As we move towards the summer exam season, I want to reflect on the particular successes of Years 11 and 13. These year groups have managed their disrupted educational journey with great stoicism and resilience and are tackling their revision programmes with great determination. We are all very proud of them and wish them all the best for the next couple of months.
Thursday’s annual Prize Giving allowed us to gather as students, staff and families to celebrate the successes of our students. Awards were presented for attitude, achievement and excellence in certain subjects, as well whole college awards for commitment to the spiritual life, charity, the college community and many other things. Our guest speaker, Mr Junior Saunders, delivered an engaging and inspirational speech to all in attendance.
Last Thursday saw the college host another very special event. Usually students prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation through their parishes, but this year the college was able to offer a programme. The successful group were all anointed by Bishop Declan at the mass at St Bede's. It was a moving occasion, as each student declared "I am ready and willing".
I have also been immensely proud of the students in Bell Burnell living out their Catholic Social Teaching via their huge charity fundraising event. All students have been involved in some way and their commitment to St Peter's Hospice shows their understanding of the importance of the life and dignity of the human person.
Message from Mr King, 7th April 2022
Lent has proven a wonderful season for the college. The students have committed whole-heartedly to their charity work, raising money for Ukraine and beyond.
The increased opportunities to pray and reflect have been well received and our visiting priests were impressed with the respectful approach our students took to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It was wonderful to hear of the success of our KS4 retreats to Kintbury.
The creative arts have flourished this term through High School Musical, the Spring Art Exhibition and Concert and the KS5 Art trip to Cornwall. The engagement across all co-curricular activities continues to grow, especially in PE and the college sports teams go from strength to strength.
Thank you to all our students and staff for their hard work this term, it really is noticed and appreciated. Everyone deserves a well earned rest over the next fortnight, though I know Year 11 and 13 will have to work hard to manage the balance between rest and revision!
I wish you and your families a joyful and peaceful Easter and I look forward to working with you all again next term.
Message from Mr King, 1st April 2022
As you may know, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, has recently set out the next steps for living with COVID-19 in England from Friday 1 April.
Based on this guidance the new policy for students is below:
· Students who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They should return to college when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
· Students with a positive COVID-19 test result should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for three days, which is when they are most infectious.
I understand that any change in processes and procedures around COVID-19 can cause uncertainty and anxiety for some of us. We will continue to do everything we can within the government framework to keep each other safe and hopefully the summer term will come with a natural reduction in cases. Thank you again for your support through this challenging period.
Best wishes as always,
Message from Mr King, Principal 25th March2022
The students and staff at St Bede's have continued to be shocked and horrified by the pictures and stories coming from the war in Ukraine. The impact on civilian life is unimaginable and the fact that ten million Ukrainians have had to flee their homes is sobering. I was so proud of the students on our Day for Ukraine last week when they accessorised their uniforms in blue and yellow in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. £900 was raised for the CAFOD's Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. We pray that peace comes soon. As well as looking outwards in the world, we continue to work to improve the feeling of acceptance and belonging for all members of our St Bede's community.
This month we began work towards the Anti-Racist School Award aimed at celebrating our successes but also identifying where we could improve in this area. The college has also this week adopted the Halo Code which means we champion the right of staff and students to embrace all Afro-hairstyles. St Bede's explicitly acknowledges that Afro-textured hair is an important part of our Black staff and students' racial, ethnic, cultural and religious identities, and requires specific styling for health and maintenance. We are only the second school in the city to do this.
Staff absence due to COVID-19 has become very challenging over the last fortnight and we appreciate all your support as we work hard to maintain an excellent experience for all students.
28th February 2022
Message from Mr King, Friday 11th February 2022
On Sunday, Her Majesty The Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. Seventy years of serving her country is a hugely impressive feat and is to be commended. She has obviously seen much change over this period yet she has remained resolute and dedicated to her role as Head of State.
Her servant leadership is wholly in line with the Gospel values and supports our Work Hard message here at St. Bede's. We continue to talk about the reasons for working hard; to make the most of our God-given potential and then use these gifts and talents for the common good. The Queen is a great example of all of this.
Next week is the second round of COVID-19 vaccinations for students whose parents have given permission. This measure supports our continued work on mitigating the risks of the pandemic and I again thank the students, staff and families again for their support in keeping cases relatively low across the college.
Best wishes for a restful half-term next week and God bless,
Message from Mr King, Friday 28th January 2022
This week marks half way through the college year and so it is a good time to take stock. The students have been fantastic, managing the disruption of isolations, mask wearing etc. so well and showing an impressive resilience in their commitment to their studies. I would like to commend my colleagues that work tirelessly to inspire and nurture our students and say another thank you to our families for their support of the college through a challenging few months.
One of my highlights of the year has been the return of many of our co-curricular activities. To name just a few: our sports clubs and teams have been very successful, the High School Musical rehearsals look and sound wonderful, the Eco Club is bursting at the seams with new members and the Duke of Edinburgh Award continues to go from strength to strength. Our culture of taking the opportunities life provides continues to be well developed in our students.
As you will know the country has moved back to Plan A, meaning face coverings are not mandated in schools any more. This said, their wearing has been a successful part of our COVID-19 measures and we encourage all those that want to continue to wear them to do so. If we have an increase in cases over the next few weeks we may have to reintroduce their compulsory use. In order to continue to protect children and drivers, it is an expectation that face coverings are still to be worn on home/school transport services, despite no longer being required by law. We shall regularly review the situation with our transport provider and advise families accordingly in due course.
To finish, I would like to join Pope Francis in offering our prayers for peace in the Ukraine/Russia crisis. We hope that tensions decrease and a diplomatic solution is found soon.
Wednesday 19th January 2022
You may have seen that today the Prime Minister announced that from tomorrow, Thursday 20 January, face coverings will no longer be recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff and students. As you know, they were introduced in classrooms at the start of Term 3 as a temporary measure. Face coverings will continue to be required in communal spaces such as corridors until Thursday 27th January when they will no longer be recommended. Any student or staff member may choose to continue to wear their face coverings beyond these dates if they feel more comfortable doing so.
The government's decision comes in response to national infection data showing the prevalence of COVID-19 to be on a downward trajectory. Whilst there are some groups where cases are likely to continue rising, the government has judged that it is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally. There remains significant pressure on the NHS but hospital admissions have stabilised, and the number of patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU) remain low and are falling.
Many thanks for your support in implementing this policy over the last few weeks - I am sure it has made a difference in keeping cases at St Bede's relatively low.
Mr R King
The drop-in vaccination clinics open to 12–15-year-olds for first dose and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, if eligible, for dates between 7 Jan and 14 Jan 2022 can be seen below.
Saturday 8 Jan
9am-5pm: Vaccination Centre @UWE Bristol, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol BS16 1QY
10am-4pm: Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Beam Street, Barton Hill, Bristol BS5 9QY.
Sunday 9 Jan
9am-5pm: Vaccination Centre @UWE Bristol, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol BS16 1QY
Tuesday 11 Jan
9am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-5pm: Bristol Rapid Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, Bristol BS2 9DA.
12.30pm-6pm: For All Healthy Living Centre, Lonsdale Avenue, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 3SJ. Limited capacity.
Wednesday 12 Jan
12pm-8pm: Easton Christian Family Centre, Beaufort Street, Easton, Bristol BS5 0SQ. Limited capacity.
Year 9 Curriculum Evening is scheduled to take place for year 9 students and parents/carers on Thursday 20th January at 6.30pm. Further details to follow
Year 8 Curriculum Evening is scheduled to take place on Thursday 27th January at 6.30pm. Further details to follow.
The government has asked schools to complete one round of lateral flow tests with students on their return to college from the Christmas break. For this reason we will need to have a staggered start to the term, similar to September.
Remote education will be provided for students working at home.
Message from Mr King - 10th December 2021
Message from Mr King, Friday 26th November 2021.
Message from Mr King
19th November 2021
I find myself writing again to show my appreciation to families, students and staff for your support and prayers, this time through our second inspection of the year. The diocesan Section 48 inspection report is due to be published next week, so I cannot yet share the formal outcome, but I wanted to share some of the positive feedback on our students.
Inspectors said "the students are able to articulate why they feel it is important to be a part of a Catholic school" and "understand Catholic social teaching". Students are "respectful and reverent" in the Liturgy of the Word and in other prayer opportunities. Throughout, they felt students were "powerful representatives of the college".
A huge thank you to our families, parishes and feeder primary schools - we at St Bede's only build on the excellent work you have done with these children in their formative years. I am pleased we are able to continue their spiritual journey and bring them into a closer relationship with Christ.
Message from Mr King
5th November 2021
Message from Mr King, Principal
Another great fortnight has passed at St Bede's and I write to commend the students on their attitude to learning and behaviours for excellence. As I mentioned in a recent letter, we have been focusing on the college's culture and developing an understanding of The St. Bede's Way. We wanted to clarify for students, families and staff the college mission and how we do things here. To that end, we have finalised two key documents linked below. They are the result of input from teachers, students and governors and reflect our joint vision for the college's present and future.
We said a fond farewell to Father Cosmas this week as he celebrated mass with us for the last time. He has supported the college immensely over the last few years and for that we are extremely grateful. We pray he settles well in his new London parish.
The government this week confirmed that the guidance for twice weekly lateral flow tests remains in place for students and staff. For the sake of the health of all in our community, please do encourage your children to continue to take their tests regularly - We suggest Sundays and Wednesdays. The first pack of tests given at the beginning of term should run out this weekend, so students will be provided with new packs early next week.
Further information on what parents and carers need to know about schools during COVID-19 can be found here.
Thank you for your ongoing support in this period of transition.
17th September 2021
After a fantastic first two weeks of term, I wanted to start by thanking all the students, staff and families for their support, warmth and engagement. As we move towards a more normal way of school life, with collective worship, house assemblies, shared lunchtimes and new co-curricular activities, it is fantastic to see the smiles on the faces of the members of our community.
Our new Year 7s have made an excellent start, and it was lovely to see so many of their families at last night's welcome mass and information evening. The students have already shown a wide range of gifts, skills and virtues and I know this year group is going to be an absolute credit to the college.
We have also welcomed our largest cohort into the Year 12 of our Arete sixth form. It is hugely pleasing to see increasing numbers of students choosing St Bede's for their post-16 study. The students have begun the year with enthusiasm and, with the support of their teachers, will manage the transition from KS4 to KS5 well.
The focus of the first fortnight has been the college's culture and developing an understanding of The St Bede's Way. A more detailed document will be finalised over the next few weeks, but I wanted to share the three agreed simple messages for all members of our college family: Work Hard. Be Kind. Do the Right Thing. We believe if we concentrate on doing these things on a daily basis the college will thrive and each student will become the best version of themselves.
Tuesday 13th September 2021
I hope you are all well and that your children have enjoyed their first week back in college. Thank you to them and you for your support of the testing process – we successfully completed over 2000 lateral flow tests, all of which returned negative results.
Please continue to support our community to keep each other safe by encouraging your children to return to the twice weekly testing at home. Test kits were distributed to children at the end of last week, but if you are running short at any time please ask your child to request a new pack from their tutor.
School life has now returned to close to normal, and it is great to see the students all together around the college. Our Wednesday voluntary mass will resume in a couple of weeks’ time and in preparation for this students are taking part in year group collective worship services over the first fortnight of term. Lessons have returned to their specialised classrooms which is fantastic for the academic progress of the students and we are delighted that co-curricular activities have already re-started with many more pencilled in over the next few weeks and months.
The students’ uniform has been of a very good standard to begin the year, so a very big thank you for your support in this area. Please continue to remind your children that footwear should not be branded, the only jewellery permitted is one stud in each ear, and mobile phones can be “on site” but must remain “out of sight”.
We are introducing a new home learning platform this year called Class Charts. Students are receiving their logins this week and so normal home learning expectations will begin on Monday 20th September. Families will receive their logins early next week and so you will be able to see the work set and support your children with it. Please encourage your child to organise their time well around their home learning and develop strong independent working routines to allow them to be the best they can be this year.