CEO Blog – Term 6

CEO Blog – Term 6

Dear readers,

I am so pleased to be able to reflect on my blog posts over the year so far as I write what will be my final one of this academic year. Somehow we find ourselves in the middle of July, approaching single figures of school days left for the year and so during this time I have been enjoying my end of term visits, spending the whole day in some schools (when they’ll let me!).

From a personal point of view, this year has been one of the most challenging at times as CEO, but definitely rewarding. My time at Isambard and involvement in our Trust Primary schools has been a learning curve. We end 18/19 as a Trust in a strong position, remaining within the top 10 highest performing MATs in the country, with exciting new ventures and ways of working on the horizon for September and a huge amount to be proud of across the organisation. I cannot thank our amazing staff and students enough for everything they have achieved this year.

 

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Term 6 – colloquially known as the ‘summer term’ hasn’t been as summery as we may have wanted at times this year. We all know that our 2019 summer was that really hot week back in February, (now distant memory). However, at Meon Junior School the students and staff have been making the most of the weather that we have had during ‘Outdoor Education Week’. The Year 3 students have visited Staunton County park and taken part in a treasure hunt which was led by a Portsmouth Eco Expert. Their neighbour, Meon Infant school held a successful Arts Week, with many enrichment activities for the children.

 

I’ve been so pleased with our phonics screening and KS1 SATs outcomes this year. We serve mainly deprived communities and yet, as a whole, our students achieve in line with National outcomes. This is a huge achievement and shows that in our schools’ poverty does not have to be an insurmountable barrier to academic success. This term Goodwin have undertaken an internal teaching and learning review, almost doubling the percentage of good or better teaching since they first joined our Trust on 1st September 2018! RGS’ IB results have been outstanding with an average score for students of 36 points, equivalent to A*A*AA at A-Level.

 

Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the pageThe All Faith’s Revolutionaries signing choir have become celebrities in Medway having successfully defended their national junior signing crown in Dundee in May and the coverage they have received in the local paper. The choir also have plans in the pipeline to appear in some of our secondary end of year productions too, they are in popular demand.

Congratulations to Penhale Infant School whose Year R class came third in the Portsmouth Gymnastics’ festival this term. Kate Keller, Headteacher at the school, told me the class has made huge progress since the start of the year.

 

 

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On the 5th June, students from The Portsmouth Academy performed at the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on the Southsea Common in front of huge crowds. The students sang, danced and read poetry to the crowd. The school being invited to contribute was an incredibly proud moment for students, parents and staff. A huge well done to the students who paid tribute to the anniversary with their performances.

 

 

Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the pageThe Victory Academy saw local MP Tracey Crouch visit the school for a climate change summit. Mandy Gage, Executive Principal at the school, told me how incredibly proud she was of the knowledge, presentation and commitment the students demonstrated in the summit.

 

 

 

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Meon Junior school appear in my blog every time with their sporting success, perhaps we have a few Olympians coming through the ranks to make Portsmouth and ourselves proud in the years to come. Once again MJS have achieved several sporting successes in the Hampshire games with the Year 4 Tennis team winning their finals and the girls Year 6 football team going through to the Hampshire semi-finals. Congratulations to all involved!

 

 

Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the pageStaff at New Horizons Children’s Academy were invited to attend an event at Buckingham Palace by the Economist Educational Foundation. The foundation highlighted New Horizons as one of their top 10 schools for their contributions to the Burnet News Club, a network of news clubs which run through state schools – a great achievement for the school to be recognised for their work.

New Horizons was identified as a top school for showing the five Burnet News Club skills: Curiosity, Scepticism, Reasoning, Storytelling and Open-mindedness. These were shown through topics of discussion such as Brexit, knife crime and climate change.

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The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, David Fuller visited Newbridge Junior school to present the Marian Thorne and Bryant Awards this term. These awards were for the children in Year 3 who have overcome adversity, and the Year 6 children for their overall contribution to the school. It was an absolute pleasure for the Mayor to visit and reward students at the school.

 

 

 

 

Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the pageAt Cedar Children’s Academy, the Year 5 students were visited by students from Canterbury Christ Church University. This was a great opportunity to show the children what extended courses there are in education asides from what they currently learn in school. We hope that this session sets high aspirations for each child’s future and allows them to see the opportunities that are available to them.

 

 

 

 

Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the pageMartin Reeves, previous Head boy at Chatham Grammar School for Boys, now Holcombe Grammar school, came to visit the school for a tour and trip down memory lane. Martin is now Chief Executive at Coventry County Council. I am incredibly proud of the vast alumni associated with our schools and history. Trust alumni is going to be a big project for us next year as we focus on maintaining relationships with our ex-students and track their careers as they leave education, and continue their ‘Thinking’ journeys into their adult life.

 

 

 

Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the page Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the pageThe schools have been making the most of the weather when the sun comes out with the events they hold outside of school hours. Cedar Children’s Academy hosted a summer fayre and raised £2151.75 which is incredible. The day included games, bouncy castles, face painting, go karts and community stalls. It was a fantastic day which helped the school connect with their local community. The PTA at the school has also raised over £7000 this academic year which is such a huge contribution to go back into the school to benefit the children.

Cedar had a slight rollercoaster ride during Term 5 from receiving their amazing news of a “Good” Ofsted rating in “ALL” areas, to then opening the school the following Monday to find that the school had been broken into. Large amounts of books from the library had been stolen including Harry Potter and How to Train Your Dragon sets among others. Tools from the site office were also stolen. The outcome of this robbery has been overwhelming with the support and donations that the school has since received, including many book suppliers and publishers donating brand new books to replenish the library for the children. One donation even came from an ex-student who now resides in The Netherlands!

Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the page Your preferences have prevented this content from being loaded. If you have recently changed your preferences, please try reloading the pageThis time of year sees the school diary filling up with lots of events such as proms, school productions, residential trips, summer fayres and sports days to name a few. The Victory Academy students were dressed to the nines for their prom which was hosted by the school.

Meon Junior School performed to parents and family last week and New Horizons are currently rehearsing for their Alice in Wonderland production.

 

Year 6 students from across our primary schools have been attending secondary school transition days and our own secondary schools have been welcoming their 19/20 Year 7 cohorts. Transition from primary to secondary is something that the Trust strives to ensure is tailored to all students. One example would be our Trust’s primary schools in Portsmouth feeding quite heavily into The Portsmouth Academy. In Medway we see many of our Year 6 children leave to join one of our Trust’s schools, with options to go to Rochester Grammar School, Holcombe Grammar School and The Victory Academy.  New Horizons Children’s Academy have their first ever Year 6 cohort, with many of the children furthering their ‘Thinking’ experience at The Victory Academy which is close by. These transition numbers are a huge testament to our ‘Thinking’ journey and educational pedagogy.

I’ll be filming my end of year vlog next week which will go live before the summer break. and I’m looking forward to signing off the year in ‘person’ with you all.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blogs this year just as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Before I sign off I would like to say a final special thank-you to Jasmin for helping me to pull together all the amazing news from across our Trust for my blog (as well as all of the other things she does!).

See you in September!

All the best,

Stuart