I read with interest a recent report published by the Independent School Council (ISC) highlighting the volume of collaborative initiatives between independent and state schools which take place annually across the country. These include 626 partnerships in music, 1,031 in sport, 945 in drama and 929 relating to academic pursuits. We are proud to take part in a variety of local alliances in which our staff and students visit other schools and, reciprocally, we welcome staff and students to BMS. I couldn’t possibly include everything that we do, but here’s a flavour of just some of the many activities in which we partake.
We host numerous sporting fixtures including the Bedfordshire School Cricket Final in the summer and a recent Tag Rugby Festival with 250 Year 5 and 6 students participating from 13 schools.
Every year teachers from our Performance Arts and Music faculties spend the day at Bedford Academy to create ‘Musical in a Day’ allowing students to be part of a full production team and performance. Just this week we welcomed budding actors from Goldington Academy and Lincroft Academy to showcase their work in Act!19, a drama festival where schools come together to craft and perform devised drama, this year based on the theme of fairy tales.
Our staff and sixth form students visit a number of local lower schools during the academic year to teach Science. Students who show an aptitude for the subject then attend our Science Academy; a series of Saturday morning workshops held in our Science Centre designed to extend and challenge the children involved.
And our Combined Cadet Force (CCF) welcomes cadets from Bedford Free School as part of the Cadet Expansion Programme in which they learn to develop qualities such as self-discipline, loyalty and respect, strong leadership, teamwork and resilience.
There is an enormous mutual benefit to independent-state school partnerships and we will continue to promote and support them as well as increase the range we offer in the future.