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I hope you had a lovely weekend in the unseasonably warmer weather. The weather will get colder later this week so we will have the heating on for a limited time. I again urge all families to ensure their child has the grey v-neck jumper to be as warm as possible, in accordance with our clear uniform policy.

It’s Anti-Bullying Week across the country and we traditionally mark it with ‘Odd Socks Day’ at JQA. It’s an opportunity to highlight the measures we take to address bullying at the Academy and celebrate our differences. When Ofsted visited the Academy in May, they said:

“Bullying is uncommon, and staff work hard to
resolve any disagreements. Pupils feel safe, in part because they can easily report
any concerns.”

We constantly promote and encourage our students to use the Sharp System (these alerts come through to me) or tell an adult if they are experiencing bullying, either in person or online. It happens in every school. This year’s theme is ‘Reach Out’ and we encourage all students to use our mechanisms to report if they themselves or a friend is experiencing bullying. Respect is central to all we do.

It was moving to see students from JQA standing with students from City Academy and members of the JQ community to mark Armistice Day on Friday. You will likely have seen video and pictures on social media.

Our CCF cadets will again visit RAF Cosford this week to take part in flying. Opportunity Day was a great success across the Academy on Thursday. Year 7 visited Stratford-Upon-Avon, Year 8 had a community-focussed day and Year 9 explored KS4 ‘taster-sessions’ of possible option subjects ahead of making their choices in early 2023. Year 10 and 11 had careers and post-16 sessions to support them in the latter stages of their journey at JQA.

Thank you to parents who had applied for their child to take part in music lessons through the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. This partnership starts today, led by Mrs Siddiqui. We have an opportunity for students who are talented mathematicians to represent the Academy in a ‘Mathletics’ competition.

Year 10 students have important assessments over the next two weeks – it is important they attend every day over the next fortnight. Thank you to parents of Year 11 students who have now completed their first set of mock exams. I look ahead to the first Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 8th December and the online system to book appointments will be live soon – I will alert Year 11 parents when this is up and running so they can start booking appointments with their child’s teachers.

I will also be meeting with parents of children who have reached Step 5 in our clear processes.

We are adding two Parent Governors to the Local Governing Board and I will share their details with you shortly. There has been a change in the Senior Leadership Team at JQA from today with Mr Tully being seconded to be a Deputy Headteacher at our sister school, City Academy until July 31st 2023. Ms Seleshe has been seconded as Assistant Headteacher at JQA for the duration of this time and will resume Mr Tully’s role and responsibilities. Mr Tully will return to JQA on 1st September 2023.

As COP27 approaches, students in our Student Parliament (which meets again at the JointWorks next Tuesday 22nd November) always talk to me about the impact of choices on the environment. Mellors, our wonderful catering team, will be offering a ‘plant-based’ day on Wednesday for all students. I will write to you again in early December to outline changes I have approved for the kitchen to enable equity of choice in the Hatch as well as the Refectory.

Finally, as the cost of living crisis continues to cause concern for our community, Birmingham City Council have put this helpful document together for residents. In a recent blog, I flagged up the great work that Incredible Surplus do to provide support for local residents.

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. Our lines are very busy in the daytime so I encourage parents to use the voicemail facility by pressing option 2.

You can always contact me directly this week at: [email protected]