I hope that you managed to enjoy a safe and peaceful Easter break with your loved ones.
I would like to share some updates and reminders with you as we look forward to welcoming all our students back to school on Wednesday 20 April.
Positive Feedback from External Reviewers
As you know from my previous correspondence, we had two external reviews at the later parts of the last module. Below are just two of the many positive feedback we received.
The principal, supported well by the leadership team, has a clear vision for Longfield Academy to be an inclusive school. Leaders successfully remove barriers to enable all students to have full and equal access to the extended curriculum. Consequently, students, regardless of their learning needs, are able to take a full and active part in school life. Challenge Partners Quality Assurance Review (March 2022)
There were no obvious hazards or health and safety issues during my walk around the Academy. Students presented as well behaved and navigated the school in an orderly manner. I sensed the school to have a happy and relaxed atmosphere where the students feel safe. The Education People, KCC (March 2022)
Additionally, our Spectrum Centre was recognised as an Area of Excellence.
Such positive feedback gives credence to the good work we do at the academy every day and paves the way for greater successes. I hope this feedback goes some way to reassure you that, by attending Longfield Academy, your child is part of a safe community that embraces equality and diversity. An academy that continuously strives for excellence and that accepts that other people with their differences can also be right. The full report will be published on our website for you to read in your own time.
I was pleased to see a good turnout of Year 11 and 13 students to the revision sessions we offered during the holidays. Well done to all the students who attended. It takes a lot of commitment to give up one’s holiday time for revision, and so I hope that staff and students who participated found it impactful and the work done will contribute to greater successes in the summer.
GCSE and A Level Examinations – Year 11 and 13
These will commence on 16 May and all students will be issued with their examination timetable in due course.
To ensure that our students are supported so that they are well equipped to perform at their very best:
- We will resume our Saturday school sessions on Saturday 23 April. I would encourage all parents and carers of year 11 and 13 students to support us with this by ensuring that students attend the sessions they are invited to, as these have been designed to help give them the knowledge and confidence they need to excel.
- We will resume after school intervention, including those participating in the National Tutoring Programme, from Wednesday 20 April.
- We will continue to provide late buses at the times previously publicised so that students staying behind after school for revision, homework clubs etc can continue to derive the necessary benefits. There is a significant cost to the school for having these late buses so I hope that students (in all year groups) will take advantage of these late services to do some extra work at school so that this remains a viable thing to do.
Please see Mr Punungwe, our Senior Leader in charge of extended school activities, or Mr Shaw, our Raising Standards Leader, for further information about the interventions available or the late bus service.
Undoubtedly, COVID related illnesses have led to a deep decline in our attendance figures over the last few months. Unfortunately, these absences lead to gaps in students’ knowledge which in effect impacts their confidence and increases anxieties about school. Now that we are gaining more understanding of COVID, I would like to encourage all parents and carers to help us drive attendance back up by ensuring that students attend school regularly. Our target has been 97% however we recorded an average of 89.2% at the end of module four.
Year 7 students had the best average of 91.7% but more worryingly was Year 11 attendance which averaged 86.7%. If we are going to be successful with our plans to close the gaps created by the lockdown and help our students to get the best possible results, then clearly, we need to improve on attendance and everyone’s help is needed in this endeavour.
I am pleased that the vast majority of our students are always well behaved, courteous, ambitious and hardworking. They wear their school uniform with the pride it deserves and promote the positive values we try to instil at the academy. I am grateful to such students and to you, their parents and carers, for supporting us in driving positive behaviours. Indeed, it is when behaviour is good that teachers can teach good lessons and students can have memorable experiences of school.
Upon their return, we will remind all students of our expectations to help them make the right choices so that learning time is maximised. I would appreciate it if you could support us by ensuring that when your child leaves home, they are appropriately dressed for school, well equipped for learning (pens, pencils, books and Chromebook, etc.) and reminded of our behaviour expectations.
Understandably, we will not compromise on our high standards for safety, respect and learning. We will therefore enforce sanctions (all very avoidable), as per our Behaviour Charter, for the small minority of students who choose to disrupt the learning of others or behave in ways that undermine the high expectations we have of Longfield Academy students. As a reminder, our Behaviour Charter and uniform expectations can be found at the links below.
Year 7 Parents Consultation Evening
This takes place on Thursday evening. Please note that the event is virtual and can only be accessed via the school cloud details that have been shared with you. Please let us know if you encounter any difficulties and we will do our best to support you as much as possible.
Our Easter newsletter, emailed to you at the end of term and also on our website, gives other key dates and events happening in this module and the next.
I thank you for your continued support.
Dr F. Donkor