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Message from the Co-Principals

Evolving Co-Leadership: Reviewing Spring 2017

Dear Parents, Carers and Guardians,

Thank you to all of you who actively supported the Academy in such a range of ways last term. It was a super term, marked in particular by the hugely successful production of Bugsy Malone, our first whole-Academy performance. We would also draw your attention to the work of 43 students guided by Ms Rimmer and Mr Whipp in achieving an exceptional number of awards in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. Of all schools in Camden, including well established independent schools, our students have the highest rate of success in this accreditation.
Of course the Spring term was also marked as being Mrs Davies’ last in the role of Principal. On behalf of students, staff and parents we would like to thank Geraldine for her inspirational work in setting up the Academy and establishing a culture of excellence, collaboration and high aspiration.
The next stage of the Academy’s development is set to be an exciting one. The Governors have asked us to take forward the Co-Principal leadership structure and we very much look forward to working closely with our committed staff, conscientious students and supportive parent body.
In future Parent Bulletins and newsletters, we would like to take the opportunity to update you on the members of the senior team and their roles and responsibilities. In addition, we will have updates on issues of communication and home learning that parents have raised with us recently. We will also be inviting parents and carers to come and meet us both in an informal setting in late May to hear about our priorities and outline some of the plans for the future.
In the meantime we would like to draw your attention to two new Heads of House who took up their posts last term. We are very pleased to welcome Danny White who has joined us as Head of Equuleus house and Meera Bangar is leading Orion house until the end of the year.
We look forward to welcoming all students back on Monday 24th April at 9.25am. Many have been revising for their upcoming examinations, and we wish them every success. We hope everyone—staff, students and parents alike—were able to enjoy a rest and a refreshing holiday.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Robin StreetMr Simon McBride

A Full Term, a Full School: Reflecting on Autumn 2016

This term has been another series of firsts for the Academy; The first year at capacity, the first term with a Co-principal model and the first following the establishment of the Research and Innovation Centre. 

It has been a very successful term with another very positive Challenge Partners review in November, the report from which can be found here. The strong review team praised the quality of teaching, curriculum, progress made by all students, and standards of work. It also confirmed Humanities as an area of excellence. We can therefore add Humanities to the other areas of excellence and outstanding practice identified in previous Challenge Partners reports and the June Ofsted inspection. Once again we had difficulty just putting forward one area of excellence; we could have chosen so many. Our School Improvement Partners (SIPs), Sue Gregory and Marcia Headon, also visited the Academy earlier this month and gave a glowing report of progress to our Governing Body.

However, with all the good things going on at the Academy, every organisation has areas that need to be improved and we have added communication and feedback from parents to our priority list for next term. Louise Garcia, Clerk to Governors, has taken on an additional role for policy development and co-ordination of stakeholder views. You will be hearing more from Louise over the next months. We are also undertaking a review of our telephone system to make sure it is fit for purpose. However, the Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) machine turns slowly and as with many of our systems, telephony is part of the PFI contract. To illustrate the snail like quality of this process, the changes we initiated to improve the reception area have taken over 15 months to progress so far but we are hopeful you will see the changes after the Easter break. The Governors and the Academy Senior Leadership Team are working with Camden Council to pressurise the contractor to improve its service.

A word about my part time arrangements; I started teaching in 1977 and in the New Year I will be entering my 40th year in the profession. I have worked with hundreds of staff and thousands of students, many of them now grandparents!!! Hard to believe I know. But I am confident in saying that the team we have assembled at the Academy is one of the strongest I have known. They have made this Co-Principal model possible and I am in their debt. You can rest assured the Governors and Trust are monitoring and evaluating the model closely but I would hope from the students, staff and parents perspectives it is very much business as usual. Alexandra Ayres, an experienced Headteacher is providing support to the SIPs and Governors in monitoring the model and will be seeking student and parent views next term. We will keep you up to date with any feedback and further developments.

I wish you all a peaceful and enjoyable holiday with your children and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Geraldine Davies
Lead Co-Principal