It has been lovely to speak to a lot of students about their Eid celebrations this week after Ramadan ended.

In a world of seemingly never-ending doom and gloom, there is so much positivity around the Muslim culture, with family at its heart.

I spend time at Christmas, as a Christian, reflecting on what is important in life, that is family and friends.

Muslim staff, students and friends have been doing the same over the Eid festival, sharing and celebrating with each other.

I often talk to students about the importance of being positive, thinking positively and looking after people who are most important to you.

Sometimes, we take our eye off the ball and Eid serves as a reminder to keep our focus on what and who matter.

It links to what I learned in the national news this week. Tractors became a hot topic of conversation (for those who don’t know the story, please Google Neil Parish MP).

It is important because it’s another story that promotes dishonesty. There is a lot of it about in the news.

At the Academy, we encourage people to be truthful – it is one of our core values – but it is not just about telling the truth, it is about being respectfully truthful.

If we add that to positivity, it creates a fabulous combination.

The deadline for Year 8s choosing their options to study at GCSE is tomorrow (Thursday).

We had an 85% attendance at last Thursday’s Options Evening, where students and families discussed with staff aligning subjects to their ambitions and aspirations.

It was a really good night and thank you to all who attended.

Another highlight this week has been helping interview seven Year 10 prefects who have put themselves forward to be senior prefect.

They all possessed a confident, enthusiastic, and positive outlook and each spoke about themselves and how the Academy had helped them.

What a wonderful process to put themselves through. They embraced the fact only two Head Prefects will be chosen and the rest will join the greater prefect team.

I am looking at two books on my desk now which could not be more appropriate: Dare To Dream and It’s Not How Good You Are but How Good You Want To be.

The seven young people demonstrated desire to push themselves that extra mile and they should be proud of what they have achieved and will go on to achieve. We have an incredibly difficult decision to make.

The winner will be announced in front of parents at our formal presentation as prefects on Thursday, 12th May, at 5pm.

While mentioning Year 10s, a reminder it is Parents’ Evening on Wednesday,18th May, between 4pm and 7pm.

For Year 11s, their time with us is rapidly drawing to a close, with only three weeks of the half term left after this week.

At 6pm tomorrow, is our traditional Valediction ceremony. Those Year 11s who have achieved the most academically will be recognised and rewarded.

The formal evening, now in its 14th year, gives families and staff the chance to pay homage to those students who have done so well.

It’s another celebration – and positive note to end on.