It was wonderful to welcome back all staff and students after the long summer break. Holidays are great but there is nothing better than watching the corridors of the school building fill up with the excited faces of our amazing young people ready to embark upon another school year. We have more students than ever before this year as we were, once again, massively over-subscribed in Year 7 which is a strong vote of confidence from the young people and parents in the community we serve. I would also like to offer a special welcome to the 187 new students who join us in Year 7 this year and wish you a happy and successful school career at BCA.
This time of year is a time for all of us to reflect back on the previous school year and to learn from our success and from our failures. This principle applies to school staff and students. 2016-17 was a very successful year at BCA for a number of reasons:
- In June we received a very strong Ofsted report which recognised the high quality of the provision at BCA and the huge improvements we have made here over the last 4 years;
- In August, all of the work on our new building and facilities was completed and we now have a fully functioning school with some of the best facilities in the local area and beyond;
- All of the data we submit in relation to behaviour and attendance was excellent and shows further improvements in these areas and all of our students leaving Year 11 went on to further education, employment or training;
- We became founder members of The Challenge Academy Trust (TCAT) with several other local schools and Priestley College. This is an innovative and truly collaborative trust which, we know, will create a whole range of opportunities for the young people of Warrington and for the staff within the institutions involved;
- To top it all off, we enjoyed a strong set of GCSE outcomes on results day in August which showed further improvements & strong performances in many subjects despite it being a very tumultuous year in terms of curriculum & assessment reform.
These are broad headlines but, far more important to us, are the individual achievements of the young people in our care. GCSE Results day is always a day when all of these achievements and endeavours are brought sharply in to focus and this year did not disappoint. I must draw particular attention to two students, Sophie Gibbons and James Spiers, who secured grade 9s which are the new highest possible grades surpassing the A*, this places them in the top 2-3% of the country. These are just two and there were many, many more students who worked incredibly hard and achieved the results they deserved.
All of these individual success stories will tell you their achievement was a product of hard work both inside and outside the classroom. Their success was born from a positive attitude and a strong desire to achieve their potential, from having the determination to succeed and the resilience to handle the knocks. Success is a product of ambition.
Our fundamental aim is to ensure that all of our young people have the skills, qualifications and experience which will enable them to go on to have rich and successful lives. We encourage our students to believe that, with hard work, anything is possible and that their only limitations are the ones they impose upon themselves. Our students embody this attitude and we witnessed this on results day when we saw lots of our young people jumping for joy as they opened their envelopes.
Looking ahead, it is a busy term with lots of important events and activities in the calendar to look forward to. Alongside the daily menu of lessons and enrichment activities, our Year 7 students will go on their residential trip to North Yorkshire, we will hold our Year 6 open evening on 26th September, our performing arts students will take part in the Shakespeare in Schools festival and there is a student parliament trip to the Houses of Parliament in London. We are also really honoured to have been selected from schools and institutions across the world to host the annual global DojoCon conference on 13th-15th October. This prestigious event will celebrate cutting edge projects from around the world in the fields of computer coding, robotics, technology and engineering and delegates from around the world will travel to BCA to attend. This event is open to the public so feel free to find out more on our website.
So, in short, we have achieved a lot to shout about in 2017 but even greater things lie ahead.
Mr A Moorcroft BA (Hons), NPQH