Principal’s Update – 20th January 2023

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you all in the best of health. We’ve had a wintery, action packed week here at the Academy with a number of students out on trips across the country as well as visitors to school delivering sessions on a range of topics designed to developed our students understanding of themselves and the world around them. I have some detail about these below alongside some wider updates about this week and the term ahead.

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you all in the best of health. We’ve had a wintery, action packed week here at the Academy with a number of students out on trips across the country as well as visitors to school delivering sessions on a range of topics designed to developed our students understanding of themselves and the world around them. I have some detail about these below alongside some wider updates about this week and the term ahead.

Geography Trip

On Thursday, Year 11 Geography students completed an urban fieldwork challenge in Birmingham City Centre. As part of their AQA GCSE, they are required to investigate a local urban area and identify changes that have occurred over the years. They posed the question ‘Has regeneration in Birmingham been successful?’ and visited 5 different sites around the city including the Mail Box, Brindley Place and the Bull Ring. Students collected data from all sites in the form of perception surveys, pedestrian counts and place checks. These will be collated back in the classroom and analysed to draw out conclusions.

Science Update

On Tuesday Leanne Town from Severn Trent Water ran an hour’s workshop on the ‘The Science of Sewage’ with a group of our Year 11 students. The workshop looked at how a healthy sewer contributes to a healthy environment, how we can all help to reduce blockages, the water cycle, covering both the waste and water treatment processes, Bioresources and renewable energy and careers & apprenticeships at Severn Trent. The session enhanced students understanding of the waste water treatment process which they had also covered this year in Chemistry lessons. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the session and Leanne will be returning in the coming weeks to deliver additional sessions to students.

Uniform and PE Kit

In response to the current cost of living crisis we have adapted our uniform expectations around school jumpers and the PE top. Students can now wear a plain black, unbranded jumper for school instead of the one with the Derby Moor logo. This must not contain any other logos and must be a V-neck. In PE students can now wear a plain black T-shirt or long sleeved T-shirt instead of the PE tops with the school logo. Again, these must be plain black with no logos. No other type of training top will be authorised as this is an adaption to reduce costs for our families. If you have any questions please contact your child’s Year Team.

History Trip

On Thursday, GCSE History students enjoyed a productive visit to the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds. On a bitter and snowy morning, the students gathered at 7.15am to make the journey by coach to Leeds. At the museum the students took part in a workshop session on the ‘History of Surgery’, then toured the various galleries studying many of the aspects of medicine that they had studied in class. This included an experience of a reconstruction of a 19th Century Industrial street, a Victorian Operating Theatre and a number of exhibits and artefacts linked to treatments throughout the history of medicine. The trip provided a valuable reinforcement of parts of the GCSE Paper 1, Medicine in Britain course that makes up 30% of the GCSE course and should prove excellent preparation for both mock and summer examinations.

Computing Update

Recent reports have surfaced of a ‘game’ currently being shared through popular gaming platform, Roblox that can encourage young people to self-harm. ‘The Game’ is a list of self-harming actions for children and young people to complete, often in view of their family and friends. Please be extra vigilant if your child is uses Roblox, with regards to who they are interacting with, which rooms they enter and which activities they complete.

Year 11 Update

Year 11 examinations are now only 11 school weeks away. As such, we have realigned the tutor groups to ensure that our students can receive more targeted support in English, maths, science, history and geography at the start of the school day. From Monday 23 January Year 11 students will be taught by a specialist teacher during their tutor period and will focus on consolidating their subject knowledge and exam skills in one of those listed subjects. The Year Team will continue to offer pastoral support that students may need as these examinations draw closer and will coordinate this additional provision.

Drop Down Day

Thursday’s Drop Down Day had huge range of activities and guest speakers, some of which I will highlight for you. Year 13’s workshops helped to prepare them for life after school with a focus on Mental Well Being, LGBT+ Awareness, Independent Living, Sexual Health and Drugs and Alcohol including the dangers of spiking and the work of the Street Pastors. Meanwhile Year 12 participated in a Teen Tech Global Challenge to improve Patient Safety and try to find a solution to a variety of problems in the NHS. There came up with some fascinating ideas which are currently being shared with industry experts and could well be put to practical use. They also enjoyed a very interactive workshop with the Police and tried to solve the City Council’s dilemmas with the Budget Consultation. Year 10 were able to get a feel for University life with a trip to Derby Uni and began to complete Records of Achievement and explore next steps in their quest for careers. Year 9 had workshops on Youth Offending, Alcohol Awareness and FGM as well as a visit from the Youth Mayor and a chance to begin thinking about routes ahead to possible careers. In Year 8 some students learned to Cycle or enjoyed an undulating cycle course, others learned the value of metacognition. They were given helpful advice about dealing with Death and Bereavement, their Mental Well Being and adapting to changes through Puberty. All Years 7&8 completed assignments for their Derby Moor Award, then some students enjoyed the challenge of Team Building whilst others learned how to keep themselves safe during social interaction. They discovered ways of avoiding negative pressure and the horrors of Gun and Knife Crime, then enjoyed discovering the intricacies of Black History and tasting some traditional food. Overall it was a hugely positive day, despite the unscheduled snow flurry that did all it could to hinder our preparations.

Industrial Action

You may have seen from the media that the National Education Union are planning a series of strikes over the next term. The dates that could affect us are Wednesday 1st February, Wednesday 1st March, Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March. At present we are unable to predict how our ability to provide education on those days will be affected as we will not know how many staff are available. It is highly likely that there will be disruption and we will not be able to open for all year groups in a normal way. We will be prioritising provision for our vulnerable learners and those who are from families of critical workers in the first instance. If you are a critical worker, we will require a letter from your employer to confirm this in order to admit your child into the provision. If we already have this from our provision during the pandemic, there is no need to take further action. If your child has not attended critical worker provision in the past, please pass a letter of proof to our reception before Friday 27th January so we can add your child to the provision. Please be assured that we will do all we can to provide the best support possible for all other students but that this is likely to involve remote education for some. There will be a further update on this when we have more information and I will aim to provide as much advance notice as possible.

Sports Update

KS4 Badminton: On Tuesday, four of our KS4 students took part in the final city badminton tournament, held at Murray Park. The deciding match of the day was against Woodlands, where we played 5 matches to decide who qualified for the county finals in March. In the first round Derby Moor won 2 out of the 3 matches, with VS coming through strongly in his rank 1 match and the doubles team of AH and MH winning too. In the final 2 games VS and MR were unlucky to lose 11-9, leaving the last match with AH and MH as a decider. A well worked smash shot from the player of the tournament MH, won the match and ultimately, the competition. A very proud moment for these 4 boys who battled through each game and have earnt the right to compete in the county finals. Well done boys!

Y7 Indoor Athletics: Twelve Y7s went to Woodlands for the indoor sports hall athletics tournament. This included a number of different events both track and field. Every student participated in at least 2 or 3 events and some were pushed out of their comfort zones to represent the school. With over 9 schools present at the city sports event, it was a great achievement for the girls to come runners up in 2 events and the boys to win 2. Well done to all 12 students involved!

Upcoming fixture: Monday 23rd – Y11 basketball at John Port

Careers Update

This week’s job of the week is a ‘Learning Disability Nurse’.
Derby Moor Dispatch: Our Derby Moor Dispatch has gone out to all students in Year 11, 12 and 13 and will continue to go out every Monday. This contains a wide range of opportunities for work experience, summer schools, careers related webinars and so on. Please do have a look at the latest edition. The Dispatch is emailed to the students school email address so it is important that they check this regularly on a Monday.
Derby Scholars Programme: Students in Year 9 and 12 selected for the Derby Scholars Programme are taking part in the launch in the next few days. Derby Scholars is a collaborative programme delivered by the University of Derby and the University of Oxford, aiming to create opportunities for some of Derby city’s very able pupils to interact and build a community of scholars; support those pupils to grow in confidence and build key skills and to raise the awareness and knowledge of progression to ‘Oxbridge’, and therefore support more of our pupils to make successful ‘Oxbridge’ applications.
Farrer & Co: Interested students in Year 12 and 13 took part in a fascinating virtual workshop with the London law firm Farrer & Co. The session focussed on routes into the law and in particular the level 7 apprenticeship programme that allows participants to obtain all the qualifications required to become a lawyer, whilst working and being paid. You can find out more on their website.
Unifrog: Students in Year 10 and Year 9 were introduced to Unifrog on the ‘Drop Down Day.’ This is a platform that helps students compare every university course, every apprenticeship, and Further Education courses – then apply successfully. It also includes a wide range of tools and topics for students to explore. You can take a look here.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
Scott Doyle