Newsletter | Autumn Half Term 1

Dear Parents & Carers

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support during this half term. For most of our students this has been their first full six weeks in education for a long time and they are doing their best to engage with our routines and expectations. This will be the first of regular newsletters to keep you informed on our progress and activities within the academy and update you on any issues which might affect your child.

Update on NASUWT Strike Action – Important information

We have been working hard to find a way forward and avoid days of strike action planned for next week. Unfortunately this has not been possible and so members of the NASUWT will be on strike next Tuesday 19, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 October. We are trying our best to accommodate as many students as we can on site to minimise the impact of these strikes on our students and families. The arrangements for next week will be as follows:

Date of NASUWT strike actionYear groups in the academyYear groups learning from home
Tuesday 19 OctoberYears 7 & 8Years 9, 10 & 11
Wednesday 20 OctoberYears 9 & 11Years 7, 8 & 10
Thursday 21 October Years 10 & 11Years 7, 8 & 9

No strikes are planned for Monday 18 October and Friday 22 October and all year groups should attend as normal on those days.

We will commission an independent review of form time taking place after lunch as this is a main point of dispute. The review will include the opinions of staff, parents and students so do please keep an eye out for the opportunity to contribute your opinion.

Year 11 mock exams

Our mock exams will go ahead as planned next week and they start on Wednesday 20 October. Year 11 students should use their learning from home day on Tuesday 19 October as a study day to prepare for the mock exams. I cannot stress enough the importance of these mock exams and students trying their very best to achieve the grades they are capable of. Whilst it has been announced that Year 11 students will sit their Summer exams next year, Covid continues to affect the attendance of many students and every assessment, piece of work and mock exam should be considered an opportunity to demonstrate what our students can achieve and will provide an evidence base should the exam season be affected by the pandemic.

Lunches

Thank you for your feedback on lunch arrangements. I have spoken to many parents and had a parental meeting with some of you regarding lunches. I am aware that some parents are concerned that we have reduced the length of lunch. Lunch time has been 35 minutes since 2015 and is still 35 minutes. This year we have added three additional serving bays to ensure our students are served quickly. We have the main canteen, JBs, the hot hut and two cold huts. Students can buy their lunch from any serving point they wish. We are aware that in week 1 we had an issue with tills and this slowed down service. We have been monitoring the queues and students are served with approximately 15 minutes break remaining. Food is plentiful and much is left over.

Uniform

Thank you to those parents who have supported us in ensuring all students have a rucksack to bring to hold their equipment. Thank you to those parents who have supported us with replacing black trainer style shoes to ensure their child’s school shoes are uniform compliant. If you need any form of financial support in purchasing a rucksack or school shoes please contact the academy and we can look into ways of assisting.

Parental drop in meetings

In November my Deputy Headteachers and I will be running some parental drop-in coffee mornings. These will take place on Friday 12 November 8am-10am and 2pm-3pm and again on Friday 19 November 8am-10am and 2pm-3pm. Please come and chat with us about any concerns you may have or support you might need. We are happy to listen to you and if we cannot answer your question straight away, we will work with you to ensure we find a way forward.

Yours faithfully
Zarina Ali, Head of Academy

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