Dear Parent/Carer

I hope that this letter finds you and your family well.

I cannot believe that it is half-term already, time has simply flown by in my first few weeks as the Head Teacher of Educational Diversity! It has been a brilliant start to the academic year and I am thrilled to lead such a committed and caring staff team, and to meet our wonderful young people. There have been many positive moments at Educational Diversity since term started on September 4th 2021, I mention a few below:

Our KS4 results- Our Year 11 pupils last year performed brilliantly and overcame many of the challenges presented to them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, some of those challenges remain but we have built on the great practice that was developed over that period to ensure that we best support our young people to continue to achieve their potential. It is worth noting that:

  • 48 students (56.5%) left with five or more recognised qualifications.
  • 29 students (34%) gained five or more qualifications that are either GCSE or the equivalent Functional Skills at Level 1 or Level 2.
  • 35 students (41.2%) gained one or more qualifications at the higher grades that are either GCSE grades 4 -9 or the equivalent at Functional Skills Level 2.
  • 3 students (3.5%) successfully gained five higher grades including English and maths.
  • 78 students (91.8%) achieved a recognised English qualification, whether GCSE or Functional Skills.
  • 77 students (90.6%) achieved a recognised maths qualification, at GCSE or Functional Skills.
  • 87% have gone onto further education or employment. Our Engagement Coaches are still in contact with our ‘leavers’ to help them to fully engage in their education or employment.

We are very proud of the individual successes of all our young people. We wish them all the best of luck with their future endeavours and remind them that we are always here to help them should they need it.

 Anti bullying– Educational Diversity has been awarded the Silver Award for Beating Bullying in Blackpool. This is fantastic recognition for the work that has been done, and is currently being done, to educate our young people about the negative impact of bullying, and our responsibility as a school community to respond to any incidents of bullying both swiftly and resolutely. The feedback received can be found below:

The number of responses received from young people from across the schools totalled 66 which shows that the students feel that they have the ability to have their voices heard and listened to.

  • 87.9% of young people say that they know which teachers to go to if they believe they are being bullied or know someone else who is being bullied.
  • 93.9% reported that they feel the teachers support one another

The number of responses from parents/carers reached 32. This is what you told us:

  • 90.6% of parents/carers say that the website is up to date.
  • 90.6% are aware of the school’s anti- bullying policy.
  • 100% of parents/carers were able to name a member of staff that they would go to if they had concerns regarding bullying.

In summary, Blackpool Beating Bullying acknowledged the work that is being carried out already that is having a significant impact on preventing bullying in our school.

Mental Health– On Friday October 8th we dressed in yellow for ‘Hello Yellow’ Day and raised a total of £113.77 money for Young Minds. There were also a number of educational activities to raise awareness on mental health and how we can look after ourselves and each other. We are committed to this work throughout the year and not simply on national days. Soon, we will be in contact with you to complete a mental health survey so that we can  plan our strategic approach to improving our mental health support provision.

Visits– Pupils have been out on a number of educational and recreational visits already this term. We know that visits are an important part of our offer and provide an opportunity for our pupils to develop confidence and socialising skills, as well as the skills and knowledge acquired with specific activities. Trips have included a very successful  trip to Liverpool World Museum and a trip to Blackpool & Fylde College to visit the Photography Department and see the dark room. We have regular NRG sporting activities, walking, mountain biking, sailing, Duke of Edinburgh award all taking place on a Tuesday and a Wednesday for Pegasus and Athena students.  Swimming takes place weekly for KS2 students. Atlas students go to boxing sessions each week at the 5 Ways Boxing Academy in Burnley.

Pupil voice– It has been really interesting talking and listening to our pupils during 1:1 and group activities. I have been truly impressed by the way our young people have articulated their ideas for improvements and developments. We have been able to quickly action some of the requests including breakfast clubs, break and lunchtime activities.

Extra curricular– We have a number of clubs and activities now taking place including Cooking with Kay on Thursdays, Badminton on a Wednesday, Dungeons and Dragons, Badminton with Blackpool Football Club on a Tuesday lunch times.

I would be really interested to know if any parents or carers are interested in either running an activity or attending a specific activity they suggest.

When we return in November, we have many events to look forward to:

Christmas– Is it really too soon to put up the decorations? It probably is, but we do have some fun plans for the Christmas period, we will keep you posted after ½ term.

JJ Knife Crime Awareness– On 3rd November 2021 our pupils will have an assembly and workshop on the issues of knife crime. Some of the content of the JJ Knife Crime Awareness programme is hard hitting but we recognise that it is so important to educate our young people on their vulnerabilities with this real life issue.

Visits– Yes, more visits to come this term, it’s great to be able to get out and about again! We have the return of the annual Educational Diversity residential to take place this year at Borwick Hall dates 31st January – 4th February.  More info to follow!!!

Parent / Carer Consultation afternoon– On Thursday 9th December between 1.30pm – 4.30pm, you have your opportunity to meet with staff to find out how your child is getting on. We will be able to give you an update on their academic progress, social and emotional well being and what we can do together to make things even better for them.

Parent voice– Previously I wrote to you inviting you to talk with me about how we can improve things at Educational Diversity. My offer is a genuine one, as I firmly believe that ‘working together’ is the way to make progress to ensure your child accesses quality education and experiences. So please take me up on the offer. In the meantime, I would like to ask you to complete the parent survey that we will send you via text after ½ term. Once we have your responses, I will report back to you and invite further focussed opportunities for you to contribute to our future successes.

Covid 19 – Please can I request that those parents and carers wishing their child to be vaccinated against COVID 19, complete the consent forms attached with this letter and return to school.  You will need to state if you do or do not want your child to have the vaccination.

Please can you encourage students to continue with twice weekly lateral flow testing during the October half term and take a test before returning to school.  Please ensure any positive test results are reported directly to school.

I thank you for your ongoing support and working together with us to aspire to the best for your child. We look forward to the start of the next half term on 1st November 2021 and seeing your child ready and prepared for their learning and extra-curricular activities.

Yours sincerely

Victoria O’Farrell

Head Teacher