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26/09/20

Retweeted From BHS Music

Yr 7 having great fun doing some Chair Drumming in Samba Band this week. So pleased we are able to make music again! https://t.co/08St6yhcHs

26/09/20

Our Sixth Form Virtual Open Day is now live! Click here to join: https://t.co/3TUICBznzn https://t.co/Vl7gIfQatg

26/09/20

Our Senior School Virtual Open Day is now live! Click here to join: https://t.co/oH2nwJuEQX https://t.co/VcgboFCMra

26/09/20

Our Virtual Open Day is now live! Click here to join: https://t.co/bSB3xC998i Junior School, 9am – 11am Senior School, 10am – 12pm Sixth Form, 12pm - 1pm https://t.co/yD5LJ7WMs8

25/09/20

Everyone was so inspired. Thank you so much again! ⭐️ https://t.co/VCfSZjBZgA

25/09/20

Our Head of Futures, Miss Day, hosts the amazing at today’s inspiring Wollstonecraft Lecture learning all about studying science and careers in healthcare. Thank you 👏👏 https://t.co/z4Ii25WZBC

25/09/20

Amazing! 💫💫 https://t.co/L0TrwJzrks

25/09/20

Amazing work, girls 👏👏👏 https://t.co/VefKfBU6yg

24/09/20

There's still time to sign-up to our Sixth Form Virtual Open Day on Saturday 26 September, from 12pm, to find out more about our incredible Sixth Form. Registration will close at 12pm on Friday 25 September. https://t.co/cll8qmIf0i https://t.co/0umGPmqMdW

24/09/20

Don't forget to sign-up to our Virtual Open Day on Saturday 26 September, from 9am, to find out all about our amazing school: https://t.co/cll8qmIf0i Registration will close at 12pm on Friday 25 September. We can't wait to give you a warm Blackheath High welcome! https://t.co/Z0dIyYTPBc

23/09/20

We can’t wait for this! Looking forward to hearing all about your amazing work https://t.co/oEStzomJJe

22/09/20

Great work girls!! 👏👏👏 https://t.co/gQWnjdNMcv

22/09/20

Great to see our Junior School girls enjoying our delicious and healthy lunches today! https://t.co/u6Ip83LsQ9

21/09/20

Retweeted From GDST Alumnae Network

Build your professional network. The brand new alumnae network is now online! Join for new connections today — https://t.co/08dK2iGA3a. https://t.co/h0i4XGMlXr

21/09/20

Some of our students starting the week learning Tai Chi as part of our Blackheath High School academic enrichment programme https://t.co/ecDFUNVL0s

21/09/20

Retweeted From BlackheathHigh Sport

The students are taking full advantage of having the heath on our doorstep in the beautiful weather. https://t.co/jIKlD6yABY

18/09/20

Just over a week to go to our Virtual Open Day! We can't wait to give you a warm Blackheath welcome as we invite you to discover all about life at Blackheath High School. Sign-up here to join us: https://t.co/ajXh2SuVTI https://t.co/poaUdvEXx0

16/09/20

Retweeted From School House

Blackheath High School GDST () are hosting its first virtual open day on Saturday 26 September, 9AM – 1PM for perspective students aged three to 18. Register and find out more and register below: https://t.co/1I43idOWka https://t.co/Ktp1PMQwWs

15/09/20

All smiles as Year 9 find their beat and try out drumming in today's music lesson 🪘 🎶 https://t.co/nWZRapfNnO

15/09/20

Some beautiful illustrations from our Year 11 students... enjoying taking inspiration on a sunny day 🦋🌸☀️ https://t.co/l2BcwLDzlQ

15/09/20

Retweeted From Primary Times London

🎉 OPEN DAY 🎉 will host its first Virtual Open Day on Saturday 26 September between 9am and 1pm. The day will be split into three sessions covering the Nursery and Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form. Book here 👉 https://t.co/4XVYViCOfb https://t.co/34ozIK9cs5

14/09/20

Beautiful morning this morning in Blackheath. Looking forward to the new school week ☀️ https://t.co/GFCS1qBOpr

11/09/20

From studying GCSE Astronomy at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, sports and fitness on Blackheath and taking part in all clubs on offer, find out more about life at Blackheath High School at our Virtual Open Morning. https://t.co/nTlh0p3kgp https://t.co/XMEZZTyT1a

11/09/20

🌸🌼🐝🐝🐝 https://t.co/KsBjzsv3Cr

10/09/20

“Continue to be the rule breakers and the change makers” Teacher Sarah Harris with some inspiring words for the future for our very special 2020 valedictory event tonight ✨💫 https://t.co/UchARw1Mu9

10/09/20

Head leads the celebrations tonight marking all the successes of our 2020 GCSE and A-level students. Not in the way we’re used to, but a great evening marking all their amazing achievements in what has been a year like no other. Congratulations girls 👏👏👏 https://t.co/PrR7YhkwVp

10/09/20

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Getting ready for our special valedictory event ⁦⁩ this evening - I hope the students all really enjoy it They, probably more than any year,deserve a great send off!! https://t.co/FA85xwEkcB

10/09/20

Retweeted From Carol Chandler-Thomp

Fabulous opportunities for our sixth formers and alumnae here 👇🏼 https://t.co/oRLyovFeZ8

09/09/20

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Covid safe Mussorgsky beat! https://t.co/2pZiQO6y8J

07/09/20

Retweeted From BHS Music

No more palm oil based shampoo, conditioner or soap for Mrs Gunton. Thank you https://t.co/SEumnTUkab

04/09/20

Don't forget to sign up for our Virtual Open Day on Saturday 26 September to find out why we were shortlisted for both Best Girls’ School & Prep School of the Year. Register and find out more information here: https://t.co/WxQboUdEDg https://t.co/CcvKO6WiQX

03/09/20

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

Junior girls have huge ❤️. Yr5 Annika donated 15 inches of hair to Well done mum for the 9 inches and Georgia in too. https://t.co/cWmULraRof

03/09/20

Retweeted From Sarah Skevington

By 8.45 all Junior girls back in school, staggered starts done. So pleased to have you back! https://t.co/rjxSncapec

03/09/20

So happy to welcome back our girls to school this morning for the first day of term. Have a great day girls! https://t.co/7R74laaqkn

27/08/20

We couldn't be more proud of Leila, Year 4, for showing her creative flair and coming 3rd in the Young Wild Writer Competition! You can read her award-winning story, The City Fox, all about London's hidden wildlife here👇 Congratulations Leila! 👏👏 https://t.co/xOfR8BOzTd

21/08/20

We can’t wait to welcome our GCSE students into our Sixth Form. Read all about Rafi’s time with us so far, as she looks forward to following her passion for Design Technology in the Sixth Form. https://t.co/yHtRjXKJUj https://t.co/u1OxrItG8Q

21/08/20

From performing at Greenwich Theatre and our fashion show to taking part in cricket tournaments, read all about Roberta’s time at Blackheath High School and what she’s looking forward to in Sixth Form. https://t.co/5lLpDonBH5 https://t.co/h7y6JgwUcq

20/08/20

Retweeted From Steven Henderson

I want to publicly thank all our hard working teachers who contributed to the work of arriving at this year's results in exceptionally challenging circumstances, and to pass on thanks that parents have expressed today.

December 13

League tables and the illusion of Parent Power

It is argued that the aim of the annual publication of the 'Parent Power' league tables in the Sunday Times is to provide parents with an informed choice. Armed with a rank order based on percentages of A*-A, SATs scores, choices can be made for secondary and primary school based on cold hard evidence. Well, this is partially true. League tables have utility, they tell you the grades achieved by students in a school in a certain year in public examinations. Sometimes, they even refer to the previous year’s results so that you can gauge year-on-year progress. It is a great celebration of a really impressive achievement of many students and the hard work of teachers in schools.

Unfortunately, that is about all you can tell from League Tables. Suggesting that this limited array of information puts ‘power’ in the hands of parents is a little misleading as it is really just presenting some of the information as if it were all of the information. This is a classic case of ‘valuing what we can measure’ as opposed to measuring what we value.

Speaking to most parents, all the qualities they really truly value in a school are not visible in these kind of league tables. As a teacher, I have taught in schools at the very top of the league tables, but also those not at the top. All these schools were, and are, great schools. A more sophisticated judgement is needed.

Absolute measures, such as percentages of A*, do not demonstrate the progress made by students as they have moved through school. A highly selective school may have a predominance of students whose baselining testing indicates that they are already highly likely to achieve A*s when they arrive in Year 7. It is extremely hard for any school to ‘add value’ in this situation, although of course, students still have to be well taught to reach their predicted A*. In a school with a wider range of abilities, however, a student may arrive in Year 7 with a baseline prediction of a ‘B’ or a ‘C’ but eventually achieve an ‘A’. This grade is not as seemingly impressive as the A*, but the rate of progress and ‘value-added’ is extremely impressive. Great schools work to help every student flourish and aim high, but unfortunately that cannot be reflected in a league table such as ‘Parent Power’. Arguably, you learn more about the selectivity of the admissions process than the effectiveness of the school when only considering outcomes without context. Recently St Olave’s Grammar in Kent came under fire for its policy to ask ‘failing’ Year 12 students to leave the school mid-way through their A-levels in the interests of preserving league table dominance. If a league table place can only be preserved by ruthless exclusion, not inspiration and great teaching, something is going seriously wrong; the student is no longer at the heart of the school. To quote Margaret Attwood: “context is all.”

The plethora and complexity of different testing regimes has also muddied the waters. If a Junior School, such as my own, chooses not to subject 11 year-olds to SAT tests, they simply do not appear in the Primary tables at all, even though the education they are offering is absolutely superb. The impossibility of comparison within a jungle of qualifications (IGCSE, GCSE, Grade 9 with A*, A-level with IB) exacerbates this muddiness no end.

This is only to focus on public examinations, but a great education is about so much more. Sending students out into the world with a clutch of exam certificates and nothing else, is not a great education; they will falter at the first real hurdle. Students need to be confident networking and speaking to people from all different walks of life; they need to present publicly; they need to be resilient to life’s challenges; they need to be creative problem solvers and team-players, they need confidence. All this comes from a genuinely balanced and engaging curriculum and co-curriculum. These are not visible in league tables.

Lastly, the least measurable quality of a great school, but probably the most important, is its values and ethos. Is it a place that a student can genuinely discover their own personal qualities, feel valued and build positive and genuine relationships with peers and adults? Can they be happy and develop their appreciation of non-material aspects of life? It is totally impossible to measure these qualities of a school, but they can make or break a student’s experience. This can only be appreciated in person, through absorbing the atmosphere and sense of community in a school, not through the centre pages of a weekend supplement.

So keep the tables in their place: a tiny part of a very big story.

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