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Principal's Blog


5th April 2019

posted 5 Apr 2019, 03:42 by Nat Admin   [ updated 5 Apr 2019, 03:48 ]

We have reached the end of term and ended with a mufti day to raise money for our charity, Aspire Ryde. We will let you know how much we raised as soon as possible.

We have lots of revision and coursework sessions taking place over Easter for Year 11 and 6th Form and you can find the timetable on our website. 6th Form timetables have been given to students.

Parents can now check for themselves if their child is eligible for free school meals (FSM). The government gives schools additional funding for those students who are entitled to free school meals. We can then use this to obtain additional staff and resources that help improve the quality of education. If you want to check your eligibility you can do so on There is also a link on the front of our website that will take you to the eligibility checker.

We have two more family learning exam preparation events coming up; on Tuesday 23rd April for Computer Science and on Thursday 2nd May for Maths. These take place between 4.45pm-6.15pm. Please book via ParentPay or contact Tanya Baxter or 01983 567 331.

In our first week back we will be holding our termly Parent and Community Action Group meeting. You can read a summary of our last meeting in this Newsletter.

Our next INSET day is on Friday 14th June. This means that students, unless they are sitting an exam, will not be in school.

Congratulations to this weeks Most Remarkable Student, Molly MacKinnon (6th Form). Molly recently helped staff when another student became ill. Molly is an extremely caring person and a good friend to her peers. This act of kindness is nothing less than we would expect of her.


In our first week back we will be holding our termly Parent and Community Action Group meeting. You can read a summary of our last meeting in this Newsletter.
Our next INSET day is on Friday 14th June. This means that students, unless they are sitting an exam, will not be in school.

Congratulations to this weeks Most Remarkable Student, Molly MacKinnon (6th Form). Molly recently helped staff when another student became ill. Molly is an extremely caring person and a good friend to her peers. This act of kindness is nothing less than we would expect of her.


29th March 2019

posted 29 Mar 2019, 07:11 by Nat Admin   [ updated 29 Mar 2019, 07:13 ]

I felt very privileged to be at the High Sheriff Awards on Monday evening to see five of our students receive an award, two of whom had been nominated by Aspire Ryde. I am so proud of them as well as all the other young people who won. It was an honour to be amongst them. You can read more about it on the front of this Newsletter.

On the last day of term, Friday 5th April, we will be holding a mufti day for our charity, Aspire Ryde. Students can wear their own clothes in exchange for £1 for the charity. Please make sure that clothes are suitable for the school environment.

On Wednesday, Year 10 students attended the Heads On road safety event at the Academy. The Isle of Wight Road Safety Team along with all the emergency services were involved in this event which had three main parts: a demonstration of how the emergency services attend a road traffic accident, a local case study in which the emotional impact of a crash is explored and a workshop in which students considered what steps they can take as non-drivers to ensure their safety and that of others.

Next week we are holding the annual Year 7 Rocket Car Race day. In preparation students design and make their rocket cars and these are then raced with help from the Navy using explosives. The fastest cars then go on to the regional finals. Last year a group of our students made it to the regionals and spent the day with Navy personnel building and modifying their cars before the final race.

We also have the second of our family learning sessions on Wednesday 3rd April. Families who created clay pots last week will be decorating them ready for Easter. 

On Thursday 4th April we are holding a Year 11 GCSE success evening. We have changed the format of the exams success evening slightly to a student wellbeing and preparation evening. The event will run in the Theatre from 6-7pm on the 4th April and focus on revision timetables, healthy lifestyles, coping with stress techniques and revision methods. All GCSE subjects will provide information sheets about their subject with important exam information and specific revision materials


A copy of the Year 11 Easter holiday revision timetable has been uploaded to our website under the exam section. Copies have also been emailed to students and parents.

Congratulations to this week's Most Remarkable Student, Gulsena Korkmaz (6th Form). Gulsena attended one of our RE classes so she could talk about her beliefs. She did a fantastic job. She was confident, friendly, informative and gave the students such a good insight into what life is like growing up as a Muslim on the Island. At the end she fielded questions from the class which they loved. So much so that they didn't want to leave at the end of lesson.

21 December 2018

posted 21 Dec 2018, 06:47 by K Hooper


We have reached the end of term and I know everyone is looking forward to a well deserved break.

We have recently noticed that the issue of shirts being consistently untucked has begun to creep in. Whilst most of our students adhere to uniform policy and look smart, others don't which is unfair to those that do. We will be doing a series of assemblies on our return in January reminding students of the importance of smart uniform. Thank you for your support with this.

On behalf of Academies Enterprise Trust, we are consulting on our admission arrangements for 2020-21. You can see a copy of the letter with further details and a draft of Admissions policy on our website. 

Well done to all the tutor groups who entered the House bauble decorating competition which I got to judge. The winners are……

1st place 11SJR with their gold reindeer (awarded 100 House points), 2nd place for 7CVK for their Santa with brolly (50 House points) and in 3rd place 11ELC (25 House points) for their Santa bauble.

I absolutely loved seeing the performance of Billy Elliot. Well done to the whole cast and crew for all your hard work which definitely paid off.

We start the new term on 7th January for all students at the normal time of 8.30am.

6th Form students will have mock and some real exams starting from 9th January.

We also have Year 11 Parents’ evening on Thursday 10th January and you should by now have received a letter with the information about booking appointments.

Students on the ski trip will be heading to France on Saturday 12th January.

Don’t forget that from Friday 11th January the Newsletter will be emailed via ParentPay so you will need to have set up an account for your child to access it. If need another copy of the activation letter please contact reception on or 01983 567 331.

Congratulations to the Principal’s Star who this week is Ellie Wilford in Year 12 for her outstanding performance as Grandma in Billy Elliot and working incredibly hard whilst in the middle of her first year in 6th Form.

Have a relaxing Christmas and enjoy the break.









14 December 2018

posted 14 Dec 2018, 08:39 by K Hooper

We are incredibly proud of Hayley in Year 11 who was awarded a Young Persons Certificate of Commendation after she helped rescue a man on the beach at Sandown in November. He had gone into the water and when she became concerned for his safety she went in, pulled him out and helped when she realised he was choking having been face down in the water.

Although not as dramatic but equally worthy in school terms, well done to Charlie Ashley and Matt Banachowski in Year 11 who both attempted the Senior Maths Challenge (which is for A-Level students) and both managed a bronze certificate which is a great achievement.

Our annual Carols by Candlelight was beautiful and really got us in the mood for Christmas. It was lovely to see so many parents, students, staff and others from the community in attendance. Thank you to James Leggett  from St James’s Church for allowing us to hold our service in their church.

Next week we start our fantastic performance of Billy Elliot with the local primary school pupils coming in for a special show on Monday. Opening night is on Tuesday 18th December and the show ends on Thursday 20th December. There are still some tickets available so please come along as the students have worked incredibly hard.

We also have the student/staff Christmas lunch on Wednesday 19th December.

It’s the last day of day of term on Friday and students will be leaving at 12.20pm. The school bus will leave from the usual place at 12.30pm The Academy, including reception and the switchboard, will be closed from 4pm on Friday 21st to Monday 7th January.

Congratulations to the Principal’s Star who this week is Benson Hardy (Year 8). Benson is actively involved in a number of things in and out of the Academy, including interview panels, Student Council, community events, school show and working in the stationery shop.  He does all of this with great pride working hard to do his best whilst at the same time making people smile and being kind.

Have a nice weekend.










   Photo from Island Echo - Hayley, Yr 11          Star of the Week - Benson, Year 8

Carols by Candlelight

7 December 2018

posted 7 Dec 2018, 05:46 by K Hooper

After the Christmas holidays we will be sending out the Newsletter via ParentPay so you will receive a copy by email as well as being able to access it on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Our Christmas tree is up and looking very festive. Thank you to the students who helped to decorate it.

Like last year we are collecting for the IOW Christmas Toy Appeal who are looking for new unwrapped gifts for ages 0-16. The suggested value is £10. Toys should be dropped of by 14th December. We are also collecting non perishable food items for Aspire Ryde’s Kindness cupboard eg pasta, rice, tinned goods and squash. The Kindness cupboard is for anyone experiencing a crisis who is given a bag of shopping and then referred to the Food Bank for further support. Food items should be handed in by 19th December. When you hand in items to our reception please make a note of which House your child is in as this is a House competition. The House that collects the most items receives lots of points! Each of the boxes under the tree correlate to the Houses so you can see who is in the lead.

We had a busy Year 10 Parents’ Evening yesterday. Thank you to all the student helpers, Calvin in Year 11, as well as Jasmine W, Jasmine N, Casey and Hayley in Year 8 who did all the refreshments for parents and staff.


Well done to all the Year 11 students who received some good results in their Finance exam as well as their recent assessments. It is fantastic to see so many of them regularly attending after school and lunch time revision sessions.

I am really looking forward to our Carols by Candlelight on 13th December. It was such a lovely service last year and everyone is welcome.

Next week the families who made Christmas cakes will be coming in to ice and decorate their cakes.

Well done to this week’s Principal Star Enid Rees (Year 7). Enid has really stood out since joining in September. She consistently achieves House points for a range of activities and is always bright and cheerful with a smile for everyone.

Have a nice weekend.





30 November 2018

posted 30 Nov 2018, 08:36 by K Hooper

You should by now have received a letter about the arrangements for the end of term. It also includes details about the changes to the school holidays and the timings of our school day which start from September 2019. Term dates and school times can also be found on our website under the Parent Tab.

At the last Family Learning session students and their families came along and made a Christmas cake which they will come back to decorate on 11th December. I look forward to seeing the results.

In between we also have a Family Learning session all about online safety on Tuesday 4th December.  This is an opportunity to find out more about what you can do to keep yourself and your child safe online, the risks and recent developments and also where to go for more information. The session lasts for one hour but there is also time at the end to ask any questions. Please contact Tanya Baxter for more information and booking or 01983 567331

We have two fantastic events coming up: The Carols by Candlelight, on 13th December, and our school production which this year is Billy Elliot, 18th-20th December. All our school shows highlight the talent we have here and the hard work of staff who organise them. This production is going to be really special judging by from some of the snippets I have seen so far.

Congratulations to this week’s Principal Star Jake Ritson (Year 11). Jake has recently achieved the best mark in his year group for his finance exam which shows the efforts he is making to improve his progress and Year 11 results. 

Have a nice weekend.



23 November 2018

posted 23 Nov 2018, 08:50 by K Hooper


Thank you to all the staff and students who helped raise over £70 at the Staff Bake Off this week. Staff made cakes which members of the Rock Challenge team then sold the next day. Two of the cakes were also raffled off and won by Sarah Evans (Performing Arts) and Becky Jones (Computer Science). Money raised will go towards our 2019 Rock Challenge entry.  Congratulations to Natascha Nelson, the winner of the Bake Off.

To counteract all the cake eating we also had our staff House table tennis competition which students have also taken part in. The staff finals will be taking place next week.

EBP South (Education, Business Partnership) came in on Wednesday and held a networking event for Year 10 students which you can read more about in this Newsletter. We have lots of careers events taking place over the year which will help to get students ready for their choices post 16.

The Book Fair opened on Thursday and is already proving popular!

Next week there is a meeting for parents and students interested in finding out more about African Adventures. The trip, which participating students  will need to fundraise for, is an opportunity to be part of a group volunteering experience whilst making a difference to the local community. If students would like to challenge themselves, learn about a different culture and build life long skills please come along to the meeting on Thursday 29th November at 6pm. You can also email Dave Sweet for more information

Congratulations to this week’s Principal Star George Gully in Year 7. George has consistently exceeded his targets for Accelerated Reader and is always happy to help students in tutor time who are struggling to keep up with classwork. He has also represented the Academy in sporting activities and his tutor regularly receives compliments from staff for his polite and approachable manner. George has proven himself to be a huge asset to his tutor group and to Year 7.

Have a nice weekend.



16 November 2018

posted 16 Nov 2018, 05:56 by K Hooper

We had a very busy 6th Form Open Evening on Wednesday and I hope that everyone who came had a chance to have a good look around and ask lots of questions. If you have any more queries or were unable to attend please contact the 6th Form on 01983 567 331 or

On the same day we had a performance of
‘Crashing people’ which is a powerful piece about child sexual exploitation. This is something we hold every year as it’s essential that students are aware of the issues surrounding this topic.

We had a very useful
Student Council meeting on Thursday 15th November. Included on the agenda was; curriculum links to employment, the Christmas carol concert, student communication and noticeboards. The minutes will shortly be published on our website.

Next week we have our
annual book fair which will be held in the Library. This is always popular with students as they can buy a range of books, stationery and posters at half the marked price. The book fair runs from Thursday 22nd to Friday 29th November. Year 9 and 10 students can visit at first break and Years 7, 8 and 11 at lunchtimes.

Our next
Family Learning session is being organised by the Alcohol Education Trust and will be held on Wednesday 21st November, 4.45pm-6.15pm. This is not intended to be a judgemental or ‘preachy’ event but rather to help us keep our families safe and informed. The session is designed to be relevant to parents and students on the Isle of Wight and will be interactive with lots of opportunities to ask questions. Please contact Tanya Baxter for more information or to book on 01983 567 331 or

Our next
Parents’ Evening is for Year 10 and is on Thursday 6th December. Letters have been posted home. You can book your slots using If you have any questions please contact Jan Dover in the Year Managers office via reception or

Well done to this weeks
Principal Star who is Beth Townson (Year 10). Beth has grown into a mature and helpful student. She currently assists staff in breakfast club before school by doing the register and helping to pack away at the end. Despite being shy she is always willing to help which is much appreciated by staff.


Have a lovely weekend.



9 November 2018

posted 9 Nov 2018, 08:43 by K Hooper


I have been overwhelmed by the displays created by our students and led by the History department. Lots of people have said how poignant it is. I agree that it is a very touching tribute. This morning the Senior Prefects and Student Council helped raise our commemorative flag outside the front of the school. Thank you to Harry in Year 7 for playing the Last Post and to Mrs Dorman for reading ‘For the       Fallen’ by Robert Laurence Binyon. The 6th Form have also created their own display and held a service this morning at the 6th Form campus. Hayley Andrews in Year 11, sang ‘With You’ from Ghost the musical at the Year 11 assembly this morning allowing everyone time to reflect and remember. 

Well done to all the students and staff who helped raise over £800 at our last mufti day. Green House raised the most with £245.45, then Red House £212.15, followed by Blue House £209.52 and Yellow £170.34.

Don't forget the next mufti day will be on the last day of term, Friday 21st December. As well as mufti students are encouraged to wear their Christmas jumpers for a donation of £1. Just a reminder though that clothes have to be appropriate for wearing to school eg no crop tops. All money raised goes to our charity, Aspire Ryde.

We will be sending letters out shortly with information about the last day of term but students will finish at 12.20pm and the school bus will leave at 12.30pm

Next week, Wednesday 14th November, we have our 6th Form Opening Evening which is a great opportunity for anyone thinking of post 16 study to come and speak to subject teachers and look around our 6th Form campus. There will be talks at 4.30pm and 6pm.

Congratulations to this weeks Principal Star Joshua Ashley (Year 12). Josh recently helped in a Year 7 ICT class and proved that he was a natural with the students. He helped explain topics and engaged in discussions with them. The Year 7s loved having him in their class and thanked him at the end. Well done to him for having the confidence and stepping up to the challenge.

Have a nice weekend.











2 November 2018

posted 2 Nov 2018, 06:43 by K Hooper

I hope you all had a relaxing half term.

At the
Isle of Wight education awards on Thursday, I was so proud of all the school staff, teachers and support staff, who had been nominated and congratulations to all the winners. It was a good opportunity to celebrate all that is good with Island schools. Although there is still work to be done it is important that we recognise the positives too.

Back at school, our Year 7s had a great time at the
Halloween disco and well done to the 6th Formers who organised it, and the staff who stayed behind to support it.

You may have noticed that Island Roads have now completed their work outside our carpark entrance which means that both our entrance and exit gates are now in use. When visiting the Academy can you please make sure you come in via the entrance gate and leave by the exit gate. If you are dropping students off there is a designated drop off point near the exit gate.

Well done to the Student Council members who, with help from our lovely Librarian Sue McDonagh, have set up a
stationery shop in the library. If students need to replace a stationery item these can be bought from the Library during tutor time. Please note that students can only use cash in the stationery shop.

Next week there is a
ski trip meeting for students and parents who have a place for the January trip. This will be on Thursday 8th November at 6pm and you will be able to meet the staff going on the trip, find out more about it and also ask any questions you or your child might have.

Our next
open evening is for 6th Form and will be held on 14th November. If you know of anyone thinking about their options post 16 please let them know about it as they will be able to have a look around and speak to staff and existing students.

We have now been able to confirm the date of our final
INSET day for 2018-19 which will be on Friday 14th June and ties in with Isle of Wight Festival.

Congratulations to the
Principal Star this week who is Katie Barnicoat. Katie has recently started a campaign to raise funds to buy a defibrillator for her community. It is inspiring to see such passion and activism in someone so young as well as the work ethic to put her ideas into action. You can find out more and donate on her JustGiving page.


Have a good weekend.











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