It has been a particularly busy six weeks since Easter. Anyone who follows our social media feeds will have seen the daily stream of fantastic news about how our students do us proud, every single day.
Over the start of the Summer Term, our Year 7 students have continued to build upon the impressive start made to their secondary school career throughout this year to date, albeit in difficult and unusual circumstances.
Since returning to school after the closure period and again after the Easter break, the Year 7 students have continued to impress us by settling back into school routines brilliantly and filling classrooms with enthusiasm, diligence and team work. They have also continued to lead the way in Accelerated Reader and MYON throughout the closure period, with students achieving the highest word counts and passing the most quizzes across the academy. In recent weeks they have been working hard in their classes to prepare for their Year 7 exams, taking place w/c 7 June. Further details and key information about the Year 7 exams including key topics and revision strategies can be found here – https://www.workingtonacademy.org/2021/05/19/year-7-internal-examinations-w-c-7-june-2021/
Year 7 in school attendance, as well as attendance at home-learning club, additional music lessons and extra-curricular clubs including; sport, Drama ‘Marshall’s Morning Magic’ and ‘Mrs Fitz’ Games club has been fantastic, which we expect to continue throughout the remainder of the Summer Term. As part of our Tutor programme, Year 7 students have enjoyed taking part in activities linked to Mental Health Awareness, Careers and the environment, as well as now turning their focus to welcoming our soon to be New Year 7 students to the academy.
As we move into the second half term of the Summer Term, we are also getting ready to welcome our near Year 7 students to Workington Academy, who will be starting with us in September 2021. We are looking forward to getting to know our new students and families over this next half term, through a range of Transition events and activities and welcoming you into our Workington Academy family. All Year 6 students and families should have now received our comprehensive welcome pack, including details about our upcoming Virtual Information Evening on Wednesday 16 June and also about our Summer School programme. For further Year 6-7 Transition information, please go to our dedicated Team Year 7 Transition website – https://vle.workingtonacademy.org/welcome-to-team-year-7
As we approach the end of this half-term all students in Years 8 and year 9 are starting to look to their futures in regards to planning for the next academic term.
Despite the challenges faced, we have had a hugely successful options process with Year 9 this year. Although the initial planning for options was executed under lockdown, all of our subjects still provided our students and families with a comprehensive overview of our Key Stage 4 offer, and the content of each GCSE subject. Our remote assemblies and informative videos provided our families with a wealth of information, allowing everyone to make informed choices. Additionally, some of our students took part in taster sessions for some subjects, which they don’t currently study at Key Stage 3. We are delighted to announce that the letters will be arriving home, the first week back after half-term, informing our students of their exciting KS4 pathways.
In preparation of this, Year 8 students will be embarking on a brand new ‘work ready’ programme, entitled ‘Learning to Work’. This new initiative will involve weekly form tutor activities which encompass the skills needed to prepare for the world of work. Students will be able to keep a record of their achievements, both in and out of school as evidence of their resilience and responsibility.
On reflection, this term has been one of positivity and recognition of our students’ ability to face challenges head on. We have recorded a record number of achievement awards and students will be given the opportunity to celebrate this at the end of this week. Students have actively participated in and have thoroughly enjoyed the after-school activities, especially the sport clubs, where we have had large numbers of students enjoying being allowed once again to do athletics out-side.
The Year 8 students have their end of year assessments at the start of the next half-term. A timetable for these has been posted on Firefly and information and revision material has been given to students in order to prepare in advance for these. Please do take time to go through these with your child to enable them to participate fully and continue to ‘be the best they can be’.
The Year 10 students have started preparing for their upcoming exams, which take place the week commencing 7th June and run until 25th June. To prepare for these exams students are looking at revision strategies and wellbeing. All Year 10 are producing exam revision timetables to enable them to manage and organise their study time during half term and beyond. Next steps for Year 10 is to transfer the skills that they have developed during careers focus in form time and apply this to their chosen work placement in the summer term. The Brilliant Club has had a successful start and those students have shown real determination and effort whilst completing a 6th Form module of work. After the half term we will be transitioning the year 10 students into Year 11 this will include progress meetings with the Senior Leadership Team.
Year 11 have been awesome, there is no other word for it. They have met every challenge and barrier that these past months have thrown at them with determination and a smile. This final half term has seen the Year 11 students complete all of the GCSE assessments in all subjects showing their real strength of character making the Academy very proud. The final week of term has been a celebration of all their efforts. They have completed a timetable of enrichment activities and celebratory events. This has involved them giving back to the local community by completing a beach and park clean, polishing their CV’s with a career focus day, team building events in the form of an Old School sports events, Escape Rooms and quizzes. The week was topped off with a final celebratory breakfast with their tutors and a very poignant rewards ceremony. We will welcome the Year 11 students back on Tuesday 13th July for the Year 11 farewell celebration running from 7pm until 11pm. On behalf of the Academy staff, I would like to thank all of the Year 11 students for their efforts and parents for their continued support. A huge well-done Year 11.
Year 13 have been incredibly busy organising teacher versus sixth form sports. The students organised the events and collected donations from the spectators, with proceeds being split towards the end of year celebration event and the Food Bank charity. The games had a fantastic atmosphere, reminding us what brilliant young people our Year 13 have turned into. We have sadly said goodbye to our lovely Year 13 students who are moving on to new adventures. We celebrated with a light afternoon tea during the leavers assembly where we reminisced about the student’s time with us. We hope that they will stay in touch.
All our students participated in the ‘yarn bombing’ of Vulcan’s park with students making brightly coloured pompoms to decorate the park. The project was overseen by two of our art students who organised the project fantastically with students contributing from across the entire school.
Year 12 biology students have been developing their practical skills by using aseptic techniques on E. Coli. We are hopeful that their investigations have inspired them to progress into this field and that they are part of vaccine development teams in the future to eliminate any future viruses.
Some of our students at our Whitehaven campus have had the opportunity to work with a lecturer from the University of Cumbria to explore dance and performance techniques to enhance their knowledge within their Performing Arts qualification.
Twelve students in Year 12 and twelve students in year 10 have been selected to participate in the ‘Brilliant Club’ scheme. Working with a PhD student/recent graduate from a prestigious university they are exploring a cutting edge topic with leading experts in their field.
We really do take pride in creating rounded young people, who embrace all of the opportunities we have on offer. It has been great to see so many of our Key Stage 3 students attending our additional enrichment activities and extra-curricular clubs since returning to school, which have included Music and instrumental lessons, Drama club and After School Sports Clubs. The focus of our Sports clubs has been on Athletics this term, as we build up to our Workington Academy Olympics Sports Day taking place next term.
In addition Our Year 7 and 8 students have also been taking part in our CET ‘One Big Dance’ Event, which will be broadcast across all Cumbria Education Trust schools towards the end of the Summer Term.
We have also been impressed by the engagement and entries into our range of CET events and competitions, which has seen a vast number of our students and families take part in our ‘CET Cumbrian Landscapes Photography’ competition.
Well done to all staff and students who have entered our photography competition to date and a special mention goes to Sophie Weston in Year 8 and Will Spiers in Year 7 who were the winners of March and April’s trust wide competitions. As well as winning a range of prizes and a framed print of their photos, both Sophie and Will’s winning photographs will feature in our CET 2022 Celebration calendar. For your chance to win, please continue to submit your photo entries each month to firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of our Academy Rewards programme, we have been delighted to issue a wide number of rewards to both individual students and Form Groups across all year groups and department areas over the last term whilst students have been working both at home and at school. Our rewards programme focuses on praising effort, academic progress, classwork and home-learning, attendance and the displaying of our core values; our 3R’s as well as other occasions where our students are simply being ‘the best they can be’. These rewards come in the form of certificates, letters, praise postcards and stickers amongst others. Please continue to check our Academy Social Media pages for special recognition of Year Group and Departmental awards issued throughout each term.
We acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect many of us in different ways and for some families we understand that school holidays can present many challenges. If you are in need of any additional help and support, including access to food during the Half Term period, please refer to the following website, which details an array of advice and support information; https://cumbria.gov.uk/welfare/ Furthermore, information in specific relation to local foodbanks can be found here; https://www.thefoodbank.org.uk/
The Academy closes at 3pm on Friday 28th May, and re opens to students on Monday 7th June at 8.40am.
Mr D Bird