News Blog

4 Blog Posts found

Posted on: 29/01/2021

Principal's Blog - Week 18

Introduction Academy staff and students have continued to work extremely hard this week both in school and remotely.  It is essential that students, with your support, continue to access all of their lessons daily and complete the work required. Remote Learning Our fantastic students are continuing to amaze us all with their engagement with remote learning! Please send in photos of the great work your child is completing remotely or even a photo of them with a subject reward card received from subject teachers, so that we can include this in our weekly celebration of successful learning.  Photos can be emailed to kasia.boydell@sthelens.org.uk Kasia, our Chaplain has been collecting examples of work and created a video celebration – I hope you enjoy this week’s compilation. As you can see from the information below, student engagement continues to be good. Students who are struggling to engage are being supported by academy staff to resolve any problems or barriers they are experiencing.  Parents should contact their child’s pastoral team if they require any support. Year Group 25.01.2021 26.01.2021 27.01.2021 28.01.2021 29.01.2021 Year 7 95.9% 97.3% 96.3% 96.6% 97.6% Year 8 91.5% 93.8% 95.7% 93.8% 94.4% Year 9 91.2% 92.0% 91.6% 91.2% 89.6% Year 10 92.4% 91.9% 94.6% 93.7% 91.5% Year 11 94.9% 95.5% 94.9% 96.0% 93.8% Whole School 93.1% 94.0% 94.8% 94.2% 93.6% Exercise Books As mentioned last week, if your child has nearly filled their exercise book we have stock available for you to collect from reception.  We are hoping to introduce a ‘Resource Bus’ in the local area to enable students to collect items of equipment. I look forward to sharing the details with you in the not too distance future. Hope Sixth Form Centre and T-Level Launch Event Following the postponement of this event earlier in January, I am pleased to announce that this will now go ahead on Wednesday 3rd February at 6.00pm. If you have any question in the meantime please e-mail Damian.gent@sthelens.org.uk or Charlie.wignall@sthelens.org.uk Please see our website for further information. Click HERE February Half Term arrangements The government have announced that schools will close as usual over February half-term and are not expected to remain open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers during that week.  Therefore, the Academy will close at 3.00pm on Friday 12th February and re-open on Monday 22nd February. Free School Meals All eligible families have now collected or had the vouchers for this half term posted to their home addresses.  As you may be aware, the government have announced that vouchers will not be made available to cover school holidays.  There’s lots of support in place for families outside of term-time through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. The scheme is run by local authorities with 80% of the funding earmarked to support with and essential costs and covers the period to the end of March 2021. The Academy are also an authorised distributor of food vouchers.  If you require any further information regarding food vouchers please email kasis.boydell@sthelens.org.uk.  Contact Tracing The government have acknowledged that schools are playing a vital role in contact tracing for students and staff who continue to attend the Academy and have confirmed that staff responsible for contact tracing do not need to be ‘on-call’ during half term.  If you child has been attending school and becomes symptomatic during the holidays please take them to be tested. If that test is positive, please e-mail karon.lamb@sthelens.org.uk. Lateral Flow Testing Testing requirements have been increased this week with school staff now being tested twice weekly. Students continue to be tested every week.  We have conducted 81 student tests and 121 staff tests this week with all returning negative results. HOPE ACADEMY – AUTHORISED Food Voucher Distributor The academy are an authorised distributor of food vouchers which means we are able to support struggling families much easier as we do not need to refer them to other agencies to obtain food vouchers which can be used at foodbanks throughout the borough.  Please email kasis.boydell@sthelens.org.uk for further information. Educate Awards! As you may be aware, our PE department has been shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Secondary School’ category in this year’s Educate Awards.  The ceremony takes place virtually this evening, from The Liverpool Cathedral. A total of 21 awards are contended for via nominations which are then shortlisted by a panel of judges.  Good luck #TEAMPE – we are all rooting for you! You can watch the event live HERE from 6.15pm   The Learning Hub The SEND Faculty Team continue to offer support to students and families in a variety of ways to best meet the needs of our students. Support staff have made phone calls home to every student in the cohort at least once per week for welfare checks and online engagement, offering online support for parents/ students over the phone to ensure access.  Students have been set up with passwords for Literacy / numeracy support programmes and parents have been contacted with recommended times to spend weekly on the programmes to support learning.  All students without laptops have now been provided with a school laptop.  External agencies supporting students online through liaison with Learning Hub offer consistent support for Speech & language, Sensory needs and English for students with EAL.  Teams/ Zoom meetings have been offered to students who require further support from LSA’s.  A Translation service for EAL parent consultations and report writing has taken place. During online lessons the use of ‘break out’ rooms on teams has been used to offer small group and 1:1 support and developing confidence and Oracy skills.  Satchel One messaging service used by staff to offer further support.  The students with EHCPs/ Funding all offered a place in school with additional adult in class for support. Early Help and Youth Service referrals for students and families have been made where required.  A member of the team has assisted the Pastoral Liaison Officer and Inclusion Manager supporting parents to support their students to engage with school.  Meetings continue with external agencies to support students to engage with all aspects of education including Alternative Education.  Annual Reviews for students with an EHCP and Top up Funding on Microsoft Teams have continued to take place offering continued support for  parents and students.  These have included all external services supporting the needs of our high needs students. There has been continued support for parents where students have high needs to be referred into the necessary support services. The SEND Faculty Team endeavour to seek new and improved ways of supporting students with online learning and staff are trained on a weekly basis to support the highest standards of remote learning.’ Remote Learning – Parent Voice Feedback Thank you to all the parents who took part in last week’s remote learning survey.  I am looking forward to sharing a more in-depth analysis with you before half term but wanted to give you a snapshot of the very positive responses received. Off-line Challenge Day – Friday 5th February 2021 Currently, one of the major concerns for parents is the amount of screen time for their children. With this in mind we have planned an ‘OFF-LINE Challenge day’ on Friday 5th February.  Instead of normal TEAMs lessons, staff will set challenges for students to complete which do not involve the use of PCs, mobiles or tablets. Further information will be e-mailed to you next week. Instructional Video Day – Wednesday 10th February 2021 On Wednesday 10th February, all timetabled lessons will be in the form of instructional videos. This will support teachers involved in the year 10 Parent Consultation event. We have increased consultation appointment times to 4 minutes in response to parent and staff feedback therefore, allowing staff to prepare instructional videos for all classes will support them to prepare for this important event.  Student engagement will continue to be monitored and pastoral staff will contact parents where necessary. Year 9 Options Options Evening was scheduled to take place at the Academy on Wednesday 17th March. As we do not know if schools will fully re-open by then I have taken the decision to bring the event forward to Wednesday 24th February. I will write to next week to fully explain the format of the event.  The Option booklet will be available on the website week beginning 8th February. Click HERE to view timeline. Careers Noticeboard Well done to all students across Year 9-13 who engaged with the Virtual Apprenticeships/Careers and University Fairs last week. I hope you all found it insightful! Don’t worry if you missed out, there are more to come, please do be proactive and sign up. Next week is Year 9 Careers Week – what this means is that all year 9 students will see careers based activities added to Satchel One – these must be completed! Monday 1st February Year 9 students are to log into www.startprofile.com and update their skills and qualities on their profile, Miss Davies will be reporting on this activity so it is really important all students complete it. Students can also use the platform to research any future careers they might be interested in, this will really help when choosing your options and thinking about the next steps of your careers journey. Log in details for Start are on Satchel One.   Thursday 4th February students will be set activities to complete in the STEPs Careers Booklets. These booklets are interactive and students should have already downloaded them and completed some activities from last time (A1, A2 and B1). Activities C1, D1-D5 are to be completed during Year 9 Careers Week. Further details on Satchel One. Dates for your diaries: 8th-14th February is National Apprenticeship Week. During this week all year groups are participating in The BIG Assembly (9th Feb) during their period 2 classes and we also have an ‘Employability Workshop’ from IGD Feeding Britain’s Future for all Year 10, 11 and 13 students! This will run on Wednesday 10th February during their Period 3 lessons. Details on Satchel One! There are some virtual events this week, find out more here: https://amazingapprenticeships.com/naw2021/ https://nas.vfairs.com/ https://russellgroup.vfairs.com/ As part of our Careers provision, we need help from you, our parents and carers! If you could spend a few minutes completing the Parent/Carer voice questionnaire, it would be hugely helpful in our mission to improve the information, guidance and opportunities we give our young people and their families. Click HERE to access questionnaire. The Library Blog Keep up to date with Library news and events HERE. The PiXL Club I had the opportunity to watch a motivational video during The PiXL Club Secondary Conference this week, and wanted to share it with you as it sums up perfectly, how we are all feeling.  Please spare a few moments to watch it. https://vimeo.com/502540198 Kasia’s Reflection ‘In order for the light to shine so brightly, there has to be darkness’ (Francis Bacon) Sometimes you don’t notice the good someone does when everything else is going well; it is the moments of darkness and challenges in life when you see someone’s light shine the brightest. The importance of light is the reason why Jesus said He is the light for us – to help us see and to keep us safe. This has been our Inspire theme all week – how can we be the light for others in what we say, think and do. The 22 year old Poet, Amanda Gorman, put it well in her Inauguration Poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ last week: For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it. Can you be brave enough to be the light for others? Can you see the light in others around you? Dear God, Thank you for light, for all that it means to us. In times of darkness, may we be like a light to those in need. May our smiles and love and concern light up one another’s lives today. Amen.  
Posted on: 22/01/2021

Principal's Blog - Week 17

Introduction Academy staff and students have continued to work extremely hard this week both in school and remotely.  It is essential that students, with your support, continue to access all of their lessons daily and complete the work required. Remote Learning Students have continued their amazing engagement with remote learning again this week! I thought it would be good to share some examples of the wonderful work that student are producing with you – I hope you enjoy looking through the work and appreciate how hard students are working. Click HERE. Please send in photos of the great work your child is completing remotely or even a photo of them with a subject reward card received from subject teachers, so that we can include this in our weekly celebration of successful learning.  Photos can be emailed to kasia.boydell@sthelens.org.uk As you can see from the information below, student engagement continues to be good. Students who are struggling to engage are being supported by academy staff to resolve any problems or barriers they are experiencing.  Parents should contact their child’s pastoral team if they require any support. Year Group 18.01.2021 19.01.2021 20.01.2021 21.01.2021 21.01.2021 Year 7 97.9% 97.9% 96.6% 96.6% 96.3% Year 8 94.8% 95.1% 95.1% 92.8% 91.8% Year 9 91.6% 90.0% 90.0% 90.0% 88.0% Year 10 96.0% 89.7% 93.3% 94.6% 93.7% Year 11 97.7% 93.2% 93.2% 93.8% 93.8% Whole School 95.5% 93.5% 93.9% 93.6% 93.2% Students will continue to participate in their daily collective worship and Inspire sessions which includes completing a daily well-being survey. Microsoft TEAMS training session for Parents St Helens Councill recently worked with Microsoft trainers to develop a TEAMs training session for Teachers and Parents in St Helens Schools. The session covered most of the key features of TEAMs and contains many tips on how to make the best use of TEAMs. A recording of the session can be accessed below: Parent APP update and alerts Student attendance to live lessons is being monitored via our normal registration system. As students have now settled into their remote timetables and most of the initial barriers to access have been resolved, we are now keen to ensure that students are fulfilling their potential and maximising the learning opportunities delivered on a daily basis. As such, staff will be using the following codes, via the parent app, to alert home about any concerns that they have regarding engagement and/or the quality of work submitted on a weekly basis. RL – Concern over engagement during live lessons Concerned that the student is not engaging during lessons either verbally or using the chat function. Contributions during lessons may be causing concerns over progress. RW – Concern due to the quality of work submitted. Concerned that the student is not submitting work frequently enough and/or the quality of work submitted may be causing concern. May be concerned over progress indicated by work submitted. Exercise Books As evidenced by the wonderful examples of students work included in this week’s blog, I am aware that a number of students have nearly filled their exercise book.  If your son/daughter requires a new exercise book we have stock available for you to collect from reception.  We are hoping to introduce a ‘Resource Bus’ in a number of locations in the local area to enable students to collect items of equipment. I look forward to sharing the details with you in the not too distance future. Parent Voice We would like to thank for your continued support of our remote learning timetable and we also appreciate the support that you have put in place in your family home to ensure your son/daughter can access and engage daily with their lessons. We are mindful that the lockdown is a difficult time for our families and students and would like to continue to develop our remote learning provision in a way that best supports you all. Please complete the short survey below to enable us to reflect upon and further develop our provision. Please click HERE to complete the short survey by midday on Wednesday 27th January.  Thank you for your feedback. Year 7 Parent Consultation Event – Wednesday 20th January Following the success of our first web-based Parent Consultation event for year 11 last week, it was the turn of the Class of 2025 on Wednesday.  Student reports were made available via the SIMS parent app on Wednesday morning to help parents/carers prepare for their meetings. Parent feedback has been very positive with a small number of ‘technical issues’ and loss of internet connection reported. Your feedback is very much appreciated as it allows us to make improvement for future events.  Our next consultation event is for Year 10 on Wednesday 10th February. Please check your e-mails and SIMs parent app for notifications and information on how to book your appointments. Letter to Parents/Carers of year 11 students This week, I wrote to you regarding the recent joint statement from OFQUAL and the Secretary of State for Education regarding a joint consultation on how grades should be awarded for GCSE and A levels this summer.  Parents and carers are eligible to take part in the consultation process which is open until Friday 29th January. Click HERE to access the letter which also includes links to the full consultation document and link to submit a consultation response. There will be lots of information, not always factually accurate, circulating in the media therefore, we have created a new section on our website for student and parents/carers regarding all things relating to GCSEs.  We will be adding information as it becomes available and also any important messages from academy staff. I have added a link to Elevate Education which has a useful summary regarding the proposal and what it means for you. The section can be accessed HERE EtonX opportunity for years 10 and 11 students Year 10 and 11 students have the opportunity to take part in a course designed and run by Eton College.  Students can access all the necessary information via Satchel:One. Please encourage your son/daughter to take part in this exciting opportunity. Guest lecture and Q & A – Professor Graeme Close (Liverpool John Moores University) This week, we secured the opportunity of a guest lecture and Q & A with Graeme Close, Professor of Human Physiology and Sport Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University. Graeme specialises in sport nutrition and currently works with England Rugby Union and a range of Premier League clubs.  The session was for our Year 10 & 11 PE students via Microsoft Teams. Graeme delivered a session on his experiences of working in elite sport, sport nutrition and routes into sporting careers. He also answered a host of amazing questions from our students in a Q & A.  The session provided our students with an inspiring insight into the science behind elite sport. Hope Sixth Form Centre and T-Level Launch Event Following the postponement of this event earlier in January, I am pleased to announce that this will now go ahead on Wednesday 3rd February at 6.00pm. If you have any question in the meantime please e-mail Damian.gent@sthelens.org.uk or Charlie.wignall@sthelens.org.uk Please see our website for further information. Click HERE Careers Update As part of our Careers provision, we need help from you, our parents and carers! If you could spend a few minutes completing the Parent/Carer voice questionnaire, it would be hugely helpful in our mission to improve the information, guidance and opportunities we give our young people and their families. Click HERE to access questionnaire. Future Careers Events We have some really exciting CEIAG opportunities coming up for you and your child/children. As you know, we usually run a very successful Careers Fair each year in the main hall, giving students the opportunity to chat with Employers, Colleges and Universities from many different areas and specialisms. This year unfortunately we have to run things differently, however, it does not mean we can’t give our students the best opportunities! Letters have been e-mailed to you and information can also be found on the individual year group pages on our WEBSITE.  The Virtual Careers Fair takes place on 27th January from 5.00pm. All the information you need and links to secure your place are included in the letter. There is also an extra opportunity for students in year 11 and 13. Again, all this information is on our WEBSITE.  Please support your children to access these informative events especially if your child is in year 9 and will shortly be choosing their option subjects - it’s a wonderful opportunity for them to investigate future careers and the qualification requirements. Mindfulness The community at All Ears are dedicated to providing support to both pupils and staff within a school environment. All Ears want to firstly, educate; as Nelson Mandela once said "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."  Awareness is the first step, it encourages an acceptance of openly talking about mental health - which can be a life-saver in itself.  All Ears are supporting schools during the lockdown and have shared a Mindfulness Journal aimed at secondary school students. Please click HERE to access. Kooth - Your online mental wellbeing community Kooth is the UK's largest digital mental health provider to the NHS for children and young people aged 10-25, offering digital mental health services and a broad range of therapeutic tools and interventions to the health service.  Click HERE to access the topics and plans for Kooth Podcasts for January to March 2021. Inspire Challenge – week beginning 1st February During Inspire sessions next week students will be introduced to our Self Expression Challenge below.  Free Internet safety and English/Maths courses for parents/carers of year 7 students St Helens Council Adult and Community Learning service are pleased to offer free 6-week online courses (6 weeks @ 1 hour per week) for parents/carers of children in St Helens.  Due to demand, evening courses will now be available after February half term. The courses comprise of an introductory session about our short interactive online qualification in Internet safety for IT users, which learners can then go on to complete remotely, using online assessment and e-invigilation, so there is no need to enter a classroom. The qualification covers the key areas of internet safety and details are in the course breakdown attached.   This one-hour introductory session will be followed by five one-hour remote Keeping Up with your Childs English or Keeping Up with your Childs maths sessions.  This is a total of 6 sessions over 6 weeks. Click HERE for further information and booking. Free School Meals I am pleased to inform you that we were able to access the Eden Red website on Tuesday and order all vouchers required.  These have now been received by the Academy and parents have been advised to collect. Any vouchers not collected by today will be posted to home addresses. If you have any questions regarding your vouchers please contact karon.lamb@sthelens.org.uk HOPE ACADEMY – AUTHORISED Food Voucher Distributor The academy are an authorised distributor of food vouchers which means we are able to support struggling families much easier as we do not need to refer them to other agencies to obtain food vouchers which can be used at foodbanks throughout the borough.  Please email kasis.boydell@sthelens.org.uk for further information. The Library Blog As promised last week, Dr Ashcroft has produced the first Library Blog.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. Click HERE to access blog. Word of the Week Reading Challenge Kasia’s Reflection This week is Christian Unity week, and it is really important as a Joint Faith Academy that we acknowledge this, so we have been celebrating it during our Inspire Time. We are a reminder of how the branches of Christian Faith come from the same vine; that our Christian denominations make us parts of the same body of Christ and that we work together, not separated away.  Being ecumenical, like we are here at Hope, means looking up to see the big picture: what God is doing through the whole Church in the whole world. It means engaging with others and holding our remaining differences in conversation rather than conflict. This unity of Christian faith is not about singing in unison and losing our distinctiveness: our unity is singing in harmony, each person and tradition enriching the others! And it is not just Christian faith; we are united with people of all faiths and none. This is how Gandhi reflected on Faith: I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world. I believe that they are all God-given and I believe they are necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. If only we could all read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they are all one, and all helpful to one another. Let us always look for the unity with each other, no matter how different we may at first seem. Amen. Click HERE to read Kasia’s monthly section in local parish newsletters.
Posted on: 15/01/2021

Principal's Blog - Week 16

As we end the second week of this very different term, I would like to thank parent and carers for their daily messages of support and thanks to members of academy staff - we truly appreciate every single one of them. They strengthen our determination to make sure that we are ‘Outstanding in all we do.’ It is now essential that students, with your support, access all of their lessons daily and continue to work hard. Remote Learning Students have continued their amazing engagement with remote learning once again this week! Staff have been celebrating student work via @Hope_Academy throughout the week. As parents and carers we cannot thank you enough for your support in ensuring students are set-up at home. Feedback from both students and parents has been very positive and on behalf of the Hope team, a massive thank you! As you can see from the information below, student engagement continues to be outstanding. Students who are struggling to engage are being supported by academy staff to resolve any problems or barriers they are experiencing.  Parents should contact their child’s pastoral team if they are require any support. Year Group 11.01.2021 12.01.2021 13.01.2021 14.01.2021 Year 7 98.0% 95.3% 97.6% 98.0% Year 8 94.4% 95.7% 96.1% 97.0% Year 9 86.5% 88.0% 90.0% 88.5% Year 10 90.3% 92.0% 89.4% 90.2% Year 11 90.5% 96.0% 97.2% 98.8% Whole School 92.4% 93.5% 94.2% 94.6% Students will continue to participate in their daily collective worship and Inspire sessions which includes completing a daily well-being survey. New Pastoral Team member I am pleased to introduce you to Mr Foy who will be joining team Hope as a Pastoral Liaison Officer.  Mr Foy will mainly be visiting students and parents to offer help and support with remote learning and engagement. Parents will be advised beforehand of any proposed visits.  I hope you will join me in welcoming Mr Foy to our Hope community. Message from Mr Foy I’m really looking forward to starting my new role at Hope Academy.  I have worked with children since 2011 in residential homes, alternative education facilities and for the last 8 years in secondary schools.  My last job as an Inclusion Base Manager sparked my passion for working with students and their families, helping to reintegrate and engage them back into education. I have 3 amazing children and 2 dogs that keep me busy. I coach my son’s football team and in my spare time I’m a keen golfer. I strongly believe that every child has a special skill and ability to succeed. My goal is to ensure that I find that skill and create a positive attitude to education and future success in life. Year 11 Parent Consultation Event We hosted our first web-based Parent Consultation event on Wednesday for year 11. To support parents during the meeting their son/daughter’s reports with assessment marks from the recent mocks were uploaded to the Sims parent app on Wednesday morning. Parent feedback has been extremely positive with just a few ‘technical issues’ and loss of internet connection reported. I would also like to congratulate the 48 year 11 students who sat their Sports Studies examination on Monday morning. Consenting student had a Lateral Flow COVID-19 test on Friday with all results returning negative. We look forward to receiving the examination results in March. Year 7 Parent Consultation Event – Wednesday 20th January Year 7 parents will receive letters via e-mail today containing login and password information and guidance on how to make appointments with individual teachers. If you experience any problems please e-mail Joanna.lowry@sthelens.org.uk.  We look forward to meeting parent and carers of our Class of 2025! Free School Meals As you may be aware, the government confirmed that they would be re-introducing the EdenRed voucher scheme to all schools from Monday 18th January 2021.  The ordering platform will only be made available to schools on Monday morning. I am sure that I don’t need to remind you that this was a rather slow process when first introduced in April 2020. I am therefore asking for your patience whilst the academy make their way through the ordering process. We’ll keep you fully updated via parent text and ask that you do not ring the academy unless you are experiencing hardship whilst awaiting delivery of your vouchers. Enquiries should be directed to karon.lamb@sthelens.org.uk Lateral Flow Testing As you are aware, students and teachers at the academy have had access to lateral tests from Monday 11th January. Staff will be tested weekly (with results taking 30 minutes) and students whose parents have consented, will also be tested weekly. Miss Lamb and Mrs Vernazza, supported by a small number of external supply staff have tested a total of 121 students and 86 member of staff this week with all results returning negative.  I must thank both Miss Lamb and Mrs Vernazza for setting up our mass testing facility at Hope Academy.  We are currently awaiting delivery of extra instructional floor and pop-up signage, but I am sure you will agree we have an extremely efficient mass testing area. Future Events Even though students are accessing their lessons remotely, we continue to organise extra-curricular opportunities for them.  On 10th February all students in years 10, 11 and 13 will take part in an employability workshop which will be run by Mr Wignall and Miss Davies alongside IGD. ***Employability Workshop*** A date for your diaries! ON Wednesday 10th February All year 10 and 11 students will be participating in a live Employability Workshop with Feeding Britain's Future group. (This is in place of your usual timetabled lesson and it is vitally important that you attend)  This company supports delivery of industry-wide programmes to help young people improve their employability skills. Needed even more so now we are in a global pandemic and can't get actual real life work experience! Get the date in your diary! The session will start at 13.30pm & details on how to join will be sent out in the coming weeks! Watch this space!!!  Miss Davies  We also have a large number of Virtual Work Experience Opportunities for years 10, 11 & 13. Miss Davies will be launching these opportunities at the start/end of the IGD session on the 10th Feb! Click HERE for further information. The Library Blog Dr Ashcroft, our Librarian will be launching a weekly Library blog next week.  Keep your eyes open for the blog with different sections like notices, what’s on this week, word of the week, request a book….   Kasia’s Reflection This week we have been looking at British Values, and the idea of resilience has been key. It is something we have all shown brilliant in so many ways! Our resilience reminded me of the story of a butterfly’s journey: The butterfly starts as a small helpless caterpillar, then when it has eaten and grown enough it becomes a chrysalis. Here it changes and grows, but before it can emerge from its cocoon, it must go through quite a difficult experience. Each part of the butterfly’s body is squeezed as it squirms and pushes with ever so slight results. After a long time, the exhausted insect breaks out and soars into life as a completely transformed new creation! Just as the transformation of a butterfly is far from easy, sometimes the changes we face in life are difficult too and there seems to be no end in sight. But, like the butterfly, we can emerge from our struggle and exertions if we hang on in there and trust God. If we see him as our hope for the future. The struggles we face as we work through this new lockdown will transform us into something stronger. Let us pray: Lord, Thank you for the challenges in life that help to build strength. Thank you for the times when lack of resources reminds us of the value of resourcefulness. Thank you for the moments of courage that you give us so that we can live a life of meaning. Help us to emerge from this pandemic like the butterfly, with the full wings of faith and be a source of vivid, yet delicate beauty, displaying God’s glory and love. Amen          
Posted on: 8/01/2021

Principal's Blog week ending 8th January 2021

Wow! Despite the uncertainty and confusion from Government this week, staff and students have returned to the new term with energy, positivity and a determination to continue to strengthen our Hope community in 2021! Whilst the lockdown is not what we hoped for, it is important to understand that the Academy is not indeed ‘closed.’ We are open but just operating in a different way.  From an Academy perspective, we are in a very different position to the one we were in in March last year during the first lockdown. We have worked incredibly hard to develop remote learning provision and students have all been trained on how to learn in this new way. There are still challenges ahead but we have everything we need in place to deliver a quality remote-learning provision for all of our students. It is now essential that students, with your support, access all of their lessons daily and complete the work required. We will be monitoring students daily and communicating regularly with home to celebrate achievement and ensure that everyone is giving their ‘personal best.’ January BTEC and Cambridge National Examinations As an Academy, we want to ensure that all students are fully supported to achieve their full potential. Many students have been working hard in preparing for unit examinations for vocational qualifications which are due to be sat over the next few weeks. However, following the Government announcement regarding BTEC examinations, we as are advising that our students do not sit these examinations and focus their efforts on their remote learning and assignments. It is highly likely that this work will go some way towards contributing towards their final grade. With regards to the Sports Studies and Sports Science exams on Monday, we feel confident that students have been well-prepared for this exam but nevertheless understand that families are currently working within very different circumstances and as such have left the option of taking or not taking the examination with individual students and their families. Good luck to all of those students who have opted to sit the exam on Monday, you’ve got this! Y11 and Y13 Examinations The Prime Minister also announced that exams will not go ahead as planned this year. We fully understand how disappointing this is for our students who have been working so hard. However, it is essential that this hard work continues (online and when we re-open) as, again, it is highly likely that this work will go some way towards contributing towards their final grade. Whilst the Secretary of State for Education has today announced that exam grades will be awarded by schools, we have limited information about this. All students must continue to work hard and complete everything that is asked of them online. Mrs Adams delivered a parent session this morning which gave clarification for the months ahead, The recording can be found here. Remote Learning Students have been absolutely amazing this week! Staff have been celebrating student work via @Hope_Academy throughout the week. A huge thank you to parents and carers for your support in ensuring students are set-up at home. Feedback from both students and parents has been very positive and on behalf of the Hope team, thank you for your continued support. Year Group 05.01.2021 06.01.2021 07.01.2021 Year 7 96.0% 98.3% 97.6% Year 8 90.2% 92.8% 94.8% Year 9 82.2% 84.5% 83.7% Year 10 85.8% 87.1% 86.6% Year 11 87.1% 90.5% 89.3% Whole School 88.7% 91.1% 91.0% This represents 1171 students online on day 3! Students will continue to participate in their daily collective worship and Inspire sessions which includes completing a daily well-being survey Parents’ Evenings Y11 are due to have a parent consultation event on Wednesday. This is an important event and provides you with an opportunity to discuss the progress of your child and the results of their recent mock exams with each subject teacher.  The school has introduced a new and easy to use online appointment booking system. This allows you to choose your own appointment times with teachers and you will receive an email confirming your appointments. Student Reports with assessment marks from the recent mocks will be uploaded to the Sims parent app on Wednesday morning. This is the first time that we have used the web-based facility and we are looking forward to exploring this new way of engaging with our parent community. Free School Meals Currently, we are offering food parcels to students who are eligible for free school meals. We are awaiting further information as to whether the FSM vouchers will be issued at a later date. We will keep you updated. Please let us know via hope.parent@sthelens.org.uk if you require a food parcel. Foodbank Vouchers Hope Academy are registered to distribute Foodbank vouchers, if you feel this would help your family please contact kasia.boydell@sthelens.org.uk including the following information: Parent name Child's name Contact telephone number Devices We have issued further laptops this week to students in need of one. These devices are given out on a lease agreement and should be returned when students return to school. The Government has now announced support for students having difficulty accessing WiFi. If you require support, please could you contact us via hope.parent@sthelens.org.uk with the following information: The name of the student The name of the account holder The network of the mobile phone The mobile phone number Testing You may have seen it announced last week that students and teachers will have access to mass testing from January. Specifically, that means that staff will be tested weekly (with results taking 30 minutes) and students who are identified as close contacts of someone testing positive, can be tested for 7 consecutive days and remain in school if they test negative. This testing would be optional, but those not consenting would be subject to the normal 10-day self-isolation. We will start to test all staff and students who are currently onsite wc 11th January. If you have not completed the online consent form, can you please do so by clicking the link here. Finally, I hope this blog helps to settle any concerns that you have over the announcements made by the government this week. We will ensure to update you with any further information as soon as we can. On behalf of everyone at the Academy, we wish you a Happy New Year! All staff and students have worked relentlessly hard over the past couple of days and have responded with resilience and a community spirit that makes me burst with pride. Thank you and well done!!

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