Headteacher's Presentation - Year 7 Open Evening

On Tuesday 17 October 2017 we held our Open Evening for boys, and their parents or carers, considering Beths Grammar School as the place for them in September 2018. 

The Headteacher's presentation from the evening is available to view here.

For those wishing to read the Headteacher's presentation, please see below:

Year 7 Open Evening Speech – 17 October 2017

Good morning ladies and gentlemen and boys, can I say first it is privilege to welcome you to Beths Grammar School – before I continue, can I take this opportunity to say – well done boys on your achievements in the 11+. And for those of you in Year 5, you have got that joy to experience next year and we hope you enjoy today and come and see us again in the summer term.

My name is Richard Blyghton and I am the Headteacher here at Beths Grammar School.

I hope you enjoyed the film- it is the front page of our new website. It begins to give you a flavour of what it’s like here at Beths. It wasn’t long ago that they were in the same position as you, deciding on which school was right for them.

They decided on Beths and, I’m sure you can see; they have settled in well here.

But really tonight is about what coming to Beths might mean for you.

My vision for your son is that under our expert guidance, as well as maximising his academic potential, he will flourish into a well-rounded, confident, forward-thinking, polite and well-mannered individual who will fully contribute to this exciting, vibrant and thriving community. It is my aim that we will support him through his academic studies, to ensure that he is able to smile and feel a degree of control over his endeavours because we believe in developing the whole student socially, morally, spiritually, culturally as well as academically.

We like to think that there is something for everyone here at Beths.

Our Year 7 Curriculum is detailed on the screen with the number of lessons for each subject per week in brackets and as you can see we offer you the choice of three modern foreign languages to learn- French, Chinese Mandarin or Spanish with the opportunity to choose from a further three in Year 8 - German, Italian and Latin.

Beths is renowned for its strength in Mathematics, Science and Technology and again GCSE Mathematics at Beths is at the top in Bexley for grades 9-7.  Our specialist science facilities will give you a rich experience in purpose built laboratories where you can explore the depths of Biology where you may wish to gain a closer look at the inner workings of a rodent, of Chemistry where you will certainly get a reaction and of Physics where you may well gain a hair-raising experience. We have seven high-spec purpose-built workshops where you can practically engage in Technology whether it be Electronics, Food, Graphics or Product Design. You will have the opportunity to experience each discipline during your first year here. Our state-of-the-art Computer rooms are constantly in use before, during and after each school day where you are able to create programs and learn to code.

Sport has always played an important part in the life of Beths students, both on an individual and team basis.  You will have numerous opportunities to gain new sporting experiences both within and outside the curriculum in school teams ranging from rugby, football to tennis, basketball.  We have seen our students become area, county and national champions in their chosen sports – we are currently national champions in two team sports – U14 Football and U15 Rugby and we have a number of individuals who are currently attending prestigious footballing, rugby and cricketing academies – Brighton, Chelsea and Charlton, London Scottish, Blackheath and Kent. We also have a National Athletics Champion in both 100 and 200 metres.  The dedication of both students and staff is a testament to the on-going success that Beths continues to experience. The only limiting factor at Beths is the number of hours in the day.

As you can see, our last set of GCSE results were our best ever with 61% of students achieving at least 5 A* and A grades or equivalent and that nearly half of all qualifications at GCSE were graded A*-A or the equivalent 9-7 in English & Mathematics. This new GCSE grading of 9-1 comes fully into force next summer with all subjects now given a numerical grade as opposed to a lettered one. Our Progress 8 comes out at +0.55 which means that our students on average achieve at least half a grade above already high expectations.

I would like to make it crystal clear that we remain committed to A levels as the gold standard of achievement. They allow you to specialise in a particular field as well as providing choice – we operate over 30 different A Level courses on this site in our mixed sixth form on a full-time programme of study with additional timetabled enrichment and study. It is a more flexible provision than the IB offered not too far away ! We are proud that students who started here at Beths in Year 7, last year achieved at least BBB as they finished their A Level studies in the sixth form, with 88% getting into the University of their choice.

You will already have had a taste of what we mean by leadership – on arrival, each of you was allocated a tour guide to show you around the school. We use all of our students for these events and I have great confidence that you will have met with a young man who is articulate and friendly and is a positive example of what it is to be a Beths student. They are our ambassadors.

And there are other ways that we encourage leadership which are embedded in our school life. From groups of students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh to our annual Year 8 camp, we place great importance on personal responsibility and engagement with the wider world.

We do not cherry-pick the very highest achievers from Year 6 who through their own natural ability achieve excellent results. We pride ourselves on being a grammar school for our local area – we aim to educate the top 20% both within this authority and those closest to us,– As you can see all of them achieve excellent results and we also retain our top achievers from year 11 into the sixth form too !

I hope this has given you a better idea of the school and for more information, please do look at our new recently updated website. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me or one of my colleagues at the end of this presentation.

But before I close, I would like to return to the original question - what exactly might coming to Beths mean for you?

Parents – it means you may be assured that your son is being provided an Outstanding education in a safe and caring environment. At our last Ofsted, the school was judged outstanding in all categories and I fully expect this to be repeated on our next inspection.

It means you can expect a diverse and engaging curriculum and excellent pastoral support for the full seven years we expect to educate your son.

Beths is not a default choice. By sending your son to this school, you will be sending him to a school which will nurture the whole individual pastorally as well as academically. It should be a positive choice for you as parents who want the best for their son.

Boys - it means when you walk through those doors in September, you will be challenged and stimulated at all times supported by an outstanding team of staff.

You will use the latest technology, including the opportunity to bring and use your own mobile device to compliment your learning.

But most importantly, it means, you will have the world at your fingertips – we will help you reach out and grab it.