Principal’s Update – 28th April 2023

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in the best of health. I write to you on the eve of the May Day bank holiday weekend with a reminder that school will be closed on Monday for the bank holiday and then again on Tuesday due to industrial action. There is a further bank holiday on Monday the 8th May for the King’s Coronation. Whilst this week has once again been a 4 day week for most students it has still been action packed with the usual employer visits, sports fixtures, competitions and so on

Dear Families

I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in the best of health. I write to you on the eve of the May Day bank holiday weekend with a reminder that school will be closed on Monday for the bank holiday and then again on Tuesday due to industrial action. There is a further bank holiday on Monday the 8th May for the King’s Coronation. Whilst this week has once again been a 4 day week for most students it has still been action packed with the usual employer visits, sports fixtures, competitions and so on. I’ll detail these below.

Industrial Action

As indicated in last week’s update, school will be closed on Tuesday 2nd May to students in Year 7-10. We will organise the day in line with previous strike days, prioritising those students in examination groups. As such, Years 11, 12 and 13 will follow their normal timetables and will complete independent work if their teachers are not available.

I realise this is frustrating for families and that we would all like a resolution to the situation. It is, however, beyond our control as the action is a result of a dispute between the NEU and the Department for Education and is unrelated to the academy.

Year 11 Update

As I write this update, our Year 11 students have 16 days left until the first whole year exam with some completing finals even sooner with speaking and listening exams, drama performances and the art exams. Many of them are adding the final touches to coursework submissions and are attending intervention as we move into the final week of preparation. They are in good shape for the run in and their attendance at intervention sessions continues to remain really good.

In preparation for the Year 11 exams, we are asking students to loan a padlock from us for a locker so they can safely store their belongings prior to going into the exam room. It is a JCQ (exam regulatory body) requirement and no student is allowed to take any of their belongings into the exam room. Padlocks are currently available on ParentPay and each student is asked to purchase one. The cost of padlocks is £5 and this amount will be refunded on return of the padlock. Monday 1st May 2023 is the deadline for purchasing a padlock on ParentPay. Students that have bought a padlock will be able to collect them from the finance office from 2nd May – 12th May 2023. On completion of all of their exams, students will be asked return them to the finance office for a full refund via ParentPay.

Students whose families are in receipt of Free School Meals will be provided with a free padlock and will be instructed to collect one from the finance office. On completion of their exams, they will be required to return them to the finance office.

Due to Eid Al Adha taking place around 28th/29th June 2023, we have decided to move the graduation celebration to the following week and it is now scheduled for 7th July 2023. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. The school calendar is particularly busy at that time of year, hence its placement after the final exams and before a number of other events that would limit the attendance of students at the event. We hope all of our Year 11 students are able to join us to celebrate their graduation before moving on to their Post 16 options.

Year 9 Parents Evening

Thank you to all the families who came to the academy on Wednesday evening for or Year 9 Parents Evening. With our students about to choose their options for GCSE this one is always an important date in the calendar. If you do have any further questions about the options process, please do contact the Year Team.

Year 8 Parents Evening

The Year 8 Parents Evening takes place next week on Wednesday 3rd May. Appointments are now open on SchoolCloud. If you are having any difficulty in making appointments please do contact the Year 8 Team in advance of the evening and they will be able to assist you.

Computing Update

This half term’s theme is getting outdoors. As the weather gets brighter – ideas for how IT can be used in the great outdoors. Mr Hussain’s favourite is outdoor related IT activity is Geocaching. Geocaching is an outdoor app that allows you to explore your surroundings like you never have before. Geocachers will put a ‘geocache’ (a small item) in a specific location around the world and it’s up to you to find it. It could be a small magnet attached to a railing or a box hidden in the forest. Once you find the geocache, there will be a piece of paper inside (a ‘log’) where you write your geocache username, you can then mark that geocache as found either on your app or online. We would only recommend that students geocache with adult supervision so that any risks can be assessed in advance of travelling to collect a geocache.

Step into the NHS Competition

Students in the Key Worker Group and Innovation spent time on Thursday researching the wealth of different jobs available in the NHS and producing some intriguing adverts for a job of their choice to send off to the national competition. They came up with some fascinating ideas for catching the eye of young people and ways to promote some of the more unusual jobs in the sector. Their ideas included posters, games, word searches, jigsaws, booklets and presentations. The students’ work will be submitted to the competition this weekend and we are looking forward to receiving certificates and judges’ feedback and maybe even some prizes. Students working with Mrs Ezis have entered this competition every year for the past 12 years and at least one of them has received at least a certificate of commendation each year. We wish all the participants the best of luck.

Sporting Update

Girls Football: This week Derby Moor played host to two ESFA Girls Cup fixtures, with the U13’s welcoming fellow Spencer Academy school Heanor Gate and the U15’s hosting visitors all the way from Lincoln.

U13 Girls vs Heanor Gate – 21st April 2023: In the first of the cup fixtures, we enjoyed a combative 3rd Round match against Heanor Gate. It was a back and forth between the two teams, with Heanor Gate going ahead twice but immediately being pegged back to make the score 2 – 2 at half time. IM and FC netting the goals for Derby Moor. In the second half it was Derby Moor who took the lead, with IM scoring her second goal of the game via a deflected shot. Despite a valiant effort to stay in front, Heanor Gate were able to level the game in the middle of the second half. With the game looking like it was heading to a dreaded penalty shoot-out, IM was able to hook a volley from a tight angle, chipping the keeper to give Derby Moor the win and send them into the next round of the cup, winning the tie 4-3 overall. Goal Scorers – IM (x3) and FC (x1). Player of the Match – IM

U15 Girls vs Lincoln Minster – 25th April 2023: On Tuesday afternoon, Derby Moor played host to an early kick-off as they hosted visitors Lincoln Minster School. In a very even match, it was Derby Moor who took the lead during the first half with a well worked goal from SK. The rest of the game was then end to end, with both schools having opportunities to score including JLT hitting the cross bar and LW putting a long range effort just wide. A late goal mouth scramble nearly led to a Lincoln Minster equaliser, but ZL remained firm and pushed the final shot wide. Despite the Lincoln Minster pressure, Derby Moor were awarded a penalty with minutes to go, which was confidently converted by LW to secure the win. The 2-0 win means that Derby Moor will have both age groups represented in the next round of the cup. Goal Scorers – SK and LW. Player of the Match – IW

Year 9 football: The Year 9 boys were victorious against Bemrose on Monday evening, winning 5-2. The battled hard and played some good football at times having played the entire game with only 10 players – this is a reflection of the boy’s character and attitude. Well done. Goals scored by CA x2, RM x2 and JM. The win now means we will have the chance to be promoted at the end of the season, with a win in the final game. Player of the match – CA.

Fraser Clarke Visit: We were honoured to host local boxer and Olympic medallist Fraser Clarke at Derby Moor on Thursday. Fraser came to meet our Year 11 students as part of a targeted exam prep day. He detailed his story, some of the challenges he faced as a younger person and gave some poignant advice ahead of their examination season. It was really inspiring to meet such a talented athlete and to hear him talk about the parallels between preparing for Olympic competition and organising revision ahead the summer. Both require commitment, perseverance, goal setting and bravery. I know our Year 11 enjoyed the chance to meet Fraser and I hope they take his message to heart and take on the challenge that lies ahead of them in the coming weeks.

Careers Update

This week’s job of the week is an ‘Acoustician’.

Year 8 beyond the baseline: A number of Year 8 students have embarked on a project through the Youth Sport Trust this week. The project looks to develop students into tennis mentors, whilst developing their employability and life skills. The scheme will last for 6 weeks and will conclude with them hosting a tennis festival for a selection of primary school students.

DHL Logistics Challenge: Staff from DHL were back at Derby Moor again this week running the Logistics Challenge. The year 10 students involved were presented with a challenge of transporting goods across the globe. They had to calculate cost against time and calculate the environmental impact before presenting their team’s proposal to DHL staff. This really developed their employability skills of teamwork, problem solving, listening & speaking as well as staying positive and resilient when things don’t go to plan. Thanks again to the DHL team.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that we are almost into May already. This period in the academic year is always fast paced with the preparation for examinations and the final touches to coursework for our students in Years 11 and 13. With two bank holidays and a further strike day in the mix things are going to feel like they are moving on very quickly for our older students – if they need support, please contact the Year Teams who will be more than happy to help out.

I have had the pleasure this week of handing out the first Spencer Superstars Grant of the year. There are more to come over the next couple of weeks. These are grants from our Spencer Superstars Charity which are aimed at giving our students a little helping hand in realising their potential and fulfilling their dreams in a range of disciplines. It’s always great to recognize some of the wider achievements of our young people and to take time out to chat about the amazing things they do beyond the school day. There will be further updates on this to come and families who were contacted regarding the Superstars fund should expect to hear from us before the half term.


Wishing you a wonderful extended weekend,


Scott Doyle