Head of School Blog - September 2018

February 4th 2019

Where has the last month gone!

It certainly doesn't feel like we have been back at school for a month since the end of the Christmas break, but when you look back on what we have achieved and what the pupils have experienced it makes you realise how busy academy life is.

Since my last update our year 11 cohort had some excellent examination success. 88% of the pupils who sat the Certificate in financial education examination achieved a good pass or better with a significant proportion achieving top grades. This puts this group in a very strong position to achieve highly in the summer when they sit the final paper. I know the pupils are grateful to the staff for the hard work they have put in to help guide them through a new course, but, this success wouldn't have happened without the commitment and dedication of the pupils.

We continue to support the pupils in English and Maths in order to ensure they achieve the best possible outcomes in these vital subject areas so that they can go on to fulfil their ambitions later in life. Over the past two weeks we have used our bright day to offer additional sessions to the pupils and the engagement, focus and quality of work produced was phenomenal. Pupils are also engaging well with intervention sessions before and after school with a significant number volunteering to give up their time to help others as peer mentors in maths which is a fantastic advert for the togetherness and ethos of this year group.

They are currently sitting additional mock exams in Maths and English as well as preparing for a full mock season in March so I am sure you will join me in wishing them every success.

In my last update I talked about the opportunity that year 11 pupils have to experience a summer of challenge and adventure with NCS, it is great that approximately 50 of our pupils have taken up this opportunity which will only be of benefit to them in the future and will give them great life experience to take into their next stage of education or employment.

As part of my role as head of this wonderful academy it is important that I engage with the community and support community events. Over the past two weeks I have been building relationships in this area which in time will only be of benefit to our pupils. I held a meeting with local community representatives and Lilian greenwood the local MP to begin planning a sports event called Jumpers for Goalposts. This event is the brainchild of Pete Bell a local sports leader and is being planned in conjunction with academy pupils. It is shaping up to be a great event and we will provide more details in due course. All there is to say for now is keep Thursday May 30th 2019 free in your diaries!

In addition to Pete I have also met the local army cadet’s leaders and the leader of a local youth club scheme in order to see what further community support we can bring to pupils and what support our pupils can bring to the community. As these initiatives begin to gather pace we will share with parents our ideas and projects.

The half termly parent forum group met in late January and it was encouraging to see a slightly larger than normal turnout. We discussed several issues including the new tier system and attendance rewards. It was great to get clear support from parents with regards to the tier system and our aim to ensure that all pupils behave in an appropriate manner when at school. In terms of attendance rewards, we have heard your message regarding the costs associated with some rewards and will be speaking to the pupil council to generate more ideas on how we can further modify these rewards.

On Thursday February 14th at 5pm I am hosting a meeting to discuss the forming of a Farnborough academy PTA. If you wish to be involved in this initial meeting then please contact the academy to book your place. We will publish the outcome of this meeting to parents in due course so that anyone who is interested, but is unable to make this date can still be involved in future meetings and events.

Martyn Jobling

 

 

January 21st 2019

Over the past two weeks the atmosphere around the academy has been calm and purposeful. The pupils have started the new term in a focussed and positive way and I have been very impressed by their attitudes to learning and the way they have responded to the increased level of expectations that have been placed upon them in terms of attitude and behaviour.

I, along with the rest of the staff body are determined that excellence in all that they do will become a habit for our young people in order that they will go on to be successful and achieve their full potential. Excellence will only become a habit if we insist on it being displayed at all times in all areas. In order to support this during unstructured times we launched a new system from the start of this term. The tier system is used to support and remind pupils which behaviours are and aren't acceptable and to ensure a calm transition between lessons. The vast majority of pupils have responded well to this new system and as previously stated the impact has been to change the atmosphere in a positive way at these key times. During the assemblies with pupils where the new system was launched I made no apology for increasing the level of expectation and promised them that expectations will continue to rise as we move through the year.

It was great to see the National Citizens Service (NCS) in school to offer year 11 the exciting opportunity to spend three weeks in the summer having the opportunity to develop skills they didn't even know they had, take part in an adventure week and experience life on a university campus plus much more. It is an exciting opportunity which is being offered for the all in price of £50 or £20 for those pupils who are in receipt of free school meals.

More info can be found at the following link www.ncsyes.co.uk/summer if you would like your child to attend but they haven't yet signed up then contact the academy and we will be able to support with this. Also if additional support is needed to make the required payment then please speak to us as we may be able to offer some support with additional time to meet this NCS deadline.

The final preparations for the school show 'We will rock you' are well underway and we are getting excited for the performances at the end of February. At the weekend pupils and staff were raising additional funds to support the production through offering a bag packing service at Morrisons. I would like to thank them for giving up their time and you for contributing to the success of this. A larger charitable event I have begun to work on will hopefully see pupils raise funds for and manufacture useful products for an orphanage in Ghana. Some luck pupils may even be given the opportunity to visit and see their charitable contributions in action in the future. This is an exciting link which whilst in its infancy promises to offer so much for our pupils in terms of broadening their horizons and offering new and unique opportunities.

Some key dates over the next few weeks are:-

School photographs for years 11, 9 and 7 are on Thursday this week 

The next parent forum meeting is on Wednesday this week (23rd January) at 6pm. It would be great to see as many of you as possible. we will be discussing the tier system, attendance rewards and sharing some of the different teaching and learning strategies that are used in lessons to support your children. 

Martyn Jobling

 

January 7th 2019

I would like to start by wishing all members of the Farnborough community, parents, governors and the wider community a very happy and healthy new year. Now the festivities of the season are over and the new school term has begun our attention turns to ensuring that all pupils continue to be given every opportunity to shine brightly and achieve their full potential.

In the build up to Christmas you will have seen through our social media channels that a number of pupils showcased their talents and community spirit by visiting a number of local sites and residential homes to sing carols and also put on a fantastic showcase performance in the academy on December 19th. A number of these pupils will also have the opportunity to entertain you in February when we debut our musical for this year, 'We Will Rock You!'

Whilst pupils don't return to the academy until Tuesday January 8th, the staff will be hard at work on January 7th. the focus of our INSET day is to continue to develop teaching and learning within the academy. One of the reasons I enjoy my job so much is that you have never finished learning as a teacher. there are always new ideas and new ways of delivering engaging and motivational lessons to pupils that you can learn, no matter how long you have been teaching for. The staff always enjoy these sessions as it enables them to discuss and try new strategies and activities in order to make any necessary tweaks before they are used with pupils. It is important that we as teachers have these continuous learning opportunities as part of our role as without them the education system would not move forwards.

As we are in January and it is traditional to think about resolutions I have made several that link to my role at Farnborough. The pupil voice I completed before the holidays suggests that they would agree that I am a man of my word and that when I make promises to them about their academy I ensure they are delivered, therefore, I am confident that this will be the case for my resolutions. 

In order to spread the word about the amazing work that happens at the academy I have entered the 21st century with a twitter account and will be aiming to tweet out about the internal work of the academy at least 3 times a week, for those of you on twitter follow me @martyn_jobling and the academy @FarnboroughAcad

I will be updating my blog on the website on a much more regular basis (fortnightly) in order to keep you abreast of all of the work we are doing and inform you of any important upcoming dates.

Finally, I will continue to work hard to bring the community and the academy together in order to work as one to support the young people of Clifton both inside and outside of school so that they can continue to shine brightly and be as successful as possible.

Martyn Jobling

October 7th 2018

In the two weeks since I updated my blog there have been lots of activities happening around the academy. The pupils are getting into the swing of the academic year and they are settling well into their learning. Year 11 are beginning to prepare for their mock exams which are in a few short weeks and these will be an important milestone in their journey towards their final exams.

Over the past two weeks the academy held its annual careers fair for years 9-11 and this was fantastically well attended and has shown pupils exactly what they need to achieve at school in order to fulfil their aspirations. We have taken a group of pupils to Dovecote Primary School to support with their English festival. This visit was really well recieved by the Farnborough pupils, the primary school teachers and the year 6 pupils they worked with. We have also launched our annual opportunity for year 10 pupils to work with local large companies in order to find out more about the world of work. Two years ago this initiative involved just 10 pupils and one company (East Midlands Airport), this year 70 year 10 pupils will be able to participate across 7 different local companies, this is a unique experience that only pupils of Farnborough benefit from and we are always looking for more partners to work with.

My favourite activity over the past two weeks though has to be the opportunity I had on Wednesday when I was able to meet with over 500 Farnborough students, all with one thing in common. All of the students I met with were students who do the right thing, day in, day out without making a fuss and as such had recieved only positive achievement points via the school reward system. It was wonderful to be able to say well done to this outstanding group of young people and to talk to them about how their hard work, positive attitude and commitment to school will benefit them in the future.

Looking forwards this week we are once again opening our doors on Wednesday October 10th from 6-7pm for our second open evening. This gives parents and pupils who couldn't make our first event an opportunity to visit us before making your secondary school application for 2018/19. We look forwards to welcoming prospective pupils and their families to this event.

Martyn Jobling

 

September 23rd 2018

This week the academy welcomed year 11 pupils back from a week of work experience. They were full of interesting stories about what they had learnt and were motivated to achieve what they needed to in order to gain employment in the future. A record number of students participated in this experience and all students completed the full week with impeccable standards of behaviour and commitment. A number even received offers of apprenticeships in the future (exam result dependent of course!). Well done to you all.

I had the delight of meeting with a number of parents on Tuesday night at the parent forum event. It was great to see such a large number of parents join us. It was clear to me that they are as passionate as I am about ensuring the academy provides the highest quality of education for the young people of this community now and into the future. We discussed a range of topics such as the plans the academy has to continue to develop and move forwards as we move into the new trust, the key messages we have given pupils and communication. If you would like to get involved with the next event look out on social media for more details after half term.

On Wednesday we were delighted to be able to welcome a large number of visitors to our year 6 open evening. It was great to meet with potential future pupils and their parents. Current pupils and staff used the opportunity to showcase the very best of Farnborough and all were a credit. The atmosphere around the academy was excellent with the year 6 pupils taking the opportunity to try out some of the exciting activities they would undertake as a Farnborough pupil. If anyone who did or didn't manage to attend this event would like the opportunity to visit the academy again or has any further questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Whilst Friday was an INSET day for pupils, staff were at work undertaking further training in order to ensure that we continue to develop as an academy. Staff were engaging in work around positive behaviour management so that we can continue to effectively instil our core values into the pupils we teach and reflect them in our activities and interactions. In addition I also had the pleasure of meeting with Lilian Greenwood MP. Lilian and I discussed the support she can give to the academy and the opportunities she can support with in terms of the holistic development of our students. It was a productive meeting and I am sure that there will be great opportunities for our pupils in the future as this positive relationship between Lilian and the school continues to flourish.

Martyn Jobling

 

 

September 12th 2018

I would like to thank all parents, students and staff for the support they have shown me during my first full week as head teacher at Farnborough and for their commitment to starting off this academic year in an outstanding manner.

It is great to see all students arriving at the academy looking exceptionally smart in their uniforms. Thankyou to all of the parents who made this happen as I know from personal experience that this isn't always the easiest of tasks!
 
During this week we have spoken at length to the students about the need to pursue excellence in all that they do, and, if they do this, with our support they will be able to go on and achieve their full potential and ensure that their hopes and aspirations for the future come true.
 
As you will be aware from social media this year saw the best ever examination performances in Farnborough history; I have set year 11 the target of ensuring that this record only stands for one year. I have also set year 10 the target of ensuring that the new record also stands for just one year too!
 
I am determined that together we will raise the achievement of all students at this academy and give more the opportunity to move on to the next stage of their education with high level, high quality qualifications.
The reaction of the students to this challenge has been positive and I know that they will do all they can to ensure they meet the target I have set them.
 
On Tuesday 18th September at 6pm I would like to give all parents the opportunity to come to the academy to meet with myself and other members of the senior team so we can share with you more of the details around how we will be moving the academy forwards over the course of this and future years.
 
Over the coming weeks I will be providing you with regular updates about the fantastic work that students are completing and giving you a greater insight into academy life.
 
Martyn Jobling