Principal’s Update – 11th March 2022

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in the best of health. This half term is often a key turning point in the year for many students with mock examinations, parents evenings and options choices all taking place this side of the Easter break. With that in mind there are a number of updates below detailing events and opportunities that are coming up.

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in the best of health. This half term is often a key turning point in the year for many students with mock examinations, parents evenings and options choices all taking place this side of the Easter break. With that in mind there are a number of updates below detailing events and opportunities that are coming up.

Covid Update

There is no change at present to our precautions around covid. Our students seem to be embracing the move towards normality. For me, simply being able to see smiles on faces as our students and staff move throughout the building has made a big difference to how our days feel. You can find a summary of how things are working in terms of living with covid in last week’s update.

Year 9 Parents Evening and Pathways

The Year 9 Parents Evening takes place this Wednesday on our SchoolCloud platform. You should have received advice on how to make appointments and log on via your child’s Year Team. If you require support with any of this, please do contact your child’s Year Manager in advance of the evening.

Over the next fortnight students will be receiving advice about the pathways they are on and the subjects they will be studying ay Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11). Students will come home with their pathways booklets next week. Please take time to have a look at the options with your child along with the content online that is available from Monday. These are big decisions for our Year 9s and we aim to provide them with the advice and guidance they need to make informed choices about their future courses.

Mock Examinations – Year 11 and 13

Our Year 11 have worked hard over the last fortnight during their mock examination window. Staff are now busily marking scripts and preparing feedback for students ahead of the most critical period of their education to date. We aim to distribute results to families and students at the parents evening on the 30th March. At this stage we are hoping to hold that event in school, face to face.

The Year 13 mock examination window starts on Monday. Sitting these papers under timed, exam conditions is a vital part of the preparation for the summer series. Likewise the feedback and planning that follows is key in ensuring our students are in the best possible place in the lead up to the summer. Please do take a moment to discuss their revision schedules and how each paper has gone with them over the next fortnight.

Careers Update

On Tuesday, former Derby Moor student Rebecca Murden, shared an inspiring career journey from Derby Moor to Miami. Rebecca has built a fantastic career, first in journalism and now in television. She told the students that the key to her success was learning the skill of telling a great story and finding ways to communicate it. She also stressed the importance of never giving up. Rebecca then took part in a follow up session as part of a Media Studies lesson with Year 10 answering questions and helping students understand how the topics they are studying in school can help them in the world of work.

On Friday we heard from another former Derby Moor student, Sam Packham. Sam shared his journey from Derby Moor to Durham University where he studied Mechanical Engineering. Sam now lives in London working as a consultant on some fascinating projects with the Ministry of Defence. Sam encouraged students to always see beyond the classroom and get involved in a wide range of activities to develop skills such as communication and team work. He also really showed how many of the subjects he studied in school can be applied to the work place, for example data analysis from Maths. Next Monday, Sam is taking part on another session with some Year 11 Maths students looking at how the skills developed Maths can be applied to many areas of employment.

This week is National Careers Week. If you would like to have a go at a careers quiz, you will find the link here. Additionally, to coincide with National Careers Week, Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Further and Higher Education, has written to students and parents about the education, training and work choices available to young people after they finish their GCSEs and once they turn 18. You can find them on the links below:

Open the letter to students

Open the letter to parents, carers and guardians

Year 9 students have been taking part in workshops with our Careers Advisers from Luminate Careers in readiness for the launch of the Pathways process next week. The focus has been around decision-making and becoming informed about making choices. During the session the students looked at a range of helpful things and Luminate suggested that they do some or all of the following:

  • Watch the following video to re-cap on how you might decide what GCSE options you want to take –
  • Use the skills suitcase that you completed in the group session to think about what you are already good at and what skills you might want to develop further.
  • To explore your strengths – try this personality quiz Buzz quiz – icould
  • Carry out research into where different subjects could take you. You could use these websites:

  • Speak to the subject teachers – find out what it will be like to study that subject.
  • If you have a specific career path in mind you might find it useful to carry out research into the entry routes and pathways into that specific career path. The websites listed above will help you to do this.

Luminate also have an excellent website with a wealth of useful information. Please have a look at the link:

Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine

We are all acutely aware of the situation that is developing in Ukraine. As a school community, we will be spending some time looking at the topic and broadening our students understanding of what is happening, the wider potential impacts and humanitarian challenges. We know that many of our students have said that they would like to contribute to help support people in need. Our local Ukrainian centre have suggested that donations of the following items would be most useful: batteries, torches, warm clothes, shoes that are new/in good condition, hats and gloves, antiseptic, nappies, wound dressings, sleeping bags and bedding.  If you would like to contribute, please send items in with your child to be left outside the English hub. The deadline for all donations is Monday 4th April 2022.

Sporting Update

The Year 9 Football team were involved in an exciting game against Leesbrook this week, but unfortunately lost 5-4. They are due to play Woodlands next and need a win to make it into the play-offs. There are a few tournaments taking place across the City over the next few weeks which we will aim to keep you informed about.

The much anticipated Cricket season is due to start again soon, after a couple of years without fixtures. Training for these teams will take place once we return from the Easter holidays. Students should speak to the PE staff for further information.

Year 9 and 10 student leaders will be leading and supporting Derby County Community Trust at the Primary Tag Rugby Festival next Wednesday. We’re sure they will be great ambassadors for the academy and look forward to an update from Miss Burrell about how they got on next week.

Spencer Superstars

Thank you to the families who have contacted us regarding the Spencer Superstars nominations. Details about this can be found in last week’s update. The foundation will be looking at nominations throughout the year and awarding grants to help our youngsters fulfil their potential or make their dreams a reality. In conjunction with this there will be a fundraising ball held on the 28th May in Nottingham – if any local business partners would like to attend or get involved, please contact the school for further information. Finally, we will host a Superstar Day on May 13th at the academy where we will celebrate the talents held within our school community. This will also be a fundraising event to support the Superstar Foundation in its inaugural year.


Wishing you a safe and relaxing weekend,

Scott Doyle