Maintaining routines & patterns for progress
As is often the case with some students after a half term break, being out of a regular routine means that a minority of students make poor decisions in relation to their education. In this case, throughout this week attendance has taken the brunt of this break in routine, with a number of students taking an extra day or two off after the half term break. When reflecting on my first few months at Leeds East Academy, there are so many fantastic moves forward to celebrate, however, I still remain significantly concerned that attendance of students is below the national average. Ultimately, this is affecting the school’s ability to provide a first rate education to all students and achieve our goal of being an outstanding academy in the next three years.
As communicated previously, attendance makes a huge difference to the academic success of students in school (Fact: LEA students with 96%+ attendance achieve better than other students nationally at the end of Year 11) and ultimately, the future education and career prospects of students when they leave us at the end of Year 11. I will not be satisfied until such time as all students are attending school every day, unless they are too ill to do so. To help students and parents better understand the impact attendance will play on GCSE outcomes, I have ensured that on your child’s next academic report an estimate is provided for all students of their likely Year 11 exam performance, based on their current attendance levels. In some cases, this is quite startling, yet evidences the importance of students attending school on time, all of the time.
On a more positive note, Leeds East Academy recently took part in the annual White Rose Academies Trust Poetry Slam, in a workshop hosted by performance poet Andy Craven-Griffiths. Over 20,000 young people have benefitted from Andy's workshops since he began running them in 2007. As a poet, he has performed live on stage for Glastonbury and Latitude, with broadcast readings for BBC Radio and Television. Printed work also includes poetry journals such as Magma and Ambit. The first Poetry Slam Workshop took place this term and I thoroughly enjoyed being a judge for what was the primary stage of the competition. Year 8 students engaged well in the event and we have some fantastic poets going forward to battle it out, first and foremost, against our other WRAT schools in the area! I wish our team the best of luck and thank all staff involved in ensuring that the event was a great success.
Finally, I would like to iterate that Leeds East Academy is proud to serve our local community. Your feedback, opinions and comments are very important to us as we continue our journey to outstanding. As such, we now have a community questionnaire available to fill out online here. The feedback you provide is anonymous and provides us with useful information on how our improvements are making an impact on teaching and learning, whilst growing the crucial relationship we enjoy with those in our community and beyond. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide us with any of your views.
Printer-friendly versions of Mr Stokes' letters are also available in PDF format in Letters Home.