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New start for 2016 - Letter from Acting Head Teacher, Ms O'Brien

posted 4 Jan 2016, 05:24 by Michele Colt
A very happy New Year to all of you. I hope that you all had a very restful and happy Christmas break.


As your Acting Head Teacher I feel that at the start of this New Year I should share my ambitions with you. This is an important time in the development of our academy as we strive as a community to deliver a fantastic education to our current and incoming students. The momentum we have will not be sustained by simply “ticking over” ahead of the appointment of a permanent replacement for Ms Kirby. So, as a school we will continue to be ambitious, imaginative and aspirational in everything that we do. This will manifest itself in a number of ways across the next two terms.


Ambition 1 - Improving achievement

Our core focus will be on achievement and ensuring that all of our students reach and exceed the challenging targets we set them. Staff development and student achievement, in my view and the view of the DfE, are inextricably linked. With that in mind, as Senior Vice Principal, I applied for inclusion in a DfE formative assessment project. We successfully reached the 3rd round in the bid process which means that all of our staff will be able to access the training for free. Students will benefit from our staff’s ability to assess their knowledge and understanding on a subject by subject basis. Better understanding will mean better achievement.


Ambition 2 - Implementing new assessment criteria

For students in Y7,8,9 gone are the days of the A, B, C pass mark for examination results. The new 1-9 system needs to be reflected in all of the assessment work that we do. Our new assessment system, Doddle, will manage the recording of that progress to ensure that students stay on track throughout their 5 years to GCSE’s and beyond. Data for student reports emailed to parents will have Doddle as their source.


Ambition 3 - Keeping up standards

I take standards within school very seriously and will continue to ensure that presentation of work, uniform and behaviour inside and outside school remain of the highest level. All these areas will be monitored and addressed accordingly. Consequences will be applied equally rigorously to excellent behaviour and attitude as they will to any lapses. We do like to “catch” students making the right decisions, as well as censoring those that don’t, and we will continue to do that.


Ambition 4 - Encourage students to take responsibility

Teachers cannot “insert” good practice into their students! It is critical that all students, with our support, take responsibility for their learning and behaviour at all times. As Acting Head Teacher and as a staff body we will do everything we can to empower them to make the right decisions.


So, in conclusion, what can you expect from RPA over the next 6 months? You can look forward to high expectations, an unremitting focus on achievement and an on-going commitment to seeing all of our students be the best that they can be.


I look forward to sharing this journey with you.


Kind regards,


Ms Tracey O’Brien

Acting Head Teacher


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