News | 11th February 2021

House Competition: February to March timetable

Announcements | 25th January 2021

Year 10 Virtual Parent Consultation Evenings

Teaching | 21st January 2021

How our pedagogy is improving pupils’ prospects

Pedagogy is the manner in which we approach teaching. 

All schools in Paradigm Trust follow the same pedagogy – quality first teaching at all times, for every student. We are always informed by the latest research, but focus on teaching in a way that is effective, rather than fashionable in education pedagogy.

With pupils only having a finite number of hours in school, the time we have to educate them is limited. It is absolutely crucial to optimise what they get out of those hours, so having an effective, well thought out and proven pedagogy is essential. 

Our main influences are Teach Like a Champion – a collection of techniques which combine to deliver incredibly effective learning – and Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction, which establishes ten different strategies for teaching and assessing. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Rosenshine’s work is evidence-based, so Paradigm Trust knows for certain these methods are effective. The two works complement each other, providing a well-rounded base on which to build our pedagogy.

By using the same pedagogy across Ipswich Academy we can achieve a continuity of practice which is of great benefit to both pupils and staff. It means that there is a consistency in the way we teach, in the way we behave and in the way we apply our rules that runs all the way through from Year 7 to Year 11. Uncertainty is detrimental to effective learning, so having continuity in teaching and language is of great benefit to students. It is especially effective when we welcome a new intake of Year 7 students from fellow Paradigm Trust schools Murrayfield Primary Academy and Piper’s Vale Primary Academy; they are used to the pedagogy and settle in quickly.

While consistency is important we know every class and every child is different so we encourage all our staff to adapt, intelligently and with a strong understanding of the underlying rationale, to fit the needs of the pupils and subjects. Our pedagogy is designed to be flexible, giving teachers the tools to work in each individual situation.

Having this shared set of strategies naturally leads to improvement. With every school in Paradigm Trust using them, it makes it easy for us to get together and share strong practice. When one teacher makes a small adaptation which proves to be successful, it’s easily shared and applied across classes and schools.

By implementing this shared pedagogy we’ve seen a culture shift both in the classroom and in the curriculum, with improvements across the board in behaviour and engagement. Outcomes in lessons are much better and we are seeing a consistently higher level of effort in all classes. Effective use of pedagogy leads to effective teaching, which leads to effective personal development for students, alongside brilliant exam results and, ultimately, the best chances in life.

News | 18th January 2021

Lockdown House Competitions

Announcements | 18th January 2021

Year 11 consultation letter

18th January 2021

Dear Year 11 students, 

Thank you to all those that joined my assembly this morning to update you on the consultation process for GCSE and A Level examinations. 

Up to this point, you have all worked diligently and maturely in the face of what I think have been the most challenging circumstances learners have ever faced. Despite this pandemic causing huge disruption to your learning last year and this year, you have all made progress and shown that you are strong and resilient. 

We do however need to look to the future. The government is deciding how these grades will be calculated. Again, I need to stress that this is a consultation, no decisions have been made. 

Below are some key points that form the consultation:

  • assessments to take place in late May/June;
  • grades to be based on student current performance and NOT where we ‘think they would be at’;
  • teachers should assess students on the areas of content they have covered and can demonstrate their ability, while ensuring sufficient breadth of content coverage so as not to limit progression;
  • exam boards to provide papers for students to sit and for teachers to mark;
  • an opportunity to use coursework and own papers;
  • exams boards to provide support on grading;
  • exam boards would then quality assure the approach taken by each school, working together to ensure their approaches are consistent.

Students, parents and carers can comment on the consultation process. Please click on the link.

There were some frustrations voiced in the assembly today, a lot of you feel a sense of anger towards the way in which your exams are being handled. This is your opportunity to have your say. Following this, put your frustrations to good use and apply to your learning. We are all on this journey together and as always, we will support you in any way we can.

My final message continues to be- do not give up! You have been on an incredible journey; turn up to all your online lessons, keep working hard and know that every piece of work you complete will still make a difference.

Yours sincerely, 

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 8th January 2021

Update from Abbie Thorrington

08 January 2021

Dear students, parents and carer,

I want to start this letter by saying a big well done to all students for their work online this week, you have made a great start and must now continue this way. Also, I would like to thank parents and carers for their support and patience with the process. We have loaned nearly 500 laptops this week and are urgently trying to seek additional devices for families requiring more.

Earlier in the week the Government announced that GCSE examinations were not going ahead this year. We share the disappointment for year 11 students following their incredible hard work over the past four years. Despite this, they have continued to engage with their learning this week and I encourage them to continue to ensure that they achieve the Centre Assessed Grade they deserve. 

Google Classroom update:

As often the case when something is new, we have faced a few challenges around student appropriate use of live links. I am therefore asking parents and carers for their support in speaking with students. 

Students are expected to join the live lesson at the allocated time in their timetable and they should leave the live lesson when the teacher ends it. There should be no misuse of the live lesson links in-between lessons. If students are found to be misusing the links, we will have to take further action or reduce the live teaching offer. 

Students should also be following their timetable that has been sent to them. Students are in their teaching groups to ensure that the work set by teachers is appropriate for their ability level. Students should not be sharing live links with one-another and going into other lessons. 

Contact home:

As well as monitoring students online work we will also be making regular phone calls home to speak with parents/carers and students to see how they are getting on and supporting them in any way possible. To make you aware, there may be occasions where you are called from a withheld number due to staff working off-site. 

Change of times for the school day: 

From Monday 11th January, all students in all year groups will be following the same timing of the day.

9.00-9.20- registration

9.20-10.20- lesson 1

10.20-11.20- lesson 2

11.20-11.35- break

11.35-12.35- lesson 3

12.35-13.15- lunch

13.15-14.15- lesson 4

14.15-15.15- lesson 5

Students will be sent their timetable which will reflect these times ready for Monday 11th January. 

Free data:

Yesterday I communicated with you around the positive news around mobile phone companies offering additional data at no extra cost. Availability is limited, please fill in this form: if you would like to access this. 

Academy Council meeting:

On Wednesday 13th January I will be holding a virtual Academy Council meeting. Please click on the link, it would be great to see you all there. Please find the agenda below.

Thank you for your ongoing support, I wish you all a restful weekend. 

Abbie Thorrington

Virtual Academy Council Meeting Agenda

Wednesday 13 January 2021

6:30 – 7:30pm

  1. Introduction and apologies for absence
  1. COVID Update: Risk Assessment in school

Online provision

                            Welfare calls home

  1. Hinterland offer – planned school trips
  1. Parental feedback: House system

      Knowledge Organisers

      Behaviour update/Road safety

  1. Agree date and time for next meeting and suggested agenda items
  1. AOB

Announcements | 7th January 2021

iMedia update – January 2021

Dear Year 11 student, 

Following on from yesterday’s announcement by the government regarding the cancellation of GCSE and A-level examinations this year, I am writing to you about the Creative iMedia examination scheduled to take place on Monday 11th January.

On Monday, the Department for Education and Ofqual stated that schools and colleges can proceed with the running of technical and vocational examinations “where they judge it right to do so.” In light of the current situation, we have decided to cancel Monday’s exam. 

You will not be disadvantaged by this. Grades will be awarded based on objective evidence, and any grades that your teachers set you will be moderated carefully, to ensure they are consistent within and between schools. 

We will provide more information about the grading process when we have it. In the meantime please continue to engage with the remote learning set for all your subjects.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get into contact.

Yours sincerely,

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 5th January 2021

Year 11 January update

5th January 2021

Dear Year 11 students, 

Thank you to all those that joined my assembly this morning to update you on the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday evening that GCSE and A Level exams will not take place in the summer in the normal way. In the coming days we will get details of what will replace them, but we expect it will involve teachers assessing performance using class and homework, coursework, mock exam results and other evidence. 

The Government has yet to announce whether vocational qualifications will be going ahead, these include Hospitality and Catering, Creative iMedia, Business and Enterprise, Health and Fitness and Performing Arts.

I share with you all the shock and disappointment this news will bring following your incredible hard work over the previous four years. I strongly urge you all, that once the shock has worn off, that you consider the following three points:

1- Your hard work will still be recognised. None of the effort you have shown so far, and will continue to show in the coming months, will be wasted.

2- The value of your GCSE qualifications is not being altered, only the way it is being administered. 

3- The new system will be fair and balanced. Grades will be awarded based on objective evidence. Any grades that your teachers set you will be moderated carefully, to ensure they are consistent within and between schools. 

My final message is- do not give up! You have been on an incredible journey; turn up to all your online lessons, keep working hard and know that every piece of work you complete will still make a difference.

Yours sincerely, 

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 4th January 2021

January update

04 January 2021

Dear parent/carer,

Happy New Year! 

Following on from my communication over the holiday period and the recent Government announcement, I would like to update you on the following plans around your child’s education provision and Covid 19 testing, for those that have consented, from Tuesday 5th January. 

Remote learning: 

We will be using Google Classroom to support students with their learning. Students have previously had a lesson familiarising them with the platform and all students have their password and username. From Tuesday 5th January, work will be uploaded onto Google Classroom for students to complete. 

Please find below an example timetable that students will follow, students’ exact timetable will be emailed to their school email address later today along with links for live lessons, they will need to click on the link at the desired times. Students are expected to complete all work set for them. 

As a reminder, we expect students to conduct themselves appropriately on Google Classroom. All activity is trackable and any misuse of the platform will be addressed through the Trust’s behaviour policy. Teachers will be monitoring the engagement and attendance of students throughout. 

Reg 0900-0920Live registrationLive registrationLive registrationLive registration 
P1 0920-1020History GeographyScienceMaths- live 
P2 1020-1120EnglishEnglish- liveEnglish- liveScience
P3 1140-1240Maths- liveMaths MathsEnglish- live 
P4 1315-1415PREPE- live Science- liveMaths
P5 1415-1515PHSE- live Science- live Art- live Music

Students coming into school:

These students will be taught by subject teachers throughout the day. Students will need to arrive at school ready for registration at 9.00am and school will end at 15.15pm. There will be a lunch service daily for students entitled to a Free School Meal or wishing to purchase food. Students will be expected to abide by strict social distance expectations when in school. These will be explained to them on their first day. 

Year 11 students:

In line with Government advice, year 11 students will be returning to school full-time on Monday 11th January. 

Lateral flow testing- initial and daily testing:

I am pleased to announce that late this morning our testing kits arrived. We are working hard to prepare the sports hall, where the initial testing will take place. Staff are also completing the mandatory online training. 

You can read more about how the government expects this programme to work here. Students and staff will be carrying out the swab themselves. Please click on the link for further explanation.

If you are yet to complete the online consent form and are happy for your child to be tested, please fill in the electronic Google form (here) or enclosed consent statement and return it to the school via submitting the Google form, emailing or hand delivering to the school office. If you do not wish to consent to your child being tested in school if they are in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid 19, they must follow Government guidance and isolate for 10 days from the day they last had contact with the positive case.

Initial testing will commence the week beginning 11th January. All those who have consented will be tested twice, 3 days apart. I will be in contact later this week to further details around timings. Students must stay in school whilst they await their test result, they will be supervised during this time. 

Daily testing will take place once students return to school. This is where consented pupils are tested in the morning for 7 days after being highlighted as being in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid 19. Students must isolate over the weekend period, they will not be tested over the weekend. 

Thank you for your ongoing support in ensuring that we are able to provide an effective and safe learning environment for students both in school and online. 

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 31st December 2020

End of December Covid update

31st December 2020

Dear parent/carer,

Following on from the Government announcement last night, I would like to update you with the following information: 

5th-8th January

  • All students will be working online.
  • Key worker students and students requiring additional support will be invited into school.
  • We will begin planning for testing within school.

11th-15th January 

  • Year 11s, children of key workers and students requiring additional support will be in school.
  • Year 7-10 students will be working online.
  • Mass testing to start within school for students and staff who have consented.

18th January

  • All students back in school.

If you require your child to come into school from 5th January, please email the school, stating your child’s name and their form group. 

If your child requires a laptop to be loaned to them, please come and collect from the school. For year 10 and 11 students between 11am and 3pm on Monday 4th January. For year 7, 8 and 9 students, between 11am and 3pm on Tuesday 5th January. Laptops and any other borrowed equipment will need to be brought back  upon your child’s return to school. 

I will be sending information out shortly for those students who are entitled to a Free School Meal. We will be providing these daily to be collected from the school. 

I look forward to communicating with you again on Monday 4th January.

Yours sincerely, 

Abbie Thorrington

Last updated December 31, 2020