• The Ilfracombe Academy

Letter from the Headteacher - Thinking of Others

Dear Parents and Carers,


Like you, I look at what has happened over the last week, and what continues to happen in Ukraine, with horror and sadness but also with a sense of admiration and huge respect for the courage of the people of Ukraine and their leaders. All of our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine doing everything they can to protect their way of life and especially their families, friends, children and young people.


Our students will have worries, questions and fears about the news they are hearing and the images they are seeing. This week, Mr Matthews distributed an excellent reflection that sensitively explained the issues to the students. Like you, we will continue to help them navigate the concepts and issues, and their feelings about them.


Ukraine Support

A huge thank you to the students, parents and staff in our learning community that have donated food, medical supplies, bedding, toiletries and other essential goods. The school collection was co-ordinated by Miss Sapeta, Mrs Cook and Mr Whitney. They liaised with Richard Easterbrook who will be transporting the donated items to Ukraine on Monday in three trucks. We hope that the items will offer some support to the thousands of displaced Ukrainians and that Richard Easterbrook, and his team, have a safe journey there and back home again.


Please some other points of interest in readiness for Monday 7th March.


Romeo & Juliet Reminder - 24th and 25th March

As you know, due to storm Eunice safety concerns, Stage Right's performance of Romeo & Juliet has now been re-arranged to 24th & 25th March. The performance takes place at 6pm in St Christopher's Hall and all originally purchased tickets will carry over. There are still some tickets available on the door and you can ring the office to reserve these (£12 for adults and £6 for students). We are performing the unabridged, full Shakespeare text and the lead roles range from Year 9-13. The students have worked incredibly hard throughout a rehearsal process highly affected by Covid-19 and they are all really proud of what they have achieved. For updates and information please contact Mr Vale or follow Stage Right on socials (FB & Instagram). We look forward to the students showcasing their amazing talents again and urge anyone to purchase a ticket if they haven’t already done so.



Joe Hatch – Signed by Plymouth Argyle


We’re delighted to announce that Joe Hatch has been signed by Plymouth Argyle on a 4 year contract. This is an amazing achievement which has taken many years of dedication, resilience and a considerable amount of travelling down to South Devon. Well done Joe!




Year 11 – Message from Mrs Tilley (Head of Year)

The Year 11 students have really impressed us these last 2 weeks with both their independent study and mature approach towards their mock exams. We will be holding a ‘Mock Results Morning’. This will involve the students receiving their mock exam results in St Christopher’s Hall as would happen in the summer. This is to give them a taste and experience of what it would be like receiving their final GCSE results.


I am pleased to announce that as of next week each Friday will be a non-school uniform day for our Year 11 students. The idea behind this is to reward them for their consistent approach to the school uniform, as well as giving them the experience of what they would wear to Sixth form or College as of next year. We will be asking students to give a £1 donation which will go towards funding their Year 11 Prom. Alternatively, students may bring in a donation for the food bank.


This non-school uniform will be for the Year 11 students on the expectation that uniform standards remain high throughout the week. If there is a drop in standards, I will tell the year group and contact you to let you know that the non-uniform will not happen for that week. Y11 will be expected to follow the same dress code as Sixth Form. Please see below for details.


Sixth Form Dress Code

The Ilfracombe Academy Sixth Form does not expect Sixth Form students to wear a formal uniform. The academy does, however, believe that dress code is very important and that the way a student dresses will have a significant impact on the behaviour and ethos of the Sixth Form and wider school. Considering this, the school insists that the choice of dress code by a student must adhere to the following principles:


Professional – Students are expected to dress appropriately in a way that reflects their purpose of being in school to study. Students should avoid clothing that is too casual or for unprofessional purposes. To be explicit, students should refrain from dressing like they are going for a night out or for a day on the beach. They should also avoid wearing loungewear and onesies.

Teaching and learning – if a student’s face or eyeline is obscured for any reason, for example by hats, hoods, sunglasses etc. it is likely to impede their learning. Equally, wearing such items may make it harder for teachers to judge engagement in learning. We therefore ask that students do not wear hats or sunglasses inside school unless there is a convincing medical reason.

Respectful – Students must consider how their choice of clothes could affect other members of the school community, including students in the younger year groups. The school is opposed to any form of dress code that is, or could be perceived, as offensive. This includes the use of inappropriate images or slogans and particularly revealing clothing.


Alongside these three guiding principles we have provided clearer guidance below about what types of dress code are deemed inappropriate at the Ilfracombe Academy Sixth Form. This guidance has been formulated following a consultation with students.


Inappropriate Dress code

  • Transparent clothing

  • Rude slogans

  • Underwear showing

  • Saggy trousers/boxers

  • Reveals midriff

  • Low cut tops

  • PJs/onesies

  • Beach shorts/mini shorts

  • Short skirts/dresses

  • Sandals/sliders

  • Extreme hair styles/colours

  • Extreme piercings

Students are expected to adhere to these principles in their dress-code at all times and failure to dress appropriately will not be tolerated.

Students found to be dressed inappropriately will be briefed on the matter, clearly explaining the issue. The student may then be sent home from school or asked to remove or change any inappropriate items. Once the student is appropriately dressed, they will be readmitted immediately. However, persistently inappropriate clothing will result in disciplinary measures being taken.


Investor in Careers – The National Quality in Careers Standard

We are proud to announce we have renewed our national quality in careers standard through the Investor in Careers model and achieved a ‘good’ rating. This demonstrates that The Ilfracombe Academy prioritises securing students’ next steps in life alongside achieving the necessary GCSE grades. We have worked very closely with local business and providers to ensure students get experiences of the working world and think about their next steps. As we get back to some more normality, we are really looking forward to continuing with our full careers programme as the academic year progresses. A big thank you to all of our local business partners; our staff for supporting careers and the students for their participation. Please see the website for more information on Careers.


Sports Relief 2022

Sports Relief will be taking place 14th to 18th March. Mrs Hill is leading assemblies next week to explain all the fun events that will be taking place across the week. We’ll report back after the event to let you know how much money was raised.


Social Time - Respecting Classrooms

We are used to harsh weather and therefore allow students to go to their allocated classrooms during social time to keep warm and dry. However, staff have mentioned that their classrooms can be untidy after break and lunch which can have a negative impact on the learning environment during period 3 and 5. The main issue seems to be pastry flaking off the ever-popular sausage rolls, some of which maybe accidental but this is not always the case. It is important that our all students ‘Respect their Classrooms’ and so we will be insisting that they leave their classroom as they found it after break/lunch. The expectation is that litter should be put in bins and chairs returned to original positions. If mess/crumbs are accidently spilt, then they should be tidied away to ensure that each room is ready to offer the best possible learning environment for incoming classes. If mess of certain foods continue (pastries in particular), we will have to look at removing them from the canteen menu. Staff will monitor the situation up until Easter and will communicate any updates if needed.

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GCSEPods

We’re pleased to see that our students in KS4 have now viewed 5000 GCSE Pods. GCSEPod gives students the ability to access a multitude of subject/exam board specific pod casts that offer bitesize pieces of revision that really help students to improve their knowledge and understanding in preparation for exams.


Face Coverings Update

Some students are still keen to wear face coverings which is absolutely fine. At this stage we ask that any students that would like to continue wearing face coverings bring their own to school. If a child wants to wear a face covering but forgets to bring one in, they should collect one from Student Services.


Covid Update

I’m pleased to inform you that we now have very few Covid 19 cases amongst the students and staff. The latest guidance can be confusing and somewhat contradictory. However, I have highlighted all the major points below to assist you as and when needed. If you have any concerns about symptoms and a possible positive case then please contact the school and we’ll do what we can to support you.


Self-Isolation If someone develops symptoms or has a positive test result the guidance still advises people to stay at home to avoid passing the infection on to others. There is no longer a legal requirement for people with COVID-19 to isolate BUT public health guidance STILL advises people to stay home for 10 days (or until have 2 negative LFDs on consecutive days from day 5).


Close Contacts

Are no longer required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests and contact tracing has ended. Routine contact tracing (provided by NHS Test and Trace) has now ended, and close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily LFD tests. People with COVID-19 will be encouraged to inform their close contacts, household and overnight contacts who are advised to take additional precautions for 10 days.


Symptoms

Students who are unwell should not attend the setting and should remain at home until their acute symptoms resolve (+24 hours for a fever).

  • IF these symptoms develop into cough, temperature, changes to taste and smell, should isolate and test.

  • IF test negative to COVID-19, still need to remain at home until at least 24 fever free and acute symptoms resolved.


Parents and settings should not try and ‘second guess’ diagnosis – if have the key symptoms, isolate and test.


Testing Update

PCR testing is still currently available for anyone with Covid-19 symptoms.


Regular asymptomatic testing of staff and pupils in mainstream secondary schools will not be expected to continue. Any outstanding test orders to school from the DfE will now not be delivered.


In the event of an outbreak, a school may also be advised by their local health team or director of public health to undertake testing for staff and students of secondary age and above for a period of time. This would only be as an exceptional measure and any tests schools have currently should be kept in case, they are needed for this. If schools do not have tests available, they will be able to be ordered from the DfE for use if in response to an outbreak.


As ever we’ll keep an eye on the guidance and communicate any key points to you.


Yours Sincerely





Steve Rogers

Headteacher

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