|Headteacher's Previous Messages|
SNLP Trust Update|
Added/Edited on the 28/03/2018
Dear Parents and Carers
St Neots Learning Partnership Trust’s (SNLP) resolution to join the Astrea Academy Trust
As you will be aware, the SNLP has been working with the Department for Education (DfE), the Local Authority and the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) with a view to mapping out the long-term strategic direction for our two secondary schools.
Over the last two years we have been pleased with the continued improvement at both Ernulf and Longsands Academies. We have, however, been clear that the Trust will face funding difficulties to ensure that those improvements continue.
We were disappointed to be issued with a Pre-Termination Warning letter last month from the DfE for Ernulf Academy. Whilst this letter failed to recognise the two years of progress that has been made at the Academy, it confirmed that significant investment is needed to ensure Ernulf Academy makes rapid improvement.
The improvements we have seen over the past two years are largely due to the close partnership working between our two schools, and we have been keen to ensure that the two schools continue to benefit from this close working relationship that has benefited our learners in both schools.
Following the Pre-Termination Warning letter, one of the DfE’s proposed solutions was to remove Ernulf Academy from the Trust, leaving Longsands Academy as a standalone school, with Ernulf joining another trust. The Board strongly believes that this would be a step backwards, destroying the firm foundations of partnership working that are now in place. This scenario would also likely see Longsands joining another Trust in due course as it is increasingly difficult to operate as a standalone school.
The Trust Board has never avoided making bold and robust decisions and therefore, to avoid division in the town, and to maintain and build on the strong partnership already in place, we have been exploring a number of larger Trusts which both of our schools could join. Following a presentation from Astrea Academy Trust the SNLP Trust Board has informed the DfE of our intention to join Astrea. This will help secure long term stability for all stakeholders and help access much needed financial support.
The SNLP’s core belief is that every child in St Neots has the right to succeed regardless of which secondary school they attend. By coming together and being part of a larger group we will be better placed to achieve our core purpose by:
Astrea is family of 20 schools, with academies in Cambridgeshire and in the South Yorkshire areas. There is a very strong fit with our vision and values, and at the heart of their model is a belief in providing an education that ‘inspires beyond measure’. More detail on Astrea can be found at: www.astreaacademytrust.org
We will continue to operate in the same way as we do now, by empowering each school within the new Trust to grow and respect its own identity within a wider family of schools. We will continue to strive for an enriched experience, as well as academic success for all learners.
In joining Astrea, our students and teachers will both benefit – today and in the future. The Trust Board has worked hard to ensure that our existing core values are honoured. Indeed, collaboration, development and aspiration are core values that we share with Astrea.
The Astrea team are keen to meet with you, to introduce themselves properly to provide more detail on what it means to be part of the Astrea family. We will therefore be hosting a parents evening with details to be confirmed.
It is through clear leadership, service to our students, and high aspirations in our schools that we will inspire and embed our shared core values in our learners, staff and communities. The decision to merge with Astrea is a vital element in securing improvement and success for all of the young people in our care. We thank you for your continued support of our learners and we look forward to the exciting prospects that may evolve as a joining together with Astrea.
Karl Wainwright Rick Carroll
Chair of SNLP Trust CEO
Added/Edited on the 27/03/2018
This week I have been reminded how talented some of the young people are at Ernulf Academy. On Thursday 22 March I had the privilege of attending the final GCSE Showcase performances of our Year 11 students. The playing and singing for their examination featured their best performances, showing just how much they have progressed throughout the two years. Congratulations to all of the students involved and to Mrs Mead. Their hard work and commitment shone through.
Last week Year 7 students had the opportunity to listen to the ‘Grand Union Orchestra’. A large number also participated in a workshop following the performance, showing great potential for the future of Music at KS4.
Four of our students won prestigious Rotary Children of Courage Awards and attended the ceremony with proud parents, carers and teachers last week. Congratulations to Bethany, Henna, Dionne and Oliver.
Last week saw many different sporting activities taking place in aid of Sport Relief. The volleyball match between Year 11 students and staff was hotly contested and it is fair to say that some of the staff have not yet fully recovered from their narrow loss. Well done to the students and staff who got involved or supported and raised money. Details of how much we have raised will follow shortly.
It was very encouraging to see so many Year 11 students being supported by their parents and carers at the Final Preparations evening last week. Please see the details below about the revision sessions taking place throughout the Easter break for Year 11 in order to support them further over the next very important few months. The PowerPoint used during the evening is available on the website and the booklet has been given to all students who were not able to be present.
Finally, we wish the students and staff well who are going on the Battlefields Trip on Thursday 29 March and I look forward to hearing about it next term. As we approach the end of term, I would like to thank parents and carers for their continued support and wish everyone a peaceful and relaxing Easter break. The new term starts on Monday 16 April 2018.
Ms. Tracy Brogan
Added/Edited on the 21/03/2018
I am delighted to share some excellent news this week concerning one of our Year 10 Business Studies students Ben David. As part of the Young Enterprise Programme, Ben has been running his own business called ‘Smiley Gifts’ which aims to make customers smile by providing a range of bespoke products that can be bought as gifts. Competing against 26,000 other participants in the UK, Ben secured runner up spot for his ‘Sales Pitch’ which involved producing and editing a promotional video for his business. It is a fantastic achievement for Ben to be recognised at a National level.
I wanted to share some feedback from two recent visitors to the school. We were visited in January 2018 by the Local Authority carrying out a local authority performance review and in March 2018 by an HMI carrying out a monitoring visit. We are on an improving journey and still have much work to do so it is very useful to have feedback on the progress we are making as a school both in terms of positive feedback and also in confirming the areas we have highlighted as areas to continue to work on.
The Local Authority Review letter states,
“leaders have an accurate view of the improvements required and provide a strong and passionate drive to achieve these aims”
“Challenging targets for improvement, comprehensive action planning and swift evaluation of the impact are contributing to improvements. The use of professional development well matched to the needs of individual staff and appropriate use of support programmes and effective performance management is also having a positive impact on outcomes. Leadership at all levels is helping to ensure teaching and learning is more consistent”
With the HMI monitoring visit letter noting that,
“detailed and challenging discussions take place about pupils’ progress following the half-termly assessments of pupils’ progress. These meetings allow for an analysis of the performance of different groups of pupils. Greater discussion now takes place across subject areas regarding the progress made by individual pupils.”
The important work with CEIAG (Careers Education information and Guidance) was also recognised by the HMI,
“You have improved the quality of the careers guidance provided to pupils in key stage 3, and now have in place a detailed programme for all pupils in Years 7 to 11. Pupils in key stage 4 spoke positively about their work experience placements and demonstrated a good awareness of the different routes available to them when they leave school.”
Various comments point to the progress being made to ensure that the needs of all students are being met including working with partner primary schools to
“accurately identify pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills when they join your school in Year 7. You build on pupils’ prior knowledge in Year 7 and pupils confirmed this in their responses to your survey conducted at the end of October 2017. You have also reviewed the subjects and qualifications you offer so that they meet the needs of your pupils better”
“Pupils also have the opportunity to give their views on the teaching they experience through the teaching and learning committee of the school council”
In his letter the HMI states,
“assessment systems indicate that the pace of progress has started to pick up. You have rightly doubled the number of times you assess pupils’ progress during the year from three to six. This allows you to track progress more regularly and support pupils who might be at risk of falling behind in a more timely way.”
Finally there is recognition of the positive ethos at Ernulf Academy with “a clear set of high expectations of students”
“Students are very positive about the academy and many feel well prepared for the next stage of their learning and life. Displays around the college, reward and responsibility structures and curriculum plans reflect a wide range of activities to support the academy’s positive ethos. Pastoral support is significant and is recognised by students as being very supportive. Good and effective relationships are in place with other agencies. This supports the improvements in attendance.”
“Students have positive attitudes about their academy and learning. Behaviour observed was good. They recognise the impact of effective support and challenge from staff and the personalising of the curriculum to meet their needs and give them greater responsibility.”
I am very pleased that both reviews of the school have recognised the improvements put in place and that this is testament to the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm of students, staff, governors and the continued support of parents and carers and the wider community. As stated in previous communications I am always very happy for parents and carers or members of the wider community to visit Ernulf during the school day to see our students and staff at work.
Just a reminder that this week we are holding a final preparation information evening for Year 11 students and their parents /carers on Wednesday at 6.00 pm. There will be a short presentation and then the opportunity to gain further advice from subject staff about revision and final preparations for the exams over these next key weeks. We also have the final music GCSE showcase on Thursday at 5.00 pm and wish all of the student’s good luck.
Finally, we have a non-uniform day on Friday March 23rd to raise funds for sport relief as well as various sporting activities being run throughout the week. All parents and carers have received information about these events.
Added/Edited on the 13/03/2018
This week we have had some excellent group and individual success across several different sports. Twelve students attended a Table Cricket tournament representing Ernulf Academy and Huntingdonshire. They performed exceptionally well, winning the tournament and congratulations to Mary-Jade Jones who was awarded Player of the Tournament. The team will now go on to the National Tournament where they will be representing Cambridgeshire. A fantastic achievement.
Also congratulations to Lewis Newark and Thomas Evans who heard this week they have been selected to represent Great Britain in the sport of Dragon Boat Racing. The European Championship will take place in Germany in August. We wish them and their team mates every success.
All of our Badminton teams competed well at the County Tournament last week and our Year 8 girl’s team played with skill and commitment to finish third in what was a very competitive event.
On Tuesday the Academy hosted a visit from author, Alex Scarrow who worked with all the students from Year 8. This was to mark World Book Day from the previous week. Students had already participated in quizzes and creative writing events with all Year 7 and 8 students receiving a free book to read. Mr Scarrow was very impressed with the students and commented on their level of engagement, interest and behaviour.
As a prelude to Science Week, which started on 09 March, the Assemblies last week looked at the importance and impact of Science on our every day lives. Years 7-9 were set the challenge to go on a quest to find pictures of Scientists around the school and there are various Science activities happening at lunch-time throughout this week.
A group of Year 11 students attended an Apprenticeship Event at CRC (Huntingdon Campus) and many of these students have also attended a two hour session led by local employers on CV writing and interview technique, focusing on how to prepare for the job market. Our thanks to the employers for giving their time and sharing their experience with the students.
I am pleased to report that every Year 9 student handed their option forms in on time. We are now busy processing the forms in order to determine option groups at Key Stage 4. I have been very impressed with the way students have managed this process showing a growing maturity and confident decision-making. My thanks to parents and carers for their support with this.
Finally, well done to the Year 11 students who this week completed the practical element of their GCSE exams. All of the staff involved were delighted with the way the students prepared for and managed this process.
Ms. Tracy Brogan
Added/Edited on the 26/02/2018
Another very successful week for students at Ernulf. On Wednesday we had three teams competing in the Rotary Technology Tournament held at Kimbolton School. Expectations were high as teams have brought the winning trophy home for the last five years. Our three teams lived up to and exceeded expectations by being awarded first, second and third place. Congratulations to all students involved.
Our KS4 Badminton team playing in their first inter-school tournament successfully defeated four other teams to win the Hunts District Tournament. They will now represent the District in the regional round of competition.
On Friday Year 9 students participated in a skills event arranged in conjunction with Cambridgeshire Regional College. There were taster practical sessions on different vocational areas including Engineering, Health and Social Care, Uniformed Services, Catering, Hair and Beauty and Gaming. Students gave very positive feedback and our thanks to the staff and students from CRC, who were very complimentary about the level of engagement and interest Year 9 students showed during the event. This is all part of the Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) provision for our students. Senior staff have been very impressed with the Year 9 students attending the Guidance Interviews this week. All of the students have clearly been thinking through their choices in a mature way and it was a delight to see the Parents Evening so well attended on Thursday, indicative of the support students are receiving both at home and in school.
This week we have also received praise for our Year 11 students who are currently involved in interviews for St Neots Sixth Form, with the following comments, “They are punctual, polite and able to articulate their reasons for particular subject choices, often linked to well thought out career plans… and a genuine passion for their chosen subjects.”
During this coming week we will be celebrating World Book Day (Thursday 01 March) with a variety of activities in tutor time, lessons and the Library. In the words of one of my favourite authors, Margaret Altwood “A word after a word after a word is power” or as Dr Seuss states in ‘I can read with my eyes shut’, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Ms. Tracy Brogan