Welcome to my weekly blog.
Next week, I am delighted to say, we will start to welcome back a limited number of our new Year 11s.
We have, of course, been open throughout lockdown to those children entitled to a place by the Government.
But next Tuesday (23rd) will be the first time we have formally opened for more than three months.
This is a big step for students and staff.
Details will be sent to parents this week but we are inviting new Year 11s into school for some limited, face-to-face contact. Please bear in mind that this is an invitation and attendance is not compulsory at this stage.
Trustees, who met yesterday, supported our view that growing slowly and safely is the best way of doing this.
There will be only 25 new Year 11s invited into the Academy on any one day.
If they take us up on our invitation to attend, they will be expected to wear full school uniform and bring in their own equipment. This is important as staff cannot hand anything out.
Students must be in good health and come in with the right mindset, prepared to work.
The Year new Year 11s will experience a different Academy to the one they last occupied in March.
It will be school, but not as they knew it.
Strict social distancing measures have given the school a different look and feel.
What you need to know as parents – as they need to know as students – is everything has been done to ensure the safety of themselves, their friends, and staff.
I would like to ask parents to reinforce our high expectations of behaviour and learning in the academy, especially as more information is shared by us with you over the coming days.
When they are not in school, new Year 11s – like Years 8, 9 and 10 – are expected to be home learning, logging in via Class Charts.
I would like to say another big thank you to staff, including our IT team, for the work around our online offering.
More than 250 video lessons can be now be accessed for home learning, a superb effort by all concerned.
It is important students engage with those lessons because, as I said last week, I do not believe we will be back to anything like normal in September.
We have planned for a part-school learning, part-home model to be with us into the next academic year, if required.
Finally, as always, if students need to talk to somebody about work or anything else, please contact tutors or heads of year. They are there to help.