It is nearing the end of my first term as Headteacher of the Academy, and I must say a huge thank you to the whole school community who have made me incredibly welcome. It has been an exceptionally busy term with external examinations taking place for our older students, along with a long list of trips, events and experiences involving our whole school community.
In July we said goodbye to our year 11 and 13 students, who eagerly await their examination results in the summer. The traditional Prom and Summer Ball were well attended and successful events, and we look forward to welcoming a large number of our year 11 students back into the sixth form next year.
Workington Academy is already building a strong track record of academic success set alongside a range of experiences which exemplify our core values of respect, responsibility and resilience. I was amazed by the response of the academy to the Wheelie Bin Challenge Food Bank appeal. The generosity and compassion of our students is truly remarkable. I was also very proud that our school was again host to a number of Taiwanese students on an exchange visit. It was delightful to hear the Taiwanese visitors interacting with Workington Academy students, and it was clear that both learned a lot from each other.
We are acutely focussed on ensuring that all of our students are well prepared for the next step on their journey. This week our year 10 students have been involved in various activities to prepare them for the world of work, undertaking mock interviews and discovering the range of options and opportunities available to them. Next they are on Work Experience, which I feel is an excellent way to end the Academic year, helping them to focus on their future as they head into year 11.
The vast majority of our year 7 students were on a camping trip earlier this term. The experience was packed with activities set around the Cumbria Education Trust outdoor centre at Ennerdale. The students really got involved and came back buzzing about what a fantastic time they had.
It would be impossible to detail all of the many experiences our students have had in recent weeks, from the traditional sports day involving all of years 7, 8 and 9, to the much smaller but amazing events promoting careers in science technology, engineering and maths which have been attended by some of our year 10 and 12 students. I wrote to you some weeks ago with the outcome of our Ofsted inspection, and it is clear to see they were right to describe the school’s work to promote the Personal Development and Welfare of students as a strength of the school.
Plans are well underway to continue the Academy’s trajectory of improvement into next year. In preparation, the Academy is sending out a separate letter with details of uniform and other expectations for next year, which will be with you shortly. We have a record number of students joining the Academy next year in both year 12 and year 7, and we have been delighted to see so many new faces at our recent taster events. Many of the new year 7 are joining us for summer school, which proves immensely popular each year and is once again oversubscribed.
Throughout the year the Learning Support department have worked tirelessly to raise money for charities, including, Muscular Dystrophy UK and Downs Syndrome Awareness. This is something that epitomises the spirit of school community and something that we will continue to develop in the next academic year. Ofsted rightly said that ‘students with special educational needs/disabilities feel happy and safe in school’ and this is a testament to the inclusive nature of all our staff and students.
A small number of staff are leaving the Academy at the end of the Academic year and we wish them well in their future plans. We will be joined by a number of new staff in September, who I will be delighted to introduce to you in my September newsletter.
I would like to remind parents and carers that the term ends for students on Friday 20 July at 3.00pm. There are two staff INSET days at the start of next term before we reopen to students on Tuesday 4 September at 8.40am. Next year’s term dates can be found on our website.
I would like to wish all of our school community a restful and enjoyable summer, and look forward to seeing you all again in September.
Mr D Bird
End of Summer term letter (.pdf)