Uncategorised | 14th October 2020

Communication from the Principal

Dear parents and carers, 

It has been brought to our attention that a student within the year nine bubble has recently returned from foreign travel and not followed the quarantine measures. Neither the student nor their family are showing any symptoms of Coronavirus and they are now all isolating. 

I have sought advice from Public Health England, who have advised us to continue with the full opening of the bubble and school. 

We have no indication that any student has symptoms within the year nine bubble, this communication is to make you aware and ask you to be vigilant. 

If circumstances change, I will of course communicate with you straight away. 

Yours faithfully 

Abbie Thorrington

Uncategorised | 27th August 2020

September 2020 letter

Dear parent/carer,

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.

Please click on the link here to find an updated map of Ipswich Academy with entry/exit areas and classrooms, toilet and social time areas for specific bubbles.

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.

Yours faithfully

Abbie Thorrington

Uncategorised | 27th August 2020

Face mask information

Dear Parent/Carer

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.  

Yours sincerely

Abbie Thorrington

Uncategorised | 21st July 2020

End of term and provisional plans for next academic year (Y10)

Dear students, parents and carers

Following on from my letter on 9 July and the whole school assembly today, I would like to detail the latest information before we break up for summer. 

We are proceeding with our plan and will open on Thursday 3 September, as previously announced. We are still awaiting confirmation from our Directors as to whether our local plans have been approved. We have proposed in line with Government guidance recommendations for a staggered start and finish time for the day. This would mean 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. Once these have been passed I will communicate with you via text message and the documents  will be posted on our website. In late August I will be hosting a virtual assembly to go through the plans in detail prior to students returning in September. 

All year groups will be able to continue to access the work set on Google classrooms, each department has also set summer tasks which I would encourage students to complete. In addition, teachers from various subjects will be offering 1:1 virtual tutorials which will focus on any misconceptions students may have had from completing the work over the past weeks. Students will be able to sign up for these sessions, but spaces will be limited. I have attached on a separate page, the planned sessions each week. If you would like to book then please call the school reception or email info@ipswichacademy.org

I am excited to announce that we will be launching a student ‘House System’ in September. All staff and students will be assigned to one of three houses, devised from our Trust’s values. The House System will celebrate student success in all aspects of school life as well as promoting opportunities for leadership, competition between houses and community involvement. I look forward to sharing this further in September. 

Due to the changes that we are proposing to the set up of the school in line with Government guidance,  students may not have the same base group tutor as they had last year. We will try to avoid changes where possible, however there will be some. I will be able to share base group tutors during a virtual assembly that I will deliver prior to students returning in late August. Lockers will also be out of use for the start of term whilst we redistribute them to the areas of the school that students will be in. If students have any belongings they wish to collect from their lockers prior to September, please contact the school via telephone or email to arrange a visit. We will be continuing with cashless catering from September, if you need any support setting up a sQuidpay account, please contact the school reception.

The last three months have  been unprecedented times for us all, the team at Ipswich Academy are very much looking forward to working with you all next year.  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.

Yours faithfully

Abbie Thorrington

1:1 Virtual Tutorials

  • These sessions are being put on to help you with any work you are stuck on or found difficult whilst the school was closed. 
  • Book your session through info@ipswichacademy.org or by calling reception. 
  • Make sure you say what it is that you would like to talk to a teacher about eg. the poem Remains for English / fractions for maths.
  • You will be sent a link to the Google Meet before your session to your school email. 
  • If you cannot attend, please contact reception and let them know.
  • Sessions will run each week during the summer break on the following days: 
11:00Computer ScienceGeographyHealth and FitnessHistory

Uncategorised | 17th July 2020

RSE letter

Dear parent/carer,

The Paradigm Trust Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (RSHE) engagement process is now complete.

The results of the engagement process are now on the Paradigm Trust website and can be accessed via your school website or at https://paradigmtrust.org/rshe-engagement-results/

The publication of the results documents follows an almost year long process including open information meetings in all Paradigm schools, meetings with Academy Councils across the Trust and  a month long survey period.

There are 3 main documents:

  1. An executive summary of the engagement process and findings (8 pages)
  2. A full summary and analysis of results (17 pages)
  3. An appendix containing all written responses to the survey, where the survey question allowed for this. (58 pages)

The survey documents have been read and discussed by the board who have agreed that teaching in line with the new requirements can begin in September 2020. As the main engagement process was completed before school COVID closure, we have no need to take up the government’s offer delaying the introduction of the new requirements.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.

Yours faithfully

Abbie Thorrington

Uncategorised | 15th July 2020

End of year 11 letter

Dear year 11 students,

The last four months have been unprecedented times for us all. I would firstly like to congratulate you all on your hard work, dedication and levels of maturity shown throughout these uncertain times. 

Following previous announcements, your GCSE results will be available for you to collect on Thursday 20 August. Our plan is for students to come and collect their results in person; however if Thursday 20 August arrives and you have coronavirus symptoms or have been advised to stay at home please do not come into school. Please call the school and we will arrange for the results to be delivered. If you are picking up your results in person, you will need to abide by social distancing and handwashing expectations. Parents/carers will have to wait outside, only students are allowed inside the school building to collect their results.

The below table outlines the times where you can come and collect your results. Please ensure you come at your allotted time, if you miss your time slot, please ensure you come after 12.00pm or call Ipswich Academy reception to arrange a convenient time to collect them. 

TimeAreaBase group
11.15 Blue11-6
12.00SYSZCatch up opportunity if you miss your slot

Throughout the day, support and guidance will be available on site for students from staff and our careers advisor. 

Thank you to everyone who has returned their loaned devices and resources, we still have a few outstanding. Please could you ensure you return them to Ipswich Academy reception. 

The team at Ipswich Academy would like to wish you all the very best in your future endeavours and we look forward to seeing you on results day. 

Take care and stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Abbie Thorrington

Uncategorised | 24th June 2020

Addressing the ‘digital divide’

The Ipswich Star has published a report on the ways in which we are bridging the ‘digital divide’.

You can read the full report here.

Uncategorised | 24th June 2020

INSET change of date

Dear parents/carers

The school dates published at the beginning of the year stated that we had one additional INSET day to schedule. Due to the school closure to most students we still have the day outstanding. Therefore the last day of this term will be Tuesday 21st July and we will be closed to students for our INSET day on Wednesday 22nd July.

School will start again on Thursday 3rd September and I will contact you closer to the time with any changes to the school day or your child’s return.

Yours faithfully

Abbie Thorrington

Uncategorised | 10th June 2020

Year 10 reopening

Wednesday 10th June

Dear parents/carers,

Following confirmation from the government that schools are to reopen in a safe way for students in year 10, we would like to share with you the details around the arrangements we have put in place in order to reopen which have been approved by the Paradigm Trust Board (please click here for detailed arrangements).  

In line with government guidance, there will only be 25% of year 10 students in school at any one time.  This means that year 10 students will be invited into school for 1 day per week (Monday to Thursday).  Students who wish to attend school for an additional day (Friday) to work independently with some teacher support, will be invited to do so through a simple booking system. There will be limited spaces on Fridays as we will only be permitted to accommodate 25% of year 10 students at a time.

Early this month we contacted all families with students in year 10 to find out if parents/carers would be comfortable for their child to return to school.  As was discussed, we are happy to welcome students back to school but are aware that some parents/carers will not want their child to return at this moment in time.  There is no pressure for your child to return. 

We have booked a place for all year 10 students, regardless of whether you have said that you would like your child to return or not.  This is so that students can come back to school when parents/carers are comfortable for their child to do so.  By the end of this week, we will inform you of the class (pod) that your child has been allocated to and which day of the week that they will be in school.

The school day will be as follows:

Period 10900 – 1020
Break1020 – 1030
Period 21030 – 1150
Break1150 – 1200
Period 31200 – 1320
Lunch1320 – 1400
Period 41400 – 1520

It is really important that students socially distance on their way to and from school so that we work together to keep down the risk of infection.  In line with the most recent government announcement, when walking to school, students should not be in groups of more than six and should keep 2m apart from each other at all times.  

We have organised the building, inside and out, to ensure that social distancing is possible at all times.  

Students will be placed within a ‘pod’ for all of their lessons consisting of no more than 12 students. Four different teachers will teach each pod per day; we are trying to keep this consistent week on week. During breaktime, students will be allocated an area outside which is marked out for social distancing. At lunchtime, students will be allocated a seat in a specific canteen area where they will eat their lunch, whether hot lunch or packed lunch. Each canteen area will then be dismissed outside.  We will be running a cashless system to pay for school meals – please click here for instructions to set this up.

Each pod has been allocated a classroom.  Some furniture has been removed from these rooms to allow for desks to be separated. We encourage students to bring their own equipment, however each student will be issued with their own pencil case and resources if required. Sharing equipment amongst students will not be permitted. Classrooms, and the rest of the school, will be cleaned routinely throughout the day.

We are only allowing one visitor into reception at any one time, if there is someone already in reception please wait outside until they leave. If at all possible, please do not come into school.  If you need to speak to a member of staff either phone or email; we must limit the number of people on site at all times, therefore face to face meetings will not happen unless we deem them urgent.  

Everyone who enters the school will need to wash/sanitise their hands and repeat throughout the day; sanitiser stations have been placed at entry points to the building.  Within the school building we have implemented a one-way system.  To help the students to move around the school, 2m markings have been taped out in corridors with arrows indicating which direction they are to walk.  Toilets will be monitored to ensure that social distancing can take place and they do not become too crowded.

We are confident that all students will follow the new rules which have been put in place to keep everyone safe.  Our behaviour system has been adapted to reflect the changes within school.  We will go through the new procedures (click here to view) with students so that everyone is clear about our expectations.

We will be following the normal curriculum as far as possible, with the distance learning on Google Classroom mirroring the lessons delivered in school where appropriate; distance learning will continue for those students who are not returning although we ask that work is completed online.  If families are struggling with devices to access Google Classroom please contact the school.  

We are aware that these are very challenging times and therefore we are doing everything we can to ensure that your child’s return to school, whenever that may be, is safe and your child is supported.   We will speak to all of the students on their first day back to explain the changes and to help them to transition back into school.  As we move forward it may become necessary to make some changes to what we are doing and how we are doing them.  We ask that you are patient and work with us, as you always do, if we do make any changes.

On Thursday 11th June at 4:30pm we will host a short online presentation when we will outline in more detail how the school day will work. Joining details will be emailed to all year 10 students or students can click here.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your support throughout these last few weeks.  We look forward to welcoming back year 10 next week.

Yours faithfully,

Helen Winn                   Abbie Thorrington
Principal                         Principal from 22nd June 2020

Uncategorised | 4th May 2020

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Last updated May 4, 2020