Headteacher's Message
Weekly Message
   Added/Edited on the 15/01/2018     Previous Messages

There has, once again, been much to praise our students for both on an individual and collective basis as they continue to enjoy and achieve in a range of disciplines within and outside of the academy.

A first for Longsands was the achievement of the Year 8 boys’ football team who played in the sixth round of the National Cup on Wednesday, away to Debenham High School from Stowmarket. At the end of normal time and a pulsating game, the score stood at 3-3 with goals from Glen McConnell, Jaiden Bell and Ciaran Pearsall. The match, therefore, went to extra time and further goals from Joe Jackson and Jaiden Bell ensured that Longsands ran out 5-3 winners. The team are now through to the last 16 in the country and we have fingers crossed for a home tie; very well done boys.

On Friday, the English Department organised a Youth Speaks competition which required both Year 8 and 9 students to present a 10 minute speech, to our partner Rotarians, on various topics, including space exploration, homelessness and body image. A huge well done all those who took part, the judges were very impressed by the quality of all of the presentations. After a close competition, the winners were Nicole Sealey, Rory Oscroft and Madeleine Humphrey with their speech on homelessness; they are through to the next round where they will be competing against other schools in the local area. Many congratulations.

During this past week, I was contacted by an exhibitor from the EDGE careers fair at Woodgreen which was attended by a number of our Year 11 and 12 students in December. The exhibitor was incredibly impressed by the young people she came into contact with and commented, “I just wanted to write and congratulate you for doing such an amazing job with your students. There were many interested in engineering, which for us (a small local engineering company) was really encouraging, especially the number of girls that were thinking of studying STEM subjects. Your children were engaged, engaging and polite; they were enthusiastic and keen to make as much use of the time they had with us.”

On an individual level, we received the fantastic news that Melissa Quail in Year 13 has been accepted by Cambridge University to study maths at Trinity; well done Melissa, it is much deserved. We were also delighted to hear from the parents of Scarlet Thompson in Year 7 who has been appearing in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Cambridge Arts Theatre. Scarlet has just completed a run of 32 performances in her first professional role after being chosen from 160 children who originally auditioned. We are all impressed by Scarlet’s energy and commitment.

In Science, we were delighted by the manner in which a small number of our students engaged with the BP Ultimate Challenge where they conducted their own experiments and edited videos, showing the process and outcomes. These videos can be seen on our Youtube channel (please follow the link on our website); I am sure that you will be equally impressed by the efforts of Amit Solanki, George Boothby, Toby Walden, Nathan Jones, Izzy Warner, Charlotte Baker and Hannah Jeff.

Elsewhere, this past week saw us welcoming parents/carers of our Year 11 students as they received feedback on recent mock performances as well as guidance on how they can support their children in responding to the results and preparing for the real exams in the summer. Many thanks to all those who attended.

Our focus now turns to Year 9 students as they make decisions about the subjects they wish to study at GCSE next year. During this week, students will be asked to reflect on their learning habits by all subject teachers (this review can be found on pages 25-35 of the logbook) and, on Wednesday, students will then receive their second Progress Review of the year which will include staff assessments of students’ attitude to learning and academic progress. On Thursday, we look forward to welcoming parents/carers to the academy for an Options Evening where general information and advice will be provided as well as the opportunity to gain some more bespoke guidance from subject representatives. This is all intended to ensure that students and parents/carers are fully informed for formal discussions at Parents’ Consultation meetings on the 24th January and then options interviews starting after half term.

As you can read, your children continue to work hard to be the best they can be and I have been struck not only by the obvious enjoyment students have taken in aspects of their learning but also the determined manner by which they have approached a range of opportunities to better themselves. I have included images showing students working in targeted groups with staff and their older peers as well as the impressive number who attended Science CREST club after school on Friday. These provide examples of how much goes on without major fanfare; as parents and staff, we have much to be proud of.

Martin Paine