Read our latest academy newsletter

by Alan Brooks  on December 20, 2013  in  Academy News

Welcome to our December newsletter …

I hope this message finds you well and that you’re all enjoying the run up to the holidays. I am writing with one final update before the end of the year. As always with these messages, feel free to forward it to any to any friends or relatives who might be interested in KAA.

The autumn term has been a busy one for us. In September and October our main focus was talking to parents and students about joining KAA for Year 7. It was great to see so much excitement in the local community about our new academy. National offer day isn’t until March 3rd, but I can say at this stage that we received a high number of applications for Year 7 and the school will be full for September.

More recently I have appointed two Vice Principals – Emily Boyle (Teaching & Learning) and Anna Jordan (Assessment & Curriculum). They are both exceptional candidates who came through a rigorous process with applications from over 50 people nationally. Both have significant senior leadership experience in outstanding schools and both are – most importantly – excellent teachers.

The spring term will be even busier I expect, as we move into recruitment mode in earnest. A full list of teaching roles we are planning to hire can be seen here. We are also recruiting some key support and operational roles such as the academy Business Manager and IT Network Manager. Recruitment of Teaching Assistants and Admin roles will take place in the summer term.

Partnership update

I spent a very productive day recently at Godolphin & Latymer and Charterhouse, our independent school partners. Both of these schools are committed to support our new academy in various ways, and we are very grateful for their involvement. The staff in both schools are excited to get to know our (growing) staff, and the collaboration represents a real professional development opportunity for all involved. Key aspects of the partnerships are:

• Every subject leader at KAA, such as the Head of Maths, is partnered with a subject leader at Charterhouse and Godolphin to help us develop a first-rate curriculum.

• Sixth formers from KAA will visit Godolphin and Charthouse to help them prepare their UCAS applications and practice for university interviews. Godolphin and Charterhouse students will come to us (as part of a reciprocal arrangement).

• Both schools will also advise us on the courses and exam boards which, in their experience, best lead to progression onto top universities.

 There will be many, many ways in which students from all three schools can work together to collaborate and compete: sport; music; drama; debating; art and entrepreneurial events.

 Building Update

The building is really taking shape now and on schedule – you can see a recent picture here. Our ‘Topping Out’ ceremony (when the last beam is in place on the top floor and the overall structure is complete) is currently planned for mid-January. I’ll add a news story to the website with some pictures of us all in wellies and hard hats!

In the meantime you can follow progress via the live webcam link on our website.

 Life at KAA – an illustration

We commissioned an illustration that expresses ‘Life at KAA’ from Wynne James, a fantastic artist who has worked with the Aldridge Foundation on other projects. Wynne’s drawings are incredibly detailed and creative, and this is a great example of his work. It captures many aspects of our school culture: INTREPIDUS, Drama, Music, Dance, Sport, academic subjects, the House System and the Entrepreneurial Pods. We expect to use the drawing in a number of ways – displayed around the academy, as an interactive page on the website, and many more. For the moment you can see it as a simple image on our website – I recommending zooming in or printing it in A3 to get the most from it. See what you can spot!

 Last but not least, I’d like to wish everyone involved with KAA a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I hope you have a great start to 2014 – a big year in the life of our new school!

With warm wishes,

David Benson


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