I hope this update finds you and your families well. It is wonderful to see all of the students back and looking so smart after such a blustery and gale ridden half term and it certainly didn’t disappoint at the start of this week with storm Franklin. I am pleased to say that the academy site suffered no damage to trees or buildings. It is however a timely reminder of our adverse weather systems. In years gone by it was just the sight of a few flakes of snow that would raise concern and hopeful claims from students that the academy would be closed, now strong winds appear to draw similar concerns. The academy will always remain open unless it is dangerous to do so or directed to close and the assumption must always be that we are open. Only our website and academy emails are the source of information as it can be accessed irrespective of the weather conditions. Any closures or announcements related to weather will appear there first and any absence of a notification means that we remain open as usual. Travel providers will always issue their own advice independently from the academy and we always urge parents and carers to be up to date on that guidance to ensure they are fully informed. We must admit however, we are looking forward to the warmer and far more settled months heading our way.
Face-to-Face Parents’ Evenings
During COVID restrictions we quickly moved to virtual parents evenings to ensure we could give parents and carers the opportunity to speak with teachers about the progress of their son/daughter. As we frequently state it is only the entire trio of academy, child and parent/carer working together that can guarantee success, there is plenty of evidence for that. We would love to see you all on site again and as the weather warms up we will be looking to reintroduce face to face parent’s evenings (and other events) and in some cases trialling hybrid versions, it will be lovely to see you all in person once more.
The logistics of travel and busy roads around paddock Wood create some challenges at drop of times in the morning. We are keen to ensure that all students are in place by 8.30 am and ask that heavy Paddock Wood traffic is taken into account prior to drop off. Students can arrive earlier, ideally by 8.15am for an 8.30am academy start, and access our canteen to stay warm, dry and well fed. We are also aware that some school buses make it difficult for students to be in place for 8.30am, we do take that into account and are working with KCC and those companies to find a solution.
Our National Area of Excellence continues to go from strength to strength, just before half term our Dance department took 50 students to the Prince Edward Theatre in London to see Mary Poppins. The dance department have famously recreated a Mary Poppins dance medley in their annual dance show so it was wonderful for them all to experience the west end version to inspire. Our thanks go to the staff and also the students who once more impressed with their exemplary conduct. Year 10 students have also had the opportunity to access a street dance workshop on Monday of this week to provide them with a professional experience as part of their dance course. Not content with just those opportunities, our young creatives began this week where pre-secondary school children were able to access the same professional performing arts opportunities as our students building a legacy for young children, a pathway to excellence in our academy and just also a lot of fun. If younger brothers or sisters wish to take part please contact reception for more information, parents have already provided some amazing feedback:
“A huge thank you from XXX’s corner! XXX will tell you the problems we have had with XXX since coming out of lockdown and XXX and I couldn’t believe our eyes how full of it she was when she got home! Thank you so much and we look forward to seeing you next week!”
Finally, from me as always, my thanks go to all of the parents and carers who continue to support our drive to improve standards, an additional thank you for supporting our return to full uniform, which we know is a significant change for some. From a whole school perspective, over 1300 students the impact on basic standards has been almost instant. They look fantastic and conduct themselves likewise.
Have a lovely weekend!
Mr W Monk