There are times in the academic year which always seem pressured, typically as Y11 start their final approach to exams. Staff are frantically trying to eek out every last opportunity to ensure students have the chance to walk through the door of their choice come August. However, within this time it is essential to celebrate the continuing success of the Academy.
Recently, there are two examples of individual student success that as an academy we are very proud. One is that of personal attainment, the other is an act of awareness which averted a potential life changing event.
Melissa entered the Rotary Young Writers competition for the eastern area. Her short story was competing against all other writers in the 14-17 age category. As one of the younger competitors within this age group she was up against some stiff competition, and I’m delighted to say she finished second. This is a real achievement as her work was judged against students studying A level English Literature. I am sure you will join me in congratulating Melissa. I look forward to her first bestseller!
I recently received an unsolicited email titled “Praise” from a member of the public. It is probably best if I let the member of the public speak at this point….
“I really wanted to express my thanks a little further than I was able to face to face. I was walking home today with my children on their bikes when my 4 year old went a little too fast to be able to stop in time at a road junction (He was told to slow down numerous times but kids will be kids!!) Anyway… there were two lads walking in front of me.
Rather than ignoring the situation one of the lads managed to grab hold of my son and the bike and stop him from going straight into an oncoming car.
He was pretty shaken but he was ok thanks to this lad. I didn’t take names but I am sure the lads will know who they are.
Once again I just wanted to extend my gratitude.”
We have managed to identify the student and express to Nathaniel how proud we are of his actions, and how his act has averted a potential life changing accident. We all too often hear about the negative actions of young people as these tend to be more “news worthy”. However, it is encouraging to see as a community we have students like Nathaniel who act in a way which strengthens the reputation of our students.
A number of our students have asked to be involved with the School gardening project, which has taken an area of the school and cultivated it to grow their own produce.
As you can see from the photos, the students are making great progress. As an appeal, if anyone has any tools they would like to donate to support these students, please feel free to contact the Academy. The students are gaining so much from being outside working (Did you notice that there is no X-Box?)
Once again, Ant our Chaplain has led the whole school in it’s reflective activity. These opportunities are very important as the world is whizzing by. Social media tells us that everyone else is having a better time than ourselves (which isn’t always the case), it is nice to have a moment to stop, think and reflect on what is important to us.
I know that I am incredibly grateful to the whole community for their support for our students, especially those Y11s who are now in full swing of their GCSEs. So far, students have completed Drama and Art, with the density of examinations increasing this week, I am sure you will join me in wishing all our students the very best of luck and look forward to celebrating their individual successes in the summer.
To support our students leading up to exams, we have devised an extensive revision session schedule when the school will be open and available during the weekends and half-term for sessions with staff.
As I am on the topic of support, it was great to see so many parents at Y10 parents evening. Listening to the feedback from the teaching staff, it was clear the level of understanding and determination they have for success. I love a school with a buzz and energetic atmosphere, and this really was demonstrated last week.
On Friday, we had a group of Y7 students at Ipswich Town Football Club working alongside their peers from across the area, in developing their leadership skills. These skills are fundamental in building confidence in our young people.
Finally, as we are now within the summer term, it would be good to reiterate the expectations on uniform. It is tempting to let standards slip during the summer term as the weather and temperature creep up. However, our expectations have not changed. In lessons, students may remove their blazers, as we all want to be comfortable whilst we are working. However, we are fortunate to be in a modern building with a heating system designed to have a constant temperature. Therefore, blazers should be worn as we move around the Academy building to maintain a standard of professional dress. A popular phrase is that “first impressions count” so ensuring we practice this every day, means that students do not have to worry about this going forward. When they go to interview they will know what to expect and how to dress appropriately. Similarly, when they go to work, they will know how to dress appropriately. Nevertheless, having said this, when the temperature reaches levels which are too high, we will obviously take appropriate action in a timely manner. In the meantime, it is important that students keep hydrated and ensure they leave ample time during their breaks to refill drink bottles with water for drinking.