The Aspire Academy will close for the Christmas Holiday at 1pm on Friday 21st December, and will re-open for students on Tuesday 8th January – we are running a staff INSET Training day on Monday 7th January.
May I wish you all a very happy, safe and restful Christmas and I look forward to welcoming everyone back to The Aspire Academy in the New Year.
So Halloween and Bonfire night have passed as significant milestones this term in the run up to Christmas. We also successfully completed yet another Isle of Wight residential trip for 8 young people during half term with some amazingly supportive members of staff. A huge thanks must go to the OPCC for supporting the funding of these experiences and the amazing opportunities that are presented to the young people on the back of it. The two new pianos are making a significant difference to the quality of music provision.
Importantly the milestone of the November Functional Skills series for both English and Maths has also passed in the last two weeks and pupils have put their heads above the parapet in order to have a go. We expect a high percentage to be successful, but exams as we know are a challenge because they can and do reinforce failure as well as promote achievement. Building self confidence in order to take the exams takes a lot of endeavour and trust and relationship building and we are enormously proud of the pupils that take the plunge and have a go. We look forward to the results being positive in the New Year when they are released. We hope that if there are failures, we can grow in resilience and accept the difficulties this presents, but use it as a springboard for harder work and further action to have another go.
I have written to complain to the exam boards about the scheduling of important exams for our pupils on a Friday afternoon. The calendar for exams is set 18 months in advance, so I hope next year’s exams will demonstrate that they have listened. Fridays afternoons are tough for anyone. For our young people that is asking a lot and really there is no sensible rationale as to why these exams are scheduled for Friday afternoon or a Monday morning for that matter as is the case in February 2019. I hope there’s a change.
Recent school achievements have been one year 11 completing 50 days of work experience over an extended period of time. Many of our pupils manage varying lengths of work experience in an array of careers and learn important life skills and employability skills along the way. The careers programme is filling up and more and more pupils are taking advantage of the generously provided support offered by the commissioning schools in terms of guidance and advice and also employer engagement. To that end we look forward to the arrival of several employers undertaking practice interviews with our pupils, week commencing 26th November 2018.
Also on employability, a large group of pupils took great benefit, from a trip to The Skills Show at the NEC and recent trips to the Fire service and places of interest in Worcester for our younger groups, is providing a huge insight into life and possibilities in Worcestershire for them in the future. Thanks to the committed staff for taking them out and about on a well-planned and engaging programme of visits.
Finally a big “thank you” to people outside of the organisation who commit so much help and support into school. Harriet Kelly from the “Looking Ahead” programme, Phil Collins Chair of Governors for his GCSE Physics work with our year 11’s, Sam Foster Head of Humanities at Pershore High School for supporting our staff development programme, meeting our Geography specialist and Michelle Gardiner, White Lotus Martial Arts, who has entered several of our young people into a Kick boxing competition in Surrey next weekend. We look forward to hearing about the trip and the results. Michelle coaches and trains the group every Thursday afternoon.
At time of writing Christmas is 5 weeks away. I hope it snows this year.
The Aspire Academy is committed to providing:
a safe, containing, caring, good humoured and well-disciplined school where strong nurturing relationships are at the heart of everything; a world class Alternative Provision in which we present an environment where all students can thrive, grow and achieve through a relentlessly reasonable approach to personal development; opportunities for students to build their social capital, resilience, self-esteem and a portfolio of recognised qualifications in order that they may make a positive next-step; all students with the opportunities to achieve a positive destination when they leave the Academy.