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Thank you for your support during the day of industrial action last week. It was great to see Key Stage 4 students on site and Key Stage 3 students working so diligently in their live lessons from home. A reminder that there are two more days of strikes on March 15th and 16th. I will write to parents to confirm plans on Monday 13th March.

I will also be asking all parents to complete a short survey in relation to Parents’ Evenings, asking for your views on how we might adapt these events more to support parents.

There is no CORE Extra on Tuesday due to it being Opportunity Day. Students will leave at 3.10 on Tuesday unless they are involved in the trip. It promises to be an exciting day with Year 7 exploring our historic community, Year 8 heading to the Natural History Museum in London, Year 9 working with external partners on the value of Collaboration and Year 10 having a careers-focussed’ day. All students should attend in full school uniform.

Year 11 Mock Exams start this week and a full timetable is here. It is important that Year 11 parents make sure their child attends on time and everyday and adheres to the exam expectations during this period in particular as it is their final ‘dress rehearsal’ before exams begin in the Summer. A text alert is scheduled the day before each exam to remind you of what your child has the next day and should be revising for that evening.

It was brilliant to see the students who had successfully applied to the CORE Leaders of Tomorrow programme having their first session at Rockwood Academy last week.

It is going to be a cold week so please ensure your child is prepared with the appropriate items such as the grey v neck jumper. Also, it is important you speak to your child about coming straight to school and going straight home. Students should not be meeting up at the Clock or in parks/nearby cemeteries prior to school, or loitering around the community in groups. It is important students do not put themselves at risk in this way. There have been instances that we have reported to the police where adults have approached our children and students have been great in working with us to report these individuals to the authorities.

I must remind parents that if your child damages an area of the Academy, it is expected, in line with our Behaviour Procedures (p8-9) that parents pay for the damage, after our subcontractor Accuro has costed this up. Unfortunately, I will shortly be sharing a bill for parts and labour to fix an area of the site which was damaged on Friday with two families, totalling £1047.20. Choices have consequences.

We have a professional counsellor starting with us today for one day a week to add additional capacity to support students with mental health. It’s National Careers Week at the academy so that will be the theme of assemblies and activities this week with students also seeing webinars from professionals in different fields.

We send a text out to every child who has 100% attendance each week for recognition. Students with 100% attendance pick up their ‘golden tickets’ in form and their tutor puts them in our postbox to be in with a chance of winning our Rewards Raffle on the final day of each half term. The next one of these is on Friday 31st March and we are asking our Student Parliament who meet later this month to decide the prizes. One of the projects of the Student Parliament has been completed – our expanded Library in the Equiano Centre. The grand opening was scheduled for World Book Day and it was brilliant to see students receive their book tokens and free books.

I must stress that if your child has had time off already last week, they CANNOT have any more absence this term as they will be categorised as persistently absent.

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]