It is always a long half term after the summer break.

Time is needed to adjust and get into routine, particularly for those new to the academy.

However, despite this, the atmosphere has been absolutely superb. You can feel the energy around the place and the focus on work and progress.

There has been a clarity of message from ATLs when they see their year groups.

They talk about the week ahead and reflect on the week that has gone.

Reflections have become important to our students. They happen in the classroom, in tutor groups, and in assemblies and can be around learning, behaviour or aspirations.

I have been so impressed seeing our students come together, understand the messages being delivered and carrying them out.

In Key Stage 3, there has been a focus on student leadership.

We have a lot of roles for those up for the challenge: collective worship leaders, peer leaders, and subject leaders.

A week on Friday (8th October) is the deadline for applications to these roles.

The prefect team has been going into assemblies and explaining the opportunities available, particularly to those in Years 7 and 8.

It was not long ago they were listening. They took up the roles which opened the door to them becoming prefects.

On a similar theme, rewards are an important part of being a student at the academy.

Those with the best attendance, most merits and least demerits will be invited to a free trip to the cinema on the 18th November.

It is the first such trip we have done and I’m excited about it.

I would also like to mention our careers focus. We want even our youngest students to have ideas and knowledge about what can happen post 16, be it college, university or apprenticeships.

Our Futures programme is being used to drive those aspirational messages home.

I said last week I would keep parents / careers informed should the academy be approached by the School-Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) about providing a location to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds against COVID-19.

Contact has been made and the children affected may have taken home consent forms. Vaccinations will take place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

I would just like to reiterate the school’s role and responsibility.

It is SAIS which is the primary provider of the programme, legally responsible for its delivery and contractually responsible for the service.

The school’s only obligation is to provide an area for the vaccines to be administered and distribute the consent forms. We have now done both and details are on the letter provided.

Finally, just a reminder it is the Year 6 Open Evening tomorrow (Thursday) from 5pm. Please don’t forget to spread the word.

Thank you.