I hope that everyone has had a good summer break.
We are really looking forward to welcoming back all of our students on Thursday 3 September. I would like to extend a special welcome to our new year 7 students and parents/carers. I am sure that they will settle into Ipswich Academy life very quickly!
Following on from my letter on 9 July, text message detailing the detailed Board Approved arrangements for Paradigm Schools (Approved arrangements) and assembly shared with you earlier today, I have detailed the latest information before we welcome back students. For those of you who have not watched the assemblies, I have outlined below some key points:
- All students, staff, parents/carers and any visitors are not to enter Ipswich Academy if they are displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus, have tested positive in the last seven days or are living with someone in their household who is isolating.
- We will be staggering the start and end of the school day. Year 10 and 11 students start at 08.45 and finish at 15.00. Year 7, 8 and 9 students start at 09.00 and finish at 15.15. Students will enter through specific doors, staff will be on hand to supervise students.
- If your child is not attending school because they are unwell (Covid related or not), please ensure you contact the school to make us aware. We will continue to follow up any non attendance or contact to school on a daily basis.
- If your child is presenting with Covid related symptoms during the school day, they are to inform a member of staff. We have specific rooms in the school to manage such situations, we will make contact with home for you to come and collect your child. There is further information within our Board Approved arrangements which outlines how we would respond to suspected or confirmed cases and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.
- We will permit those staff and pupils who wish to wear a face covering to do so. Since recording my assembly the Government has changed their guidance for face marks, advising that “secondary pupils will have to wear masks in school corridors in local lockdown areas of England”. If therefore Ipswich goes into a local local, face marks will be mandatory. Until this time, they are optional. If guidance was to change, we will be reviewing immediately. Please click on this link for further details.
- Students will work within year group bubbles, with the exception of PE, music, art and computer science, students will be in set areas of the school.
- Within each classroom, students will be facing the front. There will be a lidded bin, hand sanitiser dispenser, anti-bacterial spray and blue roll in every classroom. We have a rigorous cleaning schedule in place.
- As part of our uniform and equipment policy; students will be expected to bring their own pen, pencil, rubber, ruler, pencil sharpener, red pen and glue stick. Any other essential items will be provided to students, if this involves sharing across bubbles then sufficient cleaning will take place.
- Behaviour procedures have been adjusted, detentions will only take place after school. We will be sharing with all students on their first day the new arrangements, we will however still be adopting a C1-C3 system. We will continue with our normal methods of communication if your child was to receive a consequence throughout the day. Please contact the school if you would like to see the arrangements in more detail.
- If you need to speak with a member of staff, contact via email or telephone is likely to be most efficient, at this time. If parents/carers need to speak to a member of school staff in person, they should approach the school reception – following good social distancing practice and displayed signage – and a member of staff will speak to the parent/carer as soon as possible.
- Lockers will be out of use for the start of term whilst we redistribute them to the areas of the school that students will be in.
- We will only be serving hot food and snacks for students at lunch time, the cashless system will continue to be used. If you need any support with setting up your S-Quid account then please contact us.
The information will be shared again with students on Thursday 3 September.
I would also like to congratulate last year’s year 11 on their professionalism and maturity shown throughout the GCSE process, as I am sure you are all aware this has been an incredibly challenging and unnerving time for them with all the uncertainty. We wish them all the very best in whatever they decide to do.
Our students’ attitude to learning is incredibly positive and the many visitors that we have to the school often comment on the school being ‘inspiring’. The last twenty weeks have been unprecedented times for us all, the team at Ipswich Academy are very much looking forward to welcoming students back and working with you this year towards your child’s ongoing success. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will always get back to you.
Thank you, as always, for your support.
As you may be aware, late Tuesday night the government changed their advice surrounding the wearing of face masks in school. Previously they had said that the wearing of masks should not be necessary in any school. This has now been updated and the Department for Education has stated;
“Nationwide, while the Government is not recommending face coverings are necessary, schools will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas if they believe it is right in their particular circumstances.
In addition, the government will advise additional measures are taken in areas where the transmission of the virus is high. In these areas, defined as areas of national government intervention as listed on gov.uk, the government’s guidance will state that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils in secondary schools when moving around the school, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. It will not be necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower, and where they can inhibit learning.”
Our local area has an incredibly low rate of COVID 19 infection and transmission and as a school we have taken a number of precautions to minimise any risk, as outlined in previous correspondence to you and available on the website. Therefore, in line with the above government guidance, we will not be making the wearing of masks mandatory in any area of the school.
However, I absolutely recognise that some students will feel more comfortable wearing a face mask in the corridors and/or in the classroom and I am very happy for them to do so. Please note that masks must be plain in appearance, no logos or motifs, and must be worn appropriately and sensibly. Any student intentionally misusing a mask will be required to take it off.
I will of course review this decision in light of any updated government guidance and any changes in the local situation.
Due to recent changes around GCSE grades for the academic year 19/20, we have adapted our process with regard to results and appeals. You can view this document here or by going to the our policies page on the Paradigm Trust website.
Please note that the appeals process has been written with the information that we currently have and it could be subject to change if the Government makes further changes.
Results for students achieving between a grade 9 and 4 in English and Maths at Ipswich Academy is 62%, despite an unprecedented final year due to the coronavirus lockdown. They will officially receive their results in school from 9am this morning.
Abbie Thorrington, Principal, says:
“All the staff at Ipswich Academy want to say a big thank you to our year 11 students, their families and our wonderfully supportive community today. Navigating such an important year in their education through the coronavirus lockdown has been testing for all of us but their hard work, strength and resilience is demonstrated by the results today. They have all been amazing, we are incredibly proud and will continue to support them as they move into the further education of their choice.”
In line with Government policy, due to the coronavirus lockdown, GCSE grades have been awarded by the school with the support of the official exam regulator Ofqual. Year 11 students have been learning remotely with support from their teachers since schools closed on 20th March.
Ipswich Academy was rated Good by Ofsted with Outstanding for leadership and management last year. The Ofsted report recognised that the leaders in the school had ‘transformed the culture of the school’ and were ‘building strong and effective partnerships with the community’ ensuring pupils and their families have the best possible experience.
Dear year 11 student,
GCSE Results update
Following on from the Department of Education announcement yesterday evening, I can confirm that your GCSE results that you receive on Thursday 20th will be based on your Centre Assessed Grades (CAG). The Department for Education also added that further results which have been moderated by Ofqual, the exams regulator will be released next week. Whichever of the two grades is higher will be your official GCSE grade for that subject.
Once we have further clarification from the Department of Education and Ofqual around specifics, I will communicate this with you.
I understand that due to the fast paced nature of the news around GCSE results, it may be confusing. If you do have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Adequate staff will also be available on Thursday to support you and answer any questions.
I look forward to seeing you on Thursday 20 August.