We have recently seen the first draft of our Inspection Dashboard, which summarises how well The Academy has done compared to all schools nationally.
It currently places us in the middle band nationally based on the new scoring tables. This is in line with almost all the local schools and represents a reasonable start to a new system.
Students were given points for most of the qualifications they took, however they did not include the BTEC Science qualification which a third of our students sat this summer and was the last year that it was available to students. We suspected that this might happen, but we took the decision to enter them two years ago as it was the right qualification for those young people and they did exceptionally well in it (beating targets by over 20%).
We expect our position to rise further when all our students’ qualifications count, as they will do next year. We saw continued strength in English, which performed at a level well above national progress, and an increase in the overall Maths results. The vast majority of other subject areas performed well against the national picture and reflected the ongoing strength of those subjects in The Academy.
Academy Sponsors and School Improvement
We have continued to work with Swale Academies Trust looking at ways to make our Academy even better. They are very keen for us to join so that we can become a “hub school” at the centre of a new venture in East Sussex. This would be a great honour for us and would reflect the strengths we already have, while using the Swale specialists to help us to move to Outstanding. Our Academy currently has a number of County recognised experts in subjects (known as Specialist Leaders of Education) and these teachers would be able to spread good practice across the Swale family of schools at the same time as gaining useful tips and experience from other strong schools.
Our Governors’ Meeting on 8th December 2016 was called to agree whether this relationship should become more formal from September 2017. At time of writing this decision had not yet been published.
Congratulations to Mr Pavey and his “Team Humanities” for the excellent trip to Iceland which really was a trip of a lifetime for the lucky students who went.
Parent Governor Vacancy
We still have a vacancy for a parent governor and we would like to encourage parents/carers to consider this role. Please contact my Personal Assistant (Mrs Mel Hopkins) at The Academy if you are interested or know someone with suitable experience whom you would like to nominate.
Parent Consultation Group
The Parent Consultation Group continues to provide a voice to our parents. It is run by parents for parents with the support of Mr Jones (Assistant Principal). I encourage all parents to get in touch with the Parent Voice Group either by e mail to Mr Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org , on the website under Parents, or its own e mail address email@example.com .
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT PRICE RISES
Many of you will have heard in the news that the country is expecting price rises in the New Year following the devaluation of the pound after the “Brexit” vote. The big supermarkets are saying that they are likely to charge more for many basic goods and you may have noticed changes in everyday products such as Marmite, or in the cost of fuel at the pumps.
Our uniform supplier (Blueprint) has announced that it is also facing increased costs and will be putting up some of its prices in January. They say that their costs went up in August but they felt it wasn’t fair to make any change until the New Year.
Jumpers, ties and socks are staying at the same prices but other items will become more expensive, so if you are thinking of buying or replacing something, then you will probably get a cheaper deal this side of Christmas. I am sorry to be the bearer of this news but thought you would want to know sooner rather than later. We are told that other schools in town will be similarly affected.
We break up for the Christmas Holiday on Wednesday 21st December 2016 at 1 pm and students return to The Academy on Tuesday 3rd January 2017 at the normal time (8.30 start for Years 7 to 9 and 9.30 start for Years 10 and 11).
This is a slightly shorter holiday than the normal two weeks, however you will find that Easter is slightly longer than two weeks and the numbers of term time days are the same as normal over the whole year.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a joyful holiday and a Happy New Year.
Other news from this term can be read using the links below