|Headteacher's Previous Messages|
Added/Edited on the 04/12/2017
It was lovely to start the week with the following feedback from Katie Williams, Town Development Manager, “I hope the band members enjoyed performing at the St Neots Christmas Lights Switch-On event on Sunday. The band sounded fantastic and we would be delighted to welcome them back to the stage at future events.” The band, ‘Red September’ is comprised of students studying Music Technology in the St Neots Sixth form; they have performed at a number of events and never fail to entertain and impress.
Tutor Groups have made a great start to the Christmas Hamper Challenge, collecting items of food for those in need over the festive period. Representatives from the St Neots Foodbank will be visiting the Academy on Monday 11th December to collect the hampers; many thanks to all those who are supporting this worthwhile cause.
As our Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) co-ordinator, Mrs Martindale leads our work to prepare students of all ages for the world of work. On Wednesday, we welcomed a range of local and national employers into the Academy in order to provide students in Year 10 with a ‘mock’ interview ahead of their work experience in July. The employers were all very impressed with the way students had prepared for the event and then presented themselves in a clear and confident manner; well done to all involved.
On Friday, students gathered at break to discover who had won the staff ‘best moustache’ competition in aid of Movember, a cause which endeavours to reduce male deaths from prostate and testicular cancer. Students and staff have been donating to individual staff buckets, raising £186.51 in total; we were delighted to learn that Mr Lampett was the eventual winner, having his moustache dyed blue as a consequence!
I hope you have taken the time to view your child’s achievement points which have been awarded during this term; over 9000 have been issued by staff and we were delighted to present the first two bronze badges, for achieving 50 points, to Georgia Byatt and Callum Nicholson; very well done.
Lastly, our annual Christmas Bazaar is fast approaching and we would gratefully receive any raffle prizes which are presented to students who are victorious on the various stalls; if you have any suitable items, then please send in to our Key Stage 3 team.
Added/Edited on the 27/11/2017
We fully appreciate the role that parents/carers play in their child’s education and are fully committed to exploring and developing any opportunities to enhance our partnership working. As such, I am pleased to be able to announce that achievements points, earnt by students for academic excellence and/or a positive attitude to learning, can now be viewed on our VLE; I hope you find this information both informative and uplifting.
Our week began with a welcome back to 15 targeted boys from Years 8-10 who attended a Boot Camp over the weekend. The students had a great time with highlights including the zip wire and an 18ft jump! We were all delighted to hear that students showed great determination and courage to overcome their fears and should feel proud of all they achieved.
Also, on Monday, our Student Voice coordinator, Miss Saunders, shared the excellent news that Friday’s fund raising in aid of Children in Need raised £1820 which included £200 raised solely by Ginny Pindred, one of our cleaners who baked and sold cakes to staff during the whole of last week – well done to everyone.
I have taken the opportunity, during this past week, to meet a significant number of students who have demonstrated our core values and have, as a result, enjoyed and achieved in a number of contexts. On Monday, I enjoyed breakfast with Year 7 students who have, to date, demonstrated exceptional attitudes to learning across all of their subjects; this allowed me to say well done and hear their feedback on their experiences at the academy so far. Later in the week, I was delighted to meet and say thank-you to our Year 10 Anne Frank Ambassadors who worked hard to promote anti-bullying messages via their video ‘Friends’. It was fantastic to then be able to follow this up with an opportunity to say well done to the Year 7 Rugby squad who recently won the District Championships. Images and the video can be viewed on our social media sites, thank-you to all those who have acknowledged all of the students’ efforts and achievements already.
To further support wider members of our society the Academy will be supporting our local foodbank. Tutors have been discussing with students the importance of such an act of kindness and goodwill, especially at this time of year. From Monday 27th November, students have been asked to contribute items to a hamper over a 2-week period; many thanks for the support you will undoubtedly by giving to this worthwhile cause. I would highly recommend that you watch the entertaining information clip posted by members of the girls PE team, if you would like further information.
As I post this update, we are on the eve of the St Neots Christmas Lights Switch-on. Our extremely talented Year 12 Band ‘Red September’ will be opening this event and would appreciate any support you are able to give. I trust that you will enjoy the event and I look forward to seeing St Neots looking festive over the coming weeks.
Added/Edited on the 20/11/2017
It has been an incredibly busy week at the academy with a number of key national and local events taking place. Firstly, we paused to acknowledge National Anti-Bullying week which provided an opportunity for us to receive updates on the work started in partnership with the Anne Frank Trust in September. Year 7 and 10 Ambassadors have been working together on the project “free to be”, challenging prejudice in whatever form it may take under the banner ‘all different, but equal’. Year 10 ambassadors created a short film entitled ‘Friends’ which highlighted how friendship can help overcome bullying and used quotations taken directly from Anne Frank’s diary; the finished film can be viewed on our Twitter and Facebook sites. Working with a professional film-maker, the students gained many skills from this experience and produced an excellent vehicle to spread awareness of the long lasting impact that bullying can have on a range of people. Meanwhile, Year 7 ambassadors led an assembly on Friday presenting their projects including a graffiti wall, an inclusive flag celebrating diversity and a series of anti-bullying posters. I am very impressed by all that has been achieved by these students with the support of the Anne Frank Trust and Mr Willis and Mr Breakspear.
Approximately one year ago, the History department were successful in their bid for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to research St Neots and Bedfordshire soldiers on the eastern front of the Russian Civil War during WW1. During this week, their efforts came to a conclusion with a presentation, entitled ‘St Neots to Siberia’, to veterans at the British Legion in Bedford on Tuesday and a similar talk at Longsands on Thursday evening. On Friday, staff shared their work with fellow History teachers from neighbouring academies.
In addition, we celebrated ‘International Education’ week; Mrs Swainston led assemblies on the importance role a knowledge of languages and cultures can play in all of our lives whilst tutors led challenges for the students to engage in. We were sad to say goodbye to Mahdiya, a visiting student from Avignon and Mr Hewitt shared this message: "Mahdiya was a true pleasure to have in my form, and I was sorry to see her leave. We were delighted to listen to her presentation about France, French culture and her school which she presented in French with Emily translating her words into English. By learning in another language, the members of my form were put in Mahdiya's shoes for the first time. Many students came to see me after the presentation in complete awe and wonder at her ability to speak two languages so fluently and with such expert precision. I hope that Maydiya gained a lot from this experience; she should also consider herself a life-long member of AJH!
On Wednesday, we welcomed approximately 550 students and their parents/carers to the St Neots Sixth Form Open Evening; the prospectus can be found on the SNSFC website and I would urge interested parties to contact the sixth form team if they require any further information or would like to visit us.
Elsewhere in the academy, Year 11 students have made an excellent start to their mock exams, demonstrating exemplary conduct in and around the exam hall. As they enter the second week, please be aware that, whilst papers maybe returned to the students, they will not receive their official grades until mock results day on Wednesday 13 December.
Hot on the heels of our Year 8 and 9 teams, the Year 7 and 10 rugby players competed in the District Tournament this week with the Year 7 winning their competition and the Year 10 team coming 2nd; very well done to all.
Lastly, it was a pleasure to join with staff and students as we enjoyed ourselves whilst raising money for Children in Need, on Friday. Students attended in non-uniform, ran a cake bake stall at break and cheered on the sixth from and staff teams as they competed in a netball match at lunchtime. The students were fantastic and we will update you with the total raised as soon as we have the final figure.
As I routinely state, your children are a source of inspiration and you have every right to feel proud of them and their achievements; please check our social media sites regularly to see for yourselves!
Added/Edited on the 13/11/2017
We began the week by welcoming back Y11 students and staff who took part in the History trip to Berlin to supplement the knowledge they require for their GCSE studies; staff reported that the students behaved impeccably and the trip was a huge success. We also waved goodbye to a number of Year 7 students who visited the Natural History Museum in London with the Science department. Later in the week, the English department also enjoyed a successful trip, taking Year 11 students to watch ‘Blood Brothers’ in Northampton, also to support their GCSE studies.
During ECM on Wednesday, Year 12 students listened to a presentation by a representative of Hillings Residential Home raising awareness of dementia whilst Year 13 students received information from a visiting speaker on University Finance. We were also delighted to welcome back ex-student Michael Rayner who shared his experience as an apprentice with Deloittes, especially for those not intending to go to university.
Also on Wednesday, students in Years 9 & 10 received their first Progress Reviews of the year; it should be noted that the Attitude to Learning grades awarded reflects how students’ learning habits are supporting progress towards their target grades/levels. As such, I had the pleasure of enjoying a breakfast with Year 10 students who have demonstrated the very best attitudes to learning across all of their subjects. Year 7 & 8 will receive their Progress Review reports this coming Wednesday.
On the same day, a Local Authority audit took place at Prospect House, our alternative provision base for students with a variety of needs including social, emotional, mental health, physical and behavioural. The representative from the LA stated that it was the best provision she has seen anywhere resulting in Prospect House maintaining the very highest rating.
In the evening, Mrs Martindale, our Careers, Education, Information, Advice & Guidance (CEIAG) coordinator welcomed parents/carers of our Year 10 students to a work experience evening; many thanks to all those who attended. In addition, targeted students in Year 11 will soon be having careers guidance interviews whilst Year 10 students will have mock interviews on 29th November, more information to follow.
During this week, students have received assemblies commemorating Remembrance which was formally marked on Friday with a 2-minute silence at 11am which was respectfully observed by all students and staff. In addition, our Year 10 Language Leaders engaged with Inda-Gymnasium, our link school Germany, to share experiences of how each country pays its respects to those who have been affected by war.
Lastly, Year 11 students began their mocks exams on Thursday with Visual Arts; exams will continue for the next two weeks, please contact the KS4 team if you have any concerns. Please note that on Friday of this coming week, the academy will support national Children in Need with non-uniform, a ‘bake and buy’ cake sale and a staff versus students netball match; your support for this worthwhile cause is much appreciated.
Please do explore our Facebook and Twitter sites further to see for yourself the learning activities which your children are enjoying.
Added/Edited on the 04/11/2017
Welcome back from the half term break; I am delighted to be able to report that the efforts of students, staff and parents/carers before we broke raised ain impressive £1146.60 for the national ‘Wear Red Day’ in support of anti-racism whilst, running concurrently, sixth form students contributed £332.53 to breast cancer awareness via their own ‘Wear Pink’ day.
I would like to personally thank the 28 parents/carers who joined Mr Nunnery and the RE staff on Wednesday for a workshop designed to support their children in developing key skills ahead of their GCSE exam in the summer. This level of support plays a vital role in helping students make the best possible progress in their studies and achieve the best possible outcomes in the summer.
At lunchtime on Thursday, I had the genuine pleasure of joining the Science team for the presentation of the Crest Awards. After only its first year, staff were blown away by the level of interest, enthusiasm and ability demonstrated by the 50 students who took part and who all achieved the Bronze Award. Students were required to devise and conduct experiments and investigations, analyse collected data and then present their findings at the end of the summer term. It has proved to be an excellent project and the science department will be launching the silver award after Christmas. My thanks, in particular, to Mr Blake, Mr Ivett and Mrs Saberton and well done to all those students involved.
On Thursday morning, we also said ‘auf wiedersehen‘ to Year 11 History students and staff as they departed for Berlin where they will visit a number of historic sites to support their GCSE studies; they are due to return by 9pm on Sunday.
On Wednesday of this coming week, the first Progress Reviews (assessments) of the year will be going home for Year 9 and 10 students. These will reflect each student’s progress in their learning towards target grades in each of their subjects. Of key importance to achieving or exceeding these targets is the attitude that each student has towards their studies and this is reflected in their Attitude to Learning (AtL) grades. To support this process, all students in Years 7-11 have completed self-review grids in each of their subjects which can be found in their exercise books/folders; please do take the time to reflect on these with your child.
Whilst I have attached a small number of images to this post, please do explore our Facebook and Twitter sites further to see for yourself the learning activities which your children are enjoying.