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 2017.  

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

  • For the third 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, including our GCSE results in the care subjects of Maths and English in 2016.

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.

Mr Adam Turner – Head of Lower School -  01254 819527

Mrs Gail Sharples – Pastoral Manager Year 7 – 01254 819557

Mrs Margaret Bradshaw – Head of Student Services

Mrs Heather Worden – Primary Liaison and Transition Officer

Mrs Deborah Huddleston – Academy EWO

Mr Paul Earnshaw/Miss Jade Tumelty – 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 students into appropriate teaching groups and tutor groups. I have attached a short information sheet at the end of this letter, should you wish to tell us anything else in relation to your child’s transition. If you would like to discuss any issues in person then please contact either Adam Turner – Head of Lower School or Gail Sharples – Pastoral Manager Year 7.

The Academy Induction days will take place on Wednesday 5th July to Friday 7th July. Your child needs 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. Students will need to make their own arrangements to travel to and from the Academy. During the induction days students will meet their 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 5th 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 your child an opportunity to find out more about the Academy, to meet with their 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.

  • Tuesday 5th September-Academy Induction Day
  • Wednesday 6th September-Year 7 arrive at 8.30am for first academy day

At the start of the new academic year you will be invited to attend an induction meeting 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 date and appointment time nearer the date.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child 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 5th July 2017.    

Yours sincerely,

Mr A Turner
Head of Lower School

Primary Transition Booklet