The Malcolm Arnold Update Half term 1

You will be aware that Mrs Koncarevic has recently resigned as Principal of Malcolm Arnold Academy. We would like to thank Nicola for her hard work over the last 5 years and for the dedication she has shown to the pupils, staff and community in the various roles she held within Malcolm Arnold. We wish her all the very best for the future.


Introducing the new faces this term:

Helena Brothwell - Regional Director for DRET and interim Executive Principal - hbrothwell@dret.co.uk

'I am passionate about having high expectations for all pupils, helping them to achieve whatever success they should choose and I understand the importance of creating a climate where teachers are respected and can teach, uninterrupted, and students can learn, free from disruption. This should not be an expectation only for those who choose to pay for their child's education, but rather an entitlement for all.' Helena Brothwell

Kim Lawton - interim Principal klawton@dret.co.uk

'I am passionate about driving a challenging curriculum within our key stage 3, delivering a deep foundation of knowledge ready for when students come to tackle key stage 4. Our key stage 3 curriculum is being reviewed and improved constantly by our talented and expert staff to ensure that we teach 'the best which has been thought and said', we pass on the gift of knowledge to all of our students to enable them to become the very best they can be.' Kim Lawton

Adam Crawte - Interim Vice Principal acrawte@dret.co.uk

'I believe that regardless of location or situation, students are entitled to an academically rigorous curriculum, taught by subject experts in a warm and safe environment, with clear boundaries. Education is the key that unlocks many doors in our society and improves our communities. As senior leaders, we are guardians of effective education'. Adam Crawte

Life at Malcolm Arnold Academy has stepped up a gear this term, with our emphasis on Warm:Strict (a focus on high expectations and explicit instructions followed by all, balanced by a positive, warm climate based upon mutual respect and relationships) and some routines which have helped to calm the school down and recalibrate relationships between students and staff. These routines are important because they allow students to know exactly what is expected of them and allow staff to focus on teaching. Excellent behaviour in and out of classrooms is an expectation and I know that parents want their children to learn in disruption-free classrooms.

Roll call is used to ensure that we have a calm and orderly start to the school day, and that tutors have chance to correct uniform and speak to their tutor group. Tutors lead their class into school quietly and this sets the tone for the day. Teachers tell us that period 1 is significantly calmer and more industrious as a result, and we believe that the impact is felt all day.

Corridors have been a pinch point in the past. Now students keep left, move around quietly and calmly. Anyone who has faced a large rucksack at face-height in front of them will know how uncomfortable it is, we want to protect our smaller pupils so we carry our bags at the side in corridors and on stairwells. Corridors can be a frightening place for a small, young or vulnerable child and we must create an environment which is safe for all.

Students are asked to set their desks out in the same way for each lesson, to save teachers time in explaining what is needed and to reduce cognitive load for students - no need for them to try and remember the requirements of each individual teacher, we take that burden away by having a consistent approach. We have had a huge push on presentation in books too as students are capable of presenting their work with pride and we know that taking care over their learning records ensures that students are more likely to return to it and remember it.

Please ensure that students adhere to the uniform requirements set out on our website. We sweat the small stuff at the academy because we want our students to feel pride in their school, so little adaptations such as blazer sleeves rolled up are challenged, because we have a collective identity and we all have a part to play in that. Younger students look up to our older students and they must lead by example. Impeccable uniform, a positive attitude towards their work and addressing adults and each other in a polite, respectful way are very important examples that our older students set for the younger students. These are valued highly within the academy and are rewarded as such.

We are so lucky at the Academy to be blessed with wonderful enriching opportunities in music, sport, art and technology.

One of our students was filmed performing on stage at the very beautiful Nevill Holt Opera House, a nominee for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2019, this is just one of many opportunities that our pupils enjoy regularly through our wonderful music provision.

We must ensure that our academic subjects deliver such high quality outcomes for our students, and are given as much emphasis. Teaching training and development has seen significant investment, as we introduce our explicit instruction approach to classrooms. This is a research based approach to pedagogy and is proven to be the most effective way to impart new knowledge and to ensure that students learn it. We use techniques from Teach Like A Champion (Doug Lemov) and strategies outlined by Daniel Willingham and Paul Kirschner in their research of how students learn.

Essentially, this means that we acknowledge that teachers are the experts in the room and we value their subject knowledge. They sequence knowledge to help students learn, they know how to remove misconceptions, how to explain concepts very well and how to demonstrate what they mean by modelling, before asking students to apply what they have learnt independently to a task. We rely on teachers to do that extremely well, so we give them great training on aspects of that process and we let them know that we trust them to deliver effective lessons.

We do not expect staff to have to deal with disruption or rudeness as part of their job.

We do not require staff to create 'fun games' or activities which slow down the learning process or allow students to develop misconceptions from one another. We believe that the knowledge is exciting and students feel more confident as they learn and this drives engagement. Please read this link for more information on our approach: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ971752.pdf

The Warm:

Students will be introduced to the new and improved rewards system next week, including a termly rewards evening where parents will be invited to attend and celebrate with us. These events are not expensive, lavish affairs with huge reward prizes, they simply allow us to share a moment with families which makes the acknowledgement so much sweeter for our students.

We are busy planning an activities week in December for students to access a range of educational visits, including:

Year 7 - Pitt river, Oxford + well-being day

Year 8 - Team building at Rockingham Forest + well-being day/careers day

Year 9 - Science museum - London + well-being day/careers day + The Globe visit

Year 10 - A day of volunteering + Business leader interviews + Theatre trip to London + Well-being day

Year 11 - Motivational speaker + 6th form taster day + Revision skills day + well-being

More information on all of the above will be provided very soon.

We are very proud of the academy, and we know that we are lucky to have many amazing students who give their best every day.

We want to ensure that they feel proud to belong to our family, give them the educational experience we believe that they deserve, (World class) and ensure that they have doors open to them in the future. Ultimately, we want them to prosper and that is why we have made some changes, and are pushing hard for them this half term, because they deserve the very best that we can provide, and they only get one shot at their education. We take it very seriously for that reason.

Students only get one shot at their education.

Please do get in touch if you have any queries about our approach, or would like a tour around the academy during the working day, our doors are always open.