Beccles Free School’s delight at progress

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 December 2018

New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees with pupils. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees with pupils. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

A school which broke new ground when it opened six years ago continues to defy expectations, according to the headteacher leading the charge.

New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.New Beccles Free School headteacher David Lees. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

After opening their doors in 2012, Beccles Free School has embedded itself into the local community, with youngsters widely encouraged to take part in local events.

Headteacher David Lees, who took over the role at Easter, praised the work of staff and the enthusiasm of pupils in moving forward.

He said: “Because we are small, I want everyone to know every child.

“When children come here, we ask what they want to be by the time they leave so we can look at what careers are out there and how we can help early. We make sure they get the right opportunities they need to do that.

“We want our children to be happy and successful in school and afterwards and to do their best.

“We are a school that has expectations and we raise the bar in terms of aspirations to get them looking ahead. Our staff try to really push that.”

Part of the Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust, Waveney’s first free school marked another successful year with a positive Progress 8 score, which measures the progress made by pupils during their time at the school, meaning pupils are achieving more, on average, than pupils across the country who earned similar marks at the end of Key Stage Two.

The school have also provided students with Chromebooks to assist their learning, while outside the classroom, pupils are encouraged to take part in an array of different enrichment opportunities and programmes, including the sea cadets.

Mr Lees said: “We are trying to offer something different to other schools and change our approach. We have a good record at getting people into employment and further education.

“We want every child to leave here and go on with their skills. When you start a new business you are not expected to make money for about three years, but for the last two years the results in the school have been significant and a big success.

“It is great for Beccles to have two good schools in the town that offer so much diversity and choice. It really shows that education is moving forward in this area and our school is very much part of the community.”

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