I hope this week’s update finds you and your families in good health. As you will be aware we have faced some challenges at the Academy this week and I offer my gratitude to our families who have been so understanding about move to online learning for some students this week.
Whilst our case numbers within school remain relatively low our staffing situation has been a significant challenge over a prolonged period and resulted in the actions around online provision this week. These decisions are not easy to make and all other avenues are explored before moving a group to online provision. Our students need to be in school. Our families need their children to be in school and we want school to be open to all students. However, we were unable to cannot guarantee that all classes would have supervision due to volume of absence and the lack of supply staff available last week.
Unfortunately, having projected forward towards next week it is clear that we are facing a greater challenge still. To mitigate this and maintain the quality of our provision we will be moving some students to online provision for the remainder of the term. Families should check their email for further details.
There have been no external sports fixtures this week but we have seen our Key Stage 3 students competing in their Inter-house Football tournament. Results from the matches will be shared with form tutors next week and will contribute towards the final standings at the end of the year for the House champions. Our PE team have been impressed by the excellent effort, teamwork and sporting conduct on display throughout.
We are delighted to say that we have had a record 15 applications submitted by Year 12 students for the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) programmes who provide tremendous careers support from a range of employers. Following the application deadline of last Friday, the SMF have announced funding to support even more eligible students, and so have extended the application window for students from Derby Moor until 12 noon on Wednesday 19th January 2022.
Applications are now closed for: APP Reach (all sectors), APP City Medicine sector and Medicine Employer Insight, APP Neil Stevens Programme and APP Springboard Programme. Applications remain open for: all other career sectors and there are an increased number of places on the J.P. Morgan Finance & Digital Programmes and Law Insight Programmes. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis, so where possible, we would encourage students to submit as soon as they can, as selection will begin from the New Year onwards. Students who require more information should email Mr Kilgour.
Year 11 students will be having a mock interview towards the end of January so we would encourage them to make sure all evidence for their Record of Achievement is up to date including a CV. Help is available from the Luminate website with a wealth of useful information. Please have a look at the link: https://luminatecareersandcoaching.co.uk/
Free School Meals
Families who are in receipt of free school meals should have received a voucher for over the holiday period by email this week. If you have not received them for your child, and they usually have free school meals, please ring reception to confirm the e-mail address we have for you is correct.
Our Year 11 prefects have been spreading some Christmas cheer by selling candy canes to raise money for charity. This has been very popular with the students and given our community a real celebratory feel ahead of the upcoming festivities.
In addition, prefects have organised the writing of Christmas cards for the elderly which will be delivered to local care homes. This has followed our anti-bullying week theme of ‘One Kind Word’ closely as it has given students a chance to share kindness with our wider community this Christmas.
Over the winter period, thousands of children in Derby who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals could be involved in the Winter Holiday Activities with approved local and national organisations. These are free holiday activity clubs to enable children and young people to enjoy fun activities with friends and learn and develop new skills. You can find out more on the website here.
End of term and start of term arrangements
You can find a copy of the letter sent to families on our website here. Please take a look at the arrangements for both the end to this term and the start to the next term as they are different to previous years. The asymptomatic testing prior to return in January is behind the staggered start to school next term. Students will be set online learning on Show My Homework for the days they miss due to testing. Please do ask them to check their calendar and ‘to do list’ for the tasks set and complete them before returning to school on their designated day.
Wishing you a safe and relaxing weekend,