Normally after an Open Evening I would be writing about how exciting it was to see so many prospective parents and students at the Academy and praising my staff and the student guides for their ethusiasm and commitment. This year was a little different to say the least! 

The virtual opening evening on Tuesday was launched by a superb video made by Lee Brooker of Happy Days Photography. Lee has been a friend of LECA for a long time now and this video illustrates why. Lee is a genius in his field and his drone shots, interviews and classroom shots were just brilliant. We really hope you enjoyed watching it as much as we did - LECA looked stunning as always and the students who were interviewed we so spontaneous and natural. Thank you to Lee and special thanks to Gabriel, Antonia, Leah and Mason who were all great on camera. 

Next up was the Podcast, expertly hosted by Mr Tatham. I say this because I know from experience that it is not easy to 'manage' a conversation like this, uncut and unrehearsed, for 20+ minutes. You never quite know where the conversation will take you and whether the students will respond in the way you expect. What was produced, however, was an honest and lively chat where the Year 7 students spoke eloquently about their first few weeks at LECA. We hope you enjoyed this too and thank you to Mr Tatham and the students for making it happen.

Finally it was time for the live presentation. With LECA locked up for the night, I took my place in my home office and flicked through my presentation at 5.30pm. That's the worst thing you can do! You always find things you want to change or re-word but you don't have time to do it. Then the nerves about the broadband came. If the internet failed, the presentation would fail. I politely asked my wife and daughter to stay off Netflix for an hour, just in case! Then the 'waiting room' started to fill and just after 6pm I started. By the end, 70 people had logged in so, assuming one parent and one child watched, we can estimate about 150 were watching and listening, maybe even more. Thank you to all of you - it was such a shame we couldn't meet in person but we will one day. A special thanks goes to Millie too. Millie took the invitation to submit a question in advance to another level! The day before she, via her mum's email, sent me 20 questions and, as promised, I answered them all live on the broadcast. Millie - thank you for that and I look forward to meeting you soon too.

This week we launched the National Online Safety platform to our parents and staff. With more and more of our life taking place online, it's so important that parents and children know how to stay safe. There are plenty of pitfalls out there and the range of new apps and websites grows larger every day so this platform is there to help. It covers everything from gaming to cyber security, from sexting to social media and we urge all of our parents to log in and search through the mass of resources it has. The platform is run by leading industry experts and LECA will also be using it for staff training to keep us all up to date. 

Finally, if you missed any or all of the Open Evening, all of the 'events' are on our website and can be accessed here. Thank you again for joining us on Tuesday and we do hope to meet you in person soon. If, in the meantime, you still have some questions please do email the mailbox and we will get back to you with answers.


Scott Gaskins

Principal, LECA.