What is the reason you are not admitting prospective families to visit the Academy at this time?
We carefully considered, both before and after the summer holiday, the prospect of having families visit our site to experience the Academy. With the current COVID-19 infections nationally increasing, we deemed it prudent, for the sake of our student’s staff and any visitors, to make the Open Evening entirely remote. We understand some families may be disappointed but we believe that this is the right thing to do at this time. After the National Offer Day (March 1st 2022), we will be hosting all students who have received an offer at the Academy as soon as we reasonably can in order to give them a fuller understanding of Academy life. This will be the first of many opportunities for interaction with the Academy as we seek to do all we can, including academy staff visiting your child’s primary school and multiple induction experiences, prior to September.
How many students do you admit per year group?
Our published Pupil Admission Number is 185 and has been so since 2014.
What is the measures like with regards to Anti-Bullying at the Academy?
In our most recent survey, 99% of parents (Parental Survey 2019) agreed that the Academy deals with bullying effectively. This was further supported by a student survey where the vast majority of students felt that ‘bullying was not a problem at their school’ (Student Survey 2019). The measures we take here at the Academy are a culture of openness, where all students take collective responsibility to report any concerns, either their own or something that they may have seen. Specialist students known as ‘Anti Bullying ambassadors’ also report concerns that they see and are a peer that students can go to for courage to tell someone about the problem. Our specialist Student Support Managers, who assist House Principals, work with both victims in ensuring that they feel safe in school, as well as others involved to ensure that such scenarios do not re-occur. Parents should always contact us if they wish to report any unpleasant behaviour that their child has experienced at the Academy, either by e-mailing the admin team or calling the Academy between 8am-4pm.
Do you accept students with an EHCP / How do you support children with SEN?
We accept all children at the Academy as a fully inclusive, comprehensive school. With regards to those students who have an EHCP in place by the ‘National Offer Day (1st March 2022), these students will be prioritised in the event that we have more applications than places for students (that is, we are oversubscribed). For other students who have other SEN issues, our Learning Hub and senior staff work closely with primary schools to ensure that the information sharing and transition to EDA is both pro-active and positive. Additional visits are arranged for those students whom transition to secondary school will be more difficult, based on the feedback from the primary school teachers soon after the National Offer Day. Our Learning Hub have prepared a brief presentation for you, which is accessible from the portal, to get a feel of what this tailored support looks like. We work with all external agencies who liaise with primary schools to ensure that a child has support to allow them to engage with their learning.
How are you keeping children safe at the moment with regards to COVID-19?
We have followed all government guidance with regards to keeping students safe. Students are taught in class bubbles in Years 7, 8 and 9 to limit the number of other students they interact with. All students are required to use hand sanitiser (which are installed in all classrooms) both upon entry and exit. All working spaces are cleaned at the end of every lesson. All students sit in rows facing the front, not in groups facing each other. The Academy is deep cleaned on a daily basis. Social areas have been allocated based on year groups. The start and end of the day are staggered, along with social times. Further information can be found on the front page of our website.
Where do you provide a bus service?
You will find our current bus timetable on the portal. We presently serve Hednesford, Heath Hayes, Norton Canes, Brownhills and the outskirts of Burntwood. Bus services are created based on the needs of those who intend to use the service. For all Year 7 students who have a confirmed place in September 2022, we will prioritise their need on the condition parents reserve the seat before the deadline in the summer.
Do you offer any afterschool clubs?
There are lots of opportunities for students to engage with extra-curricular activities. Whilst our offer is presently limited, due to our need to keep year groups apart, we have started to return to our usual extra-curricular provision. Our various subject teams talk about the opportunities beyond the classroom in the ‘Teaching and Learning’ section of the Open Evening portal. Please note that the Academy does not provide any formal childcare facilities either before or after school.
We are in the process of moving closer to the Academy. What is the latest date that I can submit my application to the authority?
All parents must submit their preferences (either a sole first choice or a first and second preference) to the local authority by October 31st 2021. After this date, your application may be considered late by the authority and you may not receive your preference as it will be considered a late application. We want to manage the process fairly and it will be assumed that the main residential address of a year six student will be used in the application. Please be advised that, in the interests of keeping the process fair to all applicants, we work closely with other parties to confirm all information on an application is genuine. In the event that a relocation takes place after March 1st 2022, we cannot guarantee an offer as all places will be allocated however our waiting list will reflect your new address. As the Executive Headteacher has stated in the first question, we do not have a catchment area and we accept applications from everyone who is currently in Year 6, regardless of location and previous schooling experience (this includes anyone who is currently in Home Elective Education).
How can parents get involved at EDA?
Parents should feel free to contact the Academy regarding anything to do with their child. It is essential that we get the transition right for the whole family so please relay any concerns you have and we will do our best to address these. Under normal circumstances, a parent would meet a child’s tutor early on in Year 7 as well as annual Parent Consultation Evenings. We are presently looking at holding Parents Evenings remotely to allow parents to have feedback on how their child is doing. Progress Reports are sent home twice a year and through our ‘MyEd’, you will receive real time information on how your child is doing in terms of attendance, achievement points and any negative behaviour points. A child will bring their planner home daily and parents are required to sign it weekly to confirm that there are no concerns. We welcome feedback from parents and hold our Parent Forum meetings that give parents the opportunity to feedback on upcoming initiatives and raise any general feedback (i.e. not linked to their child) with regards to our procedures. Due to the current situation, our Parent Forum meetings (which are held termly) have been suspended until such a time as multiple households can meet again safely.
What will my child study in lessons?
Curriculum overviews can be located on the Academy website. These overviews give a clear indication of what students are learning in all subjects. There is also additional information with regard to assessment, literacy, numeracy, oracy, key language for learning and summative and formative assessment.
What Homework will my child be completing?
Homework at the Academy can take many different forms. For our knowledge-based curriculum, students will be set revision tasks to prepare for low-stakes quizzes and tests at the start of lessons. These knowledge retrieval activities recap all taught content which encourages students to continually revisit previous learning, rather than just remembering the last lesson or most recent topic. Teacher’s will then have a good understanding of common misconceptions which will enable them to plan lessons and support students accordingly. In Year 7, students are set reading tasks for homework in English, and tasks on the Dr Frost website in Maths. In Art, students are set a range of different practical artistic tasks to complete.
Every student will be given a folder to store their Knowledge Organisers and revision materials, and will be expected to have them in their school bag every day, and forms part of their basic equipment. They will also be available to download on the Academy website.
There is also a document for parents/carers with practical strategies that you can use to support your child with Knowledge Organisers and revision.
What Bus services/Routes do the Academy offer?