Heather McKissack MBE Tribute

It is with huge sadness that we let you know of the passing of one of our truly wonderful Governors.

Heather McKissack MBE served as a Governor at Deer Park School from December 2016, with her main focus being on our Pupil Premium children. Heather’s appointment to the Governing Body truly embodied our mission to blend the best of the public education system with that of the state system having spent her career working towards bettering children’s outcomes in both sectors. We were so privileged to have had someone of Heather’s gravitas on our governing body.  Her outreach work stretched far and wide and she was awarded an MBE in 2016 for her dedication to building strong partnerships between schools from state and independent sectors. Heather will be very fondly remembered for her challenge (which was very fierce!), her humour and her wealth of knowledge and experience. She lived life to the very end and we are truly grateful for her contribution. We wouldn’t be where we are without her and will be creating a new ‘Heather garden’ in the permanent home of Deer Park School in her honour.

Whitehall Park teachers publish article in TES

Two teachers from Whitehall Park School have written an article on the necessity of teaching personal finance at KS1 in the digital age. The following article comes courtesy of  Jo Fynaut and Sarah Nash, and can be found on the Times Educational Supplement website by following the link at the bottom of this page.

‘Why we teach personal finance at KS1’

Teaching young children about money is crucial, say these primary teachers – but our curriculum needs an update

How to manage your finances is something that every one of our pupils will have to understand once they leave school. Yet this is a topic that is rarely properly tackled in schools, if it is tackled at all – particularly at primary level.

At our school, we place a particular focus on it, trying to help children to learn about money through play and tangible experiences. For our youngest pupils, we set up shops in class and encourage them to “buy and sell” classroom items. We expand this idea for Year 2, by giving them a £20 budget to design a stall at the summer fair.

Bringing a subject to life like this and making it tangible is a really effective pedagogical technique for key stage 1. However, the way that people use money is changing, and this is having an impact not just on how pupils understand it, but how we teach about it, too.

The national curriculum requires our pupils to understand two financial concepts: to “recognise and know the value of different denominations of coins and notes” and to “find different combinations of coins that equal the same amounts of money”. Currently, we are meeting these requirements with our KS1 teaching, but with the advent of contactless card payments and digital spending through iPads and smartphones, we are concerned that the curriculum is not going to be fit for purpose for much longer.

So, what are we doing to bridge the gap?

‘Digital money’

We have changed the way that we teach about money to make the focus much more digital and are incorporating apps and devices as much as we can into these lessons.

There are now a number of games that are based around teaching personal finance, which use the technology that children are already familiar with to educate them about digital currency. For example, Pigzbe uses cryptocurrency to introduce children to the concepts of digital money through saving, spending and playing with tokens.

Our “digital-native” pupils are adept at navigating apps and games, but this is also where the issue of digital money is often most problematic. We’ve heard many stories of parents checking their bank statements only to discover that their child has been spending money on games, unaware that pressing a button on an iPad is the same as handing over coins in a shop.

So, we discuss these issues with the children and use devices to replicate the physical play techniques that we have previously relied upon to engage pupils in the past.

Ultimately, the life skills that today’s primary school children will need are intrinsically linked to technology, and personal finance is no exception. The national curriculum might not have moved on yet, but that doesn’t mean that our teaching can’t. It is our job to provide children with the skills they will need to succeed in life and that means showing them that managing your money in the digital age takes more than just knowing how to count coins.

Jo Fynaut is a core leader and Sarah Nash is a Year 2 teacher at Whitehall Park School in Highgate, London.

You can read the original article by following the link: https://www.tes.com/news/why-we-teach-personal-finance-ks1 

Watling Park School judged as Good School

Watling Park School has been successful in its first ever OfSTED inspection, where inspectors found the school to be “Good” in all areas, with “strong leadership” and “a deep curriculum” enabling pupils to “develop their knowledge and understanding”.

The school was established by Bellevue Place Education Trust in September 2015 and moved into their new building in September 2017. Inspectors celebrated the school’s extensive educational offer, stating “The school’s rich curriculum successfully develops pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.” Furthermore, pupils “benefit from a culture of collaboration”, where teachers regularly develop opportunities to learn through cross-curricular work. On more than one occasion, the report praises the “well-planned” class trips and workshops that comprise the school’s “approach to widen pupils’ experiences”, benefitting students by “broadening their life experiences”. Acting Headteacher, who has let the school since September, Sonia Mallick, commented on the positive report:

“This OfSTED report reflects the dedication and commitment of all of the staff, from teachers and assistants who work in the classrooms to all of my other colleagues who provide fantastic support in so many different ways before, during and after school.  The excellent outcome caps off the hard work and dedication by all involved.”

The enjoyment of staff working at the school is evident in the report, with colleagues quoted as describing the school to be “one big happy family”. The school’s governance structure is also praised for its collaborative ethos, with “strong strategic direction” being provided by the multi-academy trust in order to “improve the school further”.

The Chief Executive from Bellevue Place Education Trust, Mark Greatrex also commented on the inspection result:

“This is a very well deserved inspection report and testament to the hard work everyone has put in to opening this new school.  Watling Park School provides a high quality education to the young people we serve, thanks to current and previous staff who have supported Watling Park on the journey to become an OfSTED-rated Good school.  The school is very well led and its pupils, our excellent staff and parents are increasingly working closely together in partnership, which helps children learn.  It was most pleasing when the inspector credited the school on driving up standards while staying firm to our philosophy of providing a broad and balanced education offer for all pupils – a principle from our vision.”

Engagement from parents surrounding the inspection was overwhelmingly positive, with 88% claiming to recommend the school to another parent. All schools operated by Bellevue Place Education Trust seek to establish an environment for pupils to “learn, enjoy and succeed”. Inspectors commented on the regular use of “strong questioning to develop pupils’ thinking further”, acknowledging an atmosphere of regular enquiry that reflects the school’s ‘Thinking Schools’ approach. Crucial to this is the drive for a varied programme of enrichment that extends beyond the classroom, evident in the school’s “well resourced” outdoor learning environment and “broad range” of after-school clubs.

With a new Headteacher appointed and set to start next academic year, the positive OfSTED result is an acknowledgement of the fantastic work done this far in the school’s journey.

A link to the OfSTED report can be found by following the link: Click here

Appointment of a Chief Operating Officer

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Stuart Dixon to the role of Chief Operating Officer for Bellevue Place Education Trust.

Stuart is brings a wealth of experience in buildings and procurement and most recently as a Capital Project Manager for Lambeth Borough Council.  Within his current role, Stuart works in the Major Capital Projects on a range of projects and also acting as client of a large school PFI contract which included construction and subsequent FM service delivery. Stuart has also had in-depth involvement with schools that have converted to Academy status both at Lambeth and in another Borough.

He has held a number of strategic leadership roles within the local authority housing; a central government funding and regulatory organisation; the voluntary housing sector where he was Director of Housing and Company Secretary, and also within the private sector as a management consultant. In addition, Stuart is also the sponsor-appointed Chair of Governors for Harris Primary Academy Beckenham Green and a publicly-elected Governor for an NHS Mental Health and Community Foundation Trust.

Stuart brings to the Trust a breadth of experience that will enable him to support the Trust’s work through providing strategic leadership and direction to the operation functions across BPET.  As Chief Operating Officer, Stuart will lead on health and safety, risk management, procurement, IT and Board administration functions.  This strong appointment mean the Trust will be in an excellent position to deliver key operational support to the schools and on aspects of the BPET 3 Year Strategic Plan.”

Updated policies in line with GDPR requirements

Protecting your privacy

General Data Protection Regulation is legislation designed to make it easier for you to control how BPET uses parents/carers personal details and those of pupils.

We need to make it clear to you

  • What personal data we collect and keep
  • Why we collect and keep the data
  • How we use personal data
  • Where we keep personal data
  • How long we keep the data
  • Individual rights connected to that data

We have a data protection policy and a privacy notice so you can see how we meet these requirements.   You can find these under the policy and procedures section on this website.

Use of cookies

We do use cookies on our website. Cookies are small anonymous text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set out and how to manage and delete them, visit www.aboutcookies.org.

We only use cookies that are essential (i.e. they are required to make something work) or help us to make your experience of using our website better. By continuing to browse the BPET website, you are agreeing to the use of cookies.

We do not use cookies to store personal data or link non-personal information stored in cookies with personal data about specific individuals.

School Improvement Review Cycle EYFS visits

Throughout April, EYFS visits have been taking place to all schools as part of our regular School Improvement Review Cycle. The purpose of these visits is to provide an overview and recommend any areas of improvement to the Early Years provision in our schools.These are led by Early Years experts from the Independent schools that we are linked with.

The visits consist of six key assessment areas, including; Attendance, Behaviour and Welfare analysis, pupil interviews around work and school experience, and reviews of progress against overarching appraisal targets.The full School Improvement Review Cycle consists of five visits to each school throughout the academic year, each with a separate focus in line with the Ofsted inspection criteria. The Review Cycle provides the Trust with an overview of the performance of each of our schools, as well as supporting Heads with their improvement strategies. These reviews are always linked to the underlying vision of the Trust and help us to verify best practice by evidencing the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

Community Green Space Grant awarded to Rutherford House School

Rutherford House School has been successful in its application for a Community Green Space Grant from the London Mayor’s Greener City Fund. Sadiq Khan announced his ambition to create the world’s first ‘National Park City’, following a manifesto commitment to make London 50% green by 2050. With the emphasis that BPET schools place on activity and outdoor stimulation, we are beyond pleased with this result. Rutherford’s successful application for the project ‘Rutherford Goes Green – From Grey Playground to Green Oasis’ aims to convert the concrete playground to create new green space for use by the whole community. Volunteer action days and community workshops are planned to both establish and maintain the space, with up to three generations of local people working in regular collaboration. The school was awarded £10,000 to develop 60sqm of green space, including growing areas and wildlife, in which it will establish sustainable gardening and outdoor learning space. The project has been given an anticipated completion date of July 2019.

Trust-wide Thinking Schools training

Kilburn Grange School hosted a Trust-wide training session for ‘Thinking Schools Development: Philosophy for Children’, as we continue towards pursuing Thinking Schools accreditation across all seven BPET schools. Delivered by the former President of SAPERE (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education), an education charity dedicated to the promotion of Philosophy for Children (P4C), the events took place over two days and involved Headteachers as well as Thinking Skills Leaders from schools across the Trust.

Philosophy for Children is a programme with a proven record for developing higher order thinking, questioning, speaking and listening skills. The Education Endowment Foundation and Durham University published a study showing that P4C raises student attainment in reading, writing and maths, with a special emphasis on improvements amongst disadvantaged pupils. It has subsequently been included in the EEF pupil premium toolkit. P4C arrived in the UK during the 1990s with the formation of SAPERE, who adapted the existing international programme to increase accessibility for teachers without a background in philosophy. Last November, Kilburn Grange also hosted the Thinking Schools International Conference, organised by Thinking Matters CEO Richard Cummins and bringing together Thinking Schools Leaders from across the country, including teachers from our own Rutherford House and Whitehall Park.

In April, Whitehall Park and Watling Park will also host a delegation from a number of Lithuanian schools. The BPET schools have been asked by Richard Cummins to demonstrate the effect of implementing a Thinking Schools approach and the positive impact it has had on our educational offering.

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