It is the final countdown for our Year 11s – and we’re determined to give them all the support we can muster before exams start.

Everybody is gearing up for the first national GCSE on Monday, 16th May (RE, paper one) and they come thick and fast after that.

We return from the Easter break on Thursday, 21st April, which means, just three-and-a-half weeks later, Year 11s will be sitting in the exam hall.

That is not meant to panic anybody.

We appreciate it is never an easy time for students or their families / carers but this year takes on greater significance as we have not had full blown exams for two years.

But a series of plans and interventions are in place to support our young people because, what we do know, is they are all different.

Some are organised, plan well, give themselves time and remain calm. Some are interdependent and prefer to work in small friendships groups, motivating each other.

But there are also those who, despite the help, support and guidance offered, don’t plan effectively, run out of time and, ultimately, leave it to the last minute, causing themselves a great deal of anxiety.

The plans and interventions for Year 11 are:

  • Over the Easter holidays, revision sessions will be sent out every day for each student for a select number of subjects via Google Classroom, used so effectively during the COVID lockdowns.
  • A school-led tutoring programme will be run every Wednesday over the next six weeks. Those who have accessed it over the past 12 weeks have seen anticipated grades increase, so it works.
  • Tutor times first thing each morning will be taken up with English, Maths and Science revision. Some will spend time with Heads of Department.
  • Staff training time will be used on the first three Fridays after Easter between 1.15pm and 3pm to cover an array of subjects, taught in a different way.
  • An after-school revision timetable is being put in place, changing every day up to the exams starting.

No stone will be left unturned as staff do everything in their powers to support and guide our students. A letter will be sent out to Year 11 next week with the details.

The Google Classroom sessions give all our students a base offer every day over the holidays. We know many will do much more – and we hope they do – but every student has something to work on daily.

Thank you to staff responsible for putting this comprehensive revision programme together and led by my Deputy Headteacher Dan Ellerby.

It is an exciting time for Year 9. Their Options programme is about to be released, allowing them to choose subjects to study at GCSE over the next two years.

We give responsibility to those young people to prioritise the subjects they wish to continue. It’s a big decision.

They need to look out for the Options booklet and it is then important they talk to teachers and staff to enable them to make the right, informed choice.

In addition to the above, our Year 9’s are undertaking their first exams they have sat at the Academy next week. Monday 28th is English Literature, Tuesday 29th is Maths calculator, Wednesday 30th March is Science and Thursday 31st March is Maths non calculator. All are in the main exam hall.

Next Thursday, please don’t forget the Easter Community Café, which will replicate the successful formula from last term.

It is great to welcome the community for a cuppa, cake and chat and for them to see our young performers in a relaxed atmosphere the day before we break up.

Next Friday, on the last day of term, we will be hosting our first Year 7 house event between 12.15 and 1.45pm.

There will be competitions and activities for them to compete in and it will be a really nice way for that year group to end the term.

Finally, increasing numbers of students are arriving without a tie. They need to ensure they adhere to the uniform policy and have a tie on. If it’s lost, then a new one needs ordering from Shah’s Uniform on West Street, Scunthorpe.

They need to arrive at school ready to learn and the correct uniform sets the tone. Thank you.