Principal’s May Update

Dear Parents and Carers,

As we approach a very busy stage of the year at the academy, I thought it was important to write to you.
Year 11 have now begun a very busy period of external exams. I am sure you join us in wishing them well with their exams. The recent Year 11 celebration assembly was a special occasion for us all and it was lovely to see so many parents and carers within the academy to support their children. Year 11 will leave us on Friday 14th June following their last exam.

School day consultation
The consultation for the new school day is open via our school website until Wednesday 29th May 2019. Thank you to all of you who have already taken the time to respond, it is very much appreciated. A decision in relation to this change will be discussed with governors and trustees after half term. I will write to you separately in relation to this when we have further information.

Earlier in the year we consulted on KS4 students leaving the school site at lunchtime. From 17th June, all students will remain on school site for the whole school day. Thank you for your comments in relation to this. Some of these comments have fed into our discussion about arrangements for the new school day.

Changes to the pastoral systems within school
We have made the decision to convert our current house system to a year group model. We are currently recruiting additional staff from a strong field of applicants to enable us to add capacity to our current team. Other key appointments being made include a dedicated attendance lead who will be your first point of call for student absence. Further information in relation to these appointments will be shared in the next half term.

Half term holiday and INSET day
School closes at the end of the school day on Friday 24th May and opens again for the new half term on Monday 3rd June at 8.30am. School will be open for a number of Year 11 revision sessions during that week. Information about these sessions has been sent out separately. School will be closed to students on Friday 21st June for an INSET day.

Enrichment Day 2019
Enrichment Day 2019 is on Thursday 11th July. All students in years 7 to 10 will participate in the activity they have been assigned based upon their preferred choices. You will have received a letter outlining the details of the activity, please can I remind you that all payments and consent forms need to be in school by Friday 7th June. Texts and letters will continue to be sent as reminders and updates of any changes, alongside the exact timings of the day.

School uniform for September
I know many parents like to start to prepare early for the new school academic year. Attached to this letter are the uniform requirements from September. In essence the basic uniform remains the same, but whilst the majority of students wear this with pride, we are experiencing some issues with trousers, skirt style/length and shoes. Please can you refer to the attached document before purchasing uniform, as in September we will be insisting that all students proudly wear the correct uniform. There will be no exceptions to the standard uniform policy. Students who have applied for our Sports Apprentice program will be informed of their dress code following a successful application. These applicants will be notified in due course. Good luck to all applicants!

Due to moving from a house system to a year group model, school blazers will change to a silver badge across the whole academy for all students. In addition, to identify individual year groups, the students will have a specific colour on their tie for each year group. Students currently in the school will be allowed to wear their existing blazer and tie until they need replacing. The attached uniform document identifies the colour of tie that your child’s year group will have from September. Please note that the colour of tie will follow them through the school. For example, year 8 will have a purple stripe on their tie, this year group will retain this colour on their tie as they move through the school.

Staff within Little Gems uniform suppliers, The Galleries, will be on hand to support you when purchasing our uniform.

Ofsted Visit (2nd and 3rd April)
Following our recent visit from Ofsted, I am pleased to report; “Inspectors had confidence that the new leadership team are taking the school in the right direction and that changes being made are starting to have an impact”. A copy of the report can be found here or via the Ofsted website.

Kind regards,

Mrs Sue Hamilton.
Associate Principal.