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Bringing our pupils together

Published on 28/02/19

All Great Yarmouth Charter Academy pupils will come together on a single site in April, under proposals announced today.

Currently the school has two sites at Salisbury Road and Thamesfield Way, but from the summer term all lessons and activities will take place at the Salisbury Road site.

Pupils currently attending at Thamesfield Way will be offered transport between the two sites, or those living closer can go direct to Salisbury Road.

Thamesfield Way was the location for the former Trafalgar College, and pupils will also be offered free replacement uniform to help them feel part of the Great Yarmouth Charter Academy family.

Headmaster Barry Smith said: "We believe the move will provide certainty for families, and will particularly help those pupils starting their GCSEs in September to settle in to their surroundings before they begin their courses.

"All pupils will benefit from the greater shared facilities at Salisbury Road, especially for sports, and more opportunities for after school activities."

The move comes at an exciting time for the school, with planning permission granted earlier this month for a new teaching building, refurbishment of the canteen and classroom,  and improved sports facilities on the Salisbury Road site. Work on the changes is expected to begin in the summer holidays.

  • Frequently asked questions about the changes are listed below. Parents are also invited to find out more at meetings on Tuesday, March  5, or Thursday, March 14, both at 6pm at the Thamesfield Way site.

Frequently asked questions

What are the times of school at the Salisbury Road site?
The school days are the same at both sites, with gates opening at 8.20 am and closing at 8.40 am.  On Monday and Friday school finishes at 2.50 pm and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday school finishes at 3.50 pm.
 
How will pupils get to the Salisbury Road site?
Many of our pupils live as close or closer to Salisbury Road than Thamesfield Way. For them, we recommend pupils go directly to Salisbury Road.
For other pupils, we will operate a coach service between the two sites, leaving Thamesfield Way at 8.10 am each morning. A return service will leave Salisbury Road at 3.05 pm on Monday and Friday, and 4.05 pm on other days.
Families will be responsible for transport to or from any optional activities before or after school.
 
For how long will the Inspiration Trust provide transport between the two sites?
We guarantee to provide transport until the end of the next academic year in July 2020. We will review demand at that point for September 2020 onwards.
 
What uniform will be provided?
We will provide all pupils currently at Thamesfield Way with a new Charter Academy blazer, tie, trousers or skirt, and branded bag. We will also provide a PE kit consisting of polo shirt, shorts, and football socks. These will be provided free of charge via Harrisons.
 
What if I already have Charter Academy uniform?
Families who have already bought Charter uniform will still be entitled to the free items as spares, or we are happy for families to ask for a larger size for future use as pupils grow.
 
How do I get the new uniform?
We will book fitting sessions with Harrisons and provide details to families in due course. Please do not contact Harrisons directly.
We are investigating options for recycling items old Trafalgar College uniform that will be no longer required.
 
What about jewellery, haircuts, and other aspects of appearance?
The rules for these are the same across both school sites. If you are uncertain about whether particular haircuts or items are appropriate, please discuss it with us as soon as possible.
 
How will teaching operate?
We will gradually phase classes together, so that pupils from Thamesfield Way are fully integrated into school life. 
Some classes where there are curriculum differences between the two sites - such as Spanish and IT - will be taught separately until the end of this academic year. For other classes pupils will join their peers from Salisbury Road. Where subjects are setted, this will help us provide more targeted teaching and support.
 
Will the subjects offered be different?
Pupils starting GCSE courses in September have already been given details of their GCSE options and these are unaffected by the move. For current Year 8 pupils there will be some changes to the timetable in September, but these would take place regardless of the timing of the move.
 
What about support for children with special educational needs?
Our SEN staff already work closely together. Letters have gone out to all parents of SEN inviting them to meet with the team and many Thamesfield Way parents and pupils have already met with the Salisbury Road SEN Manager Ms Parsons. We will ensure that staff at Salisbury Road are aware of any specific requirements, and we are happy to discuss these with parents.
 
Will there be different arrangements for catering?
The Salisbury Road site has a larger kitchen and catering space, and offers a wider range of options for pupils to choose from. The site operates a 'cashless catering' system using a fingerprint scanner. We will contact you nearer the time to get permission to store biometric details and to provide you with details of how to set up your account.
Pupils entitled to free school meals will continue to receive free meals. If you are not sure if you qualify, please get in touch - not only can it help you with food costs, but the school also receives extra funding based on the number of pupils claiming free school meals.
 
How will you help pupils settle in?
We will be running joint activities to help pupils get to know one another and ensure a smooth transition, and we would welcome ideas from pupils and parents to achieve this. 
Pupils got along well when based temporarily at the Salisbury Road site due to flooding at Thamesfield Way and we feel providing transition activities will help ensure excellent relations for all.
 
What will happen to the Thamesfield Way site?
The site is owned by central government; once all education activity has finished on the site it will return to their control. It will then be for the government to decide on the long-term use of the site.
 
What if I have other questions?
We will be holding meetings for parents to discuss the move on Tuesday, March  5, and Thursday, March 14, both at 6pm at the Thamesfield Way site. If you are unable to make either meeting, or would like to discuss the move privately, please call the school to arrange an appointment.