The letter is available here or it can be read below.
As we come to the end of the seventh academic year since opening, the first cohort of students in year 13 have now left and I am pleased to say that 59% of them have offers of places at Russell Group Universities next year, which is more than two and a half times the national average and shows just what astonishing progress students make in their time at the academy. Despite all the changes in those seven years, and those that are to come, there remains a relentless focus on world class standards across the school. Whether that be the politeness of our students, their examination outcomes, the quality of teaching, art exhibitions, Sports Days, or our hugely impressive end of year musical ‘Hairspray’ which ran for a record three nights this year.
A vital part in your child’s development at the academy is the support you provide us in establishing a strong work ethic and exemplary behaviour. The academy is successful because we collectively establish clear, consistent and exceptionally high standards. Consequently, the information below outlines some of the priorities for improvement that you as parents/carers will need to be aware of.
The majority of students have reached their target grades in maths and English and in most other subjects by the end of year 9 and 10, but as targets are set from primary school levels in maths and English, other subjects in year 7 and 8 sometimes take longer to get to their targets. If you are concerned about progress in any subject area, there will be an opportunity to discuss this with your child’s Personal Adviser during Consultation Week in November and at subsequent Parent Days.
Uniform, hair and jewellery
Our uniform is an essential part of the high expectation culture that generates such amazing outcomes for our students. Ensuring your child is correctly prepared for school is incredibly important if they are to be in the right frame of mind for school.
Our standard uniform is available from the academy supplier, Trutex, on Broadway Market. In order to ensure uniform is consistent, all items (including boys’ trousers) must be purchased from there except for boys’ shirts and shoes, which must be plain, black business-style shoes. In addition, the policy states:
No jewellery is to be worn except plain watches and one plain metal, discreet stud in each ear. Hair must be tied back and all hair must be worn in a style appropriate to a business environment. Extreme hairstyles/colours (including facial hair and eyebrows) that undermine the ethos or discipline of the academy will not be permitted. Only plain black hairbands are permitted. Students wearing make-up will be asked to remove it and sanctioned accordingly. Judgements on acceptability can only be made by staff at the academy. Students with inappropriate uniform, hair or make-up will be placed in the Reflection Room or sent home to change.
Our expectations will be the same for all students in whatever year group in key stage 3 and 4, so please ensure from the first day of term to the last that these standards are upheld.
Coming home after school
There are many significant risks to students in the hours after school. Young people between the ages of 11 and 16 are statistically at the greatest risk of harm between the hours of 3.30 and 7 p.m. For that reason we expect all students to go home after they are dismissed from school and, at the very least, check-in with their parents – we will know this has happened if they are out of their school uniform. It is what I expect of my own children who I do not want to be loitering on the street after school. Almost every student who we have behavioural concerns about has been seen in school uniform on the street at some time during the year after the 20 minute rule. Poor behaviour is not learned in our academy, and if it is not allowed at home it can only be learned on the streets, that is why we take this so seriously. We deploy senior staff to run extensive duties in the local area at the end of each day. Loitering on the streets also raises questions around safeguarding and care which in some cases has led to a social services safeguarding referral.
Please impress upon your child the importance of coming home quickly and sensibly after school.
Examination Results Days
Year 13 A2 Results Day
Thursday 18 August, 7 a.m.
Year 12 AS Results Day
Thursday 18 August, 10 a.m.
Year 11 GCSE Results Day
Thursday 25 August, 11 a.m.
Autumn Term 2016/17
First day of term for years 7 and 12
Friday 9 September, 8.20 a.m.
First day of term for years 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13
Friday 9 September, 9.25 a.m. (West playground)
Week commencing Monday 24 October
Finally, it is so important that students enjoy their summer break. There are so many things to do, organised for young people. There really is no reason to become bored or to hang around with the wrong crowd. There are sports events, arts workshops, summer camps, and some great museums and play areas to visit for no charge within a mile of the academy. We are also blessed with fantastic parks, open spaces, Olympic facilities and Epping Forest only a short distance away. Central London also offers lots of free entertainment and places to visit with museums, which are all free, offering lots of activities and ideas for young people of all ages.
Have a great summer.
Mark Emmerson Principal