The first term is drawing to a close and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support as our school continues to make pleasing progress.
As you will be aware, Her Majesty’s Inspector (HMI) and a team from Ofsted visited us in September and their full inspection report can be found on the Academy website. The report recognises the rapid progress that our school has made over the last 3 years and it acknowledges the hard work and support of students, staff, parents and governors. We were delighted to be judged good in every category:
Whilst we are very pleased with the improvements that we have made, we realise that there is still much to do. We must ensure that we continue to sustain these improvements as we continue to build on our successes and intensely focus on improving the progress and achievement of every student.
There have been so many other positives this term. Our Open Evening in October saw over 900 prospective children and parents visit the school. As a result of this evening and the growing reputation that the school has in the local community, first choice applications from year 6 parents have increased by 75% in one year. 97 parents identified Droylsden Academy as their first choice in 2016, this year that number increased to 170 first choice applications. This will ensure that Year 7 will be oversubscribed again this year when we welcome the Class of 2023.
I hope that you have the chance to read the weekly Newsflash each Friday. I am so proud of the achievements and efforts of so many of our students. Each week it is a delight to see the hard work of our students celebrated and it is most pleasing to see the growing number of students taking part in extra- curricular and character building activities. Highlights this term have included students performing a stunning rendition of Macbeth at the Contact Theatre in Manchester as part of the Shakespeare School Festival, students showing their culinary flair in the MasterChef competition, debating, afterschool Maths Battles, academic competitions and numerous sports competitions and arts activities.
We have also been treated to another stunning school production. The sheer professionalism, talent and hard work that was on display during our production of Beauty and the Beast was so impressive. We are incredibly proud of our students, who were confident in their roles, professional in their delivery and great ambassadors for our school. The support from our parents and carers over three sell-out nights was, as always, exceptional.
As mentioned recently in the Newsflash, the Academy will close for the Christmas holiday at midday on Wednesday 20th December. Students who are entitled to a Free School Meal can collect a packed lunch from the catering team at midday on their way out of the Academy. Students are asked to inform their Year Manager if they require a packed lunch, no later than Friday 15th December 2017.
The Academy will reopen for the spring term on Thursday 4th January 2018 at 7.30am. All students are expected to be in their Learning Tutor rooms at 8.30am. Any student arriving after this time will be marked late and there will be a series of escalating consequences for persistent lateness or absence. Whilst we appreciate that children often wish to let school friends see their Christmas presents, especially mobile devices including internet linked watches, please could you remind your child of the Academy’s policy which clearly states that such items should be left at home where possible, and under no circumstances should they be used in the school building as they distract from learning.
Staff return to the Academy on Wednesday 3rd January 2018 to prepare for the term ahead and we will be working hard on our plans to further improve teaching and learning.
Thank you for your continued support and I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.
Mr P Wilson