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Principal's Blog


22 June 2018

posted 22 Jun 2018, 05:42 by Nat Admin

Outdoor space - progressing well

Cameron Cartwright - Principal's Star

Most of our Year 11s have now finished their exams. We are really looking forward to seeing them back in on Friday 6th July for their leavers assembly at 10.30am (students will need to be in uniform) and then at their Prom at Ryde Castle in their finery.

I had a fantastic time at the Year 13 celebrations on Friday. It was lovely to receive an invitation and be able to share in their success. We would like to wish them all the best with their future plans.

It’s not long until Mardi Gras, Saturday 30th June. If you can please come along and support our students. T
he overall theme is 'Global Biospheres' and our section is representing the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, Columbia. We are very pleased to have been awarded this area, as it has provided great scope for 3D pieces and the use of bright colours which we are hoping will look fantastic on the day. We are also able to recycle some of the costumes from our Rock Challenge performance which lends itself to the ethos of helping to protect our global biospheres. You can find out more in this weeks County Press which includes a special feature.

Thank you to Layton Williams, a West End dance performer, for coming in and working with our Billy Elliot cast. You can read all about it on the front of this Newsletter.

I am looking forward to meeting our new Year 7s when they come up for Year 6 transition on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th June.

You can see from the pictures that the outside space is progressing and the layout for the carpark and visitors entrance is taking shape.

Well done to Cameron Cartwright (Year 7) who is this weeks Principal’s Star. He was nominated for his
fundraising efforts doing a 10 mile walk to raise money for RP Fighting Blindness which he did for his grandad and all the people with sight problems. He was positive throughout despite the heat and sometimes rough ground.

Have a good weekend. If you are going to the festival please be safe and have a fantastic time.



15th June 2018

posted 15 Jun 2018, 05:29 by Nat Admin

Well done to all the students who took part in Island Athletics on Tuesday, they had lovely weather for the day. Students have told us how much they enjoyed taking part and I have been told how well they supported their peers when they were competing in an event.

I enjoyed meeting all the Year 13 students from Sandown Bay Academy on Monday. They have joined us to complete their post 16 studies following the closure of the 6th Form at
  Sandown Bay. You can read more about their teambuilding day in this Newsletter.

The plans for our Mardi Gras entry are coming along nicely thanks to Miss Lines in Art and Mrs May in Art plus all the students who attend Mardi Gras club. Miss Lines has started rehearsing the choreography with the students who will be dancing and the turtles and rays designed by Miss May are looking great. The County Press came in on Wednesday to meet with the students taking part so look out for their Mardi Gras special feature.

We will be shortly posting letters home about arrangements for the end of term. I can confirm however that we will be finishing at 12.20pm as in previous years and the school bus will depart at 12.30. An earlier lunch will be in place so students can have something to eat before they leave.

Congratulations to this weeks Principal’s Star, Ben Thompson in Year 10.  Ben has just completed his English Language spoken language presentation; his focus was on what feminism means and why it is relevant to his generation. It was one of the best student presentations his teacher had ever seen - well researched, relevant, articulate and interesting. He is also prepared to share it with his peers in assembly

Have a good weekend.



Mardi Gras Rehearsals

8 June 2018

posted 8 Jun 2018, 06:28 by Nat Admin


I hope you all had a lovely half term. 

Well done to the Year 11s who have passed their Finance qualification. We have 100 students who now have a GCSE equivalent subject before they have completed the rest of their exams. Lots of students were in over the half term for the revision sessions which was good to see. Thank you to all the staff who gave up their own holiday time to support them.

Thank you to BAE Systems for bringing their STEM roadshow to us again this year. This is always popular with students (and staff) and this year they focused on Maths. We also had the opportunity to invite pupils from our primary school cluster in to see the roadshow and we received lots of feedback to say how much they enjoyed it.

Our latest timetable of Family Learning events has been published on our website under the Parent tab. In the run up to Transition Year 6 pupils from our cluster primaries are welcome to join our regular programme of events as well as the ones organised specifically for Year 6s.
  You can find out more in this Newsletter or by visiting our website.

As you can see from the images the builders have made lots of progress on finalising the outside area of the Academy. They have notified us that Island Roads will be doing some work on Pell Lane 11th—13th June which will create a number of diversions if you are coming to the Academy. Further information can be found in this Newsletter and on our website.

Have a good weekend.




25 May 2018

posted 25 May 2018, 07:49 by Nat Admin

We have reached the end of term. Once we return it will be busy and we have lots of things to look forward to; Year 11 Leavers Assembly (always a bit sad to see them go though), Awards Evening, Year 11 Prom, 6th Form leavers event and Year 6 transition days. You will be hearing more about these events in the next few weeks.

The Senior Leadership Team held their annual planning meeting on Monday. This is where we plan for the year ahead and confirm our priorities. We will be sharing these with everyone once they have been finalised.

I was so proud to hear that one of our students, Louis in Year 10 and last weeks Principal Star, won the Young Performer category at the Isle of Wight Radio’s Child of Wight awards ceremony. Louis won because he ‘
is a gifted dancer and a member of the Ryde Academy Elite Team. He is also on the Rock Challenge committee. He was selected to be a national youth dance ambassador for Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden, London. He won a full scholarship to attend a summer school at the Northern Conservatoire of Contemporary Dance’. We have always known he is a star and it’s good to see it recognised outside of the Academy.

There are revision sessions on every day during the May half term for Year 11s which includes some for 6th Form and for Year 10 students. A copy of the timetable has been emailed but can also be found on the website. Don’t forget if you are coming in we will provide pizza at 12pm in the canteen.

On the Tuesday when we return we have the annual BAE STEM Roadshow for Years 7 and 8 plus some of our Year 6s. This is a really popular event and last year students had the chance to interact with robots and drones.

In the same week we also have the second part of our Year 9 sexual health and wellbeing workshop.

Have a lovely weekend.



18 May 2018

posted 18 May 2018, 05:52 by Nat Admin

I have been hearing good things about the students in Year 8 who are working together on a growth mindset mentoring scheme. They are enjoying learning about people who have made a difference in the world so that they can do the same for our community. I see a lot of examples of our students supporting each other, including my Principal’s Star from last week, Rebecca in Year 7, and not only within the same year group. It makes me proud to see it and it’s such a valuable thing for them to learn.

In the last few weeks we have noticed that some students have started to use their phones in non designated areas and times, eg in corridors and in lessons. We will be clarifying with all students in assemblies that phones should only be used during social time (break and lunch) and in specific areas, canteen and outside break areas. At all other times phones must be kept in bags and should not be out in lessons unless they are being used for learning as directed by teachers.

If phones are used when and where they shouldn't be they will be confiscated and parents will need to collect them from reception. For students who persistently use their phones inappropriately they will not be allowed to bring them to school. We understand how important phones are to students, and they can be valuable learning tools, but they must be used at the right time and in the right place otherwise they are disruptive. Whilst several schools do not permit mobile phones I do want our students to continue to use them. Advancements in the use of technology mean that we are able to develop learning apps for our students that they can use on their mobile phones and I know as a parent myself how reassuring it can be to be able to contact our children when we need to. Thank you for your support.

I attended a very productive Student Council meeting on Thursday. The students and parents from the Parent/Community group all agreed they would like to find out more about the locker rental scheme which will be brought to the next meeting. Thank you to Ryde Town Council for coming along to speak to us and to our canteen providers who came along to hear Student Council feedback and talk about future plans.
  The Council appreciated the flapjacks they brought along!

The exams are in full swing now and we are holding revision workshops in the May half term. Emails have been sent out with the timetable and a copy can also be found on our website under the Exams tab.

Have a lovely weekend whether you are enjoying the Royal wedding, the FA Cup Final or the sunshine.




4 May 2018

posted 4 May 2018, 06:26 by Nat Admin

Congratulations to the Rock Challenge team! We are so proud of them and the awards they won. Well done and thank you to all the parents who have helped support the team and to those who made costumes, drove the mini van and helped with hair and make up on the day. A real team effort. Thank you also to all the families and staff who bought tickets and went to see the performance, your support made all the difference.

We recently held our regular Parent/Community Group meeting and one of the topics discussed was about wanting more news articles about our 6th Form. We agreed and as a result we will now include regular 6th Form news in the Newsletter. The 6th Form also have their own Twitter page which you can follow

Next week Year 9 and 10 students are on a Theatre trip to see Blood Brothers, a text they study for GCSE, and the trip is a good way to reinforce classroom learning. 

I am please to see preparations for Mardi Gras are on the way. Last year we dipped our toe in the water after a long absence by helping to support Greenmount Primary School with their float. This year we have our own! Mrs May has started an after school club where students will make the costumes and also learn the choreography. The club is open to all students, staff and parents who are interested in helping with Mardi Gras. Anyone who knows me will know that I love the carnivals on the Island and I definitely can’t wait to see this one.

Enjoy the sunshine over the bank holiday.



Preparations for Mardi Gras

27 April 2018

posted 27 Apr 2018, 07:53 by Nat Admin

I have the pleasure of meeting lots of students during the school year so that I can congratulate them on doing well at an event or for their work in school. This week I spoke to five students in Year 10 - Amy, Lola, Nina, Sadie and Layla. Their English teacher was so proud of the poetry anthologies they had written she brought their work down to me. I was so impressed with what I read. All five of them had produced beautiful work and displayed a sensitivity and understanding of the text which was very mature and emotive.

Thank you to the Citizens Advice Bureau who came into speak to our 6th Formers about their employment rights and responsibilities, including entitlement to sick pay, holidays, rest breaks and the minimum wage.  They will be coming back to visit the students again with more information on part time working and zero hour contracts. This is really useful information for our students as they begin, if they haven’t already, to enter the workplace.

As you have probably seen we regularly hold careers events for our students and this includes visits and talks from inspirational speakers. Our most recent one was from Jono who works at the Military Preparation Training College. He shared his experiences with 6th Formers of being in the armed forces. Jono spoke about setting challenges and the importance of having a goal to meet. He has certainly set himself a challenge….he is aiming to walk around the coast of the Island, 106km in 24 hours, carrying a fridge on his back! Jono is raising money for Mountbatten Hospice and donations can be made at  We wish him all the best.

Good luck to the Rock Challenge team who will be at the finals on Saturday at Portsmouth Guildhall. They have worked so hard to get to the finals.

Good luck also to the students who are auditioning next week for the role of Billy Elliott in our school production at the end of the year.

Have a lovely weekend.



20 April 2018

posted 20 Apr 2018, 08:20 by Nat Admin   [ updated 24 Apr 2018, 07:01 by N Nelson ]

Rewards Trip to the Cinema








I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter break despite the wet weather at the start.

As the weather has now warmed up, from Monday 23 April students will no longer have to wear or bring to school their blazers during the hot weather. All other aspects of the uniform policy must still be complied with particularly with regards to not wearing hoodies.

I have heard lots of positive comments from students and parents about the recent rewards trip to the cinema in Ryde. It was fantastic that they opened it up for us so students could enjoy a reward in their own community at the end of term. 

Now we have settled into our new building and become familiar with working within it we have made some minor operational changes to the use of toilet facilities. There is an accessible disabled toilet on each floor for our students who have medical conditions that we have been made aware of, and also two sets of toilets on the ground floor that students are able to use throughout the day. The remaining toilets on the top and middle floors are open at break times and lunch times only. This is so that we can ensure that the toilet facilities are used sensibly and kept fresh and clean at all times.

The countdown to exams has started and it was good to see lots of students coming in, some every day, to the revision sessions put on over the Easter holidays. Our lunchtime and after school revision/prep sessions continue this term and a full list can be found on our website under the exams tab. Our next Family Learning exam prep workshop is for Maths and is taking place on Tuesday 24th April at 4.45pm. There are also a range of revision tips and guides on our website.

Good luck to the students doing their practical Dance and Art and Photography exams next week.

Friday 27th April is the deadline for the submission of the Year 8 Options forms. Please make sure these are handed into your child’s tutor. A letter will be sent to you as soon as the information has been processed and the curriculum finalised.

Have a lovely weekend.


23 March 2018

posted 20 Apr 2018, 08:15 by Nat Admin   [ updated 24 Apr 2018, 07:01 by N Nelson ]

No snow for years and then we have two lots!

Thank you for your understanding about having to cancel afterschool clubs and meetings. I did have a couple of Year 11 students who asked if we would reconsider as they wanted to attend exam revision sessions, but we wanted to get everyone home as soon as school was finished.

I don’t want to tempt fate but I think we can now look forward to Spring!

Next week is our last week before the Easter holidays. Our last day is Thursday 29th March and we will be ending with the rewards trip to the cinema in Ryde who have kindly agreed to open just for our students and for a reduced rate.

I know some of you have raised concerns about the way the rewards trip spaces were allocated in the past. We have listened and this year we are using a fairer approach to the allocation of places. Students haven been told if they have earned a place they need to collect a letter from Student Services.

As previously mentioned students in Year 8 will have the opportunity to choose some of their options before Year 9 and on Wednesday 28th March we are holding a Year 8 Options evening for parents and students so you can find out more about the process and which subjects are available.

On the same evening we also have the our next GCSE preparation family learning session which is for English and starts at 4pm. You should have received a letter about it but if you have any queries please contact reception.

Have a lovely weekend.



16 March 2018

posted 16 Mar 2018, 09:32 by Nat Admin   [ updated 24 Apr 2018, 07:02 by N Nelson ]

Thank you to all the parents and students who have handed in their Year 9 Option forms. It’s good to see how much thought students have put into their choices.

On the subject of Options, as mentioned in a previous Newsletter, students will be able to choose some of their Options in Year 8. We are holding a Year 8 Parent Options Evening on Wednesday 28th March and students will also be able to attend taster sessions so they have an idea of what the subjects involve. Further information will follow.

Well done to all the Year 11 students who completed and passed their Finance qualification this week. We have a number of exam related events in the calendar next week including GCSE Art (Wednesday 21st March) and GCSE photography (Friday 23rd March) preparation days for Year 11. Year 11 GCSE food students will also be doing their practicals on Thursday 22nd March, so good luck to them.

Following on from their success last year, we have been holding special Year 11 exam preparation family learning sessions for parents and students. These continue with an RE workshop on Tuesday 20th March at 4.45pm. You should have received a letter about the event.

Well done to the BBC School Report team who did a fantastic job of producing their report. You can read more about it in this Newsletter.

Have a lovely weekend.



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