Food programme 8 week update
Staff and pupils at a Peterborough Academy are celebrating after being named a Flagship School by the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM).
The IQM is a nationally recognised framework designed to guide schools to become educationally inclusive. Inclusive schools are institutions where every young person matters and there are equal opportunities for all pupils regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, attainment or background.
This comes after the Academy was shortlisted for Most Inclusive School at the National SEND Awards last summer.
The Academy became an IQM Inclusive School and an IQM Centre of Excellence in 2018. Since then, the Academy has continued to develop its provisions and services and is now recognised as a Flagship School, one of only 155 in the country.
Ben Pearce, Principal of City of Peterborough Academy, said:
"We are passionate about making sure all our pupils, no matter their circumstances, have the same start in life and have access to everything they need to enter the world as confident and capable young people.
“Inclusivity has been and remains a focus for us at City of Peterborough Academy and being awarded the status as a Flagship School by the Inclusion Quality Mark is a wonderful accomplishment and testament to the hard work of our pupils and staff. I believe we are doing important work to not only improve behaviour in the classroom but build self-esteem and confidence in our pupils so that they know they can go on to fulfil their potential.”
Wayne Norrie, Chief Executive of Greenwood Academies Trust, said:
“I am incredibly proud of the pupils and staff at City of Peterborough Academy. This is a great achievement, and it is so rewarding to see their hard work and commitment to fostering an inclusive learning environment recognised in this way.
“Under the excellent leadership of Principal, Ben Pearce, the Academy has gone from strength to strength with a real passion for and belief in inclusivity permeating through the Academy. Only highly accomplished schools are awarded Flagship School status, so this serves as affirmation and a true mark of excellence for our pupils and staff.”
Listen to the Skegness Academy’s principal Todd Johnson on BBC Radio Lincolnshire (12.03.2021), speaking about how the first week of wider school openings has gone.
Last week Tom Campbell (GAT Chief Education Officer) and Jamie Kilner (GAT Senior Education Advisor, Director of Vocational Curriculum) joined the OCR Launch event to discuss the importance of vocational skills, how they impact social mobility and future careers plus how vocational qualifications enhance the curriculum.
The full launch event video can be viewed below and the segment including Tom Cambell and Jamie Kilner starts at about 39:00.
“…as a Trust we place tremendous value on vocational subjects in the curriculum, and we see Cambridge Nationals as an essential tool in our overall careers and employability strategy. We strongly believe pupils should study a range of qualifications and learn in a range of styles to support not only their academic development but also their personal and social development.
Our learners have enjoyed studying the Cambridge Nationals in a range of different subjects; they’ve enjoyed the opportunity to apply learning to the work environment, they’ve responded positively to the range of challenges set out in the assignment briefs and they felt secure in the assessment process having real clarity on expectations and great descriptors.
Our teachers have enjoyed teaching the Cambridge Nationals and the materials are well planned, clear and accessible…” – Tom Campbell
“Our experience of the Cambridge Nationals and the support that we’ve had from OCR has been nothing short of outstanding. The Cambridge Nationals offer a suite of qualifications across a vast array of different subjects. Everything from engineering to health and social care, from sports science to child development […], and all of the qualifications are well resourced, are supported by an effective moderation process and all of the qualifications that we’ve looked at really meet the needs of our learners. We’re really, really happy with the vocational pathway […].
We’ve found that there’s a qualification out there for all learners and the pathway that students can engage upon is really bespoke to them, but also we’ve been able to develop specialisms across our Trust in some of these vocational qualifications, which ultimately raises achievement, raises outcomes, raises confidence of students, reduces teacher workload and creates that real synergy between learning, progress and attainment.” – Jamie Kilner
The headteacher of Skegness Academy says he is looking forward to welcoming the Schools Minister after received praise for the 'extraordinary' support for pupils through the pandemic.
Todd Johnson, the Principal of Skegness Academy, was referring to praise awarded to Greenwood Academies Trust by Baroness Berridge, who said she was: "thoroughly impressed by your efforts and very grateful to trusts like yours which are going above and beyond to support those who most need it during these extremely challenging times”.
The Minister wrote to Greenwood’s Chief Executive Officer, Wayne Norrie, following a television news report which focused on the work of Greenwood Academies Trust and its academies in Skegness.
Mr Norrie; Mr Johnson, and Andy Hickinbottom, one of the Trust’s eight education welfare officers in Skegness, were all featured, with Mr Hickinbottom shown visiting pupils’ homes to ensure they and their families are safe and well during lockdown, and able to access online learning.
Throughout the pandemic, the Trust has worked hard to provide pupils at all of its academies, including in Skegness, with devices and internet access, ensuring all pupils can maintain their education.
In total, the Trust has provided laptops to more than 8,000 pupils who would not have been able to access online learning otherwise. This has been achieved by reallocating the Trust’s resources, benefiting from the Department for Education’s laptop scheme and leveraging strong corporate partnerships with Experian, Deloitte, Capital One and DHL.
The Trust has also been working to alleviate the pressures of food poverty, which affects many of their families. This has involved a landmark partnership with FareShare Midlands, providing much needed, and urgent, support to families across Skegness, Peterborough, Corby and Nottingham.
Across these four regions, which have each been severely impacted by the pandemic, the Trust will deliver approximately 20 tonnes of food for 50,000 meals, supporting more than 1,000 children in need, over the eight-week rollout of the programme, which is due to end in April.
Baroness Berridge, who said she plans to visit Skegness Academy after the pandemic and when safe to do so, said in her letter: “I want to thank you for taking the time to highlight the extraordinary work that Greenwood Academies Trust are doing in supporting the most vulnerable pupils and families in Skegness.
"I watched the Sky News video report and was extremely moved by the circumstances of each family in how they are managing the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic.
“I am thoroughly impressed by your efforts and am very grateful to trusts like yours which are going above and beyond to support those who most need it during these extremely challenging times.”
Commenting, Mr Norrie said: “My colleagues across Greenwood Academies Trust go the extra mile and beyond for our pupils and their families every single day and I am very proud of them.
"All the communities we serve mean a huge amount to us and Skegness is no different.
"We hope we are making a difference and will continue to work hard to help change lives for the better."
Mr Johnson added: “Our team is absolutely focused on doing the right thing for all pupils – that is what drives us every day.
"We look forward to welcoming the Minister so that she is able to exercise first-hand what our brilliant staff at all our academies are doing here.”
ABOUT GREENWOOD ACADEMIES TRUST
Many of Greenwood Academies Trust's 37 academies are in areas of deprivation, including Skegness, where it leads six academies.
Of its six schools in the area – Beacon Primary Academy, Ingoldmells Academy (a primary), Skegness Junior Academy and Skegness Infant Academy have now been rated Good by Ofsted. Greenwood and the school’s leaders and teachers have also improved Skegness Academy (a secondary) to Requires Improvement. Greenwood took on its sixth school in Skegness (Seathorne Primary Academy) in September 2019. The school has not yet been inspected by Ofsted.
The Trust is currently developing an initiative whereby its pupils who want to become teachers, are supported with their teacher training fees. Since 2018, Greenwood has paid for five per cent of the training fees of Newly Qualified Teachers if the trainee then teaches in one of its schools – encouraging them to stay in the town.
Early in 2020, Greenwood switched its schools to a two-week October half term to support parents unable to take summer holidays because they work in the local tourism industry, and to reduce absence, and therefore attainment. The change means families and staff will be able to take advantage of more affordable holiday rates during early November when most schools around the country are back in school.
Tom Campbell, GAT Chief Education Officer, joined BBC Breakfast to talk about remote learning and how we are preparing to bring all of our children back to our academies.
Roundtable | The roaring twenties – a vocational revolution for schools?
Watch our very own Jamie Kilner (GAT Senior Advisor – Vocational Curriculum / Director of Sport) take part in Schools Week's Roundtable on the 25th of February 2021.
The discussion was led by Laura McInerney and brought to life the following topics:
My name is Cat and I have been working at the Green Oaks Primary Academy since September 2019 as an Apprentice Learning Assistant.
What attracted you to the Learning Assistant apprenticeship?
Being dyslexic I prefer to learn practically, although I am still completing written assignments. I find that the hands-on work has really enhanced my knowledge and made writing a lot easier as I am drawing from experience. Also being a parent of two the idea of earning whilst studying was very appealing.
Describe a typical day:
My day (before working in keyworker bubbles) usually starts by preparing the classroom before learners arrive, setting up the learning activities or preparing the daily snack. I help to welcome the children into class and get them settled (and remind them to wash their hands!). Depending on which class I am in I will either assist the class teacher by supporting the morning activity or I will take a small group of children out of class to complete a learning task with me or I will do an intervention with them.
If working within the Early Years classes I will go out to the garden where the children have free flow between the class or outdoors. I engage the children in games that extend upon what they have been learning in class. After the children have been outside it is usually time for lunch. I assist in the lunch hall looking after the children, making sure everyone is ok and eating enough for lunch. After that, I will either assist with a classroom activity (maths for example) or work one on one with a pupil. I particularly enjoy seeing the children I work with one on one develop and being able to get the most out of the sessions. When it is home time, during the school’s collection, I will talk to the parents and listen to any questions they have about their child before we then set the class up for the next day.
What do you like best about your role?
I have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing early years team at the Green Oaks Primary Academy, all staff within the academy have been so friendly and welcoming. If I am ever unsure of anything or need help, they are all willing to take time out of their day to explain something to me or point me in the right direction.
I’ve also really enjoyed my time with the learners themselves, they are all brilliant and make the job so rewarding. They have all had a tough year with the ongoing pandemic, but they are all so resilient and make each day enjoyable.
I have had the opportunity to take on a lot of training within my time at the academy including an introduction to early years, kinetic letter, and maths training.
What are your plans after you complete your apprenticeship?
I would love to find a full-time role as a Learning Assistant. In the future, I hope to return to University to study Psychology and Counselling and I really hope to eventually work in a role supporting children and young people with their mental health.
What attracted you to the apprenticeship role?
I have always been a learn on the job type of person, and an apprenticeship allows me to do that. I was very interested in the fact that I would get a lot of experience dealing with real life work scenarios and develop the skills to find a solution myself. After all, you can learn so much from a book but there’s nothing better than experiencing it first hand – preparing you for your career.
Describe a typical day.
As I have been working from home due to Covid-19, my typical day isn’t exactly what it would usually be if I was in the office, no rushing through traffic or getting stuck behind lorries so to speak. I grab my coffee and get straight to work. My average day usually consists of completing my more day to day jobs that have been assigned to me, all of which come through as and when they are passed over. Depending on the day, I complete some monthly tasks, all deadline orientated. I stay in touch with my colleagues throughout the day, asking any questions I may have and participating in Operational Meetings to catch up with everyone.
As we are in a pandemic, I like to get out the house for half an hour and take my dogs on a little walk. Not sure if they understand why I’m at home so much, but if they could talk, I don’t think they would be complaining!
I always try to keep some time to go towards my apprenticeship work, maybe half an hour to an hour per day just to complete my logs and evidence, I find it a lot easier to write it down the day I have done it rather than leaving it until last minute and forgetting.
How is your apprenticeship training delivered during the pandemic?
As I am currently working from home, everything is delivered remotely. I have monthly video chats with my tutor for assessments and assigning new work and we always email each other in-between just to keep in touch if I have any concerns or need some help with my work. If I’m not speaking to my tutor, I’m speaking to my mentor at work who is there if I need any help completing anything or just need some advice. I am very supported.
What do you like best about your role?
My role allows me to do what I do best…organise. I have always had a knack for organisation, and this allows me to showcase that. I love that I constantly learn something new and I get challenged every day with meeting deadlines, solving problems, and offering my opinions! Most importantly, the people I work with are a very important reason as to why I love my role. It’s a true saying that the people you work with have a big effect on your experience at work. The support and advice is overflowing and I’m very grateful for that.
Pupils, staff and parents were happy with the donation which comes as part of the firm’s 5 Million Futures programme, which sees the professional services firm donating 5,000 of its laptops to UK schools, charities and families as part of its wider effort to close the digital divide which has been amplified during Covid-19.
The Academy, sponsored by Greenwood Academies Trust, supports pupils diagnosed with autistic spectrum conditions and associated difficulties including interaction and communication difficulties, as well as social, emotional and mental health needs.
Deloitte’s donation of laptops to the school, will enable the remote education provision and the digital teaching methods utilised to support autistic and non-verbal pupils. The academy has already benefited from 10 Deloitte laptops and with a 50 further laptops on the way, this will also help pupils stay connected with their peers and teachers.
Many pupils at the Academy have career aspirations that they will be able to achieve through remote learning, and the laptops will play a vital role in helping all pupils reach their full potential.
Laura Ives, Principal at Medeshamstede Academy, said:
"We are incredibly grateful to have Deloitte’s support during what has been a challenging time for schools across the country. Access to the internet and digital devices, including laptops, is crucial in effectively supporting pupils’ education during remote learning and this donation will be very well received by our school community and will make a huge difference to our pupils’ lives.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Deloitte for their generous donation."
Dan Harris, Director at Deloitte, said:
"The commitment to our local communities is important to Deloitte, and personally, having a son who is on the Autistic Spectrum, I am so proud of Deloitte for making an impact that matters.
"I have seen first-hand how laptops have helped unleash the unique but often hidden skills of our autistic children, with digital technology truly giving many non-verbal pupils a voice."
Paul Bristow, MP for Peterborough, said:
"Medeshamstede Academy does an absolutely super job for young people with autism in Peterborough. The generous laptop donation from Deloitte will allow them to do even more.
"Not everyone’s brain works the same way, and certain things that make the world an easier place for people with autism. These laptops will help, and will hopefully be another step in the right direction in making Peterborough an autism friendly City.
"This initiative makes me proud of Peterborough."