A Very Warm Welcome to Plume, Maldon's Community Academy
Mr C A Wakefield - Executive Principal
Plume Academy Family Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16 May 2021
This week is ‘Plume Academy Family Mental Health Awareness Week’. During tutor time the whole academy will be exploring the Mental Health UK campaign ‘5 ways to wellbeing’: Connect/Be Active/ Take Notice/Keep Learning/ Give.
The Mental Health Foundations theme for this year is Nature and we are challenging you to use the '5 ways to wellbeing' to get into Nature to help boost your mental health. The theme Nature is somewhat fitting, after a year where we have seen more of our four walls in our homes than the four seasons. As we enter spring and the nation eases out of lockdown, we are inviting you to reconnect with nature and the environment. But we are mindful that everyone will be in a different place of comfort, so we are asking you to do this in a way that works for you.
You could even download and colour Paul Cummins MBE drawing of the tulip. The tulip has a colourful past. Having withstood a virus, it flourished brightly against all odds and flowers each spring. Quite simply, the tulip is a timely emblem of hope and rebirth through adversity. During the week, we want you to download it or draw your own tulip, colour it in blue and stick it in your window as a symbol of mental health awareness. You will start to see lots of these tulips around both MRC & FRC.
Start a dialogue about the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’. Whether that is with family, friends, or a neighbour – each conversation counts.
Essex Teaching Awards 2021 – Nominations from Plume Academy
We were genuinely delighted that three of our teaching staff colleagues received nominations for the ‘Essex Teaching Awards 2021’.
Please find the actual nominations for these three colleagues we are incredibly proud of:
Ms Jo Everett – Assistant Vice Principal
In a year which has been like no other, I believe there is one teacher that has gone above and beyond.
Ms Everett has played a significant role in ensuring the smooth transition of primary school students to secondary school during a time of anxiety and concern shared by parents and students alike.
She worked tirelessly throughout lockdown to provide regular communication to the parents and students who would be moving from primary school to The Plume Academy. New ways of working were very quickly established and new resources used to enable some kind of transition to take place. Ms Everett completed virtual tours of the school site and shared these with new students to ensure they became familiar with their new school. She included areas of mental and emotional wellbeing within her communication this helped students to realise the worries they had about starting a new school were normal and they weren’t alone.
Ms Everett clearly cares for her students, families and the wider community. This is evident by her visible presence within the school .She regularly greets students in the morning at the gate with a smile and will respond to a parent email or call regardless of it not being within school hours. The reassurance this gives to parents (especially those new to secondary school) is priceless, nothing is too much trouble for Ms Everett. To know your child is in a happy and safe environment where they are always encouraged to achieve their best is the best evidence to show how deserving Ms Everett is of this award.
Miss Louise Cummins – KS4 English Lead (who actually received three nominations)
Louise almost single handedly ensured the accuracy and timeliness of the 300 Centre Assessed Grades for GCSE students affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this she has planned almost every single remote learning lesson for Year 10 students throughout the summer term 2020 and beyond, ensuring seamless teaching transitions in this autumn term too.
When students were at home remote learning she communicated with them on a daily basis to troubleshoot, offer advice and push students to their very best. Since coming back in September, in addition to her usual duties being increased through remote learning needs, she is running multiple book clubs and leading her key stage in an ‘inspirational way’, to quote a colleague in our faculty. Louise is a credit to her faculty and school, and deserves any recognition that comes her way. Most of all, students truly value her teaching style, expertise, support and compassion: she rarely gets a break or lunch to herself because students seek her out so much!
I’d like to nominate Louise for her tireless professionalism in challenging circumstances. During the lockdown she:
-Ensured CAGs for 300+ students in English Language and English Literature.
-Supported the Faculty through transition of Faculty Leader
-Designed remote learning for Y10s, leading almost EVERY session to 150+ online 3x a week LIVE lessons (unlike other schools and also unlike other faculties; did not opt for easier/recorded option, but presented live)
-supported students during remote teaching emailing daily.
Since returning in September she has also run KS4 book clubs (plural) to engage KS4 students in reading. She is a constant source of support in the faculty, with a consistent positive attitude and knowledge of classes, students, teachers. She is inspirational in her knowledge, understanding, care and diligence.
Louise’s support of students during remote teaching emailing daily was exemplary. She continues to run KS4 book clubs (plural) to engage and celebrate learning in school.
Louise supports the English faculty staff with consistent positive attitude and knowledge of classes/students/teachers in real depth. She is inspirational in her knowledge and understanding as well as her care and diligence. Louise is incredibly humble and modest. I could not envisage a more worthy candidate for Essex Teaching Awards.
Mrs Lois Russell – Deputy Faculty Leader for English
I would like to nominate Mrs Russell for a teaching award for the many ways that she has encouraged my classmates and I since lockdown began. Firstly, Mrs Russell deserves an award because she helped me discover my love of reading through recommending and supplying me with books. Mrs Russell also took an interest in my speech topic for my GCSE public speaking, suggesting books relating to my theme so that I could read more about my topic.
Secondly, the detailed and prompt feedback that she gave me throughout lockdown was invaluable. It motivated me to continue my work online and really helped prepare me for GCSEs.
Thirdly, she encouraged my classmates and I to write more poetry by creating a poetry competition for my school, and gave positive and kind feedback for each entry.
Fourthly, she recommended online poetry courses for me to complete over my summer holidays, which I found useful to improve my writing. Fifthly, despite never having met her students in person, she ensured that she got to know us during lockdown, interacting individually with students through online lessons and email.
Finally, Mrs Russell encouraged me to take English A level next year when I hadn’t considered it as a subject choice. I strongly believe that Mrs Russell deserves a teaching award because she has gone above and beyond to build up the confidence of my classmates and I in our abilities in English.
Many congratulations to these three colleagues on receiving these prestigious nominations and in essence, reflecting the fantastic work done by the teaching and support staff of Plume Academy throughout the pandemic period thus far.
Plume Academy wins Award for Young Carer Support
We are delighted to announce that Plume Academy has secured the nationally accredited Bronze Award for their work to ensure sure students do not miss out on an education because they are young carers.
‘The Young Carers in Schools Programme’ helps primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the Young Carers in Schools Award.
Mrs Tracy Davis, who worked in collaboration with the programme lead, Mrs Olu Bamigbele, said upon being notified of the award,
“To achieve the Bronze Award, the academy has had to demonstrate that we continue to support our known young carers in a multitude of ways, including homework clubs and drop-in sessions with a member of staff who is responsible for this vulnerable group of young people.
Vital information about how to identify young carers is made available to all of the academy’s staff, and noticeboards and the academy’s main webpage continues to let our students and their families know where to go for help should they feel they are in need of it.
Even more pleasingly, we are now well on the way to meeting the criteria and applying for the Young Carers Silver Award.”
Young carers are responsible for the emotional, practical and/or physical care for a parent, carer, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue. The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could be closer to 800,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 5 secondary aged school children, many of whom are currently unrecognised and unsupported.
Giles Meyer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, today congratulated the award-winning schools, saying: “The Young Carers in Schools Programme is helping to transform schools and support staff across England. Schools play a vital role in a young carer’s life, as many care for relatives without their teachers even knowing what they do. On average, young carers will miss a day of school each month as a result of their caring role, so the steps schools take to identify and support them can have a huge impact on their learning, wellbeing and ultimately, their life chances.”
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