Principal’s Newsletter – September 2019

Dear Parents/Carers and Pupils,

A very warm welcome to all of our new pupils in Year 7 and new students in the sixth form, and an equally warm welcome back to all our returning pupils. I hope that everyone managed to have a happy and relaxing summer and is ready for another highly successful and happy academic year.

Amazing Public Examination Results
Once again our pupils have achieved some outstanding results in the most recent public examinations. At GCSE, Year 11 as a whole made more progress than their targets predicted, with the girls, on average, making half a grade more progress than expected. The message is very clear – the harder you work, the better the results. Our English and maths results were some of the best in Hackney.

As a result of A Level and Level 3 BTEC results, all bar three of last year’s Year 13 are able to go to university. (The three who have chosen not to go have instead opted for an apprenticeship or other training.) Students have gained places on courses including medicine, nursing, law, engineering, economics and many more, with nearly half the year group progressing to Russell Group universities.

It is tremendous to see so many pupils fulfilling and outperforming their targets at all levels: this is “Be the best you can” in action. Hearty congratulations to everyone and my sincere thanks to the staff for their continued dedication and commitment.

New Staff
As always at the start of another academic year, we welcome new colleagues, teaching and non-teaching, who join the Academy staff. I hope they will settle in straight away and quickly feel valued members of our very happy, successful and friendly community.

Pastoral Staff for this Academic Year
Head of Lower School – Ms N. Bell
Head of Year 7 – Ms A. Hua            |Assistant – Ms C. Bell
Head of Year 8 – Mr S. Ojo              |Assistant Mr T. Smith

Head of Upper School – Ms C. Hakes
Head of Year 9 – Mr P. Legge          |Assistant – Mr B. Ojewunmi
Head of Year 10 – Mr B. Howe        |Assistant – Ms L. White
Head of Year 11 – Ms H. Kaur         |Assistant – Mr M. Hansom

Head of Sixth Form – Ms H. Potter |Assistants Ms N. Ahmet, Mr K. Sarpong, Ms N. Clark

Show My Homework
Skinners’ Academy continues to use Show My Homework to communicate homework to pupils and parents. All pupils and parents will receive a PIN to enable you to login in and to check what homework has been set. SMHW is available via links on the Academy website and also via free apps for Android and Apple mobiles. Pupils will also continue to use their student planners to write down homework. I encourage all parents to check regularly what homework has been set: all the academic evidence suggests that the completion of good quality homework is one of the most effective ways of raising achievement.

Personal Responsibility
Could I please remind every pupil that it is his/her responsibility to ensure that all equipment (e.g. PE kit, uniform etc.) and homework is brought to the Academy as and when required. Every pupil is provided with a planner so there should be no excuse for forgetting to bring relevant things.

Could I also please remind parents that should your son/daughter forget something, it cannot be accepted by reception and passed on to pupils; reception is always extremely busy and simply does not have the time or the staff to deliver equipment to pupils around the Academy site. I am afraid, therefore, that no equipment etc. will be accepted by reception.

Music for all
I am delighted to announce that once again, all pupils in Year 7 will be loaned a musical instrument and provided with free music tuition. The music department plays a crucial role in the life of the Academy and this project brings the benefits of learning an instrument to all new pupils. Unfortunately, the project is no longer supported by a music charity as in the past, but we feel it is such a worthwhile project that we shall continue to fund it from Academy finances.

Mobile ‘Phones and Detentions
Can I please remind all parents and pupils that mobile ‘phones are completely banned for all pupils in years 7 to 11, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. This has been a rule since the Academy opened in 2010 and is rigidly enforced. We have banned ‘phones for two reasons: they can cause bullying and other issues in school and, secondly, the Metropolitan Police has found that 80% of muggings and attacks on young people have been in order to steal ‘phones. Please ensure your son/daughter does not bring a ‘phone to the Academy; any ‘phone will be automatically confiscated for as long as the Academy deems fit (usually two weeks), and the pupil will receive a Saturday detention.

Whilst the vast majority of our pupils work hard and behave impeccably, there are a few pupils who need to have our rules and expectations reinforced. Please note that all detentions are at the discretion of the Academy and are not negotiable with either pupils or with parents/carers. Any pupil who misses any detention, without permission from the Academy, will spend the whole of the following day in isolation and remain there until 5pm. Failure to attend a Saturday detention will result in automatic exclusion from the Academy.

The vast majority of our pupils wear the Academy uniform immaculately and with real pride. I should like to remind all, however, that the uniform is compulsory not only on Academy premises, but also when pupils are on the way to and from the Academy, as well as on Academy trips and visits. Please ensure that no pupils let down the name or reputation of this wonderful community by the way they dress or behave in public.

And finally, on a personal note….
As some of you will be aware, for many years I have had a passionate interest in politics. Whilst I have enjoyed my 32 years as a teacher, and 18 years as a Head, opportunities have arisen to enable me to pursue my political ambitions. I have therefore decided to leave the Academy in October, at the end of the current half term. This has been a difficult personal decision as the last six years have been, without doubt, the happiest and most rewarding of my teaching career, but as I am always encouraging pupils to follow their dreams so I feel I must now do the same. A highly experienced interim principal, John Beighton, has been appointed whilst my permanent successor is sought. Please click here for a message from the Governing Body setting out further details. There will be time to say farewell in October, but until then you may rest assured that I shall continue to lead the Academy with absolute loyalty and commitment and will work closely with John Beighton to ensure an efficient and smooth handover.

With very best wishes to everyone,
Yours sincerely,
T. Clark, Principal