Acting Principal's Update
Mr Stokes' programmes for progress
I would like to share the positive steps we are making to take Leeds East Academy forward. This week in school, I have been delivering assemblies to all students about both our journey to becoming an outstanding school and also our plans to improve how students interact at break and lunchtimes.
Leeds East Academy is a popular school within the local community and we are very proud of the fact that this year we are oversubscribed for the first time in Year 7. We know what a massive decision it was when choosing a secondary school for your child and to know that so many parents chose Leeds East Academy fills us all with a great sense of pride, but also responsibility.
As the Academy continues to grow, it is necessary to consider how we operate break and lunchtimes to greatest effect. It is important to me that students get the opportunity at break and lunch to first and foremost have something to eat and drink, but also to spend time developing social skills and having fun with their friends. When the Academy was built in 2013, the builders took the decision to make the canteen suitable for approximately 300 students in order to maximize learning space. Leeds East Academy now has in excess of 700 students and therefore I feel we have now reached a point where it is necessary to move to a split break and lunch.
From Monday 21st November, two separate lunch and breaks will run during the school day. Years 8 and 11 will go first followed by 7, 9 and 10 second. Operating our breaks and lunches in this way will ensure that students are able to get their lunch quickly and then have time with their friends rather than spend time queuing. Full details of the new school day can be found on our website at www.leedseastacademy.org.uk. To confirm, the timings of the school day will not change; students should arrive in the Academy no later than 8:40am and the school day will finish at 2:50pm as normal.
In my first letter to you this term, I spoke of our recent recruitment drive focused on reducing class sizes in English and Mathematics. I am pleased to be able to confirm that we have this week launched another recruitment campaign focused around additional capacity in other key subjects including Art, Geography, Science and Technology. We will be looking to secure more outstanding professionals to help us further enhance the educational experience of Leeds East Academy students and I for one am excited to meet some of our potential new colleagues when we interview in a few weeks’ time.
As both a Mathematics teacher and Senior Leader in school, I am committed to the education of your child and will continue to review over time how we can best ensure that, through careful and effective use of our financial resources, we can further reduce our class sizes and ensure that every student receives all the support that they need.
As a final note, can I please thank parents and carers for continuing to support the school in its drive on attendance. When OFSTED visit us in the new year, they will review attendance carefully because ultimately, as we know, attendance has a huge impact on outcomes. Maintaining 96% attendance in school in the coming weeks and months will not only give our school a higher chance of success with OFSTED but will also give your child the best possible start in life.