St Edward's Church of England Academy

School sixth forms join forces to provide enhanced student experience

An ambitious commitment to sixth form education will see four schools join forces and provide free iPads to all post-16 students.

Under the ‘Unity Sixth’ umbrella, sixth form students at St Edward’s Academy in Romford, Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard, Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill and Felixstowe School will benefit from a shared curriculum including presentation and lectures given by renowned speakers from business, politics and the arts.

The post-16 arm of Unity Schools Partnership will also offer all sixth form students and teachers an iPad from September 2024, for use at both school and home.

Jodie Hassan, headteacher at St Edward’s Academy, said, “We are incredibly proud to be launching this world class provision for our sixth form students.

“The use of iPads throughout the taught, extra and supra curriculum will ensure our students are upskilled to be future ready. 

“The supra curriculum offer will ensure our young people have access to speakers and resources comparable to any of the top schools in the country. 

“We are extremely grateful to be part of Unity Schools Partnership as our membership has enabled us to access this outstanding provision.”

Stephen Astley, executive director of education at Unity, said: “We are hugely excited to launch Unity Sixth and its supra curriculum from September 2024.

“By the quartet of sixth forms joining forces, we believe we can offer an enhanced and enriched experience for our students as well as the very best of shared resources, teaching skills and assessment models to drive outcomes.” The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Sousa, has enthusiastically committed to help launch these lectures.

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The school were visited by Ofsted on 17/18 May 2022 and the outcome was a Good with Outstanding features grading which we were delighted to receive!

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We are delighted that St Edward’s have been chosen as a boroughwide example of excellent practice in Careers and Education Guidance.  At the Havering Headteachers’ Meeting of 20th January 2022, our outstanding Careers curriculum and practice was shared boroughwide.  Thanks to the Local London Careers Hub (East) for recognising our successes and sharing our work.  


Updated advice from the DFE was issued to schools on 31st December 2021.  Full details of the DfE’s ‘Schools Covid-19 operational guidance’ (January 2022) can be found here:

Page 7 of the DfE operational guidance details revised requirements for the use of face coverings in schools, effective from the beginning of the Spring term in January 2022.  The guidance states:

Face coverings help protect the wearer and others against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of Covid-19. Where pupils in Year 7 (which would be children who were aged 11 on 31st August 2021) and above are educated, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by pupils, staff and adult visitors when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas. This is a temporary measure.

From January 4th, we also recommend that in those schools where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons. This will also be a temporary measure.

Pupils in these schools must also wear a face covering when travelling on public transport and should wear it on dedicated transport to and from school. We would not ordinarily expect teachers to wear a face covering in the classroom if they are at the front of the class, to support education delivery, although settings should be sensitive to the needs of individual teachers.

Face coverings do not need to be worn when outdoors. Schools, as employers, have a duty to comply with the Equality Act 2010 which includes making reasonable adjustments for disabled staff. They also have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils, to support them to access education successfully. No pupil should be denied education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face mask.

Please find below our current policy as regards face coverings. Face coverings must be worn by students inside the school building in communal areas including corridors and other public areas (unless the student is exempt for medical reasons). The school will already have been notified of any pre-existing medical conditions.

Until at least Wednesday 26th January 2022 (when the Government will review this advice), face coverings must also be worn in the classroom (unless the student is medically exempt). Face coverings MUST be the school regulation plain blue triple ply cotton face mask (unless a medical condition requires the use of an alternative, including face shields).

Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth. Any member of staff can ask a child to take off their face covering for purposes of identification anywhere on the school site.  Students at St Edward’s Academy will adhere to DfE operation guidance in order to halt the transmission of Covid-19 in our community.  St Edward’s Academy expects that all students support the nationwide effort in preventing further impact of Covid-19 on our community and lifestyles. 

Please note any child travelling on public transport or going into a shop must also now wear a face covering (unless medically exempt).

The school recognises that there remain considerable challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Risk Assessment has been updated in the light of feedback, experience and guidance.

Please take time to read the attached document.

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our latest newsletter! This edition is full of the latest news from around our wonderful school and our community.

Not all file types can be viewed on this page, if for any reason you cannot view the document below or are using a mobile device, you can use use the ‘Download’ button to access the file.

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