1st April 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

RE: End of Spring Term 2022 Letter from the Headteacher

I hope this end of term letter finds you and your families well. As I write to you, I reflect on the term that has gone by and consider what the future has in store for us.

It has certainly been a busy Spring term with many achievements and successes for our young people and our school community. 

Borwick Hall Residential – Another fantastic trip was had by a number of staff and students from both Athena and Pegasus mixing on this hugely successful and exciting residential.  Fun was had whilst canoeing on the canal, caving in the Yorkshire Dales and climbing the leap of faith!  Students were fantastically behaved and happy memories were made!

Catering – All of our pupils have been able to access the new catering facility on the Pegasus site. Pupils have been cooking up a storm making yummy and healthy dishes. I am not convinced all the delights have made it home, they have just been too good to resist and pupils have been eating them in school! I hope that these activities have encouraged independence at home and that your child is treating you to their recipes.

Year 11 football – Our fully kitted out boys have proudly represented Educational Diversity at the Lancashire PRU tournament. The boys are building themselves up for a win in the near future.

Design Technology – As with catering, all our pupils are taking part in lessons in the workshop. Pupils have been making bird boxes, stools to sit on and storage boxes. Older pupils have been learning skills in tiling and painting & decorating. For many these activities have sparked an interest in a vocation in trades, we are delighted that our tutor Brian has inspired so many of our pupils.

World Book Day – We had a fantastic World Book day with a celebration of reading. Staff and pupils dressed up as book characters, there were competitions including book reviews, ‘guess the staff behind the book’, hidden golden tickets and we had author Nathan Parker visit us to share his experience and expertise.

Careers Fair – It was superb to invite many local employers, colleges and Sixth forms to our careers fair. We welcomed back the opportunity for pupils and parents to meet our inspirational visitors. Pupils learnt so much from Blackpool and the Fylde College, Blackpool Sixth Form, Skills Construction, Rosscon Training, Prince’s Trust, Unique Training Group, Edge Hill University, URPotential, Department for Work and Pensions (Support for Schools) and Blackpool Football Club.

Puppy Visit – There were lots of cuddles for our cute little visiting pups. Pupils at Athena enjoyed giving their attention to the furry friends. We see this type of activity as an important learning experience; nurturing and caring is an important approach in life, and our pupils gain so much emotionally from experiences like these.

Chill Ville– Year 11 boys at Pegasus have created a very special place for reading. Chill Ville is where our new library is based. As well as our broad collection of fictional books, we have a mural painted by a local artist who worked with the boys in identifying key words and meanings to portray the new space.

College– We have a committed cohort of Year 11 pupils who are accessing a range of courses at Blackpool and Fylde College. Those on the construction and motor vehicles courses have had an acknowledgement of their hard work from our colleagues at the college.

NRG– Every week pupils from Athena and Pegasus take part in a range of outdoor activities with outdoor education specialists NRG. The pupils develop their skills in teamwork and test their resilience by experiencing new physical activities such as mountain biking, boating, archery and bush craft. We know that there is so much to gain when you take yourself out of your comfort zone and we are delighted that our young people have embraced these.

KS2 Art – Pupils have been looking at Pop Art.They have created their own King Kong art piece inspired by the pop art movement, it is proudly placed at the front of the class. The pupils used poster paints which they much prefer using than water colours! Which leads us onto their cat art also inspired by Andy Warhol who was a key artist in the Pop Art movement. 

KS2 DT – Carrying on with the crazy colours KS2 have made some amazingly colourful and sturdy stools! There was a fair bit of resilience required for this task as the strips of wood needed to have a different colour on each side! The cutting skills were tested but everyones came out great!

KS2 Gardening – Around October time our pupils planted bulbs in pots and now we are finally seeing the flowers of our labour! 

KS2 Photography – Forced perspective photography is what pupils have been working on recently and what results they got! It looks easier than it is! Pupils’ communication skills in this task were outstanding and they managed to create some great photos!

Fundraising – Later this week we have our Trinity Fundraising day with many activities to raise money for a very worthwhile cause. Activities include ‘play your cards right’, tombola, cake stall, hook a duck, hot dogs, table tennis tournament, raffle, tuck shop, ‘guess the baby’, Blackpool Football Club ‘blow up goal’, tea/ coffee/ squash and lots more fun! The fundraising event is in memory of our dear colleague and friend Lorna Manning who sadly died earlier this term. We find comfort in knowing that she would have loved this event for all its fun and sense of community.

Staffing – We are delighted to inform you that we have appointed a permanent maths teacher to start in September 2022. Mr Little has been appointed the Curriculum Leader for Science. We are soon to go out to advertise for the permanent post of Deputy Headteacher. Mrs Bastow has been with us on a secondment to the Deputy Headteacher role and we are very grateful to her for her sharp focus on attendance and safeguarding at Educational Diversity.

Sadly, we have a couple of goodbyes to make after the spring holidays. Ms Lewis, our Curriculum Leader for English and our Literacy Coordinator, is leaving us for an exciting role at South Shore Academy. We know that she will be a tremendous asset to the academy taking her many years experience from Educational Diversity and her commitment to high expectations and inclusive practices with her. We also say ‘goodbye’ to our School Business Manager, Mrs Leah. After 8 years in service at Educational Diversity, Mrs Leah has been successful in securing a promotion at Saint Aidan’s school in Preesall. We wish them both all the best in their future roles and hope that they keep in touch. I will keep you posted on the recruitment of their successors.

Looking forward, we have a great deal planned:

Year 11 – They are well underway with their Functional Skills exams and GCSE exam preparations. They have been working with their Engagement Coaches to consider their next steps in education and/ or employment. I have been very impressed with their ambitious minds when thinking about their futures, their ‘can do’ attitude will take them far.

Reintegration – This year we have seen many of our young people successfully reintegrate back into mainstream education. This is always our aim, although we recognise that every child is different and needs to transition at their relevant pace. We say to our transitioning pupils, ‘we are here for you’ and ensure that they have a line of communication should they need our support or want to share their future success.

Parent consultation – Please keep Thursday 7th July in your diaries. Unfortunately the turn out for our most recent face-to-face parent consultation was very low. We encourage parents to attend so that they can have a detailed progress discussion about their child. Face-to-face allows us to show you your child’s books and work, as well as giving you a chance to see the learning spaces we offer your child. We see our parent consultation as a celebratory event, so please join us!

Parent survey – We want your ‘voice’ to help us make improvements. Please use the link to give us feedback about key areas of our school – 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSew0vzAg0fHo_Ly2dRu9eel7DqnWvTWWyPbw6mimC-ylXUTXA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Attendance – One of the areas of priority for Educational Diversity is attendance. We recognise the importance of our pupils attending school for their education and emotional needs. Unfortunately our whole school rates for attendance have been poor over the last year. Although COVID-19 has played a significant part in poor attendance rates, we are having a sharp focus in this area. We value the support of our parents in making sure that their child/ren attend school regularly and only take time off when absolutely necessary. If you are struggling to encourage your child to attend school, please let us know so that we can help and advise you.

Finally, I wish you all a safe and happy Spring Holiday. We look forward to seeing your child/ren return to school on Wednesday 20th April for the start of the Summer Term. 

Kind regards

 

Victoria O’Farrell