Welcome to our Newsletter with highlights from the Half Term
Dear Parents/Carers and Pupils,

I hope this newsletter finds you safe and well.  Needless to say, lockdown has had an impact on the number of activities taking place in the academy but hopefully we have still provide a flavour of what is happening on our community.

The New Year brought with it some fresh challenges as we entered a further national lockdown.  I fully appreciate how challenging it is to support your child’s learning from home and I wish to thank you all for your ongoing assistance in enabling this period of education to be as successful as possible.    Our staff appreciate the opportunity to be able to connect with you on a regular basis and I encourage you to continue to let us know how we can support you and your child.

Over the course of the last few weeks we have held our first virtual parent evening (Year 11) and our first online options evening (Year 8), these proved to be very successful.  We are currently looking at the academy calendar to identify the best possible dates and approach for future parental events. 

I am also pleased to report that we are now in a position to expand our use of Office 365 to pupils in Year 4, 5 and 6 which will help to transform the way we set online learning.  When we do come out of lockdown, we will continue to use much of the good practice that has been developed over the last 12 months to improve our homework provision.

For parents with children in Year 11 and Year 13, we await further details regarding the proposed ‘tests’ in the summer term. Based on this, I must stress the importance of continued hard work and revision for those year groups, I will be writing separately to these parents to remind them of the importance of the online work being that is currently being undertaken.  The vast majority of pupils are fully engaged in their online learning but the small minority that are not are placing their potential summer grades at risk.

You will have picked up in the press that during the week beginning 22 February, the Government is due to announce plans for the re-opening of schools after 8 March. I will inform you all at the earliest opportunity to support families and their work/childcare arrangements.  Until then, we will continue to educate pupils remotely. Please be reminded that all schools will close for the February half term (15-19 February). The school will also be closed for pupils currently in attendance as part of our provision for key worker and vulnerable children.

Together we have done our best to limit the impact of the pandemic on our children, but there will be substantial work ahead to get pupils back on track as quickly as possible.  With this in mind we will continue to provide the best possible provision in these challenging circumstances. 
Kind Regards,

Phil Cosby

Acting Principal & CEO

Alec Reed Academy

GCSE Options
Last week we invited all our Year 8 students with parents/carers to find out more about their GCSE options. Due to the current lockdown situation this had to be done using Microsoft Teams. It was the first time we have run this event online and it was a resounding success.

Parents and Carers use a link to dial into meetings with subject leaders and had the opportunity to ask questions as the presentations went along. We had nearly 80% of the year group attend the meeting!!

This is a crucial time in a student’s education as they prepare to choose subjects and courses that they want to study for their GCSE or BTEC qualifications, and explore their potential pathways during the next three years and beyond.

All options subjects were made a short presentation about the requirements of the course, future career links and course content. The level of interest and questions was fantastic to see. Mr Cosby, our Principal and CEO, also presented to about how the options process works and the pathways open to students.

All our efforts in organising this event were well rewarded and hope that all those who attended felt the same.

For any students who were unable to attend the evening, the presentations will be put on the website for you, if you have subject specific questions please contact the relevant teacher using Teams, if you have any problems please e-mail enquiries@alecreedacademy.co.uk with you question and it will be sent to the appropriate person. Options forms are online this year, a link will be e-mailed for you to complete.

Options forms must be completed by 28 February 2021. Please take your time to choose.

Well done to all those who attended the evening.
The History of Masks
Since the COVID pandemic, face masks have become familiar to all of us. In this investigation, students learnt how face masks have been used throughout history, all over the world, for all sorts of weird and wonderful reasons! Here are some examples of the work produced by out students.
Students have also been producing revision posters on the Black Death, here are some examples of some fantastic posters produced by students.

Seeing how the world recovered from a much worse pandemic reassured a lot of students! 
Thelma's Black Death Poster
Sarika's Black Death Poster
Sia's Black Death Poster
PE Task
Students were given a task to create their own labelled skeletal or muscular system by using anything they could find at home! Well done to everyone for your creativity in this task! See the amazing examples below. 
The Debate Mate students competed in virtual debates against students from Hornchurch high school! All students demonstrated outstanding speaking skills and have made significant progress with their debate skills since October. A special shoutout goes to Yesseen for stepping in when a teammate's internet failed.
Congrats to Hemangi in Year 10 for taking part in the Digital Final of The Jack Petchey Speakout Challenge!

You did an amazing job in representing yourself, your school and your family.

You demonstrated focus and discipline in the preparations and have shown passion and great concern for your topic in your presentation. - A massive well done from everyone at ARA!
IRIS Cosmic Mining
Students from year 10 triple science, led by Hemangi, are undertaking a project on identifying stellar objects in distant galaxies. They are doing this by classifying and re-interpreting spectral images from of Infrared waves taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope in the early 2000s. They will be classifying spectra emitted from a range of different objects, including planetary nebulae, forming stars, and evolved stars. 

Some of these objects have been previously mis-interpreted in their context and may correspond to new theoretical forms of stellar objects that may form in the evolution of galaxies. They will be used as target observation sites for James Webb Telescope, due to launch in October 21st, 2021.

The project is led by astronomers from the Science and Technology Facility Council. The results of this study will be presented as a poster and shared with other schools in a regional workshop to be held in May 3rd. This project is aiming to achieve a Crest Award.
World Book Day!
World Book Day 2021

This year, World Book Day is going digital! As we approach World Book Day on Thursday 4th March, there will be lots of ways that you can get involved at home. We’ll also be sharing all of our celebrations on social media and Microsoft Teams throughout February and March, so make sure you stay up to date.

Short Story Writing Competition

From Monday 8th February, we’ll be opening submissions to our Short Story Writing Competition. This year’s theme is ‘Raise Your Voice’ – you could write about issues you’re passionate about, or perhaps a change that you would like to see in the world. Our winners will receive Love2shop vouchers and a bespoke book bundle. Stories should be approximately 500 words, they can be typed or handwritten and must be submitted via your child’s year group on Microsoft Teams. Submissions will close on Tuesday 2nd March at 3pm and our winners will be announced on World Book Day. We can’t wait to read your submissions!

ARA’s Dress Up Competition 2021

Our Dress Up Competition is back! On World Book Day, dress up as your favourite book character and submit a photo through your year group on Microsoft Teams. Submissions close at 3pm on Thursday 4th March. Our winners will receive a bespoke book bundle. We can’t wait to see your literary looks!
Guess the Characters Competition

How many book characters can you spot in the image? If you can guess all 21, then head over to your year group on Microsoft Teams to submit your answers for the chance to win some sweet treats! Our winners will be announced on World Book Day.
DramEd are inviting children in and around Ealing to join their free half term holiday clubs online. 

We will be celebrating black cultural music and dance styles through the arts. They will be led by some very talented artists and creatives, including UK artist, Kyra!

These workshops are taking place from the Monday 15th to Friday 19th February 2021 on Zoom.

For more information on how to get involved, please click HERE
Childrens Mental Health
Find out how you can support your child's mental health during the pandemic by visiting the YoungMinds website. Click here.
For further tips on how to look after your mental health, please visit our website page dedicated to this by clicking here
Student Shout-outs
During lockdown, we have been giving student shout-outs each week via our social media!

Check out a few of the shout-outs below and head over to our Instagram page to view them all: click here
Due to lockdown restrictions, we were not able to celebrate our annual Prize Giving Evening in November 2020. So, we have put together a short videoto celebrate the amazing achievements of past and present students.
We are delighted to announce that Alec Reed Academy has achieved the Healthy Schools London Gold Award.
Although It has been a very different year for all of us,  we continue to try and make a difference within our community and have worked hard to support the health and well-being of our pupils.  

Friday 12th February 2021
UnPlugged Afternoons
We recognise that the amount of screen-time our students have to deal with at the moment can feel overwhelming across a week. 
Even with our Online Variety Schedule, activity-based lessons still require screen time. To ease the pressure on their retinas - and take care of their mental health - we will have one UnPlugged Afternoon per week for the next three teaching weeks. 
Click HERE to find out how these afternoons will work - as well as suggested activities that do not involve screen time. It would be fantastic of students share what they got up to!
Safer Internet Day 2021
Tuesday 9th February was Safer Internet Day, this year's focus was "An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world". As increasing number of people take their news from online Social Media platforms it is important to have the skills to discern which articles are authentic and which are "Fake news".

The impact of fake news can be life threatening, whether it be in our elections, policy making or the current pandemic. The virtual assembly the students watched hopefully raised awareness of this issue. We would like to thank all the students that participated in the small competition quiz at the end, and congratulate the winners who each were given achievement points for their effort!

Click HERE to view the virtual assembly.
Online Critical Thinking Guide

Internet Matters have put together a very useful, comprehensive guide for children to assist with critical thinking on a range of topics, such as fake news, making personal information, managing relationships and much more. There is advice and guidance for children and young people, as well as activities that parents can do with their children so this is a good one to share with half term coming up.

Click HERE for the guide.

Snapchat’s new safety resources launch in the UK 

Ahead of Safer Internet Day Snapchat have launched a new Discover channel, Safety Snapshot, dedicated to online safety for Snapchatters. Twelve episodes will be released over the coming months that focus on topics like keeping your account safe, debunking myths, protecting your data, reporting illegal activity or bullying on Snapchat, and more.
When the pandemic first hit, there was a 40% increase in reports related to hacked accounts. With that in mind, the first episode includes a swipe-up call-to-action to encourage Snapchatters to verify their email. 
Subscribe by searching for Safety Snapshot in app and clicking the subscribe button. Once done, you’ll receive safety and privacy tips and tricks as they’re released on the channel. Over the next year watch out for advice about digital literacy, combating hate speech and taking social media breaks.
Click HERE to view the parent's guide to Snapchat.

School News App

To keep up with the latest news happening in and around the school, you can download our FREE school new app.
How does the app work?

Firstly, you will need to download the app from either the iTunes App Store, Google Play or Windows Store.

Once you have located and downloaded the free app, launch the app and you will then be able to either click on the ‘Find my school’ button which uses the phones GPS to locate all the schools in the surrounding 20 miles, or you can type in the schools postcode and click on ‘Get my school’ button.

Your school's postcode is: UB5 5LQ

You will then see a list of schools that use the app. Click on Alec Reed Academy

You will then be able to click on the ‘News’ button to view all of the latest news items that have been added to the school website.

Uniform Shop

The Academy is operating social distancing and has closed the physical shop until further notice. Parents are asked to use the Academy’s online shop, and information about how to use the online shop is below.
Items can be purchased online through our web site. To see the online shop click here to view and order the uniform.
For detailed measurements for items of uniform please click here. If you need further information or assistance, please email Uniformshop@alecreedacademy.co.uk

Payment should be made by credit or debit card, you do not need a Parent Pay account.

Once orders have been placed online, you will be notified by email when your order is ready. This normally takes 2 to 4 days.
Teaching Staff Vacancies
Associate Staff Vacancies 
There are currently no vacancies available under this category
Governor Vacancy
We currently have a vacancy for a parent trustee (governor) in the Secondary Phase of the Academy.

If would like further details or are interest in applying, please contact the Clerk to the Board of Trustees Rachel.lewis@alecreedacademy.co.uk
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