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Vice-Principal’s Update: 25 March 2019

As Vice-Principal it is my pleasure to have the opportunity to keep our Academy community up to date with events here in school over the past week.

We began the week by changing an old tradition here at Longsands of having designated social areas for different year groups. Since moving our key stage areas we noticed an inequality in the numbers of students using different social areas leaving some spaces densely populated and others with plenty of space. This new approach also encourages students to mix with those in other year groups and gives our older students the opportunity to act as role models to their younger peers. We have seen the beginnings of a change but it will take students a little while to get used to being able to spend their lunchtimes in whichever area they like as, like us all, they are used to a system.

On Wednesday we welcomed Year 12 students and their parents into the Academy to discuss their progress so far and to make plans for the coming year. This is in keeping with our Academy determination of securing the best possible experience, learning and outcomes for young people. We hope that students and parents found this helpful and that this will enable a continuing dialogue throughout Year 13. Also on Wednesday, I attended a safeguarding update meeting along with our other Cambridgeshire Astrea schools. We are very lucky in Cambridgeshire that we don’t very often see the level of safeguarding issues that are present in many of our large cities, however, these meetings are always a reminder that we must never be complacent when keeping our young people safe and that working with our partners and parents is vital alongside our robust staff training.

It was a busy week for the PE department who held their internal moderation for GCSE. Students can choose from a whole range of sporting activities and therefore the process extended over a three day period culminating in athletics moderation at St Ivo school, another member of our Astrea family. The students came back into school full of positivity about their experiences though it was apparently a ‘little chilly’.

The Art department took post-16 art students to two art galleries in London on Thursday, Unit London and the White Cube Gallery. White Cube is one of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries and has spaces in both London and Hong Kong. Students will use their experiences from the trip as an inspiration for their coursework and also to assist them in refining and improving their existing work.

Finally, on Friday afternoon, we waved goodbye to 54 students and 7 members of staff as they embarked on a weekend in Norfolk for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. As I am writing this on Sunday morning I am delighted that the sun is shining and the weather has been kind as this will contribute to a wonderful and memorable weekend for everyone involved. We look forward to welcoming them all back and hearing their tales from the trip on Monday morning.

I wish you all a wonderful week and look forward to another busy few days here at Longsands.