Letter form the Headteacher - Good To Have Everyone Back
Dear Parents and Carers,
Firstly, a huge well done to our Year 7 students who completed three days of remote learning yesterday and to their parents and carers that supported them at home. The students had a lot of information of absorb in a short period of time with regards to new systems such as ClassCharts and TEAMs but they did incredibly well. The Year 7 pastoral team have been delighted with the high levels of engagement from the students and they work that they completed. That being said, it was really great to welcome them back into school on Thursday. Staffing levels have increased but we still have some staff that have tested positive and are having to self-isolate. I unfortunately count myself in that number. Despite this, we’re hopeful that we won’t need to send any more year groups home although cannot fully discount that option if our staffing levels reduce again.
I have written to the parents/carers of two tutor groups in Year 9 explaining that we have noticed an increasing trend of COVID cases in those groups. Following PHE guidance, we have asked the students to complete daily LFD testing for one week to reduce the chances of any infection spreading. We also issued the students in those tutor groups with another box of LFD tests so they could complete the tests.
I have also written to our parents/carers of children with SEND this week explaining that due to the next set of mock examinations there is likely to be a reduction in LSA support in classrooms. This reduction in support is once again due to on-going staff absence and the fact that a large number of staff are needed to support our Year 11 SEND students as a reader and/or a scribe to help them access the examinations. This reduction in support will only be during Periods 1 and 2 throughout the examination period and the SEND staff will be working with their normal classes from period 3 onwards.
Please see some points of interest from this week and in preparation for Monday 14th February.
Inspirational Music Trip
Last Wednesday Mr Baker took a group of sixth form A Level students and Year 11 potential A-Level students on a trip to Birmingham. They spent an hour being shown around the brand new facilities of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the Midlands specialist music school (where Mr Baker completed his undergraduate degree). Students toured the concert facilities, lecture halls, practice rooms and recording studios. The visit really opened the eyes of some of our advanced musicians to the possibilities of higher-level musical study at such an amazing facility.
The students were able to indulge in some shopping in the huge Bull Ring shopping centre before the main reason for their trip- a visit to Symphony Hall to see the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The students were absolutely mesmerised by the 21-year-old violin soloist in the first half performing Beethoven's violin concerto. The major treat of the evening was Symphony Fantastique by the French composer Berlioz- a completely absorbing performance. A fantastic day was had by all- there will be more opportunities to follow!
Year 11 Last Day
The Year 11s last day has been confirmed as 23rd June after their last exam. This will be followed with their Prom (venue TBC) on Friday 24th June. Mrs Tilley, Head of Year 11, has already formed a Year 11 Prom Committee to help plan the event.
Another Reminder Year 11 & 13 Mock Examinations
Year 11 and 13 mock examinations begin on Monday 14th February 2022 (a full timetable of mock examinations is available on the school website). We would ask all parents and carers to support students’ attendance at all these important mock examinations.
We have produced pre-mock exam guidance documents for all of these mock examinations. These documents are designed to provide focus to students’ revision. This is a support measure that will be in place for the students’ formal examinations in summer 2022.
Mr Twomey wrote a letter to all parents and carers of students in years 11 and 13 earlier this week. This letter provides additional information on the mock examinations and the guidance documents to support students.
Staff at the Academy are looking forward to working with students to facilitate their success in these upcoming mock examinations. We are excited by our students’ potential and wish them the best of luck in their preparation and during the exams themselves.
Reminder about LFD Testing
People who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6
The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace
If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10-day period of self-isolation
This means that the completion of at home LFD tests is really important. We would again like to thank our parents/carers for supporting their child to complete two LFD tests at home on Sundays and Wednesdays each week. Some students have tested positive through this process and are self-isolating at home.
I hope all our students and their families enjoy the weekend.