As we approach the end of the Academy’s 4th Year we have much to celebrate and much to reflect upon.
Last week I had the privilege of working with Year 9 during Activities Week – and what a great bunch of young people they are. Hardly a moan or sore foot throughout the hike I took them on around Dartmouth and the SW Coastal Path! It reminded my why I came into teaching and so enjoy working here at the Academy.
This year has seen further improvements in students’ and children’s progress and we anticipate further improvements in the summer! Clearly we also have experienced a massive, and hugely positive, change in their learning environment. The new Academy buildings have finally made us feel and live the all-through vision we have described to others for over four years but not lived until this term.
When we return in the autumn Leadbitter will have left and the car park (phew!) will be completed, as well as new playground space for the students and children to enjoy. Personally I am delighted with the way in which everyone has managed cooped up on the site for this term, with their play space reduced.
For the next twelve months we will still see Leadbitter staff on site as they ensure the snags are ironed out and everything is left functioning as intended.
When we return in September we will be a part of a new multi-academy trust, working with Kingsbridge and Our School Federation and look forward to the wider opportunities and benefits joint working across the South Hams will bring, to young people, the community, and colleagues alike.
As always at the end of the year we say farewell to another generation of students, to whom we wish the very best in their futures. Again, as always we say goodbye to staff who will be developing their careers elsewhere. However, this year we will also sadly lose a number of colleagues for budgetary reasons.
This is never a positive experience for all affected, both those who are staying and those who leave. What I do promise is that the staffing reductions have been made with the focus on minimising any negative experience for our learners. As we go forward we need to continue to seek smarter ways of working so that we can achieve more with fewer resources. One element of this drive for greater efficiency will be increasingly close working across the multi-academy trust, where economies of scale will allow all members to operate more efficiently.
I would like to wish all readers of the Newsletter the very best for the summer and I look forward to continuing our work with you in September.