|Headteacher's Previous Messages|
Added/Edited on the 08/10/2018
Since returning from the summer break, the PE department, led by Mr Hood and Miss Osborne, have been busy affording large numbers of students the opportunity to engage and enjoy a range of sporting activities.
Our netball squads are well-established with over 35 Year 7 girls attending training and fixtures each week and over 20 from Years 10 & 11, acting as perfect role models to the younger years. Hockey has been similarly well supported with over 40 students from all year groups training hard every Thursday and making excellent progress. Students from all year groups competed at Hinchingbrooke recently, with Year 7 & 10/11 netballers notching-up comprehensive wins whilst our Year 8 & 9 hockey teams fought hard to draw both of their matches. The girls have further fixtures coming against local schools including district fixtures for hockey and netball to be held at Longsands on 17th & 18th October; we look forward to hearing more of their achievements.
We have also learnt of some outstanding individual successes including students selected for Cambridgeshire U16/17 county hockey; very well done to Millie Payne (Y11), Summer Payne (Y9) and Tanya Sargeant (Y12). In addition, congratulations to Charlie Churms (Y11) and Sam Harding (Y12) who have been selected to play for London Wasps netball DDP programme. Lastly, Lucy Wood’s footballing adventures continue with her England call-up on Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October; good luck Lucy.
The boys have been equally busy having already played rugby fixtures against St Ivo, Abbey, Ernulf, Sawtry and Thomas Deacon. Over 35 boys are regularly attending Year 7 training and fixtures and Mr Hood reports that they are making great progress. On 18th September, over 40 Year 9 boys enjoyed their first session as part of the Hunts Leadership Academy. On Monday, Year 7 and 8 boys will be playing rugby against The Leys with Year 9 and 10 due to compete in the District Rugby Championships, to be held at Longsands. On Thursday of this coming week, our U14 squad start their County Cup journey away at Swavesey; good luck boys. On an individual front, our congratulations go to Rowan Bell in Year 10 who has been selected for the U15 DPP programme, supported by Northampton Saints.
Lastly, on Thursday of this past week, Year 9 & 10 students competed in our biannual Inter-form competition with girls competing in hockey or netball and boys rugby. I would like to commend the PE staff for their usual efficient management and leadership of this event and for all those students who took part and demonstrated admirable levels of sporting behaviour and excellence. Year 7 & 8 are due to take part in their own event on the 17th October.
Added/Edited on the 01/10/2018
A real highlight of this past week has been the Academy’s celebration of the European Day of Languages aimed at promoting greater understanding between cultures. Our MFL Department ran a week of activities, promoting language learning and celebrating the 32 native languages, other than English, spoken by students at Longsands Academy. Activities within lessons included geo-caching and problem-solving activities from the Linguistics Olympiad. A professional translator spoke to Year 11 about careers in languages and researchers came in from Anglia Ruskin University to work with Year 8 students on forensic linguistics. These ran alongside a programme of lunchtime activities and competitions including a carousel of games and puzzles run by the Year 10 Language Leaders, a bake sale, a Hispanic fiesta and a competition to design the official T-shirt for next year’s European Day of Languages. Thank you and well done to all who took part for your enthusiasm and commitment to the week; the following comment sums-up the obvious enjoyment felt by students, “Languages week has been fun! The highlights have definitely been either the geocaching round the school or the cake sale.”
Staff welcomed parents/carers to a number of events including information evenings for the forthcoming Rouen and the Ski trips. On Thursday, Mr Simpson met with the parents of our Year 12 ‘Access to A Level’ students who then took part in team building exercises on Friday. On Thursday, Year 12 Geographers enjoyed a successful visit to Wisbech whilst the whole cohort journeyed to the Emirates Stadium on Friday for a university and apprenticeship search fair.
At the academy, students and staff came together to bake cakes in support of Friday’s Macmillan Coffee Morning. An impressive collection of treats were donated to a cake sale held in the staffroom and the Ritchie Hall; our thanks to all those who supported this event.
Lastly, it was inspiring to receive the following feedback from the Camps International Group after this summer’s successful trip to Tanzania, “We just wanted to say thank you for your support and to tell you about the impact your school has made in Tanzania this summer. Your teachers and students have been involved in shovelling and mixing concrete by hand, carrying and stacking piles of bricks, plastering, polishing and painting. They have helped to improve classrooms, dewormed goats and made elephant poo paper! Living in or close to the local communities has enabled your students to really appreciate how tough daily life can be, but at the same time, how resilient and strong the human spirit is in order to overcome the adversities that life throws at us. We hope they have learnt many lessons from this and will carry them in their hearts, to pull out, dust down and use whenever they may need them in the future.”
As ever, your children, and our students, provide many reasons to feel proud of them.
Added/Edited on the 24/09/2018
We returned on Monday to an update from Mrs Rose regarding the weekend’s VEX robotics challenge. Whilst we did not come away with the winning trophy this year, one of our teams did achieve a very creditable 4th place and were also awarded the judges’ prize for their presentation and communication skills. This is an award which we have not won before so the team has much to be proud of; very well done to Aiden Sale, Ben Godfrey, Jacob Broadley, David Langley, Yasmine Mountaser, Daniel Wright, Dom Bower, Dylan Hasnip, Archie Gale and thank-you Mrs Rose.
We continued our ‘welcome to…’ evenings for Years 8, 10 & 12 where key information, advice and guidance was presented to parents/carers by Heads of Year and other key staff. It was heart-warming to receive feedback from last week’s Year 11 event which highlighted the value of such evenings, ”Thank you for an excellent presentation last week. As a parent it actually made me realise exactly what was needed and how time will soon pass us by. The English presentation was a real eye opener, I really hadn’t appreciated how much they had to learn and process! Thanks again for everything you are putting in place for my daughter; I am extremely grateful to you and all your colleagues.”
On Thursday, we continued our support programme, delivered by ‘Learning Performance’, this time with targeted Year 8 & 9 students. The company, once again, focused on essential study skills, such as, memory techniques, understanding and condensing text and the review philosophy. The representative working with our students was extremely complimentary about their behaviour and level of engagement; we will work with these students, and their families, further to ensure the advice is put into practice.
On Thursday, our Historians departed for France and Belgium for the annual ‘Battlefields’ trip. On their return, staff reported that the students’ behaviour was exemplary and they were perfect ambassadors for the academy. Images can be viewed on our Twitter and Facebook sites.
I had the privilege to be unexpectedly visited by a number of students during this past week. A self-motivated visit by a student is a courageous step and I am always impressed by their willingness to go out of their way to make themselves, and their achievements, known. Josh Abbott in Year 9 proudly showed me the card of thanks he received from the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity for his help with setting up and running stalls, at three events, during which he has helped raise over £400 for the charity. On Friday, our Head Boy (Gabriel Pang) and Head Girl (Tara Loader) made the very brave step of speaking to all staff during briefing to publicise the Macmillan Cancer Support bake sale, taking place this Friday and organised by our Prefect body; your support for this charitable event would be greatly appreciated.
Finally, as I prepared to leave on Friday, Josh Griffin knocked on my door clutching a booklet which he proceeded to proudly present to me. I was reminded of the reason why the teaching profession can be so rewarding as I read through his project on what, in his opinion, makes Longsands such a great school. Thank-you, Josh, for sending me off for the weekend with a smile on my face and a reminder that the students themselves are the key ingredient in a successful school.
Added/Edited on the 17/09/2018
At the start of the first full week of the new academic year, we were delighted to receive the news that Longsands Academy has achieved the National Citizenship Service Silver Level and has been nominated as a Champion School for our work in engaging students with this extremely valuable programme for developing confidence and a whole range of valuable like skills. We continue to receive positive community feedback about our new uniform, ‘I would just like to take the time to tell you how brilliant your students look walking around the town in their new uniform. Such a great move on your part; well done Longsands!’ All students in Years 7-11 have now taken part in a formal uniform check and we are heartened by how few require further support to meet our expectations; our thanks to parents/carers for your support with this matter.
The week has been a typically busy one with the theme this week most definitely being information and expectations. We welcomed parents/ carers and students to a range of ‘welcome to…’ evenings including those for Years 7, 11 and 13 (similar evenings are taking place this coming Wednesday for Year 10 and Thursday for Year 8 & 12). In addition, parents/carers of our Year 10 History students were presented with key information ahead of the Battlefields trip which leaves this coming Thursday at 5:00am! Targeted Year 7 students attended a presentation by ‘Learning Performance’ who provided key study tips to support their transition to secondary education.
Lastly, I led assemblies to all students in Years 7-11 where I presented our shared purpose as part of the Longsands community and the Astrea Academy Trust whose values so closely reflect those which have underpinned our own. The Astrea mission: ‘Inspiring Beyond Measure’, reflects the approach that an exceptional education is rich and empowering beyond the narrow confines of formal examination success. All Astrea academies therefore encourage and nurture resilience, empathy, aspiration, contribution and happiness. The Astrea ‘Principles of Learning’ closely reflect our own core purpose and states that, ‘all children, regardless of background, have an entitlement to an education that extends their potential and equips them to be successful citizens through the highest standards of learning, facilitated by the very best adults working with them.”
With this mission and these values at the core of our collaborative work, our students, and your children, can be confident that they will enjoy and achieve during their time with us at Longsands Academy.
Added/Edited on the 10/09/2018
We welcomed students back to the academy after the summer break during which significant numbers enjoyed success in a number of academic, extra-curricular and sporting endeavours, both as an individual or as part of a team.
Molly Power, Taylor Fernie, Ellie Mobbs & Erin Hall represented GB at the U18 Dragon Boat European Championships in Brandenburg; facing fierce competition, the squad was delighted to come away with three bronze medals. Congratulations also to Luke, Noah, Adam and Jacob who played for the Huntingdonshire U12s at the Taunton cricket festival, beating Wiltshire and drawing with Norfolk to win the trophy. Jess Sporle took part in the Bedfordshire Ladies Junior Championship on 22/7/18 at Aylesbury Vale Golf Club and finished County Champion. Meanwhile, after a successful move to Leicester City Women over the summer, Lucy Wood was one of just 23 girls selected to represent England U15s at a 3 day camp held at Welbeck College in Loughborough. In addition, students and staff enjoyed a fantastic month-long trip to Tanzania, supporting local communities with Camps International.
Lastly, we enjoyed two uplifting results days when so many students opened envelopes and found that they had achieved the grades they hoped for in their GCSE and A Level exams, unlocking doors to the next stage in their lives whether this be employment, training or further studies.
Returning to school, we welcomed our new Year 7 cohort who looked resplendent in the new uniform; they have made an excellent first impression. The remainder of the students returned on Friday and we were equally impressed by their appearance and positive re-engagement with school life. In addition, I was delighted to be able to share the following feedback with staff, “I am a teacher at Crosshall school. I am lucky enough to bike to school through the Riverside Park and meet many of our ex pupils on their walk to school. I would just like to say how absolutely fantastic I think they look in their new uniforms. So very smart. I have made a point of commenting on it to them (which obviously receives mixed reactions!) and would like to congratulate you on what I believe is an excellent policy.” Please note that uniform checks will take place next week and staff will work positively with those students and families if adjustments need to be made.
Lastly, the transfer of Longsands Academy into the Astrea Multi-Academy Trust was confirmed by the DfE over the summer break. On Wednesday, we hosted Libby Nicholas (CEO) and Benedick Ashmore-Short (Executive Director of Education) as they welcomed staff to the Astrea family and outlined the values and principles which bond all 25 schools currently within the Trust. We look forward to working closely with Astrea colleagues and partner schools and I am confident that their support will help us drive further school improvement. Ultimately, the beneficiaries of this collaborative working will be the young people for whom we have responsibility as we continue to strive to ensure that they receive the best possible learning, experience and outcomes during their time with us.