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Secondary School Experience Week at BMS!

Secondary School Experience Week at BMS!


Graeme Searle
Graeme Searle
Secondary School Experience Week at BMS!

Every year, Bushey Meads School hosts a ‘Secondary School Experience Week’ for the Year 6 students in the Bushey St James Trust.  During this week, the students spend a week at Bushey Meads School participating in a variety of lessons and other fun activities.  Spending a week with us, being taught by new secondary phase teachers and sharing the school site with students in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 allows them to gain an understanding of what life is like at secondary school and settles any nerves, should they have any.  This opportunity is open to all Year 6 students, regardless of what secondary school they are going to.

This year, due to the current climate we find ourselves in, the week was reduced to a day, there weren’t any secondary school students on site – apart from a small number of Key Stage 3 student bubbles – and the Year 6 students visited in their primary school bubble, comprising 15 pupils.  The Year 6 students still thoroughly enjoyed the day and found the experience very rewarding.

One parent of a Year 6 pupil from Hartsbourne emailed to say:

Good afternoon,

Just a little note to say “Thank You” to Hartsbourne and Bushey Meads for today’s secondary school experience day. Even in this challenging time I am so amazed how much has been done for our Yr6 groups.  J-P has had a wonderful day and is now slightly miffed he’s not going to  BMS!

Please pass on my thanks to Bushey Meads too.

I feel very grateful J-P has been able to return to school the last few weeks, it has dramatically improved his mental health.

The pupils were dropped off at the school gate by their parents / carers just before 9am and were taken to the school restaurant where they met Assistant Headteacher Mr Varsani.  He welcomed them to Bushey Meads School, ensured that all hands were sanitised and explained how we expect students to enter the assembly hall.  Pupils then carried out these instructions perfectly and experienced a 15 minute assembly on the theme of ‘Challenge’ – taken by Mr Varsani.

During the assembly, Mr Varsani outlined a few of the challenges we have all faced during the past 14 weeks, but most importantly, what we have learned from the new challenges and how we are stronger because of them.  He stressed that it is important to remember what we have and not dwell on what we don’t have.

After the assembly, students joined Head of Geography Miss Dunsby and teacher of geography Mr Mitchell for an orienteering challenge.  This activity required students to navigate their way around the school site to locate a number of hidden clues.  These clues then needed to be deciphered and the answer given to the teachers.  All of the students had fun throughout, but the competitive instincts were fully visible as pupils were rushing to complete the task before their friends.

The second activity was a dance session run by the dance teachers Miss Noyan and Miss Dolan.  Not only did the pupils indulge in some exercise for 60 minutes, but they really enjoyed learning the skills required for a new dance routine and seeing the group performance come together at the end of the session.  They danced to one of the following songs ‘Break My Heart’ by Dua Lipa or ‘Friend Like Me’ from the Aladdin soundtrack and performed with a hip hop / street dance style.  The students had the chance to choreograph their own section at the end, which allowed them to explore their own choice of dance style and they then performed for the rest of the group at the end.

All students at Bushey Meads School participate in dance lessons once a week in Years 7, 8 and 9 and students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 have the opportunity to select GCSE and A-Level dance as one of their option subjects.  Let’s hope that a few of the Year 6 students have been inspired to do so once the time arrives.

The final session of the day was a science lesson taken by science and PE teacher Mr Symeou.  Pupils needed to answer a series of questions and complete tasks by watching a number of practical demonstrations while taking notes.  The focus was using different metal ions (lithium, potassium, calcium, copper and sodium) mixed with ethanol and spraying them onto a Bunsen burner to show how the metals burn in different colours.  The lesson was about how these chemicals are used in fireworks to get the different colours.  The pupils enjoyed watching the demonstrations and are looking forward to using Bunsen burners themselves when they join secondary school and are allowed to share equipment again.

It was lovely to see the Year 6 pupils at Bushey Meads School and we are looking forward to welcoming many of them permanently when September arrives.  I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the staff at Hartsbourne Primary School and Little Reddings Primary School for helping to timetable the day and escorting the pupils, to the Year 6 parents / carers for dropping off and collecting the children, the staff at Bushey Meads School for planning and delivering the sessions and most of all to the Year 6 students – for being superbly behaved throughout.

To see more photos from the Secondary School Experience Week click here.

Mr Searle and Mr Varsani

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