I’m a very positive person by nature and always look on the bright side and look for solutions to any obstacles that come about. Having said that I am not a big fan of term 3! It’s January/February and it’s cold and dark, there are cold and flu and sickness bugs flying around and the pressure of the looming examinations starts to manifest itself. A well-being box in the staffroom, stuffed full of cough sweets, tissues, hair bobbles, deodorant, moisturising cream, amongst other things was well received on our return and has been well used.
On our learning for life day at the end of January our Year 11 students came to school in comfortable clothing and had a well-being day comprising of exercise, yoga, sessions on sleep and relaxation and alternative ways to relax that don’t involve technology or screens. It was extremely well received by students, parents and teachers and we are looking to repeat this for Year 10 in the summer term.
Our Year 11 and Year 10 parents have had an opportunity to come into school for the consultation evenings this term to discuss the progress of their children in each subject, with specific information about what their child needs to do to close any gaps in knowledge and therefore improve their grades.
Many of you will have seen the national performance tables published recently showing NK Academy’s performance last year. Frankly, the performance of the academy last year was not good enough. I have spent considerable time this academic year looking at what went wrong and the reasons behind this and putting strategies in place to ensure this never happens again. Comprehensive plans are in place, a persistent focus on teaching, learning and assessment, a rejuvenated culture agenda and a passion from our teaching and support staff to work together to support our students to achieve their very best. The Ofsted report that came out in December recognised that the new leadership of the school was having a very positive impact on the areas of development identified. We’ve had lots of external education specialists in to look at what we are doing and to support us, one of whom said they were impressed with our vibrant and positive atmosphere and the examples they saw of our cutting edge practice.
One aspect that we have worked on this year is parental engagement. I held an evening for Year 7 and Year 8 parents to come and listen about the work we have been doing and they also had an opportunity to experience a mini-lesson. Most parents really enjoyed this experience, with lots of interactive sessions and parents getting involved in a Drama lesson doing freeze frames; a Science lesson, drawing in red and blue pens learning about circulation; a German lesson and an English lesson.
We are continuing to recruit into our 6th form for September and are pleased with the number of our current Year 11 students that wish to continue their studies with us.
On Friday before half term we will be creating a sea of blue within the school to raise money for Sophie’s Journey. Sophie was a student with us and sadly died in January 2016. Sophie’s favourite colour was blue so students and staff will wear blue in exchange for £1 to raise money for the charity established in her memory.
I’ll be holding another open event at the beginning of March for parents or anyone in the community who wishes to talk to me in more detail about our advancements and plans for NK Academy.