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Principal's Blog

Principal's Blog


10 December 2021

Posted on: 10th Dec 2021

PrincMTHipal's Blog

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


Road safety and the Fitzalan link road
Last week, I referred to different and potentially faster traffic patterns once the new road had opened and referred to road safety.  I'm sorry to tell you that one of our students was struck by a car and knocked off his bike today whilst using the crossing.  Although that student has now been discharged from hospital with only minor injuries, it was obviously very upsetting for him and his family.  

I am keen to ensure that we do not see another accident which could lead to serious injury or death.  As such, I had already contacted the West Sussex Highways Principal Engineer about this stretch of road before today and I have now followed this up with a further letter to highlight my concerns.

One of these is the total absence of safety barriers at the crossing.  Effectively, this means that cyclists and pedestrians can emerge from either the school or the gate at Highdown Road and travel straight across the road at speed.  See the photos below for examples of this.  Whilst, in an ideal world, we expect all children to stop, look, listen and use the crossing correctly it is abundantly clear that this is not happening, hence the need for barriers.  

We also need to do our bit as a community.  I have deployed a large number of colleagues at the crossing while students get used to it (which is where we have seen students running across the road, crossing without looking and cycling or scooting across the road at various other points).  We are also talking to students about this in tutor time again next week.  I would also repeat my earlier request to parents to not stop and park on Fitzalan Road or on the roundabout if you are picking your children up.  It is unsafe to do so.  Please arrange to collect them away from the roundabout area.  

Finally, the young man today was wearing a cycle helmet which almost certainly saved him from serous injury.  I'm sorry to say, he is in the minority.  Most of the young people who cycle to TLA do not wear helmets and this is extremely worrying.  

I'm sorry if this sounds rather alarmist or instructional, but I am writing from a position of concern: I do not want to end the term supporting a family with an injured child or, worse, mourning a loss.  Please, please ensure your child has a cycle helmet and please enure that they cross roads safely and at the right points.  

IMG 0373Leaving school towards crossing

IMG 0380Crossing towards school

REAP Charity Fundraising
In September we were delighted to return to face to face tutoring, something that was sadly missed last academic year due to Covid restrictions. Tutoring was revamped and relaunched for 2021-22 with tutor activities themed around the academy’s core values of Respect, Explore, Aspire and Persevere.

As part of the “Explore” strand, students have used tutor time on Thursdays to plan, organise and execute a charity fundraiser. Each tutor group researched local and national charities, before deciding which charity they wished to support. Students discussed the best way to raise funds and then decided on their activity, and over the past two weeks, these activities have taken place. We had fundraisers as diverse as a charity football match between TLA staff and local firefighters, several cake sales, Christmas candy canes and “guess the number of sweets in the jar.” Our students really have been engaged in this process and have learned a lot along the way. Please do commend your children for the work they have done this term to support good causes such as Dementia UK, Cancer Research, RSPCA, The Firefighter's Charity, Young Minds Mental Health and Climping Dog Sanctuary. 

As part of this, members of 11SGE will be holding a charity Cake Sale as part of the Rustington Village Christmas Fayre this Saturday 11 December from 10am - 1pm. The students have worked hard after school to bake some delicious cakes and biscuits all Christmas themed and very reasonably priced, to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. If you are able to pop along and say hello (they will be outside HSBC) and buy some of their delicious cakes, they will be very pleased to see you. 

Since September 2019, Mrs Waite-Jones and students across this academy have written and exchanged gifts with nursing homes across the UK. This has carried on throughout both lockdowns and I know that this been really appreciated. For their charity challenge, 11RWA have now sent four boxes of goodies all provided by students and Mrs Waite-Jones to Christchurch, Anglesey, Birmingham and St Joseph's. The boxes contain a range of goodies from Turkish delight to Father Christmas mugs. I know the recipients will be absolutely delighted to receive their Christmas parcels. 

Photo box 002Christmas BingoChristmas Bingo

Onsite Covid testing on return to the academy in January
As previously communicated we will be carrying out onsite Covid tests for those students where consent has been given in the first week of term in January. 

If you have not previously given consent and now wish to, access to the form can be found on our website visa this link where you will also find more detail on the process and timings we have planned. 

In the meantime we encourage you to continue regular testing throughout the Christmas and New Year period.

First Aid Notifications
To ensure that you are kept aware of all visits by your child to our First Aid room, we are now sending brief text messages detailing the nature of the incident and the action taken.  This happens when we have assessed the incident as minor and concluded that we do not need to contact you directly via phone call.  Significant incidents will contune to result in a phone call.  

We have implemented this to improve the communication between the academy and yourselves but please be assured that this contact is not a replacement for speaking to you directly when there is a need to do so.  

Punctuality Raffles
Congratulations to the following students who have won our last two punctuality raffles: Tammi Heading 10CDE, Ellie Rumsey 7RTI, Aimee Bigg 11SGE, Anna-Maria Raycheva 11DSE, Lexi Gibb 7EKU and Anja Miteska 9SHU.

Enjoy spending your vouchers!

Term dates and INSET days for 2022-23
These dates have now been agreed and can be found on the dates/events section of our website

This week's assembly

Dates to remember
Wednesday 15 Dec    Christmas Carol Celebration, doors open 7pm,  starts 7:30pm 
Friday 17 Dec             Last day of term - students dismissed from midday 
Tuesday 4 Jan            INSET day
Wednesday 5 Jan       Spring term begins 

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