Principal’s Update – 5th September 2023

Dear Families

I hope this brief update finds you and those closest to you in the best of health. I write to you on our last training day ahead of the start of a new academic year with just some brief pointers about the next few days to help alleviate any pre-term nerves that our students (or families) may have. 

Dear Families

I hope this brief update finds you and those closest to you in the best of health. I write to you on our last training day ahead of the start of a new academic year with just some brief pointers about the next few days to help alleviate any pre-term nerves that our students (or families) may have.

Phased Return

The return to school is phased again this year to help ease new students into the academy routines and ensure all students have a smooth transition from the holiday period into term time. The first few days will involve more time that usual with form tutors, tours of the school, assemblies, administrative tasks and, importantly, opportunities to re-connect with peers and staff. All students will receive a new planner this week and an ID card for their lanyard following the photographs, these are essential pieces of equipment that will need to be brought with them each day.

Years 7, 11 and 6th Form will begin on Wednesday 6th September at 8.40 am, whilst Years 8, 9 and 10 will begin on Thursday 7th September at 8.40 am. All students should use the same entrances as they did in the final few weeks of term whilst new Year 7s will enter through the Car Park entrance as they did during transition. All students will finish at the normal times (2.45 pm on Wednesday and 3.05 pm every other day) with the exception of Year 7 – their arrangements are below. Students will be expected to be in full school uniform with all the necessary equipment they need for learning. They will not need to bring their PE kit on their first day. They will be issued their timetables on day one and will be able to see when they need kit from there on in.

New Year 7

Students who are joining us from Primary School will follow the next phase of their transition as we further prepare them for life in secondary school. They will be guided around school initially and will be given greater time for breaks, lunch and lesson changeover as they find their way around the building. They will finish school slightly earlier than normal this first week to help with pick ups at the end of the day. On Wednesday they will be released from 2.35 pm. Thursday and Friday will be from 2.55 pm. Families should not wait on our driveway as it will block the exit for the main body of students. Instead, please wait on Moorway Lane if you are on foot or in the car park if you are driving. Please avoid parking on Moorway Lane at all costs. It blocks the flow of traffic for the rest of our community and local residents whilst also creating an additional hazard for our students.

It is quite normal for your child to feel a range of emotions in the run up to the start of term and we can almost guarantee they will be tired from all the movement and excitement this week. This is all part of their transition and they will get to grips with life at Derby Moor very quickly. If you do have concerns, please do contact the Year Team via our main school phone number.

Changes for the New Year

We will be sharing in-school changes with students via assemblies this week, introducing them to new staff members and refreshing their understanding of our values and routines. You may have seen from our social media that we have been busy updating aspects of our site with new science labs, flooring, computer suites and so on. We have also begun an overhaul of our ICT infrastructure which will significantly improve our network within school over the next few months. This forms part of our strategy around digital literacy and preparing our students for employability. In terms of routines, the start and end timings of the day will remain the same as in previous years. All students will now be on break and lunch at the same time with break coming after period 2 and lunch coming after period 4. Each Year Group has a designated area for games at break and lunch and separate lines for the canteen.

Class charts will continue to be our main form of communication with regards to how your child is doing day by day. It is vital that you sign up for this and engage with the content on there – allow this to form part of the conversations you have with your child at the end of each day as it will show you which lessons they have had, positive points they have gained and any negatives that need addressing. I cannot stress how important these conversations are in giving value to your child’s work and conduct in school. If you have any issues logging on to Class Charts, please contact the Year Team. Following feedback from families last year, we are moving homework over from Satchel to Classcharts this year. Whilst we know that Satchel is the market leader for online homework, it was clear that so many families felt it would be better to have everything on one app. As such we have facilitated that move over the summer, thus requiring you to only log onto to one app.

Following feedback from student voice and to support our drive towards becoming more sustainable, we are continuing to reduce our consumption of single use plastics in the canteen. A notable change around this is that we will be phasing out our sale of bottled drinks. Over the summer we have installed modern, touch screen drinks vendors that will dispense into reusable bottles, alongside our water fountains. Students will purchase tokens for the drinks machines from the canteen but will need to provide either their own bottle of at least 500ml or the bottle we supplied them with in the last academic year. Suitable bottles will soon be available on parent pay but have unfortunately been delayed in transit. Given the warmer weather forecast this week, please do ensure your child comes to school with a bottle of water (ideally 500ml or more) – if you freeze this in advance it will stay cool for them throughout the morning and they can then refill it at break or lunch.

Additional Notes for this Week

There will be no breakfast club or extra-curricular activities this week.
School photographs will take place on Friday for Years 7, 9, 11 and 12.
Students will be required to wear full school uniform this week despite the warmer weather whilst we establish our routines. Our staff will, of course, allow them to remove blazers during lessons in rooms that are warmer than usual.

Best wishes,

Scott Doyle