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Principal’s Blog – July 2022

While this year has been one that has presented some level of challenge in trying to securely plan a range of experiences that enrich student’s lives and understanding, here at Erdington we have continued our improvement agenda whilst adapting along the way to address the challenges that may present at the 11th hour.

Some of the notable successes from this year have been:

Though the challenges of the year staff have managed to ensure students and parents understand the importance of good attendance.  Our attendance continues to be one of the strongest in the city and amongst the best in the country. Thank you to all staff who have ensured this is part of the Erdington culture but particularly our fantastic attendance team.

Through our work with the Violence Reduction Team we became the first national pilot of the Home Office “Step Together” initiative.  Through the year this has involved youth worker chaperones being in the community before and after school ensuing students feel safe.

Through the fantastic work of our careers team and whole staff approach to embedding careers and employability into all that we do; the academy successfully achieved Careers gold award in November.

The Erasmus careers project trip to Turkey gave our students an opportunity to work with students from 6 other European countries gaining a good understanding into international workforce and employment. Along a similar theme we have also had the opportunity to be involved with a translation company called Word360, they are currently developing a toolkit for refugees to support transition into UK schools.  Our students had the opportunity to share their insight and experiences to support the development of the package and really valued the opportunity to share and be involved.  When speaking to students who participated they wanted to thank me for valuing their opinion and feeling that they had contributed to something really worthwhile.

The year has ended with two recent notable successes at the end of June.

Matthew Brotherton was awarded the Dellaglio Rugby Works PE teacher of the year.  This was due to Matt’s continued dedication to ensuring students have an exposure to Rugby and sport that many of them have not until now experienced but many go on to continue to participate in, long after the sessions or their time at Erdington have ended.

We also had two teams of girls in the finals of the Amey Girls into Engineering Challenge, building on the knowledge and understanding from their KS3 Design Technology experiences, one of the teams went on to win, beating the school that had won the challenge for the past 2 years.

Above all of these individual and collective achievements, I believe one of greatest successes this year has been the staff’s commitment to students’ growth and ensuring students have every opportunity to participate and succeed by keeping the academy functioning normally.  Through the turbulence of the past few years giving students the security and stability that in an uncertain time the certainty of the Academy’s routines, expectations and staffing have enabled many small and large success stories to happen.  This has not always been easy, but through the staff’s commitment and dedication to each other and the students we have found a way.    

Next year we plan to continue our journey, with a focus on: Positive Classrooms, Positive Mindset.

To achieve this, we want to our participation rate in out of hours activities back to where it used to be, pre-pandemic, into the 90% range; along with continuing our work with Leading Parent Partnership to strengthen our parental engagement, in the past few weeks we have had parent and students cooking and pottery classes, more of these will be running next year continuing our commitment to Enriching Lives and Transforming Futures.

Simon Mallett

Principal – Erdington Academy

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