- Teaching and Learning
Improving the quality of “Teaching and Learning” is our core purpose at The Edge and this week we were delighted to welcome senior colleagues from Reach AP School in Kings Heath to lead on our “Teaching and Learning Review”. Our visitors acknowledged the rapid improvements we are making, saw some fantastic lessons, and agree that senior leaders at The Edge have the right plans in place to make further improvements!
Remember that when you talk to your child about lessons, the following changes have been put into place for 2017/18:
• All lessons now feature engaging lesson starters, then focus around clear, measurable and differentiated learning objectives.
• All student work will now be marked at least every two weeks with a new academy “feedback sticker” which sets your child clear targets for improvement. Your child will be given time to respond to these targets in the following lesson with coloured pen.
• We are raising expectations of students’ presentation of work. All work must now be completed in black pen, all titles and dates must be underlined, and any work completed where graffiti is present will need to be re-done.
- Behaviour for learning
At The Edge Academy, we provide students who have had difficulties in mainstream schools the opportunity to experience a curriculum and environment more suited to their needs. This enables many of our students to turn their lives around and gain vital experiences and qualifications.
Since the start of term we have been focusing on improving the quality of our rewards system to improve behaviour for learning. This has seen the introduction of half termly reward trips, weekly brunch, and an increase in positive phone calls home. We will continue to explore ways in which students can be recognised and rewarded for good behaviour.
On the flip side, students who are disrupting learning and preventing students achieving their potential will be issued with sanctions. Currently, we have a warning system in lessons that enables students to modify their behaviour when they are getting it wrong. In lessons, students may receive a verbal warning if their behaviour is not of an acceptable standard. This can lead to a yellow card if they do not improve, and if things continue not to improve, a red card would be issued. This means the student is sent out of the lesson and isolated for that period with another member of staff. A red card automatically leads to a 15 minute detention after school on the same day.
If students truant lessons they are issued with a 15 minute detention on the same day and an hour’s detention on the Friday of that week.
Internal and external exclusions are used for extreme poor behaviour. Examples of poor behaviour that may lead to an exclusion are: verbal abuse to staff, dangerous behaviour, bullying, damage to school property.
Detentions can be issued for other poor behaviour in addition to the above. We focus on a ‘restorative justice’ approach in school which encourages students to reflect on their behaviour and put right any wrongs. This can include mediation, apologies, and sanctions.
We occasionally isolate students at partner schools to ensure the exclusion is carried out effectively and away from where the issue may have been. We would always inform parents of an exclusion. Following an exclusion students must meet with a member of the senior team and their parents/carers to discuss their behaviour and plan strategies for improvement.
Whilst it is never our intention to exclude students, poor behaviour will not be tolerated, particularly if it is disrespectful, dangerous, or stopping the learning within school.
We continue to strive to provide students with the support they need to modify poor behaviour and these strategies include: mentoring, psycho-therapy, positive phone calls home, regular meetings with parents, meetings with the home school, family support.
- Friday Brunch Reward Event
“Student voice” is important to us and this week we introduced some new ideas to the Friday Brunch Reward event based on student feedback. For the first time, we ran a “two-venue” event with a new dessert stall in the Hall- it certainly seemed to be popular! We were also delighted to introduce some new praise categories for students- photos below show students winning awards for high numbers of positive logs in lessons and also for high standards of punctuality.
4. Star of the Week
Well done to Ryan in Y11 who won this week’s “Star of the Week” award! Ryan won this as he accumulated the most “Star of the Session” awards over the course of the week- here he is receiving his award from Principal Karen Slater at this week’s Friday Brunch event!
- Uniform Expectations
A letter is now online from Ms Blythe re-uniform expectations for Y11 students on days of college visits. See https://www.theedgeacademy.co.uk/uniform-letter/ for more details.
Don’t forget that we regularly update our website and that we now openly publish all of our key policies at: https://www.theedgeacademy.co.uk/policies/ This week we have updated our “Admissions Policy” and “Supporting Students with Medical Needs Policy” if these are of interest to you.
We have also updated our “Curriculum Page” with a summary of our new, innovative curriculum in 2017/8. This can be found at: https://www.theedgeacademy.co.uk/curriculum/ for your perusal.
7. Attend to Achieve
As well as encouraging all students to always strive for 100% attendance, this week we introduced punctuality awards for all students arriving on time at 9.15am. Punctuality is important to us not only in terms of respect and being ready to learn but also because all students now study for their “Employability” qualification in form time each morning. As part of our continuing push on rewards, all students who were in on time this week received a daily prize from the “reward bucket” and next week sees our first £50 voucher prize draw of the term! Remember that you must “attend to achieve” and that it is important to be punctual!
8. Parent/Carer communication
A further reminder that as well as handing letters, newsletters etc to students regarding academy news, we now put all letters on our website (www.theedgeacademy.co.uk) and text links to you each time this happens. We also post reminders on Twitter (address @edgenorthfield or go to website at www.twitter.com/edgenorthfield) and Facebook (address @edgeacademynorthfield or go to website at www.facebook.com/edgeacademynorthfield). Please follow/like our social media accounts as they provide exciting additional snapshots of academy life! Finally, we now also have a parent/carer electronic mailing list- if you have not already signed up for this, e-mail Vice Principal Andrew Wakefield at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will then e-mail all academy letters to you.