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Posted on: 18/12/2020

Head of School Blog - Week 14

As I reflect on this term, I am delighted that we have worked so hard together, with minimal impact on learning for the vast majority of students, despite the challenges locally and nationally. Can I also take this opportunity to publicly thank the staff and students who have been resilient, determined and constantly positive in the face of significant change and challenge. It has been wonderful to walk around the Academy this term and see high quality learning taking place all over the school.

Mr Fergusons Retirement

On Wednesday we gathered as a community via Teams to say goodbye to Mr Ferguson and to acknowledge all that he has done for our Academy over the past 6 years. We thanked him for his leadership, kindness, guidance and support. Students, staff and Governors wished him a long and adventurous retirement.

Our Head Girl, Tamara Moreno spoke on behalf of students, ‘Today, we gather as a school community to acknowledge all that Mr. Ferguson has contributed to our academy over the last 6 years.

We are grateful for all his many God given gifts that has helped Hope Academy become the place of learning that it is today. We recognise, respect and appreciate all the valuable skills and knowledge our dear Principal had imparted onto us the future leaders and to thank him for all his efforts and hard work.

We are thankful especially for his ability to lead us, and for all he has given and blessed us with during his time at Hope Academy, and we want to express our sincerest gratitude to him for all his uncommon contributions to realising the educational programmes and development of Hope Academy. Mr Ferguson has been a generous, knowledgeable, modest, courageous, responsible and a highly respected Principal.

Thank you. On behalf of the pupils at Hope Academy, we wish Mr. Ferguson good luck and all the best in your next phase of life as you move into retirement to spend more time with your family.’

COVID-19 over the Christmas Break

As we come to the end of the Autumn Term 2020, we would like to inform you of the relevant arrangements, should your child test positive for COVID-19 after we close at the end of the day on Friday 18th December 2020.

If your child tests positive for COVID-19 and displayed symptoms (at least one of the following: a high temperature, a new or continuous cough, a loss of or change to their sense of smell or taste) on any day that they were in school, and/or Saturday 19th December and Sunday 20th December, you should email school to notify us on as we may be required to ask members of our school community to self-isolate.

Also, if your child tests positive for COVID-19 following a test on Saturday 19th December or Sunday 20th December and your child did not display symptoms (asymptomatic), please also notify school as above.

Please include the following information in your email:

  • Your child’s name and class
  • Date and time of the onset of symptoms (if applicable)
  • Date of COVID-19 test
  • Date of positive outcome

School will respond to emails confirming positive COVID-19 cases until 24th December as directed by the Department for Education.

Should your child display or develop any symptoms after Sunday 20th December, you are required to follow the national test and trace procedures. For further information, please visit:

May I also take this opportunity to remind you that if you have any safeguarding concerns over the
Christmas break, please contact the school safeguarding team on;

Timetable Changes in the New Year

The Academy will continue to operate all of the COVID-19 adaptations in January, irrespective of any tier changes (fingers crossed!). This will mean face masks, bubbles, social distancing, hygiene measures, staggered end times etc. However, we will be continuing to review and will hopefully find further ways to get back to normality safely and sensibly.

Further to the KS3 testing that took place at the beginning of November, years 7 and 8 students will be re-grouped for all of their subject areas when they return in January.

Year 9 students will have access to creative arts subjects on a carousel, within their specialist teaching areas, to ensure that they experience a wider curriculum prior to the options process.

Students will need to attend the Academy in full PE kit on the following days;

Year 10 - Monday

Year 7 - Tuesday

Year 11 - Wednesday

Year 8 - Wednesday or Friday (Will be confirmed to students in the first week back)

Year 9 - Thursday

Merry Christmas

Whilst this Christmas will be different from any other we have seen, I hope we all enjoy a period of rest and recuperation with family and friends for what we all hope will be a better year. Whilst we are proud of how we have managed a global pandemic; I would ask that you share our pride in how well your child has done at Hope Academy this term. The students have been resilient, supportive and a credit to you and themselves. None of us have been to school in an international crisis, so their experience really is unique!

Thank you for your continued support. I wish you all a restful and safe Christmas break, and we look forward to seeing the students again in the New Year for another important term of learning.

Finally, please click HERE to read an important letter regarding the January phased return for students in years 7-10 announced by the Government on Thursday 17th December.  The Government have informed schools an additional Inset Day can be taken to help prepare for testing therefore Monday 4th January will now be an Inset Day. This is to allow staff time to plan for remote learning and the onsite testing. No students will be expected on site and there will be no remote learning available on that day.

And to make you all smile, I have included below, the Christmas Staff video of 2020 which was shared with students during Inspire on Wednesday.


Microsoft TEAMs demonstration for Students and Parents/Carers

St Helens Schools ICT Services have been engaging with Microsoft to discuss any additional support they could provide to our schools and more specifically the students and parents on the use of the Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams being used for remote learning. I am pleased to share that we have been able to agree a free 'Teams for families' overview session with Microsoft on Wednesday 13th January at 4pm-5pm for all St Helens schools' students and parents.  We will share the link to this meeting in the New Year.


As part of our Careers provision, we need the help from our parents and carers! If you could spend a few minutes completing the Parent/Carer voice questionnaire, it would be hugely helpful in our constant mission to improve the information, guidance and opportunities we give our young people and their families. Wishing you a happy and restful Christmas.  Click HERE to access questionnaire.


Our first full term in this post world lockdown has come to an end and many of us are tired and looking forward to the precious time we can spend with family in whatever way we can.  As we come to the final weeks of 2020, take time to reflect and look at all you have accomplished, for it has truly been a lot. What a difference a year has made; we have all achieved so much to reach this stage. Count your blessings, spread kindness to those who need it, and make time to take care of yourself.

Wishing you and your family a blessed and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

This prayer is for us to remember the true meaning of Christmas:

Father in Heaven,

The day of joy returns and crowns another year with peace and good will.

Help us to remember the birth of Jesus; that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the Wisemen.

Close the doors of hate and open the doors of love all over the world,

Let kindness come with every gift, and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil, by the blessing that Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with good hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be your children,

And the Christmas evening bring us grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake.


Please see below important diary dates for 2021

You will be sent letters at the beginning of the first week explaining how to book online video appointments with teaching staff.

Wednesday 13th January

Year 11 Parents’ Evening

Wednesday 20th January

Year 7 Parents’ Evening

Wednesday 3rd February

Year 13 Parents’ Evening

Wednesday 10th February

Year 10 Parents’ Evening

Wednesday 3rd March

Year 9 Parents’ Evening

Monday 8th March

Year 9 Options Assembly

Wednesday 10th March

Year 9 Careers Fair

Wednesday 17th March

Year 9 Options Evening

Wednesday 24th March

Year 8 Parents’ Evening