News and Events
11th July 2018
I don’t know how many people have that tremendous book produced by the great Tom Kelly back in 2015. It is called Memories of St Bees School 2015. It captures so many happy memories of the thriving school here at St Bees. On the penultimate page is written this touching sentence. ‘We wait for the sound of laughter and joy in our corridors again.’
Gareth Seddon and his St Bees team were the lucky ones to hear this sound again. Throughout Wednesday and Thursday, the sounds of laughter and joy bounced off the walls of the classrooms, corridors and across the sports field.
Wednesday saw the first of our induction days, when a first group of our pioneering pupils gathered to meet and experience at first hand education St Bees 2018 style. The day flew by but by the end friendships were begun that will, I know, last a lifetime.
On Thursday, most of our pioneers were joined by pupils from nearby schools who came to enjoy, is that the right word, a Super Learning Day. One of my old pals Phil Garner came to challenge and inspire the children. (Yes I know less of the old!) The day started with a few brain thunks – I use the word advisedly. Pupils debated what the world would be like if elephants ruled the planet and what would you get if you crossed a rabbit and a cabbage! You get the idea. Some of the answers were simply wonderful and really imaginative.
The children, working in groups, were then asked to design a new chocolate bar. A careful brief was given and a full range of marketing and design activities followed. One group actually recorded a television advert! The endearing memory is of the sound of cheery chatter that pervaded the school. Our sincere thanks go to Phil Garner for providing the children with such a unique experience.
We are being blessed with the wonderful weather and just for a change we seem to be having the best of it up here in the North West. I took a walk on the cliff last Wednesday evening and you could have been on the Riviera. Lovely to see so many children paddling in the gently breaking waves. It all looked idyllic. Definitely the place to be!
Well there we are. It has all been very exciting!
Forwards with confidence!
We had a real ‘red letter’ day last week when we finally got the chance to bring some of our new pupils and teachers together on campus for our initial Induction Day.
Everybody was a bit nervous, but there was really no need as it quickly became obvious that this is going to be a fantastic group to be involved in. Staff had prepared wonderful activities and pupils immediately took up the challenge of meeting new people and learning new things: speaking their first words of Chinese; writing Haikus; testing acidity and alkalinity with homemade indicators; learning the fundamentals of Eton Fives; getting to grips with some important equipment that will keep them safe on our Outdoor Education programme; team-building through a series of ‘command tasks’; and even playing golf!
The superb weather helped make the most of our amazing location, and the children were fed and watered throughout the day by our magnificent support staff.
Positivity, camaraderie, challenge, and enjoyment were the cornerstones of the day which show what St Bees School is all about, and there is only one word to describe how it feels to be part of it: BRILLIANT
28th June 2018
Thank you so much for all the messages of support that have come into HQ over the last week. It is lovely to see the impact of all the positive messages emanating from school. As you will see we welcomed the new teaching staff here over the last week and they were all impressed on the progress that has been made to date. We also continued to welcome new parents into the school just curious about all that is happening. And of course if you are curious do feel free to come and have a good look to see what we have been getting up to! A warm welcome awaits!
We also welcome Laurence Gribble back to the school. Laurence, is a former pupil of St Bees and a member of the Full Circle team and it is his commitment and passion for the school that has helped ensure our opening on September 6th. Yes September 6th – our grand opening day. I wonder if the weather will hold until then.
We are busy laying our final plans for the Induction Day for our new pupils on Wednesday 4th July. We also have a Super Learning Day hosted by Phil Garner on Thursday 5th July. I have no doubt that both days will be action packed with a few surprises and most importantly, the school will once again be filled with the happy and uplifting sound of children’s voices. Exciting!
It has been quite an extraordinary summer so far. I do just about remember the summer of 1976 and this one has a similar feel; long hot sunny days without end! We do rather deserve this extended summer having survived such a cold, snowy and prolonged winter. When do you think the first drought warning will be announced? Just need to pop home in a moment to water the hanging baskets. Happy days!
Forwards with confidence!
We have worked hard to put together the best possible teaching team here at St Bees School, and it was great to be able to welcome new colleagues when we all got together for the
first time last week.
Rosie Cole will lead our Outdoor Education provision. She has a wealth of experience in the field having previously worked for Cumbria County Council and the Field Studies Council, as well as teaching Science to GCSE and Geography to A level. She is particularly interested in character development and in fostering in young people a love of the natural world.
Vanessa Hall joins us to teach Mathematics, Physics and Computing. An engineering graduate, she held management positions in engineering and manufacturing before entering teaching; she is also director of a charity helping children and families in West Cumbria.
Beverley Pink has taught English, Drama and Theatre Studies in the UK and Singapore, as well as working as a reporter and editor in the media. She is currently an examiner for English at both GCSE and A level. She
has a particular interest in Asian cultures and is sure to be a great asset to the team.
Amy Zhang has worked as a journalist and radio host in China, and in promoting Chinese language and culture both in China and the UK. She has great experience in teaching Chinese to speakers of other languages and is sure to bring a new dimension to life at St Bees School.
Get to Know Gareth
This week we put some questions to our Headmaster Gareth Seddon, have a read of what he had to say below:
1. St Bees is a very interesting area of Cumbria, what attracted you to the village and School?
“My wife and I first came to St Bees in 1989 whilst visiting West Cumbria on holiday for the first time. We were driving along the coast, saw a sign for St Bees, and followed it. We have been coming back to West Cumbria each year ever since so the opportunity to work in St Bees was an obvious attraction. The opportunity to be part of the new St Bees School, especially given its international links, was one not to be missed. “
2. What inspires you to come in to the School every morning?
“Working with a team of people all so very keen to get the school open and working at the heart of the community again. There is always a lot to do, and satisfaction to be gained from moving things forward.”
3. How are you finding life in the village? Any favourite places?
“Simply brilliant. The beach and the coast path and the priory are obvious attractions, a simple walk through the village is great. It’s nice to bump into people and say ‘Hello’. “
4. We’ve had hints that you’re a cricket fan, what other sports do you enjoy?
“Watching or playing? Former football referee, County assessor, and FA Licensed Referee Instructor. Speedway fan from a very early age. I love the tactical discipline of American football. Basketball is fantastic to watch court side.“
5. Beyond cricket and the sports you have mentioned above, what are your pas-sions outside of the school?
“Anything to do with languages, particularly following the media in French, Italian, and Spanish. I am a keen military historian specialising in the British experience of the First World War, so I do lots of reading and research in that area. I was fortunate enough to study under some of the great revisionist historians of our time, and I maintain those links. I play guitar, and am learning Spanish Flamenco style at the moment.
6. And finally, what do you want to see the school achieve in the next 5 years ?
“ I want to see the school fill up with happy children across all year groups and become central to the communities of St Bees and West Cumbria. I want us to provide quality in everything we do, and give valuable experiences to our young people to take forward into life as successful individuals and good citizens. Most of all, I want everybody to enjoy life at St Bees School.
Katy Can and Katy Did!
Katy Taylor-Hamilton is a local who is both loved and well known by the residents of St Bees. In January 2017 after a selfless and brave decision from the family of her donor, Katy was given the gift of a new heart. Katy has been going from strength to strength since, raising awareness of organ donation along the way. But she doesn’t stop there, after using the fields at the school for some of her training, Katy recently returned to the village with two silver medals after representing Team GB at the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games in Lignano, Italy. The two silver medals were won in the 4km Cross Country and the 100m race. She also received a participant medal for playing Pétanque. All of this just 17 months
after a heart transplant. We would like to congratulate Katy for her achievements and for continuing to inspire us all.
We wish you the best for your training and the British Transplant Games in Birmingham in July.
20th June 2018
I wish you a warm welcome to the first issue of Full Circle, our weekly newsletter. Each week, I will update you on the latest developments from our school and share my thoughts as we prepare for the grand opening in September.
What a week it has been! I don’t know who to feel greater sympathy for – the German football team or Eoin Morgan! Germany, the defending World Cup champions, managed to sustain a dismal defeat against Mexico, much to everyone’s surprise. And poor old Eoin Morgan, the English cricket captain, had to face the cameras after the shock trouncing of his cricket one-day side by Scotland. Sporting results don’t always follow the book.
The school continues to resonate with the sound of laughter and squeals from the children using the swimming pool. Over 300 children now use the pool weekly, and our cricket pitch is also hosting local teams when the weather is kind enough, of course.
We have spent the last week meeting a number of parents and children, and talking through the recent school leadership changes. Some families are already signed up for a September start and some are meeting us for the first time, chatting through our plans and aspirations. It was great to see them all in school, sharing our passion for the bright future ahead at St Bees.
Gradually, the scaffolding that has enclosed much of the school for the last four months is coming down. Classrooms are being renovated, painted and equipped for use by our pioneering pupils. It is so exciting as this all takes shape, and we look forward to being able to show parents precisely where their children will be taught in September.
We are also looking forward to welcoming the new teachers who have been appointed to St Bees. Next Friday, Mr Seddon, our Head will be meeting the teachers and they together will be laying their plans for the new academic year. We will be holding an Induction Day for pupils on July 4th and we are looking forward to getting together the pupils and as many of the new staff as we can. I am sure that it’s going to be a great day at school, with a few surprises in store for everyone!
That’s enough from me for this first edition of our newsletter. I will introduce the members of the whole school team, including myself, over the coming weeks. You will be amazed just how many people are working away behind the scenes to ensure that everything is in place, and perfect, for September 6th!
Forwards with confidence!
Summerfest is back again for 2018, managed by St Bees Leisure Team and full of activities for children aged 4 – 14!
You can download a copy of our flyer complete with information by clicking on the image below:
The event will run for 3 weeks as follows:
- 23rd July – 27th July
- 30th July – 3rd August
- 20th August – 24th August
Specialised activities available such as:
- Arts & Craft
£125 per week (5 days)*
*An early and late club will be available at an additional charge of £5 per session (see flyer for additional information).
For any enquiries or to book please contact us on email@example.com or call us on 01946 828000.
17 April 2018
An update from the Headmaster
Since the announcement in March 2017 of the re-opening of St Bees as a joint venture between St Bees Trustees and Full Circle Education group, all parties have been working hard to re-establish the school once again as a vibrant education offering to families from West Cumbria and beyond.
The Board has recently made the decision to open in September 2018 initially with a cohort of Year 7 pupils. We have come to recognise the importance of nurturing the culture of the school from the ground up and it has been clear that the local and international markets point toward incremental growth from that fundamental starting point. Strong social dynamics and interaction are crucial to high quality education and we believe this is the best educational model both for those pupils who will join us in the first year and also for the School. This will allow expansion and organic growth year on year and will enable the culture to be developed and established from the ground up. Group sizes will remain small to ensure unrivalled care for the individual and the emphasis will remain on providing a high quality all round education and character development. St Bees School will therefore initially operate as a day school until the boarding community is established in the coming years.
We are enormously grateful all those families who have supported St Bees and we very much look forward to welcoming the Year 7 intake later this year. We continue to welcome new enquiries for Year 7 entry for a September 2018 start and if you would like to find out more please do contact the Admissions Team on 01946 828002 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal discussion.
With very best wishes