Headteacher’s Update

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you

We have come to the end of the first ‘staggered’ week of term and we’re back into the business of learning.  Thank you to all parents and carers who gave consent to their children doing lateral flow tests on their return.  This is a really important way that we can all do something to keep one another safe and I just want to express my thanks for your support.  Equally, thank you to everyone who has ensured that their child has returned to the Academy with a mask to wear.  Again, it’s a simple act that demonstrates that we’re doing everything we can to try and keep each other safe.


The vast majority of students have returned looking smart and ready to learn.  I would just remind everyone about two specific parts of our uniform policy.  Firstly, acrylic or ‘false’ nails of any kind are not permitted.  Ultimately, this is for health and safety reasons: excessively long nails can be a risk to both the student wearing them and others.  Please can I ask that parents do not take students to have their nails done in this way during the term.  It only creates discord when we insist that they are removed.  Equally, can I remind parents that we do not permit the wearing of earrings.  These are long-standing elements of our uniform policy but I wanted to reiterate that as we begin the New Year.


I have been contacted by a local business – Glass Installations – who operate on Tunstall Trade Park.  They are concerned that parents may be waiting in their car park at the end of the day and putting themselves and children at risk.  The company is currently trying to address an issue it is having with HGV drivers using the car park as a turning circle.  There have been a couple of occasions where there have been ‘near-misses’ between cars, people and HGVs.  I wanted to alert parents to the risk.  I recognise parking can be challenging, but safety has to be a paramount consideration.  Can I also restate the message I sent at the end of last term about the road markings outside of the Academy and the need for parents to give appropriate consideration to local residents when collecting students at the end of the day.

Year 11

Year 11 has just 80 school days remaining from the beginning of next week; that equates to around 40 lessons in maths and English, for example.  This is a really important time for students as they prepare for their GCSEs.  It’s also a really exciting time as we build momentum towards those final exams in the summer.  As we know, and as I said in my letter earlier this week: exams are going ahead this year for the first time since 2019.  

We’re continuing to put lots of support in for our Year 11s: P6 every day to increase learning time; specialised tutoring for groups of students; and a whole range of revision materials.  By working together we can help our students to maximise their potential.  

Key things parents can be doing to help are:

  • Make sure that their attendance at the Academy is excellent;
  • talk to your child about their subjects;
  • check that they have a revision timetable and somewhere to revise at home;
  • get involved: test them on their knowledge and help them to revise;
  • ensure your child has applied to college: this gives them a sense of direction.
  • get in touch with us if you have any questions about how you can help.

COVID Testing

Can I again restate that it is really important for students to take two lateral flow tests each week.  This, along with mask wearing, is the best way to keep our academy open, children learning, and reduce the risk of COVID transmission.  If you don’t have sufficient tests at home for your child to test, they can obtain some from the academy.

I wish you and your family a restful weekend.

Yours faithfully,

Mr S Richardson