It has been a privilege to welcome students back to our brand new £12 million academy building this term as they embark upon a new academic year in a brand new, state of the art facility. Our amazing new home has a whole wealth of resources and facilities including science labs, a radio station, fashion studio, engineering workshops, music recording studio, dance studio and theatre alongside many beautiful new classrooms and communal spaces. The building is also rich with the latest technology including ipads, 3d printers, sound recording equipment and multi-media equipment. It has been a long hard road to achieve this goal but we have now secured a first class learning environment to serve the young people of our community for generations to come.
We also welcome more students than ever before to BCA this year due to being significantly over-subscribed in Year 7, this tells us we are getting a lot of things right with our educational offer and we are really pleased that so many parents now see us as the school of choice in the area. 2015-16 saw even more positive achievements including the highest ever attendance figures, lowest ever rate of exclusions and excellent GCSE results in a wide range of subjects including English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, IT, Performing Arts, Art, Sport & Technology subjects. We also seem to have performed well against the government’s main new performance indicator, Progress 8, which judges students’ performance across 8 different subjects.
Another exciting development in 2015-16 was the achievement of STEM assured status. We became the first 11-16 academy to secure this award and it recognises the ground-breaking work we do around career pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths. One example of this is the life-changing trip to Boston & New York our staff and students have just returned from in which they had the amazing opportunity to work with eminent scientists and engineers from universities like Harvard and MIT. We are also about to launch our new FabLab, a centre for technological experimentation and entrepreneurship which we are very excited about.
The term is off to a really smooth start and both staff and students have settled in well. We have a packed few months in store with a lot going on including our Coder Dojo which takes place as part of our Saturday Academy, the Year 7 residential trip, open evening for Year 6 students and some ‘super learning days’ which promise to be very memorable events. I would also like to draw your attention to some important academic developments. We have launched our ‘Respect curriculum’ this year which will be delivered through tutor periods, assemblies and in PSHE lessons across the year; this curriculum will cover all aspects of students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and is a really important strand of school life. We have also launched our superb new home learning programme this year and the booklets provided to your sons and daughters make our expectations very explicit with levels of challenge clearly evident, I would urge you to become familiar with these booklets so you can fully support your child’s learning at home.
Mr A Moorcroft BA Hons, NPQH