Headteacher's Previous Messages
Weekly Message
   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.

Martin Paine

Principal

Weekly Message
   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.

Martin Paine

Headteacher

A Level Success at St Neots Sixth Form Centre 2018
   Added/Edited on the 16/08/2018

Students studying at St Neots Sixth Form Centre have produced an impressive set of A Level and Vocational results, with a significant number of outstanding individual performances.

Headteacher, Martin Paine, was delighted with an overall pass rate of 98% with 45% of all grades at A*-B and 74% at A*-C which is an improvement on last year’s grades. A number of subject areas had performed significantly above average outcomes, including Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Government & Politics, PE, Law, Physics, Film Studies, History and Geography.

Strong results were also a feature of Vocational subjects which achieved a 95% pass rate with 43% of all grades being Distinction*/Distinction, the highest possible grades. Business Studies was a particular highlight with almost 90% of students achieving D*/D. Eleven of the twelve subjects offered achieved a 100% pass rate which included some very pleasing success stories at our learning partners St Neots Town Football Academy and Stageworks Performing Arts School.

Outstanding individual success was enjoyed by Melissa Quail who achieved an astounding 6 A*s in Maths, Further Maths, Additional Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Computing. This is the highest number of A*s in the Sixth Form’s history and as a result Melissa will be reading Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Excellent results were also achieved by Joe Parr (4A*s in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry) who will be reading Engineering at Leeds University, Robbie Leigh (4A*s in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics) Robbie will be reading Medicine at Nottingham University, Adrien Amour (3A*s in Maths, Chemistry, Physics and a grade A in Further Maths) Adrien will be reading Physics at Bristol University, Callie-Anne Glass (3A*s in Maths, Biology and Chemistry) Callie-Anne will be reading Chemistry at Nottingham University and Emily Prout (2A*s in Law and Sociology and a grade A in Psychology) who will be reading Law.

Director of Sixth Form, Mark Taylor, expressed his happiness with the results stating that, “At a time of significant changes in education, the outcomes achieved by the students are a testament to the hard work put in during the course of their studies and the time and support invested by staff and parents/carers. I am delighted by the wide range of subjects which have achieved such positive results for our students which are indicative of the opportunities available to sixth form students in the town.”

Well done everyone,

Martin Paine

Weekly Message
   Added/Edited on the 16/07/2018

With the newsletter due to be with you next week, this will be my final weekly reflection of the academic year and, as always, there is much to highlight and many students to praise. This has included the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award weekend, the Year 8 Geography trip to Hunstanton, the Swavesey Science Challenge, 8DAN’s reward trip to Kidzania, the Year 7/8 trip to see Kinky Boots, the Art exhibition, the Year 10 trip to the Wellcome Genome Centre and the Year 11 into 12 Transition Day. By all accounts each of these events and activities was successful in its own right despite a minibus breakdown for the Duke of Edinburgh team; my thanks to everyone for their resilience and patience!

The event which I would like to dwell on, however, is our inaugural Awards Evening which was held on Thursday. My thanks to all those students, staff and parents/carers who attended what proved to be a highly successful and heart-warming evening. Personally, I was thrilled to see so many students receiving public recognition for their positive attitude, good character and academic achievements and I was mindful of the challenges which had been overcome by many to arrive at this proud moment. I would like to take this opportunity to say ‘well done’ to all those who received recognition which included our new Head Boy & Girl and their respective Deputies.

We were delighted to receive a significant amount of positive feedback from those who attended, two examples of which I will leave you with as a perfect reminder of what we are, together, trying to achieve for all of your children.

“Dear Mr Paine,

I felt the need to send this email after last night's flawless awards evening. You and your amazing team of staff, should be proud of yourselves. The night was beyond words. Everything was so beautiful presented. The students are what makes Longsands Academy a cut above the rest. I'm so proud to have watched our son be part of this wonderful evening. I would also like to take this opportunity in thanking all the Key Stage 4 staff for their help and support over this academic year. When your child comes home and says, 'I'm so proud of myself in what I have achieved so far”. Those words speak volumes.”

“Dear Mr. Paine

We just wanted to say thank you for an amazing evening last night at the award ceremony which was so very enjoyable and so lovely to see such talent coming through from so many of the students. We could not believe our daughter was up for an award as she has had a tough time this year emotionally with friendships and has struggled with her maths and been very low about all aspects of school life. We have spent lots of time with her trying to build her confidence and for her to be recognised at the evening has made us so very proud and we know this is down to you, her teachers and the team at Longsands Academy. Longsands has some amazing achievers academically as was highlighted last night. The fact that you also showed that effort and attitude is so important, makes it possible for every single student in Longsands to be counted and not just the brightest.“

Your children have enjoyed a fantastic year with us and you have every right to feel very proud of them. I wish you a happy and enjoyable summer break.

Martin Paine

Headteacher

Weekly Message
   Added/Edited on the 09/07/2018

We began the week by welcoming our new staff to the academy for their 2-day induction and then hosting an evening for the parents/carers of our new Year 7 cohort ahead of their own induction days on Tuesday and Wednesday. I am delighted to report that the Year 6 students were polite, courteous and well-behaved during their visit and engaged with all activities and lessons with huge levels of enthusiasm. My thanks to those parents/carers who have taken the time to provide some very positive feedback and I am delighted to share the following email which was received from a Year 6 teacher at one of our feeder schools, “Students came back to class today full of excitement and we spent a good hour talking about their experiences.  I was impressed with how much they had completed in just two days. One student managed to explain the whole experiment she took part in and used so many scientific words it was a joy to listen. One highlight for them all was the lunch canteen; they were mesmerised with the choice. “

Year 10 were out of the academy during this week on work experience; reports from visiting staff have indicated that the vast majority of students have found the experience highly worthwhile whether this was to confirm career choices or to help develop key employability skills and personal qualities. Mrs Hills, their new Head of Year, looks forward to welcoming them back during an assembly on Monday to continue with their GCSE studies, success in which will provide the keys to unlock future career opportunities.

An additional feature of this past week was our annual ‘Arts Festival’ which began with the joint MFL/History trip to Normandy and a visit from ‘Teaching Talons’ and then culminated with our collapsed day on Friday which included a wide variety of trips and activities including pond digging, Indian dancing, producing a time capsule, code breaking and trip to Thorpe Park, to name but a few.

We also held a uniform sizing day which proved popular with students and parents, enabling them to take advantage of the 10% ‘early bird’ discount which runs until August 6th. There will be a further opportunity this Wednesday, please contact enquiries if you have any queries about this event.

A further highlight of the week was the Year 11 Prom, held at the Burgess Hall in St Ives. We were highly impressed by the elaborate forms of transport which delivered the students to the venue. The students then proceeded to enjoy a fantastic evening and were a credit to themselves by the manner in which they celebrated the end of their GCSE studies and final exams. My thanks to all staff who supported the event and those parents/carers who also made the journey to take photos of this precious memory.

Elsewhere, the Science department enjoyed a successful visit to the ‘Big Bang Fair’ whilst the Geographers visited the Royal Russell School in Croydon, where their Head of Geology, Martin Tanner, presented us with his entire collection of specimens as well as valuable field and lab equipment. Martin is retiring after 36 years teaching Geology and sadly his department is closing. Staff were delighted, however, that our two new GCSE Geology groups and A Level class will be able to benefit so much from this very generous donation. Over the course of his career, Mr Tanner has sent more than 100 students to university to study Geology; at Longsands, we hope to use the fantastic resources to emulate his success. The Tomlinson Brown Trust, an Earth Science Education charity of which he is a trustee, have also been very generous in donating £1000 to contribute to the purchase of further Geology resources and bursaries for trips. We're really excited to start making the most of all of this support for Geology at Longsands.

Lastly, I finished the week by opening an email entitled ‘student behaviour’ with a degree of trepidation. I was subsequently delighted to read the following: Dear Sir/ Madam, I wish to bring to your attention how impressed we have been with the behaviour of the students of Longsands Academy.  We are a retired couple who walk into St Neots town centre from Loves Farm most days. We have both witnessed and experienced such polite and courteous behaviour from your students; always ‘excuse me’ when they wish to pass you and ‘sorry’ if they are in a group. Your students are an absolute credit to Longsands Academy and St Neots.”

I would like to add that they are also a credit to staff and parents/carers.

Martin Paine

Headteacher