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Posted on: 9/10/2020

Head of School Blog - Week 5

COVID Update This week we received notification of one positive test in Year 10 which resulted in 12 students being notified to self-isolate for up to and including Friday 16th October. The symptoms Thank you for your continued support in ensuring that we keep our community safe and well. The most important thing for us as a school community is that you do not send your children to school if they or anybody in the household has symptoms. Those symptoms are high temperature (37.8 C), a new continuous cough and loss of taste or smell. A “new continuous cough” is defined HERE. Sore throats and a “runny nose” are not symptoms. I urge you again to keep updated with local and national guidance. COVID19: A guide for parents A parent guide has been produced to support you when or if your child displays COVID symptoms or comes into contact with the virus.  Please click HERE to read the guide.  You will also find this information on our website.   Coats and PE kit for winter As we have started to experience more inclement weather, please ensure that your son/daughter is wearing a suitable coat and gloves for their journey to and from school.  They should also now be wearing a plain black hoodie and jogging pants/leggings on PE days.  A small number of children have arrived wearing just their PE kits and have been extremely cold during the day.  Reading Initiative This week we launched our Year Group Reader initiative, ‘Access all Areas’ with Year 7 and Year 8. Through reading together as a class, and discussing the events and developments of the novel throughout the year, we hope that students will develop a love of reading as well as strengthen their skills as active readers. Both texts have been selected to complement the issues and themes explored across the entire curriculum. In Year 7, students will be reading Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake, whilst Year 8 will be reading Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay: both are highly acclaimed, recently published texts and they have already caused a reading buzz amongst our staff, who are looking forward to talking about these books across the school! Mobile Library This half term the school librarian has been running a mobile library for Year 7 students at lunchtimes. After drawing some curious glances (is it a book sale?) the mobile library has been a huge hit with students and staff! When the weather allows (and it has been very kind until this week) the librarian sets up a selection of books on one of the picnic benches in the Year 7 yard. When the weather is inclement the mobile library moves indoors and students can be seen eyeing up the select feast of books on offer as they queue for lunch as well as while they eat. Students have been delighted to be able to choose any book and talk about their reading likes and dislikes. It is wonderful to see the huge smiles when students spot books they have been itching to read. The Year 7 mobile library is attracting new faces every day and there are lots of smiles and waves for the librarian which shows just how much students are enjoying having books to read and talk about! Year 7 Welcome Service and Settling In Event – Wednesday 14th October One of our favourite events of the year is our Year 7 Welcome Service when we come together, as parents, carers, students and staff, to celebrate the children’s journey into secondary education and officially welcome them to our Hope community.  Not being able to welcome families to the Academy is not going to stop us hosting this wonderful event!  I urge parents/carers to join us at 1.20pm via Microsoft Teams to celebrate the beginning of your child’s new journey.  The service is open to families of all faiths and none. On the same evening, Wednesday 14th October, we would also like to invite Year 7 parents to attend a ‘Settling In Event’ with the Year 7 Pastoral Team and other senior members of Academy staff.  Again, this meeting will take place via Microsoft Teams at 6pm and the access link will be e-mailed to Year 7 parents.  We hope you are able to join us. Year 11 Raising Achievement Sessions Today, I met with our Head Boy and Head Girl, Sam and Tamara and shared the proposed Raising Achievement Sessions timetable. Their feedback was invaluable and together we have ensured that students have the opportunity to take part in as many sessions as possible.  Sessions will run before school and after school with virtual sessions also taking place in the evening. We are looking forward to inviting Year 11 parents to attend our virtual Preparing to Perform event on Wednesday 11th November, starting at 6.00pm.  Parents/carers and students are invited to attend presentations providing vital information to help students to prepare for their GCSE examinations. This event is always very well attended and the feedback from both parents and students from previous years has been excellent. There will be a welcome from the Head of School and Head of Year 11 as well as subject specific presentations from Heads of Faculty, providing hints and tips to help students prepare for their exams.  During the evening families will also have the opportunity to attend live Q&A sessions with senior subject teachers. More information will follow in the coming weeks but in the meantime…..SAVE THE DATE! Caterlink – Meal provision This week we have introduced a full menu selection for our Year 9 and 11 students.  From Monday 12th October, Breakfast items will be available, from the outside catering hub, for Year 7 students only.  The following items will be available: Sausage Barm, Waffles, Toast and drinks. These will be available to purchase from 8.10am until 8.30am. We are regularly reviewing the provision of hot meals and plan to extend this to other year groups in the not too distant future.  Can I please remind students who qualify for free school meals that the daily allocation is available at lunchtime and not for any breakfast or break service.  If your child does use the full daily amount, it is not carried over to the next day. Year 5/6 Primary Roadshows and Virtual Open Event Primary Roadshows have continued again this week.  Mr Robinson and I have hosted 2 further primary school Teams meetings for Year 5 and 6 children, with the final school being next week.  The meetings have been very successful.  The following Year 8 students also attended meetings with their previous primary schools to answer a wide range of questions: Will F and Angel H. We are incredibly proud of each and every one of the students who supported these important meetings - they certainly were ‘Outstanding in all we do’.  We are unable to host our normal open event this year but we have created a wonderful 3D Tour. Click HERE to access the tour.  Since adding the 3D tour to our website we had 1,165 visitors in just TWO weeks, with 475 hits in one day! Further information about our Virtual Open Event can be found on our website. Click HERE. Mr Shepherd Due to personal reasons, Mr Shepherd has made the decision to step down as Vice Principal at Hope Academy. Although he has only been with us for a short time, we would like to thank him for the support he has provided the Academy throughout the challenging time of COVID and we wish him all the best for the future. Kasia’s Reflection In our world of 24-hour supermarkets it can be easy for us to take food for granted. We can forget the work that goes into planting the seeds, nurturing the ground, growing the plants, and harvesting the crops. This week in Inspire as we celebrated the Harvest, it was a great opportunity for us to recall and celebrate together the origins of these good gifts – to express our gratitude for the land and people who produce them, and to thank God from whom they all spring. Harvest time helps us appreciate the food we have, and also think about those who do not have enough to eat. Since the pandemic, the use of food banks has risen by 89%. So many more people in our area are in need. The charity ‘Business for Youth’ in Newton-le-Willows delivered 33,805 packed lunches to our local area over 14 weeks since lockdown began in March, with at the peak over 600 lunches being delivered a day. That is why our Harvest Food Appeal this year is so necessary; so many more families need our help: ‘Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.’ (Philippians 2:4) Let us use this time to help those around us by offering gifts of food and prayer. This week we launched our annual Harvest Appeal and until the 21st October we will be collecting food for St. Helens Foodbank. Please consider making a donation to help those who do not have enough. Lord, Thank you for our food and for your continuous care. May your peace and love rest upon us. Help us to help those who do not have enough By sharing with them the food we have so that no one goes hungry. Amen   Take care and stay safe. Mrs Adams Please see below important diary dates from now until the end of December Wednesday 14th October Year 7 Virtual Welcome Event Wednesday 14th October Year 7 Settling In Parent Meeting @ 6.00pm W/b 19th October Year 7 CATS Tests/KS3 Progress (Lit & Num) W/b 2nd November Year 7 CATS Tests/KS3 Progress (Lit & Num) Wednesday 11th November Year 11 Virtual Preparing to Perform Event 1 Monday 30th November Year 11 Mocks until 11th December    
Posted on: 2/10/2020

Head of School Blog - Week 4

COVID Update As you are aware we have been advised of two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in year 11 this week.  The two confirmed cases in year 11 are not related and were contracted in the community and not within school.  This resulted in eight year 11 students being informed to self-isolate until 14th October.  Self-isolating students, who are not experiencing symptoms, will continue to access lessons and homework via Satchel One. Today we are really pleased to welcome back our year 9 ‘Bubble’.  As I reported last week the students engaged excellently with home learning and interacted with ‘live’ Collective Worship and Inspire sessions throughout their isolation period.  They have thoroughly enjoyed their first day back as they are now able to access an increased hot menu from the canteen. With it being Friday, the students have the pleasure of Fish and Chips! Please click HERE for full menu details.  Public Health St Helens Meeting On Monday, 28th September, Mr Ferguson and I held a virtual meeting with Public Health St Helens to discuss the cases. The purpose of the meeting was to look at our systems within the Academy. I am very pleased to report that not only were Public Health St Helens impressed with our protocols and in house Track and Trace system, they now want to use us as an example of good practice! Please see comments we received below: Next Steps The school has shown extremely well managed practices that have ensured they are on top of the cases. There are no further actions required. The school will keep in touch with track and trace if there are any further cases. Public Health St Helens would like to share the learning and good practices that the school has implemented. I would like to thank our dedicated staff at the Academy. This is a team approach and I am grateful for everyone’s efforts to keep our Hope community safe. Masks Students and staff are required to wear masks in all communal areas of the Academy.  We now have a stock of masks which can be purchased for £1.00 from our Uniform Shop via the website.  If your child arrives to school without a mask you will be contacted and asked to purchase one. https://app.parentpay.com/ParentPayShop/Uniform/Default.aspx?shopid=560  If you have any queries please contact your child’s pastoral team.  Please also remind your child that they must wear a mask whilst using school buses unless exempt.  If students decide not to follow this rule they will be unable to use school transport. Walking to and from School I would like to remind you and students that they should be following the ‘rule of six’ whilst making their way to and from the Academy.  They should also ensure they adhere to social distancing guidelines which apply outdoors as well as indoors and includes children. Executive Meeting On the 24th September, I met with the Head Boy, Head girl, and the Year 11 Executive team for the first time. The students were asked to think about what they believe their strengths are and how this could support the Academy. The responses we received were fantastic with such a variation of strengths that we can only be excited for what this year will bring. The next meeting will take place before the October half term and students will be feeding back on Raising Achievement sessions and the Preparing to Perform event as well as further discussions on their individual roles within the team.  I look forward to working with them during the year. Careers in the Curriculum Day – Monday 28th September On Monday we had our first Careers in the Curriculum Day of the academic year! It was a huge success, there was some fantastic work shared on Twitter from Science, Design technology, Computing and English to name a few! Check out https://twitter.com/hope_careers to see more. ASK Apprenticeships – Year 11 had the privilege of experiencing a live virtual talk about apprenticeships from Jan Agger. Jan would usually come in and deliver an assembly to our students but due to current circumstances we adapted our provision so the students didn’t miss out. During Miss Davies’ assemblies this week she shared some employer engagement videos. These videos featured a Celebrity Fashion Stylist, a Hearing Health Practitioner for Boots, a Personal Trainer and a Business Manager for O2. A huge thank you to those guests who recorded exclusively for Hope Academy students to share their job roles and how their day-to-day working life has been impacted by Covid-19. The Careers Office has moved from the GM area up to the 6th Form Study area and 1-2-1 Personal Guidance interviews will begin next week for year 11. The 6th Form area has had a revamp with up-to-date 2021 university prospectuses and Apprenticeship information. STEPs Careers activity booklets have been launched this week on Satchel One for ALL year groups. They are in the format of editable PDF’s that students can download onto their devices and complete the activities that have been set. Students must complete the task set by the deadline but do not need to upload these back onto Satchel One yet as they will be working through them (as and when instructed) throughout the year. These are a valuable resource so please encourage your child to use them. Startprofile.com – the Careers platform we use is currently being relaunched. Usernames and passwords will be distributed to students in due course. All access to startprofile.com activities/tasks will be set on Satchel One and accessed at home. Thank you to Miss Davies for leading our Careers programme and ensuring that our students have access to inspiring CEIAG opportunities. Year 5/6 Primary Roadshows Primary Roadshows have continued again this week. Mr Robinson and I have hosted TEAMs meetings for year 5 and 6 children with 2 primary schools and 2 more to come next week.  The meetings have been very successful.  The following year 7/8 students also attended the meetings with their previous primary schools to answer a wide range of questions: Tamzyn B, Betsi S and Lucas L. Myself and Mr Robinson are incredibly proud of each and every one of the students who supported these important meetings - they certainly were ‘Outstanding in all we do’.  We are unable to host our normal open event this year but we do have a wonderful 3D Tour. Click HERE to access the tour.  Further information about our Virtual Open Event can be found on our website. Click HERE. Kasia’s Reflection This week our focus during Inspire Time has been our future careers. Looking for and finding a good job can be very daunting in today’s economy, but we can look to God to guide us and place us where we can be of most service. He also knows where we will be content and reach our highest potential. Praying and asking for His guidance and blessing as we plan our careers will help us find our right path: “May the favour of the Lord be upon us, and establish the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17) The Bible tells us that God has a plan for each of our lives, and it is far bigger than we can imagine, or plan for ourselves. At the moment in these times, the future for everyone feels a bit big or overwhelming. Remember that God made you, gave you your own unique gifts and talents, and will give you the courage to become the best you can be: “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Remembering Mr Brooker Finally, yesterday we remembered, as a community, our colleague Mr Brooker who sadly passed away 12 months ago.  Kasia led a beautiful service for Mr Brooker’s form group and close colleagues.  A Eucalyptus tree was planted in our Hope garden and students laid pebbles at the base of the tree whilst taking time to remember the special times they had shared with him.  Mr Brooker will always have a special place in our hearts and our Hope community.  God bless. Take care and stay safe. Mrs Adams Please see below important diary dates from now until the end of December Wednesday 14th October Year 7 Virtual Welcome Event Wednesday 11th November Year 11 Virtual Preparing to Perform Event 1 Monday 30th November Year 11 Mocks until 11th December Monday 7th December Year 7 CATS Tests/KS3 Progress (Lit & Num)  

4 Blog Posts found