How students learn is changing in schools. At Bournside, staff and students are encouraged to use tablet computers to support student learning in an innovative way. We believe learning is at its best when it is immersive and fun, and when students can make their own choices about how to evidence what they have learned. As such, every member of staff at the school is equipped with a laptop and iPad and through a structured programme of continuous professional development, staff are supported in using this technology at a pace which works for them.
The facilities and resources that staff benefit from to support effective teaching and learning are outstanding. This is not by chance and through prudent financial management and a history of successful funding bids, our school is modern, well cared for and is a place where we are all proud to work. This aspect of our provision is set to continue and it is rare that a school holiday goes by without a building project taking place or some form of structural development. If and when you walk around our site, it is difficult not to be impressed by our school facilities, which are the envy of so many schools.
Smart marking practices
Working in a school is very rewarding, however, we are acutely aware of the pressures that teachers are currently under in an unprecedented time of national educational reform. Last year I took the step of significantly re-writing the school’s feedback and marking policy to ensure that our teachers are not burdened by marking. It is really important that our teachers have a healthy work/life balance so that our students benefit from their teachers’ dynamism and energy in lessons, rather than being exhausted through over-work.
A "good" school
In a short inspection on September 2016, Ofsted inspectors took only one day to be convinced our provision continued to be recognised as good and that we have maintained the high quality of this since our last inspection.
The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the previous inspection.
Teachers use their well-developed subject knowledge to plan and deliver interesting and relevant learning for students.
At Bournside we are proud to be a healthy school and indeed, being ‘energetic’ and ‘healthy’ are two of the school’s nine core values. We actively encourage staff to live these values and in support of this offer the following:
- Three designated ‘work/life balance’ weeks in each academic year. These are weeks which deliberately have no meetings planned after school and as such, during these weeks we offer a series of social events and encourage staff to leave school at 3:20pm.
- A fully equipped fitness suite that staff are able use before and after school, free of charge.
- Time off in lieu for staff who offer revision/support sessions during the Easter and Whitsun holiday periods to year 11 and/or 13 students.
Bespoke leadership development programmes
Whether you are a teaching or non-teaching member of staff, our school prides itself on the leadership development programmes that we offer and the success we have had in supporting our staff progress in their careers. Our range of provision includes:
- External programmes for aspiring senior leaders and aspiring middle leaders, in partnership with our Teaching School (Cotswold Edge Teaching Alliance)
- Internal leadership projects that are led in conjunction with a mentor who is a member of the school’s Senior Leadership team
- 'Leadership bites' which are optional sessions held throughout the year and offer participants the opportunity to learn about six aspects of leadership in 45 minute bite size chunks, packed with helpful guidance and practical strategies to take away and implement immediately, to enhance the leadership skills of our staff.
The impact of the above programmes is significant and over the past three years, 24 members of staff have been supported in acquiring a promotion (internal and external) through the leadership development offered at Bournside.
Choosing the right school to work in is a very important decision and at Bournside, I feel it is really important to allow prospective candidates sufficient opportunity to get to know us, ahead of making such a crucial decision. I hope that the above gives you a flavour for the type of school we are and the support we offer for all of our staff.
I actively encourage prospective applicants to come and spend some time with us ahead of making any application and feedback from previous applicants has informed us that this time has been so beneficial in terms of supporting prospective applicants in making a decision as to whether Bournside would be a place that they would be happy to work. The best time to visit is during the school day, so that the school can be seen 'in action' and students are available to speak with.
I look forward to hearing from you.