Announcements | 22nd May 2024

New basketball club for children and young people in Ipswich

Aspire Basketball is a newly established club who are passionate about delivering quality, fun coaching sessions for children and young people in Suffolk. The club has been formed due to the recognition that there are limited opportunities for children to learn basketball in the Ipswich area. Why not give it a try over the half term holiday?

Uncategorised | 19th April 2024

Year 9 Options

The options process is a really important time for Year 9s. Ensuring that students are well informed of the GCSEs available and possible career paths will help them make the right choices. The Options Evening is on Thursday 9 May, but please take all opportunities to discuss the process with teachers before then.

Announcements | 15th April 2024

Year 10 Booklook

We would like to invite parents and carers to our Year 10 Booklook on Monday 29th April from 3:40-4:40pm. Come along and take a look at the great work your child has been producing towards their GCSEs. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Announcements | 15th April 2024

PE extracurricular timetable for summer term

News | 22nd March 2024

Free workshops to explore competitive university paths

Explore your ambition! One Sixth Form College is hosting a series of free workshops to help students explore competitive university pathways. Each workshop is designed to support students with higher education decisions and you will receive lots of tips and advice to help you with your future decisions. Sign up today to ensure you have a place!

News | 14th March 2024

Creative Workshop

Why not join this creative workshop that is happening over Easter (8th-11th April) in Ipswich – the workshops and lunches are free, and travel bursaries are available!

Teaching | 13th March 2024

The benefits of extracurricular activity

Extracurricular activities can play an incredibly important role in a student’s educational journey. They give young people the chance to explore beyond their classrooms, providing them with the opportunities to discover new interests and learn new skills. 

The benefits of extracurricular activities

A study published in the Economics of Education Review by Stephen Lipscombe found that when it came to extracurricular activities, athletic participation is associated with a 2 percent increase in maths and science test scores. Club participation is associated with a 1 percent increase in maths test scores, and involvement in either type of activity is associated with a five percent increase in Bachelor’s degree attainment expectations. 

It’s crucial however, to avoid thinking extracurricular activities are only good for supporting subjects on the mainstream curriculum. Each one has its own intrinsic value and can spark an interest or uncover a passion which students carry with them for years to come, either simply as a pastime, or something that influences their choice of a profession in later life. 

Paradigm’s core principle is that our curriculum prepares students to lead fulfilling lives and to play an active, positive and productive role in our democratic society. In essence, the value of extracurricular activities lies in the holistic development they offer, contributing to well-rounded individuals ready to face the challenges of the future.

Extracurricular activities often improve social skills and teamwork. Whether through sports teams, games clubs, music ensembles or other activities, students learn to collaborate, communicate effectively, and appreciate the importance of collective effort. These experiences can contribute to personal growth and prepare students for the collaborative nature of the world of work.

Taking part in extracurricular activities is also a positive way for young people to build cultural capital. Participation exposes students to a variety of new experiences and environments, and this exposure can help them develop a broader understanding of different cultures, perspectives and ways of life. Participating in arts, music, drama and other creative activities can allow students to express themselves and develop an appreciation for various forms of cultural expression. This exposure enhances their cultural capital by growing creativity and aesthetic awareness.

Finally, clubs can also encourage students’ attendance, as they provide something additional they may look forward to coming to at school. 

By having a wide range of extracurricular activities on offer, before and after school, and at lunchtimes, we can give young people access to learning and experiences they may not receive otherwise, helping them become more rounded individuals for the future. 

Announcements | 7th March 2024

Relax and Chill Sessions

Murrayside Community Centre is offering a ‘Relax and Chill’ session on Mondays to all students aged 11-17. Why not go along and join in with some of the fun activities available, including sports, cooking and arts and crafts … or you could just chill! Sessions run from 4pm – 6pm.

Announcements | 6th March 2024

Family Awareness Day at University of Suffolk

The University of Suffolk is hosting its next Family Awareness Day on Saturday 18th May. Family Awareness Day is an event open to students in Year 7, 8 or 9 and their families. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about university and to meet with current University of Suffolk students. During the event families will take part in a fun programme of activities and learn more about the benefits of Higher Education and Student Finance. Families must register to attend the event via the ‘Book a place’ link or by scanning the QR code on the attached flyer.

Teaching | 11th January 2024

The benefits of regular attendance

Regular school attendance is a key focus at Ipswich Academy because of the many ways it benefits our students.

One of the advantages of regular school attendance is academic success. Research shows pupils who attend school consistently are more likely to stay on track with their studies, grasp key concepts, and excel in examinations. Consistent attendance allows continuity of learning which is fundamental for academic achievement.

In 2019, 84% of UK pupils in Key Stage 2 who had 100% attendance achieved the expected standard, while only 40% of pupils who were persistently absent managed to hit their target.

The pattern continues through school. Students who didn’t achieve a grade of 4 to 9 in GCSE maths and English on average had missed 10 more days over the key stage compared to students who achieved grade 9 to 5 in the subject. It’s estimated just 17 missed school days per year will result in a drop in GCSE grade.

School is also crucial for developing social and emotional skills. Regular attendance allows students to form lasting friendships, engage in extracurricular activities, and develop essential interpersonal skills they’ll need in adult life.

Attendance also instils discipline and a sense of responsibility in students, and employers often look for people with these traits who can demonstrate reliability and commitment.

To help children who struggle with attendance effectively, we need a comprehensive whole-school approach that addresses the root causes. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution – we treat each case individually. As a Trust, some of the strategies we use are:

Focusing on Success

If students find lessons unengaging and irrelevant, they’re less likely to attend school, so we teach in a way that results in young people feeling they are doing something worthwhile, but also secure enough that they feel safe. This feeling of achievement then helps them become more engaged in lessons. We continually review what we do to find ways we can refine and improve, then share them across the Trust.

Parental Involvement

Parents have a crucial role in ensuring their child/children attend school regularly. We promote parental involvement through regular communication, parent-teacher meetings, and highlighting the importance of attendance for their child’s future.

 Early Intervention and Support

Identifying attendance issues early on is essential for effective intervention. By establishing a supportive environment where students feel comfortable discussing their challenges we can implement early intervention and prevent prolonged absences. This can be done internally – we have a large pastoral team with extensive experience who work hard to understand the individual circumstances around students’ absences and create plans to overcome the challenges. Or it can be done with the support of external agencies, such as our partnership with Synergy Education and Welfare Services which is building on our existing school attendance process and procedures in school.

Positive Reinforcement

Recognising and rewarding good attendance can motivate students to attend school regularly. This includes attendance awards, certificates, or even small incentives to celebrate students with high or significantly improved attendance. Students with high or improved levels of attendance are recognised through our weekly and end of term celebration assemblies.

By having a range of support strategies available, and taking the time to understand each student’s particular situation, it’s possible to respond effectively and improve attendance. For example, after implementing a Soft Start room for students to come into at the start of the day with a member of the pastoral team, we are now seeing students come into school every day this year who didn’t attend school at all the previous year. This is just one of a number of strategies we use.

Through this work, we can help more students spend more time at school, so they are better educated and better prepared to succeed in their adult lives.

Last updated January 17, 2024