15th May 2021

posted 17 May 2021, 08:26 by Liz Pattinson   [ updated 17 May 2021, 08:27 ]

15 May 2021


Dear Students/Parents/Carers,


I very much hope that you and your families have been able to enjoy some of the benefits of the relaxation of the Covid -19 restrictions.


You may be aware that this week the Government have announced that as part of the roadmap to reopening the country, face masks are no longer required to be worn by staff and students in school. We welcome this announcement as the restrictions caused by wearing face masks in lessons has a detrimental effect on communication in the classroom and therefore learning. However, in our context, with students and staff moving between lessons, we feel that it is prudent to continue to wear face masks in communal areas in the school building.


Due to the fantastic way that all of our students have taken on board our Covid-19 precautions, I am 100% sure that this will not cause a problem for anyone in the school. The new measures will come into effect from Monday 17 May and will be in place for two weeks until May half term which starts at the end of the school day on Friday 28 May. At this point we are due to review all of our Covid-19 precautions and update our Risk Assessment.


I would like to take this opportunity to commend the way that our Year 11 students have approached the ‘evidence gathering’ process over the past 4 weeks. The majority of students are well-prepared, focused and co-operative and we are confident that we will be in a strong position to award them the grades that they deserve in the summer. The Student Ambassadors are busy planning the Year 11 Prom for Tuesday 13 July at High Lodge in Darsham for their final celebration together (Covid restrictions permitting). We will be in contact before the end of term outlining the provision for Year 11 in June.


Every half term we have a theme of the term. The aim of the themes is to build on students’ personal development as part of their wider curriculum, through assemblies, form activities and key events taking place. This half term we have been looking at diversity. We have been working with students to raise awareness on many aspects of diversity which have included LGBTQ+, Race and Ethnicity, Additional Needs, Young Carers and Culture. Having an awareness regarding the importance of diversity remains an important part of our school community throughout the year but we felt it was important to build on this even further to support our inclusive culture. For the last half term of this year, we will be focusing on physical and mental health.


We are planning to have our Celebration Evening at Snape Malting, as we did two years ago, on Thursday 15 July 2021. Those families who were able to attend the last event in May 2019 will remember what a fantastic evening of celebration it was; a real opportunity to showcase our fantastic students. Details of the evening will follow shortly but if your business would like to be a sponsor for the event, please contact the reception at school.  


We are planning Year 10 Mock exams at the end of June.  Students have had an extremely disrupted year in terms of their learning and it is vital for us at this stage to be able to identify significant gaps and implement strategies to close them as the students move into Year 11.  It will also be important for students to experience a formal exam setting as this hasn’t been possible for the students during the pandemic restrictions.  A full timetable for the mocks is currently being compiled and will be distributed before May half term so that students can begin to prepare for these assessments.  Following the mock exams students will receive a school report and there will be a Year 10 parents evening before the end of the academic year enabling discussions to take place with staff about the progress being made by your son/daughter.


Due to our dramatic increase in student numbers we will be moving our Maths department to a new location in the building that is currently being used by Suffolk New College. This is an extremely exciting time for the school as we continue to grow. In order to maintain our ethos and small class sizes, we are recruiting six additional teachers for a September start:

1.       Head of Design

2.       Head of Performing Arts

3.       Teacher of Spanish

4.       Teacher of Science

5.       Teacher of English

6.       Teacher of Health & Social Care/History


It gives me great pleasure that we are now beginning our transition programme for Year 6 students who have chosen Alde Valley Academy for their secondary education. This begins with visits to the Primary schools followed by two induction days which will take place Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 July. To support this transition, we have appointed a group of Year 9 students as Transition Ambassadors. These students have met to discuss strategies which we will implement to support the smooth transition for our new Year 7 cohort.


Due to the very kind donations of electronic devices from our community during the pandemic, we are delighted to introduce the laptop loan scheme here at Alde Valley Academy.  We recognise that access to devices has been invaluable for families during these challenging times, and recognise the importance of access to a suitable device for all the learning tools required for your child's educational journey.  Any student in attendance at our school can borrow a laptop to take home for up to 6 weeks at a time through the scheme.  To arrange for your child to borrow a device, please contact the front office, alternatively you can email d.neill@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk


Once again, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your support and resilience during this difficult year. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any feedback about any aspect of Alde Valley Academy d.mayhew@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk.


Yours faithfully,

Dan Mayhew