At the start of the year I was forewarned that I would be asked to write a website story summarising my first few weeks at The Farnley Academy as Assistant Principal for Inclusion and Safeguarding. I have to admit to thinking that it would be extremely challenging to write anything interesting. Then the term started…

The Farnley Academy is an exceptional place. It is exceptional for the precision learning environment which has been developed as an integral part of its community. It is exceptional for the level of support provided by the highly skilled and extremely pleasant staff. It is exceptional for the incredible aspirations of students and staff. However, the characteristic which makes this article easy to write, is the exceptional level of fun and enjoyment generated by the rewards systems as part of the Positive Discipline, Student Experience and Attendance structures.

I have borne witness to orderly lines of students proudly wearing 100% Attendance Club badges to collect rewards on Fridays and heading off to see Polar Bears at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. The excitement generated around the Positive Discipline trip taking 900 students to Alton Towers (the largest school trip I have ever been party to in 15 years of teaching) was incredible. A mass of students on the playground partaking in the inter-house limbo contest or students stalking the corridors at the end of the day looking for nice things to do in the hope of earning a house token or two are not out of the ordinary sights! The Farnley Academy is anything but ordinary!

The staff have been fantastic and ever supportive as I get to grips with the systems which allow The Farnley Academy to be such a high performing and precision learning environment. The highest expectations of staff and students is clear in the academy’s vision and is the reason I chose to work here. One member of staff who’s lesson I observed in week four referred to this process as being ‘Farnleyfied’ (the raising of expectations to their zenith in all aspects of education).

So, in summary, my experience has been; exciting, wonderful and I feel exceptionally fortunate to have found Farnley.