Principal’s Update – 22nd July 2022

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in good health. This is my final update of the academic year after a rather unusual final week of term.

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in good health. This is my final update of the academic year after a rather unusual final week of term.

Heat wave

Thank you for your understanding and support with challenges posed by record breaking temperatures earlier this week. Our building is modern, spacious and designed to allow air to flow through the building and cool it naturally. We know this works well under normal circumstances, but we had not tested it in temperatures consistently above 30 degrees until now. On Monday we saw the temperatures gradually rise throughout the day and the higher levels of the building became somewhat uncomfortable. Thankfully, with Year 11 and 13 now finished, we had capacity to use cooler rooms in more shaded areas or on lower levels. It was clear that the temperatures overnight would not allow the building to cool sufficiently, hence the decision about Tuesday to give the option of working from home for students. Those in school managed, alongside our staff body, who continued on in the heat.

Alton Towers

As a result of the high temperatures, the Tuesday trip to Alton Towers was moved to Thursday. This meant 4 year groups travelling on the same day with near enough 800 students departing in the morning. The negotiation around changing dates wasn’t a straightforward task – thank you for your patience with the updates. Neither was the coordination of 15 coaches in the morning and the mobilisation of 4 year groups, most of whom haven’t been on a school trip in years. It was quite an experience for all but a really positive end to the term. Students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and staff commented that they were a credit to the school, particularly when having to queue to get into the park due to a mix up with the park issuing tickets. A big thank you to Mrs Hrncic for coordinating everything and to all our staff for making the day possible.

SEND Study

The University of Cambridge contacted us as part of a research project looking into SEND. The Health Outcomes for young People throughout Education (HOPE) team at the University of Cambridge have designed three types of survey that aim to explore and highlight any variations in SEND identification and provision across all Local Authorities in England. They have asked us to share this link to a survey that can be completed by young people with SEND, their family and educational professionals. If you are willing to take part, please follow the link and choose the appropriate survey.

Teen Tech Summer Activities

I would like to signpost two great opportunities that many of our students may be interested in this summer. Teen Tech Live are providing a series of Coding and Animation workshops with the chance to interact virtually with industry experts from TV, Film and Gaming. They can ask questions live, then, with access to the free software, develop students’ skills and complete challenges. Learn How to Code is available daily from August 8th to 11th, completely free for beginners wanting to understand the concept of programming, creating apps and games. Make an Animation runs from 15th to 18th August with help to create your own stop frame animation. Workshops build on the previous day’s learning, but can also be accessed individually. Students can use this link to register or the QR code on the flyer attached to the email version of this update. This is also available on SMHW.

Student Leadership

Our new student leadership team is now in place for the next academic year. Having undergone a rigorous recruitment process the teams from Year 13 to Year 7 are now in place with projects and areas of responsibility to lead and shape the school over the next 12 months. Student Leadership has become a real strength of the Academy and it is great to see that the next group of leaders are ready to pick up where previous cohorts have left off. I look forward to working with them next year.

Results Days

A reminder that results days take place on Thursday 18th August for students in Year 13 and on Thursday 25th August for students in Year 11. Letters have been shared with details of how and when students can collect results. We look forward to celebrating success with our students on each of those days. If you have not received information, please contact school reception.

Back To School

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 10 on Wednesday 7th September. There are parent information evenings that week which we encourage you to attend as it will share key information about the year ahead and the app we will be using to communicate with you in the next academic year. The dates for parents events are as follows:

  • Year 7 Monday 5th September 2:15pm & 5:00pm
  • Year 8 Tuesday 6th September 2:15pm & 5:00pm
  • Year 9 Monday 5th September 3:30pm & 5:45pm
  • Year 10 Tuesday 6th September 3:30pm & 5:45pm
  • Year 11 Monday 5th September 4:15pm & 6:30pm
  • Sixth Form Tuesday 6th September 4:15pm & 6:30pm

Families can attend any of the two sessions outlined for their child. If you use a smart phone, please bring it with you to the event.

Final Thoughts

The end of a school year is always an emotional time. Students and staff do find the change in routine and the finality of the last day of term difficult at times. For some it is not seeing friends for an extended period and for others it is because there is change. A change in routine, a change in Year Group, a change in workplace for some – we have said farewell to a number of staff today who are moving on to new challenges across the country. For all of us, knowing that we aren’t going to see them next year can be difficult. But change also brings new opportunities. It refreshes us, as does the break, and it gives new perspectives. We have had quite a year at Derby Moor. There have been many successes and challenges, as I’ve documented in these updates each week and so it is important that we collectively reflect on the year and take stock. As a leader, I’m looking at where our school moves next and we have begun planning a number of changes to help all our young people become the best in their chosen field – this is our mission. We will share some of the key changes we are making to help your child on their journey during a new parent event in the first week back in September. Please come along so you and your child can be best prepared for the new term. There will be some significant changes as we move the academy forward on the next stage of our development. We have aspiration for your child to be the best version of themselves, we believe they can achieve greatness, we have only the highest of expectations for them and ask you and your child to be a part of and contribute towards our unique community at Derby Moor. I look forward to seeing you there. Together We Succeed.

Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing summer,

Scott Doyle