Comments from our students
SAMUEL, former st olave's student
Choosing a Sixth Form was extremely difficult for me, particularly because I was lucky enough to have several good options available. What's more, I was very happy at my old school: I had lots of strong friendships, great relationships with teachers, and a jam-packed extracurricular life. If I had stayed on at St Olave's, I am confident that I would have had a fantastic time.
However, I chose to come to a new school, further away, where I knew absolutely no one.
As A Levels become ever narrower and their final exams higher stakes, there is a battle for the very soul of the UK – do we want to be a country that is isolated and inward-looking, or one that is built on compassion and mutual respect, working with our friends across the world to tackle the most pressing issues of our time such as the climate crisis, conflict, poverty and disease? I know which of those two I want, and I know that the IB stands for that kind of vision.
I knew that the International Baccalaureate was absolutely the right decision for me. I want to study the sciences at university, followed by a law conversion, and so the IB's blend of the sciences with the humanities is perfect for me.
If, like me, you're an aspiring scientist or mathematician, then it's critical that you are literate. When science is communicated well, it can transform lives. When science is communicated poorly, it is ignored, or worse still, abused. Scientists must be good communicators.
Similarly, if the humanities or arts are your passion, it's equally crucial that you are numerate, as whatever you go on to do in life is highly likely to require a sound grounding in maths.
Choosing the IB is a making a conscious decision about your education, and one from which you will reap the rewards for many years to come.
I picked Bexley Grammar for the IB; there's no doubt about it. But I have been overwhelmed by how friendly and welcoming everyone is. My impression of the open evening last November was absolutely right: it really is like a family. From the students, through my subject teachers and the senior leadership, to even reception staff, everyone has a smile on their face and is willing to help out.
Coming into a new place was pretty daunting. I was the only person from my school, and I was worried about having to contend with pre-existing friendship groups, navigating the labyrinthine corridors, and needing to quickly win the trust of teachers.
However, just weeks in, although I do miss my old school, I don't wish that I stayed there. I'm confident that I've made the right decision, and am already loving the step up in challenge from GCSE. I've met lots of amazing new people, and have (almost) got to grips with the layout of the school. Every one of my subject teachers is excellent, and I've been able to throw myself into the extracurricular life of the school.
I'm excited about the amazing two years ahead of me, and you can be too, if you choose to study the IB at Bexley Grammar.
SOPHIE, former crown woods student
Being an external student, I joined Bexley Grammar feeling quite
nervous about the completely new environment. However, since my first day, both the students and teachers have welcomed me with open arms, helping me to settle in and create new friendships effortlessly. Everyone was more than happy to give up their time to help me find my way around the school, and make me feel comfortable in my new surroundings. Welcome Events were organised, including the Year 12 BBQ. This has helped the new starters to integrate with the existing pupils.
Although choosing the IB was a difficult decision for me, I have no regrets and couldn't be happier with the way things are going. The teaching staff have been extremely helpful in supporting me to choose the correct subjects that are most suited for me. Each of my lessons has been enjoyable and already, I believe that this had made a big difference to my learning.
One of my favourite things about Bexley Grammar is the friendliness of staff and students, this creates a sense of community and family. The school provides many opportunities to gain the best outcomes over the next two years.
Joining Bexley Grammar was the best decision for me and I am excited for what the next two years will bring.
alexia, former greenwich free school student
To leave a school I knew inside-out, with hundreds of faces I recognised, corridors that I could walk through practically blindfolded, and teachers that I trusted was probably one of the most daunting and stressful experiences of my life.
To an external, Bexley Grammar School can be quite intimidating at a first glance, its size and strong sense of community can make you feel lost and insignificant as if you’d just be one individual student in a school of over a thousand.
In reality, however, joining BGS is arguably one of the most seamless and joyful experiences I have ever had. To join such a welcoming and friendly community, and to truly feel a part of it within a mere couple of weeks is absolutely insane and shows the great environment this school creates.
Something I cannot get over is just how kind and friendly the students and teachers are here at Bexley Grammar School. From the first day, I felt welcomed and involved, speaking to people as if I had been a student here for the past 5 years. The teachers are driven and passionate, willing to help any student with any concerns they may have, no matter how serious and offer endless support to anyone who needs it.
You may start as an external student here but within the first week, you honestly can’t tell the difference, making friends with internals and externals alike.
For me, choosing the IB was an absolute no-brainer. All six of my subjects are engaging and allow me to challenge and develop my understanding of each of them. Not only does the IB make you stand-out against other students, but it also prepares you for the world in a way A-levels never could.
Isaac, former trinity lewisham student
I never really knew what Sixth Form I wanted to attend. Any mention of Bexley Grammar during Year 11 and I believed the same ideologies that the IB would be hard and that it would be an extremely academic school where I would never really fit in.
When I first looked round the school at the induction day, I realised how wrong these conceptions were. I saw what the IB really was, a range of 6 immersive and interesting courses which would allow me to have a step up in the university and job ladder.
Most importantly, I could tell from the start that the BGS family was so strong and one that I felt a part of even in the induction.
What I tell everyone about Bexley Grammar is that it doesn't just develop what you are learning in your lessons. It truly does develop your character with a range of opportunities such as CAS (Creativity, Action and Service), and other extracurricular activities.
I know there will be times of stress, especially during exam periods, but I know with the great support of the teachers and my peers, I can achieve anything. I have already seen myself start to change from a shy, nervous young adult to a man who’s full of confidence in less than a month, so I am excited to see where this journey takes me come May 2021.
I wish you all the best with your exams and hope you get to join the BGS family soon.
sia, former st catherine's student
Coming to Bexley Grammar, as an external student, to study IB has been great so far as there is a very welcoming environment here at BGS that has made me feel very accepted.
One main thing I like about Bexley Grammar is how the staff has helped make the transition from secondary school to Sixth Form quite smooth, and even though there is more encouragement to be more independent with our learning, we are still given guidance where we need it. In addition to that, we are also given opportunities to develop certain skills such as time management, self-management and critical thinking in subjects like ToK (Theory of Knowledge), that challenge the way we think about certain things.
At BGS I like that there is a wide range of extracurricular activities that I can take part in as well as clubs to join, and if there is a particular club at school I want to join, but it doesn't exist yet I have the freedom to create and run it, which would improve my leadership skills, with support from the staff.
Even though studying the IB is challenging, and will require a lot of hard work, I believe that it will be worth it as it will help me create a strong knowledge basis in preparation for higher education in the near future.
jamie, former hurstmere student
Joining from a different school can seem very scary and daunting,
especially after the full-on and stress filled GCSE period. However, it is not as bad as you may think. Following my first few weeks at the school, I can already say that I have made lots of positive relations with pupils (both internal and external) as well as a number of my teachers. I’m certain that when you first come to the school one of the first things that you think is “Wow, this place is an absolute maze.” I was the exact same. In my case, I came from a fairly small and simple structured school so, as expected, the first few days were overwhelming to say the least. Nevertheless, the teachers, students and a bit of my own navigational skills got me through and I can now find my way around (most of the time).
My favourite thing about the school so far is the plethora of facilities that it offers. Tennis courts, netball courts, gyms... Name the sport and there is probably an area for it. On top of that, if you need to get some work done there is the Sixth Form Centre and a dedicated study centre. These are great to get some work done or just simply take your mind off your school work. The main reason why I came to Bexley Grammar School was to take my education to a step further from GCSE and by doing so will later achieve my IB Diploma.
My IB Diploma will provide me with the perfect platform to follow my career path and make it much more likely to get into the university or high level apprenticeship of my choice when I leave in 2021.
tosin, former st catherine's student
Initially, moving to BGS I had to deal with the expected anxiety: Will I make friends? Will I be able to be consistent in my school work? How do I know this is an environment for me?
Starting BGS I was able to realise that these fears are normal. My transition here was swift and natural thanks to the school’s welcoming environment. Within seconds I was already part of a greater community and within a matter of a few weeks was able to understand the ideas of independence and responsibility whilst still recognising the support system that ran through the school. Being at BGS has already taught me how to take ownership of my work and equally not be afraid to ask for help.
There is a place for everyone's interests and a place for any individual at Bexley Grammar School.