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Principal's Blog - Friday 4th November

posted 4 Nov 2016, 08:46 by Karen Bricknell   [ updated 4 Nov 2016, 08:55 ]

A group of Year 8 students had an amazing experience this week spending 2 days in Portsmouth with Astronaut Tim Peake. They learnt about Tim’s Principia mission which saw him spend sixth months on board the international space station. The trip was extremely inspirational and students came back buzzing with enthusiasm and aspirations for the future.

We were very lucky to have acclaimed pianist Richard Meyrick in the Academy today doing a masterclass with some of our students.

Well done to all students who took part in Inter House badminton and archery this week. Red House won badminton and Yellow House won archery.

We celebrated excellent A Level results this summer and I was so proud of the impressive range of universities and courses that our students progressed on to. Our Sixth Form Open Evening is taking place on Thursday 17th November, please encourage your children to come along, even if they are in Year 10. They can find out all about our Sixth Form from staff and students.

We are delighted to welcome Mr. Surinder Wilkhu to the Academy as Interim Head of Maths. Mr. Wilkhu is an Advanced Skills Teacher of Maths with extensive expertise at both middle and senior leadership levels and proven success in improving outcomes for students.

We are excited to be launching some very exciting Maths competitions for students; the Senior Maths Challenge is taking place on Tuesday 8th November, the Intermediate Maths Challenge (for students in Years 9, 10 and 11) is taking place in February and the Junior Maths Challenge (for students in Years 7 and 8) is taking place in April. We look forward to seeing lots of students get involved. Students should speak to their Maths teacher for more information. Mathletics; the world’s most used education site has been launched this week to students. Logins went out this week (click here to read more information).

Network update

We are working hard to rebuild our systems following the cyber attack and are delighted that we have completed the first stage of our new student information database, Advanced Progresso.

There is still a great deal of work to be done in the weeks and months ahead to build the full functionality of the new system. We are prioritising the functions that are of most importance with utmost urgency so that, for example, exam entries and university applications  are completed in line with deadlines. Other elements of the new system will take longer to build. Unfortunately this means that we are not in a position to send tracking information home this term. We continue to assess and track students’ progress in school and encourage you to be as involved as possible in your child’s academic work and to ensure that homework is completed.

The network loss provides an excellent opportunity for the Academy to review our use of technology and develop this further. While we are keen to rebuild the network as soon as possible, we will also take advantage of this opportunity. Planning is underway for the new server and for hardware/software to promote exciting learning in each subject area.

We will continue to keep you updated with our progress over the weeks ahead. Our students, teachers and support staff have been incredibly resilient over the past few weeks, and I am grateful for their patience and support during what has been a very difficult few weeks.

Next Friday is mufti day for students to raise funds to support Global Rock.

Enjoy your weekend

Claire Charlemagne