Bishop Bell’s new headteacher Mark Talbot has spoken of his ambitious plans for the school including setting up a sixth form.
With six weeks under his belt since he took over at the helm of the Priory Road school, Mark has confirmed governors and the senior management team have set their sights on establishing the sixth form.
“Year on year we have been developing an ethos of achievement where the pupils, whatever their individual starting point, reach performance levels that put us amongst the very best schools in the county,” said Mark, 38.
“Having been a deputy head teacher in two different schools and after leading a sixth form in Berkshire, I believe it’s in the pupils’ best interests to extend this journey of learning and success, in the same nurturing environment that they have thrived in from age 11, beyond secondary school into further education. There are no detailed plans at this stage but we will be bringing forward some really exciting proposals in 2015.”
Mark also said he wants to build on the GCSE success of recent years.
“Some 71 per cent of Year 11 pupils at Bishop Bell achieved five GCSEs, including English and maths, compared to a UK average that looks set to fall below 60 per cent,” said Mark. “And English language results topped the charts of 26 secondary schools in East Sussex with nine out of 10 pupils securing A*-C grade.
“Preparing children for life beyond our gates is about more than just results, it is our job to offer a mix of enrichment which helps our children develop important life skills such as resilience, tolerance and strong, positive communication. With this in mind we are busy building on our existing enrichment programme by offering more after school activities that will include fencing, sailing, a debating society and mandarin lessons.”
More than 400 pupils took part in recent open evenings where there was a steel band on arrival and goodie bags were handed to each young visitor.
“It’s nice to be able to put my mark on the school,” said Mark. “It’s been a difficult time for the school in recent years but that’s behind us now and we are looking forward to the future.”