Weekly Update - 7th January 2022

Firstly, Happy New Year to you all, and I hope that everyone had an enjoyable, relaxing and much deserved Christmas break. 

It has been lovely to welcome students back into the academy this week, and to listen to and share their individual festive experiences.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we carried out the LFD testing of all students (with consent), as requested by the government and Department for Education.  As I am sure you can appreciate, this is a mammoth task, involving a great deal of planning and preparation.  However, I am pleased to report that this was conducted smoothly and in a calm manner.  All students involved engaged with the process maturely and sensibly, for which they should be rightly proud.  I would like to thank our dedicated team of staff and volunteers who ensured that we were able to carry this out with the minimum of fuss and disruption.

As you are no doubt aware, in view of the national rise in Covid cases, particularly the Omicron variant, government guidance now requires the wearing of face-coverings in both communal areas and in classrooms.  This is not something that has been imposed by the school, but we are duty bound to adhere to government, Trust and DfE guidance and, as always, thank you for your continued support in this respect.  As mentioned in my previous communication, if your child is exempt, please ensure that they have an exemption pass, in order to avoid them being continually asked why they do not have a face-covering.

Despite it being the first week of the Spring term, we have, as always, continued apace to ensure that all students have the very best possible educational experience.  I, along with year group Achievement Directors, have delivered year group assemblies each day to welcome students back, to remind them of our core “AIRR” values of Aspiration, Independence, Resilience and Respect, and to positively encourage them to engage in all aspects of academy life.

Beginning next week, we will re-introduce our extra-curricular programme; designed to strengthen and support our students’ learning experiences.  This will start, on Monday 9th January, with a visiting theatre group; “AlterEgo Creative Solutions”, who will deliver a performance to our Year 9 students, aimed at raising awareness, kick-starting conversations and promoting cultural change around Sexism, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence.

As the term progresses, we hope to continue to introduce more activities and extra-curricular experiences for all year groups, in order to ensure that they have as wide and rich an educational journey as possible.

We have also welcomed some fabulous new staff this term; including our new Vice-Principal, Ms. Leanne Abbott-Jones, an experienced leader and teaching practitioner, who will take on responsibility for inclusion within the academy.  We have also welcomed new staff in our English, Maths and Art/DT departments, as well as strengthening our support staff team.  We will continue to do all we can to recruit and retain the very best possible staff team to lead, teach and support our wonderful students; which is what they truly deserve.

Again, and as always, I thank you for your continued support of the academy, of our core values, and for your understanding in these unusual times.

Kind regards,

Jo Williams, Principal