Friday 4 March 2022

New Principal

I am delighted Creative Education Trust has appointed a new Principal to lead The Bulwell Academy.

A letter from Chief Executive Officer Marc Jordan introducing Sara Wildes was sent to parents/carers this week. I welcome the appointment and look forward to her starting on 28 March. I have met with her and am really excited about her drive and passion for the Academy, its students, and the community. Ms Wildes is extremely familiar with the systems and strategies we have introduced at the Academy. She will be continuing and refining the excellent work that has led to such a dramatic turnaround.

From a personal point of view, the timing could not have been better. My wife Simi is expecting our second child on 28 April. I am looking forward to spending more time with her once Ms Wildes starts and then, when everything is settled with the new baby at home, I shall be returning to The Bulwell Academy to support Ms Wildes until the end of the summer term. I take up a new position within the Trust from September, looking after two academies. It is an exciting time, personally and professionally.

“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.”

We took 140 Year 10s and Year 11s to see Macbeth at the Leeds Playhouse this week. What a brilliant show and compelling production of one of Shakespeare’s finest pieces of work. It lived up to its billing as “a visceral and vibrant exploration of what happens when a deep fixation feels impossible to abandon.” The children were superb and impeccably behaved. It was lovely to see other members of the audience, initially nervous when they saw us arrive, talking to the students about the plot at the end. Students were also whispering the lines, learned in their GCSE English.  The inspiring, free trip fits in with our vision to give students opportunities to develop their characters through enrichment experiences. A massive thank you to the staff who supported the trip, with particular thanks to my PA Tracey Sadler, who led on the communications and organisation. To see the children’s faces at the theatre was worth all the effort.

Year 9 Curriculum Choices

The Bulwell Academy’s curriculum is broad and knowledge rich. Students learn about the greatest things ever and those incredible people behind them. This was demonstrated at our first ever Curriculum Choices Evening for Year 9 this week, led by Assistant Principal, Mr Smith. The hall was packed, with more than 200 present, and there was really positive feedback from parents and students at, arguably, the most important night educationally of their lives so far, where they make choices about the subjects to follow at GCSE. There were lots of great questions from students and parents and a huge thank you to staff for their support before and during the evening.

Year 11 Mocks

Mock exams for Year 11s are drawing to an end and invigilators have said how impressed they have been with the students’ attitudes. Their engagement with the various support interventions that have been put in place has been exceptional. It shows a shift in culture at The Bulwell Academy, with students prioritising their own futures above anything else.

Making an impact

Finally, this seismic change at the Academy was witnessed at first hand by important visitors this week. The Regional Schools Commissioner for the East Midlands and the Humber, Kate Copley, came to the Academy for the first time and described what she saw as “utterly brilliant”. She was joined by Trust CEO Mr Jordan and its Director of School Improvement and Secondaries, Nicole McCartney, who said teachers and students never failed to impress. From here, they went to Ellis Guilford School and I know their feedback there was also positive. The day shows the impact Creative Education Trust is having on the lives of children in the Nottingham area.

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