Lipson The Co-operative Academy

Lipson Co-operative Academy


Principal's Blog 13th October 2017

I start this weeks’ blog after reviewing how our school has performed compared to other schools as the DFE has now published all schools’ provisional data. It is very pleasing to see that Lipson has finished in 7th position in the city for progress 8 showing that we have added real value to our students from when they joined us after their time in primary school.  We have finished with a Progress 8 score of -0.1 which is average meaning that Lipson has performed in line with national average for progress 8. 

All provisional results can be found here:

Year 11 expectations evening took place this week and provided us with the perfect opportunity to work with parents to guide and support their children through this examination year. During the evening, parents listened to presentations from our Heads of Core faculties- Maths, English and Science who gave an overview of the subject this year and explained the changes to the examination and how we can support parents to help their children prepare for what we are calling ‘their marathon year’. We have planned the year for our year 11 students so it does not become last minute for them and cause unnecessary anxiety. So much so, that year 11 have been busily signing up for the start of our study café next week – a provision which enables them to study, focus and gain extra support in their subjects. A very focussed approach by year 11 this half term indeed.

Last year’s year 11 performed well –they went the extra mile and secured good progress performing well against their peers in other schools and gaining some of the top grades A/A* and the new grade 9s – which is how all examinations will be graded this academic year. Grade 1-9 now replace the GCSE grades A*-G. A full explanation of this is available on our website

We are confident we will continue this upward trend as we all know our culture is one of a ‘can do’ attitude.  Confidence in our whole school community is improving all the time.  In my speech to parents during the evening, I talked about suppressing ambition with the fleas in a jar analogy. Fleas only jump inches when the lid is on the jar but remove the lid and they can jump for many feet.  This lid is certainly off the jar at Lipson and we will continue to keep the lid off the jar.

We are a student centred school where students work collaboratively with their teachers to improve learning. 

Students, teachers and the third piece of the triangle, parents/carers all working in partnership to improve the outcomes for our learners is a force to be reckoned with – we can achieve more together. As I said last week, we value our relationship with parents and I would like to invite parents/carers to our first parent forum session this academic year on Wednesday 18th October at 6pm. Our parent forum is an opportunity to speak informally to myself and other staff at the school and discuss all elements of school life and work together to create new opportunities and ideas to enhance the educational experience of our young people.

A very proud moment this week when I met with one of our year 7s –Ryan Griffiths who ran the Plymouth schools challenge 5K race and finished in 24 minutes. On discussion with him about how he trained for the event he told me he is a triathlete and has competed in events already as a member of Plymouth tri club. This was music to my ears! As a cyclist myself, you can imagine how the conversation progressed- comparing road bikes and discussing his targets for the year ahead. He really is a very committed young man and I look forward to hearing more about his adventures –although I am worried he will soon be overtaking me on the road.

There were a lot of nominations received this week for students of the week so it was a hard decision to just choose one. This week’s student of the week is Jasmine Titah in year 10. She is a great student ambassador who regularly goes that extra mile to support the school with our many events and is one of our Maths leaders. She supported the Maths department at our year 11 expectations evening this week answering many queries from parents and showcasing her skills as a Maths leader. Well done Jasmine.

Our enrichment programme is very much underway with many clubs and experiences being taken up by students. The full programme of enrichment activities can be found here:

We have had a large number of students audition and be successful in gaining places in our forthcoming musical this year ‘Back to the 80’s’. It does make me feel old when I recognise the songs from my own childhood and realising that our students are hearing them for the first time.

As well as the many sporting events, debating club, Art activities, Gallery visits, Big band etc… we have held a series of assemblies to launch our next ski trip to Bormio, Italy in 2019. This years’ ski trip was a huge success with students thoroughly enjoying the experience so much so that we will be returning to the same resort in February 2019. Plans are also underway for our first activities week being held at the end of the summer term with details being released soon.


Mrs Lynda Budd