At Ipswich Academy, we work hard to ensure every one of our pupils has the tools and support they need to be able to learn in the same manner as their peers.
Often inclusive learning is seen as something solely for children with special educational needs. While this is certainly part of it, inclusive learning is far more – it is a practice which includes everyone.
Also, there is often some confusion between the terms inclusive learning and integrated learning. Integrated learning, where students with and without disabilities all learn in the same classroom can be very effective, and where this is the case then we will work to provide it. However, in other cases integration can actually be a barrier to learning. For instance, deaf students engaging in certain exercises may be better off away from the main class in a space that is acoustically suitable, enabling them to access the work in a more helpful environment.
We approach inclusive learning by looking at the individual needs of every child at our school. These can be academic, and often are, but we also examine other factors such as independence, resilience and attention skills. There are often other barriers to learning to consider, including social, gender and economic issues. This holistic approach allows us to see the whole picture, and from there we are able to take positive action and provide the most effective support.
Ipswich Academy has a large team of Learning Mentors, with at least one assigned to each year group. They are on hand for pastoral support and to try and ensure all students succeed. Mental health can be a big factor in learning ability, and so we have a wide range of mental health support on offer, including mental health first aiders and regular counsellors.
Students with high needs are timetabled to our Support Centre with bespoke, small class lessons on a range of subjects, in a nurture environment. We provide students who have the highest needs with 1-1 or 1-2 tuition with our dedicated Learning Mentor, Jane Fison, who works with them on a range of life skills, to develop them as a person and prepare them for adulthood, alongside accessing core subjects.
Much of the support we provide is done from within our school, however if we feel we don’t have the right resources to give the most effective support we will use external specialists, such as Teenage Mental Health. We also work closely with other schools in the Trust, regularly meeting to discuss what is happening, and to share best practice and expertise, which can then be applied successfully in the individual schools.
Friday 16th April 2021
Dear parents and carers,
The start of the summer term has been hugely positive. The atmosphere around the academy has been upbeat and the students have settled back in well. As the Year 11 students prepare for their final assessments, they are focused and approaching the challenge in a mature and responsible way. It is so good to see the other year groups taking their studies just as seriously, making up for the disruptions Covid has created.
As I’m sure you have seen in the media, there is a renewed national focus on sexual abuse in schools. The Government have set up a helpline and ordered a review by Ofsted to assess safeguarding in schools around the issue of peer-on-peer sexual abuse, something that has recently been highlighted by the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website.
At Ipswich Academy, we take any report of peer-on-peer sexual abuse seriously, with every case being closely and fully investigated. We encourage an open culture and give students opportunities and safe spaces to make disclosures in the event of an incident. We have precise protocols that we follow to ensure that the correct support is given in school and by outside agencies, if required.
Our staff are trained in handling these types of reports and regardless of which member of staff is told, the response will be the same. At Ipswich Academy, we have specialist staff who are able to assist pupils and ensure that any incident of alleged sexual abuse is taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.
Not only do we support students in the event of an incident, we also educate students about safeguarding, healthy and respectful relationships, respectful behaviour and consent and that sexual violence and sexual harassment is always wrong through the Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) curriculum. We promote an honest, open and respectful culture in school and we feel that having a dialogue around such topics is a key part of ensuring that they don’t become normalised behaviours.
As a reminder, all students will be spoken with during the coming week regarding how they can access help and support if they have any concerns.
If in the meantime you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
19th March 2021
Following on from my correspondence earlier today, we have been notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.
Your child has been identified as a close contact of the confirmed case. In line with the national guidance your child is advised to self-isolate for 10 days since the last contact with the confirmed case. The date of last contact with a confirmed case is day zero. The 10 day self-isolation period will end on Monday 29th March.
If your child is well at the end of the 10 day period they will be able to return to school after the Easter break. Other members of your household can continue normal activities provided your child does not develop symptoms within the 10 day self-isolation period.
Please see the link to the PHE Staying at Home Guidance:
Work to be provided whilst students are isolating
For today, students should work from their Knowledge Organiser and existing work on Google Classroom. By 3.30pm today students will be sent an email with further information relating to the work that is going to be provided for next week.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19
If your child develops symptoms arrange for a COVID test. This can be done via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
If their test is negative they must still continue to self-isolate for the 10 day period, regardless of the negative test result.
If their test is positive they will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the date when their symptoms start. All your household members must self-isolate for 10 days.
The date of symptom onset is day zero.
General COVID information
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
•recent onset of new continuous cough or
•high temperature or
•a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. If you are concerned about your child’s health or the health of anyone else in your house please seek advice from your GP or NHS 111 by phoning 111.
There are things you can do to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
As always, if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to get into contact. I thank you again for your support.