Student Support

Our vision

Every action undertaken by every member of staff is implemented with the sole intention of improving the future life chances and wellbeing of our children.

Our vision is simple, and in line with this we recognise that each student is unique.

We want to equip all of our students with the confidence, education and skills to give them an excellent future and fulfil their future life chances. Academic rigor, ambitious goals and high expectations are central to our Academy ethos.

We have high expectations of all our students, particularly with regard to their behaviour and commitment to learning. We work hard to instill a determination and commitment to achieve excellence in each and every one of our students. We also work closely with parents/carers to ensure all our students maintain high standards of behaviour, attendance, uniform and personal conduct.

To give your child the very best support we have an extensive Deep Support Team. Each year group has a Year Manager who will support the pastoral needs of your child and ensure attainment and progression. Your child will be stretched and challenged both in their learning and personal development.

Working in Partnership

We believe that working in partnership with parents/carers is crucial to ensuring that our students achieve excellence and progress. We appreciate the trust that parents place in us and understand that nobody knows a child as well as his or her parents; we therefore believe that parental involvement and interest are vital to students success.

Homework is an important part of the curriculum, enabling students to develop independent learning and research skills, whilst offering parents/carers the opportunity to assist their children to achieve. Please see our Homework Policy.

As professionals we believe that clear and frequent communication with parents/carers is important, to enable parents to support their children. The Academy offers regular opportunities throughout the year for parents to monitor their child’s progress and talk to teaching & support staff. All parents are provided with a ClassCharts login so they can monitor their child’s behaviour and progress on a daily basis. Please contact b.wheatley@ncdat.org.uk if you require a login for ClassCharts.

Reading

We understand the importance of reading as an essential tool in accessing the entire curriculum, so at North Durham Academy we are introducing a phonics programme to support our weakest readers. They will follow the Fresh Start programme from Read, Write Inc and use a synthetic phonics approach to help decode words and texts. There will be a range of materials students will have to support them with this, as well as activities to practice at home. Each student who follows the programme is assessed regularly and will begin at the level suitable to their needs. Students will work in small groups or with a 1:1 phonics tutor each week. Phonics will run alongside our Accelerated Reader lessons and programme, allowing all readers to access a wide range of books and to encourage reading for pleasure.

Accelerated Reader

To improve the future life chances of all of our students, and to ensure they can access all subjects, Years 7, 8 and 9 follow the Accelerated Reader programme. This is an intuitive programme that allows students to take ownership of their independent reading practice. Reading for just 20 minutes each day has been proven to improve chronological reading age.

Students select a book at their own level either via MyOn, our e-book collection (ePlatform), or a physical book from home or the library, and read it at their own pace. When finished, they complete a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that students understand what was read.)

All Year 7, 8 and 9 students have an Accelerated Reader page in their English Teams notebook. This page contains their reading level, username and passwords as well as links for all of the reading sites that we use.

Phonics

Accelerated Reader gives children, teachers, and parents feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help students set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.

We understand the importance of reading as an essential tool in accessing the entire curriculum, so at North Durham Academy we are introducing a phonics programme to support our weakest readers. They will follow the Fresh Start programme from Read, Write Inc and use a synthetic phonics approach to help decode words and texts. There will be a range of materials students will have to support them with this, as well as activities to practise at home. Each student who follows the programme is assessed regularly and will begin at the level suitable to their needs. Students will work in small groups or with a 1:1 phonics tutor each week. Phonics will run alongside our Accelerated Reader lessons and programme, allowing all readers to access a wide range of books and to encourage reading for pleasure.

Home Connect

Home Connect is a one stop site for parents to view and monitor their child’s progress with Accelerated Reader.

Parents can log on using their child’s Accelerated Reader username and password (this is in their English Teams notebook) to see their progress towards targets, certificates and lists of books and results for quizzes they have taken. Parents can also opt for the site to send an email every time their child takes a quiz!

Please follow these links to take you directly to Accelerated Reader and ePlatform.

Stomping Ground Forest School

NDA are happy to welcome Stomping Grounds Forest School onsite to work with a section of pupils to develop bush craft skills including; fire lighting. This is a proactive intervention to provide opportunities for emotional support and practical skills development. Pupils are developing identified skill sets alongside the provided physical and mental outlet which enables pupils to develop ways to self-regulate, reset and calm.

As a collective we’re looking forward to sharing outcomes and observing the impact back in the classroom.