Mr Webb joined the Year 9 students on the trip to Sapa, this week. In his absence, it was my pleasure to lead the secondary school and write this hub piece, which is dedicated to teaching and learning. As the assistant head in charge of teaching and learning in the secondary school, I have been lucky enough to be present to see some of the wonderful achievements of our students and teachers this academic year so far.
At the beginning of the year we introduced a new assessment procedure which can be found in the student diaries. The aim of this procedure was to ensure that all teachers were giving high quality feedback to students about how to improve with the hope that this would lead to more rapid progression for all. An assessment working group was formed last year and they worked tirelessly looking at the best ways we could help our students progress.The final outcome allows students and teachers to see how well they have understood their task (through use of a colour), how much effort they have put into a task (indicated by a number code the same as the interim reports) and a letter indicating the progress of their English language.
Feedback so far from teachers and students has been extremely positive and we have even had several certificate winners of the ‘Be Ambitious’ award which is extremely hard to get and is awarded in the event of a student going beyond the teacher’s expectations in both understanding and effort.
As we approach the end of a very busy and productive term it felt like a great time to celebrate some of these student’s achievements. Today in assembly several students across the age range talked about what it means to them to ‘Be Ambitious’. Two of these thoughts have really resonated with me and I would like to share these with you:
Emily in Y13 expressed eloquently what it means to her to ‘Be Ambitious’:
“You see, being ambitious is not about changing the world – to be ambitious is to dare to become a better version of yourself, and having the gut to work hard to become better. “
Emily was nominated by several of her teachers when asked which students are ‘Being Ambitious’. She consistently works hard to ensure she always does her best and the quote above really embodies Emily’s personal philosophy.
Jessica in Y8 saw ambition in a slightly different way:
“I think that it’s important to know that to be ambitious is not to be the best at so many different things but to push yourself in different ways and to try new things.”
Jess was also nominated by several teachers and embodies our aims for all BIS students- being a well-rounded learner. Jess was nominated because as well as always trying her best academically she also regularly surpasses teacher’s expectations by being involved in all areas of school life: a lead role in the upcoming secondary production, being a subject ambassador for English and involvement in a variety of sports teams, events and fixtures.
It was amazing to see so many of our students talking about how and why they are ambitious and to inspire others to think about how they can be ambitious. After the Christmas holidays many of our students will continue to be challenged in exams, in sports fixtures and in preparing for the secondary production. However, we continue to feel exceptionally proud of our student’s achievements and look forward to seeing more of the same as the year progresses.
Mrs Nicola Witton
Assistant Head Teacher-Teaching and Learning and English Teacher