Those of you who have had the misfortune of meeting me recently will have noticed a small grey squirrel had appeared on my top lip. Along with a number of male colleagues I have joined the Movember fundraiser, aimed at raising the profile of male cancers.
It seems like an age since we were visited by Ofsted, since when we have been busy addressing the points they raised with us and acting on their advice. What they recognised at the time about the Academy was that we had already highlighted almost all the issues they identified and had already started to act on these. One of the key actions for us is to improve the incidence of reading in the Academy as we seek to accelerate the literacy progress of all learners but particularly those on the Secondary phase.
Work has already been started on this with the Star Reading Programme now rolled out to Years 7-9, and in place in the Primary phase. Today we interview for a full time librarian to manage the library and plan for our move into the new library next year, alongside designing, with us, the way in which the library will be used and available to all as much as possible, and be an environment where reading is valued and encouraged.
This raises the topic of the new build. We take over the building at the end of March and plan to move in over Easter. This is a critical time for those taking exams in Years 10-13 and Year 6, and as I have always promised I will do all I can to prevent the building process interfering with learning.
Moving into a new build is not unlike moving into a new house. It will require a great deal of additional work for staff and will require many to work over their holidays to enable this to happen without disrupting the examination and assessment season.
When schools go through this process they are allowed additional closure days to make this happen, we will be taking these but not at the time of the move for the reasons explained above, instead we are likely to break up a few days early in July to repay the days staff will have worked in the Easter holidays to avoid disruption.
Please look out for future communications, early next term with details of how this will affect you.