Principal’s Letter – 20th September 2022

Dear Parents/Carers,

We were delighted with the GCSE and A level results this summer, the best achieved at the academy with many year 11s choosing to stay on into Arden and 72% of year 13 progressing to university including the highest number entering Russell Group Universities and we wish them all every success in the future. 62% of all GCSE grades were at grade 5 and above and 25% at grade 7 and above and work has already begun to ensure that this year’s year 11 and 13 are equally successful. A full revision and support plan will be sent out to parents in due course and shared at our year 11 parents’ information evening on 4 October 2022.

The new academic year has started well with all students looking very smart in their school uniforms, equipped and ready to learn and I would like to thank parents for their support with this. Our new year 7s are finding their feet and are being well supported by staff and fellow students, particularly in their small schools.

There have been a few changes that I would like to bring to your attention, which we hope will strengthen the academy and make things even better. We are delighted to welcome Steve Walker as Head of Sherwood and have added more Assistant Principals to the leadership structure to provide extra support for our students, as set out in the table below. We are hoping to appoint the third Assistant Principal to Sherwood in the next few weeks. Each of our small schools is also supported by our excellent student services managers and administrative staff.

  • Ms K Long – Head of Delamere
  • Mr S Walker – Head of Sherwood
  • Mr D Boothe – Head of Ashdown
  • Mr F Rahman – Head of Arden
  • Ms A Kalote, Ms J Barrowcliff – Assistant Principals
  • Ms S Thomas, Ms L Rennalls – Assistant Principals
  • Mr S Smith, Ms L Marsh, Ms S Aworebu – Assistant Principals
  • Ms S Green, Mr J Spark – Assistant Principals

Last year the academy took steps to add capacity to our Special Educational Needs team, recognising the growing need for support and full details are in the SEN section of our website. In short, we now have two SEN Coordinators, Ms Hennessey for the Designated Special Provision and Ms Dervishi for Mainstream. Both SENCOs have a Deputy SENCO, Ms Bartlett and Ms Blackburn and we are expanding our team of Learning Support Assistants.

In addition to SEN support, we reviewed behaviour and welfare support and put plans in place that were hampered by the pandemic to some extent. The Inclusion and Wellbeing Centre was fully staffed and operational last year with the dual aims of reducing suspensions and supporting students with attitudinal and welfare issues.

A range of interventions were introduced by the team and this has worked well so far but we recognise that there is always room for improvement. The academy entered into a contract with Place2Be, an external provider, with qualified practitioners to help our students with mental health, wellbeing and other issues. We are delighted that we are able to launch this provision and more details will follow once the new team has been inducted. We have engaged the services of an Educational Psychology Service so that the most vulnerable students can get the support they need and have entered into a service level agreement with the local authority to help students who are persistently absent from school. Should you require information about any of these services, please contact your son/daughter’s small school in the first instance.

Another area we would like to strengthen is parental communication as we strongly believe that by working together, we can achieve the best outcomes and experiences for our students. We will continue to issue our Crown Flyer newsletter on our website but will also relaunch the My Child at School App, which has a range of functions that have not been used. Parents will also receive details of Google Guardian, which gives access to Google Classroom and homework so that parents can see what their children are learning and what homework has been set. Parents’ Forums and coffee mornings are also planned for those who would like to come into the academy and the annual parent survey will be issued by the Trust later this academic year.

I set out below a few key dates and look forward to a very positive and successful year ahead.

Yours faithfully,

Ms S Kazmi

Key Dates 2022-23

Parent Evenings,Open Events and Mock Examinations

  • 26 September – Year 6 Open Evening 4-7pm
  • 4 October – Year 11 Information Evening
  • 19 October – Arden Post 16 Open Evening 4-7 pm
  • 20 October – Year 7 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm
  • 14 November – Year 11 and 13 Mock Examinations begin
  • 12 January – Year 11 Parents’ Evening 4-7 pm
  • 19 January – Year 13 Parents’ Evening 4- 7pm
  • 26 January – Year 9 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm
  • 30 January – Year 10 and 12 Mock Examinations begin
  • 23 February – Year 9 Options Evening 4-7pm
  • 23 March – Year 12 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm
  • 4 May – Year 10 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm

Coffee with the Principal and Senior Leader – 8-9am

  • Year 7 – 3 October
  • Year 8 – 5 October
  • Year 9 – 10 October
  • Year 10- 17 October
  • Year 11- 19 October

SEND Team Coffee Mornings – 8-9am

  • Year 7 – 27 September 2022
  • Year 8 – 29 September
  • Year 9 – 4 October 2022
  • Year 10 – 6 October 2022
  • Year 11 – 7 October 2022