|Headteacher's Previous Messages|
Added/Edited on the 14/01/2019
Happy New Year, I hope you all enjoyed a happy and peaceful Christmas. After staff spent Friday continuing with our work on curriculum development, we welcomed students back to the Academy on Monday. My thanks to parents/carers for their support in ensuring that students attended punctually, with the correct equipment and in full uniform. Heads of Year conducted checks of all students in Years 7-11 and were delighted that the majority were not only in correct uniform but also that there were increased numbers in the new uniform, ahead of the Easter deadline. We have asked a relatively small number of students to rectify any deviations from our uniform policy before any contact is made with home for support.
The GCSE Preferences process was introduced to Year 9 students on Wednesday, ahead of their second assessment of the year going home next Wednesday and an information evening on the Thursday. Students have been guided to one of three pathways, two of which enable achievement of the Ebacc suite of subjects, a government performance measure which includes the study of English, maths, the Sciences, History or Geography and an Ancient (Latin) or Modern Foreign Language.
A significant number of students in Year 11 returned to the start of the exam season with Food Practicals on Wednesday & Thursday, an ICT exam and Music performance recording on Thursday and a Child Development exam on Friday. In addition, Visual Arts students were issued their exam materials in an assembly on Thursday.
On Wednesday, we welcomed a pleasing number of parents/carers for Year 11 subject consultation meetings where staff discussed recent mock results and GCSE forecasts. I was encouraged by the positive conversations being had between staff, parents and students as advice and guidance was discussed and supporting literature was provided, enabling parents/carers to support their children at this crucial time in their studies. We have also been encouraged by the number of students who have made use of GCSEPod which provides access to a wealth of supporting material which can be accessed independently by students and their families to help plug any knowledge gaps and reinforce previous learning. If your child has not already accessed this resource then please urge them to do so; research has shown that those students who make most us of this resource, have often achieved the best results.
Year 13 students returned to the start of their mock exams which continue into this coming week. We have been impressed by the focussed manner in which they have approached this key aspect of their A Level studies; the process of feedback, guidance and support will subsequently provide what is needed to ensure that students can build on this experience in preparation for the summer exams.
Lastly, in response to a recent Cambridgeshire-wide Health Survey, we have made the decision to extend the reach of our Breakfast Club which will, from Monday, be held in the New Hall. Greater capacity and a longer opening time is intended to encourage more students to take advantage of our offer of free tea and toast so that they are properly set for a day of study; please encourage your child to come along, especially if they are prone to skip this vital first meal of the day.
Added/Edited on the 17/12/2018
The final full week of the Autumn Term has been especially busy and I have marveled at the energy levels which students and staff have found and drawn upon to engage so positively and enthusiastically with a range of events and activities.
This has included the handover of hampers collected by students in the main school and the Astrea Sixth Form to the St Neots Foodbank, a Year 11 most able workshop, PE ‘stretch & challenge’ events for Year 9, the ‘Christmas Cracker’ Variety show, Sixth Form Access to A-Levels Rotarian interviews, a ‘Winter Wonderland’ celebration for nominated Year 11 students, a debating session at Kimbolton for the 'Philosophy for Children' (P4C) group, the Carol Concert hosted by Canon Andrews at St Mary’s Church, the Sixth Form’s ‘Christmas Jumper’ day in aid of Save the Children and the Year 7/8 Christmas Bazaar! These and other highlights of the past half term can be viewed in our December Newsletter which can be found under 'News'.
Well done to everyone involved in these events and my thanks to all parents/carers who have supported via donations and/or your attendance at your children’s performances. It continues to be a genuine privilege to lead such an impressive body of students and staff and I am hugely grateful for the positive feedback we have received during this past term which so often lifts the spirits of our staff. I wish you all a happy peaceful Christmas.
Added/Edited on the 10/12/2018
Our Core Purpose at Longsands Academy is to ensure that all students enjoy the best possible experience, learning and outcomes during their time with us. There have been a number of highlights during this past week which, whilst appearing to be entirely disparate, all have this purpose as a commonality.
We began the week by hearing from Mrs Andrews who attended a ceremony held by the National Citizenship Service (NCS) where Longsands Academy received the Silver Award for our level of student engagement with this scheme. The NCS is a 4 week opportunities during which students spend two weeks in a residential setting and two weeks volunteering; 65,000 hours were volunteered in Cambridgeshire this year with Longsands’ students making a significant contribution to this total.
We also heard that our academy is in the Top 5 of schools for usage of Doddle with Year 11 student, Amber Williams, in the Top 3 nationally for her engagement with this online learning platform. The mother of Riley Mockler-Hall (7JTM) contacted us to alert her to Riley’s weekend success in the swimming pool. Riley competed in a swim meet in Newmarket and won three medals in the boys 11 year-old category, smashing two of his swimming club’s records and achieving his aim of obtaining qualifying times for the County Champs in January. Very well done Riley. Meanwhile, Mrs Snooks informed us of her daughter’s charity work outside of school. Kiana (9DAN) has been giving up her evenings over the last few weeks to help at the 'shoebox warehouse' at Berkeley Street Methodist Church in Eynesbury where 3634 shoeboxes have been collected to distribute to children in Liberia over the Christmas period.
As the academy gears up for Christmas, it was a privilege to judge the Christmas Card Competition which had a significant number of exceptionally high quality entries. I was delighted to award the two winners, Freya Mouldycliff and Mia-Rose Challenger in Year 7, with a selection box and inform them that their entries will, jointly, be used as the academy’s official cards.
On Tuesday, staff and students attended the Carol Service at King’s College in Cambridge; staff reported that the students’ behaviour was exemplary and they enjoyed the service. Also on Tuesday, Mr Dickerson and Mr Owen attended a Licence Presentation ceremony by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The ceremony acknowledged the extensive commitment by Longsands’ students to this highly valuable scheme which develops in young people a range of skills and personal qualities.
On Wednesday, Year 13 Law students attended a trip to the Royal Courts of Justice and Houses of Parliament where they met our local MP, Jonathan Djanogly. On Friday, Mr Djanogly visited the academy to discuss recent achievements and current areas of challenge and he highlighted how impressed he had been with the quality of the students’ questions and knowledgeable discussion. Later in the day, we welcomed the parents/carers of our Year 8 students for subject consultation meetings. My thanks to all those who attended to discuss their child’s progress based on students’ own reflections using the ‘Ladders of Success’.
On Thursday, students and staff enjoyed a fantastic day at the Twickenham Varsity Match to end the rugby season. Our Year 7 & 8 teams won both of their games before the boys enjoyed a great game of rugby between Oxford and Cambridge. Meanwhile, Miss Saklani reported that a pleasing number of students attended the first ‘Philosophy for Children’ (P4C) session which includes a collaboration with Kimbolton school.
Lastly, it was fantastic to hear the news that our History department, led by Mr Wayman, has successfully applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund. The money will be used to research the role of local regiments in Palestine in WW1; the subsequent knowledge will then be taught to our students.
Such a range of events and activities demonstrate the varied opportunities which your children are positively engaging with, both within and outside the academy. Their experiences will act to provide them with a deepening knowledge of the world they live in and develop the personal qualities which will enable them to flourish.
Weekly Message: PE Update|
Added/Edited on the 03/12/2018
This half term has been a typically busy one for our students as they engage with a range of sporting and health-related activities led by our PE department.
A real highlight has been the success of our Year 8 boys’ rugby squad who were recently crowned District Champions after beating Hinchingbrooke in the final. Meanwhile, the Year 7 rugby journey has continued, playing against Saffron Waldon, Hampton, Thomas Deacon and finishing 2nd in the District Championships. Both of our Year 9 and 10 teams came a respectable 2nd in their own District Championship competitions with the Year 9 squad eagerly anticipating the County Plate final against Ely in January; good luck boys. On Thursday of this coming week, students in Years 7,8 and 9 will be attending the Varsity match at Twickenham; playing against Isleworth Academy before the Oxford v Cambridge fixture.
Our girls have been equally busy with the U15 footballers crowned District Champions after being unbeaten in the tournament; they then went on to play against Hinchingbrooke in the Huntingdonshire District Finals and are now champions after 5 wins and 1 draw. The U16 team achieved 3rd Place at the County Finals, beaten by the eventual winners in a close game. The team displayed some creative attacking play with an exceptional performance by Kendall O'Connor scoring a hat trick in the final game. Sophia Diaz-Fraser also made a brilliant save off the line to keep a clean sheet.
The Year 10 girls’ netball team also achieved 3rd place at the District Championships and narrowly missed qualification for County Championships by 1 goal! Congratulations also to our Year 11 netball District Champions; the girls played the final against Hinchingbrooke and won 48-6, dominating throughout the game with fantastic accurate shooting from Lucy Davies-Parratt and Ailish McAloney. This provided a fantastic end to an undefeated season. The team now plays in the U16 County Finals this Saturday so we wish them luck for the tournament.
Our runners enjoyed considerable success in the District Cross-Country with Alicia Athersmith being crowned District Champion for Intermediate Girls and Ben Joyce coming runner-up in the Junior boys category. In addition, a number of students finished in the top 16 and qualified for the County Championships, due to take place on the 12th January; a full list can be found in a separate Facebook post.
Lastly, it has been a real pleasure to see so many students engaged in our Stretch and Challenge programme which is in full swing for Years 8, 9 and 10. This term, the programme has been led by Body Batch Fitness and the students have applied themselves enthusiastically to a range of activities.
This time in a range of physical activities, our students, and your children, have, once again made us all very proud.
A Message from our Head Boy and Girl|
Added/Edited on the 26/11/2018
Promoting student leadership is a key focus at Longsands Academy, one which affords students the opportunity to build relationships with staff and each other, play an integral role in school improvement whilst developing effective communication and interpersonal skills. To highlight our work in this area, this week’s message has been written by our Head Girl and Head Boy, Tara Loader and Gabriel Pang.
“We believe that all students should be capable of exercising leadership in different contexts to help develop them and the wider school community. This opportunity is provided at all stages of learning, whether it is as an Open Evening guide, a Year 9 Student Leader, a Language or Sports Leader, a member of the Tech Crew or as a member of the Senior Prefect team.
Being appointed to the latter of these roles involves a tough, but valuable, application process. At the end of Year 10, all students were invited to apply to become a member of the Senior Prefect Team by submitting a personal statement, followed by an interview with a senior member of staff. Following a successful interview, a team of Senior Prefects were appointed with the vision to become the role models for the Academy. A Head Girl and Head Boy (as well as their deputies) were later decided by a vote from Academy teachers.
The Senior Prefect Team is made up of 3 committees:
Collectively, the Senior Prefect Team are a visible presence at Academy events. We meet every week to feedback on various issues such as bullying, social areas and uniform. Additionally, we have a duty each day and organise weekly activities to support tutor groups in Key Stage 3. We have also had the opportunity to assist with new initiatives in order to support teaching and learning throughout the Academy. Recently, we conducted a student survey which explored the impact that Doddle has had on learning. The feedback received highlighted the support which Doddle has provided students to enhance their learning outside of school, as well as supporting teachers by instantly highlighting students’ strengths and weaknesses and allowing them to respond accordingly.
We look forward to continuing our work as leaders of the Senior Prefect team, promoting student voice and discussing the new and exciting projects put forward by the whole student body at Longsands Academy."