Announcements | 15th September 2020

Letter from Miss Thorrington

Dear students, parents and carers, 

We are now into our second full week of the new year, and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all students on the fantastic start that has been made. They  have been incredibly focused in their lessons and are working very hard to minimise the disruption that school closures caused to their learning.

I would like to thank parents and carers for your continued support in getting all students back into school safely over the past month. All of us are committed to providing the best education possible for your child, while securing the health and safety of our whole school community. Thank you for continuing to follow public health guidelines and encouraging your children to do the same. We take into consideration suggestions and have made some very small changes to the running of the school in light of feedback.  We have had a lot of questions regarding the wearing of masks during the school day. Currently, students and staff can wear masks if they wish and their use remains optional. If there are any changes to the Government guidance, and we in turn update our guidance, you will be communicated with immediately.

To ensure we maximise ventilation around the academy, we do currently have all windows and internal doors open to promote air flow. Our aim is to continue this, there may therefore be instances in the near further where we allow students to wear jumpers and coats in their lessons. 

As previously discussed, I am pleased to announce that we will be opening up the SYSZ from Monday 21st September for year 11 students to do independent study. The SYSZ will be open daily from 7.30am-8.45am before school, and after school 3.00pm-4.30pm. Students will be expected to be completing work once they arrive, the SYSZ is not an area for social gathering. We are currently looking at ways in which we can open the study hub safely for year 7-10 students and will communicate with you further on this in due course. 

Over the course of the last week, all year 7 students have completed numeracy and literacy tests in order to gauge a baseline of their overall ability. I would like to say a big well done to every student on the way in which  they conducted themselves during the tests.. We are now in the process of allocating students to class sets to ensure that lessons are appropriately challenging for thierability level. Your child’s new grouping will take effect from Monday 21st September There will be no changes to the base group that students are currently in. 

Attached to this letter is further information around a breakfast opportunity for all students, as well as details on our updated invacuation procedure. As a matter of course, we will be carrying out drills for our invacuation procedure this half term. 

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

Thank you again for your continued support.

Yours faithfully 

Abbie Thorrington

Breakfast support 

We are pleased to inform you that Ipswich Academy has joined the government’s National School Breakfast Programme (NSBP), which is being delivered by the charities Family Action and Magic Breakfast.

As an NSBP school, we are pleased to offer nutritious breakfast packs for students to take home. These breakfast packs are available to all year groups, so all students can benefit. From Thursday 17th September, students will be able to collect breakfast packs from their respective ‘bubble’ areas of the school listed below once their school day has finished:

Year 7- red canteen
Year 8- main hall
Year 9- blue canteen
Year 10- grey canteen
Year 11- SYSZ

Each pack should last two weeks at which point students can collect their next pack. Students will be notified of this arrangement through year group assemblies.

Initially we will have limited packs available for each year group as we need to get an idea of the number of students that will take up this offer. If the need is there, we will then increase our order with NBSP and ensure that we have sufficient numbers of breakfast packs to meet demand.

This is an opportunity to ensure students have a nutritious breakfast before coming to school so that they are ready for their learning. We hope that students take advantage of this.

If you would like any further information then please do not hesitate to contact Maled Akhlak.

Invacuation procedures

At Ipswich Academy, we take safeguarding and safety very seriously. It is important that we continue to review all our procedures, taking into account even those events that are very unlikely to occur. As part of this process, we have introduced a new procedure called “invacuation”.

I am writing to inform you that we will be practising this procedure this half term.

An invacuation procedure is a standard health and safety procedure, similar to a fire drill. Our invacuation procedure would be used when there is a threat to the safety of pupils, staff and others outside the school, and when it is safer for everyone to remain in school than evacuate. The aim is to keep people safe by confining them to a secure place.

Presently the threat of these are low. However, it is low threat not ‘no threat’ and therefore schools should have a contingency plan and procedures in place to deal with it similar to fire procedures.

Unlike fire procedures, which in most cases mean evacuating to an external assembly area, this will most likely require ‘invacuation’ to a safe area(s). These are places that are safer than staying where you are and safer than immediately evacuating.

Prior to our drill, staff will take time to talk to pupils about lockdown procedures and explain why they are important. They will reassure pupils after the drill that they are safe, and will emphasise that practising procedures like this will make sure the school remains a safe place to learn.

I must stress again this is simply a practice, so that in the unlikely event of such a situation, our pupils and staff are fully prepared.

If you or your child have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact Samual Fox. 

Announcements | 14th September 2020

Catch-up Programme for Years 10’s

Please see a letter here regarding immunisation catch up’s for year 10.

Announcements | 11th September 2020

Year 11 wellbeing

Dear Parents/ Carers

Year 11- Wellbeing Support Sessions

Year 11 is a challenging year and this year is no exception to the rule. With this in mind, we want to ensure all our year 11 students have support to help them navigate positively and successfully through the academic year.

Year 11 students are being offered the chance to access Wellbeing Support Sessions. These will take place within school time and will be delivered by registered nurses Annie O’Neill and Sue Miller. 

Both Annie and Sue have worked with the school on many occasions, attending year 11 bootcamp, providing wellbeing sessions for KS4 students and also delivering Relationship & Sex Education content within the PSHE curriculum. Feedback from students has been extremely positive, especially relating to the relationships and trust built between the students and the nurses.

The aim of the Wellbeing Support sessions is to support student’s positive mental health and wellbeing, especially during these unprecedented times and in the lead up to GCSE examinations. The sessions will initially take place over the next 7 weeks on a Thursday afternoon, with the possibility of extending the support further if it is needed. 

Each session will accommodate small groups of approximately 6-10 students. Students will need to sign up to these sessions if they would like to attend. There will also be opportunities for students to have one-to-one sessions with a wellbeing nurse if required. We will also be offering a ‘drop-in’ session for students, parents and carers to attend every Thursday, 3.15-4.30pm.

Students can sign up to these sessions by accessing this Google Form or by speaking to their Base Group Tutor to be added to the list. We will then inform students on Thursday which session they will be in. 

If you do not want your child to take part in these sessions, please ‘Opt Out‘ by emailing or calling reception.  If we do not hear from you, we will take it that you consent to your child accessing the support if they wish. 

If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to get into contact. 

Yours faithfully

Mrs A Cook
PSHE & Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead

Announcements | 7th September 2020

Letter from Suffolk Police

Dear Parents/Carers,

You will no doubt be aware of the Kesgrave shooting incident that took place earlier this morning (Monday 7 September) in Friends Walk.

We can understand such an incident will have caused concern in the community at Kesgrave High School but to offer you reassurance a teenager has been arrested. This is being treated as an isolated incident by the police and they do not believe that there is a wider threat to the school or local community.

Students and staff are safe in school and will remain in school as expected until the end of the school day. In order to provide reassurance to the school community there will be a police presence as students leave school today and over the next few days.

The victim, a 15-year-old boy, sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to
Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he is receiving urgent medical attention.

We are aware of some footage/imagery circulating on social media of this morning’s incident at #Kesgrave. We’d ask that circulation of such pictures and videos of the incident does not take place. Help us keep you safe. Thank you.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Jones said: “Following this serious incident our priority is to keep everyone safe.”

“We have now made an arrest as part of the investigation and are working with our partners and our schools to ensure that everyone feels safe when they are collecting their children from school this afternoon.

Please be aware that more of our officers will be on patrol and to provide
reassurance in the area.”

Friends Walk and Through Jollys remain completely closed off at present and there is a partial closure on Ropes Drive.

Remember, if you as a parent/carer dropping of your child this morning saw any suspicious activity or has information about the incident please contact the Contact and Control Room, quoting reference CAD 58 of 7 September.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form:

Suffok Police

Announcements | 2nd September 2020

September letter

02 September 2020

Dear students, parents and carers,

With a matter of hours to go until we welcome students back to school, I felt it important to communicate with you one final time before Ipswich Academy reopens. 

As I have noted in my previous correspondence, the detailed Board Approved arrangements for Paradigm Schools (Approved arrangements) can be found by clicking this  link. The assemblies from last week are available to watch online if you missed them. For year  7, please see the transition website and Google classrooms for year 8, 9, 10 and 11. Please also click on this  link for the supporting letter which accompanied the assemblies. 

I would like to update you on cashless catering and S-Quid accounts. Tomorrow students will receive their own electronic card, which will be personalised to their online account. Due to a technical delay in sending the link out to our new year 7’s, I will ensure students wishing to purchase a meal will not go without during Thursday and Friday to allow for any issues to be resolved. Unfortunately these cards do not come with personalised names inscribed on them. If a student misplaces their card and we are unable to find it, we will be asking for a small contribution for replacement cards to help replace some of the cost associated with a new one. 

As previously communicated, students will be able to purchase water from the canteen. We do however encourage students to bring their own refillable water bottle to fill at the taps around school. Water fountains will be out of action. Without a water bottle, they will not be able to use the water points.

All staff have been on site at Ipswich Academy training and preparing for student arrival over the last two days. It has been incredible to have everyone under one roof (yet socially distancing), we are all very much looking forward to welcoming students back tomorrow morning. 

Thank you once again for your continued support. 

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, 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

Announcements | 24th August 2020

Updated: Appeals procedure for summer 2020 exams

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.

News, Press Releases | 20th August 2020

Students at Ipswich Academy excel in English and Maths

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.

Announcements | 18th August 2020

GCSE Results update – 18th August

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. 

Yours faithfully

Abbie Thorrington

Last updated August 18, 2020