I am writing this letter after a very positive visit from Ofsted on the 29 and 30 March. Our students were outstanding throughout the entire visit and Ofsted commented on their respectful behaviour and excellent attitude towards their learning. I would like to thank all those of you who completed the parental survey. Your responses were extremely positive and complimentary about the school. I look forward to sharing the report in the near future.
This has been a very busy term, and after the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic it feels as though we are almost back to business as usual. A number of activities, sports fixtures, trips and other events have started back up again, providing students with a range of opportunities. Our teams continue to excel across a range of sports and, thank you to all those students for taking part in such an important area of school life.
As our Year 11 and Year 13 students start their GCSE and A-Level examinations in May we wish them all the very best for their future. This is the first time a full set of public exams will be taken for two years, and our young people need all the support we can provide, to ensure they reach their full potential. We have been delivering tuition for Year 11 students through the government’s NTP (National Tutoring Programme) and to date over half of Year 11 have been involved with these sessions. Tutoring has been running alongside a whole range of interventions and support for both Year 11 and Year 13.
Our Academy continues to grow, and we will be welcoming a record number of Year 7 students in September 2022. We opened our new 4G Astro-Turf all weather pitch in January and will have four new classrooms for the next academic year to support our continued growth.
I have included a summary of activities per year group and I am sure you will agree there have been a wealth of activities and opportunities for our students this term.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a happy and restful Easter break and look forward to welcoming all our students back into school on Wednesday 20 April.
Head of School
Over the Spring Term, our Year 7 students have continued to build upon the impressive start made to their secondary school career throughout the Autumn period.
Our Year 7 students started the Spring Term with their ‘New Year Social Event’ at Fusion Trampoline Park in January, and over the course of this term have continued to impress us by filling classrooms with enthusiasm, diligence and teamwork. Our Year 7 attendance in school, at home-learning, additional music lessons and extra-curricular clubs has been fantastic, which we expect to continue throughout the Summer Term. As part of our Tutor programme, Year 7 students have enjoyed taking part in activities linked to Comic Relief, National Careers Week and focusing on the benefits of exercise and mental health as part of our ‘Well-being Wednesday’ activities.
Our Year 7 Student Council has been meeting regularly and focusing on ideas for promoting attendance and improving school services. Our Year 7 Kindness Club also organised positive postcards to be sent to all Team Year 7, and our Year 7 Fundraising Club led the way on raising money for Sport Relief – culminating in £637.40. Well done to all involved!
A number of our Year 7 School Council members and Eco Committee members have also been involved in our recent ‘Plant the Future’ Events, as Workington Academy ambassadors. This has involved Year 5 students from our feeder primary schools visiting our Academy and planting their own tree, taking part in a science experiment, and Eco-planning.
Our Year 7 students also took part in the CET Innovate Schools Competition, with the ‘Turbine Girls’ consisting of Lily Hill, Alesha Poole, Yasmin O’Pray and Sophie Harrison, finishing in second place.
We have also had numerous Year 7 sporting achievements over the course of this term, including our Year 7 Boys Rugby League Team making it through to the National Cup Quarter Finals and the Year 7 Girls Rugby League Team being crowned County Champions. Our Year 7 Girls Football Team won the Allerdale 7-a-side competition and our Year 7 Girls Netball team won the Allerdale and Copeland Netball League, coming runners up in the district tournament. The term also culminated in our Year 7 U Dance Troop taking to the stage at the Carnegie Theatre last Monday evening, as part of the Workington Schools U Dance Festival.
Thank you to all parents and carers of students in 7SDA, 7NWI, 7ADE and 7DCR who attended our Year 7A Progress Evening on Wednesday 30 March. It was fantastic to have such detailed and positive conversations about our Year 7 pupils and to set targets to make even further progress. We look forward to welcoming parents and carers of students in 7ABR, 7EJA, 7ASA and 7ECR on Wednesday 20th April. Bookings for this event can be made over the Easter holiday period via our School Cloud system – https://workingtonacademy.schoolcloud.co.uk
Year 8 and 9
Year 9 have been busy preparing to choose their options this term. They have spent form-time exploring future career options and building their skills to prepare them for entering the world of work. Students have also been given the opportunity to visit other subject areas and participate in lessons to give them a ‘try before you buy’ experience of our GCSE subjects. We were also finally able to welcome our parents back into our school in our very successful parents’ evenings and options evening, all of which have helped our students prepare for their future GCSE pathways. It was so refreshing to be able to meet and talk personally with some of our parents after such a long time away.
We are immensely proud of the student engagement in extra-curricular activities this term. The opening of our brand new Astro-Turf has allowed our footballers in Year 8 and Year 9 to gain extra coaching and practice and this is evident in the brilliant performances, both in school and at a competitive level. Additionally, the boys’ and girls’ rugby teams have taken the county by storm at a recent rugby union festival in Penrith. The girls’ A and boys’ teams were unbeaten and the girls’ B team made great progress over the afternoon with a loss, a draw and winning twice! We have also had representatives from Year 9 participate in the British Dodgeball Young Leaders’ course. Students learned how to officiate games from primary age to secondary, as well as getting the chance to play lots of training and competition games.
As always, both year 8 and 9 have been instrumental in raising money for charities this term. We have had ambassadors from both year groups collecting donations for the Foodbank and arranging ‘Bad Tie Day’ to raise money for this excellent cause.
Year 10 and 11
As the successful spring half term comes to an end we have lots to reflect on and celebrate.
Starting with Year 11, who have had a very productive and progressive half term: we have seen some excellent progress, as Year 11 have sat their second set of trial exams. Students have been working on next steps and now have a clear focus and guidance on what to revise as we count down to the GCSE exams, which are now fast approaching.
Following on from the trial exams, the weekly National Tutoring Programme in English, maths and science is proving to be a fantastic catch-up strategy for those attending. The weekend revision classes have also been well attended. Students in a number of subjects have attended period 6 lessons too. Overall, the focus and motivation of the Year 11 students is a huge step in the right direction towards success.
Looking beyond Year 11, all our students have now individually completed next steps meetings with Inspira. The interview gives students the opportunity to talk through goals and ambitions, whilst also addressing any worries and concerns about post 16 plans.
Finally, Year 11 have now signed up for their leavers hoodies and the date has been confirmed for our end of year celebratory Prom, which is on the 30 June. For Year 11, the countdown is on as the first exams commence on May 17. Students need to find the balance between rest, revise and relax, whilst enjoying their Easter break.
Year 10 have been just as busy, the highlights of this term include:
Looking at futures and ambitions during form time, looking at a number of different job profiles in the hope to inspire our students and help develop pathways to success.
Attending the Maths Feast, at St Joseph’s Secondary School, where the students representing the Academy, showing great effort and determination
There have been some exceptional performances in PE and Sport. The Year 10 boys’ team were unbeaten in the Cumbria Rugby Union 7’s tournament. The boys were a credit to the Academy and displayed excellent teamwork and effort in every game.
A number of the Year 10 students were given the opportunity to be young leaders at the Year 2 Cumbria Education Trust Sport Day. The students designed and led multi-skills and activities to Year 2 students and the feedback from the primary teachers was outstanding. The Young Leaders have shown high levels of maturity and excellent communication skills. Well done to all involved.
As we return after the Easter break the Year 10 students will study the play ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell. The students can also look forward to going to see a live West End production in October of this year.
Year 12 and 13
Year 12 students from both campuses attended the University and Apprenticeship Fair at Old Trafford. They spoke to representatives from a range of universities and employers and collected a range of information to help them make their decisions.
Our students have been heavily involved in supporting younger students this term, as we welcome primary students into our school and visit their schools. Dance workshops, art workshops and sports competitions have ensured that they are developing their leadership skills.
We have also been impressed by the engagement and entries into our range of CET events and competitions, including our CET Innovate Competition. Teams of KS3 students were challenged to work as a team to create a world changing idea, focused on helping the environment. Six teams across Year 7, 8 and 9 took part in our Workington Academy competition; their task being to generate, design, advertise and to present their world changing idea to a panel of judges. As part of our Workington Academy Innovate Final – our students pitched their ideas to our very own ‘Dragons;’– Mr Bird, Mr Bedford and Mrs O’Hagan. Our winning team ‘The Sewer Savers’, comprising Year 8 students Abigail Bewley, Lewis Rodgers, Kobie Metherell and Tiegan Hargrave, went on to represent Workington Academy at the CET Innovate Final. They competed against the other school winners from across Cumbria Education Trust and pitched their idea to external judges. Although they did not win the overall CET competition, they gave an outstanding presentation and have secured some interest from the judges to take their world changing idea further.
Workington Academy also hosted a CET Multi-Sports festival, in which 170 Year 2 students from all CET primary schools attended and took part in a range of sporting activities, including bench ball, ball skills, trampolining, dance and yoga. Along with our other CET Secondary Schools, students from Workington Academy acted as Sports Leaders and Ambassadors throughout the event, leading the activities and supporting the younger students and were complemented throughout the day.
Other Events and Extra-Curricular
Students and staff took part in a range of events, including World Book Day, Comic Relief and raising money and donating items for the Ukraine Appeal. They have also participated in National Careers Week activities and represented the Academy at a number of events.
It has been great to see so many of our students attending our vast range of additional enrichment activities and extra-curricular clubs throughout this term. As part of our extra-curricular programme, our SEND students have also represented Workington Academy at a number of inclusive sports events, including: Lord Taverner’s Table Cricket Festival, boccia and a ten pin bowling festival. Well done to all involved!
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 years and department areas over the last term. This culminated in a range of certificates and prizes being issued in recognition of outstanding effort, academic progress, classwork and home-learning, attendance and the displaying of our core values. These rewards come in the form of certificates, letters, praise postcards, rewards points and stickers, amongst others. Please continue to check our Academy Social Media pages for special recognition of rewards and achievements throughout this term.
Year 6-7 Transition
As we move into the Summer Term, we are preparing to welcome to Workington Academy the September 2022 Year 7 students. We are looking forward to getting to know our new students and families over the summer term through a range of transition events and activities. Welcome information will be sent out to new Year 7 families after the Easter break. To get a head start and find out more about Workington Academy, please visit our dedicated transition website – https://workingtonacademy.fireflycloud.net/welcome-to-team-year-7
Easter Holiday FSM Provision
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 Easter Holiday period, please refer to the following website, which details an array of advice and support