Principal's blog - 5 February 2018

5th February 2018

Principal's blog - February 2018It is a pleasure to update you after a very strong start to the new term.  

2018 promises to be a pivotal year for QEA - we have had record numbers of students apply to join us in year 7 in September and we have had some excellent additions to our staff team who are already having a great impact.

I would like to introduce Cristo Rodriguez, our new Academy Chaplain - he works for 'In Christ in Schools' and they have kindly agreed to lend him to us for 1 day per week to build on our Christian Distinctiveness and to further develop our spiritual education offering.

New additions to the academy are also Rachel Humphries who is teaching music and English, Traveen Thiara who is teaching computer science and Gail Marples who is teaching English. They offer us vital stability and experience and we are delighted to have them join our team. We have vacancies in Science that we hope to fill for an Easter start, at which point we will be fully staffed with the highest quality staff. It has been a challenge to get to this point and I want to thank you all and the staff and students for their patience in building the team.

We have also said some goodbyes this term; Lisa Groves who has worked at the academy for several years has moved to pastures new at Manor Academy and we wish her our very best for the future.

Donna Percival was due to go on maternity leave on Friday, but after a full day at work on Thursday she had her baby in the early hours of Friday morning, a whole month early! We are delighted that both mother and baby are doing very well, and we look forward to her return around January 2019.

In Donna's absence we have been extremely lucky to have secured an excellent member of staff from the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership education directorate, Kimberley Willmot as vice principal for a one year secondment. Kimberley has worked hard to build on the strong foundations to tighten processes and procedures around our behaviour management and attendance, and we all benefit from her high aspirations and expectations for every single child.

Kimberley says, “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to support staff and students at Queen Elizabeth’s Academy on their rapid improvement journey.

The first three weeks of 2018 have been extremely positive. We have implemented a new behaviour system that allows us to closely monitor disruptive behaviour through the use of a faculty isolation room. We have seen a 98% decrease in isolations and C3s compared to last term. Lessons are calmer, more productive and poor behaviour is rare. Alongside this, we now have a pre-exclusion facility at the academy that allows us to sanction more serious behaviour and persistent disruption effectively. Sanctions in pre-exclusion are infrequent and have led to a significant reduction in fixed-term exclusions.

This half term we have revitalised our attendance procedures and we are already seeing positive results. We know that every day matters and we urge parents to support us by ensuring their child attends the academy every day. Our attendance is currently almost 3% higher than it was last academic year, and the number of students who are persistently absent (with attendance below 90%) is steadily decreasing. Every student and family has their part to play in improving attendance to national figures. Sanctions, including Fixed Penalty Notices (fines) are regretfully necessary at times, but we always endeavour to work closely with parents/carers before we reach this point. Rewards for good attendance, including theatre tickets, tutor time breakfasts, treat bags and positive points are regularly awarded to students.”

Thank you for your continued support.

Miss Brothwell
Principal