Welcome from the Acting Principal
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to South Shore Academy. 2015-2016 was a successful year for us in our journey to becoming a ‘Good’ school, and I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate some of our achievements since September 2016 and to highlight some of our forthcoming events and plans for the future.
The results achieved by year 11 last year were much improved, particularly in relation to the new Progress 8 measure, which placed South Shore Academy third best of the secondary schools in Blackpool. We intend to build on this success over the course of this academic year, and have a number of new initiatives in place to help us achieve this.
Nationally, there have been significant changes to the way that young people are assessed both at KS2 and KS4, as many of you will be aware. Our vision is to ensure that all students are equipped with the skills, abilities and qualifications to pursue a fulfilling career and become responsible, respected and global citizens. At South Shore we are working very closely with our feeder primary schools to ensure that the changed KS2 curriculum seamlessly links to our KS3 curriculum offer. Teachers in English, maths and science are engaged in a reciprocal calendar of planning and learning from each other which has already made a very positive impact on the quality of what we are offering our students in years 7 and 8.
In addition, we have secured funding from SHINE, a charity organisation designed to improve the outcomes for groups of students in KS3, to fund a Saturday School. We intend to open this facility for 50 Year 7 and 8 students in January 2017. In the first instance, the Saturday school will concentrate its efforts on identified students from those year groups who may not be achieving the rates of progress expected for a variety of reasons. More specific details of this programme will be communicated towards the end of term.
The academy also remains committed to working with the community and parents/carers in partnership and we value the established links that we already have. In order to develop these further however, we are also keen to establish an Academy Parents/Carers Group which can play an increasing part in developing the academy and its strategic vision as we move forward into 2017 and, from September 2017, in our brand new building. Expressions of interest have been received from a number of individuals already. Details of how to become more involved will be shared in the Newsletter issued later this term before Christmas.
Headstart is another organisation who will be working closely with the school after Christmas and will offer us even greater opportunities to work with staff and students in all aspects of their well-being. We aim to offer comprehensive counselling services and extra-curricular sessions designed to promote the emotional well-being of all in our community.
Interest in supporting our progress has also been secured from the HSBC Bank who have pledged to subsidise £3,000 for our Year 9 students to take part in a 5 day residential aimed at building confidence, resilience and team building scheduled to take place in the Summer Term. Empowering students and providing a climate for them to achieve remains at the heart of what we value at South Shore Academy, which is why we have extended our Student Leadership Team to incorporate a prefect system throughout all year in the school. As part of the Student Leadership Team, these young people undertake a number of important and valuable roles and are fully involved in making contributions to the day to day running of the academy and indeed, its strategic direction. These students are involved in meetings with the Academy Leadership Team on a regular basis, and in the appointment of new members of staff. They also co-ordinate the work of the Academy Student Parliament and act as student ambassadors. This has been a new initiative since September and has been very successful to date. Their work is complimented by a team of Anti-bullying Ambassadors who are trained rigorously and regularly present assemblies tackling issues around bullying and understanding, tolerance and respect. As an academy, we strive to achieve recognition as an organisation which deserves the acclaimed “Anti-bullying Award”. Supporting all of this is our extensive PSHE programme which has been praised by external assessors and students because of its effectiveness in beginning to keep our young people in our community ‘safe’ and ‘happy’ wherever possible.
A number of our students are currently involved in the South Shore Academy ‘Challenge Cohort’ provision. These students have been identified according to their academic potential in all year groups within the school. The intention is to ensure that these students are developed fully according to their gifted and talented abilities and are exposed to as many experiences as possible which will enable them to access post-16 ‘A’ level courses and Oxbridge/Russell Group/University level courses in their future aspirations. As a result, we are endeavouring to forge our own links with Universities in order to expose as many of our young people to further educational opportunities as possible. We are developing extremely positive links with Blackpool Sixth Form who have hosted our students on a number of occasions since September and have included them in University led seminars and events to date. More specific information is available on the website.
As stated previously, we value all of our students at South Shore Academy and we are immensely proud of all of their achievements. Our inclusion provision is extremely strong and our commitment to trying to ensure that all of our young people have access to a path of success is paramount. We pride ourselves on the fact that behaviour is good on a day to day basis and that we identify the correct pathways for our young people. We have begun to invest in a number of vocational qualifications and placements for students with a more practical focus. We currently offer individual pathways and we are working closely with providers such as the Education Business Partnership.