News, Teaching | 15th March 2021

RSHE and PSHE information

Announcements | 11th March 2021

Home testing information

12 March 2021

Dear parent/carer,

I would like to first congratulate all students on how they have conducted themselves throughout the lateral flow testing programme, their level of maturity and positivity has been incredible. As per Government Guidance, now that students have performed the lateral flow under trained supervision in school, they now have home test kits to test themselves at home. The home test kits will again help to reduce the spread of the virus. 

Testing students at home:

We would like them to take their tests before school on Monday and Thursday. Preferably this would be in the morning before going into school. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before school if needed. 

Tests are free of charge. Students will receive a pack of 3 tests in a box with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results.

You need to report test results.

Taking the test:

Students have a leaflet with instructions on how to do the test with the kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to take the test here.

Help and support is available, including instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results and a video showing you how to take the test.

There is no need to keep used test equipment after the test result has been reported. You can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you have symptoms, you should self- isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.   

What should you do after the test?

The result of each test needs to be reported to both school and NHS Test & Trace. To report results complete this Google Form:

Once you have submitted the Google Form, you will be presented with the link to report to NHS Test and Trace, this must be done for all test results. 

If the test is positive:

If anyone tests positive you, your household, any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. 

You need to report your result to both NHS Test and Trace and Ipswich Academy. You should complete the Google Form above, call us on 01473 550040 or email us at if the test is positive, without delay (even if this is a weekend).

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home.

If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test. 

Negative and void results should be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and school.

If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing. 

Why take part:

Over 85% of students have consented to testing which is fantastic, however taking part in testing is voluntary.

I am strongly encouraging all students to take part. Testing at home will allow your child and other students to attend school as safely as possible.

If you would prefer for your child to be tested at school, please email us at

Thank you for your support.

Yours faithfully

Abbie Thorrington

Some frequently asked questions 

Can my child take the test themselves?

Students aged 12-17 should do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the [pupil/student] to take the test if they need support. 

Students aged 11 must be tested by an adult and the adult must report the result. 

Reporting problems or issues with testing

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and please also tell the school. 

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website:  

What type of tests will be used?

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. 

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. 

Further information: 

Are LFD tests accurate?

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These  

individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.  

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested. 

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.  

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.  

What does it mean if my child has a positive result?

If your child has a positive antigen LFD test result they, their household and any support bubbles they are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You need to report your result to both NHS Test & Trace and your school.

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home (confirmatory PCR tests are not needed if the test was conducted at the Asymptomatic Test Site at school). 

You can book a test here. 

What does it mean if my child has a negative result?

A negative result does not guarantee that your child is not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

What if my child has a void result? 

If the result of the test is unclear (void), they should take another one. If the next test is also void, your child should take a PCR test. You can book a test here. 

All test results need to be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and school.

Do I need to send the test to a lab?

No. The LFDs supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to take the test here.

Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels: 

  • get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home (you can find your nearest test site via the postcode checker or check your local council website) 
  • collect tests to do at home, find your nearest collection site COVID Test Finder ( 

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on 

There is more information available about testing for households and bubbles of students.

How will personal information and test results be shared?

When your child takes a Lateral Flow test, you need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about your child.

You need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):

●  your child’s name

●  your child’s test result

●  the reference number on the test Kit

You will also need to tell your child’s school or college their test result. 

Under UK law, your child’s school or college can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’. This means that your child’s data helps us to stop the spread of the virus, and to keep your children in school. For example, we will tell your child to self-isolate if they get a positive test result.

Schools and colleges will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again. This will ensure that testing is accurate and helps keep us all safe.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice. 

Announcements | 11th March 2021

Letter for parents of close contact of a confirmed COVID case

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following on from my correspondence yesterday afternoon, 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 Saturday 20th March.

If your child is well at the end of the 10 day period they will be able to return to school on Monday 22nd March. 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:

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 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

Further information is available at

Work to be provided whilst students are isolating

As per my communication yesterday, students should work from their Knowledge Organisers today and existing work on Google Classrooms. From Friday 12th March, teachers will be uploading work for students to complete daily on Google Classrooms.

As always, if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to get into contact. I thank you again for your support.

Yours sincerely

Abbie Thorrington


News | 10th March 2021

Year 9 virtual consultation evening – Thursday 18th March

Teaching | 8th March 2021

The Science of Teaching Science

Having an effective understanding of science is incredibly important both for the individual and society. Children are entitled to know how the world works – without this knowledge their lives aren’t as rich. A good understanding of science will allow them as adults to make informed decisions on important matters, such as voting, or receiving a vaccination as has been seen recently. And it opens doors to numerous careers in a huge range of fields, not just the ‘traditional’ science professions.

Our approach to teaching science is different from some schools, as they will use an inquiry-based learning approach, which involves minimal guidance from the teacher and pupils designing their own experiments to check their own hypotheses. For example, this could be asking the children to look at a bug and see what they can find out. However, an increasing number of studies show this is ineffective as, without having the right knowledge in place, children won’t know the questions they need to ask to get the most out of the approach.

To teach science effectively we, and all Paradigm schools, use a ‘knowledge-first’ system instead, which focuses on teaching children the scientific knowledge before anything else. The teacher breaks problems into manageable parts and shows the solution to each, before the children practice using similar problems. By doing this, the children then have the foundation they need to be able to do the inquiry-based learning effectively. It also helps the children develop essential skills such as problem solving, understanding scientific texts or extrapolating accurate conclusions from results.

Another way we improve science outcomes is to meet regularly with teachers from the other schools in Paradigm Trust to share ideas. A large proportion of time is spent discussing ways in which children can be better prepared for the move from primary to secondary school, and how to make science effective from Nursery to Year 9. We have found by doing this there is now less disruption when pupils move from Year 6 to Year 7 and their learning experience is far smoother. Much of this work is led by Ben Rogers who is on the Education Committee at the Institute of Physics, and on the editing panel for the Association of Science Education journal. He is also part of the Ofsted Science advisory group.

Since Paradigm began working this way more students have been successful in science GCSE, and more high grades are being achieved. The number of students choosing to study a science subject at further education level has increased, and at every level of schooling it is noticeable that children are achieving better results and becoming more engaged in the subject.

Announcements | 8th March 2021

Year 11 update

08 March 2021

Dear Year 11 students, 

Following on from the Ofqual announcements and subsequent assembly last week, I felt it important to write to you all to update you on the very latest information. 

  • Teachers can use a range of evidence to make a judgement of the grade they are performing at.
  • Students should only be assessed on what they have been taught. Centres will need to provide accessible questions and tasks for lower attaining students and appropriately demanding questions and tasks for higher attaining students to support higher grades.
  • Every student will have the right to appeal their grade.
  • Students will receive their results for GCSEs on the 12 August.
  • Ofqual will put in place the technical framework needed to implement the arrangements for students completing vocational qualifications.

We are still awaiting further exam board clarification on the evidence body we will be using to assess students and how we will be assessing students in school between the information being released and 18 June. Once I have this information and Ipswich Academy’s internal quality assurance processes in place I will share this with you. 

The grades will be evidence informed. We will only be able to submit a grade for a student if we have sufficient evidence that they are working at that standard. 

All staff are very much looking forward to welcoming you back on Wednesday 10 March as you go into your final months as Ipswich Academy students. You all need to prepare yourself for the last uphill push, as staff we will push you to reach your potential, you need to show the willingness and determination to reach the top.  

Do not give up Year 11!  You have been on an incredible journey, keep working hard and know that every piece of work you complete will still make a difference.

Yours sincerely, 

Abbie Thorrington

Uncategorised | 1st March 2021

Update from Miss Thorrington regarding the wider opening of Ipswich Academy

01 March 2021

Dear students, parents and carers,

Following on from the Government announcement last week, and my subsequent correspondence, I am detailing below key information relating to your child’s education provision from Monday 8th March 2021. Paradigm Trust and Ipswich Academy are currently updating their risk assessment for full school re-opening. Once this has been approved, I will be sharing it with you. 

Full-opening of Ipswich Academy:

At present, the Government guidance states that students must return a negative lateral flow test prior to returning to the classroom. As a direct result, I have made the decision to stagger the start of the students’ return back into the classroom. The following groups will be attending on the to the following dates:

Monday 8thTuesday 9thWednesday 10thThursday 11thFriday 12th 
Open forKey worker and vulnerable studentsKey worker and vulnerable studentsKey worker and vulnerable students.
All year 10 and 11 students 
Key worker and vulnerable students.
All year 7, 10 and 11 students
All year groups back

Students who have not consented to testing will start back to school on the same day that their year group does. We strongly encourage you to sign up for the lateral flow testing to ensure that we create the safest learning environment for all students and staff. Please consent to testing by clicking here if you have not done so already.

Work for students from Monday 8th March- their year group start date: 

On Friday 5th March all students will be emailed their timetable for the week beginning 8th of March. Students will attend a live base group session each morning followed by a variety of pre-recorded lessons and written activities. 

Asymptomatic testing: 

In order for us to abide by Government expectations for students to undertake a  lateral flow test three times on site and then again once at home in the first two weeks after school reopens, we will be following a precise testing timetable. 

DateYear group AMYear group PM
Thurs 4th March1110
Fri 5th March79 – PARDI
Mon 8th March89G
Tues 9th March1110
Wed 10th MarchNo testing7
Thurs 11th March8

Text messages confirming exact times have been sent to parents – if you are still unsure please call us.

Will will continue testing beyond Thursday 11th March following a similar timetable to ensure students are tested 3 times in line with the guidance. 

We will be sending out a separate text message detailing the specific time slot for students to attend Ipswich Academy for testing, testing will be done in teaching sets. Students should attend promptly and enter the school premises by the double gates by the carpark. Students will then be directed towards the Sports Hall. If you have not received a text message by 4pm on Wednesday 3rd March, please contact the school. 

As per Government guidance, students will then be given their home test kit following the successful completion of their three in school tests. Students will not be given home test kits if they have not completed tests under supervision in school. 

Students who have tested positive for Covid 19 in the last 90 days cannot have a lateral flow test until after this date. If this is the case for your child, please inform the school so that we are aware. 

The school day from Wednesday 10th March:

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. 

Face coverings:

Face coverings will be mandatory for all students and staff whilst on site at Ipswich Academy until at least Easter in line with Government guidance. The only   exceptions will be:

  • those who are exempt, if your child is exempt then please make contact with the school prior to the 8th March;
  • when eating and drinking;  
  • participating in exercise or strenuous activity during PE lessons.

We encourage all students to bring their own face covering to school each day along with a sealable plastic bag for them to store their face covering whilst eating and drinking. We will have a small number of face coverings which we can supply students with in the event of theirs breaking.

We take the safety of the students and the staff very seriously at the academy and there will be a clear behaviour policy in place around the appropriate wearing of masks. We appreciate your support in reinforcing the importance of face coverings to your children.  

School uniform and PE kit:

Other than in exceptional circumstances, or in line with changes to Government guidance, we will continue to follow our standard uniform policies and staff dress code.

Uniforms do not need to be cleaned more often than usual or using any different methods.

If you envisage an issue with your child wearing the correct uniform, please contact the school prior to our full re-opening so that we can support on a case by case basis. 

On days where students have PE, students must come to school wearing their PE kit. There will be an opportunity for students to change into their school uniform after the lesson if they wish. 

Free school meals:

The National Voucher Scheme will end on Friday 5th March. Students requesting a packed lunch will therefore need to collect it from the school between 12.00-12.30pm on the days prior to their full-time education commencing. 

Laptop returns:

Until further notice students who were loaned a laptop can continue using them at home, this will enable students to complete additional work on Google Classroom at their convenience. 

Work for students if they have to self isolate:

For students who have to self isolate we will continue to provide school work via Google Classroom. We will provide more specific information about this if your child has to self isolate.  

Finally, and more positively, we are looking forward to welcoming students back to Ipswich Academy. As you know, we have been open during the whole lockdown and it will be good to get everyone back to classroom learning as soon as possible. The students are what make Ipswich Academy such a special place to be and I look forward to their return.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Your positive comments shared on the work we have been doing has been much appreciated and has been so reassuring to hear. I will communicate with you again once the risk assessment has been fully approved.

Abbie Thorrington

Uncategorised | 24th February 2021

Update from Miss Thorrington

24 February 2021

Dear students, parents and carers,

Following on from the Government announcement on Monday, I would like to share with you the initial ‘headline information’ relating to your child’s education provision from Monday 8th March 2021. 

Extensive planning is already underway at Ipswich Academy to ensure the safety of staff and students, I will share plans with you in due course once they have been consulted on and finalised. 

Full-opening of Ipswich Academy:

Students will return to secondary education from Monday 8th March in line with Government guidance.


Students who have consented to testing will participate in the asymptomatic testing programme to help break transmission links by identifying those who may be carrying the virus unknowingly. Students will be tested three times on site and then again once at home in the first two weeks after school reopens. We are currently planning the timetable for testing and not all students will be tested at the same point.  Students who have consented will not be returning to the classroom until they have reported back with a negative lateral flow test.

Again, following Government instructions, we will then be providing students with home kits for twice weekly testing thereafter.

Testing is voluntary, but strongly encouraged by the Government. If you are yet to consent for your child to undertake lateral flow testing in school, please click on the link to complete this. 

Face coverings:

Face coverings will be mandatory for all students whilst on site at Ipswich Academy until at least Easter in line with Government guidance. The only   exceptions will be:

  • those who are exempt, if your child is exempt then please make contact with the school prior to the 8th March;
  • when eating and drinking;  
  • participating in exercise or strenuous activity during PE lessons.

The expectation of all students is to maintain the safety of themselves and the safety of others. For this reason, we will have a clear policy around the correct and appropriate wearing of face coverings in school. Students will be made aware of this policy and will be expected to adhere to the rules in place. 

Prior to school re-opening, students need to continue with the fantastic work they have been completing remotely. All staff are incredibly proud of all students and  the work they have completed. I would also kindly ask parents and carers to complete the short questionnaire by clicking on the link to help us review and evaluate the online provision that we have been providing for students. 

In the coming week I will be working on the logistics of reopening Ipswich Academy and will be sharing these with you in advance of 8th March. If in the meantime you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school. 

Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Abbie Thorrington

Teaching | 15th February 2021

Learning Through Lockdown

Despite the current challenges around the majority of our pupils learning from home, we have started the term on a high by ensuring children both at home and in school experience the same quality-first teaching and learning they would get in the classroom. 

This is as a result of the extensive planning and preparation we had done before the start of the year. We took the findings and insights we gained during the first period of lockdown last spring and summer, and with other Paradigm Trust schools built a robust plan of action which we could apply should we need to close and engage in remote learning again. 

Our preparation continued when children returned to school in the autumn. This included training staff and students to use Google Classroom, discussing a remote learning pedagogy with other Paradigm schools and planning the logistics that were necessary to be able to deliver effective teaching online to all its pupils.

 So when the official notification that schools would be closed to all children (apart from vulnerable and key worker children) was received, we were able to move swiftly to remote learning with a minimum of disruption. 

Now we are delivering a full and engaging timetable of blended learning, through recorded lessons and live sessions which follow the same structure as an in-school lesson. We also provide online activities which support the children’s learning.

One of the major challenges during the first lockdown was the digital divide, with many families unable to access the online resources available due to a lack of appropriate devices and/or a reliable internet connection with sufficient data allowance. To overcome this challenge we have issued school laptops to any children who are learning from home and don’t have suitable access to technology. Where families don’t have access to WiFi, we’ve purchased dongles and data for them. Non-digital resources, such as exercise books, are also issued to pupils and we have stocked up on extra resources such as glue, paint and materials for Art which can be picked up from school for pupils working from home.

It’s extremely important to us that all our pupils continue to get the support they need, so all students have Base Group Time as normal and weekly assemblies. We make sure pupils receive at least two welfare calls a week, and our excellent pastoral team is available all day, every day to respond to any needs our students have.

We are also working hard to continue our provision for SEN pupils, with one-to-one video calls, phone calls and TA support in many of our virtual lessons.

Lockdown is undoubtedly a challenge, but one we are meeting head-on. It is an opportunity to adapt and improve our teaching and learning, both in the classroom and remotely online. As we would do in normal circumstances we are seeking the most effective ways to teach, testing different innovations and then sharing those that have been proven to be effective with the rest of the school and the entire Trust. It is our goal to always deliver an effective, challenging and interesting remote learning experience for our pupils, so they can all achieve their best.

News | 11th February 2021

House Competition: February to March timetable

Last updated February 10, 2021