Principal’s Letter Summer 2019
Dear Parents and Carers,
Many thanks for everyone’s patience and support this term whilst I have been Executive Principal over Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent and Co-op Academy Walkden in Salford. I can confirm that Co-op Academy Walkden appointed a substantive Principal who will start in September. As a result, I will return to my normal role as Principal of Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent. I would like to thank all the staff for their work in my absence, particularly my senior leadership team. A special thank you to Mrs Crowther-Green who did a sterling job as the Head of the Academy on the days when I wasn’t at Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent.
I can confirm that Years 7 to 9 will now have the newly rebranded uniform in September. The current Year 8, who will be Year 9 in September, will be offered a blazer with the new logo, free of charge, details of which went out last week. This is due to our commitment that the rebrand will not cost parents any additional money. For students who are currently in Year 9 and 10, who will be Year 10 and 11 in September, we currently have no plans for them to have the newly rebranded blazer.
We are saying goodbye to two permanent members of staff and two temporary members of staff at the end of this year. Mrs Turner-Bradbury, our Head of Art, is leaving for a role in a middle school closer to home. Many of you will know that Mrs Turner-Bradbury has been off for some time winning her battle with cancer. We wish her the best for the future. Mrs Castle, our maths teacher and head of year, is relocating to the South West of England having recently just started a family. Mrs Lowes, teacher of art, and Miss Woolliscroft, teacher of PE, have covered for us this year and have secured other roles for September.
As we continue to grow, we have recruited more teaching staff to deliver an increased number of lessons. Seven new teachers are joining us in September in art, Spanish, English, maths, science, geography and PE. We would like to thank all the staff leaving us for their commitment over their time with us.
Building work over the summer
In September, we have 218 students joining us in Year 7, our largest cohort ever, bringing the total number of students on role to just under 1000. As a result of this, we are undertaking some building work over the summer. We are converting our science prep room into a classroom and the maths IT area will be converted into a classroom. We are increasing the quantity and quality of our seating areas in the hall and mezzanine. The kitchen will be updated and its capacity increased to cope with the additional number of students. We will also invest in a refresh of our IT equipment. Much of this has been paid for by the grant we received from the Co-op Academies Trust.
The Great Experience – Partnership with Engage
We are committed to offering our students a “great experience” when they come here. Students should have access to opportunities and activities that help them grow as a person. As part of our continuing commitment to this, I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with a local provider, Engage, to deliver lunch time and after-academy activities. There will be three specialist coaches running activities during lunchtimes and five specialist coaches delivering activities after the end of the academy day Monday to Thursday. This is in addition to the activities that our staff currently run and the activities which take place during “The Edge”. There is no charge to parents and carers for these additional activities and we hope that your son and daughter will want to attend both lunchtime and after-academy activities.
It has been wonderful to see many students in each year group go on the head of year residentials this half term. Year 7 went to Cholmondley Castle to practise their bushcraft; Year 8 went to Kingswood outdoor centre; Year 9 went to London to see the sights and watch “The Lion King” in the West End and today, Year 10 set off to Disneyland Paris. This is in addition to lots of other memorable trips and activities throughout the year. This year the number of trips and experiences has gone up by over 50% on the previous year, really demonstrating our commitment to the “great experience” for our students.
From September, our aim is to be completely paperless in all our communications with parents and carers. Please ensure that you have downloaded our app and that we have the correct phone number for you. In addition, please ensure that you are using ParentPay to pay for all meals and give consent for trips.
- Current Year 10 students’ will have Ms Springett and Ms Cooke as their joint year managers next year. Mr Wright will be the Year 7 year manager with Mrs Tatton as head of year 7. All other year managers and heads of year will stay the same.
- We will send a further communication clarifying expectations around uniform, can we ask that parents purchase the correct uniform over the summer in line with the uniform policy.
- A reminder that students should come to the academy ready to learn every day. This means that they will require the correct equipment of a bag and a fully stocked pencil case.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the academy. Students return on Wednesday 4th September. Until then, I hope everyone has a relaxing break.
Mr N Lowry