Headteacher's Message
Weekly Message
   Added/Edited on the 18/06/2018     Previous Messages

Since returning from the half term break, I have enjoyed meeting with a number of students who perfectly represent our core purpose and values. I enjoyed a breakfast with the Year 9 students who took part in the Regional Final of the Magistrates Mock Trial Competition in May. It was fascinating to hear of the team’s success in both prosecution and defence, only finishing runners-up to a school in terms of overall points scored. It was a pleasure to meet with them and express how proud we all are of their hard work and subsequent achievements. 

I also had the privilege of joining the first meeting of our new cohort of Prefects, led by Mr Owen, Mrs Hills (Head of Year 11 from September) and Miss Saunders (KS4 Student Voice Co-ordinator). This group will play a key role in providing a genuine voice and input into the experience of the Year 11 cohort as well as the wider academy. We look forward to working in partnership with them to support our work to continually improve our academy.

This past week also saw us supporting two national events. The first of these was Wednesday’s ‘Stand Up to Bullying’ day; to support this initiative students across different Year groups, led by our Prefects, came together to take a collective stand against all forms of bullying. The students have produced posters and a video to raise awareness for Anti-Bullying, explaining the differences between being an upstander or a bystander. This has been shared across all tutor groups and can be viewed by following this link: https://youtu.be/-1ulx52d9Hg. Secondly, we joined the minute silence on Thursday as we paused to remember, and show our respect to, the victims of the Grenfell fire and the families coming to terms with their loss.

I am sure that you do not need me to tell you that the World Cup has started! As is tradition at Longsands, each Tutor group in KS3 has been randomly assigned a country being represented at the tournament and are asked to decorate their form room in the colours and culture of that country/team. This not only provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their interests and talents whilst having some fun but also develops their understanding and appreciation of foreign cultures. To get the ball rolling (apologies for dreadful pun), Friday saw tutor groups taking part in a World Cup Quiz during afternoon registration; this provided 32 picture clues for each participating world cup country. A prize was waiting for the first form to complete the quiz and send all of the correct answers to Mr Lampett; very well done to 8AFI who managed to get their answers in by 1:07!

Please, therefore, be ready for requests for ideas, flags, football kits, colours, food, clothing or famous people from your child’s allotted country; your support, as ever, is much appreciated. In the week beginning July 2nd, the KS3 team and myself will visit participating form rooms and judge an overall winner.

On Friday, parents/carers received a letter regarding our new uniform from September which is to be phased-in by Easter 2019. This applies to all students except the new Year 7 cohort and the current Year 10 (see details in letter). I will be clarifying this message with students in assemblies during this coming week to ensure all are aware of our expectations, especially regarding shoes which are compulsory for ALL students from September. Your support in ensuring that your children are ready to learn in September is much appreciated; please contact the relevant Key Stage team if you have any queries regarding this matter. Please also be aware that we will communicate soon regarding ‘sizing days’ on 2nd and 11th July.

As we enter this week, I am mindful that students in Years 11 and 13 will have completed their external exams by Friday. With children of my own in each of these cohorts, I am very aware of the hard work needed for students to achieve their best and the pressure that is consequently felt. We have all been hugely impressed by the calm, confident and purposeful manner in which the vast majority of students have approached these exams and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents/carers for the vital role you have played in ensuring that your children are well prepared for their exams.

Martin Paine