York’s newest secondary academy welcomed its new cohort of students this week for a jam-packed few days of activities and events aimed at helping them to get to know the school.
Year 6 students from several city primary schools came together at Vale of York Academy for a transition week, to help them get to know the school, the teachers and to meet new friends prior to joining the school in September. After a welcome on the first day from Principal, Helen Dowds, the children followed a full timetable of taster lessons throughout the week, which ended with a leaving assembly.
Mrs Dowds said “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed having such happy, enthusiastic students with us for a few days and are really looking forward to them starting in Year 7, sporting their new Vale of York uniforms. It’s vital to us that the children have the chance to experience what it’s really like at our school. We have gone through so many changes since we became an academy and joined the Hope Learning Trust – new signage, new uniform, new leadership, new systems and structures and new expectations around behaviour. We have several experienced, talented new staff starting with us in September, and I’m delighted that for the first time in many years, this will see us fully staffed with no supply teachers.
“We’re proud of how much the school has changed in such a short time and the transition week gave the children the chance to see the change and experience the vibrancy and enthusiasm that now permeates our school life. The students had a great few days with us, and we’re now all really looking forward to welcoming our first true Vale of York Academy cohort of students at the start of the new term.”
Vale of York Academy will see a further change in September with the introduction of a new timetable for the school day. Being part of the Hope Learning Trust York means that the academy’s Key Stage 4 students can take courses on offer at Manor CE Academy alongside those already offered at Vale of York. To accommodate these changes and to allow travel time between the school sites, the structure of the school day has changed.
Brian Crosby, CEO of the Hope Learning Trust York said “Even though it is only a few short months since Vale of York Academy became part of the Hope Learning Trust, we are already seeing the mutual benefit of sharing resources and offering more choice and greater opportunities for students and staff at both institutions.
“We have embraced huge change and together, we are on an exciting journey, working collaboratively for the benefit of our young people.”
The Hope Learning Trust is a growing multi-academy trust with three secondary and three primary schools in York and Selby.