The East Manchester Academy’s Principal Designate, Guy Hutchence, continues his monthly feedback from the new academy.
In February we welcomed the winners of the ‘The Balfour Beatty Maths Challenge’ where local primary schoolchildren had calculated how many bricks it had taken to build the new academy. The young mathematicians were given a tour of the building and it was a delight to meet such exemplary pupils who represented their primary schools superbly. A sign of things to come!
A highlight of the tour was the fully glazed footbridges on each of the three floors, connecting studios and ‘homebases’. These ‘curriculum links’ as we’ve called them – because they link the different subject areas – are now complete and will act as a showcase for pupils’ work in the future.
All the interior walls have now been painted and flooring is down in most classrooms. There is even a fully-furnished sample classroom for visitors to experience: something like a showhouse in a new housing development.
Over the half term break the teachers we’ve already appointed met to discuss a ‘thematic curriculum’ that will underpin our built environment specialism. We’re investigating ways in which our specialism can be introduced into a number of different subject areas, at the same time making sure the needs of all students will be met across all subjects. We’re getting there!
Of course the 1st of March has been the long-awaited date when Year 6 children find out which high school they have been allocated. We’ll soon hear from the local authority who our 180 ‘pioneers’ will be and I look forward to welcoming them to our new school. We’ll organise orientation sessions for them all as soon as we can, so when they arrive on their first day in September they will already know their way around the academy and their new surroundings will feel familiar. Pupils and their families will be receiving ‘transition’ arrangements as soon as we have all the details.