I’d like to start by hoping every single one of our students had a great first day.

Today marks the start of a journey, for our Academy and for the students joining us. A journey which began about 18 months ago and is the result of thousands and thousands of hours of work by hundreds of people to make our new Academy a reality. I thank every one of them.

I talked to the students today in assembly about how we wanted to be proud of them, we wanted them to feel safe, happy and cared for and that we believed everyone of them could be successful decent people. If students act as they did on the first day I am sure that will be true.

Following the assembly we had a whole Academy photo, which involved arranging the entire Academy in height order and the photographer said that in all his years of working he had never seen any students so well behaved.

They also looked fantastic. Parents, you have done a fantastic job of getting your students ready and we thank you for that. Local Councillors and the Director of Sandwell Education came to view the Academy and were incredibly impressed with the way the students looked and their polite attitude. Look out for an Express and Star article in the next day or so.

Lunch was very very busy as there was no charge and we extended the lunch break to make sure everyone was served and that there was still time for some fresh air. We will be trying something different tomorrow to improve the flow with half the Year going outside for the first half of lunch while the other half eats and then swapping over. Again behaviour was excellent with students taking responsibility for clearing their own tables and inside and out we found no litter.

Students are welcome to eat from our restaurant or bring their own lunch and we will have news of our ParentPay system very shortly. To make this happen students had a fingerprint scanned and their photos taken by professional photographers which will be available to purchase in a few weeks.

Students then spent the rest of the time with their main teachers, making a class charter to think about how they will respect each other, listening to some of our expectations for them and then participating in a number of team building activities including a freestanding newspaper tower competition.

It was a hugely busy day. Things will start to calm down from tomorrow as students start their first Theme, ‘Citizen Me’ and attend lessons in Languages, Art, Graphics, PE, Science and Music as they start their new timetables. Many of these have already been given out or are being issued tomorrow. We do not have any PE on a Thursday but students who have it on Friday will need to bring their kits.

I thank all the students and staff for making the first day a great experience, and we look forward to many more fantastic days to come.

George Faux