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Principal's Blog

Principal's Blog


1 April 2022

Posted on: 31st Mar 2022

MTHPrincipal's Blog

M.P.Thomas, BSc(Hons), PGCE (Cantab)


Dear Parents and Carers

I am writing to let you know about some significant changes in senior leadership at The Littlehampton Academy, commencing September 2022.  The first of these requires me to pass on some personal news.  Having completed more than eight years at TLA, six of these as Principal, I have decided that now is the right time to move on.  As such, I have tendered my resignation to the Board of Trustees and will leave TLA at the end of this academic year to join the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Surrey.  

When I joined TLA, I made a commitment to ensure that we came out of special measures and that the school was judged at least ‘Good’ in all areas.  Thanks to a huge amount of teamwork, this has now been accomplished and it therefore seems an apposite time to hand over to a new Principal who will lead the next phase of continuous improvement.  I have profoundly enjoyed my time at TLA and will always carry it in my heart.  

In order to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, the Trust has invested in the appointment of three new Vice Principals.  One of these, Ms Sue Pike, is already in post; the other two are joining us from other schools and more details will be provided about them and their new roles in due course.  This means that TLA will be in a very strong position for the new academic year - something that matters deeply to me.  

Naturally, I will write to you again in the intervening period to keep you fully up to date with news of developments and I will also speak to students about this in our whole academy assembly next week.  However, I wanted you to be fully aware of this development in order to be reassured that there will be a planned and well-managed transition to my successor. 

In the meantime, I would like to wish you a very happy Easter and I look forward to welcoming students back after the break.  

Message from Mr Begol, CEO of Woodard Academies Trust

Dear Parents and Carers

I want to thank Mr Thomas for his leadership of The Littlehampton Academy over the past six years.  His hard work, skill and dedication, has led to the Academy being judged as Good for the first time.  We are an ambitious Trust, who support all pupils and staff to progress, and so although it will be a loss to the school, I am pleased Mr Thomas is taking the next step in his career to lead a state boarding school from September.  

We will be advertising shortly for a replacement to take up the position of Principal from the start of the next academic year and I echo his comments about how three Vice-Principals from September will also ensure the school has the strongest leadership to continue to improve.     

This marks the beginning of an exciting new phase for TLA and we are very optimistic about the future for our students.

Making Choices - Year 9 in to Year 10 Personalised Curriculum
The process for us to work with Year 9 students and parents/carers on their Year 10 curriculum for September 2022 starts today.

Ms Portman, Assistant Principal, Director of Learning for Key Stage 4, and Dr Taylor, Assistant Principal, Director of Learning for Key Stage 3, have worked hard to design a personalised curriculum for each Year 10 student. 

A letter will be emailed out to all year 9 parents/carers explaining the process and timeline. It will also include a link to an explainer video. The deadline to return the forms is 29 April.

Year 10 Work Experience
Congratulations go to our Year 10  students who went out on work experience last week.  We have heard many inspiring stories and of students who have now been offered part-time work and apprenticeships in the future.  This is down to  hard work, commitment and showing employers their potential in the work place. We are very proud of them all.

A huge thank you has to go to our local employers who agreed to take our students, despite Covid and the disruptions to the work force it is still bringing, and to those parents & carers who were able to support us with placements. We couldn’t have achieved a successful work experience week without you. It is most appreciated.

Work experience 2JPG

Work experience

Higher Education/Apprenticeship and 'Study Skills' evening
Just a reminder that this will take place on Wednesday 6 April  6-8pm in the Library for Year 11 and Sixth Form parents & students.  There will be guest speakers from the University of Chichester, and  an apprenticeship talk on Degree apprenticeships. It will finish with a training session  from Elevate Education to help empower parents/carers to reinforce study skills at home. If you would like to join us on this informative evening, please complete the form .

Covid-19: Living With Covid 
From 1 April, government guidance regarding the management of covid is changing and schools will no longer be provided with testing kits.  Regular testing is no longer recommended in educational settings. As such, the following guidance now applies:

  • Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend the Academy.
  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can return to the Academy, and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
  • It is not recommended that children and young people are tested for COVID-19 unless directed to by a health professional.
  • However, if a child has a positive COVID-19 test result they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for three days after the day they took the test, if they can. After three days, if they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.
  • Children and young people who live with someone who has a positive COVID-19 test result should continue to attend the Academy as normal.
  • All children and young people with respiratory symptoms should be encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing and/or sneezing and to wash their hands after using or disposing of tissues. 

The academy will continue to manage covid by ensuring well ventilated spaces wherever possible and encouraging good sanitation practices such as regular hand-washing and use of sanitiser.  

Dates to remember
Wednesday 6 April         Higher Education, Apprenticeship & Study Skills Eve, 6-8pm
Friday 8 April                  Last day of Spring term - students will be dismissed at 12:15
Monday 25 April             Summer term begins           
Thursday 28 April           Students dismissed at 2:30pm
Thursday 28 April           Year 9 Progress Evening, 4:30-7
Friday 29 April                Deadline for Y9 into Y10 personalised curriculum choices

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