Head of School’s Blog

News that face coverings need not be worn in school from Monday is welcome – but we also have to be mindful we remain in a pandemic.

Their removal is fabulous for our young people and I would like to thank them for the way they have observed wearing them brilliantly.

It marks another phase in the return to normal and will recreate a great learning environment.

Staff and students will be able to watch and hear each other properly and communicate with facial expressions!

But we need to remain vigilant, and I would encourage our young people to test at home twice a week to help keep everybody safe.

We have a large number of lateral flow testing kits in the academy that can be picked up by parents / carers between 8.20am and 9am.

Away from coronavirus, Year 10 parents can still book appointments with teachers for the virtual Parents’ Evening, taking place from next Monday (17th) to the Friday.

Please click here to book your five-minute appointment at a time convenient to you and the teacher, be it in the morning, afternoon or early evening.

Letters will be sent out to Year 11 parents in the next day or two, which will explain what is happening at the end of term.

It will include details of the invitation-only celebration event, for those students who have engaged fully and done their best.

It was great to take a walk around yesterday and see Year 7s being taught sign language; other students looking at our Eclipse learning package, which looks at leadership; and others enjoying reading.

They are all activities which will improve our children’s life chances and make me proud of what we do and achieve at this academy daily.

Finally, may the divine blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith, and joy on Eid al-Adha and forever.

Happy Eid ul Fitr!

 

Head of School’s Blog

We had a fantastic response from Year 9 to choosing their options.

I would like to thank them for taking the opportunity to discuss their futures with staff and shaping what they would like to do going forward.

We now ask for their patience as we look at their preferences for study at GCSE in Years 10 and 11 and how they work in terms of the timetable.

We have always made clear there can be no guarantees but as many students as possible will get their first choices.

An important Year 10 Parents’ Evening is approaching this month. I say ‘evening’, but it is going to last a week, taking a similar form to others this year.

The virtual event is between Monday, 17th May and Friday, 21st and will involve five-minute telephone conversations with subject teachers.

We listen to feedback and appreciate that parents / carers work and have busy schedules.

That is why we are inviting them to log on to the School Cloud, check teachers’ availability, and book appointments at times to suit both parties, be it in the morning, afternoon, or evening.

This flexible approach has been well received by other year groups this academic year and we hope for a similar response from Year 10.

The Government’s suggested there might be changes to next year’s exam schedule which makes it even more important for Year 10s and their parents to have access to their subject teachers and discuss progress. More details are here.

Year 11s are in the last phase of tasks and assessments.

They are building up to their leaving date – which will be announced shortly – and a proper, face-to-face celebration.

It is important they can remember their time at the Academy and their teachers can celebrate with them.

The event will be by invitation only and reward their ongoing effort, behaviour, and conduct.

That is why Year 11 need to keep going with their studies and then they can look forward to receiving their invitation.

 

 

Head of School’s Blog

Complacency is something we cannot afford as we see a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel.

Like many others, I have enjoyed seeing people out and about, enjoying a walk, shopping on the high street, or socialising with friends.

There is a buzz about the place, and it is easy to forget where we have come from.

But there is a sharp reminder when you turn on the television news and watch the tragic events unfolding in India.

Students here have family and friends in the country, and it brings home that the world is a small place.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected.

The images and statistics serve as a reminder we are still fighting a global pandemic.

As such, we need to remain vigilant.

The infection rates are low in North Lincolnshire and we need to continue playing our part as a school community to keep them that way.

That is why it was disappointing to hear the area is among the lowest in the country for ordering home testing kits.

We need to do our bit, with students and staff being asked to use the lateral flow tests at home twice a week.

They are available from school.

Most importantly, if you show symptoms of COVID-19, please stay away from the academy.

In other matters, we stand alongside our Muslim students who are marking the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan.

We appreciate their commitment and know how much the celebrations at Eid mean.

Another event to look forward to is Schools’ Football Week.

During it, on the 26th May, students may attend school in a football shirt of their choice.

We will be asking for voluntary contributions for doing so, with the money raised going to a local charity.

If students would like to participate and need a shirt to wear, please do not hesitate to ask.

There are those of us with more than two  – though the team might not be to their liking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head of School’s Blog

We have had a great start to a new term during which things will be a little different.

I have been proud of how the students have continued to respect social distancing and mask wearing in the ongoing battle against COVID-19.

I would like to wish Year 11s ‘good luck’ for the first of two, one-week test cycles.

With no formal examinations taking place, the results will be used to give them their grades.

I have been really impressed by their engagement and preparation for the tests.

They have a confidence and calmness about them, which makes a pleasant change from the usual high levels of anxiety caused by exams.

Credit must be given to the team of staff which has helped them prepare. The tests are important, but the work done beforehand is more so.

As one year group comes towards the end of its 11 years of schooling, another is preparing to join us.

We are really looking forward to welcoming Year 6 in the coming weeks ahead of starting in September.

The year group is full beyond capacity and we are fortunate our community and families continue to choose us.

We have launched a specific website on transition, essential reading for Year 6 children and parents.

It contains a huge amount of information and will help reassure students about their switch to secondary school.

Year 10s were sent away at Easter with details about being a prefect. It is a fantastic leadership opportunity and always popular.

It is a year group which continues to impress staff with its attitude and we look forward to receiving a large number of prefect applications.

Not everybody will be successful but it is important to aspire and for students to put themselves in the shop window.

Year 9s are looking at their options for the next two years.

It is the first time in their lives they will make decisions that will affect their college chances and career choices.

It is important, therefore, they have conversations with staff about what they would like to take and what they, not their friends, are interested in.

The PE department is looking to offer extra-curricular clubs, in a COVID-safe environment. They are excited about offering these opportunities and the students about taking them up.

As I said, things will be a little different this term.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head of School’s Blog

We are nearly there.

The holidays are eagerly anticipated and richly deserved by students and staff.

It seems a long time ago the Prime Minister announced the third lockdown and much has happened in education subsequently.

I want everybody to enjoy their break in the context of some restrictions being eased on Monday.

We need to remain cautious, vigilant, and respectful to keep everybody safe, but there will be time to get plenty of fresh air in the good weather.

I would like to thank again the parents who have collected additional lateral flow testing kits to enable children to continue testing twice a week over the holidays to help keep everybody safe.

Every parent I have spoken to has been grateful of the testing procedures, which make them feel more comfortable about sending their child to school.

I am pleased to say we have had no further positive cases since last week which suggests testing is going well, social distancing is being observed and, generally, people are maintaining the standards to keep students and staff safe.

Further advice on face coverings in schools is set to be announced by the Government during the holidays to give us clarity before we return.

The Easter weekend, a significant event on the Christian calendar, falls just before Ramadan this year – to be confirmed for 12th or 13th  April – which will last for 30 days from sunrise to sunset.

We will celebrate both.

Every child was given a cream egg this week to symbolise Easter and we are launching a competition to design a card for Eid.

The winning entry, judged by the Imam from the local mosque, will be professionally made and printed, just as we do for our Christmas card competition.

It is part of our efforts to celebrate diversity and do so widely.

We are respectful of each other’s cultures and observing cultural practices and how families live their lives.

Looking beyond the holidays, the PE team has started planning sporting fixtures before the May half term.

It will give students the chance to pull on the jersey or bib with the academy logo on it, and take pride in representing the school.

The last time they did so was more than 12 months ago and, for Year 7s, it will be their first opportunity to represent the Academy.

Hopefully, this will give students something to look forward to in the next phase of our roadmap to returning to an exciting, vibrant academy.

Happy Easter and Ramadan Mubarak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head of School’s Blog

It felt great to be back at full capacity on Monday.

School has been vibrant and busy, almost like normal. It is good to see children happy and pleased to see friends and staff.

We have hustle with a bustle. You can forget how important that is to a school and its community.

I think we are getting the provision right. Staff, students, and parents are working together to make the best of it.

But it is not easy for any of us. We are allowed to struggle to get back into a working and learning routine.

That is why it is important we help and support each other, recognising there are issues beyond the school gate which may make school life more difficult.

That is okay and we understand.

Generally, the students have adapted well to the new-look classroom and style of learning.

We are not putting students through tests, rather teaching them content and skills, and helping them with their aspirations.

All our students, including 11-year-olds, can tell me a career that interests them.

The other day, one described wanting to be a joiner while the girl next to him knew the subjects she needed to take to fulfil her ambition of becoming a vet.

Our job is to help them get there.

It is reassuring our students have retained high aspirations and goals even though we are in the middle of a pandemic. They are not going to let it get in the way of their dreams.

Those conversations suggest our extra-curricular activities around careers, such as our Futures programme, are working well.

I would like to again thank those families who have picked up COVID-19 testing kits and are supporting their children use them. The more who do so, the safer we are.

We have read Government guidance on testing over Easter and will be communicating further now we have finalised our plan of how the extra testing kits can be collected.

Finally, just to confirm a commitment I made to Year 11s last week.

They will be given details around the teacher-assessed grades process tomorrow and Friday.

We do not want them worrying unnecessarily and staff will be there to support and guide them.

We will get through the process together.