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Headteacher's Blog 6th March 2020

We had Oompa Loompas, Mr Men, Forest Gump and Willy Wonka in school to name but a few, as we celebrated World Book Day yesterday!  Students and staff got fully involved with some ingenious costumes as they came to school dressed as their favourite author or book character.  The first year the school has participated in this event has been a great success and clearly partly due to the love of reading instilled in the Guided Reading project at tutor time. 

Fancy dress competition winners were; Year 11 Martha Shaw, Year 10 Seamus Ferguson, Year 9 Jacob Southby, Year 8 Connor Thomas, Year 7 Maddison Wills, each receiving a £20 book token. 

Following on from World Book Day, on Thursday 12th March we have the published illustrator, Joseph Witchall, delivering 3 presentations all about the book publishing process and what it means to be an illustrator, visiting Years 5 and 6 and all of our 7.  Later in the day, 11 talented art students will attend a workshop with Joseph, who will share his expertise and character design techniques. 

This week, the Academy marked National Careers Week with a series of assemblies with all year groups. This is an annual event in which schools, employers and industries aim to raise the aspirations of young people and to encourage them to ‘hope’ (this year’s theme) for the future they want. We welcomed Sean Gibson (Community Officer at Drake Circus Mall and the Barcode) and Lindsey Edmonds (our Enterprise Advisor from Delt) to speak about their career paths and current roles. Building Plymouth shared the vital need for a future workforce in construction and it was also lovely to hear from some of our alumni. Hearing about the success of former students can be a powerful message of inspiration for our current pupils. We were pleased to welcome back Danielle Dyson, Simon Applebee, Maria Rogers, Eleanor Mason, Reiss Kat, Anna Cardoso and Sophia Grace. 

Our Year 13 Sports Leaders have been hard at work again, this time delivering lessons to a class of year 5 students from Laira Green.  Everyone enjoyed themselves and our students led confident, well planned lessons. 

Following on from this, 20 of our Year 9 Sports Leaders took part in an officiating course this week that focussed upon developing young, confident leaders of the future.  They are really flourishing with this course.

Year 7 girls football team continued their winning streak this week with victories over Torbridge High and Stoke Damerel, well done girls, keep up the good work.  Keeping them company with winning celebrations are our Year 10 boys who were crowned league champions after another win, well done lads. 

On Monday we have our annual Duke of Edinburgh Training day run by Dynamic Adventure. We have an impressive total of 50 students involved; 30 Year 9 students working towards the Bronze award and 20 Year 10 and 12 students tackling Silver and Gold.  This really is a very prestigious achievement to work towards and with dedication, resilience and willpower, students will come away with a globally recognised award, along with a visit to the palace for those who secure the Gold.  We will keep you updated with how they progress.

Next week will be spent participating in various activities in aid of Sports Relief.  This event inspires the nation to raise life changing amounts of money to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems through the power of sport.  The week will consist of student and staff Table Tennis and Badminton competitions for 50p a go with the week climax of sports mufti on Friday and the ever popular ‘Soak the Teacher’ event.  I imagine as with Children in Need, the prospect of throwing a bucket of water over a teacher will make people very generous!

I’m sure by now you have all seen the news regarding the Coronavirus.  I just want to assure you that I am receiving daily advice from the Department for Education who have stated that schools should stay open unless they are advised otherwise from Public Health England.  In preparation for this unlikely event we have planned a communication strategy to keep parents and students well informed, along with a substantial catalogue of online learning resources in the form of Google Classroom, Google Drive, GCSE Pod, Hegarty Maths and Kerboodle. 

I am the last person to want to sensationalise things but I just want to reassure you that our students will continue to receive a good education should this unprecedented course of action be required. 

On a lighter note, have a lovely weekend and enjoy some more of the World Book Day photographs!


Martin Brook, Headteacher