Principal’s Blog: April 2010

Posted by editor on May 11, 2010 under Education and health

With only months to go before the new East Manchester Academy opens its doors in September, Principal Designate Guy Hutchence offers another monthly round-up of a work-in-progress.

We have just one more member of the teaching staff to recruit before we have a full complement, all ready for September. Whenever possible our new teachers have been coming together after full days at their current schools to prepare teaching plans for the new academy. They are a dedicated team already!

I’m delighted to announce we now have our second Vice Principal – Jane Clewlow – who is with us for most of each week and we’ve also appointed a Corporate Services Director and Manager. To make sure our catering operation is up and running from day one we’ve already recruited a Catering Manager who will start with us in June… so the team is building week by week.

From September we’ll have 16 teaching staff to cover all of the curriculum areas for our 180 Year 7 pupils and, as we take on more students each year, the staff room will become progressively more full with 60 teachers when we are fully open.

I must thank Sportcity for offering to host our transition days later on this summer term. Normally we’d welcome our new students to the school but, as we haven’t got a completed building yet – and short of issuing 180 hard hats – we have to stage our transition days elsewhere. So, over two days at the City of Manchester Stadium, we’ll be welcoming our pioneering students and, in the evenings, their parents and carers. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone then.

On site, the classrooms are looking good and outside the all-weather pitch is nearly complete. Standing on it now, it really is impressive and I can visualise not only our own PE teachers taking full advantage but also coaches from Manchester City FC who will be our guests from time to time.

Local sports groups have already been enquiring about using the state-of-the-art pitch and of course it will just one of our many facilities – including the indoor sports hall, the dance studio and the lecture theatre – that local groups can hire in the evenings and at weekends. With the library open outside school hours the school building will be in use right through the week and throughout the year. A school right at the heart of our community.

I must say I can’t wait for the school to open as I’m looking forward to running a school again!

Principal’s Blog: March 2010

Posted by editor on April 22, 2010 under Education and health

This month Principal Designate Guy Hutchence offers a virtual tour of progress at the East Manchester Academy.

March has been a particularly busy time for us as we now know who our 180 ‘pioneers’ will be for the opening of the new Academy in September. After the half term break we will be organising transition days so our new pupils can familiarise themselves with the new school uniform, the calendar and the timetable. We’ll also be offering tours around the school but, until then, here’s a taster of where we are up to on site.

Click on any one of these thumbnails to get started.

Principal’s Blog: February 2010

Posted by editor on March 3, 2010 under Education and health

The East Manchester Academy’s Principal Designate, Guy Hutchence, continues his monthly feedback from the new academy.

The competition winners pose for a picture on one of our 'cirriculum links' Photo: Sophie Mascoll

The competition winners pose for a picture on one of our 'curriculum links' Photo: Sophie Mascoll

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!

All hard hat and yellow vests: checking out the new Academy

All hard hat and yellow vests: checking out the new Academy

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.

Principal’s Blog: January 2010

Posted by editor on February 10, 2010 under Education and health

It’s 2010 and the countdown begins to the opening in September of the new East Manchester Academy. Principal Designate, Guy Hutchence, continues his monthly round-up…

Despite the frozen start to 2010, work on site continued at a rapid pace. Only one day was lost when the site had to be called because of the freezing conditions in the first week back after new year.

Inside the academy all the rooms are beginning to look the part and a sample room has been fitted out – not unlike a show house – so visitors can get a real idea of what the completed school will be like. Some of the teachers we have recently appointed will come and do some training in school over the February half-term and they’ll get the chance then to familiarise themselves with all the facilities.

The Balfour Beatty Maths Challenge produced some outstanding entries from primary pupils and a VIP tour will be hosted by the contractors on Friday 12th February for the 11 pupils who correctly calculated that 241,248 bricks were required to build the academy! Well done to all who entered, the response was fantastic.

As we move into February, I’m excited at the prospect of appointing our next cohort of staff and finding out in March which pupils have been allocated a place by the local authority. I have been very impressed with the sense of anticipation amongst the youngsters I’ve met so far this term. As soon as we know who will be the very first pupils at the East Manchester Academy we’ll organise ‘transition’ activities so the new pupils will be as familiar with their new school in September as we are.