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Looking Ahead Optimistically

The start of a new year always gives us time to reflect and to look ahead. Many of us make resolutions and we have encouraged our students to consider how they will invest in themselves in 2022. By the end of this year, our current cohort of Year 11 students will have moved on from JQA to their next step and it is crucial now that they are considering their choices carefully. Many Year 11 students have asked me to be a referee for them in their applications and I am more than happy to do so – nothing is more fulfilling than seeing students who are now at college/sixth form come back to JQA to let us know how they are doing. Indeed, on Friday, we had a visit from an ex-student, a young lady who is studying broadcasting. We want our students to go on to achieve the top jobs – such is our ambition for them – to be the leaders of tomorrow and change British society for the better.

I’d like to thank you all for your support with the staggered start and testing last week. Most parents made sure their child arrived in the time window. I spent a couple of hours calling parents on Wednesday and Thursday and supporting and showing them how to access the crucial information the Academy puts out. Our Piota app and the new website as well as the text/email system and our extensive social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook all provide a platform for parents to access all the information they need. It’s vital and expected that parents/carers engage with these methods of communication.

It’s been wonderful to see all students back. I’ve been able to go to the gate every day to welcome students into the Academy. I’d like to thank you for providing them with face coverings whilst the restrictions are still in place. Students have been looking very smart as they cross the threshold to enter the Academy. The ‘buzz’ of learning is back at the Academy as students travel to lessons purposefully, enter in silence and SHINE. We had a couple of staff leave at the end of term and we are working to replace them with vacancies in Food, Science and PE currently.

It’s a busy week at the Academy next week with Pet-XI, an team of expert tutors, working with students in a range of cohorts and subjects to enhance their knowledge. We also have the amazing staff from MW Fitness who will take the lead in providing structured sports activities at lunch times for students. We also have Year 11 students taking their first exams in Creative IMedia, IT, Hospitality and Catering, Sports Studies, Health and Social Care and Music.

You may have seen on our social media that we have an hour of ‘Guided Reading’ over the course of a week. Please ask your child what they are reading. Encourage them to take a book out of our ‘Little Libraries’ that are in social spaces at the Academy and shortly I will share an update with you about the completion of our Library in the Equiano Centre at the Academy.

We have Homework Timetables in place and you can find these at: and our app has the topics that your child is learning and how you can test and support them with activities and ideas around these topics in the ‘Home Learning’ section of the app.

The latest Parent Survey closed before Christmas and we will share highlights from this is the next newsletter which will be published on Friday 21st January. We’re looking forward to seeing Year 11 parents and their children online at our Virtual Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Thursday from 4pm-6.30pm. It’s an important opportunity to discuss the results of recent mock exams and their next steps. The SchoolCloud system is easy to use and parents can book appointments via the link here:

Please call us on 0121 729 7220, leaving a message if lines are busy, and we will support you.

I wish you a lovely week and hope you and your family stay safe and well.

You can contact me directly at: [email protected]