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Principal’s Blog 10th February – End of Term Round-up and Reminders

End of Term Round-up and Reminders

It has certainly been another action packed start to the term. Please find below a few key reminders and some reflections on the activities that have taken place at the start of 2017.

Key Reminders

Uniform
We are very grateful to our supportive parents/carers and continue to be very proud of our high expectations in relation to uniform. When we return there will be a particular focus on ensuring students’ skirts are an appropriate length and that trousers are not of the “skinny” variety. More information regarding uniform expectations can be accessed here.

Car Park
Please encourage your child to walk/cycle to school if at all possible. If you do need to drive students to school we strongly suggest that you drop them off at a safe place, a distance from the academy and avoid the local round-a-bout as this causes congestion.

If you drop your child in the academy car park please let them exit your car near the main entrance; this prevents students from needing to cross the busy road and helps the traffic flow. The car park is much quieter 15mins before the opening of the academy and 15minutes after the final bell.

Punctuality
We will be having a further push on punctuality and your support is absolutely critical. Students who arrive late for school are placed at a real disadvantage, often missing out on key messages and preparation time.

After School Clubs
S
tudents are encouraged to take the opportunity to attend as many after school clubs as they can. Students should not be on the academy grounds outside of the school day unless they are registered at an organised club.

Term Dates
The academy term dates can be accessed here.

A great start to the New Year  

2017 began with last year’s record breaking sixth form students returning to join us for an awards evening.

Helping students make the right choices has been a theme for the start of this term. Year 8 have been supported through the start of their preferences process, we have received over 300 applications to our 6th Form and there has been a great buzz amongst the Year 13 students as the offers to Cambridge, Loughborough, Bath and other top Universities come rolling in.

Our young enterprise team have been at work, wheeling and dealing. Please look out for details of up and coming events where you can support them. The links with local industry have been cemented further with a range of individual careers talks from Worktree.

The maths team have filled the term with challenge days and gifted and talented events, helping explain how and why they help students gain the very best results in the city. As always other subjects are keen to emulate this success and have offered a vast array of trips and events to support the already excellent classroom provision.

Our focus on the more able students has gathered momentum; high flying Y7 students have been studying A level texts with the support of Miss Batson, whilst our newly formed TOP 50 group have grasped the additional challenges and opportunities given to them.

Working closely with Shenley Brook End School has helped create more opportunities for the students and staff at both schools. Joint business breakfasts, careers fairs, staff training, gifted and talented sessions. This is just the start of things to come from this mutually beneficial partnership.

Parents continue to play a big role in the term. Attendance at parent evenings has been around 80% and the Parent Voice group have helped sharpen and improve our new online reporting system.

Thank you to all the parents and carers who took part in the recent Parent Governor elections both as candidates and voters. We are pleased to announce that the successful candidates were:

  • Mark Allen
  • Jane Osayimwen
  • Ben Phillips

I wish you all a lovely half term break and look forward to seeing all year groups returning on Monday 20th February.

ZTN photo NelsonMr T Nelson
Principal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Principal’s Blog 3rd February – Developing Character at the Hazeley Academy

The blog this week is brought to you by Mrs McKenzie who is Director of the Character Faculty. Mrs McKenzie highlights how our core value of Character is brought to life at Hazeley.

ZTN photo NelsonMr Nelson

Principal

 

 

 

Developing Character at the Hazeley Academy

The first and most important point about how character is developed with our students at Hazeley is our sense of community – not only in our school but also in the wider community. At Hazeley we set a tone of respect, fairness, honesty, resilience in learning and kindness to others. These ideas are present in lessons, around the school and in all interactions in the Hazeley community.

The school has been proud to be recognised as beginning the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award and a wide group of student and staff ambassadors have been working since September to achieve the award. A number of different activities and projects have taken place with the aim of allowing our students the opportunity to improve the lives of children around the world and here at home whilst learning about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most notably, over 50 staff and students participated in a Mannequin Challenge for Children Right’s just before Christmas which has proved very popular and is now on the Unicef website. Our Student and Staff Unicef Ambassadors also work to support the ideas and initiatives of our student council who speak for the student body. Our Unicef Programme has seen nearly 100 pupils sign up to support the rights of children around the work and they have busily been making videos, writing blogs, hosting charitable events and helping promote the Rights of the Child for the benefit of all.

One of the areas of the school we currently have a keen focus on at present is metacognition and revision. The exams in June mean that years 11, 12 and 13 are practising their revision techniques and this can mean building learner resilience. We have shared information with our year 12 students in history about the decay theory which states that if the learning isn’t used or rehearsed it simply fades away. In fact this idea was raised as early as the nineteenth century by Hermann Ebbinghaus who experimented on his own memory and recall by rehearsing nonsensical words until he had remembered then. He then recorded the rate at which he lost the learning. The results he named ‘The forgetting curve’ which proved how memory decays most rapidly in the first hour after learning and then levels off after about a month!

In geography students are learning about the wider world through the study of ecosystems such as tropical rainforests and coral reefs. With so much emphasis on global warming and a global debate, this is a topic our students study as an investigation into global climate change. In geography our year 9 students are looking at diversity in our country, studying the north south divide and poverty in Milton Keynes, building character through empathy for others. This links with our whole school Cobra event for charity for January where the school is collecting for the MK Foodbank, the Student Council has been visiting forms to give out information about the food items which are in current short supply.

Clear and meaningful communication is a key element of our shared values at Hazeley, for example, our sixth formers made applications and were interviewed for their role as Sixth Form Peer Mentors. They are supporting the lower years with a drop-in break time session weekly for younger students to share their ideas, aspirations or concerns. We have many different visitors into school that share their expertise and knowledge and our year 12s recently were given a seminar by Sussex University lecturer Laura Kounine enabling them to experience a day in the life of a University.

l mckenzieMrs L McKenzie
Director of Character

Principal’s Blog 27th January – Careers

crs1Careers guidance and advice helps young people to develop the ability to make informed choices about their future pathway. It is crucial our students set themselves high aspirations for their future; have a clear goal to work towards and the steps they need to take towards achieving their chosen career. There is always more than one pathway students could take in achieving their goal, and it is important they have the ability to weigh up the various options open to them and make the most appropriate choice. Our aim through the support and opportunities we provide our students is they all are able and confident in making the right decision about their pathway.

All our students attend a ‘Work Tree’ breakout session during the academic year; through this they have an opportunity to interview 12 employees with different career backgrounds, students have the opportunity to learn about the day to day tasks they perform, the route they took into their job, the highs and lows. This gives students a real and honest insight to many different careers.

crs2To further support students with their pathway through Hazeley and beyond we worked in collaboration with Shenley Brook End to organise a Careers Fair, for all our Year 10,11,12 and 13 students to attend. Over 700 of our students attended the fair where they had the opportunity to network with various employers, apprenticeship providers, colleges and universities from all different sectors, The Army, Niffty Lift, NHS, Siemans, Bedford College and Birmingham University are just a few examples of the companies/organisations who attended. Students showed great engagement at the fair, and the feedback from the employers on our students, was over whelming positive, with many commenting on how mature, engaged, polite and confident our students were. They were a credit to the academy.

“I thought I had to go to university to get into the computer programming industry and this was daunting as most computer science courses ask for A*AA or require a foundation degree. I was relieved to find at the Careers Fair that companies like FCO Services offer apprenticeships within the industry which was a weight off my mind.” David Zilvys Year 12

“It was really useful being able to talk to the different organisations and companies about what they offered” Paige Lannin Year 11

crs3We still have many events to come this year with two careers breakfasts one focusing on careers within the Health and Social Care Setting and the second focusing on Entrepreneurship, Business Management and Finance. We are also taking students to the National Apprenticeship Fair in March and to various Universities as well. If you feel you could be part of our Careers Breakfasts or the Work Tree sessions, please email sixthform@thehazeleyacademy.com

Mrs R Mayles
Assistant Principal – Pathways

Principal’s Blog 20th January – 3Cs come alive on Drop Down Day

On Wednesday 11th January all year groups followed a different timetable for Drop Down Day.

Year 7 participated in a Maths Challenge Day delivered by Maths teachers and The Happy Puzzle Company. Activities included large 3D team puzzles and challenges to support students develop a range of skills. The challenges all looked incredibly easy until the students started trying to solve them! Their task then became  one of turning the apparently impossible into the possible. Each student improved their personal learning and thinking skills, boosting their confidence in the process and raising their own expectations of what they can achieve in the classroom.

Year 8 had an incredible day experiencing different Key Stage 4 subjects to support their decision-making for Key Stage 4 preferences. Prior to the day students selected 10 subjects they might be interested in studying. Each student had the opportunity to study 8 of their choices and complete a reflective learning session at the end of the day. Learning about subjects they’ve never encountered before such as Psychology and Sociology alongside more familiar ones such as Catering, Art or Design Technology will support informed choices at Key Stage 4. Students tackled the day in a really mature way; feedback from staff and students was overwhelmingly positive. One tutor commented that, “many students said that they could confidently choose their options knowing more about the course and what they could expect”

 ddd2Year 9 took part in a Wellbeing day, experiencing a range of different activities including indoor golf, Akido training, understanding and managing their own mental health, a workshop delivered by COMPASS (a charity that supports and educates about drugs and addiction), First Aid training, a CEOP session about keeping yourself safe online and developing mindfulness skills and a positive mindset.

Years 10 and 11 focused on subject-based learning for the day. Year 10 completed tasks that contribute to their Humanity subject controlled assessment with the Historians heading north to Wollaton Hall. The Geographers carried out a traffic survey in Grange Farm in support of their GCSE studies. Year 11 participated in an English focus day to prepare them for the January PPEs. Students thoroughly enjoyed the well-planned and delivered day led by their experienced English teachers.ddd1

Years 12 and 13 completed a social enterprise day focussing upon altruistic acts by planning a range of fundraising events to support local charities and organisations. A number of visitors from external agencies and individuals supported the students throughout the day. The day really made students consider how to support others in challenging circumstances, as well as develop their own skills in team work and collaboration. The teams presented their ideas to the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress in an Apprentice/Dragon’s Den style presentation at the end of the day. The Deputy Mayor was hugely complimentary about the positive attitudes of the students.

 

The day was a real success and the building came alive with Character, Confidence and Creativity. Planning has already begun for the next Drop Down Day due to take place in June.

 

ZTN photo NelsonMr T Nelson

Principal 

 

 

 

Principal’s Blog 13th January – Personalisation at Hazeley

The blog this week is written by Senior Deputy Principal, Miss Whiteman, and provides readers with an overview of the Personalisation Team.

MZTN photo Nelsonr Nelson

Principal

 

 

 

Personalisation at Hazeley

At Hazeley our key focus is to promote Q3C; supporting all students to get the best qualifications whilst developing their Character, Confidence and Creativity.  A vital part of the support structure at Hazeley is the Personalisation Team.

Form Tutor

Form Tutor’s at Hazeley welcome your child each morning and work with them closely each day during the 30 minute form time.  They deliver vital sessions based on life skills, literacy and numeracy and above all the Form Tutor is your child’s champion in the academy, building really supportive relationships to guide students through the developmental years of secondary school.

We would strongly advise that this is your first port of call if you would like to discuss any concerns about your child.

Progress Leader

woollardLeading a team of approximately eight tutors per year group are the Progress Leaders. Their focus is to look at the academic profile of students within their year group and develop bespoke intervention programmes if there are any concerns.  Progress Leaders have a pivotal role in supporting the year group ethos.

We are delighted to welcome Miss Woollard as the new Progress Leader for Year 10. Miss Woollard has worked within the tutor team for this year group for a number of years and has a thorough understanding of the dynamics of students within the year group. She will continue to guide them through the next 18 months to their GCSE examinations.

 

   

Learning Mentor

Each year group has a Learning Mentor working with students (R2L – Return to Learn). Working closely with the Progress Leader to make sure students receive outstanding care, guidance and support. They are a listening ear for students at times of need and regularly offer home school liaison.

Excellence Team

Another key component of the Personalisation Team is the Excellence Department. Their role is to support students who have a particular special educational need.

The Personalisation team work tirelessly to ensure all students are happy and secure at the academy and have a point of contact if they have any concerns. They look to build supportive working relationships between students, parents and carers.

Please do not hesitate to contact any member of this team should you have any concerns. We will always endeavour to do the best we can.

whitemanMiss T Whiteman
Senior Deputy Principal

 

Principal’s Blog 6th January – Homework

This week’s Blog is written by Miss Thistlewood, our Senior Leader in charge of homework. She provides some useful advice on how to support students with homework.

ZTN photo NelsonMr Nelson
Principal

 

 

 

Good homework habits.

An excerpt from “I tried to do my homework” – a poem by Kenn Nesbitt © 2015

I tried to do my homework
but a show was on TV.
A song was on the radio.
A friend was texting me.

My email chimed, and so, of course,
I had to look at that.
It linked me to a video
of someone’s silly cat.

Kenn Nesbitt Copyright © 2015.

To read the rest of the poem click here

So what are good homework habits?

Good homework habits are things that will help you do your homework to the best of your ability, with the least distractions. It has been found that pupils who do about 2 hours of homework a night were almost 10 times more likely to achieve five good GCSEs than students who did not spend any time on homework.

  • Organisation – knowing when homework is due will help you schedule your time and reduce stress.
  • A good/sensible place to study – this needs to be a table or desk with good lighting and be free from distractions, which allows the focus to be on studying.
  • What, how and when – what the specific homework task is, how it is needed to be done and when it is due, all allow the focus to be on the work.
  • Distractions/Social media – the use of Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat or similar while doing homework is a distraction that takes focus off the work that needs to be done.
  • Music – quiet music in the background will aid concentration, however spending time searching songs and looking through playlists is an avoidance tactic.
  • Regular breaks – brains need a break, but these should be short to allow the work to be done in the allotted time.
  • Procrastination – leaving everything until the night before it is due in will not produce the best results, cramming a lot into a short time doesn’t allow the best work to be done.

 

A quick quiz…. True or False?

  1. It is best to leave all homework until the night before it is due in.
  2. The best place to do homework is on my bed with my mobile and tablet.
  3. It is not necessary to be organised to complete homework.
  4. Doing homework while on Social Media will make sure it is completed more accurately and faster.
  5. it is important to have a place to study so that it is possible to focus on homework.

 

A Thistlewood photo.jpgMiss A Thistlewood

Lead Practitioner, AST

 

Principal’s Blog 16th December – Keeping You Informed

The final blog for 2016 is brought to you by Assistant Principal, Mr Whitney, who is responsible for standards. Mr Whitney outlines an exciting update relating to home school communication. A special thank you to those parents who took the time to attend the related parent voice meeting and whose feedback has been very useful in shaping this development.

ZTN photo NelsonMr Nelson
Principal 

 

 

 

 

Online reporting update

As was conveyed in the Welcome to the Year Ahead meetings earlier in the academic year, we are moving to a new online reporting system called Go4Schools.

You may have noticed that there is now a logo-which links to the web portal and a link to our guide on the left of our main webpage.  We have deliberately taken our time with launching this new system, to enable us to be as secure as possible about potential issues, as well as ensuring that we have made every effort to have all parents’ email addresses on our systems.

Students have had access to their page for at least a week following a lead lesson where the system, and how it can support their learning journey, was explained to them.  The system has already been launched with 6th Form parents to coincide with the release of their Progress Review reports last week and so far everything seems to be going well.  We are therefore planning to “flip the switch” for all remain year groups on Tuesday 13th December.

An email will be sent out to confirm this has taken place, with a text message if we do not have an email address on the system for you. If you have not received an email by Wednesday morning and have checked that it has not got misplaced into your spam box by your email provider, please contact the academy via the email address later in this blog.

Go4Schools will allow you to access information on your child’s attendance, behaviour, homework and academic performance.  We have done our best to ensure that the guide on our website covers every possible question, but if there is a query that it doesn’t answer, please do contact the Academy at data@thehazeleyacademy.com.

It is always a nervous time launching something that is such a change from before, but hopefully our considered approach means that all goes smoothly and you will be better informed than ever as we work together to support your child on their journey to success.

swhitney

 

 

Mr Whitney
Deputy Principal

 

Principal’s Blog 9th December – The Most Difficult Job in the World

The blog this week reflects on one of the most difficult yet rewarding roles we may undertake; parenting. We help instil values into our children and guide them though making those big life choices. This is where choosing the school that best fits you as a family is critical. I feel blessed on a daily basis to work with so many parents/carers who share the Hazeley Values and work tirelessly with Hazeley staff to make them come to life.

Hazeley Core Values

Character – We have respect, integrity, loyalty, high expectations and resilience. We believe the differences amongst us make us even stronger.

Confidence – We trust ourselves and each other, we relish taking calculated risks, we understand honest mistakes occur and learn from them together.

Creativity –We enjoy working together designing, creating and reflecting upon solutions, including how to improve ourselves and each other in so doing making our Academy a truly inspiring place.

There is no definitive guide book to parenting, however a good starting point is working with other people who share your aims and values.

The school my children attend very much reflects my family values; they encourage taking calculated risks. Our youngest son who is nine is currently staying for a week with a family in Germany and we know that honest mistakes occur; for example when my eldest son had an accident at school we worked with the school to unpick and resolve the problem together. I know that the honest, open, respect based relationship we have with our children’s schools places our children at a distinct advantage in their education. We don’t ask for or receive special treatment, however we know that everyone benefits through working together.

Parenting might be the most difficult job in the world but it can also be the most rewarding and fun. Remember it is far too important to take seriously all of the time.

ZTN photo NelsonMr Nelson 
Prinicpal

 

 

 

Principal’s Blog 2nd December – Making the right choice at the end of Year 11 – The Journey Continues  

Thank you to the hundreds of prospective 6th formers and their parents who took the time to attend and enjoy our 6th Form Open Evening on Thursday 1st December.

The focus of the evening was to ensure all attending obtained the information they need to make the right choice at the end of Year 11. We shared and celebrated the excellent outcomes at Hazeley in terms of exam results (ALPS places us in the top 15-25% of schools nationally), university places secured, student satisfaction, excellent facilities and expert staff, all complimented by our core values.

We stressed our focus on our passion to developing Character and Confidence by encouraging students to strive for success and we highlighted the value we place on Creativity; that crucial ingredient into a happy and successful life.

The quotes below offer a flavour of the evening from a student’s perspective.

“I love the way in which Hazeley is great academically, but offers so much more” Jess

“A lovely atmosphere, warm, lively and welcoming” Hatim

“Amazing supportive teachers with obviously high expectations” Cerys

“Everyone is so welcoming, an obvious community spirit” Ruby

If you would like more information about our 6th Form offering please contact our Director of Post 16, Mrs Mayles at: sixthform@thehazeleyacademy.com.

The 6th Form prospectus can be found by clicking here.

ZTN photo NelsonMr T Nelson
Principal

Principal’s Blog 25th November – Digital Footprint

Digital Footprint

The blog this week has been written by Deputy Principal and Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Baldwin. It tackles a subject that children in current society can be faced with.

Mr T Nelson
Principal

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One of the most recent themes of the week for lead lessons and tutor time has been ‘My Digital Footprint’.  The idea of what a digital footprint is and how we can protect ourselves whenever we go online was considered in Lead lessons and then looked at in more detail in tutor times.

As part of tutor time, students watched a talk performance poetry monologue about the challenges of going online.  You can view the performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlGyTp4Nd4M

Sexting

The theme of the week lead lessons and tutor time then considered the topic of Sexting and the changes to the law that were made earlier this year. We wanted to be sure that students were aware of these changed and the potential impact it may have on them.

Sexting can be seen as harmless, but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child. However, a young person is breaking the law if they:

  • take an explicit photo or video of themselves or a friend
  • share an explicit image or video of a child, even if it’s shared between children of the same age
  • possess, download or store an explicit image or video of a child, even if the child gave their permission for it to be created.

 

As of January 2016 in England and Wales, if a young person is found creating or sharing images, the police can choose to record that a crime has been committed but that taking formal action isn’t in the public interest. Crimes recorded this way are unlikely to appear on future records or checks, unless the young person has been involved in other similar activities which may indicate that they’re a risk.

We know that some young people have shared images with friends, or boyfriends/girlfriends. We also know that these images can very easily be shared more widely and be used as a form of online bullying and intimidation, which can in turn lead to the darker realms of Child Sexual Exploitation.

Students were reminded that if this topic had affected them in any way, there are people that can support at school; sharing information about concerns they might have about themselves or a friend with any adult is good, directly with Mrs Hill, Miss Whiteman or Mrs Baldwin is better.

 

MKSCB Annual Safeguarding Conference

As part of my role as Designated Officer for Safeguarding and Child Protection, I attend the annual Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board’s conference, getting up to speed on local concerns and issues relevant to the young people of our city.

The theme of this year’s conference was the ‘Voice of the Child’, reflecting on listening to and understanding what children and young people are thinking and feeling in situations where adults seem make the decisions for them. The key note speech from Luke Rodgers, Founder and Director of Foster Focus, an organisation which provides children’s services opportunities to grow and improve by involving young people, was both emotional and inspiring.

The final session of the day was delivered by local students aged 15-17 who had participated in the National Citizen Service over the last summer, presenting a project they had undertaken in response to a internet safety survey completed by nearly 3000 MK young people in June.  The group’s presentation was delivered by Jemma Ankin, a current Year 12 student Hazeley with an incredible amount of calm confidence. I was very proud to have been able to listen to her explain the project’s rationale with such ease to a room of over 300 professionals; teachers, social workers, health care workers and other local agencies.  Real life Hazeley 3Cs in action. Congratulations to Jemma.

The group’s project, the topic linking perfectly with our own theme of week of Sexting, can be seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYuArguhsAM

I’d encourage you to share it with the hashtag #Notonudes. It’s the group’s intention to get this to go viral – let’s see if we can help!

#Notonudes

Louise Baldwin photoMrs L Baldwin
Deputy Principal

Principal’s Blog 18th November – The Hazeley House System

The Hazeley House System

The House system is an important part of life at Hazeley; it not only provides students with a sense of community it also gives them a structure in which to compete in a vast range of activities. All staff are linked to a House, enabling them to get involved in staff House competitions.

Student participation and performance in events leads to the accumulation of House Points; the current standings show Cobra to be leading the way:

Cobra – 440 (Mrs Lloyd-Jones)

Victory – 340 (Mr Mullane)

Enigma – 330 (Mr Adamson)

Colossus – 140 (Mr Whitbread)

The term ahead will offer many more opportunities for students to gain points. Activities include:

Boys Badminton – 21st November
Languages – 28th November
Girls Badminton – 5th December

There will also be a spelling bee, KS3 Literacy activity and a Christmas card competition.

House assemblies took place this week and were used to promote key anti-bullying messages including highlighting support offered by Progress Leaders (Head of Year) and the R2L team. A copy of the presentation can be viewed here.

ZTN photo NelsonMr T Nelson
Principal

Principal’s Blog 11th November – Armistice Day

I never cease to be impressed by our student’s response to the opportunities we provide for them to reflect and consider the selfless sacrifices of individuals for the benefit of others.

Lead Lesson’s this week have been led by our Director of Character Faculty, Mrs McKenzie and Head of History Mr Edwards. They focussed on Armistice Day and were supported by further discussions in form time along with engaging with some poems of the time, including In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

Poppies were sold by members of the student council and the academy held a 2 minute silence on Friday, the end of which was marked by the sounding of the last post.

We talk at Hazeley about “gaining fulfilment through positively contributing to our community”, showing respect and gratitude for the sacrifices of others is an important part of this.

ZTN photo NelsonMr Nelson
Principal

 

 

 

poppies

Principal’s Blog 4th November – We Need Your Feedback

We Need Your Feedback

Following our recent Parent Voice meeting it was identified that communication is an area which could be reviewed. It would be wonderful if readers of this blog could give some simple feedback about communication at Hazeley by emailing parentvoice@thehazeleyacademy.com with a list of what they feel the academy communicates well and suggestions for improvement.

This will be reflected upon and presented at the relevant Parent Voice group.

Thank you for your feedback.

ZTN photo NelsonMr Nelson
Principal

 

Principal’s Blog 21st October – A Successful Term

Pausing and reflecting at key points is an important habit and this term has had more than its fair share of success. The school league tables puts Hazeley at the top of the city again in the key academic measures of Basics (Those students gaining a C or better in English and maths) and EBacc (the percentage of students gaining top grades in English, maths, science, history or geography and a modern Foreign Languages).
As always the term has been enriched with a range of trips, visits and activities including Malaga, Mountfitchet Castle, Headingham Castle, Cadbury’s World and Ikea, who have all enjoyed the company of Hazeley students. Our sports teams have had the best start to any year with numerous victories across a wide range of teams and we are grateful to the commitment of students, staff and parents alike.
The feedback from parents at the recent ‘Welcome to the Year Ahead’ evenings is heart-warming. They describe an academy which is well led and is full of happy, safe, well behaved children who are making good progress thanks to some excellent teaching. A summary of the surveys responses can be seen here parent-survey(please click on the image for a larger version.) This correlates perfectly with feedback from the numerous groups of prospective parent’s as they toured the school with me over the past few weeks.
Thank you to the group of parent/carers who were able to join me at the first Parent Voice event last night. We will be focussing even more on the impact of homework, quality of our communications, reports to parents and working to improve even further our excellent pastoral care. Further Parent Voice sessions will take place throughout the academic year; look out for more details on our website in the new term.
The half term holidays are an important time for students to have a change of pace, reflect, recharge, prepare and look forward to even more enjoyable and successful terms ahead.
A reminder that Monday 31st October is a Staff Inset Day, with all students returning to the academy on Tuesday 1st November 2016.

ZTN photo NelsonMr T Nelson
Principal

Principal’s Blog 14th October – More Table Topping Exam Outcomes

More Table Topping Exam Outcomes

Hazeley students, staff, parents, governors and other stakeholders may wish to pause for a moment today to celebrate another set of table topping KS4 exam results. The Academy tops the city with the number of students achieving Cs or better in both English and Maths qualifications (known as the BASICS measure) as well as the number of students achieving the academically focussed Ebacc standard (which requires students to perform at a high level across a range of subjects).

What makes this even more exciting is the palpable desire amongst everyone to keep improving these results further. What is our secret….our Core Values.

At Hazeley we have a relentless appetite to improve and we avoid wasting energy worrying about failure. That energy is much better invested in enjoying the journey.

Mr Whitney our Assistant Principal for standards has written the blog for this week which explains in more detail school league tables and how schools are measured.

Well done again to everyone who played a part in these excellent results.

ZTN photo NelsonMr Nelson
Principal

 

 

 

Initial results and changes to GCSEs

This is the week where schools see their initial results from last academic year released amidst the largest, on-going period of change in education for a generation.  With that in mind, I thought it worth going through some of these changes, what they mean and how we are incorporating them into our Hazeley Values.  You can find the website where you can find ours and other school’s results HERE.  It is worth noting that the results on this website are what is called unvalidated and do not take into account the changes in grades for some of our students following marking reviews or the results that the Department for Education had missed for some of our students.  The figures below are those we expect to see when the validated figures are released in January.

Headline measures

The way that schools are judged by Ofsted and the information that parents receive has changed.

  • Basics-This is the proportion of students achieving a good pass in both an English qualification and Mathematics, important in enabling students to make the most of future opportunities. This year we improved this measure to 79%, again the best in the city, a result of our staff and students working hard together.
  • 5A*-C including English and Mathematics-this traditional measure is no longer used, however to aid with the transition, the proportion of our students who achieved a C and above in at least 5 subjects, including a mathematics and English qualification was 67%.
  • Attainment 8-this is the average number of points (A*=8, G=1, for this year) that a Hazeley student achieves across 8 subjects following certain rules. English and Mathematics points are doubled, their best 3 subjects from the sciences, modern foreign languages, history and geography and computer sciences are chosen next.  For the remaining 3 subjects, any qualification can count, including the ones above that haven’t already been used.  The total points are then divided by 10.  This year our students achieved an average of the equivalent of a C+.
  • Progress 8-this compares the attainment 8 scores for our students with students who had the same Key Stage 2 performance and again averages it out across the whole cohort. A positive score means that Hazeley students do better than their peers nationally.  In 2015 our score was +0.17.  This year with the national picture of a changing curriculum, our school is +0.02, showing that we are consistently achieving above average outcomes for our students.  These scores show that the amount of value we achieve for our students is significantly above what other students achieve nationally.  At Hazeley, we call this the student’s Q3C score as it is the measure that fits in with what we seek to instil within all of them.
  • English Baccalaureate-this is for students who achieve a C or better in English, mathematics, science, a modern foreign language and either history or geography. We are very proud that at Hazeley we have had a round a third of our students achieve this, well above the national average of around a quarter for this challenging measure.  This year it was 30%, again top in the city.

 

Changes to GCSE

This academic year sees the first of the new GCSEs taking place with year 11 taking new GCSEs in English language and literature and in mathematics.  These new GCSEs will be graded in numbers rather than letters, with 9 being the highest grade they can achieve and 1 the lowest.  This means that more grades are there for more able students to achieve so that sixth forms, colleges and employers can better differentiate between them.  After this year the government are going to consider a 5 as a “good” pass at GCSE.

The remaining subjects are transitioning to the new GCSEs over a number of years.  Our staff are carefully considering all the new specifications that exam boards are offering to find the ones that will be best for our students and are a closest match to our values.  If you have students in Key Stage 4 this LINK will take you to the Ofqual website where you will find details about what GCSEs are changing when and how this impacts on the different year group.

As I said at the start, this is a period of great change, but our staff and students have the Character to be resilient in the face of it and to use the different measures and GCSEs to gain even stronger futures for our students; they have the Confidence to trust and support each other to understand the implications and changes; the Creativity to find the best possible solutions to the challenges posed by the changes and to continue to make our students’ time at Hazeley an inspirational learning journey for them.