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Principal's Blog

15 September 2017

posted 15 Sep 2017, 04:43 by K Hooper

We have now completed our first full week of the new academic year and it’s good to see how the new year 7s are now finding their way around the building. Thank you to all our older students who have been their usual helpful selves, showing younger students how to get to lessons.

It’s also lovely to see so many of our Year 11s who have returned to our 6th Form. I wanted to share with you some of the places our Year 13s have continued onto following A Levels and I have highlighted some of them below.

We were all incredibly proud to read about Joe Hancott, who has just left Year 11, and recently became Portsmouth Football Club’s youngest ever first team player. He worked hard at Portsmouth without taking his eye off the ball (excuse the pun!) with his GCSEs. It’s very well deserved.

Our extra curricular booklet has now been published on our website and hard copies have been left with tutors, in reception and in the library.

A copy of our KS4 revision/catch up timetable has also been uploaded to our website under the exams tab. It is never too early to start preparing for exams. When we spoke to our Year 11s on results day they all said how important these after school/lunch time revisions sessions had been in terms of their grades.

Thank you to Cody in Year 7 who has designed the poster for our Breakfast Club which you can find at the back of the Newsletter. The club is open to all students and all food and drink, except for the bacon sandwiches, is free. Students can catch up with friends, do homework or play board games.

Have a lovely weekend.



Next Steps...


     Winchester University seems to be a popular choice this year with several of our students studying for a degree 
     there, including:

     Sam Chiverton—Politics and Global Studies
     Chloe Churches—Health and Social Care 
     Lauren Long—Marketing

     Danielle Morris—Criminology
     Aimee Walls—History 

     Kieran Thorne, our ex Head Boy and former High Sheriff’s cadet, is now studying Law at Nottingham Trent University.

     Amber Gardiner is studying Children’s nursing at Keele and Yi Chin has chosen adult nursing at Portsmouth.

     Zoe Buck has gone to Hertfordshire University to complete a Maths degree.


8th September 2017

posted 11 Sep 2017, 22:44 by Nat Admin

Welcome back and it’s been lovely meeting our new year 7s and catching up with returning students. Although of course I’ve bumped into many of them over the summer out and about in Ryde and beyond!

I held a morning of assemblies with all the years groups on Wednesday and I was impressed with how smart most of them looked. Thank you for your support with this. From Monday 11th September all students must wear their blazers to school. Please can I remind parents that facial piercings are not acceptable under any circumstances and students found to be wearing them will be asked to remove them.

Your child will have received their planner in tutor group on their first day and this provides lots of information for you and them. A booklet of all our extracurricular clubs will be published at the end of this week on our website. Hard copies will also be available from tutors, the library and from our reception.

School photos for Years 7, 9 and 11 are taking place on Thursday 28th September.

You have probably seen the news in the local media about the partial decision having been made with regards to Sandown Bay Academy. If you haven’t you can read one of the articles on the IWCP’s website and no doubt there will be coverage in this weeks edition of the paper.

I have visited our new school a few times over the holidays and the progress is clearly visible which you can see from the images below. The work is essentially completed but finishing touches, a deep clean and snagging needs to take place so we are ready to move in on Monday 6th November. Just a reminder that we have an extended October half term (Monday 23rd October—Friday 3rd November).


21 July 2017

posted 21 Jul 2017, 06:28 by Nat Admin   [ updated 14 Aug 2017, 04:34 ]

What a fantastic weekend on our beautiful Island! The popular Ryde Slide returned and it was good to see some of our students joining in.

The very first Isle of Wight Pride took place on Saturday and was very well attended. It was a real family event and it was good to see the organisers of our Pride themed mufti day there. The money raised today will go to our House charities. Thank you to IW Pride for lending us their banners and bunting which added some colour to the day.

A letter will be posted home during the summer holidays with information about the start of the new term including tutor lists and arrangements for the first day back.

Just a reminder that results days are as follows:

- AS/A Level results: Thursday 17th August, 10:00am-12:00pm at the 6th Form Centre on Playstreet Lane.

- GCSE results: Thursday 24th August, 10:00am-12:00pm at the main school.

Our reception will not be staffed from Monday 24th July until Monday 4th September, with the exception of the results days.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support with our journey to excellence. We have had a busy year and we all deserve a break before we begin a new year which includes moving into our brand new school!

Have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable summer.

Isle of Wight Pride

14 July 2017

posted 14 Jul 2017, 05:27 by Nat Admin   [ updated 31 Jul 2017, 07:27 by K Hooper ]

I was most impressed with the calibre of candidates for the roles of Head Boy and Head Girl and their deputies. Interviews took place on Tuesday and it was clear that the prefects had worked hard to prepare for them. Students will be informed of the successful candidates in the assemblies on the last day of term and we will let you know in the next Newsletter. Thank you to Harry Sprengel, who has just left Year 11 and former Head Boy, for coming back and being on the interview panel.

I am glad the rain cleared up for the Year 9 and Year 10 army day on Wednesday! It sounded like they had lots of fun. Photos from the event will be in next weeks’ Newsletter.

Next week is our final one before we break up. I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone! You should by now have received letters with information about the last day of term. Apologies as some of you may have received letters with different addresses and postcodes on them. This was due to us using a new system and has now been rectified. Just a reminder that school will close to students on Friday 21st July at 12:20 and the school bus will depart from the usual place at 12:30.

We will be sending a letter out during the summer holidays with information about the start of the new term.

I hope all the students going on the rewards trip next Thursday have a great time. The trip was a huge success last year.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the first Isle of Wight Pride parade if you are going and take care if you are brave enough to have a go on the Ryde Slide!



7 July 2017

posted 7 Jul 2017, 05:39 by Nat Admin   [ updated 14 Aug 2017, 04:35 ]

I had an absolutely brilliant time at the Mardis Gras and thought all the organisers and participants did a fantastic job. I was so proud that the Academy has started to become involved again and it was lovely to see so many people out on the streets watching the parade.

Awards Evening was fantastic and All Saints Church was full of families and staff there to share the success of our students. I was so proud of them all. Thank you to Cannon Graham Morris for letting us use his beautiful church and to the Mayor, Henry, and his wife, Val, for coming along.
  Well done to Jordan Westwood for receiving the Principal’s award for services to the school—truly well deserved. Photos will be in the next Newsletter.

I was asked to give out the awards for the Science Fair winners on Monday - well done to all the students who took part and in particular the winners, Mateusz Banachowski and Charley Ashley for their experiment about the speed of light.

Next week we will be doing interviews for the Head Boy and Head Girl for next year. We have received a number of applications and me, our Chair of Governors, Lesley Holmes, and Sean Duignan will be interviewing on Tuesday.

We will be holding a mufti day on the last day of term and all money raised will go to the House charities; RSPCA, Children’s Air Ambulance, Ability Dogs 4 the Young and the RNLI. There will be a suggested donation of 50p for students who would like to take part. A group of our citizenship students have organised a theme for the mufti day which links with the forthcoming Isle of Wight Pride and LGBT issues. Students can wear any or all of the colours of the Pride rainbow which are red, orange, yellow, green, blue and pink. The citizenship students are also organising a cake sale to raise money for charity of their choice to be confirmed nearer the time.

Only two weeks to go before the summer holidays!

Have a good weekend.

Some of our Science Fair Winners

Awards Evening

30 June 2017

posted 30 Jun 2017, 08:04 by Nat Admin   [ updated 14 Aug 2017, 04:34 ]

Please accept my apologies regarding the recent announcement made by AET reporting that I would be the Executive Head at Sandown Bay in September. It was a relief to see it withdrawn so swiftly!  What is true is that all Island children deserve a decent education and we have offered our full support to our sister school Sandown Bay to do whatever we can to help the new leadership team to achieve the best outcomes for Sandown students through these turbulent times and whilst a decision is made about the future of the Academy. In my previous school I successfully supported other schools who were in difficulty but my absolute priority always remained to ensure that standards continued to improve in my own school.  The same applies to my role at Ryde which I love and have absolutely no desire to give up.

I have read many of the things that have been written about me in a negative way on social media and find them hurtful and judgemental and written by people who neither know me or indeed the facts. However, I think we can help Sandown and I find it impossible to just sit and do nothing; the children there deserve better. I don't know why these things are being played out in the media but can reassure you that in school we remain focused on the task of ensuring our students benefit from a happy and progressive school environment where they are our absolute focus. I am so very grateful to the staff here for their absolute professionalism through these disruptive times and to all of you for your on going support.

Last Friday was a fantastic day! It was great to see so many of our Year 11s return for the leavers assembly and Jack Millward, Year 12, did a beautiful job of capturing all the memories of the last 5 years in an excellent video which included photos of students all through their school time and goodbye messages from staff.

The students looked absolutely stunning in their prom outfits and it was nice to see so many of their families and our staff show up just to see them in. There were lots of tears and smiles.

Thank you to the Mayor and his wife, Henry and Val Adams, for coming along to our Year 9 Science Fair. I was impressed with some of the work students had done and the displays looked lovely.

It was good to meet out new year 7s on Thursday and Friday and I hope they found the two days with us useful. Thank you so much to all our current student helpers—they did us proud as always welcoming and supporting the Year 6s. Next week is the turn of Year 5 students and I hope they enjoy the lessons (and lunch in the canteen!) as much as the Year 6s did.

One of my favourite times of the year is next week, our awards evening! We had so much feedback from parents last year who really enjoyed the whole evening and sharing their child’s success with other parents and students. This year we are lucky to be holding it at All Saints Church, thanks to Cannon Graham Morris. If your child has achieved an award you will have received a letter through the post.

Next week we are posting letters home about arrangements for the last day of term—where does the time go!

Have a lovely weekend.


23 June 2017

posted 27 Jun 2017, 05:29 by Nat Admin

A bitter sweet day today as we said goodbye to our Year 11s. It is always a sad but also exciting time. We don’t want to see them go but it’s exciting to see them head off to the start of a whole new era.

It was fantastic to have Derek Sandy come to their leaving assembly and sing three songs including the one he is most famous for ‘Welcome to the Isle of Wight’. The song he wrote about the Isle of Wight which is played across the world!

I hope the Year 7s have a fantastic time at the Zoo next week. They will be going on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th June.

Some of our Year 8s will be on the AMAT (Academically More Able and Talented) trip to Southampton University on Monday.

I am looking forward to seeing our new year 7s on Thursday and Friday as they will be spending a couple of days with us. Although they won’t get to see the new school building until we move in over the extended October half term, these two days will give them a real flavour of what secondary school is like and they get a chance to meet the teachers and current students.

We also have our Year 9 Science fair on Tuesday 27th June which Ryde Mayor, Henry Adams, will be opening for us.

Congratulations to Mrs Baxter who was recently nominated for a Laura Groves Award for Community and Family Involvement 2016-17. She was nominated for ‘going the extra mile in ensuring meaningful, long lasting work with parents and families at Ryde Academy’. Speaking of which our next family learning event, making beaded bracelets and key rings, is being held on Wednesday 28th June and is being led by one of our very talented 6th Formers.

Have a lovely weekend.



Friday 16 June 2017

posted 16 Jun 2017, 08:23 by Nat Admin   [ updated 14 Aug 2017, 04:36 ]

Thank you to everyone who has completed a response to AET’s proposed merger and also to those parents, staff and members of the wider community who came in on Wednesday to express their views at the consultation meeting. A consultation, organised by the Isle of Wight Council and the Cornerstone Federation, which runs Bay CE Primary and Niton Primary, and the Church of England Diocese, was launched this week with alternative proposals which you can access on the Council’s website.

We have had a real focus on careers and employability skills this week which saw the start of our careers seminars for Year 10 students. This is a great opportunity for students to talk to the people who do the jobs they may be interested in pursuing. Further information can be found in this Newsletter.

On Wednesday Year 9s took part in the Business Challenge organised by Young Enterprise and you can read more about it on the front of the Newsletter.

Well done to all the students who participated in the Island Athletics Tournament held at Sandown Bay Academy.  I have heard lots of positive comments about their performances and attitudes.

I was lucky enough, once again, to hear one of our many talented singers perform at the civic service for the Mayor held at the George Street Centre. Anna Parkinson, Year 8, sang a beautiful solo and some of our students attended to represent the various youth organisations they belong to including the cadets and military prep college. It was lovely to see how beautifully they represented themselves, their organisations and the island as a whole. I was very proud.

It’s not long until our annual awards evening which this year is being held at All Saints Church. We are very grateful to Cannon Graham Morris for letting us use his church and to the Mayor, Henry Adams and his wife Val, for being our guests. If your child has won an award, either for progress, achievement or attendance, you will receive an invitation next week.

It is also nearly time to say goodbye to our Year 11s. You should have received a text to say that they only need to attend school for exams and any drop down revision sessions they may be attending. The leavers assembly is taking place on Friday 23rd June followed by the Prom in the evening.

Have a lovely weekend.


Year 9 Business Challenge
     The Civic Service for the Mayor

Friday 9 June 2017

posted 9 Jun 2017, 06:05 by Nat Admin

Welcome back to the final term of the year!

This is going to be a busy and exciting term as we prepare for the move into our new school.

We also have lots of transition events coming up including the Year 6s spending time with us at the end of June (29th or 30th depending on the primary school) and the Year 5s on either 6th or 7th July. The PE department are also organising a sporting event for the primaries on 23rd June. We will be sending out further information about these soon.

Just a reminder that members of AET staff will be available from 12.00pm to 7.00pm on Wednesday 14th June to answer questions and to provide information in relation to the proposed amalgamation of the two academies. Students, families and staff are invited to call in between these times. The AET staff will be in meeting room 1 which is in our main reception.

The consultation is also still available and can be accessed via our

You should also be receiving a letter through the post in the next couple of days from our Chair of Governors, Lesley Holmes. The letter has been written on behalf of our Governors in response to the recent announcement and now live consultation process on the merger.

The first of our careers question and answer sessions for Year 10s starts on Wednesday 14th June with a session on Nursing followed by Early Years Education and Childcare on Thursday 15th June. These continue until 6th July. Information about all the sessions can be found in this
Newsletter. This is a great opportunity for students to find out more about a variety of careers from the people who actually do those jobs. 

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the festival if you are going.


Friday 26 May 2017

posted 26 May 2017, 06:00 by Nat Admin   [ updated 14 Aug 2017, 04:38 ]

You should have received a text from us on Wednesday giving you advance notice that the AET proposed merger with Sandown Bay Academy consultation was uploaded to our website on Thursday. I can only reiterate that it so important that we have our say.  Paper copies are available in reception.

I promised to let you know soonest the outcome of the new build meeting I attended on Wednesday.  Although the building company still had some hope of the new school being ready for September 2017 the decision has been made, to avoid any risk or change of date, that we delay the move into the new building until October half term. This means that students will have an additional week holiday in October and will not be required to attend school week commencing 30th October to allow us to unpack and organise our work spaces/classrooms. 

This essentially means that all students will return to our current building on Wednesday 6th September (Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th being INSET days) after the summer holidays until October half term and then return to school and the new building on Monday 6th November. I appreciate this may be disappointing in some ways but we want to ensure that the new school is absolutely right before moving our students and staff in and that the dates are definite to help you plan for the care of your children.

We have a number of events taking place in our first week back starting on Tuesday 6th June with a Family Learning session with the Speedway. This will be at the Academy but adult participants will also get free entry into the Speedway at a later date (children already get free entry).

On Wednesday 7th June some of the students from Brimstone House will be visiting their charity Ability Dogs 4 Young People. On the same day a group of 30 AMAT (Academically More Able and Talented) students will be visiting Southampton University. This is similar to the event which some of our Year 10 AMAT students recently attended.

I hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable half term.


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