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Caring for the New BSB Families

Starting in a new school may be daunting, not only for children but also for parents who have to adapt to a new system, new policies and procedures, a new calendar…

At the BSB we care for new families, regardless of the Key Stage they enter. Even though it is clear that Early Years families do require special guidance and advice, parents whose children have enrolled at any Year in Primary or Secondary also deserve our support and assistance. This will help us all, families and school, make sure that children will have a smooth transition into our system and will enjoy a fruitful and successful long-lasting stay with us.

For this reason both the Primary and Secondary departments have held their annual New Arrival Coffee afternoons this week.

The Secondary board welcomed their families early this week at the BSB Library. Parents were first introduced to their main points of contact (the class tutor, the Key Stage Coordinator, the Head of Pastoral, the Head of Sixth Form, the Academic Deputy Head and the Head of Secondary). They then learnt how the classes are scheduled during the school day and the importance of Registration first thing in the morning. They were also informed about the equipment students were expected to bring to school everyday (such as a scientific calculator and an English reading book).

Mrs Serra, the Head of Pastoral, explained the key components of our successful Enrichment Program (which comprises tutorials, assemblies and societies every week) and the after-school activities. She also highlighted the importance of the communication between the school and parents through the regular Parent-Teacher meetings and the termly events that the school organizes, which she strongly encouraged them to participate in.

She further emphasized the importance of keeping up-to-date of all the school news and announcements through the Parents Weekly Reminder and the Parents Portal, where they will find their children’s timetable and reports, and other relevant documents being uploaded from different departments regularly.

Last but not least, the Head of Pastoral explained what the school expected from students and parents on a day-to-day basis and how the school rewards increased effort and outstanding achievement to improve students’ performance and help children thrive.

At the end of the presentation there was also time for a question-and-answer session and a visit of the school facilities.

The Primary new families met at the Paddington Building Hall at the end of the week. They were first greeted by the Leadership team for Early Years and Primary (Inclusion Manager, Deputy Head and Head). The informal session was very well attended and it was lovely to meet the new families and hear how happy they and their children are.

Ms Dean, Deputy Head of Early Years and Primary and Assistant Head of Enrichment, went through the new arrivals process, which usually takes up to 8 weeks with an aim to ensure that the child is happy, comfortable and learning at the BSB. She outlined the main steps of this process, which include interviewing the children to find out more about them, meeting with parents, obtaining feedback from their teacher and then signing them off or providing them with the specific support if necessary (through the Inclusion team, within class support or continuing to monitor).

The Primary team also emphasized the importance of the communication between school and parents through the different tools available and especially through the termly parents-teachers meetings, where they can further discuss the child’s progress and targets for the following term. Mrs Dean reminded them that the first point of contact for the Early Years and Primary parents is always their child´s class teacher, who they see every day at pick up time. If children travel on the bus they have a bus book which is a direct form of communication with the class teacher. Children in Years 3–6 have a diary, which the parents can write a note in for the teacher.

After the short presentation, the new families had a chance to chat about the daily life at the BSB with some existing parents who had also been invited to share valuable insight into school life. Thank you to all the existing parents who attended and supported the meeting.