Dear Parents/ Carers,
I hope that you all had a restful summer and were able to make the most of the break with the easing of lockdown measures. This academic year has started extremely positively with student attendance and punctuality being excellent. On average this week our attendance has been 96% which is a wonderful reflection of our students’ dedication and commitment to their learning. A very small minority have arrived after 8.45am and we would like to reiterate that as students are going into lessons immediately for period 1 it is vital that they are onsite so no learning time is lost. Students can access the playground from 8.15am and there is breakfast available in the canteen for those who would like to arrive early.
We have been extremely pleased to be able to welcome our new cohort of year 7 in a ‘normal environment’ and although they did not manage to have induction days in the same way we would have had normally, the attendance to the summer school was excellent and really supported the students’ transition into the academy. We are really looking forward to continuing our work with our new and existing families as part of the academy community. All students have been able to participate in welcome assemblies and we recently carried out a practice fire drill as part of our safety measures where students were excellent in their conduct and displayed excellent maturity.
This academic year we have also been reflecting on our journey towards becoming an outstanding academy and we wanted to take this opportunity to share our revised vision for our staff, students and parents/carers. We have officially received our Middle Years Programme accreditation as a world class IB school this academic year which has been a wonderful achievement and in recognition of our hard work the IB awarded us with 25 commendations. Moving forwards we want to further develop our academy into an outstanding provision for our students where they continue to receive a world class education.
Our vision for Strood Academy is to be ‘An inclusive community where we are all kind, respectful and resilient in our journey towards excellence. Our students thrive through an enriching and diverse curriculum that offers a global perspective, empowering all to become inquisitive lifelong learners.’
Our core values that underpin our academy vision involve us all being:
We are committed to providing the best education to our students and as part of our commitment to our families we are also looking to host a coffee morning for our families on Friday 1st October to meet the Senior Leadership Team, so please look out for further details.
We are fortunate to be working with Kent Police as part of a new initiative across schools to complement the work that Kent Police currently undertake in educational settings. We have been provided with a School Liaison Officer on site during the school week who will also be working with other schools such as Hundred of Hoo. The Schools Officer has the aim to improve the lives of young people and make them feel safer, he will be a regular visitor to the school taking part in assemblies and workshops with our students. Our Youth Engagement Officers will still continue to support our academy on top of this additional initiative.
Finally, I have summarised a few key points for you below:
MyCAs and photocards
All parents should have MyCAS (My Child at School) log in details. MyCAS allows parents and carers to view their child’s academic performance and includes information about attendance, timetable, homework, behaviour and rewards. You can view more information about MyCAS including parent guides and downloading the MyCAS app on our website. Please contact email@example.com if you require login details to be resent to you. MyCAS is also the easiest way for you to keep us updated with your contact details. It is important that students carry their photo ID and lanyard at all times at the academy. For those students that have lost or misplaced their ID cards and/or lanyards, we will replace them this term free of charge. Students should alert their Form Tutor if they need these replacing and this will be arranged. From next Term, there will be a charge for any lost or misplaced items.
We will be hosting our open evening on Wednesday 22nd September 4-7pm. Please pass this information to any prospective parents/carers who may be interested. In addition we are offering Open Mornings on Tuesday 28 September and Wednesday 29 September. More information is available on the Strood Academy website.
Last academic year we reflected on the cost of uniform to make it more affordable for our parents/carers. We reviewed our PE kit and also the girls’ blouses. Please note that girls are able to wear plain pale blue blouses instead of the striped ones but please ensure these blouses do not have a collar and are not shirts with buttons to the neck. For those families in receipt of free school meals, we can provide financial support with the cost of uniform. If you require support, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
All students who had their photograph taken should have brought home their photocards for you to access the image online and order images/photographs directly from Kittle Photographers. For those students that missed the photography session, Kittle Photographers will be back in school on Wednesday 15 September and your child will be allocated a time to come and have their photo taken. You will not need to inform us as we have already identified those who need photographs completed. Kittle Photographers will deliver the photos to school and we will notify you when students will be able to take them home.
We will be offering our students an opportunity to join enrichment clubs as part of their extended curriculum and we would encourage them to attend as many as possible. Further details will be added to our website in the next week and our current club offering for PE and Performing Arts is available on our website on the Clubs page in the Students section.
Knowledge Organisers and Homework
We will continue to send out Knowledge Organisers for Key Stage 3 students as part of our approach to homework and this information will also be available under the Home Learning section on our website. For the new year 7 cohort we will send separate information to clarify the homework policy and expectations, please look out for this.
We always encourage an open dialogue with our parents and carers, and to make it easier to direct your query, please note the specific email addresses below:
Attendance, medical appointments, lateness please email email@example.com
To discuss your child’s pastoral needs and academic progress please email firstname.lastname@example.org and your query will be directed to the relevant person.
For SEND and medical concerns please email email@example.com
Any other issues firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week we will move our email communication to Bromcom and emails and SMS messages will either be sent directly to your email Inbox or phone or via the MyCAS app if you have set this up. We will no longer be using ParentMail as our tool for communication with you. When our first email is sent via the new system we will send a final ParentMail alerting you that the new system is in use so that you can check you have received this communication and to ensure you are set up to receive future email and SMS.
We are really looking forward to continuing with our successes this academic year with both our students and families and look forward to working together as a community.