Bowbrook House School operates through its own chosen motto – ‘Work with Pride’ and never more has that ethos been apparent than at the recent Worcestershire Education Awards where Bowbrook won both the Secondary School of the Year Award and Headteacher /Principal of the Year Award for 2017.
The Worcester News, in conjunction with the University of Worcester, invited county wide residents to nominate teachers, schools and support staff in this the first year of the Worcestershire Education Awards. They received an incredible flurry of stories of how Worcestershire’s educators have helped and supported the children and young people of the county and the sheer number of the inspirational stories made the challenge of choosing finalists, and ultimately the winners, quite a daunting prospect.
Bowbrook House School, an inclusive, all-age independent school, received an unrivalled ten nominations for categories such as Unsung Hero; Best Teacher; Primary School of the Year and were shortlisted as finalists in the categories of Secondary School of the Year and Headteacher/ Principal of the Year. Bowbrook was the only school to receive this high number of nominations and the only school to win two awards.
Bowbrook House was described as making every child feel special with staff knowing them as individuals and having real pride in helping them succeed. Pupils were said to blossom at the school, which encouraged them to make progress at their own pace. One nomination said “Everyone at Bowbrook, children, parents, teachers seem and act like one big family.”
On winning the Best Secondary School, the headmaster, Chris Allen thanked his team and said “We were very proud to have won this category. We are not academically selective and we care for a range of students. We have to adapt the curriculum accordingly. We have high-flying students who take twelve GCSEs and others who struggle to take six. It’s about being inclusive but underpinning all of that it’s about respect.”
Central to this success model is the leadership of the headmaster, who won the Headteacher/ Principal of the Year Award. All nominations agreed that he is “the backbone of a happy school” and Mr. Allen received multiple nominations from both parents, grandparents and children. In these he was described as “an authority figure but one who was approachable and had created a family atmosphere at the small school.”
The common thread running through Mr. Allen’s leadership was one of mutual respect. Parents described their choice of Bowbrook as being “the best decision they had made for their child.” Staff and pupils alike have said that Mr. Allen inspires them with a firm upholding of traditional standards and that he inspires them “to want to make both him and their school proud of them”. Touchingly, there’s a very real sense of wanting to repay Mr. Allen’s faith in them – “You would follow him into battle or onto a rugby pitch with him as your Captain, and he would be there, leading by example and inspiring you to give your best for your team. You feel as though you are part of something special and that you’re all part of it together.”
So, with this common thread of pride running through the Bowbrook House School extended community, Chris Allen accepted his award declaring himself to be “humbled by the recognition”. This humility is typical, yet the nominations, awards and happy pupils and staff, illustrate why Bowbrook House School is such a successful school.
It is apparent that the whole school community is very proud of their school and I am convinced that they will continue to ‘Work with Pride’ in all they do!