As we approach the end of our first term, I would like to share some news about changes that are going to take place within the White Rose Academies Trust.
From February Half Term, I will be working in a new role across the Trust as Head of Education. This is a very exciting role, through which I will maintain a very close connection with Leeds West Academy. Vice Principal Ben Wheeler will assume the role of Acting Principal at this time and the WRAT Board will be advertising the role of Principal for Leeds West Academy nationally and internationally after Christmas.
We are confident that we can appoint a great leader who will take the Academy on to the next stage of its journey to outstanding. May I take this opportunity to thank you all for the amazing support that you have given to me over the last seven years and I look forward to working closely with students and staff in 2017 as Head of Education.
Following this news, I would also like to remind you about our Meet Your Coach Day and inform you of some other changes that will be introduced after Christmas.
Meet Your Coach Day
Meet Your Coach Day will take place between 8:30am and 4pm. Students only need to come into the Academy for their appointment time and normal lessons will start on Wednesday 5th January. You can book your place online and details about how to do this are available on the website; click on Students and Parents, followed by Letters Home, and then open the PDF document called Parent's Evening Booking System Guide. Alternatively, you can phone the Academy on or before Thursday, 22nd December to arrange your appointment.
Changes to Extra-Curricular Activities
After the Christmas holidays we will be changing our approach to extra-curricular activities. We will no longer be running EEP on Mondays. Instead, a variety of extra-curricular activities will be taking place throughout the week, but with a particular focus on Wednesdays and Thursdays. One of our new values is PARTICIPATION. We expect all of our students to take part in a number of extra-curricular activities throughout the year. The full range of activities will be available to choose from on Meet Your Coach Day on 3rd January.
Compulsory additional revision sessions for Year 11 (and some Year 10) students will continue to run on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and some students will have timetabled lessons during period 6 on Wednesday and Thursday.
New Approaches to Homework
Following feedback from parents, students and staff, we are going to make some changes to our approach to homework after the Christmas holidays. Homework is a very important part of our students’ learning experience as it gives them an opportunity to review and extend their learning in class.
After Christmas we will be making some changes to the homework timetable and details will be provided on Meet Your Coach Day.
In order to assist students with their homework, we will provide Learning Hubs every day after school. We really want to encourage students to attend these sessions so that they can keep up to date with their homework, whilst using our excellent resources, and having staff on hand to support if needed.
Students who do not do their homework will continue to receive a homework comment in their planner. Students who regularly don’t do their homework will be directed to attend the Learning Hubs to support them with their learning, and will also be placed on Homework Report. Students on Homework Report who do not attend the Learning Hub, will receive a normal after school detention in line with our Positive Discipline policy.
Students will receive three stamps for every homework completed, and students with fewer than three homework comments will receive 100 additional reward points each half term, and be entered for a prize draw for a range of exciting prizes.
As parents and carers, you can really support your child’s learning by talking to them regularly about their homework, and checking the planner carefully for homework comments. If you need any support at all with providing a suitable environment for your child at home, or providing computer access, please write to me, in confidence, as the Academy may be able to help you with this.
Our New Values and Expectations
Following extensive consultation with students and staff, we will be introducing a new approach to our Values and Expectations. We will be building our mission to be outstanding within the next three years around the following six key words, underpinned by five expectations:
May I finish by wishing you all a happy and safe Christmas, and I look forward to seeing you all at Meet Your Coach Day on Tuesday, 3rd January.