Dixons Unity Academy | Principal's Update 22 March 2024
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Dixons Unity Academy

Principal's Update 22 March 2024

Posted 22nd March 2024

Dear families

Welcome to this weeks update. As promised it's a big one and I will be sharing details of our uniform and school day consultations. In this update I am also introducing Jo Gittins who is the Chair of our Local Academy Board. Jo and some of our other Parent Ambassadors have been at our parents' evening this week to gather feedback on how we can improve it.

This week we have had our careers week and it has been fantastic. Students have had a range of employers coming to talk to them as well as completing a range of employability activities. My personal highlight was the Year 10 mock interviews, where every Year 10 had the chance to practice their interview skills with an employer.

This week we also had Ofsted visit us for another monitoring visit. Ofsted were impressed with our continued improvement and I believe the letter they send us will be very positive. I will share this with you as soon as possible.

Next week we have a number of recognition events including our platinum party and recognition awards evening on Wednesday. It will be good to see lots of you at that event. We also have our attendance recognition visits to the Vue cinema. If your child is due to attend please ensure you have logged on to Parent Pay to complete the consent form.

Before I share the details of the new school day and uniform consultation I have an ask of you. The vast majority of our students behave fantastically both inside and outside of school. Unfortunately, a minority of students are not demonstrating our values in the local area. This has led to some residents rightfully complaining to the academy. Please could you discuss the importance of behaviour in the community with your child as we work together to uphold the reputation of the academy.

In terms of the school day, from September 2024 the academy day will be from 8.20am to 3.00pm. This is slightly early than originally stated but we feel we have a commitment to supporting traffic levels on Whingate Road and so have avoided clashing times with Whingate Primary. Lessons will remain at 55 minutes which I know was a concern to some of you. Break time will be increased by five minutes - this was a suggestion raised through the consultation. The academy will be open from 7.50am each day for breakfast club. This is later than at present and I know that for some of you this will mean an adjustment to your morning routine. Having benchmarked all of the changes against local schools we still have an earlier opening time to support families and more learning time for students than most other local academies. Finally as part of the changes to the school day we will be broadening our intervention and enrichment offer - I know you will value these improvements.

Thank you to all of you who responded to our uniform consultation, we have over 250 responses. Over 50% of respondents wanted to remain with the shirt and blazer / jumper combination, 60% wanted a round neck jumper over a v neck jumper and over 80% of respondents wanted more choice. As a result, from September 2024 the uniform will be as follows:

• Black, blue or grey blazer and / or jumper (round neck)

• White buttoned shirt

• Black trousers

• Black shoes

No family will need to replace current uniform - v neck jumpers will continue to be allowed but no longer sold. Families will also not need to purchase new uniform at the end of Year 9, students in every year group can choose whichever colour blazer and / or jumper they like. Our uniform policy is simple and clear and I thank you for supporting us in upholding these expectations.

Finally a reminder that school will close for the Easter break next Thursday, 28 March at 12.20pm. Please adjust any collections as appropriate.

Many thanks

Mr A Jacobs