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Principal's Fortnightly Message, 22nd March 2024

Categories: Latest Academy News, Featured

Friday 22nd March 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope this message finds you well. First of all, I wanted to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Year 10 parents/carers for your active participation and engagement during our recent Year 10 Parents’ Evening. Your presence and valuable feedback truly make a difference in our school community, and I am grateful for your continued support. As we continue to foster a sense of unity and celebration of diversity within our school, I am excited to remind you about our upcoming My Culture Day, scheduled for next Thursday. This event promises to be an enriching experience where students will have the opportunity to showcase and learn about various cultures represented within our school community. Your involvement and encouragement in promoting cultural awareness among our students are greatly appreciated. There are further details later on in this letter.

Furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you about the distribution of rewards next Wednesday. We will be recognising and celebrating the achievements of our students in various aspects, including the Proud Table initiative, attendance to school, and the Golden Ticket program. Your support in motivating and encouraging your child’s academic and personal growth is invaluable, and I look forward to acknowledging their successes together. Thank you once again for your continued support and dedication to our school community. Should you have any questions or require further information regarding the upcoming events or any other matter, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Every year Northampton Academy comes alive with a kaleidoscope of colours and pageantry as we celebrate My Culture Day. This year will be no different and we anticipate that children will come to school wearing an appropriate aspect of their cultural heritage, they will come prepared to soak up the vast array of activities to help them develop into strong global citizens. My Culture Day is on Thursday 28th March. It serves as a platform for our students to engage, share, and learn about the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our community. This year, our theme is ‘Walking a day in my shoes.’ We have selected this theme to shed light on societal issues that often divide us, such as disability, race, and orientation. Through this theme, we aim to encourage our students to perceive these differences as opportunities for unity rather than division. Moreover, the day is designed to foster qualities of compassion, respect, tolerance, and empathy among our young people, empowering them to become active allies and upstanders. Our students will experience ‘Street Food’ from around the world at break time, a fashion show at lunchtime and three presentations from special guests, one of whom is ‘Chickenshed’ who were semi-finalists in 2023 Britain's Got Talent.

We would like you to support us by encouraging your child to demonstrate our virtues of respect, tolerance, integrity, determination and ambition throughout the day, as some of the subjects that will be discussed will be sensitive. In support of charitable causes (Social Action), we kindly request a £1 donation from each student. The donations will be allocated to our selected charities: Street Child, Cynthia Spencer, and the Hope Centre. Donations should be brought in on the day of the event. Your child will need to bring in their equipment for learning, pencil cases and school bags. I am immensely proud of Northampton Academy and the core values of tolerance, respect, integrity, determination, and ambition that guide our students toward a well-rounded education. My Culture Day serves as an extension of these values, which helps to create a nurturing, welcoming and inclusive environment. Thank you again for your support.


As I'm sure you are aware excellent attendance is critical to your child's success and development. This week Mr Windsor has spoken to the students about the importance of attendance and introduced them to our strapline of 'Be here to get there' This will be referred to and used frequently moving forward and become very familiar with students attending the Academy. I would like to share a visual that your child was shown this week and asked to reflect upon. Traditionally, being told you've achieved 90% at something sounds promising; however, as this emphasises, when we are talking about school attendance, 90% is actually hugely detrimental in terms of achieving potential and aspirational goals for a student. As I'm sure you'll agree, no young person wants to be at a disadvantage entering into assessments, national exams, further education or employment, and that is exactly why we want to support attendance and have the students with us for as long as possible, maximising their potential. Mr Windsor will update you on future attendance initiatives and success.

Character Enrichment

Character enrichment continues to grow and be well attended. We have had some fantastic engagement across the year groups, and the students attending are developing many personal skills that complement their studies. During the final week of this half term, we see an inter-form basketball shoot-out taking place across the year groups - I look forward to updating you on this in the next newsletter, and so you are aware and can encourage your child to take part.

The dates are:

Year 7 - Monday 25th March

Year 8 - Tuesday 26th March

Year 9 - Wednesday 17th April

Year 10 - Thursday 18th April

Year 11

Another busy week for Year 11, and well done to those students who study Drama and DT; excellent tenacity was displayed by all of our students when completing their real practical element. Year 11s have received their final support and guidance booklets; these detail all topics and revision tools to help support them over the next few weeks, with really drilling down into the revision they need to do to be successful in their GCSEs. Students also received a booklet on how best to revise for each subject. This was designed to support them in being 100% effective at revision for certain subjects. Both of these booklets are on the Year 11 TEAMS area which all Year 11 have access to. Students will also receive a revision day-by-day timetable, which they can use to plan the next eight weeks of school life, outside activities and revision. Alongside this they will also receive a pack of revision/flash cards in order to support their revision at home. As said previously in Year 11 letters and the Principal’s letter, intervention over the Easter break will be in full force, the letters will be sent out to you next week detailing the sessions for your child. If invited, the letter will also detail rooming and how to access the building during the break.

Year 10

Well done to our Year 10’s who have been involved in the BTEC Sport practical element this week. Some outstanding leadership skills shining through. Intervention will be offered in Year 10, to those student studying Business, Sport and Drama. Letters will be sent out early next week with the details of these sessions, if invited.

Sixth Form

Year 13 Exams As we are approaching the students’ final exams beginning in May, I would like to inform you about some of the key preparations Year 13 students should be undertaking at this time.

The homework teachers set in lessons accounts for around 25% of the work students should complete during independent time. Flashcards and online quizzes are very limited in their use, as they provide support for knowing key terms and facts, but at this stage in Year 13, students need to regularly practise past papers/questions in timed conditions. They should regularly attend interventions and subject specialists, handing in extra work and questions to their teachers and seeking support when they do not understand something.

The school has purchased a number of platforms to help support students with their learning, including Massolit and Uplearn. Students also have regular interventions that are timetabled after school for most of their subjects, and interventions will be offered at Easter. Students should attend all of these classes for their subjects.

Students have their tutor times and Character Development Sessions (which is one hour per week), with one of their subject teachers to support their studies and having this access to one of their teachers has been provided to assist students with their studies. They should regularly be taking advantage of this opportunity.

If students engage in part-time work, they need to consider whether to vastly reduce their hours or even leave this job altogether to focus solely on their studies. Every bit of time between now and their final exams is vital. While they may have financial short-term gains, this could be costly in the long run and impact their exams, outcomes and subsequent university placements and career choices.

Additionally, attendance is critical between now and the students’ final exams. While it is appreciated that students are sometimes off with illness or medical appointments, the exam boards do not make any concessions for this, so it is important students are on time and in school every single day. Any appointments should be made outside of school time.

Should you require any further information or want to discuss the above further, then please do not hesitate to contact me by email: e.tustin@northampton-academy.org


The whole school careers fair is almost upon us! We look forward to welcoming over 40 external educational providers on Wednesday, 27th March. All year groups will attend, so get thinking about those career-related questions your child wants to find the answer to. We've had two excellent external speakers for Year 7 and Year 9, with the final speakers this week from Northampton College for Year 10 - all encounters are linked to external education options for Post-16. Year 8 students will receive their careers lessons next half-term, with hopefully an external talk from Silverstone College.

Year 11 destination data is now well overdue, it is mission critical that your child has applied for at least one optionideally with a back-up option. The careers office is open daily, and students can pop in at lunchtime for support with applications.

Year 12 work experience commences Monday, April 15th, and ends on April 19th. All students are fully prepared and looking forward to this exciting experience.

Finally, some labour market information with a focus on unemployment and economic inactivity in Northamptonshire:
North Northamptonshire's employment, unemployment and economic inactivity - ONS

SEND and Wellbeing

I wanted to share with you the success of our recent SEND coffee morning, which took place on Thursday, 21st March. The event was an opportunity for parents and carers to come together, exchange experiences, and gain valuable insights into supporting our children with special needs. One of the highlights of the morning was the informative presentation delivered by the Mental Health Support Team. Their expertise and guidance provided attendees with how MHST can support students with their mental health effectively. MHST offer 1:1 direct with students and workshops, which school can facilitate. Moreover, the contributions of parents who attended were invaluable. Through open discussions and sharing personal experiences, they fostered a supportive and empathetic atmosphere where everyone felt heard and understood. Additionally, the coffee morning served as a platform for networking and building connections. These connections are vital for our community, as they provide ongoing support and encouragement for families navigating the challenges of raising children with special needs. I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who participated in making this event a success. I am excited about the positive impact we can continue to make together. Looking ahead, I am confident that our SEND coffee mornings will remain a source of inspiration, support, and empowerment for all involved. Thank you once again for your contributions, and I look forward to our continued collaboration in the future.

Equipment Checks

We would like to emphasise the importance of ensuring that your child comes to school equipped with the necessary supplies each day. Having the correct school equipment not only facilitates a smoother learning experience, but also fosters a sense of responsibility and preparedness in our students. To help maintain this standard, we conduct equipment checks twice a term.

Students are expected to have the following items:

- 1 pencil case

- 2 blue or black ink pens

- 1 pencil

- 1 pencil sharpener

- 1 rubber

- 1 ruler

- 1 scientific calculator (if your child does not have their own, one has been loaned to them by the academy)

- A book for DEAR time for years 7-10 (Drop Everything and Read).

Students can borrow a book from the library before or after school or during break or lunchtime every day. Having these items readily available not only ensures that students can engage effectively in their lessons but also helps them to develop essential organizational and time management skills. Your support in ensuring your child has these supplies will greatly contribute to their academic success. Students had a check in tutor time this week and the next check is Tuesday 23rd April.

Spotlight Performing Arts Academy

We are delighted to open up applications for our new 'Spotlight' program to current Year 7 students!

This is a brand-new program launching in September, and is designed for students who have a passion for any aspect of Music, Drama and Dance. All Spotlight Academy students will work towards an Arts Award qualification during their journey through school, one at each Key Stage. This qualification will aid them in developing their knowledge and understanding of their chosen art form and build essential skills for future success.

As a member of Spotlight, students will receive further opportunities through an extended day with extra-curricular opportunities, which will also include exciting projects with the Royal Shakespeare Company and its representatives. All Spotlight Performing Arts students will be expected to participate in extra-curricular classes after school until 4.30pm at least three times a week.

Details of how to apply for Spotlight are available on our website using the link below:


We welcomed our new cohort of STEM aspirants for September 2024 to our Academy yesterday. Our applications for the stream are now open and on the website, to apply with this link: https://tinyurl.com/yuv8y2un.

We are looking forward to some of our Year 10 STEM students travelling to South Africa for two weeks to take part in sports development and community work. This is possible due to the funding received to support their travel and stay, which meant that the parents/carers did not have pay towards their travel or accommodation. One of our Nucleus VI students, Esther has been one of 150 students who have been selected to take part in the Sutton Trust US Programme 2024. Esther is an exemplary student whose hard work and dedication we are very proud of. Our Nucleus VI medicine students Ashiki, Denisa, and Matthew have been running the medic society for younger students to give them an insight into health and medicine-related careers. This club is becoming very popular among younger students.

Our third cohort of GCSE students are preparing for their exams. Students are receiving regular mentoring and support to make sure that they are on track to achieve the grades that they are capable of.

In closing, 70% of our parents/carers are now reading this letter on the new ‘Arbor Parent App’ which is now live and available to download from the link below. Eventually, we will streamline everything onto this ‘Arbor Parent app’. If you have not done so already, 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/.

I hope you all have a lovely break. We look forward to welcoming all the students back on Tuesday, 16th April. Eid Mubarak and Happy Easter to all families in our community who are celebrating.

Kind regards,
Owen Jones
Associate Principal

Key dates: 

Wed 27th March - Whole School Careers Fair

Thurs 28th March -  My Culture Day and  Last day of Term 4 

Principal's Fortnightly Message, 22nd March 2024

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