Released On 15th Nov 2021

Headteacher Letter 15 November

15 November 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Headteacher Letter

I am writing this letter following a touching remembrance service on Ham Hill where myself, several of our senior students, many local families and several staff attended a sincere and well lead service by Rev Nic Clarke. The reverend shared with us an extract from the service he led at Montacute School on the Thursday 11 November, where he spoke about the importance of showing compassion for one another. This really hit home for me after a week where Stanchester Academy has spent time reflecting on those who gave their lives for our freedom and raising money for children in need. There is nothing more important than kindness within our school community and thinking with care and compassion about the needs of others.

Following guidance from Public Health England, we have successfully completed two weeks in Amber alert safety. I would like to send a huge thank you to the students, staff, and parents for regular testing and for keeping numbers down! It is with regret however that I must inform you at the end of last week we received further notification that we will remain in Amber until the end of November. I would like to stress the importance of our students remaining in their bubbles, particularly during social times to reduce the risk of infection. We will be reminding students about this on Monday; if you can discuss this during the week with you children that would be appreciated. We have handed out a lot of disposable masks this term but we do need to stress the importance of students bringing their own masks in until the end of the Month.

On Thursday, we took part in a whole school Remembrance Day assembly that saw a student presentation and a whole school silence. It was a very powerful and touching service that was delivered and received with respect by all. I would like to thank Mrs Hendry for coordinating this and to all the military students who either read or took part in designing the assembly. I felt very proud to see the students arriving in their uniforms last week.

As I mentioned, on Friday we saw students at Stanchester Academy taking part in a Children in Need non-uniform event. Students were invited to pay £1 and wear clothing of their choice. It was great to see so many onesies, pyjamas, and costumes. Well-done all for such a great effort! The proceeds from this event will help to support this brilliant charity and all the great work that it does nationwide.

Progress Reports

This week we will send Progress Reports home. These detail an Attitude to Learning score, mock result information and Knowledge Test scores, if appropriate. Please discuss these at home and celebrate the hard work and effort that has been put into these results. Following the data analysis, we will be reorientating Year 11 morning RA (Raising Attainment) groups based on scores and starting afterschool catch up sessions this term. Please be aware that parents of all years can contact subject teachers for more information. Following on from this, Year 10 mock exams start next week for 6 school days, please remind your young people to revise and prepare for these.

Upcoming Events

For Year 9 this week we have a series of STEM workshops, which focus on skills in programming, maths, technology, and engineering. Life skills in teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and perseverance. It will also educate our students in careers in the Army’s engineers, medics, and logisticians. During the workshops, students will be learning how to build, programme and operate a LEGO™ Mind-storm robot and will use their robot to undertake a series of engineering and logistical challenges. 

On Friday 3 December, we have the charity Stand Against Violence in to deliver workshops and assemblies. Stand against Violence promote good citizenship among young people and equip young people with the skills they need to handle, and avoid, potentially violent situations. This is a great opportunity for our students to take part in these informative workshops and for us to continue the important conversations we have been having this year with our young people related to consent and hate crimes.

The leadership team and I are keen to start extracurricular lunchtime clubs as Covid restrictions have meant that unfortunately lots of extra-curricular opportunities have had to stop. This potentially had a real impact on our young people, their wellbeing, and social skills, as attending clubs are a great way of meeting new people and learning new things. This quote from Dame Martina Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, sums up the benefits of extra-curricular activities wonderfully.

"Increased confidence which helps social interaction, social skills, a real aspiration to go onto higher or further education, more soft skills and a sense of wellbeing and belonging."

We hope that after Christmas, we can coordinate activities at lunchtime that will increase our students’ confidence, develop their social skills, and foster their well-being. We will keep you informed of these developments as they progress. On Wednesday, the student council are meeting to discuss the types of clubs they would like to see at Stanchester Academy.

School show rehearsals are going well, we will be starting to sell tickets soon. Due to the amber status of the county, we will need to constantly review how this production moves forward but have every intention of hosting Aladdin in early December. The rehearsals are a weekly highlight for me on a Wednesday evening, even though I spend most of the following day humming the theme tunes. Tickets will be available shortly though our online pay system.

As ever, I would like to thank you for your support of Stanchester Academy.

Warmest regards

Miss E Forward

Headteacher