I hope this update finds you and those closest to you in good health. I write to you at the end of our Positivity Week where students have enjoyed a range of activities based around trying out new challenges, taking risks with their learning and approaching life with a growth mindset. This combined with the snowfall on Sunday has meant we have had a joyful week overall at the academy.
Whilst we were all anticipating a wintery weekend last week we didn’t expect quite the levels of snowfall and accumulation that we saw on Sunday and overnight. My thanks go out to our site team who began preparations on Sunday to clear the site and ensure it was safe ahead of opening on Monday morning. This meant minimal disruption to the learning of our students and allowed our wider community to go about their business as usual. As a point to note, we did receive a number of calls questioning whether or not we were open. On the very rare occasion that we close the school in instances like this we would send a text message, an email, update the website and put messages on social media to alert families in good time. With that in mind, you can assume school is open unless you receive a notification from us saying otherwise.
Positivity week has brought a smile to so many faces this week. Students have been enthused and excited by a number of the activities taking placing during form time and breaks. Some of my favourites included Golden tickets where staff and students nominated each other to show appreciation, the tyre flip, the circus skills workshop and the tug o ’war. It was lovely to see all year groups taking part and encouraging each other with new and difficult challenges. The theme behind this has been about taking on new challenges and being brave enough to take risks with our learning. There are some photographs on the web version of this update.
Positivity and risk taking also took place in classrooms this week with an array of challenges for students to meet. As always, our students excelled at this and exemplified our motto of succeeding together. One example of this was a poem written by an anonymous member of our community. It was used in class to help Year 11s analytical skills and built upon the theme of potential and aspiration. I’ve included a copy of this below.
On Tuesday 30th November Derby Moor Spencer Academy took part in the launch of the South Derbyshire Careers Hub at the Silk Mill in Derby. One of our Year 12 students (Ridah Noor) represented the student voice of Derby Moor and spoke really eloquently at the event about her aspirations and hopes for the future.
The Careers Hub is made up of 43 schools and colleges working together to strengthen links between education providers and local businesses to ensure school leavers are prepared for their best next steps. Led by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Careers & Enterprise Company, the Careers Hub will work collaboratively with universities, training providers, employers, Enterprise Advisers, and careers professionals to deliver the Gatsby Benchmarks, a world class standard of careers education.
Last Thursday, a number of our Year 11 and Year 12 students took part in a workshop run by the School’s Liaison Team at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University. The session focussed on a whole range of issues regarding subjects to study, the application process, finance and some of the myths surrounding Oxford University. The experience was all about raising the aspirations of our students whatever their chosen pathway for the future. You may be interested to have a look at some of the resources on the attached link from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University https://www.seh.ox.ac.uk/study/outreach/remote-resources#
Please also, see attached a copy of the latest newsletter from Luminate Careers in the email version of this update. There is some great advice and support within, particularly aimed at Year 11 and Year 13 students but is an interesting read for all.
Exciting last minute apprenticeship opportunity for Year 11 and 13
Rolls-Royce Apprentice Open Evening for students and parents – Monday 13th December 17:00 -20.00pm.
We have just received notification of this event today and urge any students in Years 11 or 13 who are interested in apprenticeships to take a look and sign up as places are limited. The event will be split into three separate times- they will need to register for one time slot and places are limited:
This is an Invitation Only Apprentice Open Evening to share information about our future employment opportunities.
The Open Evening will provide students and parents with the opportunity to explore the schemes at Rolls-Royce, including a chance to talk with representatives from the Apprentice Development team and Derby College, current apprentices and the Recruitment Team who will be available to answer any questions you may have. On the evening you will also be one of the first to view the ‘Spirit of Innovation All Electric Aircraft’, which has been designed to break the world record for the fastest electric vehicle!
Whilst this may not be a fixture as such, a number of our Year 9 girls took part in the Youth Sport Trust Sports Leaders training in Nottingham yesterday. The girls participated in workshops aimed at understanding & influencing your audience, leadership & marketing roles, and making a difference. They also got the opportunity to take part in a Music of Black Origin Mashup and Hula physical activity workshops.
On the back of the government announcement last weekend and the update from our Director of Public Health in the mid-week, I thought it would be useful to highlight some of the key points and changes in regards to Covid.
Face coverings – this are now an expectation for students when moving around the building inside. We have distributed a lot of masks this week but our supplies are not unlimited. Please provide your child with a covering to wear around the site and, where possible, a spare in case of loss or damage. Students who use public or shared transport should also wear a covering when travelling to and from school.
Hygiene – we are continuing with our enhanced cleaning regimen around the site. This has remained in place throughout this term and will continue into the next calendar year. Hand sanitisers are available throughout the site and in all rooms, with students being encouraged to use them as regularly as possible. This is key in keeping all members of our wider community safe.
Reporting home tests – It is vital that students continue to test at home every Sunday and Wednesday. We know that many young people will not show symptoms so it is vital that we continue with the home testing to identify anyone who is asymptomatically carrying the virus. Reporting your test result through the NHS is also really helpful in terms of tracking the spread of the disease. You can do this using the link https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result and will need the ID from the lateral flow device and a phone number for the result to be sent to.
Advice for households from the Director of Public Health:
- If your child has symptoms of COVID please isolate them at home and arrange a PCR test in line with national guidance. A lateral flow test is not sufficient in this case.
- If you have a positive COVID case in the household, please arrange for all other household members to have a PCR test and keep your child at home until a negative result is received. Please do not take them to other clubs or social events during this time.
- If the PCR is positive please follow national advice and isolate- this is required by law.
- If the PCR is negative your child can return to school, but if they are able please consider daily lateral flow testing for seven more days.
- Any positive lateral flow test must be confirmed with a PCR test in line with national guidance. Variants such as Omicron can only be detected through a PCR test.
C19 testing in January – we will begin testing students before their return to school in January in line with guidance from the DfE. If you have already given consent, we will have this on file from the summer. If you would like to withdraw consent, please contact school. Families wishing to partake in this round of testing who haven’t previously consented will need to complete the form on this link: https://forms.gle/cee6wt6HVeDRT4C46. A letter will be distributed shortly with details of the staggered start to school in January to accommodate the testing schedule.
Volunteers required – If you would like to help out as a volunteer in our test centre between the 11-14th Jan, please do contact the school so we can arrange a training session ahead of the winter break.
Over the winter period, thousands of children in Derby who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals could be involved in the Winter Holiday Activities with approved local and national organisations. These are free holiday activity clubs to enable children and young people to enjoy fun activities with friends and learn and develop new skills. You can find out more on the website here.
I do hope your child has enjoyed a positive week this week and that you and your family enjoy a restful weekend. I will leave you with some images from the week and the anonymous poem, ‘A galaxy full of stars.’