Year 7 Preparing for Success

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Dear Parent/Carer,

The Leigh Academy Year 7 Leadership team have been extremely impressed with the ‘Respect’, ‘Responsibility’ and ‘Resilience’ demonstrated by all our new students so far, this academic year.  Our move into the Creativity Wing was no easy feat but we have managed to create an excellent environment in difficult circumstances and the students have all settled in very well.  Students have started the year with a real enthusiasm and have been provided with lots of information during the first few weeks.  The academy ethos of ‘Opening Minds to Success’ is at the forefront of everything we do to give your child the best possible education at this very unusual time.  Even with the most recent introduction of face coverings/masks, the Year 7s continue to take everything in their stride and have been impressive with the work ethic, attitude and support for each other.

A key part of the continuing success of your child is the partnership that we build with parents and carers throughout the academic year.  This time each year we would normally invite all Year 7 parents/carers to attend the ‘Preparing for Success’ information evening.  Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 and guidelines issued by the government we are not in a position to invite you to meet your child’s Tutor and the Year 7 Leadership team in person.

We hope that through this letter the Year 7 Leadership team will be able to explain the ways in which we can work together and develop joint strategies to enable your child to achieve their very best.  We will also introduce the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme to you and discuss the fantastic opportunities your child will be given as they start their journey at The Leigh Academy and spend the next 7 years with us.  I would like to provide you with as much information as possible and hope I can answer any questions you may have about the next academic year.  There has already been a wealth of information provided via letters home and I hope you have all received these via your personal email account.  If you have not received these then please do get in touch via Michelle Tuck (admin for Year 7 and Year 8) with an updated email address for us to add onto the Bromcom system.

Year 7 Leadership Team and Tutors – This academic year, students have been placed in one of the four Colleges (Chaucer, Darwin, Brunel or Da Vinci) but will all be remaining within the Year 7 ‘Bubble’ throughout the 2020/21 academic year or until there are changes in the governments secondary school guidelines.  The Year 7 Leadership team is always here to support parents/carers but please do use your son/daughters Tutor as your first contact.  We are also here to support you with any queries regarding the students curriculum or learning.

My Child at School – All parents/carers will have received the login information that will enable them to access any future academic reports, assessments or letters that have been sent home.  If students are awarded any reward points or receive a consequence for uncompleted homework or poor behaviour.  Parents/Carers will also be able to see the details we have in terms of phone numbers and contact details.  If you haven’t received this information or are having problems logging onto the system please contact Mrs Tuck.

Google Classroom – I am sure you will all be aware The Leigh Academy is a Google Education school that uses a number of Google applications to teach and deliver lessons as well as record homework, submit work or keep parents updated.  Google Classroom is used by all staff across all subjects as a consistent way of setting homework and allowing students to submit work.  Students can also use Google Classroom to contact their teachers and ask them questions as well as use the classroom to catch up on any work they miss should they be absent from school for any reason.  All students have been invited to join their individual subject teachers Google Classrooms as well as the ‘Year 7 Google Classroom (code – 7sakmhr).  News, announcements and information will be regularly updated by the Year 7 Leadership team (Mr Lindars, Miss McCabe-Knowles and Miss Austin.)  The Google Classroom app can be downloaded onto a smart device or Google Classroom can be downloaded via the internet.  Students will require their Leigh Academy login and password that was given to them by their Tutor and ICT teacher.  They have been asked to write this down in their pocket planner and please also make a note of this for safe keeping.

Chromebooks – A number of students and parent/carers have requested information about the opportunity to purchase a Chromebook via the academy scheme.  At this moment in time, we have delayed setting up this scheme with ‘Freedom Tech’ for the 2020/21 academic year.  As we are very lucky that the Leigh Academy Trust have supported our request for all students in Year 7 to be issued a Chromebook (at no charge to parents.)  This initiative will be rolled out over the coming months and I would hope that all students in Year 7 will have the use of their own device by Christmas.  We hope to be able to provide you with more information during the next few weeks.

MYON Online Reading Tool – The Leigh Academy students have recently been given access to MYON to help improve their love for reading, improve their reading skills and increase their literacy skills. MYON is a student-centered, personalised literacy environment that gives students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books via the internet.  Titles are dynamically matched to each individual student’s interests, grade and can be accessed both at home and in the academy.  Combined with a suite of close reading tools and embedded supports, MYON Reader fosters student engagement and achievement.  All Year 7 students have been given their MYON login and password and this will also have been recorded in their pocket planners.  Please do encourage your child to access this excellent service whenever they state they do not have any homework to complete!  We have regular competitions and prizes for the students who engage with MYON and it’s proven to increase student’s literacy levels when regularly used.  If you have any queries regarding MYON then please contact Lisa Bodle our literacy head.

Middle Years Programme (MYP) – At The Leigh Academy our students follow the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Years 7, 8 and 9.  This is a programme of international education designed for students aged 11 to 16.  The Middle Years Programme emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world.  During this first Module pupils have been learning more about the Middle Years Programme during tutor time and have been set the challenge of explaining various aspects of the Middle Years Programme to you at home.  Further information can be found via the following link:  leaflet.

Anti – Bullying and Acts of Kindness – The Leigh Academy have developed a really positive behaviour policy that recognises students thoughtful and caring actions and supports all students with a highly effective Anti-Bullying Policy.  This can be viewed via the following link: Anti-Bullying Policy.  We also work in conjunction with the national ‘Diana Award’ charity and have introduced over 40 fully trained anti-bullying ambassadors.  There is no place for bullying at The Leigh Academy.  All staff and students will always do their very best to ensure attending the academy is a positive experience for all students.  We are proud of our multicultural, inclusive and diverse environment and always aim to quickly deal with any unkindness or upset.  Students occasionally make mistakes and poor choices but we always aim to educate students to make better choices and never make the same mistake for a second time.  Students will be rewarded for good behaviour but will also face consequences if they make the wrong decision in line with our behaviour policy.  This can also be viewed via the following link:  The Leigh Academy behaviour policy.

Finally, I am really sorry that we are not able to invite you in to meet your Year 7 Leadership team and your child’s Tutor.  The Year 7 Preparing for Success Evening has always historically been a well attended evening that provides the answers to any questions you may have wanted to ask.  If you do have anything else that you would like to raise or ask me then please do not hesitate to contact me.  It is a real privilege to be overseeing the Year 7 cohort and I’m also immensely proud of the start both the students and staff have made since returning on the 28th August.  I look forward to meeting you all at the earliest opportunity and hope you are happy with the start your son/daughter has experienced since they joined us.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Lindars
Head of College
Leading on Years 7 & 8