I hope this update finds you al in the best of health. I write to you as another half term draws to a close, we have said farewell to our Year 13s at an emotional celebration assembly and seen our students in examination years pass the halfway point of the summer series.
We are around halfway through the summer examination period and I must say how impressed we have all been with our students in both Year 11 and 13. We know that their conduct is always going to be exemplary but their positivity, commitment and preparation has been a joy to see. The half term break provides a break from the routine of school but is a critical time for revision. There are revision sessions taking place Monday to Wednesday next week for students in Year 11 and 13, the schedules for which can be found in the online 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 will some relaxation and quality time with friends and family will set them up well for the remaining 2-3 weeks of testing.
Teen Tech Awards
I am proud to announce that two teams of Year 8 students have been shortlisted to go to the National Finals of the Teen Tech Awards in London, having been shortlisted out of hundreds of entries from all across the country. Their brief was to design something to improve people’s lives in the future. In the Education category, one student designed an amazing project called Phoenix Teach which enables young people in remote areas of the world who would otherwise be deprived of education through location, politics or personal circumstances to have teaching delivered to them by drone, giving them similar opportunities to young people in the rest of the world. She has worked with a mentor from British Telecom who is a drone expert to further develop her ideas. This entry received Gold status in the initial judging.
In the Best Innovation category, a team of 4 students designed a Safe Key Chain to call for help at 3 different levels: 1. from parents if you feel a little uneasy, 2. from parents if you think you could be in danger or 3. if you need immediate assistance from the police. It is a discreet and simple to use device for people who don’t have electronics. I’m sure many parents would be reassured if they knew their child carried one of these. This entry received Silver status in the initial judging.
All the girls are currently continuing to develop their ideas for their presentations on June 20th to judges, industry experts and celebrities from technology themed TV programmes. If you would like to send any endorsements of either of these ideas to Mrs Ezis, they can be included in their evidence. Email email@example.com and mark FAO Mrs Ezis.
Derby Moor has once again been awarded Silver Innovative School status because of the quality of engagement with the Teen Tech Awards through our Personal Development curriculum.
Duke of Edinburgh
Congratulations to the Bronze DofE group for a successful assessment weekend and passing their Expedition section. Please remind them that any borrowed equipment needs returning to school, with their name on a piece of paper with the kit after the break.
Year 8 students who have expressed an interest in starting their DofE journey in September, will be sent an email shortly, giving details of the Information Evening. Here you can sign up and receive a lot more detail about how DofE is run at Derby Moor. For those still wishing to sign up please ask your form tutors for a copy of the form or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an electronic copy.
For Year 11 Silver students, the dates of the combined expedition have been confirmed and the paperwork has been handed out. If they still need to collect this, please see Miss Lancaster in school, or email email@example.com to receive electronic copies.
Consultation on Policies
Each summer we review our school policies with our governing body to check that they are still up to date and meeting the needs of our community. You can find them here and they are open for consultation at present. If you have any feedback on them that you would like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We hosted our first in-school Parents Forum since the pandemic on Thursday morning this week. Thank you to all the families who took time out to meet Mrs Shah and I. It was lovely to have members of our wider community back in school talking about school life and we are looking forward to scheduling in the next date.
Year 8 STEM Day
Our Science Team hosted a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) day for Year 8 students this week. We welcomed visitors from Creative Designs and HS2 who delivered STEM activities and provided insight into working in that industry. The activities including designing a railway station platform, designing and building a tunnel, the budgeting and decision making of a project manager and finally building a bridge to connect the station to the local roads. The students took to the challenges with enthusiasm and seemed to really enjoy the variety of activities undertaken throughout the day. Thanks to Ms Bate for coordinating the day.
National Citizenship Service
NCS visited our Year 11 students earlier this year to promote their summer experience. There are still some final spots on their waitlist in Derby and they are encouraging anyone who is interested to join the waitlist as this is the best possible way of getting on the NCS experience this year. If your child is looking to learn new skills, meet new people and step outside of their comfort zone NCS is a great opportunity for them and is highly recognised by universities and employers. The two-week experience is £50 or £10 for those in receipt of Free School Meals. To find out more and sign-up head over to wearencs.com or give them a call on 0800 197 8010.
This week we have received our Platinum Careers Mark plaque to recognise the work we have done in recent years to provide our students with genuinely high quality careers education and guidance. We are delighted with the final report and how it has captured our keen and consistent focus on developing the employability skills of our young people through a coordinated approach across the whole school.
We have also received feedback from DHL Foundation about our recent trip to Aberdovey, Wales. They explained that our students were exceptional ambassadors for the school and that their conduct has ensured the opportunity will again be available in the next academic year. Well done to all those involved in the experience.
This has been a short but action packed half term at the Academy as you will have seen from the updates each week. There is rarely a ‘normal’ week here at Derby Moor with so much happening at the school beyond the timetabled lessons that are the foundation of our young people’s learning. There has been a sense of ‘normality’ however, with the start of the examination season with students and staff knowing that, this year, results will be determined by student performance, in exams that are happening at the same time, all across the country.
Wishing you the very best for the half term break and bank holidays.