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Principal's Newsletter

13 September 2019

I would like to start by welcoming back all of our students and I hope that everyone has had a brilliant summer. I’d also like to extend a special welcome to Year 7 students who have made a great start to their time here at North Gosforth Academy. Feedback from staff has been excellent and I have been really impressed with how smart they all look and with their excellent behaviour and attitude. For new parents to the school, I post a newsletter on the website every fortnight with all school news and important dates and you will be notified by email when this is ready to view, it is a great way to keep up-to-date with what our students are up to. We also post news and upcoming events on our Twitter Feed so please do follow us at @NorthGosforthAc as well as other social media, links can be found on the website here.

Staffing Update

As well as welcoming our new students we also have some new members of staff at the Academy this term. Miss Baldwin has joined the Maths department, Mrs Hodgson has joined Science, Miss Binns, PE and Mr Smith, MFL.  We also have a new Data and Exams Manager, Mrs Gardner and Admin Apprentice, Miss Moody. They are already making a great impact in school and we welcome them to North Gosforth Academy.

We have also recently welcomed two new members of staff to the pastoral team;

Miss Ritchie has joined us as a Pastoral Supervisor and will be working with Mr Brooks in Key Stage 3.  Miss Ritchie has a wealth of experience working with children and was formerly a Key Stage 2 primary school teacher and she has already been a great support for Year 7 transition students. We are delighted to welcome her on board.

As a result, Mr Spence has moved to support Key Stage 4, having worked with all students in Year 10 and 11 whilst they were in younger year groups. He will work alongside Mrs Blenkinsop who will continue to oversee pastoral issues for our older students.

We have also welcomed Miss Walledge who will mainly be working as a cover supervisor but also providing pastoral support across all key stages. Miss Walledge is a newly qualified English teacher who will be able to deliver superb cover lessons in this and other subject areas in the event of a staff absence. She will be an excellent addition to our team.

If you have any pastoral concerns about your child then please contact the relevant key stage staff. Academic concerns should be directed to Miss Smith (Key Stage 3) or Mr Ayres (Key Stage 4). Any safeguarding concerns about your or any other child should be directed to Mr Findlay (Assistant Principal).

GCSE Exam Results

I am delighted that the GCSE class of 2019 were handsomely rewarded with some excellent results this year.  We are incredibly proud of them and wish them the very best for the future.  This year, as a school, we have been awarded our highest ever number of top grades. Honourable mentions go to Daniel Hally, who obtained seven Grade 9s and two Grade 8s and Adam Cassidy, who obtained five Grade 9s and four Grade 8s. This means that here, at North Gosforth Academy, we have some of the top performing students in the country.

RICH Awards

I was delighted that one of my first jobs this year was to award four Year 7 students with a RICH Award for superb ‘Industry’ in their Science homework.

On Thursday Year 7 form groups competed against each other in a INDUSTRY challenge. In just over 1 hour each form worked together as teams to produce as many paper cubes as possible.

These cubes were then assembled into 5 different designs to represent their form group name. The teachers were incredibly impressed with the amount of effort and creativity shown by our Year 7 students, with each form coming up with their own original design.

At North Gosforth Academy, we want to help students achieve excellent exam results and also become well-rounded, responsible members of society, ready for the world of work and for the many challenges that life can bring. In order to do this we strive to impress the importance of our ethos and culture on both students and parents alike.

It is essential that every student invests in these four core values because we believe that this is how they will achieve success, not just in their life at the academy but also beyond it.

Attendance

We are pleased to say that last year, our whole school attendance improved and we are delighted that a record 48 students completed the full academic year with 100% attendance. Their dedication to ensuring they are in school every day is being recognised with an award and prize at the Celebration of Achievement event at the end of the month. We are currently speaking to students about what they would like rewards to be for improving attendance and will announce these in future newsletters.

Our school target for attendance is 96% which is in line with Government expectations. This is a high target which was achieved by a large proportion of students last year. It is no surprise that students with attendance that is above 96% are doing the best academically in school.

The school works hard to monitor attendance to ensure that students are not regularly missing school. Students whose attendance is between 91% and 96% have attendance that is a concern and this is monitored internally. We will contact you by letter if a student’s attendance falls below 96% because these students will begin to fall behind in their education unless their attendance improves.

Students whose attendance is below 90% are classed as “persistently absent” and their achievement in school will be severely impacted. Parents of persistently absent students will be contacted by letter and invited into school for an attendance meeting. The Attendance Outreach Officer may visit the family home and offer support to improve attendance. Where attendance is persistently under 90%, these cases will be referred to the Local Authority. Last year, the Local Authority has taken legal action against some parents due to student poor attendance and penalty notice fines have been issued. Failure to pay these fines has resulted in cases proceeding to the Magistrates Court for prosecution. It is important to note that any student whose attendance is less than 90% will not have any further absence from school authorised without the support of medical evidence. In addition, the school will not be able to authorise any requests for leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If you have any queries about attendance then please contact Mrs Hay or Ms Foulkes-Jones.

Car Park – One-Way System

For safety reasons we have a one-way system in the car park. This is primarily to ensure the safety of all students but also to allow the smooth flow of traffic in and out of school. Can I remind all parents that they need to adhere to the road signs on site including zebra crossings and double yellow lines, particularly while site work is taking place.

Upcoming events

Looking forward we have some major events for the Academy taking place over the next few weeks. We have Year 6 ‘Culture Day’ transition events on Monday 16th, Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th September for students from our feeder primary schools. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase what the academy has to offer future students and as always I am sure it will be a fantastic event. 

Following on from this we have our annual Open Evening on Wednesday 18th September for prospective parents from 5.30-7.30pm. I will be presenting in the theatre at 5.30 and 6.30pm and there will be tours of the school and a variety of workshops held by our pupils. A letter has been sent out through primary schools with further details.

Celebration of Achievement

Our annual Celebration of Achievement Evening is taking place on Monday 30th September at the Grand Hotel Gosforth Park. If your child has won an award you will shortly be receiving a letter in the post inviting you to the event which is always a wonderful evening including musical performances and a guest speaker. Please make sure you return the reply slip attached to the letter to confirm your attendance.

I am really happy with what has been an excellent start to the term so far, students are looking great and there is a real feeling of optimism for the year ahead.  Thank you in advance for the support you provide, as parents and carers, to help us make North Gosforth Academy a happy and successful place to learn. As always, if you wish to speak to a member of staff or to myself with regards to any concern or query, please get in touch.

Warm regards,

Steve Campbell

Principal

 
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