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Letter from the principal


Dear Parent/Carer

As we move closer to the end of term, I am writing to confirm the key details ahead of the 2019/20 Academic year.

Over the past year we have continued to develop our ethos of Achievement: No Excuses and worked to ensure that Everyone Graduates. We are confident that moving forwards we will embed these values amongst all of our students and staff and continue working towards having the truly great school our students deserve.

I have been at DCA for five years and have had the honour of running the school as head for the past 2 ½, but this year will be my last here as I am leaving to pursue a new challenge overseas. I am leaving DCA in good hands as the majority of the existing staff will be remaining under the leadership of the new Principal, Andy Smith. Mr Smith will introduce himself shortly.

There is no doubt in my mind that DCA is in a much stronger position now than it was in 2014, this is down to the hard work of many staff and Scholars, not any one person. However, there is someone who has done more to raise the profile of the school, improve outcomes, behaviour and standards, our Executive Principal, Mr Hooker. Mr Hooker will also be finishing his work at DCA in July and I would like to place on record my thanks for the outstanding work he has done and for his leadership which has been truly inspirational.

It is my belief that the job that Mr Hooker has now done in turning two schools around merits more than a simple quote, but in the words of John Maxwell, a great leader is one who “knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”. I think that Mr Hooker certainly did that 100% of the time. I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to cope not working with him!

Back to plans for DCA.

The end of this Academic year will be on 24th July. In the run up to this date please be aware of the following:

  • W/C 15th July is Graduation week. Look out for the details from your Year Leaders. Any Scholars staying at DCA will finish their days at 3pm for this week, unless you notify us. Should you wish, your child can remain at school until 4.25pm. All Scholars going on visits will finish at various times.
  • 22nd July is Sports Day on the Forest - please come along. We aim to finish at 3-3.30pm and will dismiss ALL Scholars from the Forest.
  • 23rd July the school day will finish at 3pm.
  • 24th Jul is Activities day - Scholars will be able to choose their Electives for the day which will finish at 12 noon.

In order to embed all our practise and improve the quality of learning we will be undertaking the majority of INSET at the start of the year in order to get the most from this time and avoid any interruptions mid-year.

Students will return to the Academy in a staggered start on the following dates:

  • New Year 7 to Sherwood Rise students at 8.20am on Monday September 2nd.
  • All students to start at 8.20am on Tuesday September 3rd.
  • Years 9, 10 & 11 will start at Gregory Boulevard.
  • Years 7 and 8 will start at Sherwood Rise.

As a reminder, the week will look as follows for ALL year groups:

  • Morning starts Tuesday to Friday at 8.20am with all students needing to be on-site every day by 8.20am at the latest.
  • The Academy opens at 8.50am on a Monday.
  • The Academy day ends at 4.30pm Monday to Thursday.
  • The Academy day ends at 12 noon on a Friday with a lunch available for any student who wants to eat on-site or who is entitled to a Free School Meal.

To surmise:

  • Monday 8.50am - 4.30pm.
  • Tuesday – Thursday 8.20am - 4.30pm.
  • Friday 8.20am – 12 noon (12.30pm if taking lunch).

As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. I will miss working with such an amazing and vibrant community.


  1. Belshaw

Mr D Belshaw