Headteacher's Previous Messages
Weekly Message
   Added/Edited on the 10/12/2018

Our Core Purpose at Longsands Academy is to ensure that all students enjoy the best possible experience, learning and outcomes during their time with us. There have been a number of highlights during this past week which, whilst appearing to be entirely disparate, all have this purpose as a commonality.

We began the week by hearing from Mrs Andrews who attended a ceremony held by the National Citizenship Service (NCS) where Longsands Academy received the Silver Award for our level of student engagement with this scheme. The NCS is a 4 week opportunities during which students spend two weeks in a residential setting and two weeks volunteering; 65,000 hours were volunteered in Cambridgeshire this year with Longsands’ students making a significant contribution to this total.

We also heard that our academy is in the Top 5 of schools for usage of Doddle with Year 11 student, Amber Williams, in the Top 3 nationally for her engagement with this online learning platform. The mother of Riley Mockler-Hall (7JTM) contacted us to alert her to Riley’s weekend success in the swimming pool. Riley competed in a swim meet in Newmarket and won three medals in the boys 11 year-old category, smashing two of his swimming club’s records and achieving his aim of obtaining qualifying times for the County Champs in January. Very well done Riley. Meanwhile, Mrs Snooks informed us of her daughter’s charity work outside of school. Kiana (9DAN) has been giving up her evenings over the last few weeks to help at the 'shoebox warehouse' at Berkeley Street Methodist Church in Eynesbury where 3634 shoeboxes have been collected to distribute to children in Liberia over the Christmas period.

As the academy gears up for Christmas, it was a privilege to judge the Christmas Card Competition which had a significant number of exceptionally high quality entries. I was delighted to award the two winners, Freya Mouldycliff and Mia-Rose Challenger in Year 7, with a selection box and inform them that their entries will, jointly, be used as the academy’s official cards.

On Tuesday, staff and students attended the Carol Service at King’s College in Cambridge; staff reported that the students’ behaviour was exemplary and they enjoyed the service. Also on Tuesday, Mr Dickerson and Mr Owen attended a Licence Presentation ceremony by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The ceremony acknowledged the extensive commitment by Longsands’ students to this highly valuable scheme which develops in young people a range of skills and personal qualities.

On Wednesday, Year 13 Law students attended a trip to the Royal Courts of Justice and Houses of Parliament where they met our local MP, Jonathan Djanogly. On Friday, Mr Djanogly visited the academy to discuss recent achievements and current areas of challenge and he highlighted how impressed he had been with the quality of the students’ questions and knowledgeable discussion. Later in the day, we welcomed the parents/carers of our Year 8 students for subject consultation meetings. My thanks to all those who attended to discuss their child’s progress based on students’ own reflections using the ‘Ladders of Success’.

On Thursday, students and staff enjoyed a fantastic day at the Twickenham Varsity Match to end the rugby season. Our Year 7 & 8 teams won both of their games before the boys enjoyed a great game of rugby between Oxford and Cambridge. Meanwhile, Miss Saklani reported that a pleasing number of students attended the first ‘Philosophy for Children’ (P4C) session which includes a collaboration with Kimbolton school.  

Lastly, it was fantastic to hear the news that our History department, led by Mr Wayman, has successfully applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money will be used to research the role of local regiments in Palestine in WW1; the subsequent knowledge will then be taught to our students.

Such a range of events and activities demonstrate the varied opportunities which your children are positively engaging with, both within and outside the academy. Their experiences will act to provide them with a deepening knowledge of the world they live in and develop the personal qualities which   will enable them to flourish.

Martin Paine

Principal

Weekly Message: PE Update
   Added/Edited on the 03/12/2018

This half term has been a typically busy one for our students as they engage with a range of sporting and health-related activities led by our PE department.

A real highlight has been the success of our Year 8 boys’ rugby squad who were recently crowned District Champions after beating Hinchingbrooke in the final. Meanwhile, the Year 7 rugby journey has continued, playing against Saffron Waldon, Hampton, Thomas Deacon and finishing 2nd in the District Championships. Both of our Year 9 and 10 teams came a respectable 2nd in their own District Championship competitions with the Year 9 squad eagerly anticipating the County Plate final against Ely in January; good luck boys. On Thursday of this coming week, students in Years 7,8 and 9 will be attending the Varsity match at Twickenham; playing against Isleworth Academy before the Oxford v Cambridge fixture.

Our girls have been equally busy with the U15 footballers crowned District Champions after being unbeaten in the tournament; they then went on to play against Hinchingbrooke in the Huntingdonshire District Finals and are now champions after 5 wins and 1 draw. The U16 team achieved 3rd Place at the County Finals, beaten by the eventual winners in a close game. The team displayed some creative attacking play with an exceptional performance by Kendall O'Connor scoring a hat trick in the final game. Sophia Diaz-Fraser also made a brilliant save off the line to keep a clean sheet.

The Year 10 girls’ netball team also achieved 3rd place at the District Championships and narrowly missed qualification for County Championships by 1 goal! Congratulations also to our Year 11 netball District Champions; the girls played the final against Hinchingbrooke and won 48-6, dominating throughout the game with fantastic accurate shooting from Lucy Davies-Parratt and Ailish McAloney.  This provided a fantastic end to an undefeated season. The team now plays in the U16 County Finals this Saturday so we wish them luck for the tournament.

Our runners enjoyed considerable success in the District Cross-Country with Alicia Athersmith being crowned District Champion for Intermediate Girls and Ben Joyce coming runner-up in the Junior boys category. In addition, a number of students finished in the top 16 and qualified for the County Championships, due to take place on the 12th January; a full list can be found in a separate Facebook post.

Lastly, it has been a real pleasure to see so many students engaged in our Stretch and Challenge programme which is in full swing for Years 8, 9 and 10. This term, the programme has been led by Body Batch Fitness and the students have applied themselves enthusiastically to a range of activities.

This time in a range of physical activities, our students, and your children, have, once again made us all very proud.

A Message from our Head Boy and Girl
   Added/Edited on the 26/11/2018

Promoting student leadership is a key focus at Longsands Academy, one which affords students the opportunity to build relationships with staff and each other, play an integral role in school improvement whilst developing effective communication and interpersonal skills. To highlight our work in this area, this week’s message has been written by our Head Girl and Head Boy, Tara Loader and Gabriel Pang.

“We believe that all students should be capable of exercising leadership in different contexts to help develop them and the wider school community. This opportunity is provided at all stages of learning, whether it is as an Open Evening guide, a Year 9 Student Leader, a Language or Sports Leader, a member of the Tech Crew or as a member of the Senior Prefect team.

Being appointed to the latter of these roles involves a tough, but valuable, application process. At the end of Year 10, all students were invited to apply to become a member of the Senior Prefect Team by submitting a personal statement, followed by an interview with a senior member of staff. Following a successful interview, a team of Senior Prefects were appointed with the vision to become the role models for the Academy. A Head Girl and Head Boy (as well as their deputies) were later decided by a vote from Academy teachers.

The Senior Prefect Team is made up of 3 committees:

  1. The Raising Awareness Committee focuses on charity work and voicing the prominent issues faced in today’s contemporary society. Leading this committee are the Deputy Head Boy, Jordan Page, alongside Senior Prefects Lucy Davies-Parratt and Eleanor Baker-Crane. The team has, so far, organised both the McMillan Coffee morning, raising over £200, and the Diary Raffle for Cancer Research that raised approximately £100. They are currently organising ‘Longsands’ Got Talent’, taking place on Monday 17th December to help raise money for Parkinsons UK and Cancer Research.
     
  2. The Editorial Committee has the responsibility of organising or supporting events for Year 11, such as Prom, the Prom Fayre and the Yearbook. Led by Tara, as well as Senior Prefect Kenyeh Soyei, the committee has been working exceptionally hard to gather all the resources required to start the planning of these events.
     
  3. The Outreach Committee, led by Gabriel and Deputy Head Girl, Yasmine Mountaser, focuses on creating a larger presence of the Academy in the wider community. Recently, they visited the local care home, Nelson Lodge, where they met and spoke to the residents for the afternoon. Following this, the committee went to Tesco to produce the Christmas Hamper video to promote donations to the local St Neots Food Bank, a hugely worthwhile cause this Christmas. The video can be viewed by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vItzL6YIIQ4

Collectively, the Senior Prefect Team are a visible presence at Academy events. We meet every week to feedback on various issues such as bullying, social areas and uniform. Additionally, we have a duty each day and organise weekly activities to support tutor groups in Key Stage 3. We have also had the opportunity to assist with new initiatives in order to support teaching and learning throughout the Academy. Recently, we conducted a student survey which explored the impact that Doddle has had on learning. The feedback received highlighted the support which Doddle has provided students to enhance their learning outside of school, as well as supporting teachers by instantly highlighting students’ strengths and weaknesses and allowing them to respond accordingly.

We look forward to continuing our work as leaders of the Senior Prefect team, promoting student voice and discussing the new and exciting projects put forward by the whole student body at Longsands Academy."

Weekly Message
   Added/Edited on the 19/11/2018

‘Care and respect for self and others’ is a personal quality which we value highly at Longsands Academy and this past week has provided numerous examples of staff, students and parents/carers working together to support each other and the communities they are part of.

We returned on Monday to learn that a number of our students had participated in Sunday’s events, within their respective communities, to mark Remembrance. The students engaged in a range of roles including as a member of the Scout movement, the Army and Air Force cadets and simply as a member of the watching crowd; whatever your role, we are proud of the part you played to pay respects to all those affected by conflict.

I have also been struck this week by the increasing role played by our Prefect body, led by Miss Saunders who has responsibility for Key Stage 4 Student Voice. This week the Prefects’ Outreach Committee visited Nelson Lodge Care Home to meet and support residents. On Thursday, I had the pleasure of visiting a Year 8 form to watch our Head girl, Tara Loader, and Lucy Davies-Parratt lead a weekly knowledge quiz with 8BJD during afternoon registration. This routinely takes place with all Year 8 tutor groups whose members thoroughly enjoy engaging with such exemplary role models as well as having fun whilst challenging their knowledge.

On Thursday, we welcomed an impressive number of students and parents to the Astrea Sixth Form Open evening where they were afforded the opportunity to not only see the range of courses on offer but also speak with staff and students to guide post-16 pathways. Continuing with this week’s theme of students supporting communities, I was hugely impressed by the professionalism and maturity demonstrated by the student guides and we have received significant feedback commenting on their enthusiasm and passion for their chosen subjects and their wider experiences within the sixth form.

Finally, the week ended with the school community coming together to support Children In Need with activities and events led by Mr Lampett and Mr Walker, ably assisted by our Key Stage 3 Student Voice representatives. Students donated £1 to wear non-uniform items and then enjoyed a very popular bake sale at break and lunch; our thanks to all those who ate and/or baked to support this cause. During the week, SV reps have been visiting classrooms selling ducks for a national race, organised by Children in Need; this was streamed live at 1pm on Friday.

Excitement had been mounting all week for the Staff Vs Staff Charity Football Match which kicked-off at 5pm on Friday at St Neots Town Football club who work in partnership with Longsands to deliver a Sports curriculum for Post 16 students; my personal thanks for their free loan of their First Team strip, the pitch and the club house. Whilst I am awaiting details of the exact numbers who attended, the turnout from the community was superb and I am delighted to say that they were treated to an action-packed match which finished 5-1 to the reds. We will post a grand total raised as soon as final monies are in.

I am always honoured to lead such a wonderful community of staff and students and am acutely aware of, and grateful for, the support of so many parents/carers as well as the local community. This week so many stakeholders have stepped-up and engaged with the opportunities which have served to demonstrate the values and qualities which we share as members of our local and national communities; be proud of yourselves and your children.

Martin Paine

Principal

Weekly Message
   Added/Edited on the 12/11/2018

Our week began with a welcome back to the staff and students who took part in the History department’s trip to Berlin to support their GCSE studies. Mr Wayman and Mr Owen reported that the students’ behaviour was exemplary with staff receiving numerous compliments about their conduct and enthusiasm from other visitors to the memorial sites. We were also pleased to read the following feedback from the parents of a student who attended the trip, “We just wanted to say a big ‘thank-you’ to the staff who accompanied the Year 11s on the recent Berlin trip. Our daughter had a fantastic time and didn’t stop talking about it for 2 days! She even visited her grandparents and told them all about it too.”

Year 11 are gearing-up for their mock exams which begin on Monday November 19th. Appreciative, recent feedback has highlighted the support which students and parents have received to date, ‘This week I just wanted to say how very impressed I was by all the staff who delivered the ‘Welcome to Key Stage 4’ evening. It was incredibly well put together, well presented and contained really invaluable information. I was also so grateful for the amount of additional time the teachers put into supporting the students; the clinics are a fantastic resource for the children and I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff who put in so much of their own free time to these initiatives. Thank you to you and all staff at Longsands for all you are doing for our children.’ On Friday, we wrote home to all parents detailing the advice and guidance students have received as well as providing ‘My Revision Planner’, a document which details all of the subject content which students need to revise for all subjects. This document is also available on Doddle and can be found by following this link:

http://www.longsands.cambs.sch.uk/data_files/letters/Year%2011%20Revision%20Planner%20-%20Mock%20Revision%20Topics%20Booklet[1].PDF

Promoting British Values is a key feature of the Longsands curriculum and, this week, our focus has very much been on marking the 100th anniversary of Armistice which marks the end of World War One. Mr Owen and Mr Wayman led thought-provoking assemblies all week, including an update on our recent ‘Heritage Lottery Fund’ project which investigated local regiments serving on the Eastern Front in the First World War. The assembly also included readings from students and music performed by our Sixth Form students. In addition, Prefects sold poppies to staff and students with all monies collected going to the local branch of the Royal British Legion. As a community, the whole school paused and reflected on Friday at 11am for a minute silence which was impeccably observed.

In addition, during this week, Mr Merson, Miss Gordon and a number of our Year 11 students participated in performances of ‘Oh, What a Lovely War’ at the Huntingdon Commemoration Hall. Mr Merson reported that the students involved ‘have been doing us proud’! Very well done to Samuel Thwaites and Alfie Lindsey-Gentle, Kayleigh Rhodes-Elson & Nick Barker.

Lastly, my week finished on a humbling and inspiring note when Olivia Longford (Year 8) knocked on my door and presented a Remembrance poem she had been inspired to write after listening to the  Remembrance assembly. Apart from demonstrating impressive personal qualities and the values we promote, the poem was superbly written and will be shared in full via a separate post. I would simply like to end this post with the following extract from Olivia’s work, ‘A sad end, a bright start. Well, my friend, you can sleep now…You will be remembered.’

Martin Paine

Principal