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Principal's Fortnightly Message 1st February 2024

Categories: Latest Academy News, Nucleus, Featured

Friday 1st February 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been another brilliant fortnight at Northampton Academy with so much going on! For example, we have had lots of successful sports fixtures and some excellent trips that have gone out. Yesterday, we welcomed a visit from our trust, United Learning. They commented on the excellent teaching and learning that was seen across all subjects and all year groups, which was lovely to hear. Consistent teaching and learning is the hallmark of any brilliant school, and we certainly are very proud of this at Northampton Academy. Linked to this, to experience the excellent teaching and learning, students need to be attending school. We have seen a slight decrease in school attendance, and I would urge you to read the section on school attendance further on in this letter.

SEND & Wellbeing
On Thursday, March 21st, we will invite parents/carers of students with SEND in Years 8, 9, and 10 to a coffee morning at 9.00 am. This will also be an opportunity to meet the SEND team, including LSA keyworkers.
To book a place at the coffee morning, please complete this form:  Year 8, 9 and 10 SEN Coffee Morning (office.com)

Next week is Children’s Mental Health Week. Children's Mental Health Week is a mental health awareness week that empowers, equips, and gives a voice to all children and young people in the UK. It was set up by the children’s mental health charity ‘Place2Be’ and shines a spotlight on the importance of children's and young people’s mental health. Our Wellbeing Team will have a stall in the canteen every lunch time with resources and leaflets for students. On Tuesday, 6th February, they will be joined by a member of ‘The Lowdown’ who will be able to offer advice to any students who need it. Students will also receive an assembly to raise awareness and signpost to further support with mental health.

This week, we welcomed Sir Michael Ellis (local MP) to continue our Breakfast with a Professional offering. Year 11 drop in sessions continue to happen Monday lunch, please encourage attendance for support with college/sixth form advice, including completing applications. All Year 11s should now have made at least one application, with most having received feedback of a confirmed place (results pending), but please encourage at least one backup option. The strict deadline for Year 12 work experience placements to be sorted is 29th February; please support your child with securing a placement and encourage them to apply to numerous companies. 

National Apprenticeship Week runs from 5th - 11th February. The Careers Office will be open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday lunch time to offer advice and support to any students who want to know more about this post-16 or post-18 option. In addition, there are some excellent opportunities being offered by different companies:

Sixth Form
It was really positive to see so many carers and students at Year 13 Parents' Evening last week. There were lots of supportive conversations taking place and an opportunity for teachers/carers to discuss any concerns. The Year 12 parents' evening will be on Thursday 15th February. Over 76% of appointments are now taken, so if you have not already booked, then please do so. If you require any assistance with booking, please get in contact, and we can support you with this.

Most of Year 13 have now received their university offers and are in the process of firming and insuring. A reminder for students to speak to the Sixth Form form team before making any decisions, and there is time for these to happen between now and May half-term. This is to ensure each student is well-informed about their offers and what would strategically be best to put as their insurance.

Year 12 has also had a huge focus on well-being, self-control, and respecting ideas this half-term. Their focus still needs to be on developing themselves as individuals throughout the enrichment programme and on supporting their university/career applications with applying to summer schools (the deadline for the final round of these is February). 

Work experience is the first week after the Easter break - please speak to Mr Burton or Miss Wood about careers if you need to discuss further.

We are committed to ensuring all students are given the best possible opportunity to be successful with their studies at Northampton Academy.

A huge part of this success comes from students having excellent attendance at school and lessons. We consider excellent attendance to be 96% or above. In our drive to improve student attendance, we are continuing with our ‘Back to School interviews’ following a period of absence for all students with 95% or below attendance.

A member of the Attendance or Pastoral Team will conduct a short interview with the student upon their return to school to review their absence and to identify the lessons they have missed during this time. Students will then be given one week to complete all work missed during their absence. If a student fails to complete the work after one week, they will be issued with a 45-minute detention. If students are struggling to complete the work, they should make a member of the attendance or pastoral team aware so we can support them before any sanction is set. If a student has had multiple days off, they will be given more time to complete their missed learning. If students are struggling to access the work or having any difficulties, please speak to your Learning Manager or a member of the Attendance Team.

How to complete their missed learning

  • Go to www.northampton-academy.org
  • Click, menu > Curriculum > Our curriculum > scroll down to ‘document downloads’ > Click ‘Medium term plan’
  • Select the year group > then select the subject
  • Scroll down to the ‘half term 2’ section of the medium term plan
  • Students will then be able to click the link of the missed lesson in the ‘example lesson’ column
  • If you are unsure of the title of the missed lesson, please ask your teacher
  • Please make notes in your normal exercise book and then show your teacher the caught-up work and ask them to sign your passport

A short video which shows how to access the work can be accessed by clicking on the link below here: https://youtu.be/_cPhjgjsJ-0

4 Ways to Build Character Strength of Your Child

Character Education this term at Northampton Academy will be focusing on “Character Taught”. Character Taught means that character can be taught through the curriculum using teaching and learning strategies, activities and resources. We seek to instil the values of integrity, respect, ambition, determination, and tolerance in our students to strengthen the social fabric of our school and community. But we accept that building character in young people cannot just happen in the classroom. Young people will develop a stronger character when there is interplay between family, school, and community to influence the child's temperament, experiences, and choices. Parents/Carers have many opportunities and tools to build their children's character. Using them will give you the joy and satisfaction of seeing your child grow into people of integrity and compassion. Below are four ways you can continue to support our character education at home.

Provide Opportunities to Practice

Children must practice what they learn before it comes naturally to them. This applies to learning character, too. Children can learn vicariously when they see character-building in action however, they need hands-on experience to know the true meaning of character. When your child can make a decision (for example, having to choose between two friends), help them take ethical action and see the positive results in their daily lives. You can also find ways to be involved in social and community action that are accessible to your children.

Be a Role Model

Parents who exhibit the qualities of good character powerfully transmit their values to their children. Model the choices and actions that are essential to being a person of good character. If you are honest, trustworthy, fair, compassionate, respectful, and involved in the greater good of your family and community, your children will see this in your everyday actions and choices. They will also see that this behaviour brings a sense of joy, satisfaction, and peace to their family.

Use Teachable Moments to Build Character

Children learn best when they make mistakes, use those teachable moments to build character. Always take the opportunity to explain why your child's behaviour is wrong when you correct them. Make a habit of identifying in your own mind the value you wish to teach the child based on the behaviour. Choose a consequence that is appropriate to teach that value.

Use Stories from Literature and Life

Parents and teachers used stories to teach moral lessons long before books were invented. As you tell the stories of your life and the world around you, you convey lessons in values and ethics to your children. And as you discuss the stories you see around you (on TV, in books, in the media), you reinforce your values. For example, this week in school, we remembered the Holocaust and in Assembly, we told the stories of two survivors who because of intolerance were

sent to Concentration Camps for being Jewish and the other for being gay. We have asked our young people to be tolerant and to speak out against bigotry, ignorance and hate in every form. I am sure these are values you hold but imagine how stronger their character development will be if there is interplay between us simultaneously and synchronously teaching them to speak out against discrimination in all forms.

We are looking forward to all our key stage 3 students visiting the brand new STEM centre at Gatwick Airport. The hands-on activities on offer include a water treatment lab, bridge-building activities and an Archimedes screw exercise.

A mocked-up airfield rig will allow students to practice changing the lights along the runway under a time limit. The day will also provide our students with an opportunity for both theory and practical learning. Our key stage 5 engineering students will attend a bespoke programme to learn more about engineering and career provision to pursue airport-related careers.

Our Year 9 and key stage 5 medics attended the anatomy lab in school, which delivered hands-on experience and took students inside all of the main anatomical structures to see, touch and feel the real organ specimens. This was a practical, enquiry-based learning experience where students were able to apply, analyse and evaluate aspects of anatomy, physiology and disease, all related to core concepts within GCSE and A level Biology.

Year 7 STEM students will meet again with their Malawi partner on the 12th February after their basic introduction and understanding of each other’s cultures. This partnership will feed into our character development work and our values, which we are so proud of. 

All our Year 13 medics have had at least one interview to go into medical school. One of our students has had three interviews for medical school.  We are looking forward to their success.

In closing
The ‘Arbor Parent App’ is now live and available to download at the link below. There are five good reasons to download the ‘Arbor Parent App’.

  1. Receive important information from the school
  2. See your child’s praise points and reasons for praise points
  3. View your child’s attendance
  4. Check your child’s timetable
  5. Access your child’s report (when available)

We are looking to eventually streamline everything onto this ‘Arbor Parent app’. Please download it today to avoid missing out on vital information regarding your child. The link to download the ‘Arbor Parent App’ is here: https://login.arbor.sc/

Kind regards,

Owen Jones
Associate Principal

Principal's Fortnightly Message 1st February 2024

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