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Principal's Blog, Friday 22nd June

The Academy has felt quite quiet this week due to Year 11 and 13 leaving following the end of most of the exams. I would like to express again how pleased I was with the behaviour of our students and how maturely they survived the stressful exam period. I wish them all the very best for the future.

I was delighted to hear about our Jazz Quartet playing for the NHS Open Day last weekend. The Quartet was approached by the Post-Graduate Medical Centre at Derriford to supply a Jazz Quartet to play for the 70th Anniversary of the NHS on Saturday 16th of June. Mr Twyman and Mr Martin asked Thorr Marner on keyboards and James Gullis on drums to join them to form a quartet from the Co-operative Big Band rhythm section. Both Thorr and James played with so much confidence and musical maturity, with plenty of opportunities to improvise. They have been, and continue to be a huge asset to the Co-operative Big Band and Lipson Cooperative Academy as a whole. This was clearly acknowledged when we were personally congratulated by one of the directors of the NHS who was 'staggered' with the standard of our students.

We have enjoyed welcoming prospective families to Lipson this week. An impressive 44 families attended our open mornings and I would like to thank staff for being so welcoming and helpful when we visited lessons. We received lots of really positive comments from parents about the lessons and the staff we saw. A big well done to our student tour guides also.

On Tuesday we held our Open Afternoon - student ambassadors have received huge praise from our visitors about their professional conduct when showing Year 5 students and parents around Lipson. We look forward to welcoming the families back on the 10th September for our Open Evening which will showcase the Academy in action and give students a real taste of secondary school life at Lipson.

We have had the pleasure of welcoming some of our new Year 7 students into the Academy this week as part of their enhanced transition from Primary School. Thank you to all staff involved in planning and delivering enhanced sessions. Every day the students have left visibly more confident and excited about joining us in September. The last day of enhanced transition is Tuesday 26th June.

I would personally like to thank all those staff involved in Thursday’s unfortunate sporting accident with a student on the Astro turf. This was not only very distressing for the student who was left in incredible pain and kept waiting hours for an ambulance but for all those who witnessed the situation. Mr Mitchell, Miss Geraghty, Mrs Law, Mrs Bennett and Ms Smout showed great resilience and family spirit remaining calm and working together to keep her as comfortable as possible. It reminded me just how proud I am of my dedicated staff here at Lipson. I’m told the student involved is doing well and feeling comfortable.

We are full of excitement and anticipation for next week’s Enrichment Days and Year 10 Work
Experience. There is a real buzz of excitement from our Year 7, 8 and 9 students who are busy planning
for their adventures next week. What a fantastic opportunity to experience these amazing activities in
the company of their friends. I would like to say a very big thank you to Miss Geraghty for getting the
whole venture off the ground and to Mrs Fisher and Mrs Bailey for tirelessly supporting her in organising
the practicalities of the trips. I must say, from the moment I looked at the Enrichment Brochure I was full
of envy for the students and staff that will be attending - have a great time.

Our first dedicated Year 10 Work Experience week is set to run next week, with an impressive 81% of
the year group signed up to experience the big wide world of world of work. Students will have received
a diary in which they must complete a daily journal of their experiences. As in the normal adult world of
work, students must remember to turn up at the agreed time, be polite and work hard. If students have
any questions about start times they should contact the employer for confirmation. I would like to give a
big thank you to Mr Bevin for overseeing this and especially to Mrs Bailey for working tirelessly to get as
many students as possible signed up by employers. She really has worked hard at selling the attributes
of our young people to potential employers!

Year 9 will be taking part in a Personal Safety Day on 26th June and Year 10 on the 2nd July. As part of
our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural provision, students will spend the day gaining a greater
understanding of online safety, illegal substances and appreciation of safe and healthy relationships.
The workshops will aim to develop understanding and attitudes to help students form healthy
relationships in a responsible and safe way whilst responding to the world around them in a more mature
and successful way.

You will have all seen the new pedestrian railings that have been installed this week between the visitors'
car park and the main entrance to the Academy site. This is to protect our students and keep them safe
from vehicle traffic. In addition to the railings, an electronic barrier will be fitted by the zebra crossing to
prevent vehicle access to the main part of the site unless it is approved by the premises team. Parents
will be able to access the site in their cars, but the turning point will be before the barrier and in the car
park at the back of the Technology department. There will also be an electronic gate fitted across the
courtyard entrance that will allow separate vehicle access when required but will also have a pedestrian
access route. The planned changes are designed to improve security of the site and the safety of the
students and will take effect from September.

I wish you all a lovely weekend.

Ms Farmer, Acting Principal