Feb 2016 Principal’s blog


Dear Parents & Carers,

It has been another busy term at the academy with lots going on and lots to shout about. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff who have organised and supervised visits and trips recently. These have included a skiing trip to Italy, career pathways residential for Art and Performing Arts to Conwy, university trips, a Big Bang trip to Sellafield and a media trip to the Sky Academy in London. This is alongside the numerous sporting events and enrichment activities that happen on a weekly basis. As an academy we believe these opportunities play a vital role in a child’s education and offer a really important dimension to a child’s experience of school.

This enrichment offer is one of the reasons more and more parents are choosing us to send their children to us in Year 7 and we are hugely over-subscribed again for 2016. We offer over 40 different enrichment activities each week after school and over 50% of our students attend these regularly. We would really like to see all of our students taking advantage of this provision and I would urge you to encourage your son or daughter to attend if they don’t already.

We recently welcomed two very important visitors to the academy, namely Lord John Sharkey and our local MP Helen Jones. Both visitors were really impressed by the students they met and commented on the ‘ambition’ and ‘confidence’ of our young people. They heard how about the amazing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) work we do at the academy and about our Coder Dojo club which is now the biggest school based dojo in the UK with young people coming from far and wide to fly drones, learn to use computer code, build robots and design apps. Many of our students now lead these activities and are well on the way to successful future careers in these areas.

The next half-term is a very important period for our Year 11 students who will enter the final stage of preparation for their GCSE exams. Year 11 students are currently 6 school weeks away from the start of their final GCSE examinations. Your support throughout this period is vital to ensure your sons and daughters are well prepared for the challenges ahead. You can be assured that the students are receiving the best possible support at the academy, including breakfast and after-school sessions, Saturday boosters, residentials and holiday revision clinics in the run-up to the exams. As always our attitude is to go the ‘extra mile’ to help our students achieve their full potential.

Our new build is progressing really well and is now at the stage where classrooms are being painted and carpets are being picked. We are excited about moving in this summer and we will be writing to you at the start of the summer term to provide you with the detail of the ‘big move.’ The new facilities will really enhance the work we do at the academy and we are looking forward to using our new classrooms, laboratories and workshops alongside our new Fablab centre for technological innovation, recording studio, drama studio and theatre, learning resource centre and fitness suite. We are also looking at a number of ways to allow the local community to get full use of the building whenever possible.

Best wishes

Andrew Moorcroft