Academy weekly news

For the week ending: 17 January, 2020

Last week I wrote about our focus on courtesy and how important it is, so it has been good to see this in action during the week. There have been quite a few instances when students have made a point to speak to me personally about our focus, which was very pleasing. There has also been quite a few instances of having the door held open for me and I have reciprocated. Recently I read about how one small act of kindness can make someone’s day and it is very true. It is that which we will continue to instil in all our students and indeed any adults in the building as well.

Whilst we work hard with all year groups – there has been an increased focus on key stage 3 this academic year – we are now into a very important time for Year 11. A number of different strategies are in place to support students so that they achieve the very best grade possible. Every day individual members of the senior leadership team go into certain Year 11 lessons. We call them ‘drop ins’ as it is brief and they are purely to check that students are on task. This week I have been very impressed with what I have seen. The atmosphere has been quite intense in many of them which is good. It is students who have to do the work and so to see them concentrating so hard on their work is a very positive sign.

Sometimes students think improvement has to be quite significant but as I pointed out to one of the students I mentor, the difference between a grade (let’s say grade 3 to 4 or grade 4 to 5; any grade in fact) is just one percent. The grade boundary is a line and so 1% over it and you get a grade higher. It means that lots of small improvements can make a huge difference. The difference between winning and losing a game of rugby is one point, the difference between getting your scales right or wrong in music is one note, the difference between correct spelling and wrong spelling is one letter so often in life improvement and success are down to small margins.

On the same theme Year 10 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday was a great success. I love these events as there is a real buzz with everyone – parents and carers, students, teachers – talking about progress and how well their child is doing. It is a late night but with over three quarters of students attending with their parents it was well worth it. My personal thanks to everyone who attended; it was great to see you all.

This weekend will be a mixture of events including arranging a few days in Scotland over half-term with both my boys. Over Christmas we see a lot of my wife’s family so February is a drive north, not only to see relations but also go to places where there is great scenery as they (my boys) both love photography. The plan is to visit the Mull which is a stunning island on the North West coast. The usual cooking on top of some saxophone playing – when no-one else is in the house – will be the order of the day.

Have a great weekend.

Welcome to Ormiston Denes Academy, north Lowestoft’s secondary school and the first choice academy for the majority of families in the local area. We offer a rigorous, traditional curriculum; supplemented by a broad choice from creative and performing arts, technology, and sport; all personalised to the strengths of individual students. Read more…

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