April 2017 Principal’s Blog
The academic year is progressing quickly and, as ever, it has been a really busy term at BCA. In the last week alone we have enjoyed a superb dance and drama showcase, ran our busiest ever ‘Coder Dojo’ event, led a gifted writers’ event at Waterstone’s with local primary schools and welcomed the inspirational Andy Reid in to school to talk to students about the challenges he has overcome in his life. You will also receive a separate letter regarding our move to The Challenge Academy Trust which is an exciting new chapter for BCA.
A number of students have also excelled in life beyond school: Jack Wright in Year 11 has been selected to play for the England Youth Rugby League squad, Jessica Preston in Year 11 has won a scholarship with Manchester City FC, Laura Hughes in Year 8 has been commended by The High Sheriff for her community work and two students Graycy Powell and Mackenzie Harrison competed in the Junior Masterchef final at Warrington Collegiate. We have also enjoyed team success on the field of sport with rugby teams from years 7 & 9 securing places in the Warrington town finals and Year 7 also reaching the quarter final of the national cup at Whitehaven after convincing wins away at Sheffield and Cardiff. Year 10 footballers have also reached the town final. Well done to all students who have achieved something of note or taken part in something this term, you really do embody the I can, I do and I will be ethos of BCA.
Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM)
Our work around STEM continues to go from strength to strength and you may have recently seen BCA featured on BBC News Northwest for our work with a local charity producing prosthetic limbs for children using 3D printing technology. This really is ground-breaking work which would normally be done by universities or commercial enterprises and it is really exciting that our students are able to perform this work and have such exciting opportunities and resources available to them. I also mentioned in my January letter that a group of Year 9 girls had made it to the regional finals of the STEM ‘Make it’ challenge, they actually went on to win this competition which is quite an achievement.
The summer term is a really important term in relation to academic success. The GCSE examinations begin for Year 11 in May and internal assessments will take place for all students from Year 7-10. Curriculum changes introduced recently mean that students will be assessed on terminal examinations in Year 11 far more than they were previously. This can be very challenging for students and we are doing everything we can to prepare them for this throughout their time with us. We will write to parents of Year 11 separately about supporting your children in the coming weeks but we are also adding more formality to assessment in all years to ensure students are ready for the demands of Year 11 when they get there. Please ensure you support your children in preparing well for these assessments and ensure they are spending focused time on homework or revision each week.
As part of our academic culture and ethos we expect pupils to be ‘BCA Ready.’ On a daily basis, this means that, in addition to smartly presenting themselves in full school uniform, it is an expectation that all pupils are fully equipped for each lesson. All students are expected to carry in their bag a pencil case containing: pens, pencils, ruler, and a rubber as a minimum.
We ask for the support of all parents/carers to ensure pupils return to school after the Easter Break with this basic equipment. Form tutors will be checking to see if pupils are fully equipped during registration time.
We would also like to remind parents/carers of our expectations around uniform and presentation:
- All students are expected to wear black leather/leather look school shoes. Sports shoes e.g. Converse, Nike, Vans, Adidas and canvas shoes etc are not acceptable
- PE kit: BCA t-shirt, plain black shorts/tracksuit bottoms, long black socks and trainers
- Extreme hairstyles and colours are also unacceptable. Long hair must be tied back
- Girls must wear knee length skirts, pinafores or trousers
- All students are expected to bring an appropriate school bag, large enough to hold books, pencil case, equipment and PE kit
- Phones are allowed in the academy but MUST be kept in bags and used only at breaks/lunchtimes
- Make-up should be very light and natural looking and jewellery should be minimal
- Only water and non-sugary drinks can be brought into school and carried in bags
Thanks again for your support so far this year. Our success is built upon strong partnerships with parents and carers and, by working together, we will continue to move forward and provide the best possible educational experience for your child.
Mr A Moorcroft BA (Hons), NPQH