Sir Robert Woodard Academy
“Performing Arts and Mathematics”
Summer 2012 Newsletter
From the Principal Our Journey out of Special Measures Dear Parent/Carers When a school or Academy is placed into Special Measures, as SRWA was in November, it is given a number of areas it has to address; the Sir Robert Woodard Academy was given four. The academy is then given a period of time to begin to tackle these and to demonstrate improvement. In order to check that improvements are happening, Ofsted carry out monitoring visits approximately every 12-14 weeks. The Sir Robert Woodard Academy had its first monitoring visit in May. Three inspectors spent two days observing lessons, speaking to staff and students and looking at data. After every visit, the school receives a written report outlining the progress it has made in the four areas. Normally, after a first visit, the report would say that the academy/school had made ‘inadequate’ progress. This is because it is recognised that the academy hasn’t had enough time to do anything else. However, in all of our four areas we were seen to have made ‘satisfactory’ progress, which is quite amazing. Below are a few of the headlines:
Behaviour and Safety of Students The calm and happy atmosphere around the academy found at the last inspection continues, and students are very supportive and proud of their new school. Relationships between students and with the staff are a strength of the academy. Sixth form students are valued members of the school community and are good role models for younger students.
The quality of leadership in and management of the academy In her short time leading the academy, the new Principal has focused successfully on the areas for development identified by the inspection. The IAB actively supports the senior leaders while also challenging them about students’ achievement.
External Support The sponsor has a clear understanding of the issues faced by the academy and is targeting support effectively. The full report is available on our website. Our journey to remove the Sir Robert Woodard Academy from special measures and make it an outstanding academy has only just started, but if this first milestone is anything to go by, then we are well on our way.
Current Year 11 students are expected to reach standards that are above those reached by Year 11 last year.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support you have shown us over the last two terms.
In the sixth form, achievement is also improving as the focus on raising the quality of teaching has an impact on learning.
Mrs C Singleton Executive Principal
The Quality of Teaching Teaching overall is improving as the proportion of good teaching increases.
Farewell to Frog Dear parents we have decided to move away from using Frog as our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and parent portal because of continued technical problems with it over the past few years and its inability to keep up with many of the learning opportunities that can be found on the Internet today . We are moving to a new VLE called the ‘realsmart cloud’ which we will integrate into our new website from September. The new VLE will provide all students with a number of exiting new features including enhanced email, file storage area, access to Google online apps, remote access to school systems and a host of other learning and collaboration tools on the Internet. There will be an update next term for students and parents on the new features of the VLE and website. The homework setting system, ‘School Planner Book’ will continue to be used and will be available throughout the Summer. We will be investigating other parent portal software this year to see if we can find a better replacement for this part of Frog, in the meantime we will be sending reports home six times a year on the progress your child is making at the academy. Mr Harkins Strategic IT Director
Bye Bye Vivo We will be changing the academy policy for student rewards from September. Details of the new system will be communicated to all parents and students in September. Students will have until October half term to use any of the Vivos they have earned this year at either the Vivo or academy shop or they can be donated to their chapter charity.
In March our Year 10 business students were given the opportunity to work with local business Prosperity Brownies. After a series of business presentations and interviews Stewart Matthews, Jack Rhodes, Lewis Backus and Rebecca King-Winterborn were chosen to form the student team to work with the business. Paul and Jane Hatcher from Prosperity Brownies have supported the Academy at the summer fete, ran lessons with the business students, and have future plans to interact with the rest of the Academy. The students have been working to develop the social media side of their business and have really taken on this challenge with great gusto!
An Audience with... Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. The LRC is hosting a regular feature each Friday lunchtime; where a mystery guest (member of staff) comes to talk to students about their favourite book, or a book that has inspired them, or even changed their life in some way! The event is known as “An audience with…” and is proving popular with all ages, as students are interested to see which books have been chosen and why.
This term has been a busy one for PE with teams competing in rounders and athletics. The year 9 and 10 rounders teams did really well to finish 3rd in the district! The year 8s went one step further and got through to the finals to compete against Sion, Towers and Davison. In the two athletics competitions we have entered this year we have come away with some amazing individual results. In particular, congratulations must go to Anna Short, Aaron Tugnutt, Nina Day and Ben Young who all got through to represent the district in the West Sussex athletics competition in Crawley. Next year I am sure we will be able to add to our ever-growing medal tally! With the arrival of the 2012 Olympics, the district has been busy organising extra sporting events including our very own Olympic torch relay. Six students along with Mr Bromley and Mr Dales ran all the way to Davison High School to deliver the torch! There have also been a number of Quadrathon events held in the district and great team spirit has been shown from all the students who entered. A special well done must go to Michelle Hepworth in year 7 who won all five of her table tennis matches to win her tournament.
Next September the PE department will be kicking off the year with football, basketball, netball and gymnastics for all years.
See you there.
Miss Hammersley PE Teacher
The Investor in Careers Presentation We celebrate after receiving the Investor in Careers (Iic) Award in recognitiion of the work we do to help promote the career prospects of our pupils. The award is given to educational institutuions which show a commitment to offering careers education, guidance, advice and information. The award signals the importance the academy places in its pupils’ futures as well as their academic achievement. It’s about acknowledging that education is about achievement and progress, but this must be placed in the context of future economic well-being. Young people need to know what’s in it for them. Lots of schools can strive for academic excellence, as we do, but it’s also about supporting the next stage of pupils’ lives. Mrs Dillon-Thiselton - Vice Principal
Friday Paired Maths
Sixth-form students have taken the lead in helping and tutoring year seven students in maths on Friday mornings.
Since the beginning of the school year, the canteen services have seen progressive growth in the variety of choice of food available.
The idea of providing extra support to students in the lower school came from post-sixteen students, Harry Bush and Jake Andrews, but was inspired by the already successful paired-reading scheme which involves older students nurturing literacy skills of younger pupils. The maths tutorial scheme is only within its initial stages but has sparked positive interest and looks forward to assisting and supporting students within the academy.
A sixth-form initiative to promote the already successful canteen has begun with post-sixteen students, Samuel Phillips and Jake Andrews, working with the staff of the canteen to look for new ways to stimulate the growth of new canteen designs and facilities. With many new ideas already having been developed, the benefits of student participation in the promotion of the canteen have been clear and we hope that future success will come shortly! Jake Andrews Student
Exam Results GCE: 16th August 2012 10: 00 – 12:00 Curie Chapter. Entrance through Curie. GCSE : 23rd August 2012 10:00 – 12:00 The Plaza. Entrance through Curie Dress Code: smart casual – suitable for the Academy Staff will be on hand to help with any queries etc arising from the results. Students unable to collect the results themselves can either: - send someone in their stead (with suitable letter of authority) or - by post by providing a stamp addressed envelope (to be posted on Results Day not before). - collect them at a later date from the Main Reception, week days 9:00am – 4:00pm
Certificates Certificates from the summer exams will be available for collection only from the Academy from mid November - the exact date will appear on the Academy website towards the end of October. Any queries before Results Day please contact Mr Lamb, Data Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Literacy at SRWA and the LRC
The Roddick chapter council have been working hard, raising money for the chapter charity, Children On The Edge. This term they embarked on several fundraising ideas, the first being a ‘Guess the number of sweets in the jar’ competition. Chapter representatives collected guesses for the price of 20p during break and lunch, the jar was kept in the Roddick reception at other times. The winning or closest guess will be announced in assembly on 18th July. For more information regarding Children On The Edge visit www. childrenontheedge.org Mr O’Brien Lead Tutor – Roddick Chapter
Literacy underpins so much of what we as an academy do, that the focus has very much been on speaking, listening, reading and writing this term; culminating in our Literacy Celebration Fortnight, held just after half term. Students took part in a Spelling Bee earlier in the year which the Brunel chapter team won. The debating competition was won by the Roddick chapter team after some intense arguments were heard by an enthralled audience. More recently all students were invited to take part in the Diamond Jubilee Reading Miles competition, where every ten minutes of reading equalled 500 miles on a reading passport – over 30 students read more than 33,000 miles (11 hours) in the three weeks of the competition, which was won by Nightingale Chapter students overall with an amazing total of 2,516,500 reading miles! A ‘Wall of Writing’ appeared in the Maths Courtyard where students used post-it notes to record their profound – and not so profound – thoughts, and an inter-chapter writing competition was launched where students had to argue for their chapter icon (Dickens, Brunel, Curie, Nightingale, Mandela or Roddick) to be saved from a falling hot air balloon. A Nightingale student won this with a very erudite and persuasive essay on Florence Nightingale’s influential life. One of the highlights was the visit of teen thriller writer Sophie McKenzie, who spoke to year 7, 8 and some visiting year 6 students; encouraging them to decide the plot of a story involving escaped gorillas and TV filming by actively listening and voting. Some of the LRC assistants visited the British Library in London and took part in a workshop entitled ‘Play on Words’, which they will be producing posters and leaflets about to share their experience with other students.
Roddick Chapter News Roddick Chapter has continued to have a fantastic year: • • • • • • •
Both staff and students have settled well into our Roddick Chapter area in the new building We especially like our new Roddick academy ties As a chapter we came first in the Debating competition Joint second in the Spelling Bees Second in the Year 9 Boys football Roddick Chapter have supported the Link Romania shoe box appeal Students in Roddick Chapter are currently raising money for Anita Roddick’s charity called Children on the Edge
Sophie Mckenzie in the Theatre
The winning Brunel Spelling Bee team
Dickens Did you Party Night know? Fundraising for TeenSpire SRWA Sixth form students who have formed a group, Teenspire, aiming to improve the aspirations of young people in our area, organised a fundraising disco for Dickens Chapter on Friday 29th June. Year 7 students enjoyed a DJ and dancing at the same time as raising money for this worthy cause.
Since moving into the Academy we have used… 1,200,000 sheets of A4 white paper weighing just under 6 ton and 207,500 sheets of A3 white paper.
Autumn term starts on Thursday 6th September for ALL students. A timetable for the first day back is enclosed.