Headteachers Newsflash

 

The Albion Academy Headteacher Newsflash

Friday 18th September 2020

 

Being covid aware.

On the way into work this morning the news was all about the possible stricter restrictions that could be coming our way in the North West. There was also a story about the Test and Trace system not anticipating that there would be a rise in the need for test kits when children started to return to school.

To me it would be quite obvious that as we return to how things were, we would need to prepare as best we can because the virus has not disappeared, it is very much floating about the country and across the world. It is likely to be with us for some considerable time as well.

I would like to thank our parents and carers for working with us sending your child to school with a face covering, providing them with hand sanitizer gel as a back up, although we have loads of the stuff at the moment.

I want to prepare us all for something that might happen, so that it is not a shock and so that you can understand why Headteachers sometimes have to make difficult and unpopular decisions. My son’s school has had to send home two different year groups, his is not affected at the moment but I expect it will be at some point. Sarah, Liam’s mum, can work from home meaning I can continue to come to work if Liam had to not attend. However not all of our staff can do this and have to share the childcare, its this childcare issue which at the moment for lots of school is causing us a real dilemma and sometimes difficulty in putting an adult in front of children.

At some point it is likely to get to the stage where schools will have to have a group or groups at home remote learning whilst others attend because the actual number of staff able to physically be on site is limited. It is so frustrating. We are not at that point yet, but we could be if there was a sudden surge in cases that meant a lot of staff had to be at home.

These are the challenges that all schools are facing right now but we are doing our best for your children and for you.

Attendance Matters – Every day counts

Again, a strange week really considering that around us some other local schools are struggling. We are in the main getting reasonable numbers of children through the door each day but it will be a bit of a rollercoaster ride this year. It is clear that the combination of the covid situation as well as the seasonal bout of colds and flu that begin to appear towards the end of September will have a negative effect on attendance in each year group.

I’d like to thank all those parents and carers who are continuing to support us both in sending pupils to school but also those of you who have actively sought our advice when your child has the sniffles. It is very much about us working together using our common sense and looking after each other.

At some point the impact of covid will come to an end.

Week ending 18.09.2020

 

Year

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

7

96.2

96.8

98.7

97.8

97.5

8

89.6

90.6

89.6

89.5

86.2

9

89.3

88.2

90.6

88.7

87.5

10

91.9

90.2

90.6

85.6

88.7

11

92.5

93.2

92

93.2

91.2

Whole school

91.9

91.9

92.4

91.1

90.4

 

Open Evening

This year we cannot operate an Open Evening in the same fashion as we would normally do, the Rule of 6 makes it a real challenge in that respect as we would want to showcase our building and curriculum areas.

So instead we are in the process of producing a short film to capture what we do including what some of our pupils want to say about their school.

We are due to go live with an Open Evening Town Hall on Thursday 8th October but I will confirm all the details nearer the time.

Year 11 Period 6

What amazing attendance, commitment and participation from a wonderful group of young people. Science was on Monday, Maths was on Tuesday and then we finished off with English on Wednesday I don’t think attendance dropped below 97% on any day totally blowing away what the Year 11’s last year achieved.

These sessions focus on lots of the skills needed to get those higher marks and higher grades, there is opportunity to revisit topic areas as well as develop mastery appreciation of concepts

We really are so proud of the great start your children are making.

 

Homework Timetable – September 2020

 

Subjects will set homework on the proposed dates and give student a reasonable time to complete homework. There are a number of subjects that are using online platforms to set homework such as Hegarty maths, Seneca or GCSE Pod.

 

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Year 7

Science

Technology

Preforming Arts

English

MFL

Hums

Maths

Year 8

Science

Technology

Preforming Arts

English

MFL

Hums

Maths

Year 9

Science

Technology

Preforming Arts

English

MFL

Hums

Maths

Year 10

Science

Technology

Preforming Arts

English

MFL

Hums

Maths

Year 11

Science

Technology

Preforming Arts

English

MFL

Hums

Maths

 

Year 11 Summer examinations

Year 11, there are only 27 school weeks left, just 135 days in school, until your first GCSE exam. Remember the route to GCSE success is a marathon and not a sprint.

Your GCSE grades will depend on your hard work and commitment throughout the year and not last minute revision the week or night before an exam.

By now you should all have an idea what you may want to do when you leave The Albion at the end of this academic year. It is important, however, that you get as much information as you can about the different colleges you can apply to and the courses and qualifications on offer.

Try and get along to as many ‘Virtual’ Open Days or Events as you can over this term so that you are really well informed and can make the right choices for your future.

Safeguarding

If you are worried about a child or have concerns about something that does not seem right contacting the NSPCC can be the first step to helping resolve a difficult situation.

The website is https://www.nspcc.org.uk/ and they can be contacted on via email help@nspcc.org.uk or telephone 0808 800 5000

They also have some fantastic resources and information about the online world https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/ where it deals with real life issues of sexting and sending nudes, simply talking to your child about the internet and apps as well as more challenging topics such as inappropriate or explicit content.

 

Next week – 21st September

Next week is WEEK B

Important dates

The Academy will close for the Half Term Holiday on Friday 23rd October. We reopen again on Monday 2nd November

INSET day Friday 28th November

Last day of Autumn term is Thursday 17th December 2020. Pupils return to school on Tuesday 5th January 2021

 

Remember you can follow us on Twiiter @albionacademy

The Albion Academy Headteacher Newsflash

Friday 11th September 2020

 

Time is starting to fly already.

 

We now have all of our pupils back in the building, inductions have been completed on the new ways in which we have to operate, lessons are back in full swing and it has been wonderful to see children learning again after several months away.

Attendance Matters – Every day counts

Attendance this week considering that there has been a bit of a spike across Greater Manchester with suspected and confirmed cases of covid19 has been really impressive. It is so important that we maintain our strict rules on pupil bubbles, personal hygiene and monitoring for any symptom of the virus so that we can keep children learning in the building for as long as possible. Every day with your child is a blessing.

As you can see from the chart below, Year 7 have had an excellent week. Other year groups are struggling to attend as regularly at the moment.

Week ending 11.09.2020

 

Year

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

7

97.2

98.1

99.4

98.8

98.1

8

94.2

93.7

94.9

94.1

92.8

9

 

 

98.6

92.2

91.4

10

 

91.4

88.4

93.7

92.8

11

94.3

90.5

93.2

93.8

87.9

Whole school

94.9

93.7

95.1

94.6

92.8

 

Standards and expectations

Last week I spoke about maintaining high standards, being consistent and needing parental support when tackling things that do not meet our expectation.Of course, children are going to make mistakes that is normal.But that being said, each Year group has had a very clear assembly from me about being polite.We cannot tolerate any form of behaviour that will disrupt the learning of others, that is not fair nor is walking away from adults as it may compromise our bubbles.

Unfortunately, a very tiny percentage of children have found out the hard way that when I or my staff ask something and it is completely ignored, or blatantly disregarded there are consequences that will happen, and these will not change even if there is a tantrum.

We understand that being out of school for a period of time and returning will be strange at first, but we are back now, and we have no time to lose. Simply put every minute in lesson is precious

 

Year 11 Period 6

From Monday 14th September your Year 11 child will receive their Period 6 session timetable. Last year we found that this additional learning time with a familiar adult allowed the pupils to reinforce their learning from across the week and gain new, deeper knowledge.

The more time we can have with your child the better. The sessions are specifically designed to help support all the pupils and give them opportunities for extended learning that they just would not get if they did not have the structured environment that we can provide.

The summer exam season will soon be upon us so now is the absolute right time to put everything in place that we can to make sure your child achieves their personal best.

 

Social Media

Unfortunately some schools both in the local area and across the country have had to send pupils home for 14 days due to confirmed cases of coronavirus in their bubbles. It was always going to happen and is highly likely to continue happening for some time.

As of writing this Newsflash we have yet to have a confirmed case but let’s be totally honest and realistic it is just a matter of time before we also have to deal with the impact that the virus is bringing to our community. When we do get the call, we feel that we are ready to deal with it via our Remote Learning Plan, your child this week has been through how to log onto our online learning platform and should we have to ask you to isolate your child at home we can swiftly move to blended learning.

Obviously we are shown messages that might fly about Facebook, if we had a confirmed case of covid then we would have to inform all those affected. Public Health England would contact me, I would discuss with them the details of the case identifying year group, classes that could be impacted and then they would inform me from a public health aspect what course of action to take.

I really do need all parents to know that we are very much guided and directed by experts. If there was an outbreak, we have to follow the guidance set out but as of this morning we have been fortunate enough to be able to keep all of our children learning in the building.

So lets all remember… Hands, face, space.

 

Safeguarding

The UK Safer Internet Centre has some great resources available for parents to understand what your child might be doing whilst they are online.

Apps like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all come with an inherent risk – Who is my child talking to?

Do you know all the people that send DM’s (direct messages) to your child? Do you know all the people your child is friends with? If you do not, why not? Maybe this weekend is an ideal time to look at the phone you probably bought and go through what they do with the phones data that you probably pay for.

This link will take you to UK Safer Internet Centre’s ‘Helping young people get back to school ready’ page https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/blog/helping-young-people-get-back-school-ready-bbc-own-it . The Team at BBC Own it have created a range of content to help young people return to learning, this includes videos from celebrities as well as an app to provide on the go help and guidance to your child’s device. In this blog we take a closer look at some of the content on Own It, and the ways you can use the app with your children.

 

Next week – 14th September

Next week is WEEK A

 

Remember you can follow us on Twiiter @albionacademy

The Albion Academy Headteacher Newsflash

Friday 4th September 2020

 

Welcome back!

 

The start of the new year could not have been better given the national return under the new Covid rules. On Thursday we welcomed back into school Years 7 and 11. To add into the strange Covid situation if you are not already aware, we have made massive improvements with our GCSEs compared to any other year which we will share with you all at a later date. So, it is very much reasons to celebrate past successes whilst looking forward to making sure that our children are safe, ready to learn, respectful to everyone in the building and continue to make progress.

Attendance Matters – Every day counts

As we return to a more normal way of living and learning each week I will share with you how the year groups attend. Obviously this year attendance can and probably will fluctuate unexpectedly. However, that being said every single day counts and every single day is important. We want your child to attend as regularly as possible.

Week ending 04.09.2020

 

Year

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

7

 

 

 

96.2

96.5

8

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

90.2

90.1

Whole school

 

 

 

93.5

93.6

 

Standards and expectations

There can be occasions when students and parents feel that we are inflexible on issues such as uniform, behaviour or our expectations and that our insistence on the highest of standards at all times can, in some circumstances, be unreasonable. For instance, a parent may feel that a student who normally wears perfect uniform has been treated unfairly if they are given a sanction on the first occasion that they are not wearing the correct footwear, especially if, in their view, the situation was unavoidable. Similarly, a student will be given a sanction and asked to remove jewellery or make-up if they are wearing it.

Consistency

Maintaining high standards can be very difficult and, working in a school, you soon realise that the key to success, and the absolute cornerstone of all good schools, is an absolute consistency in applying your rules and expectations. If one student is allowed to walk around in trainers today, then there will be two tomorrow and five the day after. The following week, someone will come without their blazer or tie. The same applies to make-up, jewellery, chewing gum, handing in homework, punctuality and all the other routines and expectations of school life. Routines, procedures and protocols that you work hard to establish can be very easily lost.

Parental support

Whilst I sometimes understand parental frustrations at what they see as relatively ‘minor’ issues or transgressions of the school rules, it is important to understand that, with 756 young people in the building, you cannot allow one of them to ignore or disregard the rules and expect the other 755 not to follow suit. Children do, naturally, push the boundaries, that is part of growing up, and if you allow the little things to slip then other things will follow. Most parents, if you ask them, would say that they want their children to go to a ‘strict’ and well-ordered school. Supporting the school on the small detail as well as the bigger issues is important in establishing and maintaining that disciplined and purposeful learning environment.

Keeping up to date

In order that messages of general news, notifications or changes to policy are communicated and shared, we try to ensure that via this Newsflash we maintain good channels of communication and information is passed on.  We also try to keep our website and Twitter feeds as up to date as is humanly possible.  With regards to uniform, we began communicating expectations as far back as July with updates about wording related to what is and is not acceptable footwear, this was via the letter at the end of the academic year.

Every year seems to raise the same September problem which is often about footwear brands that fall into a grey area of; “Are they a shoe or are they not a shoe?”.  In truth it is a minefield, but the advice given in my letter prior to the end of the year was to not purchase them, buy something that looks like the acceptable footwear description.  On the 17th July we posted several images of boys and girls’ footwear within our end of term letter to parents. We will continue to maintain high standards around our school uniform because we are really proud of how smart our pupils look.

A managed return

Thursday and Friday saw the managed return of Year 7 and Year 11 into the building and we are so happy to have your child back into our building.

On Monday we welcome back Year 8 who will have the orientation assembly and then begin their learning.

We ask that pupils have with them their equipment, full uniform, mask, tissues and a suitable hand sanitizer that works for your child’s skin type. Regarding mask and hand sanitizers it really is about social responsibility for us all; we all have families and some of our family members have recently come out of shielding. We appreciate that wearing a mask is not usual in the UK, but these are unusual times at the moment and the more we can do to look after each other, the quicker we can come out the other end of the Covid19 situation.

Tuesday Year 10 return and Wednesday Year 9 return meaning by Wednesday morning we will have all pupils back on-site learning.