Headteachers Update

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have reached the end of another week, and yet again, it has been a real pleasure to see our students working hard with their teachers.  As I said last week, we’re focusing this year entirely on doing those things that really matter: quality classroom teaching; a revitalised extra-curricular programme; and making sure all of our students are supported to be the very best that they can.

Mobile Phones 

I’d like to remind you that we have had a really clear policy on mobile phones for a number of years now.  In short: mobile phones are not to be seen or used during the hours of the Academy day.  Mobile phones are an unwelcome source of distraction and, on occasion, conflict for young people.  Our role is to ensure students can learn in a safe and secure environment free from distractions and conflict.  I have made clear to students that where we see mobile phones, this is reported, and the phone is then confiscated by a Year Manager or senior leader.  We have adopted a very clear line on this in order to make sure there is no confusion about our expectations in this regard. 

This is a policy that applies to all students at the Academy.

Year 11 GCSE Preparation Exams

This term is absolutely crucial for our Year 11 students.  We fully expect exams to take place at the end of the year for GCSE students.  It might be easy for students to wonder whether we will see, as we have in the last two years, a cancellation of exams.  I do not expect that to be the case.  

In turn, the first set of GCSE Preparation Exams will begin on Monday 4th of October for all  Year 11 students.  The timetable is at the end of this letter.  This is a really important first milestone for Year 11 and  students need to take ownership of their revision for these exams: planning ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ they will prepare.  

Year 11 Study Plus Programme

Our Study Plus timetable (see the end of this letter) is ready to launch from Monday.  This is one of the ways that we will be supporting students to prepare for their exams with confidence.

Attendance is compulsory.  

This is a key part of our educational recovery strategy and means our Year 11 students get even more time with their teachers.  Confidence is really important to anyone approaching exams and this time will be designed to build students’ confidence and ensure they can achieve.

Open Evening

Last night we held our first in-person Open Evening since the pandemic.  One of the real highlights for me was to watch our student volunteers talking to prospective parents and carers about what life is like here at the Academy.  They were a real credit and I wanted to thank you for your support in ensuring that they could attend the event.  Our greatest ambassadors are our students and they make a real difference at events of this kind.  I’d like to specifically congratulate Carla and Mehrab in Year 11 who addressed the parents following my speech.  They spoke with real confidence and conviction about their time here at the Academy.  Congratulations to them.  It was a fantastic event.  

I wish you and your family a restful weekend.

Yours faithfully,