Added/Edited on the 19/03/2018 Previous Messages
The past week has proven to be an exceptionally varied one and many students have enthusiastically grabbed the opportunities on offer to engage with, and enjoy their learning.
We began the week by hearing from Miss Howells and Mr Willis who, on Saturday, attended Peterborough Crown Court to take part in the Cambridgeshire heat of the annual ‘Mock Trial Competition’ with 13 Year 9 students. The students performed superbly against tough competition, winning the competition and making it through to the regional final in May. Well done to all those who took part and our thanks to Tata Loader and Gabriel Pang who used their experience from last year to assist in their preparation.
On Monday, Mr Simpson also reported that our Year 9 and Year 10 rugby teams played for 3rd or 4th place in the County finals and achieved a creditable third place; very well done to all. Attention then turned to our second interform competition of the year as students in Years 7-10 competed in netball, hockey and football; as is common, the students strongly demonstrated our values of teamwork, mutual respect and high aspirations as well as simply enjoying themselves in some welcome sunshine.
To mark British Science week, our Science department ran 5 lunchtime sessions throughout the week demonstrating experiments, dissections and other activities to promote students understanding and enjoyment of science. My thanks to Mr Lesurf and his team.
On Wednesday, students in Years 8-10 engaged with follow-up activities to the Boot Camp they attended earlier in the year. There are three follow-up sessions which aim to further develop key life skills, personal qualities and students’ subsequent ability to engage and enjoy their learning during their time with us. With a similar focus, a number of targeted Year 10 students also met with their Police Mentors on Wednesday; the willingness of these students to engage with this support can only help them secure positive future career pathways.
Thursday saw 29 students from across years 7-10 taking part in this year’s BBC School Report. Working as journalists for the day, they created reports ranging from the sad passing of Stephen Hawking to the 'Meet me at McDonalds' haircut. In addition, I took part in an interview with three students who gave me a tougher grilling than I have received in any job interview! The results of the students’ superb efforts can be viewed by following this link: https://longsandsnewsday2018.wordpress.com/ #BBCSchoolReport.
On Thursday 15th March, we welcomed 37 students from Inda-Gymnasium in Aachen, Germany for a day which included a tour of the Academy, History and maths lessons, a languages workshop with Year 8 students and a tour of St Neots led by our Year 10 Language Leaders. Students from both schools impressed staff by their willingness to speak in both languages and many new phrases were learnt and exchanged; many thanks to Mrs. Fengler for organising the visit and the St Neots Museum for warmly welcoming our visitors.
Also on the languages front, staff from PE and MFL are running a competition highlighting language and the World Cup with students in years 7 and 8. The activity is sponsored by Arsenal FC with the language focus on French and German; please encourage your children to sign up.
On Friday we were delighted to hear that Longsands Academy has gained the Quality in Careers Standard after a recent visit audited our provision across all year groups. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of Mrs Martindale who led and organised our application which recognises the hard work that goes into offering such a wide provision to ensure that all of our students successfully achieve a post-16 or post-18 pathway.
An example of the opportunities routinely made available include the 50 Year 13 students who visited the National Apprenticeship Show at Milton Keynes on Monday to explore possible post-18 pathways; Year 12 will listen to a presentation on a similar theme during ECM this coming week.
On Wednesday, we held our annual Year 8 Careers Fair when we welcomed a number of local businesses and colleges to the Academy to provide students with an insight into the business and personal skills required to be successful in a range of chosen careers. After the event employers spoke very highly of the students' conduct and level of questioning and we are confident this event gave students a better understanding of businesses and how they work. One of the visiting businesses, Media Matters, made the following comment: “A fantastic morning at the Longsands Academy Business Fair offering our advice to students on what makes a good business. Some great ideas and business plans coming together already!”
Later on the same day, representatives from Mick George came in to speak to the Year 8 'Directors' taking part in the ‘Young Ideas Factory’ project. The meetings went very well and MGL commented on how engaged and polite the students were. The following comment was made by Georgina Garner, Communications Manager: “Great afternoon at Longsands Academy speaking to the respective Company Directors from each of the teams. So much engagement and great ideas being shared…hopefully we have inspired them or given them helpful advice to take back to their teams for their next sessions.” The full report can be read on the MGL website: https://www.mickgeorge.co.uk/longsands-head-to-head.
On Friday afternoon, we welcomed back Mrs Sparrow and 4 sixth form students from Estonia where the students enjoyed lectures on biotechnology at Tartu University and gave presentations to students and staff. Mrs Sparrow reported that the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were a credit to themselves and the Academy.
Lastly, many congratulations to Ross Biddulph, a Year 13 student who interviewed for an apprenticeship at Glaxo last week; he has been supported by Mr Ivett & Mr Smy and was successful in gaining the apprenticeship with the job title of ‘R&D New Chemical Entity Bioassay Scientist; very well done Ross.
Martin Paine, Headteacher