One of our School aims is to build a connected community and this week it was very much in evidence.
We invited parents of girls in Year 3 and Year 4 to information afternoons and parents of girls in Years 7 and Year 9 to our Parents’ Reception Evenings. At each of these events we shared with parents what is taught, how the girls are assessed and importantly how the girls change as they progress through the year.
Every year the girls are encouraged to be more independent in their learning, but sometimes as girls gain greater independence, they tell their parents less about what they are doing at school. This is particularly noticeable as the girls move into the Senior School. So these events are designed to keep parents in the loop of their daughters’ learning, meet other parents from their daughter’s year group and spend time with their daughters’ form teachers and classroom teachers to answer any concerns that may have emerged in the first few weeks of term. They have been lovely events.
Over the weekend we held the annual DAHSA reunion and welcomed over 50 former pupils of Dame Alice Harpur School to Bedford Girls’ School. They very much enjoyed catching up on past experiences and walking down the new legacy corridor, sharing memories of former school days. The event coincided with our Jazz on the Lawn. An event for parents of the Junior School to meet one another over a cup of tea or glass of Pimms and listen to jazz in the last of the late summer afternoons, organised by our PTA. As the girls raced from nail painting to pot painting to the bouncy castle I was very relieved that the date was moved from a rain drenched Sunday afternoon to a warm autumnal Saturday where we basked in the last, I fear, of the summer’s rays. The Association once again did us proud.
Our community is made up of so many people; former pupils, former staff and parents of two schools and current parents, staff and girls of Bedford Girls’ School. We do all we can to make people feel as welcome as possible and this week was no exception. In creating this sense of familial belonging together we are helping to give girls the strength and security to think about the wider community with care and respect. Throughout their lives at the school, they are encouraged to reflect on what they have and what they can offer to others for the betterment of us all.
This inclusive approach to community and society is very much part of the school and it’s why, each year, we offer financial support to some parents of academically strong pupils who would otherwise not be able to afford the fees.
Next week, we will be attending one of two dedicated Bursary evenings, organised by the Harpur Trust, where we will be meeting parents from the local community to talk to them about the opportunities available to their daughters at the school and the bursary application process.
It is our strong existing community that gives us the firm foundation from which we can develop and grow our school, welcome more people aboard and share the experience of coming together in celebration and aspiration.