Last week began with an excellent 'meet and greet' event organised by Cllr Clive Webber of the Littleport Parish Council. Jason Wing, Sam Mandley and myself were introduced to a wide range of local, national and global businesses all who have lots to offer the Academy. It's vital, as we grow, that we build strong business partnerships so we can offer our students the largest possible range of opportunites and experiences and equip them with the skills to progress in the world of work. I am looking forward to meeting everyone again soon.
The Strategic Plan for the Academy was also completed. It sets out a clear vision for the school which I outlined in my first blog - 'Outstanding from Day 1'. This sums it up. With a superb teaching team in place and some proven teaching and behaviour systems we will set the bar high in every area. Our key mantra to the students will be to disregard a fixed mindset and to adopt a growth mindset. Put simply, we will ensure that no student gives up and we will never accept the words 'I can't do it'. They will soon see that they can achieve anything if they are positive when (or if) they fail. Failure is always part of the journey to success and achievement, and every student at LECA will be a success.
Another key element of the Strategic Plan is the Restorative Justice (RJ) system we will adopt. This system, which is proven to work in schools across the world, promotes a positive, orderly atmosphere and means that students are fully accountable for their actions. Students who, for example, disrupt the learning the others repeatedly will attend a panel meeting consisting of a group of their peers and a teacher. The behaviour will be described and the student will have the opportunity to explain why they behaved that way. The teachers and the panel will then explain what effect it had on each of them and a suitable way forward will be agreed. This may be in the form of a behaviour contract or a simple apology, depending on the incident. I am looking forward to the positive effect this will have on the Academy and firmly believe that putting the students central to the system will create a more harmonious school community.
The final interviews for teaching staff take place this week and we will recuit a high quality Maths specialist on Friday. The field is incredibly strong which reflects the excitement that the new Academy has generated. This week we also advertised for a Campus Business Manager with interviews for this post happening just before half term. For those reading who are interested in this exciting post, please see the advert here: https://www.epm.co.uk/school-vacancies/3851/business-campus-manager/ . Further support staff posts will follow in the coming weeks and I will put the links on here.
The week ended with a brilliant front page article on the progress of the Academy and the campus in the Ely News. If you missed it, here is the link: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/local-news/375m-school-leisure-complex-going-12949717
This week a series of meetings will take place starting with one of my regular meetings with Yvonne Skillern, Head of Highfield Littleport, and Clive Paskell our Finance and Operations Director. This will be a general progress meeting and a review of our fixtures and fittings requirements. On Wednesday I will also be meeting Capita who provide SIMs (our Management Information System) to see a demo of their new modules followed by an afternoon meeting with Karen Jarvis, Governance Lead for the Active Learning Trust, to discuss the official opening of the school in the Autumn.
On Thursday I am also looking forward to meeting Alex Kaufman from Norwich City Football Club to hear what he and the club can offer the students on the Campus. This is another great example of how people from all backgrounds and experiences can contribute to the team at Littleport. Norwich City have a great record of developing community links and I am sure we can create some fantastic opportunities for those students who wish to work with them.
Finally, I have, over the last few days, organised to meet with students and teachers from Ely St Mary and Downham Feoffees after their SATs to talk about transition and to answer any questions they may have. This is a crucial part of transition process and I aim to leave both schools in the knowledge that the students are happy and excited about starting their new school. In the meantime, I'd like to wish them and all the rising Year 7 students from our primary schools all the best of luck with their SATs preparations over the next two weeks.
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