Dear Parent or Guardian
I’m guessing you will have seen that our expansion building work has started in earnest. Whilst it is likely to take just over a year to complete, the difference for Borden will be immense. A good sized sports hall, changing rooms fit for purpose, a reasonable amount of toilets, storage so that we can remove the numerous storage containers we rent, a 6th form area that can hold the growing numbers who choose to stay as well as additional classrooms….I could go on. As the build progresses, Kier has offered to run various sessions for our students and there is certainly much to be gained from a better understanding of the opportunities in the construction industry, either through apprenticeship or by pursuing an engineering degree. More historically, whilst preparing the foundations, the digging uncovered the former bunker that was built for the school during World War II. For those that are interested in the school history, we have added some of these pictures to the school website with some clippings from the time. Click here
Talk of bunkers segways nicely into my next point. The idea of a bunker was for everyone to hide under ground until the danger had passed overhead, at which point you could emerge unscathed. I’m sure that many would like a bunker to hide in at the moment with international unrest, the cost of living crisis, strikes and a continuing reduction in support services. It is entirely understandable that parents and educators will hold different views on the wave of strikes that are taking place across the country. To reassure you, we will do what we can to keep the school running for as many students as we can, prioritising the vulnerable, essential workers and final year examination groups. We will continue to try and make these decisions as soon as possible to give you time to put measures into place. However, as an interested party, you should be aware that schools nationally, including Borden, are doing their best to deal with a significant increase in safeguarding and welfare issues, accompanied by a chronic shortage of staff. National recruitment targets for teachers in most subject areas have been missed for 9 years and it’s quite usual to get less than a handful, or sometimes even no replies to job adverts, with schools competing for the same small pool of staff. Putting views on the current dispute aside, I would ask that you write to your MP to point out that everyone suffers if there aren't enough quality teachers from which to recruit.
Reminders for students and parents
Please can I remind you that the school day starts at 8.40am for students and if you are dropping your child off, please do it safely and avoid parking directly outside or dropping near the roundabout in Albany road where we have had a number of complaints. Better still, encourage your child to cycle or walk if at all possible, particularly as it gets warmer. We have also recently reminded students of the basics; that they need to go to the toilet in their break times and not lessons, to only have their mobiles in social spaces at social times and that reckless behaviour often results in someone getting hurt - it does not mean it’s an accident. Finally, littering has increased with the resident seagulls becoming a menace around the school…we will be increasing our use of community service with litter pickers to address this next term!
Pride of Borden
As we wind up to the examination season, Borden has continued to keep the community buzzing. This has included numerous sports fixtures, a variety of clubs after school and there have been a number of science and primary visits this half term. This week saw our school concert showcasing an array of drama and music with over 35 students involved from all key stages. The return of the ski trip to Italy takes place over this half term and the French trip to Montpellier also returns this year. This is all aside from the mentoring, mental health ambassadors, free breakfast club, anti bullying ambassadors, school council and numerous other student support activities that take place on a weekly basis. There is much to be proud and positive about at Borden despite the temptation to hide in our World War II bunker!