Principal’s Update – 3rd March 2023

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you in good health. Half term four is well underway and we have had a really positive first week back at the academy. There are a number of updates relating to this, and future events below.

Dear Families,

I hope this update finds you in good health. Half term four is well underway and we have had a really positive first week back at the academy. There are a number of updates relating to this, and future events below.

Year 13 Update

Year 13 Parents Evening will take place on Wednesday 8th March from 16:20. Appointments can be booked as usual via school cloud. If you have any difficulty with this, please contact the Sixth Form Team. Following this, the Year 13 Mocks begin on 13th March. You will know that the experience of going through the examination season, receiving feedback and then improving is a key part of our preparations for students ahead of the summer series.

Year 9 Update

The Year 9 Parents Evening had now been re-scheduled to the Weds 26th April.  Students will be discussing Year 10 Options in lessons and tutor time in the 2 weeks leading up to the parents evening. During the parents evening there be an opportunity to see subject teachers and to attend an Options presentation where Mr Wragg will explain the process to Families. More information will follow closer to the time.

Geography/Textiles project

One of our Year 13 students, Ayesha Rehman, has produced an impressive piece for her A-level Textiles coursework, combining her passion for both textiles and Geography.

Ayesha said “My personal investigation for textiles explores the crisis of plastic pollution and how marine life is affected by plastic waste. I interweaved my interests from my geography A-Level, especially that of the ‘exploring oceans’ module. The final piece begins with the beauty of marine life and eventually shows the aquatic animals being destroyed in plastic by the end, highlighting how our world’s beauty is being lost over time. Hence, I created this piece as a source of environmental activism, to hopefully evoke change with our use of plastic.” Ayesha is aiming to continue studying Geography at Nottingham University next year and you can find an image of her final piece attached and on the web version of this update.

Derby Parent Carer Forum

We have recently been contacted by Catherine Ratcliffe who is working with the Department for Education to help engage families of children with SEND in planning and decision making about local services. You can find some details on the Derby  Local Offer Facebook page. The forum is aimed at involving parents with a range of professionals and strategic managers in the early stages of planning and the subsequent delivery of services. Catherine would like to invite you to one of the virtual meetings listed below to discuss how parent participation and co-production might be developed further in your area. Please join in to find out how you can play your part in achieving better outcomes for children with SEND. The meetings will be virtual and held on:

  • Tuesday 28th February 10-00 to 11-30 am
  • Friday 3rd March 12 to 1-30 pm
  • Tuesday 7th March 7-00pm to 8-30pm

Please email for log in details

Safer Neighbourhood Team

Our local Safer Neighbourhood Team have asked us to signpost a link to the #lookcloser website from the children’s society. It contains a wealth of information that can help you spot signs of exploitation and report or seek support as necessary. We will be welcoming the SNT into school over the next half term to speak to children about the same topic and County Lines prevention week.

Reading Rampage

Over the last half term, students have been borrowing each of the Ten different books that form part of the Reading Rampage.  The Reading Rampage challenge is to find the most popular book across the 25 different schools that are taking part.  There will be a special badge for students who manage to read all 10 books by the end of the programme in June. Please ask your child if they are taking part and which book they have enjoyed the most.

Ivy House reading project

A second cohort of students have just completed their reading project with Ivy house.  They have been visiting our neighbours once a week and reading with the students for the past 6 weeks.  The third cohort began their visits this week and will continue throughout this half term. There will be a special Celebration of this project with all the students involved, which is planned for Thursday 6th July. Further details to follow.

Parent Voice

Thank you to all parents that have given feedback through Parent Voice.  The survey is now closed and the information received will help to inform practice and make adjustments where appropriate.

World Book Day

A number of staff took part in World Book Day 2023 on Thursday 2nd March and dressed up as characters from a range of books, from Traditional Fairy Tales, through to a book about a woman who was part of the Land Army in the Second World War. Mr Hall came dressed as an Atlas and this prompted lots of conversations with students about where people in their families had travelled from, where they had visited and different experiences that they had across the globe. I can say from the smiles, Double-takes and the conversations that this promoted, that students were really engaged with the day. Thank you to all our staff who made this happen and to our students for embracing it so wholeheartedly.

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month.  Yr 12 Student Leaders are going to be producing presentations for students which will tell the story of a different woman each week. This will detail how they changed the area that they worked on and how this ultimately helped to change society. In turn, there will be a lesson that we can learn from this , principally one of Resilience.

Computing Update

Following on from World Book Day, the computing team will be issuing a number of literacy based homeworks. “The more that you read, the more that you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you will go.” KS3 students will be asked to read 1 article per week on satchel followed by a short quiz. Alternatively they can send their teacher an email summarising the information read from each article to check their comprehension of what they have read. This will allow students to demonstrate their literacy and ICT communication skills. The first of these homeworks was set on Wednesday, please keep an eye out for them.

Microsoft Innovation Visit

Students from Years 9 and 12 visited Microsoft Headquarters this week on the back of their performance during the last Drop Down Day. We challenged them to find innovative ways of Improving patient safety and chose those with the most impressive ideas to take part in the visit. Students saw first-hand, the kind of technology that could potentially make a difference in solving problems identified by Health Professionals and improving patient safety.

They enjoyed interactive workshops on AI, Machine Learning, Voice Activated Technology, Holovision and the chance to experiment with state of the art virtual reality technology. There was also an opportunity for students to meet industry experts who could work with them as mentors to develop their ideas with a view to reaching the National Final of this competition. The Microsoft experts were genuinly excited by some of the ground breaking research the students had conducted and could envisage their innovations becoming a reality. Their Dragon’s Den style pitches in the afternoon were considered exemplary and they have been encouraged to pursue their ideas in liaison with these mentors. The organisers of the visit said “your students were brilliant, so engaged and enthusiastic, full of ideas that they shared confidently during the pitches.  The hard work that had been done so far on their projects was impressive and we are excited to see where they can go from here.  Both the Teen Tech team and Microsoft were impressed by how much work the students did on the day and we very encouraged that these ideas could improve patient safety!” Well done to all involved.


We have a number of support and teaching vacancies advertised at present including Head of Sixth Form, Teacher of Maths, Teacher of Geography and Behaviour Mentor amongst others. If you are interested in joining our team, please follow the link to our TES page.

Sports Update

On Tuesday 7th March, U15’s Girls play their first home game of the season in a friendly against JCB Academy. The U13’s Girls also play their first home game of the season on Wednesday 8th March, in the ESFA Cup against Toot Hill School who will be visiting from Nottingham. Also on Wednesday our Y7, Y9 and Y11 girls will be encouraged to take part in some footballing activities during lunchtime, as part of the FA’s #LetGirlsPlay scheme which aims to get as many girls playing football as possible on Wednesday 8th March as part of the ‘Biggest EVER Football Session.’ This will be followed by an Extra Curricular #LetGirlsPlay session on the ATP from 3-4pm for Y7 to Y11 girls.

Thursday will then see a visit from Littleover school, as our Y8’s start their playoff journey following an unbeaten league campaign.

Careers Update

This week’s job of the week is a ‘Quality Manager’.

Derby Moor Dispatch: The next Derby Moor Dispatch will go out next Monday to all students in Year 11, 12 and 13. However, attached to the email version of this update is the last Dispatch which contains a wide range of opportunities for work experience, summer schools, careers related webinars and so on. Please do have a look at the latest edition. The Dispatch is emailed to the students school email address so it is important that they check this regularly on a Monday.

Year 13 Student Finance Talk: On Wednesday, our Year 13 students had a presentation on student finance for going to university. Clearly this is an area of great concern to both students and families as there is a lot to consider and it can seem quite daunting. However, our sixth form team are highly experienced in providing advice and support so please feel reassured and don’t hesitate to ask any questions. In addition, this link will take you to the government website on student finance for 2023-2024. There are some helpful videos and a section specifically aimed at families.


Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Scott Doyle