Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the break. Sometimes I think that working in education we forget just how lucky we are with holidays. I’m not ashamed to say that for a few days this holiday I switched off completely and I hope my staff did too. The end of 2013 brought with it numerous challenges but it wasn’t long before my thoughts started to drift towards 2014 and where I want us to be in 2015.

As a new academy, we are still relatively young, just 2 years old. I’m pleased with what we have achieved so far but I want more, faster. 2014 has to be a big year for us. Firstly we want excellent results for our GCSE and A level students. So much depends on our academic success. We have to ensure our students are given the best provision, resources and teachers to support them. This support has to be academy-wide and rather than becoming an exam factory, our aim is to produce well-rounded young people. Our students should play and work incredibly hard. We must give them more opportunities to play instruments, sing, play football, participate in athletics and experience the great outdoors. They should be able to travel overseas, read, draw and use technology to work and play. Above all they should be safe and happy. It astounds me how many people forget those final two things – without them we won’t have much of an education system.

As an academy we are growing. We are looking forward to opening the Mountain Centre and our new Student Reception just needs plastering, carpets and paint. With an academy of 1400 students we are always looking for new ways to use our space more effectively and I hope this time next we are staring a new project in the face.

We will, of course, have a new intake of Year 7 students in September which is always a wonderful time for new beginnings and the start of a new journey. We’ll also say goodbye to some students and staff who will continue their journey at other schools, university or the world of work. Our community is always in a constant state of flux. What I want to create is a sense of belonging; that once you have worked or studied at Forge it stays with you. That you will look back with good memories, a sense of achievement and a smile. But this isn’t about looking back.

My commitment is as strong as it ever has been. Our aim is to be an outstanding academy, to serve our catchment areas proudly and to ensure that children who come here are given the best opportunities to succeed. I believe we have put down stable foundations to enable us to grow. 2014 is the year we start to develop our potential bring you an academy that isn’t just Outstanding according to Ofsted but outstanding all day, every day. Let our students and parents judge that.

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Ormiston Forge Academy, Wrights Lane, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 6QU. Tel: 01384 566 598.