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Principal's Blog 1 - 2014/15

posted 18 Jun 2014, 04:50 by Unknown user   [ updated 4 Oct 2014, 03:05 ]

Dear Parents and Carers


We have a had a good start to the autumn term.  Welcome to all our new learning and teaching staff and pupils.  Everyone has come back refreshed and with a focused attitude to learning.


It has been lovely seeing the new Reception and Year 7 children settling into their new surroundings, in their shiney new shoes and uniform.  They are doing you proud!


We have also had a visit from OfSTED!  A lot of preparation goes into an OfSTED Inspection and I would like to thank all who work in the Academy for their dedication in making sure that our two day visit went well.  The academy looked tidy and well resourced, displays are interactive and inviting, the ladies in the Dining Hall continue to do a marvellous job of making sure that everyone is fed and watered, and our teachers did what they do day in and day out:  they delivered well-planned and interesting lessons.  I have received the first draft of the OfSTED report and this has been returned with some amendments.  As soon as the report is finalised, I will be able to share the judgements with you.


Hockwold News:


The children at Hockwold have settled in very well, especially the children in Acorn class, who although are only 4, have started reading already!


The children in Beech class have just come back from their trip to the RSPB Reserve in Lakenheath. Mrs Izzard said that staff commented on the fantastic behaviour of our children and the enthusiasm they displayed whilst doing the activities.  Well done Beech class!


We are busy planning our multicultural Harvest Celebration, which includes making Holi sweets and a service in the church. We are collecting produce for Jimmy's Shelter in Cambridge, which I'm sure you agree is a very worthwhile cause.


Last week, the School Council held a coffee afternoon to raise money for Macmillan Cancer. We raised £260 in one hour - we ate a lot of cakes!!


Over the next few weeks, we look forward to watching a performance from the Masai Warriors as well as starting to think about Christmas.


Methwold News:


This year the leadership team has been strengthened by the appointment of Mr Stephen Plume, who joins us from a school in Suffolk.  He has settled in quickly and I am sure he will be a great asset to our team.  He is taking strategic responsibility for our Sixth Form, and driving improvements there, and with Learning and Teaching.


We are delighted with the numbers joining us in Sixth Form this year with about 50 on our site and nearly 30 joining our Norwich City Futsal partnership.  The pupils have come back ready for work and are already making great progress.  We are now offering 15 different AS/A2 pathways and have a number of other qualifications we are planning to offer next year.  In addition to this our University programme continues to support pupils’ continuing education.  


We are very excited to be developing our offer to pupils who are going into employment at the end of Sixth Form.  Pupils will now have the chance to develop their CV writing skills, crafting covering letters and all important interview practice.  We also have a programme of visits from local business people design to help pupils in choosing the right pathway in the future.


We are also starting our roadshows out to Primary Partner schools within and outside of our cluster.  It's exciting to go out and talk about, and reflect on, all of the good things happening here at Iceni Academy.  With results up on last year (despite a National expected fall) there is a real buzz out there about what we are doing and it's great to get this feedback on our visits.


Year 11 Exam Performance


5+ A*-C including English & Maths - 50% (2013: 48%)

5+ A*-C - 58% (2013: 69%)

A*-C English - 58% (2013: 54%)

A*-C Maths - 67% (2013: 64%)

Expected Progress English (3 Levels) - 55% (2013: 57%)

Expected Progress Maths (3 Levels) - 69% (2013: 67%)

Above Expected Progress English (4 Levels) - 20% (2013: 14%)

Above Expected Progress Maths (4 Levels) - 34% (2013: 37%)


We were very pleased with the Year 11 results.  The downward trend has been reversed and we have improved in many measures, most notably the percentage of pupils gaining five or more grades at A*-C including maths and English.  We expect this improvement to continue in 2015.


Year 13 Exam Performance


Average Point Score per Pupils (A2 & AS): 577 (2013: 596)

Average Point Score per Entry (A2 & AS): 192 (2013: 186)

Percentage of A Level entries gaining A*-C (A2): 48% (2013: 47%)

Percentage of A Level entries gaining A*-E (A2): 94% (2013: 93%)


We were also pleased with the Year 13 results.  We have improved in all the key measures, with the exception of the average points score per entry.  We expect to see a huge improvement in 2015.




What an excellent start to the year, thank you to every pupil who has been coming into the academy since the start of term. Our current attendance is 95%. With this superb start it looks as though we will beat last year’s overall attendance and therefore continue the steady improvement that we have shown in the last couple of years.


Every pupil has been present in an assembly about the importance of attendance this year, so please ask them about their attendance and how it will positively affect their GCSE outcomes when they get to Year 11.


With so many pupils in the academy demonstrating a phenomenally positive attitude I am sure that this will be the best year that the academy has experienced so far.


Other News:


Huge congratulations must go to Nicole Schade who represented England in the Street Dance World Championships last week.   Nicole has worked tirelessly and with dedication over the past few years, attending training sessions in London several times each week, to secure her place on the England team.  We could not be more delighted that Nicole’s dance team won the competition.


Open Evening on 23rd September was a great success with a large number of parents and members of the community joining us in the evening.  We had a considerable number of complimentary comments regarding the event.  Those parents who visited during Open Morning could also not have been more complimentary about the Prefects who showed them around the academy.  Our young people should be very proud of themselves.


Pupils are looking forward a number of trips coming up later this term in particular several trips to London – Jack the Ripper, War Horse and Lion King - and Business Studies groups are taking trips to local businesses as part of their course.





Gee Cook

October 2014

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