Principal’s Update – 23rd June 2023

Dear Families

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in the best of health. This week’s update is slightly delayed, primarily because at this time of year we begin planning for the next academic year and I have spent much of the weekend in conference with the rest of the Senior Leadership Team, evaluating where we are as a school and setting the strategic objectives for the next 2 years to move the school forwards again. We are in a strong position.

Dear Families

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in the best of health. This week’s update is slightly delayed, primarily because at this time of year we begin planning for the next academic year and I have spent much of the weekend in conference with the rest of the Senior Leadership Team, evaluating where we are as a school and setting the strategic objectives for the next 2 years to move the school forwards again. We are in a strong position. As you read the update below you will see, just this week, that we have students and former students making their mark locally and nationally. Meanwhile the school has recently achieved the World Class Schools Quality Mark, we hold the Platinum Careers Mark, we’ve been hailed as leading the way with our employability provision, we’ve secured another good ofsted last June and we are due to host a team in July to evaluate at our flagship Inclusion Provision, aiming to receive further external recognition for the work our staff teams do on behalf of our students and wider community. We do not stand still however. This weekend we have been looking at how we can use these achievements as springboard to move the academy on again, enhancing the student experience further and doing what we can to give our young people the opportunities in life they deserve.

Industrial Action

You may have heard from the news that the NEU are planning two further days of industrial action this term on July the 5th and 7th. As with the previous strike days we will have to close to a number of Year Groups due to the unavailability of staff. Our planning around this is due to take place at the start of this week and we will provide a further update shortly. We anticipate that school will be open to students in Years 10 and 12 only with other Year Groups remaining at home. We will confirm this via email as soon as possible.

For families of Year 6 students, a letter regarding transition will be distributed shortly. We are planning on proceeding with our transition days on the 4th and 6th July as normal but no activities will take place on the 5th. Your child’s primary school will communicate arrangements for that day (5th July) with you.

Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition

We are thrilled to share some exciting news that showcases the talent and dedication of our students in science. A number of students from Years 8 and 10 have been working on their STEM projects since October and successfully made it to the finals of the Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition, held at the NEC this week. From Year 8 with their project ‘Reducing Vehicle Carbon emissions’: ZO, AT and ES and from Year 10  ‘Helping with early stages of Dementia’ (runner up for Intermediate Science award) FB, AT, MS and SB.

We are proud to showcase the commitment, hard work, and ingenuity they have shown throughout their journey to the finals of this prestigious competition. The students have invested countless hours of their own time, overcoming challenges and demonstrating remarkable perseverance along the way.  A further thanks goes out to our staff team who have mentored and supported the students along the way.

Break and Lunch Changes

As outlined last week, we will be making some changes to the timings of break and lunch this week as part of a trial ahead of September. All students will now have break after period 2. This is 11.00 each day except Wednesday when it will take place at 10.40. Lunch will now be after period 4 at 13.20 and 13.00 on a Wednesday. The start and end of the day remain unchanged. We have increased serving capacity in school and aim to make additional improvements subject to the success of the trial. No action is required from families as students have ben informed of the changes over the last two weeks.

Year 6 Science Visit

As part of our wider transition work, Miss Basuta hosted a number of students from Gayton Primary School on Wednesday afternoon. They carried out a range of activities to develop their science skills, ready for when they join us in Year 7. It was a successful afternoon with the help from our technicians and we are delighted with the feedback received from Gayton: “I just wanted to say thank you once again for yesterday. The children all told me how much they enjoyed it and the activities were brilliant.”

Duke of Edinburgh – Year 8

Emails have been sent out to the parents of those students in Year 8 who wish to sign up to the Duke of Edinburgh Award next academic year. The email invites you to a Parents’ Information Evening on Thursday 6th July 2023. If you think you should have received an email but haven’t, please contact and an invite will be sent out to you.

Inspiring Minds

A-Level Textile Design students attended the ‘Inspiring Minds’ Event at Loughborough University to participate in a variety of university level workshops related to Textile Design. The students were introduced to visible mending – creatively altering a garment using a variety of stitching and textile techniques. They also explored emotionally durable design by considering interesting strategies used by designers to encourage people to possess household and technological items for longer. The students listened to speeches from the University’s Careers Project Officer and participated in a Q&A session held by current students and members of the alumni. Both activities addressed subject and course specific queries as well as general enquiries about university life and experiences, halls of residence, business skills and what to weigh up when looking into higher education. The students were able to explore the Design School and Creative Arts Degree Show and were able to gain valuable insight and inspiration to use in their own A Level Personal Investigations.

Quotes from the students include:


“The event allowed me to feel what life will be like at university and on this campus. I was able to experience a little bit of everything and have found new techniques and inspiration to use in my own work.”

“I have really enjoyed viewing the university students’ different perspectives and ideas shown through their work. Each piece has been created so differently from the same starting point and it intrigues me how everyone has shown their individual interests and skills in a really creative way.”

Step into the NHS Competition

On Friday morning we received tremendous news from the National Step into the NHS Competition. After becoming the East Midlands Regional Winner with her advertisement for the job of an A&E Doctor, Year 9 student TT took part in a Virtual Final over Microsoft Teams with a panel of 5 Judges. She had to explain the ideas behind her project then answer their questions about it. This message was received this morning: “We are delighted to inform you that TT has been crowned national winner for the KS3 Step into the NHS competition, beating 972 other entries from 122 other schools across the country! The judges on Winner’s Day were really impressed with TT’s entry and thought it was wonderfully researched and prepared, showing great passion for the NHS, with some great team work between you both!” Her advert features a Mood Board, set out like a Detectives’ investigation to appeal to younger minds, with a magnifying glass guiding young people through the various features of the job. An accompanying video was in the style of Children’s TV show to captivate a younger audience and sow the seeds of curiosity about this job. Congratulations to her on another phenomenal achievement.

Artwork at the QUAD

During term 1, Year 10 Art pupils took part in a number of workshops to improve their photography and Photoshop skills. They have been working with Derby QUAD and artist Thomas Wynne, producing some amazing cityscapes to link in with their GCSE project ‘Nature vs Manmade’. The students’ work is currently exhibited as part of the FORMAT Festival which Derby QUAD is part of. This is the first time our pupils have been able to showcase work in this way and it is an amazing opportunity for us to be involved with the wider community. The experience has also been a great way to show first-hand what other ‘real life’ photographers are involved with and how to extend career opportunities after our students leave Derby Moor. The FORMAT festival has been extended until Sunday 27th August 2023 where our students’ work will continue to be proudly displayed at QUAD if you would like to visit and see it.

Sports Update

Year 9 student Isabel Winfield represented the school last weekend in the Schools County Championships at Moorways. Competing in the long jump Izzy qualified for the Masons Cup meaning that she would represent her county of Derbyshire, again flying the flag for the school.

Isabel attended the Masons trophy this weekend in Stoke at Northwood stadium and jumped 4m 56 (4m 65 is her current PB) in such a high stakes competition where the top 2 would then be in the National Finals leading to them representing Great Britain. Unfortunately, on this occasion, Izzy did not match the jump of 4m 91 (a girl from W.Midlands), but we are all extremely proud of her achievements.

Y12 Btec Sport student and sprinter Akaylah Lobban has made a promising start to the athletics season with a number of top results chalked up so far. Having finished 1st in the UK Youth Development League Upper Midlands North/East A (100m), the Northern Track & Field League East (100m) and the Northern Track & Field League East (200m), you can see she is on track for a really promising summer. We wish her well as the season continues.

Careers Update

Job of the week: This week’s job of the week is a Locksmith.

Derby Moor Dispatch: You can view this week’s Dispatch via the Careers page of the Derby Moor website.

Alumni Visit: On Wednesday our Year 12 students had a presentation from a former student Gurkiran Kaur. Gurkiran left Derby Moor in 2018 and went on to study at the University of Nottingham. She worked at the National Sikh Museum in Derby and has recently been elected as a local councillor representing the Normanton ward.  Gurkiran spoke to the students about taking leadership opportunities to develop skills such as leadership and teamwork. School offers so many chances to get involved and Gurkiran explained how the skills she developed as a peer mentor, student prefect and student Principal here, have helped her since leaving school. It gave her confidence to talk about her employability skills in interviews for employment and of course when standing for election. It was wonderful to hear from another Derby Moor student who is making such a valuable contribution to our community.

National Media Article: You may have seen form our socials that Mr Kilgour has been in the news again, this time featured in an article by UK news group about our careers provision. You can read the full article here.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to celebrate in this week’s update and a lot to look forward to over the remaining four weeks of the year. We have a number of trips and competitions taking place, sports day, transition for Year 6 and Year 12 alongside Year 11 Graduation to name but a few. We have a number of GB athletes on site this coming week, Year 10 mock examinations and Year 9 will soon be receiving the results from their end of year tests. I should note how impressive they have been throughout their examination period, showing maturity and commitment beyond their years.

Many if you will be celebrating Eid al Adha this week – I hope this brings you happiness and peace. Please do let school know in advance as usual if your child will not be in school on that day.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead,

Scott Doyle