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Sabbaticals at BGS

Did you know that BGS’s longest serving member of staff has been working for the school since 1976? Or that more than 100 members of staff have been at the school for over 10 years? (That’s a collective 1,000 years of service!).

That so many staff members choose to spend such a significant portion of their careers at BGS is testament to the community and camaraderie here. We are delighted that so many colleagues spend many happy years at BGS, allowing the school and our pupils to benefit from their experience and expertise.

One of the ways BGS seeks to recognise and thank staff who have been here for a significant period is with the opportunity to take a sabbatical. Each year, BGS offers a term’s sabbatical leave to one employee who has a minimum of 10 years’ employment at the school. All qualifying staff are welcome to apply, outlining their proposed sabbatical research project or activity. Although the staff member is paid whilst on leave, they do have to fund the costs of the project they undertake themselves.

These sabbatical projects provide an opportunity for refreshment and professional development for those undertaking them, but they must also offer direct benefit to the school. Recent sabbaticals have included research into how BGS can best support pupils who attend the school with the help of a bursary, and working with other schools to share best practice and ideas around opportunities for scholars. Next year, Art teacher Mrs Barnacle (at BGS since 2006) will use her sabbatical to undertake a Masters, learning which she will be able to share with the wider Art department and use to enrich and develop Art provision at BGS further.

This academic year, Head of Biology Mr Goodland (who has worked at the school since 2008) is on sabbatical leave. He is spending his term away from BGS in the Galapagos, working with an NGO called FUNCAVID. As well as completing charitable conservation and educational work while there, Mr Goodland is gaining direct experience of one of the world’s most incredible natural habitats which he will be able to share with staff and pupils on his return. While internet connectivity on the islands is patchy, he has managed to share some videos with us of his trip so far; if you’d like to see what he’s been up to, watch the short films below.