Dear parents and carers

As we approach the end of the term, I would like to take this opportunity to wish a safe and happy Christmas with your family and friends. I would also like to thank you for your support and cooperation this term with the challenges we have faced with the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the increasing rates of infection across Blackpool we have managed to remain open, safe and highly productive. 

It is always a pleasure to reflect on our young people’s successes at the end of the term, and here, I would like to share some of them with you:

National Nurture Schools– We have been successful in securing the National Nurture Schools award. The assessors acknowledged that there is a clear vision for nurture  at Educational Diversity. They highlighted examples of excellent practice including:

  • There is a clear nurturing ethos led by the school’s  commitment and vision for the team. Senior Leader’s encourage, believe, support, nurture and empower their staff within this approach.
  • Staff show a drive and commitment to support colleagues and pupils alike –staff have been motivated to adapt to this ethos with great effect and with positive outcomes.
  • Parent work is excellent and interviews showed obvious impact for the pupils and their families.
  • Community links are a real strength, particularly through the work done with local schools.

We would like to thank our pupils, parents and staff for their on-going commitment to being a nurturing school where every person really does matter.

Ministerial visit to BlackpoolThe Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, and his team visited Blackpool and met staff and pupil representatives from Educational Diversity. He was here to find out more about two collective impact programmes that Educational Diversity plays an instrumental part in – KS3 Literacy and Pathways for All. Pupils and staff met with him and told him about the literacy project and the support given to pupils on the next stage of their academic and career journey.

https://righttosucceed.org.uk/get-inspired/blog/secretary-of-state-education-blackpool/

JJ Effect Knife Crime eventByron Highton came to meet our pupils in school to talk to them about knife crime and the terrible impact it has on young people, their families and the wider community. The presentation was hard hitting but very engaging, with many of our pupils talking to Byron in small groups. A couple of weeks later a group of pupils visited the Knife Angel in Burnley. The sculpture, made from over 100,000 seized blades, was specifically created to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour whilst solidifying our critical need for social change. Not only does the Angel act as a catalyst for turning the tide on violent and aggressive behaviour, but it also acts as a beautiful memorial designed to celebrate those lives who have been lost through these violent and thoughtless actions.

Remembrance Day– Pupils from Athena site attended a special remembrance event at the cenotaph on Whitegate Road. The pupils laid a wreath and read out the names of all those listed on the memorial who sacrificed their lives so that future generations could live in peace.

NRG activities– Our Nurture group from Athena and the Year 10 pupils from Pegasus have taken part in a range of sporting activities this term. The pupils have literally thrown themselves into new experiences and have relished the chance to be taken out of their comfort zone.

Science activities– There have been some fantastic practical learning opportunities in science this term. Pupils have dissected hearts and kidneys, studied microbiology, made birds nests and created engineering structures as part of the CREST awards. We have worked in partnership with Armfield school to access specialist science laboratories so that our pupils have access to a broad curriculum.

White Ribbon Day Monday 25th November-  White Ribbon UK is part of the global White Ribbon movement to end male violence against women. Our students looked at the work White Ribbon UK does, learnt information about Domestic Abuse, created White Ribbons, posters and made pledges to do their bit to help.

KS2 projects– Our pupils have been so busy in many learning activities. Highlights have included making bird feeders, investigating owl pellets and swimming. They have embraced these opportunities to explore, learn and create.

Maths Week November 8th-13thPupils focussed on mathematics in real life and relatable situations. Each day a different topic was discussed and debated between students to encourage mathematical dialogues. At KS3, students participated in a mathematical discovery hunt around the school which focused on incredible world records and mind blowing number facts. Who knew that a bee could fly higher than Mount Everest or; The Eiffel Tower can grow up to 15cm in the summer heat? At KS4, classes enjoyed discussing a range of subjects from the maths behind carpentry, to the various speeds of objects where we investigated the question; “why have commercial flights not become faster since technology has become more efficient”? It is important to take the opportunity to realise that maths is not just about sitting an exam; but mathematics is literally behind everything that we do and see. Congratulations to all students who took part throughout the school!

Christmas events– We have had a number of events to get us into the Christmas spirit including some winning activities:

  • Christmas door decoration competition-  The displays look fantastic and put everyone in the Christmas mood! The winners had their special reward lunch on Monday. 
  • Christmas dinner- was on Tuesday and we had a lunch party in each form room with music, gifts, food and crackers! 
  • Christmas card design competition- all pupils were invited to enter, whole staff voted best KS2/3&4 designs and 1 overall winner. All winning entries were given vouchers.
  • Christmas Jumper day.
  • Christmas raffle and visit from Santa! 
  • Christmas delivery to The Anna Cliffe rest home-  we delivered chocolates and cards made by the students. 
  • Christmas ornament making- pupils have been making paper and wood craftware, painting Christmas Scenes, learning about Christmas traditions around the world and completing some Christmas maths problems.
  • Final celebration assembly of the year before the students depart.

Parent consultation– It was wonderful for our staff to talk with you about how your child has been getting on this term. Thank you for your understanding about everyone’s safety and participating online/ via phone. If you missed the opportunity, do not hesitate to contact your child’s form teacher to arrange contact at your earliest convenience. 

We have much to look forward to when we return after the Christmas break. In January, we have our Borwick Hall residential trip for our pupils. This is a fantastic event where pupils take part in a range of activities to build their confidence, resilience and social skills.

From January, we will be looking to increase the number of clubs and activities on offer for pupils at the end of the school day and I would urge you to encourage and support your child to attend these sessions. They will be designed to help them to develop their many talents, skills and interests. 

To ensure that we are as safe as we can be, I would like to ask that you do the following:

  • Ensure that your child has a face-covering to wear on public transport and in communal areas in school (unless your child is exempt). 
  • Ensure that your child continues to test for covid-19 at least twice every week (including during the school holidays) using the Lateral Flow Devices provided by school.  Testing is also recommended if you will be in a high risk situation that day and before visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID 19.  
  • Ensure that your child does not attend school if they have symptoms and have a positive test result.

The government has asked that all secondary schools carry out one Lateral Flow test on our return to school in January. If your child is in Year 7 and above, please ensure that you complete the form below if you have not previously consented to your child being tested in school. Lateral Flow Test Permission

Further details about COVID-19 and schools can be found here: DfE Guidance for parents during COVID 19

As you may already know, our Deputy Headteacher, Ali Bellaby has been successful in securing a Headship in a Specialist School in Shropshire. We are sad to see her leave after her many years of service at Educational Diversity. Ali has always demonstrated a compassionate approach with young people, families and staff but you can be confident that her legacy will continue to thrive. I am sure that you join us in wishing her all the best in her new venture.

The Management Committee have appointed a very experienced leader from Revoe Primary Academy to be our Deputy Headteacher for a secondment. Kathryn Bastow will join us for 2 terms whilst we plan for the appointment of permanent Deputy Headteacher for the next academic year.

Once again, thank you for your support in the last term and please remember that we are here to work in partnership with you to ensure that your child achieves their potential.  We have an ‘open door’ policy and are keen to be available should you need a conversation about any matter concerning your child, so please keep in touch. In the meantime, check out our new facebook page for regular celebratory news items and other information https://www.facebook.com/EducationalDiversityPRU

We look forward to welcoming students back into school on the 5th January 2022.  

 

Yours faithfully

 

Victoria O’Farrell