Principal’s Update – 26th May 2023

Dear Families

I hope this email finds you and your family in the best of health, looking forwards to an extended weekend or a half term break. I write to you as Summer Term 1 comes to and end on the back of another eventful week at the academy. To name but a few, we have seen the exam season continue with both Year 11 and 13 in full flow this week, its been our Spencer Superstars week with lunchtime activities showcasing the talents of our students and we’ve said farewell to our Year 13 students today. More detail below.

Dear Families

I hope this email finds you and your family in the best of health, looking forwards to an extended weekend or a half term break. I write to you as Summer Term 1 comes to and end on the back of another eventful week at the academy. To name but a few, we have seen the exam season continue with both Year 11 and 13 in full flow this week, its been our Spencer Superstars week with lunchtime activities showcasing the talents of our students and we’ve said farewell to our Year 13 students today. More detail below.

Year 11 Update

The half term break marks the halfway point for the summer examination period and I have to say that we have all been impressed with the determination and focus shown by Year 11 so far. We know that their conduct is always going to be exemplary in the final exams but their positivity, commitment and preparation has been a joy to see. This week provides a break from the routine of school but is a critical time for revision. There are revision sessions taking place Tuesday to Friday next week for students in Year 11, the schedules for these have been sent previously and can also be found attached to the email version of this update. Aside from these focussed sessions, students should be carving out sections of time each day in line with their revision plans to put themselves in the best possible position for the second half of the schedule. That, mixed with some relaxation and quality time with friends and family will set them up well for the remaining 2-3 weeks of assessment.

For those students in Year 11 who have applied to Sixth Form, their induction will take place on Friday 30th June 2023. Letters to those invited have been distributed this week via Form Tutors. For those who were absent, letters will be sent via post. More information can be found in those letters. Please contact the Year Team after the break if you have not received a letter.

As mentioned in previous updates, Graduation is taking place on Friday 7th July 2023. Students have been working hard on their Passport for Graduation points and we hope many of our Year 11 students will be able to join us to celebrate the end of their time with us in main school before moving on to their Post 16 options.

Revision Schedule: Attached to the email version of this update is the schedule for the additional revision sessions for Year 11 for after half term.

Year 13 Update

Today, we said farewell to our Year 13 students in an emotional assembly for both students and staff. Students received awards from a variety of subjects as well as from the Student Leadership team and the Head of Sixth Form. The end of Year 13 is a huge transition for our students, as they move from a familiar place of education to pastures new. Whilst this transition into adulthood can be daunting, it is also full of opportunity and we know our Year 13s are prepared for a life of success, wherever the next phase of their journey may take them. We hope they enjoyed the celebrations today and I wish them well for the rest of their exams after half term.

May Half Term Intervention Sessions: Please find attached to the email version of this update the intervention timetable for May Half Term.

Year 10 Mock Exam Preparation and Parents’ Evening

Our Year 10 students will begin Mock examinations on Tuesday 27th June 2023 and over a two-week assessment period. Students have been given subject specific tips about revision techniques in preparation for their Mock Exams which you can find signposted on Show My Homework. Please see the Satchel noticeboard here.  Attached to the email version of this update is a timetable to help students structure revision across each of their subjects.

Year 10 Parents’ Evening is immediately after the half term break on Wednesday 7th June 2023. You should have received an invitation via email regarding booking appointments to meet all class teachers. It is vital that students attend alongside parents to gain personal one to one feedback on areas that are going well in their studies and areas that need to be supported/improved going into Year 11. Students have around 350 days before their Year 11 exams begin and so we hope that this period of focussed revision and assessment will allow for a smooth transition into their final year of preparation towards external exams. Please call or email Miss Williams if you need any further assistance.

Derby Moor Superstars Week

It has been a joy this week to celebrate the diverse talents and skills of our students.  We have 11 Derby Moor Superstars who have been awarded a grant from our Spencer Superstars Charity to help them continue developing their skills and talent.  Each of them have been involved throughout the week, demonstrating their skills and talents and providing opportunities for students to have a go for themselves. We have had the ‘Cross Bar Challenge’, sprint races, strength tests, returning a serve and Triathlon transition challenges – which the students have been able to get involved with. There has also been a fantastic display about ‘Phoenix Education’ – a student project that won the National Teen Tech Education competition, along with some skillful Drone flying as a demonstration of how it will work in practice.

Students have been encouraged to write down their skills and talents and post these in the ‘Golden Post Box’ to help identify our next round of Superstars.  From reading and collating the responses, it is clear that we have a wealth of talent and skills across our student community and there will be further grants for Derby Moor Superstars to be announced next year!

Road Safety

We have sadly seen two of our students injured by motor vehicles this half term whilst travelling home from school. We deliver education around road safety through our taught curriculum and in assemblies and will be looking to add some additional input next half term. Please can you reiterate the importance of road safety with your children ahead of their return to school in June.

Uniform Direct

You can find the June Newsletter from Uniform Direct attached to the email version of this update. We are not proposing any changes to uniform for the next academic year and will continue without some of the items bearing the school logo as described on the website. Please do take a look at the guidance online before purchasing, as this is the definitive list of what children will need to wear. Some of the items retailers label as ‘uniform’ do not meet our requirements so I would recommend bookmarking this page before shopping with your child for new items.

Year 12 Geography Fieldwork

As mentioned in our last update, the Year 12 Geographers attended a fieldwork trip today. This formed part of their NEA and involved a trip to Beeston to investigate the impact of the NET tram on a local town. We also visited Long Eaton as a comparison case study. I was proud to hear that a number of local passers-by commented upon the maturity and exemplary conduct of our students whilst they were carrying out their research.

Sports Update

Tennis – Beyond the Baseline: Year 8 students continued their employability project this week, with another great session led by former UK Youth Tennis Number 1 Yasmin Clarke. Students continued to build their tennis skills, along with starting to develop games and activities that they can use when they come to lead their tennis festival. Students worked in small groups to design innovative games, with a focus on how it helps to develop personal, social and mental skills. We have one more planning session together before students will lead their own tennis festival.

Year 9 Football v Landau Forte: Our Year 9 boys played their final game of the season on Tuesday against Landau. The game would decide which team was promoted to the next division. The boys began positively with 4 goals from RM within the first 15 minutes put them firmly in the driving seat. A fantastic second half come back from Landau saw the game tied at 5-5, which meant that a penalty shoot-out would have to decide the winner. After an excellent set of penalties from both sides, we moved into sudden death with Landau coming out on top at 7-6. The boys showed tremendous heart and resilience throughout and were a credit to the academy.

Under 15 Cricket v John Port: On Thursday a mix of Year 9 and 10’s played our first competitive cricket game of the new season against John Port Spencer Academy. John Port batted first and hit a very good 116-5, with good bowling figures from AA and SH. Derby Moor couldn’t quite match the total set by John Port and we finished with 68 runs on the board. Lots to build on before our next game but plenty of positives to take from the match. A special mention to Mr Khan who did a great job in umpiring the game.

Careers Update

Global Challenge Finalists: Earlier this year several students from Derby Moor entered the Teen Tech Global Challenge to find innovative ways of improving Patient Safety across the Health Care System. Year 12 and Year 9 students had the opportunity to work on possible ideas during Drop Down Day and those with promising solutions were selected to attend Innovation Hacks at Microsoft Headquarters in Reading or Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool to work with Mentors to develop their ideas. Two of those teams have now been invited to the National Final at the IET in London to share their ideas with Medical and Industry Experts, with a view to them being incorporated into developmental work in Healthcare.

In the 17-19 age group, congratulations to AH, RK, SC and NS for their My Skin innovation to promote speedier, more successful diagnosis of a variety of skin conditions on people with different skin colours.

In the 11-16 age group, congratulations to TT for her amazing research, problem solving, innovative thinking and liaison with Mentors culminating in her project: Step into a Smile – Improving Mental Health and Reducing Trauma in Hospitals.

Further to our successes above, Maggie Philbin and the fellow organisers of Teen Tech Awards were so impressed with one of our students during the Innovation Hack at Microsoft that, out of all the young people they have met up and down the country this year, they have invited DS from Year 12 to be the Compere for the National Final of the Teen Tech Awards, with an audience of several hundred people at the IET on Friday 30th June. What an honour this is and richly deserved.

Year 9 Law Visit: Year 9 students attended an assembly today delivered by former student and law graduate, Danielle Sodhi. Danielle works in the legal sector at leading solicitors firm, Shakespeare Martineau, and spoke to the students about the importance of developing excellent communication skills for the workplace. This comes ahead of their speaking and listening assessments, which will take place after half term.

Final thoughts

Another action-packed week to end an eventful half term. Writing these updates each week does help me to take stock of the additional activities that take place at the academy each week alongside the taught curriculum, training and extra-curricular activities. It also highlights how quickly the school year passes by – we are on the cusp of June already, with Year 11 and 13 moving into the final weeks of exams and only seven school weeks remaining until the summer break. Time is precious and moves by so quickly so I’m glad I’m able to capture these moments each week and celebrate our students’ success with you. Do take time out with your family this weekend and capture some special moments for yourself. They grow up quickly and, like our Year 13s this week, rapidly become highly capable adults and move onto pastures new.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Scott Doyle