It has been a long time since I last posted on my blog – too long and there are no excuses. While we have ben very busy here this is actually all the more reason to keep our community up to speed with what is going on.
There are three areas I want to cover in this blog:
– the children and their learning
– the change of sponsor, and
– the move into our new buildings.
For many of our children the summer term brings stresses and crucial assessments. Colleagues ate working hard with those in these groups (Years 2, 6, 11, 12 and 13) and, I know from speaking to students and children, that the week before Easter was very helpful to them in their preparation for SATs, GCSEs and A Levels.
Year 11 and 13 have 14 days left until their examination leave starts but even before this real exams have begun with Art, PE, Photography and Textiles all started and underway. Real written exams start one week today!
For the other year groups staff continue to work together to offer the best they can t these future generations of Dartmouth Academy students. Indeed, if your child is in Year 10, watch out for a letter home outlining how they will be ending their year, ensuring they are well prepared for Year 11.
The change of sponsor is taking longer than the Department of Education hoped but in line with the more realistic expectations of those involved. The planned new sponsor has approval to become our sponsor and we now need to work through the practical issues of the structure of the trust board, the novation of contracts, agreeing budgets, etc.
Those involved have agreed to “go public” once the structure of the new trust has been agreed. I am meeting, again, tomorrow, to work this through and I hope that in the very near future we will stop talking about “the new sponsor” and actually start using their name.
Phase 1 of the new build is now over, except for snagging issues, and we have moved into our wonderful new home. In the first week there were irritating issues to do with access to ICT and printers but through the hard work of staff at the Academy these were quickly solved and by last Monday we able to operate as intended.
We are learning to live in our new building and have had to adjust a number of our plans to make sure our environment works to the benefit of all. Simple changes such as were Early Years and Year 1 students eat, the rule about walking on the left, and the need to be more considerate of others when walking through the new open spaces.
However, despite all these little issues, the overwhelming sensation is that we have created something special here, something that is genuinely all-through. Only last Tuesday I was in the Library and witnessed Year 2s being read a story by Liz Wilson, Year 10s having a “Library Lesson” with Kayleigh Durman, Sixth Form students getting on with their private study, and alongside all of them, staff working too.
This is what we were hoping to achieve and, while it is early days, looks like we are well on our way to creating. Several visitors have commented on walking in that is feels like a university.
The View is certainly proving popular with children and staff as a place to eat and work. The food is getting great reviews and the environment is being used for staff to meet and work. I am barely in my office any more, choosing to be out in one of the fabulous light and airy open areas.
A busy lunchtime