Added/Edited on the 12/02/2018 Previous Messages
A key message to students during the final week of this half term has been the need to pause and reflect on the power of words, both written and spoken, in terms of the positive and negative impact they can have on others. This message has been delivered through our ‘Pause for Thought’, which, this week, focused on Holocaust Memorial Day and this year's theme, the ‘Power of Words’, and has included assemblies and form-based activities. In addition, we also promoted Safer Internet day’ (Tuesday 6th February) which aims to promote safe and healthy use of the internet and social media. Students in Year 7 were set a scavenger hunt on Monday where 4 students from each tutor group followed e-safety related clues to questions around the academy. The two winning tutor groups were AAK & BMM who enjoyed a pizza party during lunch on Tuesday; well done to all who took part. Parents are invited to read our Facebook post on ‘net awareness’ if they would like advice and guidance on how to keep their children safe and happy online.
A significant number of other trips and events have also taken place this week. On Monday evening, Year 10/11 students who study Dance at Stageworks performed in front of family and friends as part of their examination whilst, on Thursday, students studying Visual Arts also presented an exhibition of their work; well done to all and many thanks to those who lent their support.
On Monday, the History department took Year 13 students to an exhibition of Soviet art in Cambridge whilst Classics students enjoyed a trip to the theatre to watch an Aristophanes play (a comic playwright of Ancient Athens). On Wednesday, Year 11 students visited Cambridge for a ‘Poetry Live’ event to support their English studies. On Thursday, we bade farewell to students in Years 8-11 as they departed for Poland with the RE department and, on Friday, waved off students and staff headed for Austria to enjoy a week of skiing.
It has been a proud moment for Year 13 student, Melissa Quail, who received the results of her participation in recent UKMT maths challenges where she came 7th overall and is now the joint top girl in the UK. As a result, she has been invited to be part of the UK team at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad in Florence, in April; I am sure that you will agree that this is a truly remarkable achievement. Our Police Cadets enjoyed a similar level of pride as they took part is a ‘passing out’ ceremony on Thursday; these students are our first cohort to have taken part in this scheme and we are delighted that they have engaged with it so positively.
Personally, I have enjoyed meeting a number of key stakeholders during this past week. This has included 18 parents who, on Wednesday, joined me to discuss our proposed new uniform; many thanks to those who attended, your valued feedback will be presented at the next governing body meeting where final decisions will be made regarding the uniform itself as well as its launch. I also had the pleasure of meeting students in Years 7-9 at a series of breakfasts where I was able to congratulate them on their outstanding learning habits which has resulted in them enjoying and achieving; this was also a valuable opportunity to discuss their views on our academy and identify areas where we can make improvements to support students’ learning environment.
On Friday, we said a fond farewell to our Chinese visitors who have been with us for the past fortnight. The students have integrated seamlessly into academy life and have impressed all with their work ethic, politeness and good manners. It has been a delight to watch and listen to students sharing aspects of their respective cultures and, in a world which, at times, seems increasingly divided, this has been a source of considerable inspiration and hope. Lyn, a member of the visiting staff, expressed her thanks to staff for their patience with the Chinese students and commented on the good behaviour of Longsands students as well as the warm welcome extended by the host families and the student buddies. I cannot thank all those who supported our guests enough; your hospitality has ensured that the students had a great experience in the UK.