Dear Parent/Carer,

Thank you for choosing Darwen Aldridge Community Academy for your child’s secondary education; I am very pleased that they will be joining us in September 2016.

Here are a few reasons why this is an exciting time for a young person to join the Academy:

  • For the second consecutive year since opening in 2008, the Academy will be full with a waiting list for places. We will not accept additional places unless a vacancy arises.
  • Following our OFSTED inspection of January 2013 which reported; ‘…this is a good school’ and ‘….a good sixth form’, our aim is to become outstanding, and all of our work is geared to this.
  • We were recognised in the 2013 school performance tables as being in the top twenty most improved schools in the country 2009-2012. And have maintained a good profile of student outcomes as recorded in the DfE performance tables.
  • Our Sixth Form continues to grow. Every DACA student has priority for a Sixth Form place. In the 2016 performance tables, DACA’s Sixth Form was the highest performing post-16 provision in Blackburn and Darwen.
  • The progress made by all of our students is consistently well above national averages

It is vital to ensure that every child has a positive experience on the transition to secondary phase and we have a transition team who engage with partner primary schools, students and parents to ensure a smooth transition. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the team and some contact details should you wish to discuss anything regarding the transition process.

Miss Jade Tumelty – Director of Learning Support

Mrs Rachel Lewis – Co-Ordinator for Primary Transition

Mr Gavin Wade – Pastoral Manager Year 7

Mrs Margaret Bradshaw – Head of Student Services

Mrs Heather Worden – Primary Liaison and Transition Officer

Mrs Deborah Huddleston – Academy EWO

Mr Paul Earnshaw – Co-Ordinator of Learning Support

During the summer term we meet with Year 6 teachers in all feeder primary schools and discuss academic and pastoral information and this enables us to place them into appropriate teaching groups and tutor groups. I have attached a short information sheet regarding your child should you wish to tell us anything else in relation to their transition. If you would like to discuss any issues in person then please contact either Rachel Lewis – Co-Ordinator for Primary Transition or Gavin Wade– Pastoral Manager Year 7.

We will be running a Premier League Reading Stars Transition Club in collaboration with the National Literacy Trust for students to come along and take part in which provides an opportunity to meet and make new friends, get to know staff and experience life at the Academy. This is suitable for both boys and girls and will be on Fridays from 3.30pm till 4.30pm, beginning on Friday 6th May. Students should arrive at the Academy reception at 3.30pm with their PE kit. More information about this club can be found via the National Literacy Trust website:

The Academy Induction days will take place on Tuesday 12th July to Thursday 14th July 2016. They need to arrive via the Student Entrance of the Academy between 8.30-8.45am for a prompt start in the Main Hall at 9.00am and will need to make their own arrangments to travel to and from the Academy. During the induction days they will meet his tutor and the transition team; meet new friends; take part in team building activities; develop an understanding of the Academy’s specialism of Entrepreneurship; sample lessons and gain a valuable insight into life at the Academy. This will include having break and lunch and unless students are on free school meals or prefer to bring sandwiches, it is advised that they bring £2-£3 to cover purchases over the break and lunch time. Students will be dismissed each day at 3.20pm.

The Academy Intake Evening will take place on Wednesday 13th July at 4.00pm. There will be refreshments available in the canteen from 3.30-4.00pm for students and parents. This will give both you and them an opportunity to find out more about the Academy, to meet with his form tutor and other teaching and non-teaching staff, and ask any questions you may have. At this evening, items of uniform and school equipment will be on sale.

I hope you will be able to attend this important meeting as it represents the first step in fostering positive, working relationships between the Academy and home. Information about the first day in September will be given at the Intake Evening, but brief details are included here.

At the start of the new academic year they will attend an induction meeting on Friday 2nd September 2016 at the Academy. The meeting has a number of purposes:

To sign the Home-Academy Agreement.
To have the student photograph taken.
To provide the student identity badge.
To provide the new student planner.
To provide student timetables.
To check contact details.
To check that the Academy uniform is in order.

You will receive a letter stating the appointment time nearer the date.

The first Academy term for Year 7 starts on Monday 5th September 2016 where there for all students should arrive in full Academy uniform by 8.40am in time for the first lesson at 8.45am.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding transition to the Academy or any information in this letter then please do not hesitate to contact any member of the transition team. In addition we have a dedicated email address for transition should either your child or you wish to ask any questions. A member of the transition team or one of our lead students at the Academy will reply to you as soon as possible. The email address for this is:

We look forward to meeting with you on Wednesday 13th July 2016.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs R. Lewis
Co-Ordinator for Primary Transition

Primary Transition Booklet


Download Here