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Message from the Head - October 22

Dear Parent/Carer

What a busy half term this has been! It has been lovely to see so many parents and carers once again in face to face events this past few weeks following the restrictions of the past two years. The students have also been benefitting from an increase in our extracurricular offer and it’s been especially pleasing to see fixtures taking place with our academy being represented in sports including netball and cross country.

Some of the highlights this term have included our Year 9 Creative Careers day, the Key Stage 4 Positive Futures Evening, the Year 7 team building day and much more. We hope that your children have enjoyed the start to this academic year.

We look forward next half term to our settling in evening for Year 7 on Wednesday 2 November which is your opportunity to discuss with tutors how they are progressing at the academy. There will be academic reports for Year 7 and 8 coming home before the Christmas break. We also have the commencement of our rehearsals for the Christmas show which we are hoping will be a face to face event for the first time in about two years. More information will be provided closer to the time.

Please can I remind all families that the academy day starts at 8:40am with tutor registration and punctuality is important to your child’s progress at the academy and to ensure they start their day well. We utilise registration for assemblies, learning, reading and other activities that are an important part of your child’s education at the academy and so being punctual is crucial for this to be effective.

The provisional academic results for all secondary schools are now available on the Department for Education website. Parent and carers are being cautioned by the government against making comparisons between schools as the last two years have been a very turbulent time for education and schools experiences of the pandemic have been different. The government decided that this year only qualifications completed in the 2021-22 academic year would count in the school’s headline measures and so this has been to the detriment of our published figures. All students complete one course in Year 10 at our academy with Year 11 students so that we can offer a broader range of qualifications despite being a small school. It was the right thing to continue this, however, it will be 12 months before meaningful comparisons can be made between ourselves and other schools as all the qualifications taken will be included in next year’s school performance data.

When we return after half term winter will be approaching and the temperatures may well drop. Outdoor coats are permitted at break and lunchtime where your child wishes to be outside and needs to keep warm and dry. Hoodies are not permitted at any time however black V-neck jumpers can be worn under blazers if that is welcome for extra warmth. They are not a replacement for the blazer but an addition.

We are very excited to see the launch of our new academy website during the next few days. Please bear with us during the switch over period should there be any issues. We will be working to add more content to this website over the coming months and we hope you enjoy the upgrade. The web address for our site will remain the same for convenience.

As we seek to reduce our environmental impact and modernise our working practices, we will be seeking to use email to send out correspondence as much as possible. This has been used now for whole school letters for some time, however, individual letters, for example, for detentions, will now be sent this way as well. Please let us know if your email address changes. Parents and carers who currently receive mail through the post only will continue to do so.

At the start of next half term students in Years 8 and 9 will rotate into their next cycle of Expressive Arts and Technology disciplines. Students will be reminded of how their timetable changes on the first day back. Satchel One can also be used to check during the week before. There will also be some changes to the group's in Year 7 so that those who need more support, especially with their reading, are in smaller classes. If you have any questions about this on their return to school so let us know. Year 7 students will be issued new timetables where this is the case as a reference.

We return from the half term break on Monday 31 October for all students and I look forward to seeing them then. I would just like to remind you that we have an INSET day on Friday 25 November and so the academy will be closed to students on that day.

I wish you a lovely half term.

Mr Scott Yalden