In what started as a frustrating week with no progress to report, I was pleased to take a call late on Friday from the office of the Regional Schools Commissioner saying that our application to join TGAT will go to the Headteacher Board in late May. It was good to end the week writing a letter to our families sharing this encouraging news. The support for our community in bringing us to this point should not be underestimated. Thank you.
We applaud the comments, above, made by the Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds in his speech at the NAHT Conference last Friday and we look forward to him honouring these words with actions.
As regular blog readers will know I have twice written to Steve Walker the Director of Children’s’ Services, asking that he share with us the report he has sent to Lord Agnew summarising the outcomes of his survey. He has declined so to do. One of our community has served Leeds City Council with a ‘Freedom of Information’ request, also asking for this information. This too has been declined. It is my view that Leeds City Council only lose the trust of their communities by allowing a perception of a lack of openness and honesty to be perpetuated in this way.
It has been a one year wait, but please be assured we are working hard as ever to secure our partnership with TGAT.
SIXTH FORM NEWS
Online Safety is something about which none of us can be complacent, so on Tuesday we were delighted to have Anna Kearney from Google Garage Workshops talking to Year 12 about how to stay safer online.
Anna stressed the most common online threats today and gave students hints and tips on how they and their families could avoid them. They learnt the basics of cyber security and focussed particularly on online shopping, personal data and password protection and how critical these are in online banking and preventing phishing, fraud and hacking when using computers, tablets or smart phones. She also highlighted the dangers of having weak passwords and using public Wi-Fi to access personal accounts, warning that a hacker can crack ‘weak’ passwords in under a minute and that keypad recognition is commonly used to identify personal data in public Wi-Fi zones.
It was a fascinating talk and the students were much the wiser. Hopefully our Year 12 went away and changed all their passwords without delay!
This week I enjoyed the company of Ciaran Connell and Katie-Mae Wright. You’d think I would be used to it by now, but I never fail to be impressed by the maturity I find in our young people.
Well done to all of the following with whom I met on Tuesday to give well deserved praise: Harry Meadon, Emily Hessey, Eliana Harrison Bould, Stella Jaquiss, Megan Reynolds, Leo Cosgrove, Hollie Waite, Harvey Williams, Kayleigh Morrell, Lydia Smith, Izzy Blakey, Terisha Ndebele, Jessica Nelson, Richard Payor-Mazur, Maya Stephens, Aidan Harris, Eve Hedley, Sam Kilby, Grace Taylor, Katelyn Turton, Evan Bentley, Allix McGrath, Elisia Wharmby, Laird Ferguson, Mille Edwards, Saskia Benjamin, Sarah Mohamadi, Isabella Wade, Madeline Burns, Emily Warbrick, Matthew Hill, Max Cervonnihs and Luke Neary.
LOCATING THE EASTER HOLIDAY
If you have missed it, Leeds City Council are holding a consultation on the future timings of the Easter break. Since 2011, Leeds has fixed its school break to the first two weeks of April, regardless of when the Easter bank holiday weekend falls. Usually the bank holidays fall somewhere within this break, but once every few years they fall outside.
They are now seeking public opinion in order to decide whether to continue with this arrangement or return to an Easter school holiday that moves according to the Easter bank holiday weekend. This is an opportunity for you to have your voice heard and maybe they will change their current practice and put the outcomes in the public domain!
Congratulations to Maya Philpott who in the sport of Double Mini Trampoline has been selected for both the English and British championships as well as the junior GB squad. Inspired by listening to Maya explain her sport I watched some online. It is incredibly technical and physically demanding; she is brave. We wish her every success.
Last weekend both the Year 7 and 8 boys’ football teams travelled to Skegness to play in the Festival of Football for the fifteenth consecutive year. The weather was glorious throughout the entire weekend setting the scene for a fantastic spectacle of football. There were 190 teams playing in the tournament across eight different age groups and we were the only school team, with the rest being clubs teams.
The Year 7 team started well with a 3-1 win in a game that they dominated from start to finish, Dan Myers (2) and Jake Rogers scoring the goals. Oliver Thomas was player of the match for an outstanding display at the back. Game two was a very even affair but we went down 3-0 with Finn Brooks our player of the match. In game three we played the best team that Mr Potter has seen at this age group in his eleven years at the tournament. To our boys’ credit they continued to battle and work hard throughout as a team, with a final score of 9-0.
On Sunday we started with a 0-0 draw which saw both teams have chances, but player of the match Alex Kay in goal kept us in the game. Our final game was against another very strong side and we found ourselves 5-0 down at half time. However, the second half effort was phenomenal from the boys, with incredible levels of work rate and endeavour. After absorbing pressure we broke out and Jake Rogers scored for us, with his goal winning the half 1-0, losing the game 5-1. Dan Myers was player of the match for a tireless display.
The Year 8 team started with what proved to be their most difficult game. A string of fine saves from player of the match Harry Dyson in goal kept the score down to a 2-0 defeat. In game two we had the lion’s share of possession but unfortunately, despite periods when we were on top, we were undone twice through bigger more athletic players latching onto long balls, as we lost 2-0. Tom Williamson was our player of the match.
Sunday proved to be a much better day for us. Callum Parkinson got the only goal in a game that we deserved to win by many more, this was just deserts for player of the match. This game also saw an outstanding feat of sportsmanship from Miguel DaCosta who was fouled on the edge of the box, only for the ref to award us a penalty, Miguel told the ref that he had made a mistake and that the foul was actually outside the box. The last game was to be our best performance. The passing was excellent and the finishing ruthless, at the other end we were very strong and well organised. We won the game 5-0 with goals from Callum Parkinson, Harrison McGann, Bailey Clayton and player of the match James Tucker who scored two.
Both teams had an excellent time at the tournament and of course in and around Butlins. At the presentation event they listened to talks from former England Internationals Ledley King and Casey Stoney who spoke of the hard work and dedication that it takes to reach the pinnacle of your sport.
Yet again the excellent conduct and attitude of our boys was praised by members of the public, and they were a credit to themselves and our academy.
With 190 teams the Skegness Festival of Football is now a massive national event, and it is a real measure of the quality of our staff that not only is this the fifteenth year in which we have participated, but that we are also now the only school team left competing.
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