Inevitably that's what happens at this time every academic year. A somewhat convoluted process starts just before Christmas with the updating of the school's longer term (3-year) Strategic Plan, which spells out at a high level the direction of travel for the whole school. This is contextualised by comments on the political, economic, social and educational climate at the time, and also contains a predictive element too. As is often the case with a long-range weather forecast the big events are easier to foretell than the short-term, and the level of accuracy and reliability wanes the further into the future you look. That's the reason for the annual readjustment, and also the reason why governors approve the plan each year in March.
The focus then moves to the smaller scale. Each academic department uses the long-term aims of the Strategic Plan to construct the subject specific objectives, agreed between staff team members. These are submitted generally by the summer half-term break, and I then trawl through the contents to extract important themes that need to be manifested on a whole school basis. That's the stage that I have now reached as I sit with a partially drafted School Development Plan for 2021-2022 sitting on my screen on a Sunday afternoon.
This year's incarnation is a hybrid edition. There are new things seeded to be sure, but the spectre of the pandemic also has a strong influence which will need to be addressed during the coming year too. Though bulk of the boys and girls at BWS enjoyed essentially uninterrupted learning through the period of school closure, this wasn't true for everyone and there are the still concealed effects of the lockdowns which will emerge as time goes on. Mental health features quite prominently, as do measures specifically designed to glue a school community back together after a period of estrangement. The latter is all the more important as the school has grown and changed greatly since March 2020; there are lots of opportunities to realise and synergies to grow, but we need also to ensure that we are building on the firm foundation that BWS represents.
So - from my screen the plan goes to staff for a critique, then on to the Full Governing Board for the July meeting. After that we all need to get on with what matters most - the work to build higher academic standards, improve learning and progress, improve support for our students and work to improve the school's facilities. You will be able to read all of the planning documents on the website and I welcome feedback and/or questions at any stage...