15th March 2019

New School Building Update and Revised Holiday Pattern 2018/19

Under normal circumstances I would wait until the end of this Spring Term to write to you and update you on key whole school developments. However, it is important that I write to you now and bring you up to speed with regard to our new school building and the revised timeline for its completion.

We are incredibly excited about our new school building and the opportunities it will afford to our learners going forward. There is a real buzz in school about the move especially as staff and learners have watched the building process closely. Last week I met with representatives from the Department for Education and our building contractors, Galliford Try. Unfortunately, at this meeting they confirmed that the new school building programme was now running behind schedule, (the main reason I understand being a delay regarding the installation of a new electricity substation). The formal completion date has now been put back to Thursday 8th August 2019. This means that the planned Easter move has now had to been re-scheduled and the school will continue to operate as normal in the current school building until the end of this academic year.

Obviously we are disappointed by this delay and especially so when we had to revise our Easter holiday pattern to accommodate the original move to the new build. However, on reflection, the delay means that our year 11 learners will have no distractions or disruption in the final run up to their vitally important Summer GCSE exams which begin on Monday 13th May 2019. This I believe is good news for those learners.

I have been liaising closely with Jo Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of the Shaw Education Trust and we have agreed that it would be unreasonable to change the school’s Easter holiday pattern at this late stage. Therefore, the Easter holiday 2019 will remain exactly the same as originally planned and as summarised below:

Castlebrook Easter Holiday 2018/2019

  • School closes to learners at 3.05pm on Thursday 28th March 2019
  • School opens for year 11 learners only on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th April
  • School re-opens as normal for all learners on Tuesday 23rd April 2019
  • Year 11 Easter revision classes will run from Tuesday 2nd to Monday 15th April 2019. The programme is being finalised and will be given out to all year 11’s and e-mailed to parents/carers within the next two weeks. Please ensure your child attends all possible classes.

On 1st April 2019, when there are no learners in school, teachers and staff will be busy continuing to clear out old resources and equipment and prioritising the resources that will need to be packed up and taken across to the new building. As the move has been delayed, the amount of resources teachers can actually pack up will be greatly reduced, as the quality of teaching and learning throughout the rest of the Summer term cannot, under any circumstances, be compromised.

With this in mind we have delayed as long as possible the delivery to school of around 1,500 crates into which the resources to be taken to the new building must be packed. For obvious health and safety reasons these crates will need to be packed up when there are no learners on site. To accommodate this “pack up” the Academy Trust have agreed to grant us two additional holidays at the end of the Summer Term. This means that the school will now close to learners for the Summer break at 3.05pm on Wednesday 17th July 2019 and not on Friday 19th July 2019 as originally planned.

The revised holiday pattern for 2018/19 is enclosed and can also be found on the school website.

As we will now start the 2019/2020 academic year in the new school building, I expect you all to support me to ensure that all learners across the school are wearing Unsworth Academy’s new school uniform, which will shortly be available from our usual suppliers, Pretty Things and Monkhouses.

After the Summer holidays all learners will return to school on Wednesday 4th September 2019.

Finally, I know many of you will now be thinking ahead to holidays beyond this Summer. With this in mind I have attached the holiday pattern for Unsworth Academy for the academic year 2019/2020. This is also available on our school website.

Once again thank you for all your support.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs S. Armstrong
Academy Principal