If you have not done so already, can I please ask that you complete the Leeds City Council survey by Sunday 25th March?
The choice presented, although not articulated well in the survey, is between our Governors’ plan to partner with The GORSE Academies Trust (TGAT) and drive for that outstanding school in the community, or the proposal presented by LCC, that our school is closed, the land sold for development, and a new school built in Wetherby.
It is essential that the voice of the Boston Spa communities is clearly heard. I would remind you that it is not one survey per household, but LCC are welcoming of a response from every member of your family.
You will have read my comments about the Wetherby Town Council meeting, and a reminder of the two ‘drop in sessions’ led by local councillors. If you are able I would encourage you to attend one of the sessions to share your thoughts with the ward members. The details are:
Friday 16th March: 3.30pm until 7.30pm Boston Spa Village Hall
Saturday 17th March: 10.30am until 2.30pm Wetherby Town Hall
(Click here to download the full Image)
I did enjoy reading the work of our Year 10 GCSE Statistic students who, just as they will have to in an exam, assessed the reliability and integrity of the LCC survey, while our Business Studies team assessed it against the market research assessment criteria for a BTEC Level2, where it failed to make the pass grade.
Despite all its failings, we really need the Boston Spa voice to be heard, so please make sure each member of your household completes one!
This morning, governors, Sir John Townsley and I met with Vicky Beer, the Regional Schools Commissioner. She affirmed the diligence shown by Governors in seeking to partner with TGAT and listened carefully to all the concerns that were raised over the delay in issuing an academy order. These included:
- the lack of integrity within the Leeds City Council survey
- the selective nature of data presented by Leeds City Council in the documents accompanying their survey
- the damaging impact of the delays in our conversion to join TGAT on opportunities presented for the children at Boston Spa Academy
- the contrast between the ambition for standards presented by our partnership with TGAT, and the absence of any such approach by Leeds City Council
- the absence of any reference to Sixth Form provision in any of the Leeds City Council proposals
- the nature of her previous meetings with local councillors and Leeds City Council.
It has been a busy week for #BuildABetterBoston, so we thought a joint press release from both Boston Spa Academy and The GORSE Academies Trust would bring clarity. Thank you again for your continuing support.
GCSE Pod is now available at Boston Spa Academy. This award winning revision aid will provide Year 11 students with thousands of hours of audio-visual revision material in short 3-5 minutes chunks. These clips or “pods” can be viewed on phones, laptops, desktops and tablets and students can access pods on any topic for every subject they study.
Mrs Westerman launched this with Year 11 in assembly this week and a letter and quick start guide were sent to parents and carers on Monday. To get started all students need to do is go to www.gcsepod.com and click “Log in” then “New here? Get started.” Account activation is quick and easy and the quick start guide shows you exactly how to do this. Once activated students can browse hundreds of pods and create their own playlists of topics they feel they need to do more work on.
This week Year 11 had made a great start having viewed over 1,000 Pods! Maths and English Literature are currently the most popular. It is a fantastic resource that we commend to you.
SIXTH FORM NEWS
On Monday we were delighted to invite into the Sixth Form Gemma Wood, Gemma Ponting and Georgina Dutton from Aspire Igen to host an Apprenticeship Workshop. This gave students a vital insight into the different levels of apprenticeships and the skills and competencies central to a successful application.
Our Year 12 and 13 students were thoroughly engaged throughout and grateful for the information and advice. Harry Homer said “the workshop was fun and interesting. I am much clearer about what I have to do.”
I am very proud of all the Year 11 students who are doing extra work right now. Maths revision takes place every Wednesday and with only ten weeks to go until the first exam, the more attending, the better!
On Wednesday, the GCSE Music groups attended a percussion recital at Dewsbury Town Hall. The performers, Chris Bradley, Elsa Bradley and Charlie Ashby demonstrated tuned percussion instruments such as marimba and boomwhackers. They also performed Meyer’s ‘toccata’ without instruments using body percussion and unturned percussion pieces for drum kit and cow bell. It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to hear live professional performers and learn about instruments from around the world as part of their GCSE course.
On Thursday, we were pleased to host the EPOS vocal day led by Katie Teage. Students from six local schools joined together to sing songs such as ‘The Eye of the Tiger’ and ‘You’re the Voice’. They gave a free performance to friends and family at the end of the afternoon. You can watch a short video of the performance here.
Congratulations to Miss Brierley who has qualified with the LGBTQ charity Stonewall as one of their Champions. This will enable her to take a leading role in making sure that all in our school community are accepted without exception. We are very proud of her, and look forward to the impact of this new role in our work on modern spiritual, moral, social and citizenship education, as well as our work on modern British values.
Our training day was in partnership with TGAT. We started with a session for all staff on the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Currently, the UK relies on the Data Protection Act 1998, which was enacted following the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, but in May 2018 this will be superseded by the new legislation, giving people more say over what companies can do with their data and making data protection rules more or less identical across Europe. The legislation is new, and today we made sure all our staff were aware of their responsibilities.
The rest of the day was spent in curriculum rubric planning, for September 2018. This is really important work, and one of the TGAT big five priorities for 2017 to 18.
HOT CHOC FRIDAY
I was pleased to welcome Liberty Clayton and Emily Meehan for HotChocFriday this week. I was amazed at all they manage to fit in outside school, as well as maintaining the highest standard in their approaches to school. I have such admiration for them.
Well done to all of the following, with whom I enjoyed a short time during PD Hour this week: Emma Richardson, Lara McCune, Lilly Meehan, Jessica Tucker, Oliver Coomber, Frazer Rollings, Sophie Skelton, Ruby Alderson, Freya Rowe, Leah Turner, Jack Slinn, Callum McNamara, Imogen Jones, Christian Boden, Daniel Tinkler, Tilly Brown, Taylor Baxter, Thea Beesley, Caitlin Ewart, Olivia Hessey, Sam Dobronics, Katie Mae Wright, Thea Sharpe, Nevaeh Geddes, Maddy Tue, Fraser Douglas, Kazie Grant and Nadia Schottler.
You can give feedback on our school to Ofsted through ParentView