Welcome to Bedford Modern School
Welcome to bedford modern School
We are delighted that you will be joining us in September and we are looking forward to getting to know you. Many new and exciting opportunities will now be open to you, and we want you to take them. Before you do this, you have to get to know us a bit better and this page will help you do that. If, when you have watched the videos and read the information, you have any questions please do ASK; we’re here to help.
To help you familiarise yourself with the School site, an interactive map can be viewed here.
Heads of Year
Mrs J Williams
Mr D Donoghue
Mr E Kerr
Start of Autumn Term 2022
OK, so how many people do you know who have not been nervous on their first day at a new school? Everybody gets nervous, even the teachers, so remember that when you walk through the doors. You will have ample opportunity to spend time with your form tutors, learn about the daily routine and become familiar with the geography of the building.
Students should come to school with the following equipment:
- Their student organiser (issued on their first day)
- Exercise book/folder for each subject they have that day
- Textbooks for each subject they have that day
- A pencil case containing:
- At least two black pens plus one of another colour
- Two HB pencils
- Two highlighters of different colours
- A set of colouring pencils
- Glue stick
- Clear plastic 30cm ruler
- Set square
- Pencil sharpener
- Scientific calculator
- A memory stick
Each normal school day starts at 8.40am (although most students arrive in the Common Room by about 8.30am) and finishes at 4.00pm. You will have a morning break from 10.55am until 11.15am and lunch starts on a rotating basis at 1.05pm. When you arrive in the mornings you can go to your Common Room, this is a place to relax and sort your books out for the day. First registration is at 8.40am so you will need to be ready by then. Each morning, your Tutor will read out the ‘songsheet’. This is the time-honoured way of passing information to you (room changes, etc) so you should listen carefully. If, for any reason, you are late arriving (and have missed registration) then you must go to sign the late book in the School Office. If you need to go home early then we will need a letter from your parents, telling us why you are going home. You also have to sign another book at Reception when you leave the site indicating who has given you permission to do so. Each school day is broken down into a series of lessons (or periods as we call them):
Registration: 8.40 – 8.48am
Period 1: 8.50 – 9.40am
Period 2: 9.40 – 10.35am
Assembly, Pastoral, Break: 10.35 – 11.15am
Period 3: 11.20 – 12.10pm
Period 4: 12.10 – 1.05pm
Lunch: 1.05 – 2.15pm
Period 5: 2.20 – 3.10pm
Period 6: 3.10 – 4.00pm
This timetable operates on a two-week cycle which you will get to know as you get used to the School and by referring to your student organiser which you will receive when you join BMS. There are ‘pips’ which go off during the day to help and your teachers will help you too.
What will I study?
Students in Year 7 will study: English, Mathematics (set after half term), Combined Science, Geography, History, Religious Education, Philosophy, French, German, Spanish, ICT, Art, Design Technology, Music, Drama, Physical Education, Key Skills (Sport) and Games.
Students in Year 8 will study: English, Mathematics (set), Combined Science, your choice of two languages from French, German or Spanish, Geography, History, Religious Education, ICT, Latin, Art, Design Technology, Music, Drama, Physical Education and Games.
Students in Year 9: You can make some initial choices for subjects that you want to pursue for GCSE examinations. The main curriculum is: English, Mathematics, Science (taught as three distinct subjects), Geography, History, Religious Education, Games, Physical Education and ICT. You choose four from the following subjects (one of which has to be a Language); French, German, Spanish, Latin, Art, Drama, DT and Music.
Your parents will receive one formal academic report once a year. This report is our method of letting your family know how well you are coping with your schoolwork. We also have regular interim reports which give you an idea of how much effort the teachers feel you are putting in to your schoolwork and how well you are doing. You will also have at least one Parents’ Evening which you should attend with your parents. All of this will be explained to you in more detail by your Tutor.
The House System
Everyone at BMS is in a House. There are six Houses, each named after very illustrious former students of the School. The name of the teacher responsible for each house is named below:
Rose: Mr A Robinson
Farrar: Mrs S Leather
Bell: Mr A Higgens
Oatley: Miss D Derry
Tilden: Mrs S Sobrado
Mobbs: Mrs L Cleaver
The Senior Head of House is Mrs P Edwards.
The House system aims to provide a broad base of student participation in a wide range of cultural, intellectual and physical activities.
- To be organised for the students by the students under the direction of appointed Heads of House and voluntary staff
- To provide an enjoyable competitive programme of events over the school year culminating in the annual award of the Champion House Trophy to the winning House
- To develop teamwork and learning through experience
- To develop individual and collective commitment
- To promote leadership opportunities.
P=Participation. There is something for everyone – get involved
E=Experience. Just do it!
O=Organisation. Turn up well prepared, with a complete squad – take responsibility
P=Performance. Just do your best – no one can ask for more
L=Leadership. Lead other students
E=Enjoyment. Enjoy competing with your friends – have fun together.
Large Event: Music, Drama or Dance (All Years)
Enrichment Activity (Year 7)
Rugby (Years 7-10)
Junior Debating (Years 7-10)
House Wii: Mario Karts or Dance (All Years)
Hockey (girls) (Years 7-10)
Quiz (whole school) (All Years)
Mixed Hockey (Years 11-13)
Water Polo (Years 8-13)
Swimming Gala (Years 7 and 8)
Pool (Years 7-9)
University Challenge Quiz (All Years)
Senior Debating (Years 11-13)
Football (All Years)
Netball (All Years)
Table Tennis (Years 7-9)
House Notice Board Competition (All Years)
Junior and Senior Rowing (Years 9-13)
Steeplechase (Years 7-9)
Poetry (Years 7-9)
Badminton (All Years)
Basketball (Year 11-13)
Pottery (All Years)
Senior Poker (Years 11-13)
Tennis (Years 7-10)
Chess (Years 7-10)
Spelling Bee (Years 7 and 8)
Dodgeball (Years 11-13)
Cake Decorating (All Years)
Cricket (boys and girls) (Years 7 and 8)
Sail and Paddle – Water Sports (All Years)
Sports Day (All Years)
What if I don’t understand something in a lesson?
ASK! If there is no opportunity during the lesson, ask at the end. The teacher will explain there and then or ask you to come back when they have more time to help you thoroughly. Do not struggle in silence.
What if I am worried about something or am being bullied?
Talk to someone. This could be your Form Tutor or Head of Year, Deputy Head Pastoral, any teacher, the school nurses or the monitors. Never feel embarrassed about talking. If something is worrying you then it is important to talk to someone. If they can’t help, they will find someone who can. We do not tolerate any form of bullying or spiteful teasing.
What if I need to go to the loo?
If you are in class, put up your hand and ask permission from the teacher! Try to avoid doing this by going at break times.
What if I need to use the telephone to call my parents?
There is a phone in Reception that you can use. You can also ask your Head of Year if you can use their office telephone.
What if I get lost?
First, check your school organiser; it has a map of the School to help you. If this doesn’t help then find someone to ask.
What if I feel sick?
If you feel unwell during the day then tell your teacher. They will probably send you to see the nurse. The Nurses Department is located near Reception and there are two nurses, so someone will be there all through the day.
What if I’ve lost something?
If you have lost something first speak to your Tutor. You will then need to go to Reception and they will tell you what to do next. Remember to clearly mark ALL your property. If you have something valuable you should either keep it in your locker or give it to your Form Tutor or Head of Year for safe-keeping.
What if I forget to bring something from home?
Don’t worry. Ask your Form Tutor or Head of Year, we may be able to lend you a replacement. If it is really urgent then you could use the phone in Reception to call home.
Homework – How much will I get?
The amount of homework set will be (approximately) as follows:
Year 7: 40 minutes
Year 8: 1 hour
Year 9: 1 – 1.5 – hours
Year 10 and 11: 1.5 – 2 hours
Students will be issued with a homework timetable so you know what subjects will be set each day. You must write down what homework you have in your school organiser so that you won’t forget what you have to do. If you mislay a piece of homework or have not done it then you must explain what has happened to your teacher straight away.
What if I need to stay late after school?
Students in all Year Groups can go to After School Care in Common Room 1, when your own Common Room closes at 4.30pm, where you may stay until 6.00pm at the latest. All students must sign in when they arrive and sign out when they leave. Students can also go to the Library until 5.30pm. On leaving the Library, if you still need to stay in school you must go to After School Care and be collected by your parents from there. No-one should be on-site after 6.00pm unless they are involved in a specific school activity. If you are on-site before 8.00am then you MUST report to the Refectory for Breakfast Club.
What if I forget my packed lunch?
If you have a packed lunch each day but forget it on one occasion then you can still have lunch in the Refectory and your parents will be subsequently billed.
What if I miss my bus?
If you miss your bus then you should come straight back up to school. You can telephone your parents and ask if they could come and get you or you can wait for a late bus, if your bus company has one.
What if the fire alarm goes off?
Your Form Tutor will instruct you in the evacuation drill so listen very carefully. Instructions are also posted in every classroom and common room. Evacuation is conducted quietly and calmly.
Games is compulsory for all students unless excused for medical reasons. Students are expected to arrive and depart from games in their full school uniform. We expect all students to make themselves available for sports fixtures and to follow the guidelines regarding appearance and conduct when representing the School both home and away. Failure to do so may result in a disciplinary sanction. On rare occasions when there is a significant clash (such as a family wedding) a request for permission to miss the fixture must be made in writing to the headmaster with half a term’s notice.
The Co-Curricular clubs and activities that are on offer at BMS are many and varied, ranging from sport to craft, through to music and academic reinforcement. Each member of staff offers at least one club on a weekly basis and these occur on a fixed day of the week. Further details can be found here.
BMS Expectations Charter
- Be independent
• Be ‘Equipped to Learn’ for every lesson
• Learn from our mistakes
• Take control of our own learning through pro-activity and reflection
• Ask questions when we require clarification
• Give 24 hours’ notice if we are to miss an activity or lesson or part thereof
• Catch up missed work without being reminded
- Be ambitious
• Be positive about what we, and others, can achieve
• Be enthusiastic learners and do everything to the best of our ability
• Spend focused time on our work, present it well and take pride in it
• Participate in all discussions and activities and not hang back
• Aim high through knowing our strengths and weaknesses
• Tackle difficult problems and activities
• Take risks, go outside our comfort zone and not be afraid to ‘fail’
• Take pride in the recognition of our success/es
• Involve ourselves in all the opportunities available to us
- Be considerate
• Be honest and co-operative in our dealings with others
• Move around the School site in a calm and orderly way
• Show respect and tolerance for each other’s views and ideas
• Treat everyone as we would like to be treated
• Listen carefully when others are talking
• Help, encourage and praise others
• Respect both the School environment and all the equipment in it
• Wear our uniform with pride in school and outside
- Be prepared
• Arrive punctually to every activity
• Be ‘Equipped to Learn’ for every lesson
• Submit and return all work punctually
School Rules - Years 7-11
All students will adhere to the BMS Expectations Charter. This includes when they are at school but also on their journey to and from school as well as on school trips, sports fixtures or at any other times when representing BMS.
All members of the school community will be polite and courteous to each other at all times. This includes holding internal doors open for visitors and each other and walking sensibly around the School.
Students are permitted to eat in ‘designated eating areas’ only; eating in classrooms and corridors is forbidden. Chewing gum is not allowed on the school site.
Possession or use of illegal drugs or other harmful substances is considered a very serious offence and renders the possessor liable to exclusion. Students are not permitted to carry items that could be used as weapons.
It is an offence to smoke, including e-cigarettes, on school premises or in public during school hours, when in school uniform or when engaged in any school activity.
No student may interfere with the property belonging to others. Borrowing without permission is regarded as stealing and is liable to the severest of consequences that may include exclusion.
Students are required to wear their school uniform correctly and take pride in their personal appearance at all times. Variations from the agreed uniform list are not permitted. Students may wear a plain dark coat (colouring for road safety is permitted). Hoodies (including school sports or leavers’ hoodies) are not to be worn as a replacement jumper or coat. Girls may wear a small, simple, single stud in each ear lobe. For health and safety reasons, no other jewellery should be worn and no other body piercings are permitted. Make-up is not allowed for Year 7 and 8 students. Make-up for Year 9 students and above must be discrete. In extreme weather, adjustments may be made to the uniform at the discretion of the Headmaster.
Hair styles must be such that they can easily be kept neat and are not ostentatious. Short hair should not be excessively short, no shorter than grade two, or have extreme difference in length between the sides and the top (including shave lines). Facial hair is not permitted. Religious considerations are accepted, but a letter of explanation must be sent to the Headmaster.
Students may come to school on bicycles only if they ride safely. Bicycles must not be ridden on school premises or within the gates of the school field. For added security, students must use the bicycle racks which can be found in a variety of locations. The use of helmets when cycling is strongly advised. The School cannot accept responsibility for any bicycle or vehicles parked on school premises. Pillion passengers should not be carried on cycles, motorcycles or motor scooters. Cars may not be parked on school premises or at the school field/King Room without special permission.
Students who travel to school via public or private coaches are expected to behave safely and appropriately at all times, following both the BMS Expectations Charter and the individual bus companies’ Codes of Conduct where appropriate.
No student may leave the school grounds during the school day unless permission (leave of absence) has been obtained by their Head of Year/School Nurse and they have signed out at Reception. Students are not permitted to leave the school site after 4pm and then return to the school (eg having visited the shops) unless in exceptional circumstances.
Mobile phones and other electronic items
Valuable items should not be brought into school. Personal electronic devices should only be used outside the school premises. If any of these devices are brought into school, the School accepts no responsibility for loss or theft.
Mobile phones or similar devices are not allowed in the Refectory at lunchtime or when in the corridors and walking around school.
No-one should walk around the School or over the road crossing points wearing headphones; they may only be worn in school when express permission has been given by a member of staff.
Smart device use in Years 7 and 8
Students in Years 7 and 8 may bring a phone or smart watch to school with parental permission but it must be switched off and kept out of sight between 8.40am and 4.00pm unless there are exceptional circumstances and by prior arrangement with the Head of Year. In these circumstances, a note will be issued and a time and place agreed for a phone call or text. Any urgent message to or from parents should go via the School Reception or the School Office.
Students may be allowed mobile phones on trips and fixtures; this will be agreed in advance and communicated by the relevant member of staff.
Smart device use in Years 9 to 11
Students in Years 9 to 11 may use their phones or smart watches during the school day for teaching and learning purposes when given express permission by their teacher.
During examination periods, there will be special dispensation given to students in Year 11 where appropriate and as agreed with their Head of Year.
All breakage or damage to school property must be reported at once and may be payable at the student’s expense.
The School should be informed at the beginning of each term by a letter to the Form Tutor of any outside employment undertaken by a student.
Games are compulsory for all students unless excused for health reasons. Students are expected to arrive and depart from school in their full school uniform.
The School expects all students to make themselves available for sports fixtures and to follow the guidelines regarding appearance and conduct when representing the School both home and away. Failure to do so may result in a disciplinary sanction. On rare occasions when there is a significant clash (such as a family wedding) requests should be made in advance to the Head in writing.
Rewards and Sanctions
This system is cumulative and runs throughout Years 7-11:
- The key building block for the Reward System at BMS is the Eagle Point. These are awarded when the student exceeds our expectation in one of the following areas: Academic (attainment or effort), Citizenship, Co-curricular and House.
- Please note that for some key co-curricular activities such as sports teams, major drama productions and concerts, participation in itself is deemed a reward, and thus Eagle Points will not be awarded in these circumstances.
Students can keep track of their progress via the student portal.
Level 1: Supervised by teacher/tutor – record kept.
Level 2: Subject/Head of Year Detention (lunchtime – 30 minutes) – recorded centrally by Head of Subject/Head of Year, supervised by Faculty member/Head of Year. Tutor informed. Parents informed via the Parent Portal.
Level 3: After School Detention (one hour) – recorded centrally and letter sent to parents. Tutor/Head of Year informed.
Level 4: Leadership Detention (plus interview) – letter sent to parents. On the second occasion a contract will be drawn up and agreed by student, parents and the School. Tutor/Head of Year informed.
Level 5: Senior Deputy Head’s interview – will automatically generate a letter home to parents warning of the consequences of any further similar behaviour – in some circumstances this interview could lead to suspension or permanent exclusion.
Level 6: Suspension – between one and five days. This will be determined by the Headmaster in consultation with his Deputies.
Level 7: Permanent Exclusion. Decision taken by the Headmaster.
Escalation over the course of an academic year
- If a student receives a third sanction at the same level (but all three must be either academic or non-academic and not a mixture) it automatically escalates to the next level. A contract will be drawn up if the student receives a second Deputy Head’s detention addressing the problems that seem to be prevalent in the student’s behaviour/attitude.
- Work will be set for completion during detentions by the appropriate person.
- NOTE – a student can be given any of the sanctions mentioned above immediately, if the offence warrants that particular punishment, WITHOUT going through the lower level sanctions.
- If a student fails to attend a detention of any description without a very good reason, they can expect the punishment to automatically escalate to the next level.