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Archive for the 'General News' Category

orange base trip to the allotment

Posted by besfordr on 20th July 2016

Sun shining brightly as 30 very excited children walked up to Hovingham Allotments to visit my plot this morning.  Highlights included picking blackcurrants which will be made into jam later tonight for the children to have on their bread tomorrow at snack, most also tried eating the nasturtium flower which had mixed opinions on taste!

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Orange base visit

Posted by besfordr on 13th January 2016

I have had a lovely morning visiting orange base today and seeing all the amazing learning hat they are doing.  The highlight was attending orange 1 class assembly where the children told the story of the 3 little pigs using actions and they had even made a song to tell the story.  Well done everyone.

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year 6 visit

Posted by besfordr on 9th December 2015

Thank you to the teachers and pupils in Violet Base for the warm welcome you gave on my visit to the school.  I was very interested to hear about the novel you had been reading, Street Child, and how much you enjoyed the story.  I was very impressed with the work on display in classrooms and the hard work you were all putting in to your studies.  I am looking forward to my next visit in the spring and seeing all the progress you have made.


Adam Brett, Year 6 Link Governor

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Governor conference 2015

Posted by besfordr on 25th November 2015

Last Saturday I, along with 200 other governors from across Leeds, attended the annual governor conference.  Amongst the highlights was a speaker (‘the real David Cameron’) who encouraged us to ensure that creativity is threaded through all curriculum subjects.  This was an encouraging confirmation that Bankside has got its priorities right with the addition of the ‘creative cog’ for learning this year.

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Now I know how teachers feel each year

Posted by on 18th July 2012

It’s the end of the school year this week. I’ve been an unusual governor this year in that I’ve been in school three or four days a week helping out, often in the classroom. As a result, I’ve got to know lots of the children, which has been a fantastic experience.

There is a down side to this though – saying goodbye at the end of the school year. I’ve spent a big proportion of my time helping Orange 2. It wasn’t long before I was saying “It feels like I have 30 extra children of my own” so I’ll be sad not to be working with them a lot anymore but at least I’ll still see them around school. Saddest of all will be saying goodbye to the year 6 children as they go off to a number of different secondary schools. My daughter leaves her primary school this week so I know about the conflict they experience – hungry to move on and grow up but also sad to be being split up from their friends, and maybe sad to be leaving favourite teachers and support staff behind too.

I hope all the leavers will consider themselves lifelong members of the Bankside community, and that we’ll see them again from time to time – I know school staff (& governors) like nothing more than to hear about their ex-pupils doing well. We wish them all the best for their exciting futures.



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Skip skip hooray!

Posted by on 22nd March 2012

As ‘Mr Healthy Schools’, I’m always keen to encourage anything that encourages our children to exercise. I’m delighted, therefore, that a skipping craze has taken off since we re-introduced skipping ropes at break times a few weeks ago. It’s fantastic to see so many  children of all age groups spending as much time as they can skipping either solo or in groups using the long ropes.

Not only is it great exercise but it’s also very good for developing coordination skills and for encouraging sharing and team work.

I’ve been really impressed by just how skilful many of the pupils have got – practice makes perfect is a valuable idea that transfers back into the classroom.

I always like to aspire to improve at whatever I undertake. So…for all you skippers out there…have a look at this clip and see if it gives you any ideas!


Happy (& healthy skipping)

Jon Hairsine





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Bankside – brilliantly bilingual!

Posted by on 1st March 2012

I’m embarrassed to say that, apart from just about being able to order a meal or book a rail ticket in Spanish or French, I can’t speak any language other than English (& some would say I’ve not yet mastered that!).

What a relief that so many of our pupils, and many of our staff and parents, can speak at least two languages.

Research has shown that being able to speak more than one language helps develop the brain and makes people better learners overall. So, while teaching our children to be excellent English speakers, readers and writers is one of the most important tasks in our schools, lets also recognise the importance of the other languages spoken by our community and celebrate just how impressive it is that we have so many bilingual pupils.

Jon Hairsine, Community Governor


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Posted by on 26th January 2012

Hello, Last week Mr Hall gave me a lesson on how to blog so I thought it time to post a comment. It is a wonderful way to be able to join in with what you are learning at school. Last year the school council had asked the governors for a small amount of money and I understand that they have used some of it to purchase the book Shadow for each class. I went to the library last week and borrowed the book which I read on Sunday morning. What am amazing and powerful story and I certainly needed lots of tissues. I won’t say any more as I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you but I do look forward to reading your blogs about the story. I hope you all enjoy reading the book.
Rebekah Besford (parent governor)

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Help for Heroes

Posted by on 20th January 2012

Four hundred years ago, my ancestors came to Britain as refugees, fleeing persecution in France. Maybe that’s why I have a strong natural inclination to feel supportive of people who come to Britain to seek a better life.

In the town where I live, there is a lady who sells The Big Issue. She is a Roma from the Czech Republic. She has stood in our town square for several hours a day in all weathers for a couple of years now, earning money to support her family who live in a hostel in Manchester. She’s standing there now as I write. It’s a rainy day but she is smiling and is keen to chat to those customers who have the time to linger – she is a friendly person by nature but she is also keen to improve her English in the hope it will help her find new opportunities in time. She has a baby due in a week’s time. This hasn’t stopped her working just yet but she’s not sure how long she will need to take off once the baby arrives.

I’m full of admiration for people who have the drive, determination and courage to leave all that is familiar at home and set out to start a new life. I know some people tend to use the word ‘problem’ when talking about refugees and asylum seekers. I know that the arrival of such people can result in problems but I think there is a far better word that best sums them up – ‘heroes’.

I’m now racking my brains to work out how I can provide some practical help to our local Big Issue seller. While I do so, I can at least be both proud and glad that I’m part of a school community that offers a warm and welcoming environment to newcomers and that provides the type of excellent educational experience that all children deserve.

Jon Hairsine

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Better than ‘Bankside Best’?

Posted by on 13th January 2012

At Bankside, there was so much to celebrate as 2011 came to a close – a great Ofsted report, the best ever SATS results and a move into a wonderful new school building being perhaps the most memorable. The liberal daily use of the phrase ‘Bankside Best’ seems fully justified.

Even better news though is that, far from being satisfied with what has already been achieved, the leadership and staff of the school continue to invest a lot of effort into making brilliant Bankside better still. Through constantly seeking better ways of doing things, by striving for even higher standards of teaching, and by being smarter at using data to identify where the school still needs to improve and how, I am confident we will see the school become even better year by year.

Jon Hairsine, Community Governor and Deputy Chair

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