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News and Events at Sheffield Springs Academy

17 January 2014

Principal’s Letter - Friday 17th January 2014

Dear Parents and Carers

Wednesday 15th January saw our Y11 students receive their trial examination results.  For many students it was a positive event providing them with an opportunity to reflect on their current position and consider their next steps. The importance of using the time that is left productively was reinforced to students along with the importance of GCSE grades for progression on to courses beyond Y11.  We have noticed a more mature and determined approach from many students following this event and this is something we hope will continue to get stronger in the forthcoming weeks. 

We would like to remind all parents of Y11 students that Thursday 23rd January is Y11 Parents Evening. The evening will run from 4:00pm until 6:30pm and will provide a timely and very important opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and identify the actions that need to take place from now onwards in the build up to the summer examinations.  Your son/daughter should make the appointments for you with the staff you would like to meet. Please encourage them to do this.  There will also be a short briefing in the Main Hall from the Senior Leadership Team for all parents of Y11 students from 5:00pm until 5:20pm.

All Y11 students have had a tutorial this week on revision planning and how to revise effectively.  We strongly recommend that students do 14 hours of revision per week from now onwards.  This time should increase during holiday periods and as examinations get closer we encourage parents to discuss revision plans with their child and support them wherever possible.  Students in Y11 will be receiving a personal learning checklist to identify exactly what they need to do to move up a grade.  Please check your child is using theirs.

Following Tuesday’s meeting with parents on ‘Preparing for Y10’, next week all Y9 students will have the opportunity to give us their views.  We will ask them to indicate their areas of interest as well as rating their own progress. Following this, parents will receive an invitation to an interview with a member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team to discuss their child’s curriculum in Y10.  This will allow the Academy to guide all of its students towards subjects which best match their interest and potential to make good progress.

Tuesday our Y7 students had the opportunity to meet children’s author Tommy Donbavand.  The visit was a great success with Mr Donbavand commenting that we “should be proud of both our school and our students.  The whole school felt very welcoming and friendly from the moment I arrived this morning”.  Thank you to all who took part. 

A number of activities are taking place to support Y11 students’ learning and progress in English as they move towards their final GCSE examination.  A number of students have received invitations to attend intervention sessions taking place every Monday at 3pm, in order to improve their scores on Controlled Assessments.  All students are, however, very welcome to attend.  In addition, students will shortly be receiving invitations to attend additional sessions taking place on Saturday 25th January and throughout the half-term break in February.  Students often say they are unsure about how to revise for English.  The best preparation for the exam is to learn the rules for different types of non-fiction writing (for example, do you know the rules for writing an article? Or a letter?).  Having revised these rules, it is really useful to practise that skill in timed conditions.  All students have a booklet of practice exam questions, containing 25 or 35 minute tasks.  These should form the basis of Extended Learning and students should ensure they return them to their English teacher each week to check their progress.

As you are aware from September 2013 the Department for Education took the decision to not allow Head Teachers to grant leave of absence during term time unless there were exceptional circumstances.  Whilst we expect all students to aspire to achieve 100% attendance, the minimum we expect is 95%.  Generally, as a rule, a 5% drop in attendance means a drop of one GCSE grade or national curriculum level.  We would like to thank parents for their support in ensuring that students arrive on time to school.  This has significantly improved.  Can I remind you that we expect all students to be at the Academy and ready to start learning at 8.30am each day.

Last week we reminded you of our uniform policy, this week we would like to reiterate some of the items listed within our uniform policy which are not permitted:

  •  Coats and outdoor clothing are not to be worn in the Academy building
  •  Trainers/inappropriate footwear
  •  Expensive outdoor wear
  •  Expensive jewellery
  •  Bright or extreme dyed hair
  •  Facial or tongue piercings - one pair of small ear studs can be worn
  •  Patterns shaved into hair
  •  Tattoos on show

We would like to thank you for your cooperation and assistance in enforcing this.

We would like to congratulate students who received a positive postcard home during last half-term.  Over 500 postcards were sent to students recognising their achievements within the Academy on a daily basis. 

Congratulations to this week’s “Stars of the Week”, the following students will be presented with certificates for displaying particularly high levels of commitment to their learning and showing exemplary attitude:

Art and Design

Katie Hargreaves


Extended learning completed to a high level.


Jack Evans


Excellent effort in intervention sessions

Elizabeth Bell


Excellent approach to Y11 mock exam


Ben Watson


Great effort and progress


Kian Shepherd


Continued hard work and effort

Chloe Longden


Consistently hard working since coming back from holiday.


Sam Piper


Fantastic approach to learning

Performing Arts

Lauren Marshall


Excellent independent learning in the classroom

Aiden Harris


Excellent start to dance lessons

Product Design

Mitchell Eckersley


High quality design work completed for extended learning.


Zahava Nmezi


Excellent extended learning task.

Thomas Cartwright


Excellent extended learning task.


Ehthakumoo Myint


An outstanding persuasive brochure about Brazil

Yours sincerely                                                 Yours sincerely                                                   Yours sincerely

Russell Heritage                                               Lee Morritt                                                          Jeremy Richardson

Principal                                                            Associate Principal                                            Associate Principal


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