I write to you today to inform and update you about a range of changes that we have made within the academy in relation to feedback that we have gathered from both parents/carers and pupils. I hope this letter enables you to continue to understand that we will do our very utmost to respond to your views and opinions on how we can improve all aspects of Strood Academy.
Before highlighting the key areas of improvement please could I invite you to our Parent Voice Forum which is taking place on Thursday 19th October from 6pm – 7pm taking place at the academy. For further information and dates of other events taking place throughout the year, please click here to read the letter. We hope to see as many of you as possible.
Since providing the academy feedback in Module 5 and Module 6, we have taken the following actions:
- Implemented a morning line to ensure all pupils receive a well-being check and are recognised as part of their college community. Pupils also have a uniform and equipment check to ensure they are set for the day ahead.
- Implemented a longer period 1 (tutor time) to enable form tutors to build strong relationships with their tutees and ensure all pupils are fully focused and ready to start the school day without any distractions. This enables all pupils to raise any concerns and worries at this time.
- Implemented weekly college assemblies to ensure all pupils feel part of the college community and embrace the opportunity to spend this time together as one.
- Re-launched our college structures whilst heavily investing in larger pastoral teams to ensure our pupils can receive the very best care and support. Within each college the following staff are dedicated to enabling your child excellent pastoral care, this includes a Vice Principal, 2 Assistant Principals, Head of Pastoral, Deputy Head of Pastoral, Senior Student Support Manager, 2 Student Support Managers, College Admin and a Safeguarding Officer. This large team is on hand throughout the day including before and after school should your child need them. Your child also has a designated form tutor which they see each morning from 8:35am – 9:20am.
- The implementation of college internal engagement rooms, to improve our behaviour systems and provide a personalised approach.
- The implementation of our Lodge provision, providing pupils with a multi-layered approach within our behaviour systems but also re-integration processes with bespoke and differentiated support provided. Our Lodge provision runs from 8:15 – 4:00 to ensure the contact with the mainstream academy is limited.
- We’ve introduced tension barriers in our larger corridors areas to ensure pupils stay left/right, this creates a calm, safe and orderly environment to enable a smooth transition on lesson change over.
- We’ve introduced an ‘up only’ staircase to ensure pupils can move calmly on the stairwells, this has helped the flow and allowed for a natural flow around the academy.
- We’ve increased capacity within our SEND leadership team with the appointment of a new Assistant Principal and a Head of Specialist Resource Provision. This will ensure our pupils are best supported.
- All pupils with SEND have a one page profile which teachers use to ensure they are implementing strategies to support specific pupils within the classroom.
- This academic year we have launched further training for our staff on how to best support individual pupils with SEND, this occurs weekly.
- We are increasing CCTV coverage within the academy and our new SRP. To enable this to be installed, please click here to answer the form. This is to keep all pupils safe.
- We have rehearsed a fire drill in Module 6 and in Module 1 to ensure all pupils are clear of the expectations should we need to evacuate the academy in an emergency.
- We practised a lockdown procedure on 04/10/23 and have created a video of this for pupils to reduce any worries they might have. This an expectation for all Leigh Academies Trust schools during Module 1.
- We have welcomed 16 new highly qualified and experienced teachers this academic year, they have settled in very well with our pupils being extremely complimentary in the improvement in the quality of teaching and learning being delivered.
- We have reviewed our behaviour and uniform policies and our pupils have continued to improve their engagement within all aspects of the academy.
- We have implemented a ‘worry box’ outside each college office, this enables pupils to report any concerns or worries they might have in a confidential manner.
- This academic year we will report to you twice to ensure you are aware of your child’s progress at key milestones throughout the year including the opportunity to attend an in person parents evening at the academy.
- We recognise communication is an area we need to continue to improve on, we have already revised our way of operating to ensure you have a direct communication stream to college offices via email and the main switchboard. Colleges email addresses are:
- We have also implemented a weekly bulletin for parents/carers to keep updated of all goings-on within the academy.
- This year we are making an improved effort to ensure a constant stream of information is shared via Facebook and Instagram and will continue to highlight information via these platforms, we know many parents engage with social media.
- We have re-launched lunchtime and afterschool clubs and encourage pupils to attend and enjoy these activities outside the normal curriculum time. The participation rates to date have been very positive.
- We have implemented a Personal Development for all pupils within the academy which takes place every Wednesday during Period 5. This enables your child’s form tutor to deliver the PSHE curriculum.
- Our open evening and open morning events were hugely successful and due to demand we have had to create three additional open morning sessions.
- If a pupil requires the toilet during a lesson time they are now taken by a member of our pastoral teams to ensure our toilets are safe spaces for all pupils. We are working on a longer term plan to refurbish our toilets to ensure they are the very best for our pupils.
- Within Module 2 we will be launching our morning drop in sessions between 9:20 – 11:20 each and every morning. You can book a 15 minute slot where a member of SLT or our Pastoral team will be on hand to speak with you. We know and recognise that face to face conversation is sometimes essential. We hope that this will provide another supportive strategy to us improving our academy.
I hope the above information provides you with a clear understanding of what we have already implemented. Our work is certainly not done, and we recognise that we continuously need to improve each and every day.
Towards the end of module 1 we will be asking for further feedback, and we would appreciate your honest approach to this to ensure we can always get better. We value feedback as a gift to ensure we can provide the very best for your child.
Mr Jon Richardson