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Posted on: 28/05/2021

Principal's Blog - Week 32

Covid has been a global tragedy, the likes of which I hope we never experience again, but history shows us that we can draw lessons and character from adversity. Our young people have truly developed a growth mindset throughout the last year. They have risen to the challenge, embraced or even directed change, they have developed news skills and have demonstrated a fortitude and resilience that many of us never had to at their tender age. They have been brilliant and now they can harness these experiences as well as new skills to Bounce Back Better - all the while supported and cared for by us all at Hope Academy and indeed in our wider community.

Covid-19 updates

As you are aware our year 9 bubble were asked to self-isolate as a result of positive cases linked to the Indian variant (variant of concern). I would like to take this opportunity to thank our parent community for your support and congratulate the year 9 cohort on their commitment to their learning and positive engagement during remote lessons. I would like to extend my gratitude to the wider parent community for your support with students continuing to wear face coverings in school whilst there have been concerns about the local rate of infection. During the half term break I will consult with the local Public Health Team regarding levels of infection in St Helens to determine whether we would like students to continue to wear face covering in classrooms as well as communal spaces on their return to school. I will write to confirm our decision at the end of the holiday period. In the meantime, I would ask that all students continue to self-test using LFD tests twice per week during half term and that any positive results are reported to school by emailing This email address will be monitored whilst the academy is closed. Continuing to self-test is vitally important as around one in three people with Covid-19 have no symptoms and spread the virus without knowing, including those who have been vaccinated.

Arrangements for next half term

As Year 11 and 13 students are not required to attend daily next half term (please click here for Blended Learning Timetable), our capacity to refocus on the younger year groups has increased considerably we have decided to make a few changes to bubble arrangements. We also have more space in the building which will allow us to relax some of the stringent coronavirus restrictions.

Students have been informed this morning of their new tutor bases and entrance doors. This will allow us to use the full capacity of the building. All year groups will now be taught within subject faculty areas and, as such, will move around the building to access specialised teaching rooms. I was delighted this week to see year 7 students excitedly being led on tours around the building. This was to support students in their transition to moving safely between areas.

We will continue to adhere to the control measures which have supported the academy community in keeping safe. Year groups will continue to start and end the school day at staggered times as well as moving between lessons and having lunch at staggered times. We are lengthening lunch from 30 minutes to 40 minutes as a result of year 11 moving to a blended learning timetable. As such the following school finish times will be in place from Monday 7th June;

  • Year 7 and 8 – 3.10pm
  • Year 9 and 10 – 3.20pm

All of the above changes can be made without impacting on the integrity of year group bubbles whilst enabling lessons to be taught in specialist subject areas. The Academy’s guidance document will be updated and uploaded to the website w/c 7th June.

Year 11 and 13 Students

I want to say a very big well done to our current Year 11 and 13 students who have worked tirelessly to show their very best face through the process of Teacher Assessed Grades and Summer Assessments. It's a time like none before and they have responded with a maturity and focus that betrays their years. Colleagues and parents have also been fantastic in their approach.

We are confident that the GCSE grades awarded to this year group will reflect the hard work they have done and the way they have applied themselves has been inspirational. We have said this to you before but they are a credit to their families and to their community.

We look forward to seeing them all again for their celebrations in June, and again when results are issued in August.

​Although this may feel like the end, it is only the beginning. All the staff, students and Governors at Hope Academy would like to wish year 11 and 13 students every success in the future and we hope you stay in contact. ​Remember, believe in yourself because we believe in you! ​

​Take care, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all soon.​

Year 10 Students

During Inspire in recent weeks, Mr Clark, Assistant Principal, has spoken to our year 10 cohort about the year ahead and the changes ahead. From next week they will be the leaders in the academy and will really step up to the plate as it heralds the start of their ‘Exam Year’. We are looking forward to welcoming applications for prefects, the executive team and of course Head Boy and Head Girl when we return after half term.

In my inbox this week I received an email from the Department for Education confirming that public exams will take place next summer with a clear message that they will be ‘as close to normal’ as possible. Although, of course, it is completely impossible to make predictions about next year, it is right that the Government are currently giving consideration to how students in year 10 can be supported to achieve the qualifications which they deserve, despite the disruption of the pandemic. The important message for the time being is that students should continue to work as hard as possible on the planned content and assessments, and teachers will continue to deliver all programmes of study as originally scheduled. Mr Clark went through all the ways we will support, care for and accelerate their learning over the next 359 days (yes we’ve counted!) to prepare them for their GCSE exams in May 2022. I urge you now, year 10 parents, to get into the mindset of the ‘exam year’ with our year 10 students. It's time for revision timetables on the fridge, to find (if you can) a quiet space for their study, to start thinking about revision books and of course to work with us to make the year ahead one of progress and focus.  The year 10s will commence their two-week Mock Assessments on 21st June until 2nd July.

Road Safety

As, eventually, the weather begins to improve, please encourage your child to walk or cycle to school to prevent traffic congestion. I would like to reiterate again our focus on Road Safety - it presents as a clear and present danger to our wonderful young peoples’ health. Please remind your children to wear cycle helmets, to be mindful of others when they are on either public or personal transport and to be very careful when crossing roads. Lockdown has meant that we all have crossed roads less and encountered fewer cars. Let's remember the basics of ‘stop, look and listen’. Keeping our young people safe is all of our job.

Word of the Week – 7th June

Reading Challenge – 7th June

St Helens Youth Service haft-term Activities

Please see below the activity timetable for the Whit half term holidays.  These activities are aimed at children who are eligible for benefits related free school meals and run from Tuesday 1st June to Friday 4th June. 

If you would like your child to take part in any of the sessions you must pre-book by following the instructions below:

To reserve a place on any of the Children’s Centre activities, please call Central Link Children’s Centre on 01744 673444, Parr Children’s Centre on 01744 671788 or alternatively message us via our Facebook page: -

To reserve a place on any of the Youth Service activities, please email or call 07710848252.