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This week, our year 8 students attended a virtual options assembly delivered by our Headteacher, Mr Burnham. The assembly was an introduction to the process that all students in the year will be going through over the next few weeks to choose their options for year 9.
Although there will be no formal qualifications given in year 9, the aim of these options is to equip the students with the foundation skills and knowledge for year 10 & 11, when their formal examinations will take place. It’s a starting point for our vision – ‘to send every young person into the world able and qualified to play their full role in it’.
The students were introduced to the faculties that they can choose to study next year – each student will get to study two of these. Within these faculties, there will be related disciplines/subjects that they will learn, which they can then choose to specialise in when it comes to year 10 & 11.
For example: if the chosen faculty is Performing Arts, the student will study Music, Dance and Drama on a rotational basis throughout the year. After learning the foundation knowledge for these disciplines, they may then choose to specialise in Music, Dance or Drama in year 10 & 11.
A Google Form will be sent out to students over the next few weeks to add in their chosen faculties. We aim to give all students their first and second choice but we ask students to rank their top four faculties from the list in case for whatever reason, we cannot offer a particular subject.
Mr Burnham’s dos and don’ts when choosing options:
- Do choose a subject that you enjoy
- Do choose a subject that you’re good at
- Do choose a subject that is suited to your aptitude and personality
- Do choose a subject that is related to your ambitions
- Do choose a subject that compliments your learning style
- Don’t choose a subject just because you like the teacher
- Don’t choose a subject just because your friends have chosen it
- Don’t choose a subject because parents want you to do it
- Don’t choose a subject because it is an ‘easy option’ – there is no easy options and they all have challenges built in
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
We will be hosting a virtual options evening on Tuesday 23rd February for parents and students. There will be a presentation delivered by Mr Burnham and then there will be a chance to break out into separate talks with faculty leaders to get more information about particular subjects.
“Choosing options at this stage may not seem important, but the choices that you make over the next few weeks will start to shape any choices you make in the future. We’re committed to offering you as much as possible so that you get lots of experience and I know that it can be confusing, especially if you don’t know what you want to go on to study or what career you want. I’ve got three simple rules when it comes to options; choose something you enjoy, or choose something you’re good at and achieving in, or choose something that will be useful for a future career. If you follow these rules, you won’t go wrong.
“Y9 is the foundation for your GCSE years. The knowledge and skills you gain will set you up to achieve something really special in Y11. These choices could set you on an incredibly successful career path. My biggest piece of advice – think carefully, read lots about the subjects, ask lots of questions. Make sure you have all the information you need before you choose.” – Mr Burnham
As of today (1st February), we now officially have 13 schools under the Trust as we welcome Thrybergh Academy and Foljambe Primary School. This means we now have 8 primary schools and 5 secondaries under WPT’s umbrella.
The decision for the schools to academise under the Trust comes after headteachers, David Burnham and Beverley Tate-Brier, strive to achieve an outstanding school status – echoing our key aim ‘to send every young person into the world able and qualified to play their full role in it.’
Joining WPT means that:
- The schools receive funding directly from the government rather than local authorities
- There is more control over how things are done within the schools
- More support and advice is readily available to raise the standards of the schools
David Burnham, Headteacher at Thrybergh Academy said: “We are delighted to officially become part of Wickersley Partnership Trust after having been supported by the Trust for the past two years. The support that the school has had means that we are now in a position to drive forward our aim of providing all of our students with an outstanding education. Being part of a local multi-academy trust is important for us because all of the schools within it truly have a voice and this means the needs of our communities are fully understood and catered for. Thrybergh Academy is now part of a caring, ambitious family of schools and we look forward to what the future holds for our students, staff and local community.”
We have worked with both headteachers to put plans in place to get the ball rolling to achieve our visions for the school.
Our first official project is to improve the facilities at Foljambe Primary School by rebuilding the campus. Construction works on the building start at the end of February, with Foljambe students temporarily moving to Thrybergh Primary School during the build. Projections for the build include:
- Extensive roof works and the installation of cladding
- Demolition of building to the front of the school, and construction of new building and corridor
- Full electrical rewire of the whole site which will include new LED lighting throughout
- Installation of new boilers/water heaters
- Full refurbishment of all classrooms, communal areas and toilet blocks
- Installation of new outdoor provisions in KS1 and foundation stage including a multi-use games area
Beverley Tate-Brier, Headteacher at Foljambe Primary School said: “This is a very exciting time for the future of Foljambe. We have been working in partnership with Wickersley Partnership Trust for some time now and we are proud of the changes we have already made in moving the school forward. We cannot wait for the building work to take place to give our children and their families an environment that they deserve.”
Steve Calvert, Chair of Directors at Wickersley Partnership Trust added: “The Trust had long discussions about whether we should bring Thrybergh into our family of schools – lots of debates about financial risks and capacity.
“In the end the core question was ‘did we feel we could help the students become happier and have better life outcomes?’ and we believe the answer is yes. We are delighted to bring the schools on board and I’m sure the talented team and amazing students will ensure it’ll be a success story for years to come.”
Helen O’Brien, CEO at Wickersley Partnership Trust concluded: “At Wickersley Partnership Trust, we aspire to send all young people into an ever-changing world, able and qualified to play their full part in it. The students at Thrybergh Academy and Foljambe Primary deserve every opportunity to meet these same goals.
“We have worked with both schools for two years and already have a strong and embedded ethos of collaboration between our schools.
“We are building on the school curriculum to provide rich opportunities for learning, both within and outside the classroom, and will ensure all stakeholders are empowered to work in partnership.
“We have already begun the regeneration of the primary campus and look forward to opening this new site with its extensive improvements.”