Principal’s blog

Week 4 of my blog and things are only just starting to become a little clearer.

We heard the Prime Minister announce on Sunday that, in secondary education, only Year 10 may return to school before the end of term, but not for a few weeks yet.

It means our students will continue to access learning online at home. This remains very important.

Obviously, this has a big knock on effect for students, their families and staff.

But we can only work within Government guidelines and await further details.

I would like to reassure parents about our preparations for any return.

We have been carrying out a capacity analysis of the building, in terms of space in classrooms, corridors, workspaces and diner.

When students and staff return, it will probably be under social distancing so we have been calculating, for example, how many desks can fit into a classroom, keeping everybody two metres apart.

We will not compromise on the safety of our students and staff.

Staff have continued to work hard supporting students during the closure but we have also given a lot of thought to the return, whenever that is.

A two-pronged recovery approach will focus on learning and the impact on the wider academy community.

A recovery curriculum will consolidate the learning done at home.

But we also need to consider the closure’s social impact. Day-to-day contact with friends, their support network, and relationships with members of staff have been affected.

How will people feel talking about the wider complexities of this crisis? Academic progress is important but more so is the well-being of our students and staff.

However, I am confident, given the strength of our school community before closure, we can rebuild it effectively.

One other change returning students will notice is to the curriculum. Key stage 3 will be taught over three years, Key Stage 4 over two.

Subject options will be chosen in Year 9, with GCSE courses starting in Year 10. The move brings the academy in line with most other schools and the national curriculum guidelines . It will, we feel, benefit educational progress.

Finally, if students need to talk to somebody about work or anything else, please contact tutors or heads of year. They are there to help.

Mr Adnitt