With assessments over, this week has given us time to reflect on the systems we have in place at LECA and the improvements we can make in January. It is not straightforward but we do think the time has come to start making the steady transition back to normality. It will be cautious, though, and we will not make any changes that are not within the government current guidance. To summarise:
1) We will return to Year Group bubbles operating in zones to ensure there is no cross-over.
2) We will re-set / re-group so students in 7, 8 and 9 will no longer taught in form groups.
3) All groups will move around the Academy and continue to wear face coverings everywhere apart from outside and in class.
4) Students who need extra support will have more access to specialist intervention and TA support.
5) Assemblies will begin again - a vital part of the Academy routine.
6) Lunches can be taken inside or outside (as they have been this week when the weather has been cold or wet).
7) A break system for students to stretch their legs and get some fresh air will be launched but there will not be any food served until we are allowed to mix the students.
We're excited about the move back towards a more normal school day in the New Year. Hopefully then at Easter we can return to normal breaks and full movement but again we will follow the guidance and ensure that the safety of students and staff is paramount.
This term we have also taken the step to revisit our core values and vision for our students. 'We are INSPIRED' has been our tag-line from the very beginning but we will be embedding it even further into the 'daily diet' of our students from January. INSPIRED Awards will replace Mindset of Month; Prefects, who embody being INSPIRED, will be created; the points awarded in class will continue to be for INSPIRED characteristics being demonstrated. Not only this but we have also taken the first step to replace the 'D' for Determined and change it to 'D' for Diversity, the whole sentence being: 'We champion Diversity.' To this end we are completely changing the House figureheads to be much more representative of the diverse world in which we live. On Friday, this meant that students and staff were presented with new alternative figureheads for each House and could vote for their favourite during tutor time. The votes will be counted this week and the new figureheads will be announced soon after - I will also profile each leader in the blog next week.This is an exciting moment for LECA and one which demontsrates that we do not stand still and we do indeed champion diversity as part of our core values.
Finally, it was a busy week last week and in some cases this was magnified by some unsafe and inconsiderate actions by a very small minority of students. We ask parents to talk to their children about staying safe during the school day and to trust us to help them if they feel unhappy or, in exteme cases, feel the need leave the site. Thankfully it is extremely rare but leaving the site without permission is obviously a huge safeguarding issue for us which we treat extremely seriously. It takes a lot of staff and a lot of time to find to find a student who has left without permission and this has the knock-on effect of possibly leaving other students without adequate supervision. This simply isn't fair on those students who deserve to be well looked after at all times so I urge all students to find a member of staff they trust and to talk. It's amazing what talking can achieve with the right person and we pride ourselves on listening. Thank you for your support in this hugely important issue.