Two years ago today we had been open for just 4 days with 84 students rattling round our magnificent building. In the blink of an eye those students are now our Year 9s and this week we welcomed our third cohort of Year 7s through our doors. Of course its an important year for all our students but for Year 9 it is time to focus on next steps and to think about how they will shape their education in Year 10 and 11.
At LECA we run a three year Key Stage 3 because we strongly believe that students should experience a broad and deep curriculum for as long as possible. For Year 9, therefore, it is their final chance to deepen their knowledge of some subjects before they specialise in Year 10 and Year 11. For us, this is a strength of our school and one we hope and expect our students to embrace. In the background, we will be working with Trust colleagues and partners to ensure we are able to offer a broad suite of options when the time comes. Once these are finalised, we will be inviting parents in to share the process with them and inform them of all the pathways that are available. With all this in mind, we have purchased a superb online careers platform called Unifrog. All of the Year 8s and 9s have already accessed the platform which allows them to log experiences and competencies, search for FE courses and research industry sectors. Like every other platform we have, Unifrog is accessible from home with student logins so we would encourage parents to have a look too. We will using Unifrog in tutor time and Jo Smith, our new careers adviser, will be working with students to help and guide them through the year.
This year also sees the full launch of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, another first for LECA and one which was always part of the vision right from the start. So far the interest has been huge with lots of students taking the letters home - now is the time for commitment and we look forward to receiving those letters back confirming that commitment. For Year 7 and 8 the highly successful LECA Young Persons Award continues as their preparation years for the D of E and we will be launching that again in the new year.
This week baseline testing begins in Year 7. This will happen in classrooms and helps us gauge exactly where our students are starting from. This year we are also launching Mastery as our ongoing assessment meaning as parents and teachers we will be able to the precise areas of the curriculum that your child is strong or needs further support with. Alongside this, we have SAM Learning for all our students so they can revise and embed knowledge at home or in free time at school.
Finally, it is school photos tomorrow for Years 7 and 9. We use the brilliant Lee Brooker from Happy Days Photography and your photos will be available for you to purchase online shortly after his visit. We're sure you'll love the quality and service Lee provides and I know Year 9 are especially looking forward to updating those shots taken two years ago!
Head of School, LECA