As we begin a new half term and welcome students back for the seven weeks leading up to Christmas, it is worth reflecting on the very positive start we had to the academic year and reminding parents and carers of a few important dates.
As we continue on our journey to becoming an outstanding Academy we have made great strides in attendance so far this year with a cumulative whole Academy attendance of 96%. Our attendance team have worked incredibly hard to achieve this positive figure but I also know how hard parents have worked to insist on students attending the Academy every day. I would ask that you continue to make sure that your children attend every day unless are really too ill - by doing this students will reach their full academic potential.
We have also continued to drive improvements in Teaching and Learning through allowing teachers to spend one hour a week discussing teaching strategies with other colleagues. This keeps ideas fresh and allows excellent practice to be shared amongst teachers. This way, good ideas tried out in one area of the curriculum can be adapted and used in another.
Another exciting development this half term was the formation of our Student Parliament, and the recent democratic decision to appoint our two year 11 students, Matilda and Bryan as President and Vice President. Our Parliament committees are already meeting to drive forward ideas for improvement around the Academy, and we are excited to see how the students will lead these ideas.
Our areas of focus for this half term are to further improve greater personalisation in lessons. At the Academy, we have smaller than average classes but it is still vital to know each child as an individual so that all lessons can be pitched at the most be student in the class but scaffolded, so that all students can access the same learning. We also want to focus on corridor behaviour and around academy movement, by using this acronym to remind students of their conduct, S.T.E.P.S. Each letter stands for an important part of our Positive Behaviour Policy;
S ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’
T ‘Thank you’
E ‘Excuse me’
Ensuring all students know and use this will form part of our ongoing work this term. Please discuss this with your child to support our desire to tighten up on this aspect of Academy life.
To support the Academy in providing world class education please ensure your child has the equipment they need in their bags ready for every day. Organisation is a key skill to learn when starting a new school, and although we would never punish a child for losing equipment, it is still upsetting for students when they do, and takes time out of the day to find the item again.
Just prior to the half term holiday students completed assessments or, for year 11 and 10, mock exams. Results of these will be entered into the data base and updates will be sent home to parents’ over the coming weeks. Year 11 parents are invited to parents evening on the 28th November from 3.00pm to talk to subject staff about progress during this final year. Other year groups will have parents’ evening later during the academic year.
Finally, please ensure your child has a warm coat to walk to and from the Academy each day as the weather turns colder. High visibility stickers and strips are also useful to ensure safety.