The Hastings Academy news

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Are you an aspiring teacher looking to be trained in a Sussex based academy? Look no further. The University of Brighton Academies Trust ‘Train to Teach’ programmes allow you to train here, at The Hastings Academy – an academy which nurtures within our community with aspiration, self-worth, courage, a respect for learning, ​the drive for a successful personal and collective future and the desire for all to achieve and prosper. Being a trainee here, you will spend most of your 1-year course in our classrooms putting theory into practice. You’ll take on challenges headfirst and be in amongst the action, gaining confidence-boosting experience and most importantly reassurance in your career choice as a teacher. Depending on which route you choose, you could receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) all whilst being provided with personalised support from our highly experienced teachers and tutors. Developing your teaching knowledge, you will also attend training sessions at the University of Brighton, rated by Ofsted as an outstanding provider of initial teacher training.

Do you want to improve the holistic outcomes for all learners by providing fairness of opportunity in an environment of respect, whilst breaking down any barriers to learning, enabling everyone succeed? By engaging and impacting each other and young lives, we are the academy to kickstart your career in teaching. Here at The Hastings Academy, we aspire to empower all staff to teach engaging, stimulating lessons that take risks for all children have the same life chances as everyone, regardless of their starting point. You will develop in a professional environment by being a part of delivering a personalised curriculum which is designed to offer different pathways to success.​ You will raise aspirations and develop a thirst for challenge through a curriculum which promotes confidence and self-belief to succeed.

There is a variety of choice when it comes to choosing a subject of expertise from Art & Design, Sciences, English, Geography to Modern Languages and Dance. Stuck for choice? There are generous tax-free bursaries and scholarships up to £26,000 available for certain subjects.

Take your first step into the education sector today and discover your options here, where you can apply, but also find out more about bursary and scholarship eligibility. Help deliver excellence to children’s education.

Train to Teach in: Art & Design | Biology | Chemistry | Dance | English | Geography | Mathematics | Modern Languages | Physics


On Thursday 7 October we held our first in-person Open Evening for prospective parents, carers and children since 2019. It was fantastic to interact with our potential newcomers and showcase our brilliant facilities, ensuring all made the most out of what is to come in their secondary school journeys next year.

To inform children and their families that we strive for every child to succeed, the evening began by our principal, Hilary Morawska, delivering a very warm welcome into the Academy. She was accompanied by two of our year 7 pupils and a selection of senior pupils who presented their own speeches about their personal experiences and what they love about school life at The Hastings Academy. After introductory talks, prospective families were able to explore the grounds where we held a market stall scenario in the Atrium which included staff and resources from our Forest School, SuperStitch – our local school uniform provider – our Pastoral team and Play Sport who are the external company who deal with our sports facilities’ bookings. The canteen also provided samples of the type of school meals we provide weekly. On route, Forest School was open for indulgent hot chocolates and s’mores which could be enjoyed whilst discovering the events situated in each department.

Our senior pupils were on hand to meet and greet parents, who answered prospective families’ questions and directed them to their desired subject area. Science was certainly the main attraction of the evening, as year 6 pupils could get in amongst live dissections as well as getting heated in fire-based practicals. In music, our pupils played their beloved instruments and gave children an insight as to what studying music is like here at the Academy but were also wonderful at showing those in awe of their talents how to use them.

As a generic fun activity for the evening, all subjects came together to deliver a treasure hunt for the year 6 children. They were set the task of answering a set number of questions as they moved from one department to the next to be in with the chance of winning an Amazon voucher. It was a joy to watch, and we loved seeing everyone’s eagerness to win. We certainly don’t do things half-heartedly!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who came along to our Open Evening. We hope you felt informed, encouraged, but most of all, excited for your child’s journey to begin here next year. We can’t wait for you to join us.

If you were unable to make it, don’t worry! We have bookable Open Mornings on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 October at 9:30 – 11:00am. This is a great opportunity for you to see us in action during the school day whilst being able to ask questions to a senior member of management. To register for an Open Morning, please book here.

Alternatively, you can apply for a place at The Hastings Academy today. For any more information about our academy, you can view our Prospectus now.

Remember, the deadline for applications is 31 October 2021.

We would like to wish you the very best for this year and we look forward to welcoming you in 2022.

FREE online self-harm session for parents and carers of a young person engaged in or at risk of engaging in self-harming behaviour. Presented by the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, This webinar is available to parents and carers across East Sussex, West Sussex, and Brighton & Hove.

For more information, see here: SelfharmPCSessionfinal.pdf

In the last year, ‘self-generated’ child sexual abuse imagery has increased by 77% and is a third of all child sexual abuse material identified and removed from the internet. These included images of girls aged 11 to 13 whose abuse had been recorded via a webcam in a domestic setting.
To help prevent the creation of this type of abusive imagery, a campaign has been launched by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) backed by the Home Office and Microsoft. It aims to help raise awareness among parents and carers of young teens about this type of criminality, empower and educate girls aged 11 to 13+ to spot the techniques used by sexual predators and give them the knowledge to ‘Block, Report, Tell’ someone they trust.
This is a national campaign, running from 21 April for six weeks. You can find out more on the IWF website, as well as specific sites for parents and young people.

NSPCC have launched a dedicated helpline for children and young people who have experienced sexual harassment or abuse at school, and for worried adults and professionals that need support and guidance.


The dedicated helpline offers support to:

  • all children and young people making current and non-recent disclosures of sexual harassment or abuse on school grounds within school time, and incidents linked to school in any capacity
  • any children or young people who want to talk about being involved or witnessing any incidents
  • any adults who have experienced non-recent abuse
  • parents and carers who have any concerns about their own or other children
  • professionals who work in schools and need support in this or related issues.

Anyone who gets in touch through this dedicated helpline will also be signposted to other relevant support services available, including Childline - which provides ongoing support and counselling to children and young people.


Click here for more information: 

Trust news

Over the last couple of years, The Baird Primary Academy have been working extremely hard on their pupil’s personal development and ensuring that they encourage them to lead healthy lifestyles in terms of both their physical and emotional wellbeing. ‘The Empowerment Approach’ is particularly one huge strand of this which is all about supporting children who struggle with challenging behaviour whilst establishing a whole school approach, placing young people’s self-awareness at its heart. Alongside this, the academy has been working on developing their healthy eating strategy, amongst many other things to help provide and equip their pupils for the healthiest possible lifestyle, in school and beyond.

In light of the work The Baird were doing, and upon completion of the School Health Check tool (a self-assessment tool that supports schools to assess themselves against four strands of the Healthy Schools Award – PSHE/ PE / Social, Emotional and Mental Health / Health Eating), Principal of The Baird Primary Academy, Carly Welch was approached by the East Sussex Healthy Schools team to see if they would like to be assessed for the Excellence Award to recognise their work. On Friday 29 April, The Baird were assessed to gain the accreditation for the award and successfully achieved this. This classifies The Baird with a self-validated healthy schools status and are proudly the first Trust Academy to achieve the award, being only the fifth in East Sussex.

The Baird are extremely proud to have reached their goal in achieving the Healthy Schools Excellence Award and recognise it as a collaborative effort of all pupils, parents/carers, and staff.

The University of Brighton Academies Trust are delighted with the accomplishment and are thrilled that The Baird are supporting our pupils in their development to grow healthily, safely, and responsibly. Congratulations!

The University of Brighton Academies Trust are delighted to share that Robsack Wood Primary Academy has been rated ‘Good’ after their recent Ofsted visit in early March. The Ofsted report celebrates that “pupils are happy at school where they feel safe and are eager to learn.”

It was emphasised in the report that “leaders, governors and trustees have a strong moral purpose” where they “prioritise improving reading, encouraging high attendance, and looking after pupil and staff well-being.” This highlights how integral they are to delivering our Trust mission into the school as the report clarifies that “they are passionate about providing high-quality education for all pupils and particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils.” As the pandemic may have caused a spike of worry and anxieties in children, it was particularly promising to see that this East Sussex school values sharing their worries and do so anonymously. It was noted that “when pupils are worried about something they write notes in the ‘worry box’ or the ‘ask it basket’ in their classrooms. Teachers then give advice on issues that pupils are worried about.” Doing this anonymously allows those who may be less confident to share their worries, but also teaches children to realise that they are not alone providing a wholesome sense of togetherness.

Incorporating inclusivity is a key value at the school. Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are provided with the appropriate and necessary support required to deliver the best education possible. The report noted that “teachers appropriately adapt the curriculum for these pupils, and staff provide carefully designed support. Leaders ensure that those pupils with SEND who require more specialist help have access to external professionals.” The personal development of all pupils is apparent and clearly effective where it was recognised that “pupils are enthused by the various incentives on offer to them at school. Those who are recognised as positive role models to others are awarded certificates at the end of the term in ‘celebration’ assemblies.”

Caroline Thayre, Executive Principal at Robsack Wood says “we are delighted to share the outcome of our recent Ofsted inspection with our school community which is a testament to how amazing our pupils are and how much they respect and value our school. Our staff team are committed and passionate about supporting our pupils to be successful and confident learners with high aspirations. It is a privilege to lead such an inclusive, creative, and exciting school.”

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive of the Trust concluded by saying “I whole-heartedly congratulate Robsack Wood Primary Academy on achieving their ‘Good’ status in their latest inspection. Ofsted recognised that our staff feel valued and they believe that our “leaders are approachable and supportive” and find “opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from other schools in the Trust very useful” which is fantastic to hear. I was confident that Robsack Wood was providing brilliant education and a positive school experience for our pupils, so the report has left me feeling immensely proud approving that we are indeed achieving excellence together.”

Congratulations Robsack Wood! 

The University of Brighton Academies Trust are very proud to announce that Lily, year 8 pupil at The Hastings Academy, has been elected as Hastings and Rother’s new Youth Parliament Representative.

Taking advantage of her place on the East Sussex Youth Cabinet, Lily took this as the perfect opportunity to apply for the post of the local area representative. As part of the application process, Lily had to create and present a speech on why she believed she would be a great candidate for the position, promoting her ability to be the spokesperson her community needs knowing her voice would have impact. Since then, Lily has worked on the ‘Make our Mark’ campaign - a nationwide vote run across all schools in the country where students can choose issues or topics for the Youth Cabinet to investigate into, with the hope it will bring positive change to the local area.

Principal at The Hastings Academy, Hilary Morawska, said “We are very proud of Lily, for her tenacity and success. This is a brilliant achievement, for there were many worthy candidates also running for this post. Lily, on Friday 18 March, had the opportunity to meet Sally Ann Hart MP for Hastings and Rother, and Baroness Barron (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Minister for the School System) where she had expressed her desire to study Law and Politics at Oxford University and ultimately become a member of parliament. A huge congratulations to you.”

The University of Brighton Academies Trust and everyone at The Hastings Academy look forward to hearing about the opportunities this has in store for Lily – the very start of what could blossom into her future career. Well done.

The University of Brighton Academies Trust are delighted to announce our new successful West Sussex appointment for September 2022.

After a rigorous recruitment and interview process, The University of Brighton Academies Trust are pleased to announce that Mr Simon Davies will take over the role as Lead Principal at The Burgess Hill Academy from September 2022. Simon Davies will join the Academy, replacing Mr Anthony Snape, Interim Principal, who will be returning to his position of Vice Principal. Simon Davies is currently Principal at Balfour Primary School in Brighton.

Using his 18 years of experience in education, and his knowledge of taking on a variety of crucial roles and gained wealth of leadership practise, Simon plans to lead the Academy into the next phase of its improvement and growth, being a fantastic opportunity for him to continue to shape and hone the vision.

Simon said, “I hold a strong belief in the power of education to change children's lives and the right of every child to receive an excellent education. I am dedicated to building opportunities for students to achieve the highest academic standards, ensuring that they are known well as individuals and that their unique personality, talents, and interests are nurtured and developed to the full.”

Chief Executive of The University of Brighton Academies Trust, Dr John Smith said, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Anthony for his contribution to the exceptional leadership of the Academy during his tenure.

“I know that Simon will bring a lot of experience and energy to the Trust, and I know he will feel very welcomed."

The University of Brighton Academies Trust are delighted to announce our new successful East Sussex appointment for September 2022.

After a rigorous recruitment and interview process, The University of Brighton Academies Trust are pleased to announce that Mr Simon Addison will take over the role as Lead Principal at The Hastings Academy from September 2022. Simon will join The Hastings Academy, replacing Ms Hilary Morawska, who will be retiring at the end of this academic year. Simon, currently Vice Principal at Haberdashers' Academies Trust South is an accomplished education professional with wide-ranging experience as a senior leader coach and mentor, senior examiner, and classroom teacher specialising in humanities and social sciences.

Simon has extensive experience in education as a Teacher, Governor and Senior Leader and has a mission to deliver his vision of an unrelenting focus on high standards, inclusion, and social mobility which will build on the work of Hilary Morawska. He said, “I know that a successful and happy school depends on all of us working together to transform the lives of the young people we serve. In September there will be events for parents that I would encourage you to be involved in, so we have an opportunity to meet in person and you can share any views, concerns, or ideas you have in order to help us properly provide for our community. I look forward to working with the you all over the coming weeks, months, and years to make The Hastings Academy an even better place to learn and grow.

“My commitment to our students, parents/carers and staff is to be a visible and approachable Principal; one who truly champions our students and their many successes and is committed to the long-term success of the school. In doing so, I am keen to harness the views and energy of everyone in our community.”

Chief Executive of The University of Brighton Academies Trust, Dr John Smith said, “I know that Simon will bring a lot of experience and energy to the Trust, and I know he will be made to feel very welcome.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Hilary for her contribution to the exceptional leadership of the academy during her tenure and wish her a very happy, well-deserved retirement.”

Dates for the diary