As the summer term draws to an end, I thought it would be a good opportunity to thank you for your continued support and to reflect on the many positive points that have materialised from the parents’ forums. As you are aware, the parent forums have proved to be an extremely popular method of communication and I am committed to continuing them next year. I would also like to take this opportunity to update you on a number of exciting new initiatives that will be introduced at the Academy in the next academic year.
New Staff-We are delighted to announce the appointment of a significant number of permanent and highly qualified staff and look forward to welcoming them to the Academy in September. This has resulted in the revitalisation of two complete departments, Maths and Geography. We have also strengthened the Science, English, Performing Art and Music departments.
Assertive Mentoring- We will be unrolling a new ‘Assertive Mentoring Programme’ from September. This will form the basis of a clear and effective way to build positive relationships with students and really ‘tap’ into their potential and enable them to optimise their time at the Academy. Further details of this valuable initiative will be cascaded to you in September.
New Curriculum- There are a number of new and exciting curriculum developments being designed which I shall be able to provide more information on in September. We are expanding our range of courses, in particular the offering for Post 16 and adult learners. The Academy currently manages one of the largest Adult Education programmes in Cumbria and we plan to enhance this vital community activity further.
Zero Tolerance Behaviour- To reduce the small number of incidents of poor behaviour, we have delivered a refreshed and revamped Performance and Behaviour policy. These documents are easily accessible to all parents and students by downloading them from the website. All members of staff have been fully trained on the new measures and students are aware of the new regime that will be adopted to reward performance and support poor behaviour. In order to continue the positive impact this initiative has already delivered in changing attitudes to learning, please support the Academy by reading the documents relating to this and contacting your child’s Head of Year in the first instance if you have any questions? Please see Parents Packs below.
Year Group Packs– To deliver effective communication, every parent can now download a ‘Year Group Pack’ which contains many important documents and contact details. Please refer to this document as it will inform you of the activities and the individuals you need to liaise directly with at the Academy.
New School times– In order to improve the learning experience, I can now confirm the changes to the duration of the Academy day. Therefore as from September the following changes will come into force:
- The day will commence at 8.45am and end at 3.30pm. This lengthening of the school day will allow shorter but additional sessions into one day.
- We are moving away from 5 classes each day to 6 classes that are slightly shorter but more focused. There will be an additional optional 7th class running from 3.30pm to 4.30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings for students studying towards examinations (Yr 10 and Yr 11), and for students who have been identified as requiring extra tuition.
- The lunch time has been brought forward to 12.35 and will finish at 1.35pm allowing students to have the opportunity to join the many new lunch clubs planned.
- Bus companies have been informed and are aware of the new start/depart times. (8.45am-3.30pm) A summary of the school day is detailed below:
|8.45||Registration||All students will follow the same registration theme. To maximise on this time, this activity will be planned centrally and take advantage of the Assertive Mentoring Programme.|
|12.35||Lunch||Students will have the opportunity to join lunch clubs.|
|15.15||Group Mentoring||This is afternoon registration and allows form tutors to conclude the day and arrange individual assertive mentoring sessions with students.|
|15.30||End of School|
|15.30-16.30||Tuesday/Wednesday and Thursday||An additional 1 hour bolted on each day additional ‘intensive classes’ and after school clubs. This will again be centrally arranged and co-ordinated.|
There is a real feeling of change and optimism at the Academy and in the wider community, with the new culture of high performance becoming embedded. Please be reassured that we are making real progress, but as they say, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, however there are many successes to celebrate. My key priority is to improve academic performance for all students. As we evolve, I look forward to continuing to link the Academy, its staff and students to the community and as always I am available to answer any concerns that you may have. I would like to once again thank all parents and students for their warm welcome and huge support offered to me in my first term as Principal at the Academy.
I wish you and your family a happy holiday.
The last day of term will run as follows:-
Extended break 11.30
P3 (only 30 minutes duration) 12.00
Form and registration 12.15 Dismissal by Head of Year
There will be no buses to Kells, Woodhouse, Mirehouse and Bransty and students will have to make their own way home.
The Parton, Lowca, Cleator Moor, Frizington and Arlecdon buses will leave at 12.15pm and the St Bees, Sandwith bus will leave at 1pm.
All students return to school on Monday 7th September 2015