I hope this update finds you and your families well. It has been another busy week for staff and students, what has been most remarkable is that, towards the end of a long term, as students naturally become tired their amazing character continues to shine through. The focus and work ethic of our students is so impressive and against the national backdrop of news alongside falling attendance nationally, our attendance continues to improve far above the national levels which is fantastic. Well done all of you!
Early this week I revisited a quote from one of our academy values:
“Your values decide your character, your character decides your value” – James Kerr
I asked students to think about their values and what they stand for. So many were obvious; things such as family, health, making progress and being kind have formed the basis of many of my discussions this week. The challenge to students, because we see so many amazing things in person around the academy, is to be sure that they behave in the same way online as they do in person, when no-one else is looking. We are fortunate as an academy that students falling out is quite rare even for an academy of our size, but when it does occur, we frequently find the basis in social media communications and how young people communicate online in the modern age. The challenge for the adults in their lives is how sure are we that online communication of our sons/daughters/students is kind? How often do we see it? How often do we talk about it? As an academy we make use of National Online Safety and have achieved national accreditation for it. We prioritise education on the use of social media on site, but it’s everywhere isn’t it? Not just at school but outside the gates too. So, I reminded students of an old Japanese proverb:
One kind word can warm three months.
As we approach Christmas, a wonderful time of the year, but also a time when so many may also have challenges, can our entire community come together and spread one kind word (or a few more). Tell someone how much you appreciate them, how proud you are of them, how well you think they are doing – online and in person. It might just make someone’s day and lift them up.
Paddock Wood Lights Up
Last Sunday a number of our students ran a stall and performed at the Paddock Wood Lights up event, representing the academy outside of our academy gates superbly. The performances were incredible as expected and the stall raised vital funds for our Bereko Charity.
Christmas Celebration with Paddock Wood Lions and Local Residents
This week we invited residents from a local home for entertainment of a musical, drama and dance nature alongside catering from our food technology students. Again, the students were remarkable and represented us incredibly well.
COVID Testing in January and the Impact on Mocks
Following a little more notice than we are used to in education the Department for Education kindly stated that on site testing will return at the start of the new year, more information will be with you in due course. It will be in line with previous testing where we may have to slightly stagger the return dates to ensure all students can be tested efficiently as before. More information on this will be in next week’s update. What we do know so far is that the use of our 2012 hall for testing will have a knock on effect for our mock examinations which will be moved by one week to accommodate testing, students can view their updated timetables on the Bromcom app.
Finally, as with every last paragraph, my thanks go to parents and carers for your ongoing support. It always means a lot, particularly at the end of a cold and frequently dark term. Just today one of our bus drivers approached us with a present for the students and staff (they have bought chocolates for all the students on this particular bus after school!) telling us how amazing, polite and wonderful our students are. It is clear that our name and reputation grows from strength to strength as we venture further into our neighbourhood making our academy the heart of our community – just where it belongs.
Mr W Monk