End of Autumn Term Newsletter

I am writing to you with some information for the New Year and to congratulate the students and staff on a very successful first term at the new Academy.

I have enclosed a parents’ copy of my report to Governors and a copy of the Academy Newsletter to keep you up to date with events in school. Following advice from our Parent Voice Group, the Newsletter and other information for parents will be posted on our new Website at www.bolingbrokeacademy.co.uk. If you are interested in joining the Parent Voice Group please contact Stacey Barlow at the Academy.

Also click here to view the ‘Privacy Notice’ which is an information sheet for parents about the Data Protection Act explaining what type of data is held about students and why it is held.

We are working hard to secure capital funding for school improvement and I am expecting details from the Department of Education early in the New Year.

School will finish for Christmas at 12.40pm on Friday 17th December 2010. Those students who wish to collect a packed lunch from the canteen will be able to do so before they leave.

The Spring term starts on Tuesday 4th January 2011.

There has been a change to the date we finish for the Summer term, the Academy will now close on Wednesday 20th July 2011. In addition, the students will have an extra day’s holiday due to the planned Royal Wedding.

I would like to thank you for your support and wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Yours sincerely

J Rigby
Principal


Principal’s Report to Governors

Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy
Principal’s Report to Governors December 8th 2010 – Parents’ Copy

I reported to the Governors on the 22nd September 2010 that the start of term had been successful, and this continues to be the case. Our House System is now embedded with all key personnel in place and the Academy’s primary focus is on improving teaching and learning. We have taken part in four reviews in October and we have updated the Academy Development.

Our first production, the Wizard of Oz is showing this week with a cast of around 50 students and four primary schools.

Mrs Humby and Ms Fleetwood worked hard for the Academy to successfully achieve Healthy Schools Status.

I must thank the University of Chester for the use of their Padgate campus to host a a very successful meeting with our primary feeder Headteachers.

Staffing

The academy has a full complement of teaching staff. Mrs Fitzgerald is on maternity leave until Christmas. I am negotiating a phased return in January, and she will return full-time in February.
Mrs Minghella-Doyle is due to return from maternity leave in April.
Mrs Winsland has been appointed as Business and Finance Director.
We have launched a pilot scheme for a social worker to be placed in school from November 2010.
We have employed six temporary support staff for sixth months as part of the Halton People into Jobs scheme.
Miss L Collier is leaving the Academy in January to start her training to become a Maths teacher.

Student Numbers

Year Group Girls Boys Total
Y7 62 57 119
Y8 50 69 119
Y9 68 61 129
Y10 49 55 104
Y11 44 50 92
Y12 33 39 72

Total on roll is 635

The Year 6 first choice numbers are really pleasing and show a significant increase of 14% on the previous year. We are the only school in Runcorn to increase numbers.

School Improvement

Examination review meetings have taken place between Heads of Faculty, the Principal and Vice Principal. The Raising Attainment Programme meetings have occurred for Years 9, 10 and 11. This has resulted in several improvement strategies such as 1 to 1 tuition, Saturday boosters, coursework clinics along with personalised attendance programmes. We have recently started our academic mentoring programme with all Year 11 students having an academic mentor who they meet with on a regular basis to review individual progress and issues.

The quality assurance system has been presented to the Middle Leaders, and Performance Management interviews have taken place with challenging targets agreed.

All pupils in the academy were monitored for their progress towards target levels and grades in October and the results reported to parents. This has informed a process that ensures that every pupil receives an academic mentoring review at least once in each term in order to arrest underachievement or to ensure that pupils continue to achieve at the highest possible level. The next stage of pupil assessment has already begun and parents will receive the resulting reports at the end of term.

The teachers are currently undertaking a review of our target setting process which will ensure that the targets set for pupils are challenging. This will be completed by Christmas and the new targets will be communicated to pupils and parents in the New Year. We will, of course, continue to offer all pupils support and guidance in order to allow them to work towards meeting these aspirational targets.
All teaching staff have been observed and their lessons graded.

The Academy gained Investors in People and Healthy Schools status this term.

Curriculum Developments (AM)

Integrated curriculum

Our integrated curriculum in Years 7 and 9, led by Ms Smith, continues to go from strength to strength. The curriculum delivery team have been working very closely together looking at planning and assessment and recently had the second round of Philosophy 4 Children (P4C) training; this enquiry based learning model is proving to be a transformational mechanism in teaching pupils how to learn.

Specialisms

English: Alongside our fantastic National Poetry Day event in which teachers and pupils read and discussed their favourite poems, a whole range of literacy activities have been co-ordinated by our specialism director Mrs Rogan.

The Accelerated Reader programme has been launched in to the library which has had an immediate impact. Mrs Rogan has co-ordinated the Reading Challenge and will deliver a whole school training session on literacy across the curriculum before the end of term. We are also really excited to have confirmed two of our house writers Susan Nickson and Frank Cottrell-Boyce to come into school to work with our students over the next few weeks.

Applied Learning: After a very positive review of our BTEC provision from Edexcel, applied learning is really starting to embed itself into the curriculum within the academy. Our new hairdressing salon and engineering workshop are both very popular areas of the school with many students demanding enrichment activities in these areas. There are also a range of projects being planned across the school to forge links with industry and to bring learning to life: our fashion show is one such idea and our Valentine’s event where students will put on a restaurant style event to paying customers, along with Everton Football Club’s mini-kickers programme where our students train and referee younger students from across the area.

Year 7 RMC

The teaching, learning and progress of students were identified as being outstanding by the visiting Ofsted inspectors.

Cross-curricular projects

After a really successful cross-curricular project day in October in which pupils worked in their house groupings on a series of challenges to develop team-work, we are now eagerly anticipating our ‘Dickens Day ‘in the last week of term. This will tie in with our English Specialism and all departments will be delivering Dickens themed activities with their students. Our big project currently being planned for the New Year is our Cultural week in which students will have the opportunity to involve themselves in a wide range of activities relating to Caribbean culture.

Saturday Academy

The Saturday Academy has involved many students taking part in a variety of activities. There were over 100 students, staff and parents at the Academy on the 4th October to take part in:

• Sports Studies catch-up and extension sessions
• Wizard of Oz rehearsal
• Saturday detentions
• Our ‘Around the World’ project which involves Year 6, 7 and 8 pupils and has been giving them the opportunity to experience a range of different cultures. This Saturday involved a trip to the European markets in Manchester, culminating in a ride on the big wheel.

Previous Saturday activities have included Maths master classes for primary students. Sixth form Maths booster classes and revision classes for Years 9-11. The English department have also offered Saturday morning revision classes.

Academy Buildings

The T.V. recording studio has been completed, and the P.E. changing rooms have been painted and partitioned to accommodate Dance changing facilities.

We are awaiting to hear the results of the Governments review of capital funding, hopefully in January 2011.