Chris Searson, Headmaster of Beaudesert, and Mark Pyper, the Chair of Governors, are delighted to share news of changes at Beaudesert that will be implemented from September 2019.
Beaudesert is renowned for being a happy school where children are able to thrive within a nurturing family atmosphere, approaching school life with a sense of purpose and ambition. We offer a broad and exciting curriculum and structure founded on traditional values, while preparing Beaudesertians for the modern world.
We live at a time of considerable change in both education and social life. A more practical, experiential approach to teaching and learning requires longer lesson periods; new subjects and experiences have to be accommodated in an inclusive curriculum; senior schools in the independent sector change both the nature and timing of their qualifying assessments; academic aspirations continue to rise; families want to spend more time together at weekends than was once the case.
At Beaudesert we aim to keep pace with these changes and to do so as matter of natural and carefully planned evolution, while retaining our vision and values. Our fundamental values will be enhanced as we make clearly defined progress in the way we structure school life and develop the curriculum, both academic and beyond the classroom.
Following a period of far reaching review and consultation, the Senior Management Team and the Board of Governors have worked collaboratively, listening carefully and openly to the views of parents and staff, to review current structures and plan for the future.
The changes, from September 2019, will have a number of significant benefits for Beaudesertians for the years ahead, including:
- A calmer and more consistently organised daily and weekly structure.
- Enhanced provision for children as they prepare for next steps and moving on to their next school.
- Long weekends and more Leave Out weekends, allowing more family time.
- More time for children to rest and recharge ready for all that school life has to offer.
- Enhancement of learning opportunities beyond the normal curriculum.
- Protection and growth of our sport for all policy.
There are a number of positive changes, the most practically significant of which is the change to the Saturday timetable. From September 2019, we will no longer teach any academic lessons on Saturday mornings, instead allowing Saturday mornings to become the preserve of sport for all, with additional opportunities for children to take their learning ‘Above and Beyond’ (please see page 6) the normal curriculum. Our Saturday fixtures with opposition schools will now take place on Saturday mornings, rather than in the afternoon after lessons, thus allowing family weekends to begin much earlier.
The key changes from September 2019 are listed below:
- Academic lessons will no longer be taught on Saturday mornings, with clear academic focus and rigour enhanced and maximised during the Monday to Friday week.
- Fixtures with other schools will now be played on Saturday mornings rather than the afternoon. It will still be expected that all children in Years 5 to 8 attend Saturday morning school on those occasions when we have our Saturday school programme.
- Opportunities to take learning ‘Above and Beyond’ the normal curriculum will be available for children in school on Saturday mornings (page 6).
- Lesson length will change from 35 minutes to 50 minutes, with a 5 minute break for movement between classes, creating a calmer and more focused learning environment.
- Daily reading time will be included within the school day.
- There will be greater opportunities for children to learn a number of subjects across all year groups, including PSHCE, D.T. and the Performing Arts.
- Responding to changes in senior school assessment and selection processes, our preparation will be improved by the introduction of a designated timetabled lesson (see page 5) for Years 5 to 7, allowing children to prepare for ‘Moving On’ to senior school and beyond.
- There will be greater flexibility for parents and children at the end of the school day, so children in Years 5 to 8 who may struggle with a consistent 5.30pm finish can be collected from 5.00pm.
- Greater flexibility in activity choices will be available, with optional activities taking place from 5.00 to 5.30pm on every day other than Wednesday. Activities for children in Years 5 to 8 will begin at 4.15pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, thus ensuring that all children enjoy a breadth or opportunities and experiences. Year 4 will enjoy daily activities from 4.15-4.55pm on every day other than Wednesday.
- There will be a supervised Prep Activity so day children can be collected at 5.30pm having completed any work they may have, rather than doing it later in the evening.
We are excited by these changes. They are intended to improve opportunities for our children while offering a greater degree of flexibility and retaining our core philosophy and traditional values. They will enhance our curriculum, offering greater breadth and balance, alongside a better daily pace of life and more opportunity for rest and recuperation at the weekends. These changes will not affect Pre-prep.
Further information about the changes outlined above follows, including:
- Timings of the school day, Monday to Friday.
- Saturday timings.
- Dates for your diary – Saturdays & Leave Outs.
- More information about ‘Moving On’ lessons.
- More information about the ‘Above and Beyond’ programme.
With best wishes,
Mark Pyper Chris Searson
Chair of Governors Headmaster