It’s full ahead, says Guy Hutchence, Principal Designate of the East Manchester Academy, as he counts down to the new school opening in September 2010.
Despite Christmas festivities we found time last month to launch the ‘Career Sixth Form’ at Cube in Manchester city centre. I’m delighted that – although we obviously haven’t got any of our own Year 11s yet – 30 or so young people came to see us at the gallery.
The Universities of Salford and Manchester were represented as were our sponsors, Bovis Lend Lease and Laing O’Rourke. Aim Higher and Places Matter were there as well as some local architects. It was very encouraging to see so many local young people considering the new East Manchester Academy.
The academy model can offer something extra to these post-16 students. Although our sponsors can’t guarantee every school leaver a career, they are obviously looking for the creative, bright young minds of the future and will offer mentoring and job placements to many of our students. Our sixth formers will automatically get much closer to the job market than their contemporaries from other schools and colleges. They will be ahead of the field.
We’ll only have a small sixth form to start with but we are especially keen on those young people who have a special interest in science, engineering, the built environment, and art and design. The application deadline is later this month and we’ll interview everyone who applies. By the end of next month we should know who has been successful in becoming one of our first Career Sixth Formers.
In March, we’ll also know which of the current Year 6 will be joining us in September. We know we’ll be full and we’re looking forward to providing those 180 pioneers with a first-class educational experience.
One other things I wanted to mention is that, towards the end of last year, Balfour Beatty – the contractors for the academy – ran a competition amongst local primary schools to calculate how many bricks were used in the construction of the building. I can’t say yet who the winners are but I can reveal we had 11 correct answers. Okay, there were some clues: the entrants were told the school’s dimensions, the size of the windows – which of course had to be excluded – and the dimension of a brick. There must be some excellent mathematicians in east Manchester!
The winners will get prizes and a tour of the building by Balfour Beatty and I’ll announce the winners in next month’s blog!
It’s 12 months now since I started as Principal Designate. The time has flown by and we’ve made fantastic progress. But the clock is still ticking and there is still a lot to do. By the end of March we will have recruited all the staff we need for September, so we’re on target and looking forward to an amazing 2010.