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Principal’s Blog Friday 22nd November

posted 22 Nov 2013, 05:19 by Karen Bricknell

Yes, this is new. I have never done one before but I have read others and it seems a great way of keeping parents, students and the community informed of what is happening, so let’s give it a go.  If you like it, tell me.  If you have ideas about how it can be improved show me!

Do you know it is exactly a week since I arrived at the academy and last Friday was the first time that I have ever visited the Isle of Wight. It seems to be a great place to live. I hope that you all now know that I am Principal (interim) and some press coverage and photos had been expected today. I live in the North West, Manchester to be exact but will be based on the island during term time although I intend to return home every third weekend.  I am not flavour of the month with my wife Mary, who also works in schools but my 20 year old son, Andrew, seems less concerned by my absence.

I have been a Headteacher/Principal for almost 20 years and have a great deal of experience in helping schools in similar circumstances to Sandown Bay Academy. It is the type of challenge that I thrive upon because I want to achieve the best for the students and develop an ethos that can be sustained and developed in years ahead. I can assure you that in this academy there is a lot of positive work that can be built upon and some fantastic enthusiasm from students and staff. It is a pity that this is not in the public domain because we need to achieve a better balance between being “beaten down” and celebrating the good work that happens week in and week out.



Next week we have our performance, “Little Shop of Horrors” at Shanklin Theatre ( I will be there on Wednesday evening) and I am really looking forward to seeing first hand an excellent show. I believe that the academy has an excellent reputation in performance and, indeed, some students will be interviewed on Isle of Wight Radio this morning.

This is a sample of some of the things that have been going on in our Academy this week:

It was great to see the Year 11 students having breakfast meet and greets with our sixth form students to find out what life is like in our sixth form. I hope to see many parents and Year 11 students at the Sixth Form Open Evening next Thursday which is running from 5.30-7.30pm.

We have had some excellent results at sports fixtures this week, including the U14 netball team beating Christ the King 19-0. Our Year 7 boys were runners up in the indoor football tournament. The U13 girls have had a fantastic week of football, beating Christ the King 11-0 on Tuesday, Medina 8-0 on Wednesday and Ryde Academy 5-0 last night.

Our Ten 2 Seven reader programme has been continuing this week where Year 7 students read to Year 10 students during their Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) time. I have had some great feedback from Mr Vickers who said that all students involved have been a credit to the Academy and it has been fantastic to see the Year 10 students helping the Year 7’s.

I think that this is a fairly typical week at Sandown Bay Academy. I also want to wish good luck to Year 11 students who start their mock exams next Friday (29th November). The timetable will be on our website and students will be given individual timetables from their tutor early next week. Year 11’s let’s see some evidence of revision please.

So now to the “nitty gritty”, this academy needs to move forward, and move forward at a greater pace. Yesterday I met every student in assemblies in order to enlist their help in improving their school. They may have come home with accounts about this, or not. They may have given you the full version or subtext and so, in order for absolute clarity, you can read the full script by clicking here in order that you can understand what I am trying to achieve.

I am now hoping that the frustration and anxieties of the recent past will now begin to subside and a proud Sandown Bay Academy will begin to emerge but that will require a massive and collective effort from all of our supporters.

I hope to meet many parents at events during coming weeks, including those at the Parents’ Forum but I am sure that you will appreciate that I will only be able to talk about how I am going to support the students and staff in improving the academy, I will not be able to discuss the past because I had no part or knowledge of it.

Best wishes,

Eric Jackson