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Posted on: 16/10/2020

Head of School Blog - Week 6

COVID Update

We are extremely pleased to report that we have not had to notify any children or staff to self-isolate following close contact, in school, with a confirmed positive case this week.  I would like to thank parents, students and staff for their hard work in keeping our community safe.

COVID19: A guide for parents

We have produced a parent guide to support you when and 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.  We would like to reiterate the importance of following the rules when there are suspected Covid symptoms in your household.

As Liverpool City Region has now been confirmed as a Tier 3 area, I ask that you adhere to the new restrictions to keep us all safe in the short term and bring down the re-infection rate and ensure the region moves back to Tier 1 as soon as possible.

St Helens council have produced an extremely useful infographic which summarises restrictions and guidance for the Borough of St Helens which can be accessed HERE.

Year 7 Welcome Service and Settling In Event

We had excellent attendance for the virtual Welcome Service on Wednesday, with over 130 parents, carers and grandparents joining us to officially welcome the children to our Hope community. 

On the same evening, over 100 parents and carers attended the virtual Settling In Event.

I would like to thank our amazing Year 7 students, Inspire Tutors, Pastoral Team and last but certainly not least, Kasia, our Chaplain, for planning and delivering such a beautiful service. Thanks also to Rev. Chris Stafford and Fr. Simon Gore for their contribution to the Welcome Service.

Both events were recorded and will be available Monday on our website for those of you who were able to attend. 

Class of 2025 Transition Anthology

Our Year 7 students took part in a virtual transition week in June this year to help prepare them for the move to Hope Academy.  One of the activities they completed was “If I could travel anywhere …” which formed part of their English project.  Miss McCulley, Head of KS3 English was so impressed with the quality of the work that she has complied an anthology by the Class of 2025.  I hope you enjoy reading it HERE.

Year 11 Raising Achievement Sessions

The Raising Achievement Sessions for Year 11 students will commence on Monday.  The timetable was circulated to all students and is available on Satchel:One and on our website. Click HERE to view the timetable

We will also be hosting our Class pf 2021 Preparing to Perform event for Year 11 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 has always been very well attended and the feedback from both parents and students has been excellent. We would like the current Year 11 students to be able to benefit from this fantastic opportunity and so this year we will be offering this event virtually via Microsoft TEAMs.

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 you 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 – Extended Hot Meal provision

From Monday 19th October, Year 7 will have the opportunity to access our full hot menu. Click HERE to view the menu.

Caterlink have reported that a number of students are trying to purchase meals when they do not have any money on their accounts.  Can I please ask parents to make sure that they have topped-up their child’s ParentPay account ready for lunch service or alternatively given their child money to add to their accounts via the machines in school.

We regularly review the provision of hot meals and will be extending this to the remaining year groups from Monday.  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.

Journey of Hope Parent Workshops 2020-2021

Dates have now been confirmed for this year’s series of workshops which can be found HERE.  These workshops have proven extremely popular in previous years and will take place via Microsoft TEAMs.  Please reserve your place by completing the booking form.  Links to each workshop can be found on our website.

Online Safety

With the increased use of remote learning for students, it is extremely important that students are aware of the need to be safe online.  There are a number of worksheets and activities to support KS3/KS4 students which can be accessed via our website. Click HERE.  We also have videos available to assist parents to keep their children safe online. Click HERE for further information.

Year 5/6 Primary Roadshows and Virtual Open Event

The final Primary Roadshow took place on Tuesday with St Catherine of Siena Primary School. I would like to thank Jessica D-T and Faye G-S for supporting Mr Robinson and I during the TEAMs meeting with the Year 5 and 6 children.  We are incredibly proud of each and every one of the students who supported these important meetings.  

We are unable to host or 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.

Primary Heads Meeting

Mr Robinson and I met with the Headteachers of our Primary partner schools earlier this week to discuss events for the coming year.  Mr Robinson prepared a little surprise for them to show how well their former pupils had settled into life at the Academy.  Watch the video here.

We have a wonderful relationship with our Primary Schools, which helps ensure the transition from primary to secondary school is as smooth, and trouble free as possible.  We really enjoy the primary activities we host and are looking at ways to ensure that they will continue throughout this academic year.  

The Schools, Students and Teachers Network

SSAT is the largest and longest standing network of secondary schools in England who exist to help improve outcomes for all young people.  They work with leaders, teachers and students to drive school improvement and innovation and celebrate their successes.

Mr Ferguson and Mrs Adams were delighted to host a virtual Leadership Expert Group Meeting for SSAT fellows on Tuesday Evening.  Mrs Adams commented that it was great to share ‘think pieces’ and Hope’s experience of the great pause!

Aspirational Teaching Alliance St Helens

As you may already be aware, Hope Academy is the Lead School for the Aspirational Teaching Alliance St Helens, which means that we run our own Schools Direct Initial Teacher training course and have many successful colleagues working with us who have trained via this route.

Our applications opened on Tuesday on the UCAS system for September 2021 so please spread the word if you have contacts who are interested in training to teach. Further information can be found 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 been extremely cold during the day. 

Year 7 and 11 Individual Photographs

We were hoping to host the photograph service for students at the beginning of next term. However due to the summer flood in the library and delayed repairs, we will not be able to confirm a date until after the half-term. Thank you for your understanding.

Stranger Danger

St Helens Council have made us aware of a number of reports that have been made to the Police recently of a man behaving suspiciously near to schools in St Helens, and officers are making extensive enquiries.
Reports have suggested that the man has been seen outside a number of high schools and primary schools in the borough.
We encourage parents and students to be vigilant and report any concerns to police immediately, and not to speculate on social media.

Kasia’s Reflection

This week we have focused on Mental Health, as last Saturday was Mental Health Awareness Day. It was a timely reminder to look after our own mental health, with the extra stresses and strains this year has brought. Our minds can become worn out with worry and anxiety, so we need to try and share our burdens. 

There is strength in being open about ourselves and our feelings. Being part of a wider community and being able to get the help we need from the people who know how to support us can make a massive difference to how we can feel. By knowing there is support and somewhere to turn can help ease the stresses and strains of mental health. Pupils this week have made Kindness Pledges where they have carried out acts of kindness each day and stuck their pledges onto their Inspire Noticeboard for all to see! By highlighting the kindness around us, we see the world in a more positive light.

Matthew’s Gospel reminds us that our minds can be at peace; that there is a different way to live – a life of unforced rhythm and grace:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)


May we know your peace and the rhythms of your grace, today and every day.



Take care, stay safe and enjoy the weekend.

Mrs Adams

Please see below important diary dates from now until the end of December

W/B 19th October

Year 7 CATS Tests/KS3 Progress (Lit & Num)

Thursday 22nd October

Academy closes for half-term

Monday 2nd November

Academy re-opens

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



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