Thank You to Our HAP Community - A Message From The Executive Principal
At the end of one of the most eventful school years in history, we'd like to say thank you to the HAP community.
Despite the unprecedented situation we’ve found ourselves in with the global pandemic, with the support of our students, staff, parents, governors and local community, we’ve had one of the most productive years at Harris Academy Peckham so far.
Coronavirus has caused immense challenges around the world, including here in Peckham. Lockdown was difficult, stressful and challenging for all of our students and families. But we are proud of the way in which we worked together as a community to support each other and make the best of a bad situation:
- We stayed open throughout, including during the Easter holidays, providing a safe and welcoming place to be for many students who needed this;
- Back in March, we were early to predict that schools could be closed to control the spread of the virus and made many preparations to ensure that we would be able to continue with live online lessons from Day One of lockdown. Thanks to the Harris Federation coronavirus hardship fund, we were able to distribute laptops and internet dongles to many students within days of our Academy closing;
- We did everything we could to support families in need whilst our Academy was closed, including weekly care packages, free breakfast and lunch deliveries and supermarket vouchers;
- We kept Year 10 students safe and sound when they were asked to return to our Academy, with many adjustments in place such as new handwashing facilities outside, social distanced classroom organisation and temperature checks at the door.
- We invited every single Year 7-9 student onto site during the last three weeks to meet with their teachers and become acclimatised to their new COVID-prepared Academy.
We are so excited about the start of the new school year in September and cannot wait to see our students, some of whom have not been able to come to school since March. We will be giving students all our support, academically and pastorally, so that we can make the next academic happy and successful for everyone.
Top 10 highlights
But aside from marking the highs and lows of the pandemic, we also wanted to celebrate some of the other achievements of the school year. Here are our top 10 highlights:
- Pastoral care for children was transformed, with two new pastoral leaders, our new behaviour for learning mentor and our new Education Welfare Officer. We put in place a series of other extra provision, including our talented and brilliant new basketball coach, Mr Dulice. There were no permanent exclusions last year, which reflects the superb behaviour of students.
- Under the leadership of Ms Rogers, music continued to be a standout feature of academy life. Our HAP Choir gave a stunning performance at Buckingham Palace for the Duke of Edinburgh, whilst our a capella singers Hapaphonix finished an incredible third place in the national Jack Petchey Perfect Pitch competition.
- Our Peckham Poets excelled in their contribution to HUH: Roundhouse Live to celebrate the unveiling of the Blue Plaque on Bob Marley’s historic home.
- In the world of sports, we experienced some standouts firsts. Our Year 9s came an impressive third place in the Project Rugby tournament at Old Colfeians – the only all-female side to take part. Likewise, our Harris Peckham Junior NBA team won their first ever basketball game 34-13.
- More widely, students across our Academy enjoyed many exciting and enriching trips, including visits to the Royal Academy of Arts, the British Museum and Christie’s auction house.
- Students benefited from some fantastic careers-focused events. Some of the most popular events with students were the opportunity to participate in Mock Bar Trials at the London Courts, a workshop at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and a special medical careers day at Harris Academy Sutton.
- Our students and staff engaged amazingly with #BlackLivesMatter, creating many profound pieces of art and poetry to share with the Academy. We are well underway with auditing our curriculum and, while there is already some excellent practice in place, we will develop it even further in the next academic year.
- As always, we strove to engage with and give back to our local community wherever possible. Most notably, our Year 9s worked together to create our Giant Peckham Plait – a fabric art installation representing culture, diversity, community and gratitude – which they donated to All Saints Church.
- Our Student Council did an excellent job representing HAP. They met with Helen Hayes, MP for neighbouring Dulwich and West Norwich, to discuss universal credit and how we can help combat homelessness. Likewise, our Student Council Vice Principal Tegan addressed community leaders from Southwark about the need for proactive democracy; we are so proud of the confidence and intelligence with which she expressed herself.
- Finally, we tried our best to bring smiles to the faces of all our young people, with our staff creating a ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ video, showcasing the real strength of our Academy community.
Ms Rebecca Hickey, Executive Principal/Assistant Director