Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Principal's Update : Monday 20th September

I think that when we come to look back on this period of time we might think that this coming year was the most important – of the pandemic and perhaps of all.  So far, our staff, students and parents have done a fabulous job of mitigating the impact of Covid but now is the time for us to be the academy at the forefront of paying back society’s debt to the young: making sure that every young person – including those who lost their way or made missteps during the pandemic – is on a path to success in life.

There is important and, I hope, useful information below which I encourage you to take the time to read. 

Best wishes

Dino

Important : Covid-19 Vaccinations for 12-15 yr olds

As you may be aware, the Government has announced that all 12-15 year-olds are eligible to be offered vaccination against Covid-19.



These vaccinations are voluntary and, whilst they will be given in school, the process will be managed by Public Health England and the NHS in line with other vaccinations offered to young people.

 

As soon as we have further information we will pass this on to you as I appreciate parents and students may have questions.

We will continue to follow the advice of the NHS and Public Health England throughout this process and, as a school, our approach will be in line with the guidance we receive from them.


Hope For Families Courses


Hope for Families is a not-for-profit organisation supporting families in Corby, Northamptonshire and the surrounding area. Details of courses currently offered by this charity are below.

HANDLING ANGER IN THE FAMILY (EVENING)

This 4 session course focuses on how you and your child can understand and manage anger in a safe and healthy way.

Date and time: Monday evenings 7:00-9:00pm, 11th October - 8th November (with a break for half-term)

Cost: £10 per household including accompanying parent handbook (RRP. £9.99), additional resources and goodies. Bursary places are available for parents who qualify (providing a 50% discount on registration).

Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/171115861147 

TIME OUT FOR PARENTS - CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

This 7 session course gives an opportunity for parents and carers of 3-11 year olds with a disability or additional needs to share and support one another. Each session focuses on helping you to meet your child’s needs.

Date and time: Tuesday evenings 7:00-9:00pm, 12th October - 30th November (with a break for half term)

Cost: £17.50 per household including accompanying parent handbook (RRP. £9.99), additional resources and goodies. Bursary places are available for parents who qualify (providing a 50% discount on registration).

Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/162286235499

 LEFT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES

This 2 hour session is designed to help parents and carers to safely navigate the online world with their children. This session is mainly aimed at parents of primary aged children.

Date and time: Monday 26th October, 7:00-9:00pm

Cost: £7.50 per household including session notes, additional resources and goodies. Bursary places are available for parents who qualify (providing a 50% discount on registration).

Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/171109131017

HANDLING ANGER IN THE FAMILY (MORNING)

This 4 session course focuses on how you and your child can understand and manage anger in a safe and healthy way.

Date and time: Wednesday mornings 9:30-11:30am, 17th November - 8th December

Cost: £10 per household including accompanying parent handbook (RRP. £9.99), additional resources and goodies. Bursary places are available for parents who qualify (providing a 50% discount on registration).

Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/163342853873

Monday, September 13, 2021

Principal's Update : Monday 13th September

Welcome to the first full Principal's Update of the new academic year. 

For those of you whose children have just joined the academy, this is the place to view important information from myself as Principal. As a school we pride ourselves on communication and regular updates will be posted on this blogwill, of course, also continue to contact parents on a regular basis with updates and information, either by emaior Virtual Town Hall meetings. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents for the support that has been given to ensure such a smooth and efficient return to school after the summer holidays. also think it is important to praise our students, who have shown real engagement with lessons, our teaching staff, who have been working tirelessly in order to ensure that these lessons are prepared and delivered, and our associate staff who do so much to ensure that the academy runs efficiently. 

Please spend 10 minutes familiarising yourself with the information below.

Best wishes

Dino

NOTICES

Virtual Town Hall Meeting


Our first Virtual Town Hall Meeting for secondary parents takes place on: Monday 4th October at 7:00pm


Virtual Town Hall Meetings are a platform to share important information and we hope that parents, carers and other members of our community find this to be a useful and easily accessible way of keeping up to date.


The meeting can be accessed via https://kba.uk/townhallmeeting  (please note that the address remains the same for all Virtual Town Hall Meetings). 


When you join the meeting you will be placed in a waiting room before the meeting begins, at which point you will automatically be admitted.


Scopay


Due to on-going restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 we are unable to allow students to add money to their Scopay accounts via the terminals inside the building.


If you wish money to be added to your child's account, please do so using Scopay.


The easiest way to do this is by downloading the Scopay app.


If your child is new to the academy,or you have not set up a Scopay account before, please email reception@kba.uk requesting a link code for your child and this will be forwarded to you.


Once you have received your child's link code you will be able to create your online account. 

 



Uniform


Please accept our apologies for delays to the fulfilment of uniform orders via KarlSports. This is due to on-going national issues in relation to supply chains but we hope that the situation will improve very shortly.


If you are waiting for an item of uniform please ensure that your child's form tutor is aware of this and, of course, ensure that they are still as smartly dressed as possible in the meantime.


Contacting The Academy


Should you have any questions or concerns please consult the Contact Us page of our website in order to see who is the most appropriate person to get in touch with.


We also have a fantastic team of associate staff who can support parents with any issues or questions and, should you require their support at anytime, please email enquiries@kba.uk 


Car Parking Outside School Gates


It would be appreciated if parents and carers could ensure that they think carefully about parking outside the front of the academy so as not to compromise the safety of pedestrians and other road users.


There is a car park at the bottom of Weekley Glebe Road that can be used by parents who are waiting for their children.


The council and police do conduct checks on parking and fixed penalty notices can be issued to those drivers who have breached parking regulations. 




Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Queen's Platinum Jubilee : Update To Term Dates 2021-2022

Firstly I would like to say how grateful I am for all of the support we have received from parents in ensuring that our students have returned to school fully prepared for the new academic year. It has been a great start to the new year with some welcome, if rather late, summer weather.

I would like to take this opportunity to notify all parents of a change to the academic calendar for the year ahead.

As you may be aware, an extra bank holiday has been announced for 3 June 2022 for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

As on previous similar occasions (e.g. the 2012 Diamond Jubilee and 2011 Royal Wedding), the Department for Education has amended the Education (School Day and School Year) (England) Regulations to reduce the school year 2021/22 for maintained schools and academies by one day in order to allow schools to close that day or on another day.

Schools not already on half term break on the day of the bank holiday will be able to close that day. Most schools will, however, be on half term at the time of the bank holiday. This change to the regulations will allow schools such as KBA to be able to close at another time to give staff and students an extra day off.

Our additional day's holiday for students and staff is calendared for Friday 1st July 2022. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Return To School : September 2021

We are aware that the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on many areas of school life and we believe it is important to clarify our expectations for students and parents in readiness for the start of the new academic year in September 2021. 

A letter will be posted out to all parents and carers of secondary students containing

  • details of arrangements for the start of term
  • clear expectations relating to significant areas of academy life, and 
  • a copy of our Behaviour Policy which will be implemented from September 2021. 

Please take time to read everything carefully. Our expectations are high and we make no apology for this.

Our core purpose is to provide the best possible education for your child(ren) and to enable them to achieve outcomes which open the door to the widest possible range of choices for them in their future.

We are very much looking forward to the new academic year and the opportunities that this will bring with it.

We hope everyone has a fantastic summer break.

Dino


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Academy Update : Friday 10th June

Thank you to all students, parents and staff for their efforts during the first week back following the much needed half-term break. I hope that, like me, you were able to enjoy the much improved weather and I hope that this continues as we move towards the end of the academic year.

The end of last term was one filled with much emotion for students in years 11 and 13 whose KBA journey reached its conclusion. Staff at the academy have been working very hard to ensure that our students receive the GCSE, Advanced Level and Vocational grades that they deserve and we will be sharing more information regarding the summer results days in due course.

We are especially proud of our Year 13 students who will be entering into the world of work or continuing their academic studies at institutes of higher education. To these students I say ‘good luck’ and hope that they know that they will always be part of the KBA family.

Many of our Year 11 students have, of course, said “au revoir” rather than “goodbye” as they will be returning in September to join our thriving Sixth Form. We have our Sixth Form Induction Day taking place from Monday 14th June to Wednesday 16th June and more details about this event are provided below.

Sixth Form Induction


The aim of our Sixth Form induction programme is to enable all students to have a taster lesson in each of their chosen subjects, and to be given tasks to complete during the summer to help prepare them for Sixth Form Studies. It will also provide a valuable opportunity for students to meet their peers who will also be joining the KBA Sixth Form in September 2021.

 

Those participating in this event are required to arrive at school at 9.00am on Monday 14th June where they will be registered before a prompt 9.15am start.

 

Students are required to bring the following equipment with them:

  • paper (an A4 note pad);
  • a pen (and a calculator if Maths has been chosen). 


The expected dress code for the induction days is smart/casual. 


A buffet lunch will be provided free of charge for all students on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th June with a free BBQ lunch before students leave for the day on Wednesday 16th June. Students may wish to bring their own drinks and snacks to be consumed at other times during the day. 


Please remember to ensure that your child completes a lateral flow test on Sunday 13th June and either report results in the usual way (for internal students) or bring a text or email showing the negative result (for external students).


The return of Period 7 for all Year 12 students


Tuesday 15th June sees the return of Period 7 for all Sixth Form students. Every Sixth Form student will be staying in school until 4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until the end of term. 


For students that don’t have a timetabled lesson, our expectation is that they complete homework, revise and practise for exams or undertake additional learning. 


All students in Sixth Form are working on plans for next steps beyond Sixth Form too, so should be using Unifrog and UCAS to support that work. All usual areas that are available to our Sixth Formers (the canteen, the study rooms and empty ground floor classrooms) are available to use during Period 7.


University of Birmingham Summer School


We are delighted to celebrate that three of our Year 10 students have been accepted onto the University of Birmingham’s exclusive online summer school. We are so impressed with Will Homer, Lily Thornley and Natasha Parllaku for being pro active with their applications and being keen to find out more about studying at university.

 

These experiences amongst others still to come, will help Will, Lily and Natasha to put together a fantastic application for a university degree or degree apprenticeship, should they decide on those routes. 


Best In Everyone Award Winners


We are very proud to report that 3 of our students have been selected a winners of a United Learning Best In everyone Award.


They will be celebrated in the online Best In Everyone Awards ceremony on Friday 25th June but I wanted to share their brilliance with everyone this week.


Dewi Jones : Music Composition


Dewi is an incredibly gifted and hardworking music student, whose talent has blown Mrs Chapman away. He is a well-respected member of the music department, and his compositions are sophisticated and mature beyond his years. After music college, Dewi will undoubtedly have a bright and successful music career ahead of him – a name we must not forget! 


Esele Okondo : Leadership and Service


Esele stands out as being passionate, devoted, dedicated and enthusiastic about supporting the local community but also leading and encouraging others to make a difference. The extensive hours he has spent volunteering in two local care homes over the last two years and working for Kettering General Hospital throughout the pandemic on the wards as well as playing an important role in recruiting volunteers, makes Esele stands out as unique, impressive and a highly memorable student for his proactive and empathetic nature; a natural leader in society. 


Uday Singh : Pupil Of The Year


Uday has a natural flare and a great enthusiasm for Science and Mathematics that allows him to solve problems that most students would not even attempt. He values mistakes as learning opportunities and his catalogue of enrichment activities is impressive. He truly is a pleasure to teach and work with. 


Year 7 Intake : September 2021


We are very much looking forward to our new Year 7 intake beginning their KBA journey in September 2021. Lots of work is already going on behind the scenes in order to make your transition as smooth as possible.

If you are the parent of a student who will be joining Year 7 in September, whether that be from KBA’s Year 6 or another primary school, can I please encourage you to visit the dedicated page on our website where you will find answers to some frequently asked questions. This can be found here

If you have a question which is not answered below please use this link and we will answer as many of these questions as we can during our Virtual Transition Evening on Monday 5th July.

Year 7 to 10 Attendance Update


All parents of students in years 7 to10 will be receiving an attendance update for their child’s attendance up to Friday 28th May.

 

As an academy we set all students a target of 95% attendance. It is important for all students to meet this target.

 

When a student is absent from the academy the absence will be recorded as either authorised or unauthorised. An unauthorised absence will be recorded if there has been no contact made with the academy or if the reason for the absence is not deemed appropriate for the child to be absent from school.

 

If a child’s attendance is below 90% is it highly likely that the academy will request supporting documentation i.e. a doctor’s note, to support a period of absence. Where documentation has not been provided and attendance continues to remain below 90%, pastoral leads and the attendance management team will contact families to organise a Parent Contract Meeting, with the aim of outlining strategies for improving attendance as we move forwards.

 

Where a child’s attendance is below 90% and there are legitimate, evidenced reasons for their absence, support strategies will be in place with an aim of improving attendance as we move forwards.

 

Please remember that for all absences, contact must be made every morning to explain the absence. If you leave a voicemail please leave sufficient detail to explain the specific reasons for the absence.


EU Settlement Scheme 

With the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) application deadline (30th June) fast approaching, the Home Office has asked schools to send the information below reminding parents, families, young people and staff that if they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, they and their family members may be eligible to apply to the Settlement Scheme. It is crucial that eligible parents apply to the Scheme themselves and check whether they need to do so on behalf of their children. Eligible children are required to have an application in their own right and no child of any age is covered by a parent’s application to the EUSS. There’s more information on this here on GOV.UK. 

To provide additional guidance, a very clear EUSS leaflet has been produced by the University of Liverpool, in partnership with the Home Office. It has been designed with children in mind and is intended to support both children and parents with information to help them apply to the EUSS. A set of accompanying FAQs are available too. A list of organisations providing additional EUSS guidance and information is available here.  

Applications to the EUSS are free and can be made online at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme, where you can also find out more information about how to apply.

Best wishes

Dino

Friday, May 21, 2021

Academy Update : Friday 21st May

It really doesn't feel like we're approaching the end of May with all the wind and rain lately. But half term is nearly here and we'll just keep our fingers crossed for some sunshine and blue skies soon.

Our next Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, 25th May 2021, starting at 7:00pm.

Click here to launch the meeting.

The recording from this meeting will be available via the same link from the following day.

During the Town Hall Meeting information will be shared regarding:

  • Lateral Flow Testing
  • Academic testing for Years 7 to 10
  • Chromebook Initiative
  • Teacher Assessed Grades for Year 11 and 13
  • GCSE and Advanced Level results days and appeals
  • Year 12 Induction
  • Year 13 matters

Best In Everyone Awards Afternoon Tea


This afternoon I have been both proud and privileged to host a socially-distanced afternoon tea with 52 students who received nominations for a United Learning Best In Everyone Award.


Students were nominated from all areas of our curriculum and this represents a fantastic achievement in itself as they are being recognised by teaching staff for their adherence to our core values of respect, determination and ambition.


United Learning is a Multi Academy Trust with nearly 100 schools, both academy and independent, and over 55,000 students. We have a proud record of success at the Best In Everyone Awards and look forward to being able to share the names of any students who have been either shortlisted or selected as overall winners next week.


We will be holding our own celebration of students' achievements at the end of the summer term.


Digital Resilience


An important part of parenting is teaching your child how to stay safe – and how to be resilient. This is relevant for whatever they're doing — offline or online. 

Digital resilience grows through experience. It doesn’t come from avoiding the digital world. Yes, tools and filters can be useful for very young children but it’s vital that children are allowed to explore online and grow their digital resilience.

This quick guide from ParentZone explains how you can support your child with this. 



Bedrock Learning


Thank you to all parents who are continuing to support our drive to improve levels of literacy amongst students through the use of Bedrock Learning.


If you feel that you need further support, advice or guidance regarding the use of Bedrock at home please contact your child's English teacher in the first instance.


You can visit the Bedrock website and find out more information about this learning tool by clicking here.




Nose Piercings


We have been aware of an increase in the number of students who have been wearing nose piercings, an item of jewellery that is banned under our uniform rules.


The increase has been fuelled, we believe, by the wearing of face coverings which have allowed students to 'disguise' the fact that they are wearing a nose piercing.


Following a spot check this week we will be writing home to parents of those students who have been seen wearing a nose piercing in order to make our expectations regarding the removal of these clear.


For future reference can we please ask that parents do not allow their child to have their nose pierced at any time other than the start of the summer holidays.


Parent and Carer Surveys


We are taking part in surveys of parents, pupils and teachers run by United Learning and would like to hear your views. 


The main aim of this short survey is to understand how you feel about your child’s education since the return to face-to-face learning. All responses will be anonymous and will help the school to continue to improve the resources and communication we provide. 


If you have more than once child or more than one parent wishes to share their views, please feel free to use this link more than once. 


We would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete the survey which will be open until Sunday 30th May, by clicking on this link and following the prompts.




Imperial College London is looking for participants to take part in a survey looking into what toys children aged 1-4 years old are currently playing with. If this is something you can help with, click on this link to take you to the survey. All responses will be anonymous. 


Free Courses From The Aim Group


We are delighted to promote a range of free courses for parents and carers, and indeed anyone over the age of 19) that are provided by The Aim Group.


Details of free courses available at Level 2 and Level 3 together with Adult Apprenticeships can be found by clicking here. These courses are all funded through the Government's Adult Education Budget.


The Aim Group are supporting school's to better understand their children around things like Autism, Children's mental Health, Dyslexia, Challenging Behaviour, and ADHD, plus many more - without cost - and we think that the courses below may be of particular interest:

  • NCFE Cache Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Autism 
  • NCFE Cache Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People's Mental Health  
  • NCFE Cache Level 2 Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties (characteristics of ADHD, ADD, dyslexia and dyscalculia) 
  • NCFE Cache Level 2 Certificate in Behaviour That Challenges 
  • NCFE Cache Level 2 Certificate in Bullying in Children and Young People

Course Structure 
  • Courses are six weeks long and must be completed (part of the funding requirements) 
  • Average workload is usually anywhere between 25-30 hours (subject to the learners working speed) 
  • You will need access to a computer, laptop, or tablet, (mobile phones may not support this) 
  • Once all questions are completed, your assigned tutor will mark your work to ensure you pass and understand. 
  • Upon completion you are awarded an "Official Level 2 Vocational Recognised Qualification" (this is the equivalent of a Grade 5 GCSE)  
  • No course timetable - this is done in personal time that fits into your weekly routine
Eligibility Criteria 
  • Are you over 19 (since 31st August 2020)
  • Have you lived in the UK/EU for the past three years Wales/Scotland are not funded
  • Make sure you are not currently doing another government funded courses 


All that is left for me to say is that I hope you are able to find some time between the showers this weekend to relax as a family.


Best wishes


Dino