Dear Parents and Carers
I would like to take this opportunity to write to you to thank you for your support this year and explain the exciting developments we have here at The Albany.
Last summer we had the best results the school has ever achieved with Ofsted noting that our English results were outstanding. Ofsted came in this year in March and agreed with us that there are still areas of the school we need to improve further but we are well on our way to being good or better. The students this year have really done themselves proud in so many areas. Nearly every week in the Romford Recorder they reported on Albany students achieving, winning, helping and being a positive part of the community. Young people never cease to amaze me and I am very privileged to be the Head Teacher at such a wonderful school.
I would like to highlight some of the main changes for next year that we have put in place to improve the learning experience for our students:
- New Ties: We have new school ties to reflect the new house colours. Year 7s and year 10s will buy their new ties as normal with years 8 and 9 collecting their new ties at the beginning of term as it is the first year. For year 11s it is optional if they buy a new tie. The flashes that have been on the blazers in the past are no longer needed.
- New KS3 Homework: As part of our development of students as independent learners we will be introducing an innovative new approach to homework for all KS3 students. The aim is collect as many homework points as possible each term. There is a minimum amount of points every student has to reach which include compulsory homework in the Core subjects (English, Maths science and MFL). In each of the other areas: Humanities, Creative Arts, Technology, Sports and Fitness and Community students must gain at least one homework point in each area (2 in humanities). On top of those students can opt to gain extra points in any one area, 5 being the target. Achieving this will lead to an award. The homework points can be gained by completing projects, presentation, work in the community or attending after school clubs for a full term. This ensures out of classroom learning is accessible to all, it is enjoyable and challenging.
- Rewards: House points will be awarded both in lessons and around school for effort and attainment. These will be recorded in the new journal and rewards given out and parents informed when students reach a certain number. These points also count towards the House competition.
- Mentoring: Every student at the school will have a one to one mentoring session looking at all aspects of their school life including behaviour, attendance and effort. They will be set clear and helpful targets which are reviewed 6 weeks later. This personalised approach will ensure every student is well looked after and as a school we don't miss anything. Parents will see the targets and meeting notes in their child's journal.
- Journals: Every student at the school will have a journal bought for them by the school. This is to record their homework, one to one mentoring, school clubs and House Points. There is a section in the journal for home school communication as well. The cost of replacing a lost journal is £5 and students must have them with them every day.
- E learning centre: Continuing to strive for a first rate 21st education we have introduced an exciting new classroom experience in our E Learning centre. There will be video conferencing, green screen, apple macs and recording equipment. As well as enhancing learning it prepares student for the modern work environment.
- Literacy Zone: As part of our drive to improve literacy across the school and reading participation we are opening a brand new literacy zone that will have twice as many reading books available for students. There will be bean bags and comfortable seating where students can read as well as a very good wireless link for kindle, tablets and phones where students can access our electronic book collection.
- Twitter and Facebook: Please join our twitter and Facebook page through our new website (icons at the top of the page) so you can get all the up to date information about what is going on trips, fixtures or just in the classroom.
These are creative developments in our teaching and we look forward to students enjoying and learning so they can reach their full potential. We believe in a 21st century education but we also pride ourselves in having tradition values to prepare our students for being a positive member of the community. I would like to remind parents of some of the basic rules we have to ensure good standards and a positive learning environment.
- No canned drinks on school site, including energy drinks.
- No chewing gum on site; it damages floors, clothes and hair.
- School shoes for all students, trainers are not acceptable.
- Phones can be brought to school but not used during the day unless permission is given.
- No shaved heads or hair with patterns shaved in.
- No non-natural hair colours.
- No cigarettes on school site.
We have an exciting year ahead of us as and with your support your child will progress, learn, enjoy and fulfil their potential. I wish you a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing everyone well rested and ready to learn in September.
Mr A Thorne