Herald #32 - Alec Hunter Academy

Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
As you will be aware, Alec Hunter Academy was subjected to a ‘no notice’
Ofsted inspection last week, on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th March.
This means that we received a telephone call at 8:15am on the Wednesday
morning, telling us that a team of 4 inspectors would be arriving in 15
minutes. I’m sure you can imagine the potential stress that such a situation
could cause, but I should firstly like to pay tribute to our staff for the
incredibly calm and determined manner in which they rose to this challenge,
committed, as they always are, to demonstrating the high quality learning
that goes on every day in our classrooms.
I should also like to thank the students, whose conduct was impeccable over
the two days, indicating their own desire to support the teachers who work
with them and to showcase their pride in their school. It was noted by
inspectors that they were mature, courteous, engaged with their learning
and respectful towards both adults and each other. This was great to hear,
but was no accident, as these are the qualities we see all the time.
Finally, I should like to record my most heartfelt thanks to our parent
community. The response to our email, asking parents to complete the
Ofsted online survey, was phenomenal, with the number of completed
questionnaires shooting up from 22 to 157 in just over 24 hours. Even more
pleasing was the nature of these responses, with over 90% positive in almost
all categories, including 92% stating that they would recommend Alec Hunter
to another parent. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these results
played a significant role in helping the inspectors to come to their decisions
about whether the school is improving and assisted us in telling a convincing
story about the journey to excellence that we are on. Your support for our
efforts is most uplifting and is greatly appreciated.
At this stage, the outcomes are confidential, but I will be able to give further
comment once the report has been published in a couple of weeks’ time.
Suffice to say that we are very satisfied with the judgement, which was the
best we could achieve, bearing in mind our historical exam results, and the
gradings corroborated our own views about where we are as a school.
Thanks again to all members of the Alec Hunter community for helping us
through this stressful experience and for playing your part in our success.
T. Lawn
School Finances
Just last week, I shared information with staff regarding our budgetary
situation for 2015/16 and felt it would be worthwhile also explaining to
parents the financial pressures that schools and colleges are facing in their
planning for next academic year. I am afraid to say that, in times of austerity
and reductions in public spending, you will be unsurprised to hear that it is
not a very rosy picture.
School Opening Times
Visitors’ Reception
Monday-Thursday: 8:15am-4:15pm
Friday: 8:15am-3:45pm
Student Reception
Student Absence
We would be grateful if parents
reporting absence would use this
Tel: 01376 559356
Text: 07598 393348
[email protected]
Please be aware that the text
number is only for texts and there is
no voicemail service.
Diary Dates
March Diary Dates
26th – Y9 Option Forms due
26th – Y8 ‘Our Future’ Workshop
27th – Last day of term - 1:10pm
finish for students
(Ski Trip and Normandy Trip depart)
April Diary Dates
13th – Students return to school
17th – St Omer trip departs
17th – World Challenge Quiz Night
20th – Skills Day
21st – Performing Arts Practical Exam
27th – Year 8 Exams Week
30th – GCSE PE Practical Exam
Reflections Themes
Week commencing 23/03/15:
Share & Share Alike
Week commencing 13/04/15:
Communication Skills
Week Commencing
13/04/15 is Week A
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
School funding for 5-16 year olds has been protected over the duration of the
current parliament, but at a ‘flat cash level’ which has meant that the funding
rate per pupil has remained static and has not kept pace with general inflation
and pay rises. There are further and very significant rises in costs for the
coming academic year which will make it extremely difficult for schools to
retain their current level of provision. From September this year, there is an
increase of 2.38% in the amount that schools must pay towards the pensions
of the teachers they employ. Furthermore, from April 2016, an increase of
3.4% in the employers’ National Insurance contribution will mean schools
having to find around an additional £1,100 for each teacher they employ and
slightly less for each other member of staff. On top of this, schools will need
to fund the agreed pay rises for teachers and other staff. Forecasts suggest
that these increases will add just over 4% to what it costs us to run a school.
Schools that are academies are also facing a funding cut with a reduction in
their ESG (Education Support Grant) of £53 per pupil. This, coupled with the
fact that we have seen a drop in the number of students joining us in Year 7
over the past two years, partly due to low birth rates in the district, means
that we will see an overall reduction in funding of £385,000 at Alec Hunter in
2015/16 compared with 2014/15. Alarming though this may seem, I am led
to believe that some schools are facing a deficit of over £600,000. Whilst we
have some financial reserves which we retained from previous years once we
became aware that education funding was to be frozen, these will not last for
very long.
It is hard to tell, at this point, what the likely impact of these financial
constraints will be, but we will certainly need to keep our staffing under
review and reflect carefully on issues such as class size, staff contact time
allocations and our curriculum offer. We may also be forced to consider a
reduction in some of the opportunities that we are able to offer our students,
although we will, of course, try hard to resist this.
I should like to thank you in advance for your understanding and trust that
you will not hesitate to contact me if you have any thoughts on how we can
economise further or generate additional funding for the school. T. Lawn
As we reach the end of another term, the following colleagues will be leaving
Alec Hunter for pastures new or, in some cases, have already done so in
recent weeks:
Donna Bootle
After 12 years’ service as a Clerical Assistant, Office Manager and
Headteacher’s PA, Donna has left the school to take up an administrative
position nearer to her home. A huge number of parents, carers, outside
agencies and members of the community have been assisted by Donna over
her time in the school and she was particularly skilled in dealing with
distressed or anxious visitors, maintaining her composure and listening
intently to their concerns. She has been an incredibly loyal servant to the
school, providing valuable support to staff and students, most notably during
Mr Hutchinson’s illness when her experience, professionalism and sensitivity
helped to keep the school moving forward. Donna will be greatly missed by
all her colleagues but we wish her well and offer our appreciation for the huge
contribution she has made at Alec Hunter.
Golden Ticket Winners
Owen Cooper 7H
Holly George 8E
Jaden Orriss 8N
Oliver Coburn 9N
Harrison Witcomb 9E
Connagh Pugh 10L
Paige Collins 10L
Clean Responsibility Card
Jodie Maris 7E
Larisa Calugar 8U
Hannah Snedker 8T
Neve Bell 9R
Megan Connew 9R
Lewis Raison 10E
Ellie Churchyard 10A
Students of the Week
Owen Cooper 7H
Harvey Ellis 7N
Jake Miller 7N
Corben Sayer 8E
Eden Lawrence 8N
Charlie Myers 8H
Amy Overall 8U
Sara Whitman 8N
Isabel Croft 8R
Laura Hardison Taylor 9T
Samuel Crow 9R
Charlie Weston 9C
Olivia Harris 9T
Eliott Sadler 10A
Laura Borein 10N
Chloe Guppy 10A
Jehad Salahuddin 10U
Listening Champions
Kyle Rayson 7U
Ben Phillips 7N
Aimee Beard 7E
Crystal Brown 8R
Chloe Rodriguez-Morris 8H
Joseph Giddings 8U
Charlie Truscott 8N
William Atkinson 9U
Katie Knight 9N
Kiara-Leigh Plaw 9T
Kaillum Eavery 9E
Iman Sleemy 10T
Nicholas Murray 10H
Thoms Fox 10T
Ciara Willsher 10T
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
Tom Braybrook
Tom has been a part of Alec Hunter for some time. A former student who left
in summer 2010, Tom then joined our technician team, in February 2011, as
an apprentice. He has always displayed a “can do” attitude to work and
contributes fully to the team. He has been instrumental in setting up for
media presentations and other events both in school and out of school. He
will also be forever remembered as the creator of the hugely popular “Happy”
video for Leavers in 2014.
Bonus Vivo Winners
Josef Sillett 7T
Matthew Cairns 8R
Jamie Mawer 8T
Alexa-Jane Nelson 8E
Tom has secured a promotion to a higher level technical support post at St
John Payne School in Chelmsford. We are sad to see him go, but fully
understand that this is the next phase in what will no doubt be a successful
career for him. Thank you, Tom, for all your hard work and support.
Roger Walker-Arnott
Roger joined Alec Hunter in May 2012 and has taken the lead in improving
our school website and establishing virtual learning environments, such as
iAlec and Firefly, which have aided teaching and learning within the
school. He has excellent knowledge of setting up online systems and also
undertook photographic duties at many school events. Roger will now focus
fully on developing his own web business, which is a great opportunity for
him to expand his experience and knowledge.
Quiz Winners
Thank you, Roger, for all your work on our communication systems, we have
very much appreciated your input and expertise.
Year 8 Monitors
Mr Stanford
Mr Stanford came to Alec Hunter in June 2012 as a Newly-Qualified Teacher.
He quickly became a valued member of the ICT Curriculum Area team, both
at AHA and the Braintree Sixth Form, through his friendly manner and
enthusiasm for the subject. He has been instrumental in driving the transition
from traditional ICT teaching to a more programming-based Computer
Science focus, both in and out of lesson time.
Well done to the following students
for their monitoring duties between
2nd March – 13th March 2015
Mr Stanford is leaving Alec to move into a new role at Colchester Institute,
where he will be pursuing his ambition to deliver more KS5 courses and to
begin teaching degree courses. We should like to offer our thanks for his
efforts and wish him luck on his new path.
Miss Johnson
Miss Johnson joined the school in September 2014 following the departure
of Mr Applewhite. She quickly established herself as a strong practitioner
who is passionate about her subject. She has given her support to Miss
Chamberlain, the Acting Head of Science, with strategies and interventions,
most notably in preparing Year 11 students for Core Science resit exams. Miss
Johnson has now been appointed as the new Head of Science at St Nicholas
School in Harlow, so we wish her well with this new venture and should like
to thank her for her contributions at Alec Hunter.
End of Term Arrangements
As is our usual practice, we will be closing the school at 1:10pm on the last
day of term - Friday, 27th March.
Year 11 students should take full advantage of this two week break, to hone
their skills in preparation for their exams. We will be running a number of
Easter revision sessions, and have sent out details to invited students. It is our
expectation that students will attend these sessions so as to maximise their
chances of success. Please see the timetable later in this issue.
(w/c 23/02/15 – 13/03/15)
8E 8H 8R 9T 9R
Ross Baker
Crystal Brown
Cameron Barnes
Isabel Croft
Matthew Cairns
Evie Dodge
Toby Coles
Hollie Foster
Jasmine Godbold
Zach Goodman
Kiera Hornsby
Lewis Kelly
Charlie Amos
Haydn Castell
Holly George
Ryan Garrod
Ellie Jordan
Louis Goodacre
Ami May
Jason Kirby
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
Year 9 Options Process
We wish to inform you that we have made an alteration to our curriculum for
2015-16 which may impact your child’s options choice.
Due to the vastly increased syllabus content and continuing importance of
core subjects, we have decided to increase further our time allocation to
Maths and English at Key Stage 4, meaning that students will study these
subjects for an additional hour per fortnight. Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
(RPE) will therefore no longer be studied by every student as a Core CGSE
subject. However, should your child wish to study GCSE RPE, it is still available
to select as a Block 3 option choice.
An updated Options Booklet reflecting this change can be found on our
website, or it is available for download HERE.
Should you have any queries or concerns regarding this decision or the
Options process in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. The deadline
for return of Options Forms is Thursday, 26th March 2015.
Year 8 ‘Our Future’ Workshops
Our second evening of workshops for parents and carers takes place on
Thursday 26th March. The focus for the evening will be helping students
prepare for and cope with the pressure of exams. Our Year 8 exams week
commences on Monday 27th April when students will be completing end of
year exams in most of their subjects. The schedule will replicate GCSE exam
conditions, so as to help students become accustomed to the demands of
having several assessments in quick succession and to learn vital revision
The workshops aim to offer guidance on how parents can best support
students with their revision and coping with stress at home, and the plan for
the evening is as follows:
Registration/ Refreshments.
6:30 – 7:15pm:
1st Workshop. Sessions to choose from:
 History support
 Boosting self-esteem and relaxation techniques
 Combating stress / revision skills
2nd Workshop. Sessions to choose from:
 Science Support
 Boosting self-esteem and relaxation techniques
 Combating stress / revision skills
7:20- 8:00pm:
We would be delighted if you could join us for the evening. If you would like
to come along, please return your reply slip, identifying which workshops you
would like to attend and the number of people joining you.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Miss
McEvoy. We look forward to working with you to build a better future.
Year 8 Monitors
Veronica Moraru
Owen Morris
Alexa-Jane Nelson
Kyle Sorrell
Holly Roberts
Corey Norgate
Tayla Sutherland
Shania Williams
Maya Hull
Amy Humphrey
Harry Maris
Keyleigh MacDonald
Matthew Maynard
Grace Malyon
Amy O’Connor
Jack Parson
Rachael Ovel
Tyrone Stansfield
Lucy Swandel
Alfie Stephenson
Logan Warden
Travis Wiffen
Brent Allen
Kayleigh Breach
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
Skills Day – 20th April 2015
Framlingham Castle
Château d’Ebblinghem, St Omer
Our next Skills Day takes place on 20th April and we are pleased to confirm the events that we have planned, as follows:
Year 7
This year group will enjoy a careers activity called ‘The Real Game’. We have a specialist company coming in to deliver
this to students and know that they will benefit greatly from this experience.
Year 8
Our Year 8 students will be making final preparations for their forthcoming exams week which takes place from
Monday 27th April to Friday 1st May. This Skills Day will provide them with advice and guidance on revision, so that
they enter their exam week feeling confident and prepared in full.
Year 9
Our Learning for Life team is putting together an informative day for this year group, with relationships being the key
Year 10
Our History students will be visiting Framlingham Castle. They will have the opportunity to tour the castle and learn
first-hand about its development through the ages. This will allow them to complete a piece of coursework, worth 25%
of their final GCSE grade, relating to a local historical site.
Students that do not study History will remain in school and will be working within the Science Department, where
they will prepare for their Core exam.
Year 11
We have a team coming to Alec Hunter for the day to deliver a ‘GCSE Champion programme’. This is set to be a high
energy programme that will super-boost motivation levels and put our Year 11 students in a really good position for
their upcoming exams.
We also have a 4 day visit to France taking place for 50 of our Year 7 and 8 students, meaning that they will be enjoying
their Skills Day a little further afield than the rest of the school! They will be staying at the Château d’Ebblinghem, a
19th century French country house set in a rural location 8km east of St Omer in North West France. It has four hectares
of private grounds, as well as two football pitches, a volleyball area and outdoor activities. The students participating
in the trip certainly have a wonderful time ahead of them.
Key Stage 3 Revision Guides
The Science Department has Key Stage 3 revision guides for sale, which are an excellent resource to help with
homework in Years 7, 8 and 9. They are priced at £3.00 and are available from the Science Technicians.
Alec Hunter Venue Hire
For information on venue hire, community classes, events and training please view this website link
If you run an evening or weekend exercise or wellbeing class and would like to hire one of our facilities, please contact
Lisa Artus on [email protected] or telephone 01376 559351 / 01376 321813.
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
Future Fundraising Events
Please make a note of these dates in your diaries:
Year 7 & 8 Disco – 15th May 7:30-9:30pm
Ladies’ Pampering Evening – 5th June 7:00-10:00pm
Indoor Boot Sale – 17th October 11:00am-1:00pm
Indoor Boot Sale – 21st November 11:00am-1:00pm
If you are interested in attending an event, would like to be alerted when the Pampering Evening tickets go on sale,
are a therapist that would like to take part in the Pampering Evening, or would like to book a stall at one of our indoor
boot sales, then please contact Denise Stevens on 01376 328059 or [email protected]
Martial Arts Club
Are you looking for a fun way to spend time with your child on a Friday evening?
Why not come along to our Mixed Martial Arts club.
It takes place in the Main Hall on Friday evenings from 7:30 – 8:30pm. It is run by an experienced and qualified trainer
and it’s FREE!
For more details, please contact Mrs C Maragkakis on 01376 321813 ext 272.
100% Attendance
Congratulations to 7N who achieved 100% attendance for the week commencing 27th February 2015.
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
Congratulations to 7R who achieved 100% attendance for the week commencing 6th March 2015.
Congratulations to 9N who achieved 100% attendance for the week commencing 6th March 2015.
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
Year 11 Easter Revision Plan
Morning Session
Afternoon Session
Science 10.00-12.00 F corridor
MFL 12.30-2.30 L corridor
History 10.00-12.00 B5 & B6
Geography 10.00-12.00 B1 & B2
RPE 10.00-12.00 A4
History 12.30-2.30 B5 & B6
Geography 12.30-2.30 B1 & B2
RPE 12.30-2.30 A4
Maths 10.00-12.00
E3, E4, E5, E6 (Maybe E2)
Maths 12.30-2.30
E3, E4, E5, E6 (Maybe E2)
Drama Rehearsals 9.30-12.00 G2, G1,
Performing Arts (Rehearsal)9.30-12.00 G4
Graphics D8 and D5 10am-2.00pm
Drama 12.30-3.00 G2, G1
Rehearsals Performing Arts (Unit 2 Portfolio)
12.30-3.00 Computer room A2
Graphics D8 and D5 10am-2.00pm
Good Friday
Bank Holiday Monday
GCSE P.E. 10.00-12.00 G4
I.T. E7 10.00-12.00
GCSE P.E. 12.30-2.30 G4
English 10.00-2.00pm C Corridor
Art 10.00-12.00 L1 & L2
English 10.00-2.00pm C Corridor
Art 12.30-2.30 L1 & L2
Art 10.00-12.00 L1 & L2
Technology ( Engineering Catering, Child
Development) 10.00-12.00 D8, D5
Art 12.30-2.30 L1 & L2
Technology (Engineering, Catering, Child
Development TBC.) 12.30-2.30 D5, D8
Music (listening) 9.30-12.00 G3
Drama Rehearsals 9.30-12.00 G2, G1
Business Studies 12.30-2.30 E7/E8
Art 10.00-12.00 L1&L2
Performing Arts (Unit 2 Portfolio) 12.30-3.00 A2
Art 12.00-3.00 L1&L2
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
FELSTED SCHOOL = 27th July – 7th August 2015
We are pleased to announce that we are again running the Essex Rugby Summer Camps, held at Felsted School. These residential
courses are open to players of all sizes and abilities, and they will have the opportunity to work alongside the best coaches in Essex,
in an enjoyable learning environment.
**** This year we are adding some age groups to the Summer Camps – an U12-U15 Girls, 2 day non-residential camp and an U17/18
Boys 2 day residential camp ****
The players will receive the equivalent of 2 months of club coaching during their stay with us, and will go away with new skills, both
on and off the pitch. The players will have access to the swimming pool (with fully qualified lifeguards), tennis, basketball, football
and team building games. The rugby content will include the key principles of the game – Running, Handling, Contact and Passing.
All staff will be fully qualified RFU coaches, and the programme will be led by professional RFU RDO coaching staff. There will also
be ‘non – rugby’ members of staff, who will be responsible for all matters ‘pastoral’.
Please print an application form from essexrugby.com, and return to Scott Murphy, at the address provided. Places
on the courses will be allocated strictly on a first come – first served basis, with only 40 residential places on each
This is a truly excellent opportunity for all young rugby players in the County, and the Essex RFU, along with
the Rugby Football Union are looking forward to them being part of the Essex Rugby Summer Camp experience,
one that they will want repeat year after year.
Please note that the course applied for should be the age group your child will be in as of Sept 2015.
6th & 7th August 2015
£145 Residential / £115 NonResidential
27th & 28th July 2015
£145 Residential / £115 NonResidential
29th, 30th & 31st July 2015
£175 Residential / £145 NonResidential
3rd, 4th & 5th August 2015
£175 Residential / £145 NonResidential
6th & 7th August 2015
£145 Residential / £115 NonResidential
U12/15 Girls
27th & 28th July 2015
£80 Non-Residential Only
For further information please contact
[email protected] / 07595 799472
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
To all parents and carers…
Worried about your child?
Running out of ideas about how best to help them?
Would you like to talk through the problem and look for some possible
Why not book an informal Consultation Meeting with an Educational
Venue: Alec Hunter Academy, Braintree, CM7 3NR
Tuesday 24th March 2015
9:30am – 12:30pm
For further information and to book a timeslot, please contact:
Amanda Furness (Educational Psychologist)
Tel: 03330134261
Email: [email protected]
24 March 2015| Week B | Issue #32
Telephone: 01376 321813 | [email protected] | www.alechunter.com
Please find below our line management arrangements for students. The first point of contact for enquiries
should be your child’s tutor and then their Pastoral Leader. Our Achievement Coordinators focus on your
child’s overall achievement and progress in lessons.
Form Tutors
Mrs Porter
Miss McInerney
Mrs Johnson
Mr Mullender
Mrs Truscott
Pastoral Leader
Pastoral Leader
Pastoral Leader
Pastoral Leader
Pastoral Leader
Mr Moreno
Miss McEvoy
Mr Booth
Miss Jones
Mr Holland
Mr Lee
Mrs Richards
Miss Chamberlain
Assistant Headteacher
Assistant Headteacher
Mrs Richards / Miss Chamberlain
Mrs J Jackson / Miss L Morgan
Child Protection
Attendance Officers
Should you have a subject-related query, for example, regarding homework, firefly, etc., the first point of contact should
be the class teacher. Listed below are the Heads of each Curriculum Area, along with the member of the Leadership
Group responsible for each Curriculum Area, to help parents in knowing who to approach for assistance.
Head of Curriculum Area
Senior Leader
English/Media Studies
Mr McKenna
Mr Woods
Mr Govender
Mr Woods
Miss Chamberlain
Mr Lawn
Ms Woolnough
Miss Leack
Technology/Art/Child Development
Mr Todd
Mr Fox
Mrs Steward
Mr Fox
ICT/Computer Science/Business Studies
Ms Walker
Miss Leack
Mr Edwards
Miss Leack
Personal Development
Mrs Powell
Mr Birley
Special Educational Needs
Mr Gilbert
Mr Birley
Learning for Life
Miss Marriott
Miss Leack
Leisure & Tourism/Retail Services/Workskills
Mr Sykes-Wood
Mr Fox