I am not a regular blogger because I’m not sure if people are going to that bothered about my views and opinions. However, I feel that I need to put something down in print in order to make people aware of a great school that is doing great things.
I visited Magna Academy, Poole today with a colleague, @MrsKateOHara to see for ourselves what they are doing and how they are changing lives. For those that don’t know, Magna is a non-selective Secondary Modern in a selective area and they have been on a huge journey. People might actually know them better for the sensational headlines and quick ‘clickbait’ news stories that have followed them over the last 5 years. I politely suggest that these people haven’t either taken the time to visit the school for themselves, or had the privilege of spending some time with the Principal, SLT, teachers, staff and students.
The students who attend Magna are lucky, lucky people. The thing is that they know they are lucky people and as a result they are making the most of every single minute. This blog isn’t about describing each and every system and structure that they have in finite detail. Instead, I want to spend time focussing on the impact they have on individual and collective chances of being successful. The are developing students who are wonderfully polite, respectful of their surroundings, respectful or their peers, proud of the work that they are producing and understand explicitly that by treating their teacher like platinum, then they will be successful.
Furthermore, they know that this doesn’t happen by chance and as a result they don’t take it for granted. This is a school that has a heart and soul. This is a school that celebrates success. This is a school that demands the best of every student, every single day. Not because the people who work there are being draconian, rude or egotistical, but because they believe that no matter what the start point, the end point can and will be successful.
Richard Tutt, Mark Adams and every member of Magna staff are brave, dedicated and focussed professionals. Rather than being pilloried for their efforts, they should be congratulated and respected for the decisions they have made and continue to make.
Finally, if you can find the time go and visit for yourself. You will get a warm welcome, people will take time out of their busy schedule to spend quality time with you and most importantly, you will get to see for yourself just what a wonderful, calm, purposeful, driven and committed place Magna Academy is. Everything they do leads back to the same point; how do they make sure that every minute of learning time is maximised? If that’s not supportive and student focussed, then I don’t know what is?
Thank you Richard, Mark and your school. Please keeping using the platform you have created (in real life and online) to show what can be achieved.