ATC Summer Newsletter

15 July, 2021
ATC NewsInformation
Message from ATC Trust CEO

What an extraordinary year!  To start, thank you for your hard work and resilience.  Throughout the year, all the challenges we’ve faced have been successfully tackled, with many innovations and developments emerging during the year.  Our approach to, for example, remote learning and our digital strategy, provide us with great reassurance of what we’ve achieved and will develop further next year are of great benefit to our pupils.

 

On our return to school in September I’m optimistic that the restrictions we operate under will be clear and support pupils to be able to attend school with far fewer disruptions.  This  year we have lost just over 17,500 pupil days to self isolation and Covid illness, the overwhelming number to self isolation.  It would be fantastic for this figure not to be newsworthy next year!

 

For those staff moving onto new roles we wish you well in your new school.  In addition, Peter St.John and Ian Machin are retiring from Bowland High after distinguished careers, serving pupils and the community to the highest standard.  Our very best wishes to Peter and Ian.

 

Whatever your plans over the summer break, I hope you are able to rest and enjoy some downtime. Thank you again for your hardwork and determination. I look forward to seeing you in September.

 

Dean Logan

CEO

Staff Updates

Staffing Updates
Rosie Kauser is joining the central team on 8th September. She is our new Business Support Officer and will provide general support across all areas but specifically in HR and Payroll.

From September the team will consist of:
Executive team
Dean Logan, CEO
Jenny Goy, DFO
Tracy Harrison, Primary Director
Beth Lewis, Head of HR
Central team
Suzanne Wilson, HR and Payroll Manager
Chris Hall, Marketing Officer
Imran Khalid, Senior Finance Officer
Rosie Kauser, Business Support Officer
Will Laidlaw, Head of IT
Dan Manley, IT Operations Manager
Adam Carlson, IT Technician
Jason Mills, IT Technician
Ethan Warren, IT Technician
Zaitoon Bukhari, Ed Tech
Seth Wilkins, Arbinger Lead (secondment)

Due to expansion of the team we will be relocating to the first floor of Witton Park CLC from 1st September.

Finance

This term the finance team have started the roll out of online requisitions. Bowland High were the first to introduce this for some requisitioners and budget holders with Roseacre Primary Academy following shortly afterwards. Plans are in place to roll this out to the rest of the trust in September meaning that paper requisition forms will be replaced completely. This is the first step into moving finance processes paperless. The aim is to reduce workload and paperwork for staff and to give them access to real time budget information.

IT Updates

During this term Digital Strategy development plans have been produced and presented to Trustees. The IT team are working behind the scenes on getting ready for the official Digital Strategy launch in September 2021. This work involves reviewing procurement opportunities and ensuring the team is resourced to support the rollout.
In reviewing the team resources the decision has been made to combine all IT staff into one central team from 1st September. This is so that we can provide more targeted support to our schools, can improve procurement opportunities, can develop our own IT experts and can continue to support other schools through service level agreements.
We are excited to welcome Dan Manley, Jason Mills and Ethan Warren to the team and we can’t wait to introduce you to our new recruits to support Bowland High and the Blackpool primaries.

Awareness Days

One highlight for the central team this term was the Go Yellow For Shine day held at the end of May. Shine charity provides support and advice for spina bifida and hydrocephalus across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Activities throughout the day were all based around the colour yellow; wear yellow, yellow buffet (yum!), yellow quiz, sunshine walk with ice-creams.
For more information about Shine please visit www.shinecharity.org.uk

Marketing

To coincide with the digital strategy, we are developing a media library so content is available in one central location. This will allow content more accessible and available to staff.

The Trust marketing team have filmed various events across the Trust schools. Some of these include sports days, school productions and assemblies. The filming has been successful allowing parents to experience the events when they can't physically be in school.

We have been working with the Primary schools Bolton by Bowland and Grindleton to produce promotional video for their schools. The videos will be distributed to the local community and enhance engagement with the two schools. It has been a pleasure working with Paul the executive Headteacher, we hope to work on other projects in the future.

Bowland High Updates

Glow Up Competition Winner Karolina
“Glow Up: Blackburn College’s Next Hair and Beauty Star” was a hair and beauty competition inspired by BBC’s TV show Glow Up.
Over thirty pupils across Lancashire entered the competition with four progressing onto the finals.
They were required to create a festival inspired hair, nail and makeup look in a timed setting. The competition was judged by two industry experts who both own or have owned their own salons and teach the trade. Both judges commented on Karolina’s intricacy and detail that she put into the makeup in such a short space of time.
Karolina won cosmetics, beauty products and £200 for the school.
Well done Karolina, a fantastic achievement.
Mrs Burns

Year 9 Dance
The Y9 GCSE dance group are studying a site specific piece called ‘Within Her Eyes’ by James Cousins. The piece, a duet, sees one dancer being kept off the floor throughout the entire dance and is filmed outdoors, with nature all around. The GCSE dancers can be seen here exploring their own ideas linked to the piece.
Miss Yates

Y7 Trig Point Walk

Millionaire Readers

3G Pitch Progress Pictures

Roseacre Primary Academy Updates

Message from the Head

“I think it is fair to say that schools have faced unprecedented challenges over the past few months. However, thanks to the unwavering commitment of Roseacre staff and continued support from the Roseacre community, we have ensured that school life has continued as close to normality as possible. Every Roseacre child participated in one of our 7 sports days whilst the Year 6 production, awards ceremony and visits to Beacon Fell, went ahead as scheduled. We wish all of our school leavers every future success.

The efforts of our Year 1 children must be recognised. Whilst the Year 1 year group across the country has been hardest hit by the pandemic – both of the children’s years in school have been impacted by covid restrictions, the children have made tremendous progress with their phonics. This news will be warmly received by our reception parents. Our reception year group is oversubscribed for the first time in 3 years.

Everyone at Roseacre is excited by the year ahead and by the opportunities that being part of AtC brings. The Roseacre nursery facilities will be almost unrecognisable in September whilst work being carried out across the school continues unabated.

On behalf of everyone at Roseacre I wish everyone involved with AtC, a relaxing and enjoyable summer.”

Thank you

Sean Hickey

Mad Hair Day

Our first Mad Hair Day saw the return of a few questionable hairstyles - mohawks, perms and even curtains. Like a scene from a 1980’s disco. It was all for a worthy cause - Brian House - with the children raising an astonishing £305.63. Such a donation typifies the selfless fund raising that has been undertaken by Roseacre children this school year.

Reading for Pleasure

Unsurprisingly, Roseacre’s book vending machine is already illuminating smiles across the faces of children, who have - and are yet to - receive a book. Since taking residence in the heart of the school, it has become the hot topic of conversation with many esteemed authors (most notably Sophie Anderson) kindly donating books. It continues to feed our children’s appetite for reading and we look forward to observing even more moments of magic in the near future.

Blackpool Primary Schools’ Virtual Pop Idol 2021

With the Blackpool Primary Schools’ Pop Idol 2021 competition opting for a virtual set-up this year, the entrants had to dig deeper than ever to impress their physically absent listeners. Annie (Year 5) and Nadia (Year 3) entered on behalf of Roseacre, channelling energy, excellence and courage into their individual performances. Both girls delivered stunning renditions of their chosen song, rightfully earning the adulation of the entire community. Annie’s experience reached an emotional crescendo as she was rewarded with a podium finish - receiving a silver medal. We’re confident that a career in musical theatre beckons for both girls!

Sports Day

A highlight of any school year is without a doubt, sports day and here at Roseacre it is no different. Having to contend with more challenges than usual, each year group worked tirelessly, energised to deliver an occasion for the children to remember. With equipment meticulously sanitised and cones regimentally organised, the children fizzed with excitement - roaring their team over the finish line. For some it was their first and others their last, regardless each day was individually special and exemplified that Roseacre resilience we have seen so much of these past eighteen months.

Thames Primary Academy Updates

Forest School at Thames

Year 1 children have enjoyed getting outdoors in the fresh air and connecting to nature.  Mrs Alderson, one of our year 1 teachers is currently training to be a Forest School Leader. 

In these sessions the children have enjoyed finding out about the mythical creatures and fairies that are living in the wood, finding presents, making magical wands and nature crowns. They have also been exploring the trees and plant life and how to protect them, learning about fire safety and getting creative with woodland crafts.

The Forest School Sessions are a child led learning experience that gives children time, space and support to develop new skills and interests through a hands-on practical approach. This in turn increases social and emotional growth, builds resilience and increases self esteem.  We’re hopeful that next academic year we’ll be able to extend this offer to children in Reception and Year 1 and 2.

Digital Learning at Thames 

In preparation for the formal launch of the Digital Strategy at Thames, we have committed CPD time throughout the summer term on the use of the G-suite Apps in order to prepare staff for the Google Educator Level 1 exam. We have over 50 staff members signed up to take their Google Level 1 exam in July this year.

Working with Zaitoon Bukhari, in her capacity as a Google Certified Trainer, has enabled us to create a bespoke training and CPD programme centred around Workspace. Drop in ‘face to face’ and online workshops have been offered to all staff during the Summer Term, to support their development and confidence in the use of Workspace. Teachers have embraced many of the Workspace Apps, such as Classroom, Jamboard, Slides, Sheets, to name a few and these Apps are utilised daily in offering an up to date and collaborative curriculum.

In May 2021 we re-designed KS1/KS2 Computing and re-aligned it to Google Workspace, in order to fully integrate and embed Workspace into the curriculum, maximise its potential and to give our pupils the best provision we possibly can. We will launch this curriculum fully in September. Pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 will also embark on an Applied Digital Skills Programme – we believe this will enable them to gain the basic skills required to fully access and use Workspace in supporting their technological and educational development.

In September I am excited to be taking up the role of Digital Leader 0.5 of my time at Thames.  Working alongside staff to support them to use the range of G-Suite Apps and add ons to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, embed retrieval practice and explore new approaches in assessment for and of  learning. 

Jonathan Ratcliffe Assistant Headteacher

Witton Park Academy Updates

Hello! My name is Muhammed Bapu. I am the Head Boy of Witton Park Academy and Deputy Youth MP of Blackburn and Darwen.

 

Last month, I received the Mayoral Award in recognition for my work within my position as Deputy Youth MP. The criteria for this award is based upon services to the community and Borough overall. Many members of the local community have received this award in the past, especially due to the circumstances of these past two years; we’ve all had to pull together to support one another. Therefore, many have been recognised and have received this prestigious award! 

 

The award was presented to me by the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackburn with Darwen in the early weeks of June. After receiving this award, we had a discussion about the next steps for young people as we move through the latter stages of the pandemic, GCSEs and the process of examinations this year and the importance of young people being supported around mental health.

 

I felt honoured to have received this award and it was not only a proud moment for myself but also for my peers in the Youth Forum, as over the course of the pandemic, we continued with our normal routines of meetings and produced many resources throughout the pandemic. 

 

After receiving this award, I am looking forward to continuing in my role and supporting young people in voicing their views on key issues and how we shape a better future, especially in the recovery period as we move through the pandemic. 

 

Overall, a reminder that amongst the difficult times, there are always opportunities for us to focus on the positives rather than the negatives.

Launch of the WPA Badges

 

We are delighted to be part way through the launch of the WPA Badges programme at Witton Park Academy and thought we’d share some of the inspiring work completed by our students.

 

The WPA badges are part of our enrichment and entitlement offer which aims to provide our students with valuable and culturally enhancing opportunities. The aims of the programme are:  

  1. To build a school culture and climate which celebrates success and instills in our students the importance of grasping opportunities. 
  2. To provide every student with opportunities for experiential enrichment, personal development and diverse curriculum experiences that support academic success.
  3. To support the idea of student agency and the value of personal empowerment, choice and self-investment. 

Our students have thrown themselves into the Badge challenges and we applaud those pupils who have gone above and beyond with their entries. Through the badges we hope to celebrate personal endeavour and we know that students will love the curriculum, community and enrichment challenges that staff have set up for them next academic year. 

M Mahmood (7MB)

Extract: I have tried to show my vision of “God’s good Earth” by drawing an illustration. In my drawing, you can see the Earth which is in half. On one side there is an assumption of the Earth and on the other side, it shows the Earth and how it is currently.  

On this Earth, there are over 7 billion people living on it. Global warming is a problem and it is affecting our Earth and our lifestyles. Humans cause this problem and climate scientists report that it has been an ongoing problem since the beginning of 2000’s. There are many causes of this, such as; deforestation, the increased use of fossil fuels, littering and much more. As climate change worsens, over the years, there have been more intense storms, droughts, heat waves and melting glaciers which affects the way humans and animals live. The term “sustainability” refers to the practise of not degrading the world’s natural resources such as gas, oil, and coal. It’s critical that these resources aren’t wasted and are used wisely. 

 

My work connects to the religion of Christainity because Christians believe that we are all Stewards which demonstrates that God has blessed us with an Earth and we are to be responsible for it. Chritsians have a duty to do what they can to ensure they are environmentally responsible. Each individual is accountable for their contribution towards the environment.  God created Adam and Eve and gave them responsibility to look after the Garden of Eden. 

 

Additionally, Muslims believe that we are Allah’s Khalifas (trustees), appointed to care for the Earth as God would wish. It is not ours to misuse or waste – we are to protect our Earth and take care of it for future generations.  Some Muslims argue that we should look after the Earth because we will be judged by God on the way they have taken care of the Earth. 

S Ahmad (9EBO) and J Pieczara (9EBO) 

‘‘We have far more in common with each other than that which divides us,” is the title we selected. In this image, you can feel the misery and pain in their eyes, demonstrating how civilization has treated their own kind. The most profound outlook of our work is how we have merged various aspects of each faith into one individual, demonstrating how society has welcomed them in just to stab them in the back. This is related to Jeremy Bentham’s notion of how society abandoned the “greatest good for the greatest number,” declaring that society does not follow what it has taught us as a community. Our clay model emphasizes that we all have our own battles and that we can support one another in those times. This is also related to marxism, a socioeconomic analysis that uses materialistic interpretations to understand class relations and social conflict, concluding that there should be no social classes because we are all equal, meaning that there should be no discrimination or hatred towards anyone, but there is, and that is what our project represents. 

We sought to explain our views and opinions on how the cosmological argument connects to our artwork. The explanation for the person’s standing emphasises how God may have helped them stand strong and pull through despite their serious injuries. If you look closely, you can see how deeply the blade entered their skin, but they are still standing. This illustrates that the concept of God exists because he is willing to help this individual hold their ground and fight for their freedom despite having been through hell.