China, tycoons, rugby players and the ‘hidden curriculum’

Once again this week has had many highlights as our students continue to work hard and strive to do their best at all times. There is a very positive feeling around the Academy and I believe that our students are full of optimism as they realise that the Academy is always looking to help them improve and prepare them for the future. Preparing for the future is not always easy as things change so quickly, be it a government educational decision that we have to respond to, often at short notice, or something far more exciting such as the development of Raspberry Pi computers. You may remember that we were one of a few select schools that were chosen to have the Raspberry Pi computers available to our students. This has progressed further and I am hoping that we may be part of the Kano computer initiative that allows students to build their own devices. Mr Field (Head of Business & ICT) is keeping a close eye on the developments in this area.


Mr Hughes (Business & ICT Faculty) has been doing some brilliant work with our Year 10 students on the Tycoons in Schools programme. The programme is endorsed by Peter Jones of Dragons Den fame and our students were involved in running their own business to make a profit. Through Mr Hughes’ entrepreneurial enthusiasm the two groups made a total £120 profit.   All of those involved had a great time applying business theory to real life with a high degree of success. We will continue with this programme in the future. I am very grateful to Mr Hughes for his invaluable input.


Our recent success in Rugby continues with our Year 7 team performing exceptionally well with the team scoring 18 tries during the District tournament without losing a game. The tournament was held at Ely Rugby club on Wednesday. I met with the team today (6/12/13) along with Mr Woollard (Maths & PE Faculties) who is doing  a fine job coaching the team, and they are full of promise and enthusiasm. They will now represent the Isle of Ely district in the County championships in February. We wish them all the very best as they develop as young rugby players.


There was a very well supported Year 10 Parent Consultation Evening on Thursday (5/12/13) and the feedback that we received was extremely positive. There was over 70% attendance and the relationships between students, parents and staff continue to develop. The focus is clearly on working together as partners to ensure that all of our students make progress. All of our recent open evenings and parent evenings have been well supported and several parents have added some very positive comments on the Ofsted Parent View website. I would like to thank all parents who have commented either in writing, via email or verbally regarding our events as you views are very important to us.


Mr Welling (Vice Principal) has informed me of a very pleasing activity that he  witnessed this week. It relates to an exceptionally good tutor period where the students were commenting on the changes to our behaviour management systems.  All were in favour  of the recent changes that were introduced in September.  We reduced the C-System down to C2 and this has met with student approval. The students in the tutor group felt that the new procedure that requires the member of staff who issues a C2 telephoning the parents of the student concerned was a welcome addition to our practices.


This week I have posted a large number of postcards to students along with letters of congratulation for various positive actions that some students have taken. I often use this as a barometer to how well we are doing with regard to developing our students as responsible citizens. Of course the core purpose of the school is to educate our students and teach them the various skills and knowledge that they require but there is the ‘hidden curriculum’ that we also deliver that teaches our students to be ‘good people’. I believe that we doing well in this area.


Mr Gaskins (Assistant Principal) continues to look at very innovative ways to broaden the experiences of our children and this week he continued with his Skype sessions. Today (6/12/13) at 11.00am his Year 8 English group were part of a Skype session with a school from Qingdao, a coastal city in China. The students were able to see and hear each other during the open session and were able to ask questions about life in China in comparison to the UK. One of the questions that was posed by a Neale-Wade student was ‘What happens if you don’t do your homework?’ the reply was ‘we do our homework’. This session was very exciting and the possibilities are endless. I envisage a time when project work in Geography lessons will involve a Skype session to talk to people from the country that is being studied.


All in all it has been another great week to be the Principal of Neale-Wade Academy.





1 comment

  1. Marion Smith says:

    Once again your pupils have done you proud.The christmas concert was absolutely amazing.There is an awful lot of talented pupils at Neale-Wade.Well done each and every one.

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