Hello all,

There have been lots of developments since Christmas which I thought I would update you on. Highfield is on a really exciting journey currently with many development projects for Highfield Ely, and we are looking to see how we can best work across two sites with Highfield Littleport.

Visitors to Highfield Ely

I know that you will agree with me that our number one priority is to keep our children safe. To this end, we made some changes to the arrangements for access to our school for visitors and parents in September and I would like to explain these to you.

Our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment for our students and we were concerned that visitors waiting in the main foyer could have easy access to the remainder of the school, therefore presenting a safeguarding risk to pupils. This is why, in September, we asked all visitors, including parents, to wait in the small main entrance area until they are met by the relevant member of staff. Whilst we realise this isn’t ideal this is the best way that we could manage the situation in the interests of safeguarding our pupils.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if any of these arrangements are unclear or you have any further questions.

Highfield Ely Academy (HEA)- Senior Leadership restructure

After a round of recruitment and internal promotions I am delighted to tell you that the Senior Leadership structure is complete for Highfield Ely. The following roles have been allocated to:

Head of School – Adam Daw

Assistant Headteacher – Andy Munday

Key Stage Three Leader – Nadine Long

Key Stage One Leader – Jake Allcock

Adam Daw is currently Head of Cottenham Sixth Form, a specialist sixth form linked to Cottenham Village College. Several of our students have transferred to the Sixth Form over the years, and Adam has raised its performance from at risk of closure to an Outstanding grade at its last Ofsted.

Jake is currently a class teacher at Castle in Cambridge. Jake is really keen to start and has some great ideas about helping to shape our school. Jake will be based in the Early Years and Key Stage One Leader role.

Highfield Littleport Academy (HLA)

As you will know, Yvonne Skillern has been appointed to Head of School for HLA, and Lyn Houghton to Assistant Head with a KS Lead role for KS4 and 6th Form for HLA as numbers grow. Lyn and Yvonne have already started drawing up a curriculum offer between the schools and can’t wait to have an open school in which to work!

Yvonne and I plan to lead a session in the summer term for all parents to hear how our new school is shaping up. I will be in touch when I have a date.

Level 4 Job Coach Role

We have appointed Paula Farrell, an existing Teaching Assistant at HEA to a Level 4 Job Coach role. This is a shared role with HLA and will organise quality Work Related Learning (WRL) placements and lead some Careers and WRL teaching sessions in Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form. Currently another Level 4, Cathy Thomson, has been working on this and has made a great start by gathering students’ in the main KS4 teaching groups ambitions and fitting work placements to them. She has been liaising with the Ely Business Hub which has been a good resource for connecting with businesses. Both staff members have started on some training in WRL that the Local Authority are putting on, and some students have placements secured ready to start soon.

Level 4 Outdoor Learning Role We have appointed Maria Bone to an ‘Outdoor Learning’ post. This will be to provide Forest Schools sessions for Primary and possibly KS3 across HEA and HLA. In the future there may be a need for a second Outdoor learning TA to provide Duke of Edinburgh across the sites also.

Assessment

We have taken on 2 new ways of assessing pupils. The first is “Evisense” which is an app so we can record and upload progress information linked to B Squared. Parents can view this assessment information which can be observations, photos or videos. This is in place in our youngest 3 classes currently, but could travel as far up the school as we use B Squared.

The second change is that we have added the new Autism strand onto B Squared, and are using it for a small number of pupils who have ‘plateaued’ in the main B Squared assessments.

“Move”

We have adopted an approach called ‘Move’ from Meadowgate School in Wisbech. This essentially is about approach in developing physical skills. It applies to a small number of pupils (around 6-8) and is a co-ordinated approach between home, school and physios in drawing up what the next steps are in physical development. It applies to pupils for whom it will be possible to board a minibus or climb a flight of stairs independently. It involves an initial meeting and assessment which is carried out by one of a small number of staff who have received the training. The next steps then would be part of the child’s EHC Outcomes.

Highfield Ely signage

The signage we have outside school is very out of date and needs to be re-done according to our new name and school logo. We are looking at this currently so should be in place in a couple of months.

I am sure you will agree that this is a very exciting time for Highfield Ely and Highfield Littleport and all the opportunities it presents for all our children. I look forward to seeing you all very soon.

Kind regards,

Simon Bainbridge