Today we finished our first full week as an open Academy. It has been a huge amount of work to get to this stage but seeing the students enjoying their classes makes it all worthwhile.
Before I talk about some of the setup issues I’d like to talk about the kindness that many of our students have shown. From the students who made Miss Gardner a birthday card, to the students who approached people who were on their own to make friends, to the three who came and sat near me at lunch in case I was lonely, I say thank you. We have seen many acts of kindness this week and I know it is this which can make the Academy a place of happiness for students. We have also already had some great suggestions of how we can improve the Academy and we always welcome suggestions.
Students have now completed a complete timetable rotation, met all their teachers and tried all their subjects. You can read a bit more about this in the Students’ Blog, run by 7.7 this week who have done a fantastic job talking about some of their first lessons and there is an interview from me. Next week it will be the turn of 7.2 to be our reporters.
In Literacy for Life students have undertaken their Mathematics tests, explored their family history and started looking at diversity, written a class charter and a letter to their primary schools. We will be posting these to their old schools next week. This theme is all about preparing students to be responsible citizens both in the Academy and the wider community.
This week we launched our Clubs and Societies programme. There is a lot on offer and we would like students to please return these by Monday so we can get people into clubs to start the following week. For students interested in the Hippodrome Theatre School, auditions will take place on Wednesday morning.
A few updates. We are almost ready to launch our cashless catering service, Parent Pay. We are now just waiting for the checks back on the Academy bank account. We have letters with passwords ready to go as soon as the approval comes through. Our current target is to launch this on Wednesday 18th September and we will look to start charging from that day. If people have problems with the set up we will not be letting students go hungry, but will work with you to resolve any payment issues.
Breakfast club is now available. If students want to come from 8:20am they can have cereal for free in the canteen supervised by our staff. As time goes by we will increase the range of food on offer but there may be a charge for items other than cereal.
Next week we also hope to launch the one to one device programme with the students, where they will have their laptops given to them. This is likely to be towards the end of the week. This is a significant investment by the Academy and will be a fantastic learning tool for the students.
Finally it is our Open Day on the 18th September and we have been overwhelmed by the number of students who have volunteered to help out. If you are looking for or know someone who is looking for a place next year, let them know.
I will continue to write this blog throughout the year. Thank you for all the support and positive messages as we have opened.