September 2020

posted 22 Sept 2020, 01:00 by Liz Pattinson   [ updated 22 Sept 2020, 01:03 ]

Dear Parent/Carer,

I very much hope that this letter finds you and your families safe and well.

Due to the unprecedented numbers of students joining Alde Valley Academy in the past few weeks we are in a position where some of our tutor groups and teaching classes have exceeded the number that we feel is acceptable.

We have extremely high expectations of our students in terms of behaviour, conduct and work rate but also demand a great deal from our staff. In order to teach, mark and assess students’ work effectively on a regular basis we feel that class sizes need to be manageable. This obviously has a financial implication for the school but we are prepared to meet that cost for the quality of education for your children.

Year 9 currently has three tutor groups which is not enough to accommodate the number of students that we have in the year group. We predict that the number of students joining us in this year group will continue to increase as students and parents start to consider GCSE subject choices. The breadth and quality of our curriculum is such that we have experienced an influx of students into year 9 in previous years.

A new timetable has been written and new members of staff have been employed to allow us to increase to four tutor and teaching groups in all subjects. The timetable is currently being checked by Heads of Faculty and Subject Leads and we propose to start it on Monday 28 September 2020. In the meantime we are pushing ahead with four teaching groups in Maths and Science starting on Monday 21 September 2020. These groups will be set according to ability and will be dynamic, allowing students to move up or down sets according to the progress that they are making.

The Key Stage 3 team lead by Mr Kelsall have arranged the four tutor groups using academic data and have taken into consideration which students work best together. It is inevitable that there will be a small number of students who are disappointed not to be in each others’ class anymore or not to have the same class tutor. We feel that the huge benefit of smaller classes and improved quality of teaching and learning far outways any ‘friendship’ disappointment.

If you have any questions about any aspect of our plans please do not hesitate to contact Mr Kelsall on his school email address:

Wishing you all the very best; stay safe and well.

Yours faithfully,

Mr D. Mayhew