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Academy Update 19/06/2020

Posted on: June 19, 2020

It has been another exciting week at the academy.

Today the BBC visited us to find out about what our Year 10 students have been doing this week and what we hope (depending on Government guidance) to be able to provide in the way of a summer school. Hopefully, you will see this report on this evening’s 6 pm news. You may also notice that the first press question of the Downing Street press conference tonight has been asked from our Music room!

Year 10 have been in the academy across the week and their behaviour and attitude have been exemplary. Many students have been so keen that they have arrived 15 minutes early to their lessons. I would kindly ask students and parents to try and stick to the arrival times as closely as possible. It is, of course, a great relief to students and staff that we can resume face to face teaching. Although we have managed to put on over 30 live lessons online this week, there is no substitute for a teacher being in the same room as the students.

On Tuesday 16th June we were honoured to be joined via Zoom by John Fieldsend. John is a Holocaust survivor who escaped to the safety of Britain on the Kindertransport organised by Sir Nicholas Winton. He chatted for an hour with our Year 9 GCSE students, telling them about his life story and answering their questions. He was an incredibly inspirational man, talking not only about his traumatic childhood, but about how lucky he feels to have been taken in by foster parents, the opportunities he was given and how he has always lived his life looking to the future rather than regretting the past. Our children were a credit to the academy and asked truly insightful questions. In fact, they asked so many questions that he has promised to answer more by email because we ran out of time! It was a very moving experience and the feedback from our students has been incredible so far. We will be showcasing some of the work they produce as a result of the meeting with John via our website over the coming weeks. Next week, we are offering a similar opportunity to our Year 8 students, again thanks to the History Department working in partnership with the National Holocaust Centre.

It was also announced by the Government this week that they are going to continue to fund the Free School Meal voucher scheme over the summer holiday. This is excellent news for a lot of families. The academy will continue to deliver meals in addition to the FSM vouchers up until the end of term and we will keep you updated as to whether or not this is something we can afford to continue over the summer.

As an academy, we have decided to invest in the online learning platform Seneca, which has helped multiple departments with their remote lessons and our students’ home-learning. Seneca has just released a free parent monitoring platform. This will allow you to see how long your child has spent on their different subjects, their average score and number of questions answered. If you have more than one child, you will be able to connect to each of their accounts and see exactly what work they have been doing. Full instructions of how to set up a Seneca account and then to connect it to your child(ren)’s account, can be found here as well as on our academy’s website.

We should have now received all the entries to our next competition, Most Inspirational Subject! Video contributions from departments will start being shown next week. Once all entries have been released you will be able to vote on which you think is the best.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Nick Brennan
Head of School.