I look forward to seeing our wonderful students on the gate on Tuesday between 8.15-8.30, as the National Period of Mourning comes to a close today with the late Queen’s funeral.
Assemblies this week will focus on the elections for Student Parliament which take place next week. Interested students, who wish to stand as a member of the Student parliament and represent their form groups, should prepare their campaign speeches. Shabana Mahmood, MP for Ladywood, opens our elections with a short video on the power of democracy. We look forward to seeing our newly elected Student Parliament at The Jointworks for the official opening on the 18th October 2022.
It has been great to welcome parents and carers to the Academy each Wednesday morning as part of our ‘Collaboration Coffee Mornings’. As the cost of living crisis continues to hit families hard, we encourage any families whose circumstances have changed and who are not yet in receipt of free school meals to check to see if they qualify. You can do that by clicking the link here.
CORE Extra continues on Tuesday with the extra session from 3.10-4.10. I would like to remind all parents that this is part of the Academy day. The Summer 1 newsletter produced in late May outlined the initial the idea to parents. Parents were also invited to come to the Parent Symposium to discuss any issues on 14th July as part of a consultation (a copy of the presentation was shared and is available here). Governors have agreed to the Academy implementing the change in meetings in the Summer in line with paragraph 241 of the Governance Handbook. The extension to the school day on Tuesdays is now firmly part of the curriculum offer at JQA and in line with the government White Paper published in March 2022. The school day now ends at 4.10 on Tuesdays. This is designed to give students a wide range of extra experiences and the edge over any potential college applicant rivals.
It was wonderful see so many of our students engaging with Birmingham Heritage Week last week: we saw students visiting the Pen Museum, going on walking tours to learn about local author Kathleen Dayus and the famous Lunar Society, as well as attending dramatic performances to learn about the history of the Jewellery Quarter, visiting the Pen Museum and taking part in art activities with the RBSA. We are privileged to be located in an historic area of Birmingham, rich in heritage, and we believe it is important for our students and staff to connect with this vibrant history. Students also visited the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and the Birmingham Hippodrome. We are excited to have a partnership with the Hippodrome this year which will offer students to see more performances!
We have helped all students in form time last week to write their name in key items of uniform, such as their blazer and tie. In a cost of living crisis, we are encouraging all students to be extra careful to look after items of uniform that would cause families the most expense to replace. I must remind parents of the points of note in our clear uniform and equipment policy. I do not wish parents to allow their child to dye their hair or get expensive acrylic nails, only for us to insist upon our ‘natural’ approach, at a cost to families.
Thank you to parents and carers of children in Year 11 who came along to our Year 11 Information and Careers evening last Thursday. It was a good opportunity for parents and students to see the journey ahead and the key milestones and students met the key people, the team around them on Thursday too. We only succeed as a team. We also shared with parents a booklet which gives them information, advice and guidance on helping their child secure a place at a Post-16 provider, after they leave JQA. There is a dedicated Year 11 page on our website at:
Homework is a key part of learning and we have a revised homework policy and timetable in place at the Academy. Homework will rely on your child having access to their Microsoft Teams /Outlook 365 account details. We have insisted all students write this on p9 of their planners. If you are unsure of this, please contact your child’s tutor or Head of Year. A guide to completing assignments on Teams using mobile phones as well as desktops/laptops can be found by clicking the links here and I have recorded a short video to help parents support their child with home learning. I must remind all families that their child’s computer use, when logged in via their JQA Teams Outlook 365 account, is monitored at all times.
We had a fire practice last week and we intend to hold a ‘lockdown’ drill this Friday. Students will be walked through this but we will never be complacent with student and staff safety and I will be in touch on the day to inform you that it has taken place successfully.
As always, you can call the Academy on 0121 729 7220, leaving a message if lines are busy and we will get back to you.
You can always contact me directly this week at: [email protected]