I hope this update finds you all in good health. This week’s updates includes a lot of information for families including details about about Covid-19 measures, mock examinations, a trial of the Satchel App for Parents, and Drop Down Day.
You will have heard from the media that central government have changed some of the restrictions that have been in place as part of ‘Plan B’ and changed expectations in school with immediate effect. We are also working with our local Director for Public Health to inform our decision making as it is important for us to take the current position across the city into consideration.
What does this mean for your child?
- Face coverings are still required in school and all students should arrive in the morning with a face covering to wear and one as a spare. They must wear them as they move around inside the building and in any communal areas.
- Students can remove face coverings in class if they chose to do so.
Effectively, we are back to the position we were in before the winter break. We are continuing with all other measures, for example the enhanced cleaning and hygiene regimen, social distancing where possible alongside moving assemblies and parents evening online. Much of this has become part of the ‘new normal’ and our students see this as part of their school routine. We do hope that we can move to a more typical provision as things continue to progress but, as always, our decision making and timelines will be driven by securing the safety of our community before all else.
For information on home testing and how isolation works, please see the relevant section in last week’s update.
Drop Down Day
Thursday saw our second Drop Down Day of the year and we enjoyed a rich, varied and incredibly positive day. Our students impressed all the facilitators with their engagement and keenness to learn a variety of skills and strategies for coping with topical issues which they may face now, or in later life. As a result of their workshops they should be better prepared for the challenges ahead. Year 7&8 students who are working towards their Derby Moor Award completed some brilliant group projects and should be asking parents to sign off, in their passports, assignments that they have completed at home. This will enable them to gain their Bronze, Silver or Gold Badges and Certificates.
Linked to Drop Down Day, Students in Year 9 are currently exploring the vast range of careers available in the NHS in PD time. They have been preparing a job description for a role of their choice and an inspirational advertisement that would inspire someone of their age to want to do this job. Details can be found on the www.stepintothenhs.nhs.uk website. Alongside this, students in Year 8 would value families’ suggestions and expertise to add to the research in their logs for their innovative, sustainable ideas to make life easier, safer, more satisfying or more stimulating as they plan their entries for the Teen Tech Awards. Families may wish to support their Year 8s to register individually with Teen Tech so they can work with mentors to further develop their idea. For more information see https://teentech.com/awards/
Derby Moor PTA
Having successfully established an effective Student Leadership Team, we are now looking to further engage stakeholders with the creation of a Parent-Teacher Association. This would present an opportunity for parents/carers to be involved in developing the school and making a real difference to our students within school and our wider community beyond. Participation in the group will involve working alongside our staff and student leaders to plan and run fundraising events, community events and to facilitate valuable parent voice in order for us to ensure all stakeholders are actively involved development of our offer at Derby Moor.
If you are interested in being a part of this group, you can express your interest, by attending a short meeting at:
- The Pakistani Community Centre: 103 Harrington St, Pear Tree, Derby DE23 8PB at 6pm on Wednesday 9 February 2022.
- Derby Moor Spencer Academy: Moorway Lane, Littleover, Derby, DE23 2FS at 3.45pm on Thursday 10 February 2022.
Our Year 11 students will be having a virtual mock interview with an employer during the next half-term. A good number of our students will have their mock interview next week on Tuesday or Thursday. We have done some detailed preparation for the interviews during the drop down day on Thursday and the interview questions and support information has been put onto Show My Homework. Please reassure your child that this is intended to help support them with preparing for interviews and they will be given feedback and advice on areas to improve.
As our Year 9 students begin the Pathways options process this half term we are supporting them in reaching their own decisions. During the Drop Down Day this week all of the students had a workshop with Jessica Townsend from Luminate Careers about their future career pathways and things to consider. In addition, Olivia Maltby from Rolls Royce also ran a session about the different opportunities available, including different types of apprenticeships offered and the requirements for these. Starting next week, all of our Year 9 students will have a small group workshop with one of our Careers advisers. This will provide further support and advice about making decisions and where to get information and advice.
Year 13 have received their mock examination results today ahead of the parents evening on 2nd February. Please do take some time to discuss the outcomes of these assessments in order to support them in planning their revision schedule for the months ahead. There will be a further set of mock examinations in March, the dates of which will be shared shortly. Our Year 13s have never experienced a formal external examination series due to the pandemic, hence, the need for this additional experience of completing an assessment in a formal environment ahead of the summer series.
Year 11 will begin their next mock examination series immediately after half term. That leaves them four more school weeks to prepare for what we hope will be their final set of mocks in Year 11. I say this because we are awaiting an announcement from the Department for Education about what examinations will look like this summer. We are all hoping that there will be a full suite of external examinations but, as in previous years, there is a possibility that some of the internal assessments will be used to inform final grades depending on how things pan out for the remainder of the year. If your child has been invited to intervention, it is imperative that they attend to give them all the support they need in preparation for this round of mocks.
Year 13 Parents Evening
The Year 13 Parents Evening will take place online on our SchoolCloud platform on Wednesday February 2nd. You will shortly receive information about timings and how to make appointments with your child’s teachers, these have been given to students today and students have been shown how SchoolCloud works in school. If you need support with this, please contact school in advance of the event so we can do all we can to remedy the situation. The Year 12 Parents Evening will now take place on Wednesday 18th May, following Data Point 4.
Science in the news
For those of you with an interest in science, there is a documentary about Dolly the Sheep airing on BBC iPlayer at present. I bring it to your attention as I spotted our own Head of Science, Mrs Barnett, in the documentary as she was part of the research team who drove the project back in the 90s. It’s worth a watch and, if you are looking out for her, you may spot her around 38 minutes in.
Satchel One App for Parents
We are shortly due to roll out a trial of our Satchel One app for Show My Homework. This will initially be done with a small group of families to take feedback and improve the service before rolling it out to all families. We do think that this will be a major step forward in giving you greater information about your child that you can access anywhere via your mobile phone or computer. If you would like to be part of the initial trial, please email firstname.lastname@example.org using the title Satchel One Trial.
Free School Meal Eligibility
If your circumstances have changed recently and you meet any of the criteria below you may now qualify for free school meals:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit, unless you are entitled to Working Tax Credit, and you have an annual income as assessed by HMRC that does not exceed £16,105
- Guarantee credit element of State Pension Credit
There is a form on the link below for more information
Paper copies of the form are available at school, please ring reception and let them know if you would like a copy posting to you. You can also contact your child’s Year Manager for support to fill out the form.
Parking and courtesy
May I remind families who pick up and drop off students in vehicles to use our turning circle and avoid parking on Moorway Lane, the residential streets in our locality or the Ivy House Site. We are very lucky to have a turning circle that allows the transit of our young people. Parking on Moorway Lane blocks the entrance and exit from the turning circle and is the biggest cause of congestion in the area. Parking and manoeuvring in the local streets brings an additional danger to students crossing minor roads as they are often tight and overly congested. Also, parking in or around Ivy House is causing issues with the transportation of their students. Please be considerate and courteous as a road user and use our turning facility correctly.
Wishing you a safe and relaxing weekend,