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Principal's Blog


13 July 2018

posted 13 Jul 2018, 07:08 by Nat Admin

I was inspired by Joanna, the Holocaust survivor, who came to speak to students on Thursday. Her story was fascinating, sad and powerful at the same time and I was so proud of our students who asked some very thoughtful questions at the end.

The Year 11 Prom was a fantastic success and the students looked beautiful. Thank you to the staff and prom committee who organised it and to Ryde Castle for having us. Congratulations to the Prom King and Queen  Alexandra Salmon and Christian Baxter.

You should by now have received a letter with information about the last day of term. A copy can also be found on our website. We will be holding a mufti day for Aspire Ryde on the last day of term. Aspire is a charity and our local community centre which all of us have access to. They have a café, run a wide variety of groups, and can also be booked for events. - suggested donations for wearing mufti is 50p and will be collected during the morning of the last day. Hoodies must not be worn to school.

At the beginning of the holidays we will be sending a letter home with information about the start of term including a transition booklet for our new Year 7s. This was put together with help from one of our Parent and Community group members who is a parent of a Year 7 student. We welcomed her feedback about the transition process and what she would have found useful when her child started at the Academy.

Next week is our rewards trip to the cinema which was very successful last year. Thank you to Ryde Cinema for helping to make this happen.

Congratulations to this weeks Principal star Becky Sullivan in Year 9. Becky regularly helps out at Board Games club and recently

supported a younger student who was having some issues. She works really well with younger students and her kindness and empathy towards them is lovely to see. It is also good to see how Becky has made lots of progress in terms of her own attitude and behaviour and as we come to the end of the school year, it's good to see her kindness and thoughtfulness shining through.

Next week is also the last week of term! I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone.

Have a lovely weekend.












6 July 2018

posted 9 Jul 2018, 08:01 by Nat Admin

I had such a good time at the Mardi Gras and was so proud not only of our students but of all the participants. They looked fantastic and were true professionals dancing for so long in this heat. 

Our awards evening on Wednesday was a lovely celebration of our students. Thank you to all the families that came along to see students receive their awards and well done to them for all their hard work to achieve them.

A letter has now been posted home with information about the arrangements for the last day of term. The school will be closing at 12.20pm for students and the bus will leave at 12.30pm. A copy of the letter can be found on our website under the Parent tab.

A big thank you to Platform One for putting us in touch with a fantastic young band called Rhythm Valley who performed at our Year 11 Leavers assembly. It was an honour to be able to see young talent being produced on the Island.

We are holding the interviews for next years Prefect team on Friday. We had a good standard of applicants which will make the selection process very difficult. We will announce the successful candidates in due course.

Next week and until the end of term students are not required to wear ties and boys may wear shorts because of the continuing heatwave. All other aspects of the uniform, including shoes and shirts, still apply. Our Student Council are reviewing summer school uniform with a view to introducing shorts from next year. Please remember to make sure your child has a water bottle which can be refilled during the day and to wear sunscreen.

Congratulations to Jessica Newbery (Year 7) who is this weeks Principal Star.
Jessica's positive outlook along with her can do attitude means she is often one of the first to volunteer to help with Academy and community events including Mardi Gras and helping to support our new Year 7s.

I hope all the Year 11s have a great time at their Prom this evening. I can’t wait to see them all dressed up.

Have a lovely weekend.










29 June 2018

posted 29 Jun 2018, 08:54 by Nat Admin

The festival weather definitely continued into the week!

Whilst the England team were making short work of Panama, some of our boys were in Portugal playing in the Beach Soccer semi finals. The under 16s lost 4-3 and the under 18s lost 5-2 however,
both teams came 4th in the 2 edition of the Youth International Beach Soccer Championships. Well done to them. Thank you to Luke Kerr for sharing the photos with us.

It was good to see all our new Year 7s here for the two days this week. Thank you to all our student helpers for spending the day with them and making sure they felt welcome.

Next week is a very busy week with 6th Form taster days (Monday to Wednesday), Awards Evening on 4th July, Year 11 Leavers Assembly and Prom on Friday 6th July. We also have Young Enterprise events for Year 9 on Tuesday and Year 8 on Wednesday, the Urdang dance workshop and Family learning also on the Tuesday.

Well done to this weeks Principal Star who is Georgia Newbery.
Georgia is an enthusiastic student who gets involved in lots of things at the Academy including Student Council, Mardi Gras and helping with the transition students. Her confidence and willingness to help others is admirable especially in a student only at the beginning of their school career.

Good luck to all the students and staff taking part in Mardi Gras. Please go along and see them if you can. The parade sets off from Ryde School at 3pm and makes it’s way through Newport Street, High Street and then to the Esplanade via Union Street. I saw them rehearsing yesterday and they were fantastic!

Have a lovely weekend.



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.



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