Principal’s Update – 15th July 2022

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in the very best of health. There are a number of critical updates this week including the arrangements for the impending heat wave.

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in the very best of health. There are a number of critical updates this week including the arrangements for the impending heat wave.

Heat wave

You will be aware that unusually high temperatures are forecast for Monday and Tuesday of next week. With this in mind, we are making some adjustments to how things will operate in school. There will not be any adjustments to timings of the day but we will change students free time to keep them out of the sun and to limit their physical activity. I have summarised some points below:

  • Students can attend school in their Derby Moor PE kit on Monday and Tuesday. If they prefer, they can come in normal uniform but we will not be asking for them to wear blazers or ties. All students will still be expected to wear their lanyards and bring their usual key equipment for learning.
  • Sun hats are recommended for the journey to and from school and we would advise students to apply sun cream before leaving home.
  • Water will be available from our fountains before school, at break and lunch and we will encourage students to refill before starting lessons. Please ensure they have brought a bottle with them. It is handy to freeze some water in a bottle overnight so this will stay cool throughout the morning.
  • We will restrict ball games and physical activity during free time so students do not overheat. Please ask your child to leave their football/basketball at home for the next few days.
  • We will be opening additional indoor spaces at break and lunch to allow students to stay inside, away from the sun. There is shaded outdoor space too and our site generally enjoys a welcome breeze on warmer days.
  • The building will be well ventilated with windows and doors opened to allow for a natural air flow before students arrive in the morning. Practical measures such as using the blinds and fans will also be adopted.
  • The timetable is being reviewed so that classrooms that tend to be warmer can be avoided with students relocating to more shaded, cooler spaces.
  • The use of heat generating equipment such as ovens, Bunsen burners, lighting and monitors will be minimised to avoid creating any unnecessary local rises in air temperature.

We have a trip due to take place on Tuesday this week that we are intending to move on to Thursday. We have been working hard over the last few days to secure the places on the trip and the transport to the venue. At this stage, we are hopeful that it can take place on Thursday. Unfortunately, this is not finalised as there are still some points to iron out. What I can confirm is that the trip will not be going ahead on Tuesday. In the event that we cannot rearrange for next week, we will postpone it until September. Please keep an eye out for further communications early next week.

We will continue to monitor the heat wave situation locally and make any adjustments that we deem necessary as things progress. Thank you for your support in preparing your child for the unusual couple of days we have ahead of us.

End of term arrangements

The academic year will end on Friday the 22nd at 12.00 for students. There will be an opportunity for them to purchase food at break time before leaving site and starting their summer break at midday. You will receive a letter detailing this and the arrangements for the start of term shortly. The Autumn term is a staggered start for students. Years 7, 12 and 13 will begin on Monday the 5th September, Years 9 and 11 on Tuesday 6th September and Years 8 and 11 on Wednesday 7th September. There are parent information evenings that week too which are detailed on the letter.

Ofsted report

You may have seen from social media that our Ofsted report has been released this week. You can view our press release and the full report on our website. I hope that you are as proud of the report as the students and staff in school are. I feel that the report captures many of the strengths of our school and features a number of the areas that we have been moving to excellence recently. I don’t think it is easy for an inspection team to come into a school and really understand what it is that makes a school like ours so special, but I do feel that on this occasion, they did get a flavour of what life a Derby Moor is like and how unique our community is. There are a number of quotes that I’m particularly proud of in the report including the high expectations, employability provision, meeting the needs of SEND learners and Once a Derby Moor student, always a Derby Moor student. Thank you to everyone who contributed during the inspection, our staff, our students and our wider community – a judgement like this is not gained over a two day inspection, it is the result of well-established habits, routine and consistently putting the best interests of our children first. Together We Succeed.

QUAD update

We are pleased to announce that QUAD Derby have partnered up with Derby Moor to allow access to funded workshops in the arts sector. Having access to local artists and resources will hopefully inspire our students and give them a better insight into the arts and the real world as well as helping to connect us to the local community. Look out for updates on exhibitions that will be showcasing work from our students in future updates.

Sporting news

On Wednesday, thirty five Year 9 girls travelled to Nottingham Trent University to experience a range of activities with the aim of keeping girls active in sport. Having seen the updates on social media it looked like an exciting day out that our students thoroughly enjoyed.  On Thursday, it was the return of City Sports at Moorways following a 2 year break due to the pandemic. It was fantastic to see so many pupils competing, achieving and enjoying. We had some excellent individual results which will be shared with families in due course. All pupils were excellent ambassadors for the academy and our PE team came back to school incredibly proud of their conduct and effort.

Safer Internet – Summer break

Our faculty leader of Computing, Miss Akbar has shared with us some advice for families about safer internet use over the summer break. You can find the link here.

Heggarty Maths

Mr Press, our faculty leader for Maths, was over the moon this week to receive an email from Heggarty maths. The email acknowledged the performance of our students on their platform and designated us as a Heggarty Super School. They said “We are delighted to say that Derby Moor is one of the top-performing schools on HegartyMaths . Only a small number schools make the Super Schools list each year and it can only happen when the students in a school are inspired to apply serious elbow grease on their maths homework. We are proud to say HegartyMaths Super Schools awards are being associated with some of the best maths departments in the nation.” Well done to all our students and the maths team for another great year.

Careers Update

This week we have welcomed back partners from DHL who worked with our students earlier in the year around employability skills. You may remember that they ran a selection workshop similar to those run by top corporations to test the employability skills of our students and reward the top performers with a residential trip to Wales. Today they returned to follow up with the whole cohort of students and reflect on the learning experience from the process.

Final Thoughts

As we enter the final week of the academic year, we have an unusual circumstance to deal with in terms of potential record breaking temperatures for the UK. As a school community, we have learned to respond to new situations with agility and collaboration over the last few years. Please rest assured that you children are in good hands next week and that their well-being is, as always, at the top of our priority list. Do take a minute to read through our Ofsted report, there is a lot in there to be proud of, much of which are down to the actions of your child or yourselves as an integral part of our community. Of course, our staff play a huge part in that too, creating the conditions for our young people of grow and flourish into highly capable citizens. Our motto seems to feel more and more relevant with each week that passes. Together We Succeed.

Best wishes for the weekend,

Scott Doyle