I am excited to hand over our most recent blog post to Ms Becca Dean. Over the past few years, Becca has received several awards, accolades and media coverage for her work. Last year she was in the final shortlist for The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian of the year award. In 2017 Becca received The Stylist and Clarins Prix Women With Heart award. She has also been Featured in Marie Claire’s ‘You’ll never guess what she did’ feature and listed in The Independent’s Happy List, 2015. In 2013 Becca won ‘The Teach First Innovation Award’ and ‘The Teaching Community Choice award’. From June 2019, Becca joins the team at Bohunt Horsham as one of our excellent Achievement Coordinators, responsible for overseeing the achievement and wellbeing of our students.
Guest Blog #1 – Ms Becca Dean, Achievement Coordinator for Bohunt Horsham
This International Women’s Day marked seven years since I founded The Girls’ Network, a charity that matches girls from the least advantaged communities with professional female mentors. The Girls’ Network has now grown to work with 1,000 girls a year all over the country. I decided earlier this year it was time for a new challenge.
I started The Girls’ Network when I was teaching in a school in Wembley. Recently I found that I was missing those days of having a direct visible impact on the lives of young people; of being part of a community; of working together with families and teachers to help create young people that change the world. In short, I missed teaching.
I knew that if I were to return to the classroom, finding a school that matched my values would be essential, so I was thrilled when I first spoke to Ms Ayling about her vision for Bohunt Horsham, and even more thrilled when I found out that they thought I was a match for them too and I would become part of the founding team.
I can’t wait to wait to welcome our first cohort to the school in September. In the meantime, I’ve tried to outline some of my aspirations for the school below. This will hopefully give you a flavour of the type of school I envision us becoming.
I believe innovation belongs at the heart of every school. Our children are growing up in a world where the ability to innovate and solve new problems in new ways is essential to them thriving in the workplace. We would not be doing our job if we didn’t demonstrate this in our school.
Being a new school, Bohunt Horsham will not only have a state-of-the-art building and use of the very latest technologies, but it also belongs to the Bohunt Education Trust (BET), whose founding philosophy emphasises innovation as a key part of education. BET’s approach to teaching and learning is innovative and immersive, blending the latest thinking in education with the best technology and management practices found both in and outside the classroom.
This really resonates with me as an entrepreneur: starting an enterprise depends on finding the best possible way available to deliver value to your clients or users, and there is no reason why schools should be any different.
When I founded The Girls’ Network it was due to a desire to ensure that all girls would be seen, and therefore would see themselves as individuals able to thrive in their own way. I’m excited to bring this mission to a whole school of young people and to see how amazing they can become.
Being inclusive is fundamentally about ensuring that every student feels they have the support to enable them to succeed at the highest level. A school must have the highest expectations of its students, but this must come with a top-class support-system.
When meeting some of our founding families at our information evening I was blown away by the incredible young people who will be joining us in September, all with their own skills and passions. Our job at Bohunt Horsham is to listen to and support these children to ensure they all flourish.
I believe it is the duty of educators to expose young people to life-changing opportunities outside of the classroom. The world is changing faster than ever before, and increasingly amazing exam results are becoming only one part of the picture. The most important elements in students’ success beyond school are the ‘soft skills’ and passions they develop while they’re there. If our young people are going to be game changers, they need to learn how to lead, how to persuade and how to inspire.
I founded The Girls’ Network to ignite the spark in young women across the country by bringing them together with women who’ve accomplished phenomenal things, taking them to parliament to debate, and mentoring them to find their passions. I can’t wait to bring this experience to as many young people in our community as possible.
Ultimately, I am most excited about joining an incredible team of staff, students and their families to create a legacy that will serve the community of Horsham for years to come. Being at the start of something has the daunting feel of a blank sheet of paper that’s waiting for a novel, or of looking out to the path up a mountain you’re about to climb, but that’s what makes it special. The young people who join Bohunt Horsham over the next few years will have the experience of being founders before they’re even old enough to buy a lottery ticket. It’s a once in a lifetime experience for all involved, and I for one, can’t wait to get started.
Ms Dean – Achievement Coordinator: Bohunt Horsham
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