Welcome to the first update of the new school year. I hope you and those closest to you are in good health and enjoyed some quality time over the summer months with your children, family and friends. We have had a wonderful week this week. It has been a joy to see students return to school, they have clearly been eager to start the new term and have embraced the new routines and structure of the school day exceptionally well. We have made a number of changes within school this year as we return to a system that is closer to ‘normality’ than last year, more on that below.
Welcome to new families – those of Year 7 students, those students who have joined our Sixth Form, and those who have managed to transfer from other schools to us over the summer. Our new starters have had a staggered introduction to our routines and are beginning to find their feet and their way around school. The first couple of weeks are always exhausting for Year 7s but they will quickly adapt to the movement around site and the rhythm of the school day.
A lot has been happening at school over the summer with some building projects and changes to systems within school in response to feedback from students, families and staff. I won’t capture all changes here but will summarise some of the main works that have taken place:
- New canopy – We have constructed a huge new canopy outside of the main Learning Hub. This provides covered space for students to use in social time as well as creating an amphitheatre style facility for outdoor performances later in the year. We have had the area surrounding it re-landscaped too, providing a new space for students to relax.
- New pastoral hubs – You will know that our Year Managers and Progress Leaders do a tremendous job in looking after the well-being of our students. With this in mind we have created new hubs so they can work together more closely in supporting our young people. We now have merged the Year 7, 8 and 9 offices into one pastoral hub and the Year 10 and 11 offices into another hub.
- New staff roles – We have made a number of appointments this summer to both teaching staff and support professionals. There are two new roles I wanted to signpost that were created last year, these are our School Based Family Worker, Mrs Perkins and our Youth Worker, Mr Black. Both colleagues joined us prior to the summer holiday and are working in these new posts to provide a further level of support to our young people and their families, beyond that of the normal, in-school support provided by our pastoral teams.
- New one way system – We have created a one way system on the stairs this year to ease the flow of students around the building. After spending the last 12 months in one area of the school, it will take some getting used to for our young people but they have done very well with it so far this week.
- New menus for break and lunch – our students have been asking for a change in the canteen and we have worked hard over the summer to create new menus for them that are balanced and healthy as well as becoming more environmentally friendly.
Parent Pay and Free School Meals
Students use their finger print to pay for food at break and lunchtime. The account for this must be topped up online so students are able to spend the funds in school. We cannot accept cash onsite to pay for meals. You can find all the information you need about Parent Pay on our website here.
Parents of new Year 7 students who have NOT yet transferred their free meal entitlement to Derby Moor, please contact Derby City Council (tel 01332 640444) to do so.
Parking and picking up
Please can we ask families not to park on Moorway Lane at the end of the school day. Doing so blocks the road and prevents the rest of the traffic from moving. We are very lucky to have a turning circle at the front of school that works very well when Moorway Lane is not blocked. Please consider other road users and the safety of our students and avoid parking on Moorway Lane or the surrounding streets.
School Day timings
All students should arrive for school between 8.30 and 8.40 each day. School ends at 3.05 each day except Wednesday where we have an early finish at 2.45. For next week we will continue to end the day early for Year 7 students at 2.50 each day. After that they will follow the same pattern as all other Year Groups.
Cycle Safety/Road Safety
It has been brought to our attention that some students are not riding cycles safely or crossing local roads sensibly on their way to and from school. We monitor the areas close to our site and will be talking to students about road safety in due course. Please can I ask that families also remind children about the importance of riding and crossing roads safely. The roads around our site are busy and caution must be exercised by all our students when using the roads.
The standards of uniform have been excellent this week. Thank you to all families for supporting our high expectations with this. If you are unsure about any items of uniform, you can find guidance on the website here or you can contact your child’s Year Manager.
Covid 19 and Testing
Most of our students have had their first round of in school tests now with some cohorts having completed the second round. Following the second tests, we will issue home testing kits for students to use. The home tests should be completed every Sunday and Wednesday evening. Any positive tests should be reported to school and families should book a PCR test. It is vital that students do not return to school until their isolation period has ended or they have received a negative PCR result. The guidance for families has now changed and the whole household no longer needs to isolate if one member of the family tests positive. You can contact school via our firstname.lastname@example.org email to report a positive test. If your child is poorly with symptoms of Covid 19 they should stay at home and book a PCR test. This is important in limiting the spread of the virus throughout the school population. If you are unsure, please contact school for advice.
Derby County Community Trust
We have worked with DCCT a number of times in the last academic year to provide opportunities for our young people and the community. This September they are running sessions for adults looking to lose weight or get fit. You can find details on their webpage here.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
We are pleased to announce that a number of students completed their Gold and Silver DofE awards this summer. This is not an easy achievement and is a reflection of their determination and independence.
May I remind families that the initial £25 for the DofE Welcome Pack needs paying to enable students who have signed up this year to begin their DofE journey. This can be done through ParentPay.
- Y9 & 10 DofE activities start on Thursday 16th September, 3:05pm
- Y11 DofE activities start on Thursday 23rd September, 3:05pm
Also note that the Parent’s Evening for DofE will be on Thursday 30th September 6 – 7pm. The venue for this will be confirmed shortly.
Our staff teams have been back to school for nearly two weeks now preparing for the new term and using the latest research to develop our techniques and practises further. It has been a pleasure to see some of this new learning put into action this week and to see our students engaging and challenging themselves in lessons. There has been such a positive atmosphere throughout the site this week and a real sense that our Derby Moor Community has sprung back into life and is ready for the challenges ahead. I’m sure both staff and students will be looking forward to a relaxing weekend, but will be recharged and ready for another productive week come Monday.
Best wishes to you and your family,