These last few weeks have been unusual for me – I have been both gamekeeper and poacher – in other words I have inspected and this week been inspected. It is interesting to play both roles.
As an inspector you have the opportunity to see how other schools compare, you look for good practice and see what you can implement in your own school. Equally you quietly congratulate yourself when you can see your school is doing something more successfully. It is an enjoyable time.
When you are inspected it feels a little more intense. You aim to show your school off at its very best and want the inspectors to see what makes your school so special.
The first few days are spent on paperwork, checking the procedures of the school to ensure it’s compliant with all the Government regulations, and then the inspectors are invited to visit lessons, and talk to pupils and parents. What struck me is how much the Bedford Girls’ School community wanted the inspectors to see all that we have done and how far we have come in such a short time. It is all about show and tell rather than hide and seek.
I was therefore sad that they missed our Evening of Dance which I think encapsulated all the very best of BGS. The evening was made up of over 20 performances and involved over 150 performers. Dancers of all ages, abilities and shapes danced the night away, who were so proud to have the opportunity to perform in front of a very receptive audience.
It was not just the talent that took our breath away, it was the sheer enthusiasm and joy every one of the dancers felt. To see the older pupils performing alongside our Year 3s, all dressed in matching tutus, and looking so carefully after their younger charges, who were awed by the bright lights, was wonderful.
From astonishing Irish dancing to mesmerising Indian dancing, it was an event that embraced the whole community.
Schools are so much more than policies, documentation and statistics. It is about the people and their learning experiences, and I hope the inspectors recognised just how special the community is at BGS.