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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.

Parent voice feedback headteachers blog 29012021 page 2

Parent voice feedback headteachers blog 29012021 pg1

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.

01 02 21 reading challenge respect

01 02 21 wow respect

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.