollution and caring for habitats but also about professional communications (PR), Media and TV production, Interview skills and enhanced their persuasive writing skills.
We are delighted to welcome Richard Crompton to the BPET senior management team as Director of Operations. He brings a wealth of Operations and Facilities experience from his previous roles at The David Ross Trust, John Lewis Partnership and Marks and Spencer plc.
Richard’s role as Director of Operations has overall responsibility for the strategic leadership of HR, asset management, contract management, compliance, ICT (including MIS systems), legal issues, Health and Safety and by strategic oversight the School Office Managers and Site Managers.
Living in North London with his partner and son, Richard is a keen runner and enjoys hiking in his spare time.
We are delighted to announce that Harrison Catering Services Ltd have been appointed as the catering provider across the eight BPET schools from 1 September 2021 for a 3-year contract, with the potential for 5 years to 2026.
This is a first for the Trust as our schools previously selected their own provider, having been ‘new’ free schools opening across different academic years.
BPET are passionate about providing high quality food for all pupils and for this to be a social and enriching experience, with all our schools delivering high quality meal through a family dining experience for our pupils to enjoy. To deliver this, we ask all parents to purchase a school meal, if they do not qualify for free meals.
We believe that all lunchtime food should be both appetising and nutritious. We recognise the benefits of a well-balanced hot meal for children, in the middle of the day and believe this is best provided through the school meal. We therefore expect all children to take a hot meal provided through the school caterer.
We are unashamedly aspirational with our BPET Food Policy, as all children should benefit from a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet. It is important for the development of a child’s physical state, as well as promoting concentration in class. Meals with the proper nutrients helps fuel the mind to be more receptive to learning new knowledge and acquiring new skills.
Food and sharing food are an important part of our make-up as human beings. Wherever school settings permit, BPET wishes to promote and encourage a type of meal service called Family service.
Family service ensures that the children sit together at the same time and share the same meal; children will sit at the same table every day and on their table will be children from different classes, a mixture of girls and boys and children of all races and religions sharing the same food.
As an Academy Trust, BPET takes the lead on tendering high spend contracts across our schools and catering is our second highest spend after staffing. We believe it is good practice to regularly test the market for such provision and following a four-year contract with the previous provider, we went out to tender in early 2021.
With the support of our procurement provider, four companies were taken through to the final stages of the process. This resulted in four very strong bids and we are proud that in a competitive market, these organisations were very keen to supply for us.
Harrisons Catering was the unanimous preferred supplier from the tender process, which included bid documentation, presentations and question and answers.
Harrisons impressed the tender team, made up of members of the trust central team and school Headteachers, with their focus on the delivery of high quality meals across all schools, for the benefit of every pupil. They were clear that they would be offering the best ingredients, aspirational menus and a strong team supporting the kitchen staff in the schools. Under the terms of the contract, all current catering staff have the right to transfer to Harrisons as the new provider and we believe they will be strongly supported in their role. We know some schools in the Trust will also receive brand new chefs, local to their area who will become a very important member of the school staff community.
The benefit of the group contract, managed by the BPET Central Team, is that we can ensure that all schools receive a high quality offer, utilising the economies of scale across the contract, meeting the needs of every pupil we serve.
Harrison Catering has been creating enticing, nutritious food since 1994. They provide delectable, balanced meals to schools and businesses. Founder & Chairman, Geoffrey Harrison, believes the best dishes are both delicious and nutritious and all the ingredients should come from trusted sources. Our teams work with clients to make sure everyone who eats their meal isn’t just enjoying tasty food, but also getting vital nutrition tailored just for them at great value.
For more information visit: www.harrisoncatering.co.uk/schoolcatering
6/9/2021: As all eight BPET schools open their doors to pupils today for the start of the 2021-22 academic year it is a milestone moment for the Trust … for the first time every school in the group has a full cohort from Reception to Year 6!
Created in 2013 with the opening of Rutherford House School, Balham, the group has seven original free schools across London and Berkshire. Our eighth school, Evendons Primary in Wokingham, joined us in 2020 which was the year for their first year six leavers. This July, 2021, saw first Year six leavers for Braywick Court, Maidenhead and Whitehall Park, Islington,
However today our four youngest school’s, who all opened in 2015, joined the others by having classes from Reception through to Year Six. As a group, today we welcomed 2,430 pupils across the eight schools.
We wish every single pupil a fantastic year and we know out Year six cohorts are already thinking about and planning for the transition to secondary school. Our teaching teams are giving support for entrance examinations, scholarship interviews and working towards the 2022 SATs which are due to take place in the summer term.
We all know that formal assessments were cancelled again for 2020-21, so here at BPET we chose to conduct our own school assessment programme (BSATs), as a way of maintaining the momentum and focus on learning in the schools for our Year 6 pupils. This was to support them in their transition to secondary school, as well as understand where the pupils are at when they end their BPET journey with us. The process gave us, as a Trust, a sense of how all our schools are performing in light of the pandemic.
Using unseen previous SATs papers, we are delighted that 70% of our Year 6 pupils across Braywick Court, Evendons, Rutherford House and Whitehall Park schools achieved the expected standards in Reading, Writing and Maths. This is 5% above the national average.
17% of pupils achieved greater depth in these subjects combined, 6% above national.
Reading performing the best with 49% of pupils achieving a greater depth, 14% above the national average*.
Whilst delighted with the pupil achievement, our main priorities as a Trust for 2021-22 are:
- 80% of pupils at Age Related Expectations
- With 25% exceeding Age Related Expectations at the end of Keys Stage 2 (Year 6) in core subjects – Reading, Writing and Maths
- Continue to deliver a broad curriculum that is enriched with an exciting extended curriculum, driving an inclusive and personalised learning experience for all pupils
We will also be encouraging our schools to:
- Develop library provision, with more books available for both reading comprehension tasks and reading for fun.
- Develop consistent Maths curriculums and online applications which pupils can use at home to develop skills and really embed practices.
* These national averages are all pre-pandemic benchmarks (2019) and we know the COVID disruption has had an impact on learning across all schools nationally, especially for writing, which will be a focus for all our schools next year.
We are delighted to confirm that The Department for Education (DfE) recently approved BPET to become the sponsors of Whiteknights Primary School, Wokingham, as an academy.
This was ratified at the school’s July Head Teacher Board meeting. So we are now waiting for an Academy Order to be issued at the start of the 2021-22 academic year, when we can begin the conversion and due diligence process.
Whiteknights School is a high performing school in Wokingham, rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. It is one of just 34 English Hubs.
The schools values and ethos align with that of BPET and we look forward to working through the conversion process to welcome them into our Trust.
Whiteknights will become the third school within the Trust to be based in Berkshire, in the Borough of Wokingham. We aim to establish solid links with Evendons Primary School and Braywick Court School so that together they can share, where appropriate, specialist teaching resources and engage in collaboration activities which will benefit both staff and pupils of each school.
We are delighted to confirm the Department for Education have approved Nursery provision for 3-4 year olds at Halley House School, Dalston, Hackney, from September 2021.
The Nursery will open on Monday 6th September 2021 and there will be a short settling period for new starters as follows:
Monday 6th September: 9am-12noon
Tuesday 7th September: 9am-1pm
Wednesday 8th September: Full provision available
Nursery Manager, Antionette Mattison, will be organising parent and child visits in school for Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd September.
The provision is for a 22-place nursery, which will offer core funded (as applicable) hours between 9am and 3.30pm, Monday-Friday, with the same extended day timings as the school: 7.45am until 6pm.
The nursery to be operational for 48 weeks of the year.
The nursery class will be situated alongside the current Reception classroom on the third floor. The space will retain direct access onto the roof terrace.
The nursery provision will be overseen by Ms Antionette Mattison, a highly qualified and experienced Nursery Manager, who will report into our Early Years Lead, Ms Ashley, and the Senior Leadership Team of the school.
The core purpose of our provision is to provide an exceptional start to our families’ experience of the Halley House curriculum, values and ethos.
We are delighted to share our Summer Term Newsletter, what a year!
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We are proud to have 50% of our schools with Year 6 pupils transitioning to secondary school in September 2021.
Last year Rutherford House School (RHS) was the first of our original schools to have a Year 6 cohort. Our newest school, Evendons Primary (EPS), who joined the trust in February 2020 also had a Year 6 cohort but with the pandemic and lockdown we as a group hadn’t really got to know them by last summer.
This year is is so different as we have both RHS and EPS leavers but joining them are the first ‘leavers’ from Braywick Court School (Maidenhead) and Whitehall Park School (Islington). That means half of our schools have leavers! We wish them all well and hope they continue to Learn, Enjoy and Succeed in their next education setting!
There is such a diverse range of destinations for our leavers, many having an offer from the Independent sector but accepting local state school offers. Both Rutherford and Evendons have seen the range of schools offered / chosen broadened as we work with schools in our communities (state and independent) to give our pupils during academic year 5 the chance to explore and meet online (due to COVID) and engage in secondary school led events.
We know that many leavers from last year have returned to share their experiences and give advice to the classes at Evendons and Rutherford House, so we hope that trend will continue and that we can set up an alumni for BPET families.
This time next year it will be 100%, with all eight of the current Trust schools having a Year 6 cohort leaving.