16th July 2018
I have really enjoyed my first half term as the new Headteacher of Shrewsbury Academy.
It has been a real pleasure to meet so many fantastic students and watch them enjoy such a wide range of exciting experiences. It has also been excellent to see the extremely positive relationships that exist between the students and their teachers which provide the foundations of the school.
Amongst the highlights of the half term have been the Dance Festival, The Summer Concert, celebrating outstanding achievements at the Shrewsbury Academy Oscars, watching many of the boys and girls achieve success at various Athletic competitions and the fabulous efforts of the Duke of Edinburgh students.
Before I took up the post I stated my strong desire to start earlier than originally scheduled in order to hit the ‘ground running’ in September for the new term. This time has proved to be invaluable. It has given me the chance to observe what goes on and the opportunity to have already made changes that will improve the school.
Behaviour & Progress
During my first week in post I quickly formed the opinion that there were too many distractions in lessons; I have always lived by the following motto in my career in education: ‘Students have the right to learn, Teachers have the right to teach’.
With this in mind, I introduced a Removal Room during my second week in post, in simple terms this meant that senior staff visit all lessons throughout the day, and have the authority to remove any student who disrupts the learning of others.
Whilst I was incredibly disappointed but not entirely shocked with the amount of students that were removed from lessons in the first week of the new routine. I was pleased that in the second week we managed to half that figure, and have continued to reduce this in every consequent week. Every time a student is removed from a lesson their parents will be notified, and if any student is removed more than twice in any day, they will be sent home.
I am very clear that any child that is sent home will not return to school until a meeting has been held with their parents, so that boundaries and expectation are adhered to.
Alongside this, I am saddened to report that I have had to permanently exclude students from the school since my appointment, but I am determined that our children will be provided with every opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Academic Progress is incredibly important for the children in our care, and it goes hand in hand with excellent behaviour. To that extent I have also changed the roles of some of the Senior Leaders in the school and would ask you to contact the following members of staff in relation to any matters regarding your child:
- Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and 8) – Mrs Hayley Cornish – Assistant Headteacher
- Key Stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11) – Miss Michelle Lovatt – Deputy Headteacher
- (Please see the updated Behaviour Policy Parents Code of Conduct)Behaviour PolicyBehaviour Policy – page 15 Parents Code of Conduct
I have always strongly believed in the importance of students being dressed smartly for school. Generally if students dress smartly they learn and behave better. I understand that with the recent heatwave we have relaxed the rules on blazers and ties, however I have been a little disappointed that too many students have been wearing trainers to school.
From September 2018 I will insist on all students wearing the correct uniform at all times and I will regretfully send them home if this is not the case. The Pastoral team have purchased some spare items for emergencies only, and I do recognise that occasionally these will be borrowed on a daily basis, however I really would like your support to ensure that high standards of dress are adhered to throughout the school.
(Please see the Uniform for guidance and information)
www.shrewsburyacademy.sat.coop/AboutShrewsburyAcademy/Parents & Carers/Uniform
One of the exciting new developments that will move the school forward in terms of academic results and engagement is the Session 6 programme.
This is a programme that allows all students to access opportunities after school to take part in Performing Arts, Sports and many curricular activities, but also allows students to attend catch up sessions across the curriculum in a much smaller teacher / student ratio.
In addition to students volunteering for sessions, teachers will also be able to request that certain groups attend Session 6 in order to boost their academic performance.
I am determined that a tried and tested system will have a huge impact on our students and I am asking you for 100% support with this. Sessions 6 will not run in the first week and last week of every full term
www.shrewsburyacademy.sat.coop/AboutShrewsburyAcademy/Parents & Carers/Session6/choose year group
Parents Advisory Council
I will be inviting volunteers to join the newly formed Parents Advisory Council during the first few weeks of the Autumn Term. I think it is essential to have a core group of supportive parents that I can converse with to share developments in the school and seek advice from in terms of policies and next steps. Please look out for information regarding this early in September 2018.
It is always sad to see some staff leave any school, but we say a fond farewell to Rob Thomas, Anne Rossall, Laura Davies, John Beeston, Charlotte Preece, Emily Pendergast, Tracy Garratt, Mel Hallam, Mark Hamilton, Elaine Jones, Alison Wood, Ella Reynolds, Jennifer Morris and Rachel Priestly, we wish them every success in their future career paths.
I am delighted to announce that we are fully staffed in all areas of the school for September 2018 and are delighted with the calibre of the appointments that have been made.
First day of term Arrangements – Wednesday 5th September 2018
Year 11 Students Arrive at 08.45am and go straight to the main hall.
Year 10 Students Arrive at 09.15am and go straight to the main hall.
Year 9 Students Arrive at 09.30am and go straight to their form groups.
Year 8 Students Arrive at 09.30am and go straight to their form groups.
Mrs Rogers will send a text message to parents confirming this information.
Finally, my only regret this half term is that it has been so busy that I have not been able to meet with you all to explain some of the changes and ways forward for Shrewsbury Academy.
In order to do this, I would like to invite you in to school on the following evenings in September, where I will be presenting on new developments and future plans for the continued growth of Shrewsbury Academy.
Year 10 and Year 11 Wednesday 5th September 2018 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Year 8 and Year 9 Thursday 6th September 2018 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Year 7 Wednesday 12th September 2018 6.30pm – 7.30pm
A copy of this letter is also available on the school website under letters to parents.
I hope that all students and their families have an enjoyable summer holiday and I look forward to seeing everyone in September.
Mr J Arnold
Headteacher Shrewsbury Academy