A lot seems to have happened since the last blog!
A few days ago, the Prime Minister published his roadmap out of lockdown and whether we think it's too fast or too slow, at least it's happening and we can begin to live our lives to the full again. There's no getting away from it - this has been hard. Having little social contact for almost a year is not natural. Not seeing relatives is heart-breaking. What are you planning to do when the last restriction lifts? A meal out? A trip to the cinema? A holiday? Whatever it is, the pandemic has highlighted one thing very brightly: life is precious and we should savour every second of it.
Of course we're not there yet and we must be patient; there are some serious hoops to jump through first. Secondary schools everywhere will now be planning to re-open and figuring out how to stagger the return and test all their students three times in two weeks. No mean feat. By now, however, if you're a parent reading this, you will have received our 'roadmap' back to school with staggered start times and testing schedules for all students. Once again it has been a huge team effort to plan and it will be a huge team effort to deliver but the strength of the team is what makes LECA special. We have a school full of leaders and I am so proud to be part of it. Special credit must go to Paula Edwards and her testing team who have performed so professionally and tirelessly since the start of term.
Behind the scenes lots of work is being done to improve the school even further. Curriculums are being re-written and refreshed; teachers are developing their knowledge and skills; new governors have joined us to support our development. Schools never stop striving to improve and we have been working on ways to not only improve what happens in our classrooms but in our pastoral and behaviour support too. In January we opened our Alternative Curriculum Centre run by the highly experienced Des Storey and Joanne Strong. This is another great addition to the provision at LECA and will support some students to engage more positively with school life. We believe firmly in being a fully inclusive school and this new centre will provide a range of bespoke options for us to utilise when we need them.
Around the academy we have also added brand new House boards and lots of pictures of our staff which shine a light on their lives outside LECA. From reading to football; international travel to Tough Mudder, the pictures will hopefully inspire our students to try something new and always live with a sense of adventure and curiosity. School can and should provide the inspiration or the platform to explore new experiences and these are one way for students to see the myriad of things on offer in the world.
Another initiative we are working on is the Leading Parent Partnership Award (LPPA). The LPPA is essentially a programme designed to create stronger partnerships between the school and it's families. We've often said how important this partnership is and this award is the platform to help us improve even further. We hope you'll help us on the journey to achieve the LPPA and will be inviting parents to get fully involved in the process along the way.
We are very much looking forward to seeing our students back where they belong - in their classrooms with their peers - in a weeks' time. We've missed them and we think they've missed us a little too, even if they don't admit it! Please be assured that we will do everything we can to settle them back into good learning routines and making progress again and we will work harder than ever to ensure they get back on track as quickly as possible.