This week has marked the start of a new academic year and term across the country, and for many pupils a return to school after 6 months. In these unusual times, things are looking a little different across schools and I have been amazed at how well our staff and pupils have come back and got on with things as if they had never been away. We spent a great deal of time over the summer completing numerous risk assessments and making amendments to the school to ensure that pupils were returning to a safe environment and so far, this has gone well. We had a phased return this week in order to carefully talk to all pupils on what has changed and inform them of their new tutors and timetables. As I mentioned in a letter before we returned, we have had to temporarily suspend our vertical tutoring House system as pupils cannot mix across different year groups. However, we hope to resume this soon.
We have now had two full days of all pupils in school, following their new timetables. I have been impressed with the attitudes of pupils getting stuck back into their learning and carrying on from where they left off. It has also been a real privilege to welcome our new year 7 pupils to the school and start to get to know them. As you are aware, our new uniform has been delayed slightly, but we have been informed that this should be with us within the next two weeks. We will of course update you when this happens. We took time before the lockdown to carefully choose this and I have included a photograph here of our Head Boy and Girl wearing this, so you can see what it looks like. Could I just take this time to remind you that other uniform elements such as black polishable shoes (no trainers/Vans etc) are still required.
I’d like to publicly say a big thank you to MVV Environment Devonport Ltd who have awarded us a grant of £700 for our GreenPower car project. The Greenpower engineering and racing team will soon be able to return to the exciting building of our electric single seat eco car, and MVV Environment Devonport Ltd generous grant will go a long way in helping to fund the build and the pupils will be delighted when they hear the news.
In other news, over the summer I worked closely with the Principal of City College Plymouth to organise a new partnership focused on raising the aspirations of our pupils here. Pupils who attend All Saints Academy will receive an enhanced programme of careers and employment activities that will allow them to make informed choices about their futures from the moment they start the school in Year 7.
With a focus on the diverse range of skills needed in the City, pupils will be provided with impartial insights into the different opportunities in a caring and supportive environment, with clear understanding that they can achieve their potential and exceed their expectations.
College Principal and Chief Executive, Jackie Grubb, said:
“The College is delighted to be able to work closely with All Saints Academy in a way that will benefit its pupils and the wider community.
“Both the College and the school are committed to ensuring these children have everything they need to make informed decisions, but there will be no expectations that they study at the College after Year 11. While the College has a great deal to offer school-leavers and those looking to access higher education, this is about more than just City College Plymouth. This is about benefiting the wider community through bridging the gap between education and employment, and ensuring that Plymouth has the skills necessary to really drive our economy forward.”
Working together, the College and All Saints Academy will provide pupils with access to an array of resources that will both broaden their horizons and reinforce the shared joint values that will allow for a smooth transition to wherever they choose to study after leaving school.
Activities will include participation in city-wide events such as the annual Lego League Tournament, multiple opportunities to take part in subject taster sessions, careers fairs, and focus groups that will involve pupils, parents and staff.
There is also discussion about possible schemes to help parents with their own English and maths skills should they wish to improve these, and the College will be developing fantastic work experience opportunities for pupils in Year 10.
Just before the lockdown, our year 10 students were taken to a fantastic Skills South West careers event at Plymouth Pavilions. Students were able to investigate hundreds of career paths and speak with professionals who shared their wisdom and experience about the employment sectors they worked in. Many of the stands were interactive so the students were able to enjoy lots practical activities ranging from brick laying and dressing in a fire tunic to scientific studies. Careers Lead Helen Jarwood commented “It was great seeing the students speak independently with the industry representatives and see their excitement for their futures develop”.
The students came away with lots of ideas and confidence in their next steps. Tyler Hayman comments
“I really enjoyed today as it opened my eyes to how much is out there. I spoke to many employers especially each of the armed forces which really interests me. From the conversations I had I felt very inspired and motivated to do as well as I can in school.” At All Saints Academy we are passionate about showing our students how exciting their futures can be and are giving them as many opportunities as possible to develop their employability skills, confidence and sense of purpose in the world.
I will aim to write the blog each week to keep you updated.
Until next week,