Leeds West Academy


Acting Principal's Update

Reviewing a busy week

This week has been a busy one at Leeds West Academy.  There have been a number of inspirational events and developments which I am pleased to report to you.

On Wednesday, we were visited by Mike Ion of the Department for Education.  Mike met with members of the Executive Leadership Group to discuss various aspects of the Academy’s progress and development and also met a fantastic group of LWA students.  The process was very positive and supportive, and we were left with a great reassurance about our Journey to Outstanding, as well as some very helpful guidance around future developments.  Mike stated that he had thoroughly enjoyed the visit and that the students, in particular, were lovely and very respectful. Mike will be visiting the Academy again to observe our progress in the future. 

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending the Rotary Awards for Young People at Leeds Civic Hall.  This was a very enjoyable evening and it was extremely heart-warming to hear the incredible stories of courage and resilience from the young people of Leeds.  Our very own Jessica and Kennady were presented with awards from the Mayor and their stories (which are featured here) are a testament to how young people can achieve at the highest level. 

This week, we have also seen our second Citizenship Theme Day take place. I have to say that the atmosphere around the Academy on Thursday was outstanding with many excellent activities engaging our students. The Year 7 Democracy Day was a sight to behold, with groups inventing their own parties and then presenting their manifesto to the rest of the year group.  I happened to see the Pink Power Party in action and was very interested to hear about their views on the NHS!  Year 11 had a taste of what it would be like to be in our Sixth Form; Year 10 were visiting museums with the focus of STEM developments; Year 8 had the chance to develop certain products as part of Enterprise Day, presenting these in the Apprentice-style boardroom at the end of the day.  We also welcomed Human Utopia back to the school and I watched their session on Filling Other People’s Bins - a powerful session on students who have been treated badly by others and how they could own up to this in a safe environment.  It really was a superb day.

By the end of the week, the whole Academy had also witnessed five spoken manifestos by candidates who are running for Head Boy and Head Girl. Harry, Erin, Nancy, Eryn and James each spoke eloquently to Years 7 through to Year 11, issuing a unique and visionary statement as to why they wished to represent the school as a whole. The election process will formally begin on 23rd January and each student in the school will be able to vote through the VLE. The students recorded their speeches, which are now available to watch online here.

Finally, I would like to inform you of some staffing developments since Christmas.  Due to my acting role as Principal, Ms Sandham has been deployed as acting Vice Principal for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare and Mr Bullock has taken on the role of acting Assistant Principal, looking at Diminishing the Difference between certain groups of students and the results that they achieve. We also welcome to the school Toni Brady, a qualified School Nurse, who will be supporting and enhancing the care we provide to students and families, whilst also assessing when it is necessary for students to go home due to illness.

After a busy week at Leeds West Academy, I hope everyone had a restful weekend ahead of what is to be another inspirational and progressive week of learning. 

Yours faithfully,

Ben Wheeler
Acting Principal


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