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Message From the Principal 09.02.24

Dear Parent / Carer 

It's been a very wet end to the week but it has done little to dampen the spirits of students with lots of good things happening around the academy.

It was Mrs Ogilvie’s turn to lead assemblies for all year groups and she focused on ‘LGBT+ under the microscope’  which is the theme for LGBT+ month this year. Students were shown a timeline of how rights relating to equality have changed over since the Stonewall Riots in 1967 through to changes in modern legislation regarding equal rights to marriage (2013). Mrs Ogilvie also encouraged students to think about what their lasting legacy will be and shared examples of highly inspirational, LGBT+, historical figures such Euan Forbes and Sophia Jex-Blake that accomplished great things despite having to hide aspects of their sexuality due to legislation at the time. It was a fantastic assembly which clearly provoked deep thought from all students.  

In terms of the personal development of students, Miss Burrows has been meeting regularly with Year 9 students who have committed to undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh award and after half term they will commence learning about expedition skills. Further personal development opportunities were offered to members of our Social Action Squad who went out litter picking in the community and collected lots of bags of rubbish - a great effort by all involved and a big contribution to a nicer community environment for all. Finally, on the theme of personal development, I wanted to say a huge congratulations to Angel in Year 8 who is the first student in the entire school to earn one of the gold badges for the Rushden STARR award. This reflects her absolute dedication and commitment to bettering herself and she should be extremely proud of this achievement - well done, Angel! 

On Wednesday and Thursday, Year 7 students took part in a number of anti-bullying workshops that were organised by our Ethos Team. Students listened to various external speakers talk about how we can collectively prevent bullying. The feedback on the sessions was overwhelmingly positive from all students - a big thank you to our Ethos Team for organising these sessions.

Year 11 students go into their final week of revision, next week, and will be undertaking their mock examinations when they return from half term. It has been great to see that the significant majority of students have been working hard and are undertaking revision at home. If your son or daughter is not completing revision at home then now is the time to ensure that they are and to support them by providing a quiet place to revise and by bringing them regular snacks!  

All Year 11 students received a letter regarding prom eligibility this week and as I said last week, where attendance has been impacted by medical or hospital appointments, this won’t prevent them from attending the prom.  

On Tuesday it was Safer Internet Day and with this in mind I wanted to remind all parents and carers of the importance of checking your child’s devices regularly. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to two particular features of social media that allow students to conceal messages that they don’t want to be seen. The first is in Snapchat and is a section called ‘For Your Eyes Only’, this is password protected but all students are aware of this so please challenge them on showing you what is in this section. Secondly is a new feature introduced to Whatsapp called ‘Chat Lock;’ and allows students to conceal whole chats which can only be found if specifically searched for. There is further information on keeping your child safe online which is accessible via this link

As we enter the final week of term I just wanted to remind all parents and carers that false nails of any length are not part of the school uniform policy as there has been a small increase in the number of students coming into school wearing these. If your child currently has false nails please arrange for them to be removed as a matter of urgency.   

The significant majority of students' uniform is excellent and I would like to thank you for your continued support with this.

Please have a warm and restful weekend,

Yours sincerely,

Mr B Baines


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