Tuesday 12th September 2017
Dear Parent / Carer,
We are writing to remind you that the Pool Post is distributed by electronic format to the students’ iPads on a half termly basis.
There will be a fortnightly bulletin page that will be emailed out every fortnight to the students’ iPad which will inform parents/carers of any upcoming dates and events to be aware of. The Pool Post and Bulletin page will also be available on the school website (www.poolacademy.co.uk).
The first issue of the Fortnightly Bulletin should be released on Friday 15th September. Please be aware that we have our Open Evening on Thursday 28th September, 5.30pm – 8.30pm
If you would prefer to receive the Pool Post and the bulletin in paper format, or via your personal email address, please complete the slip below and return to the main office by Friday 29th September. Thank you to those parents which have already completed the Google form updating their address, the form is still available at https://goo.gl/forms/nG5ZMApW8X2cBbtt1
Please contact Mrs York (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any articles or information that you would like to feature in the Pool Post.
Pool Academy prides itself on communication with Parents and Carers; it is important to us what you think and how you view the school. We believe that by working with our Parents / Carers we can drive the school forward.
If you would like to be part of developing the school further then it would be great to see you at the Pool Academy Parents’, Carers’ Forum (PCF). Our first meeting this academic year is Tuesday 19th September, 6pm. Please contact Mr W McKenzie for further information on email@example.com.
Mrs Claire Meakin
Please return to Mrs York, via Student Reception by Friday 30th September
I* / We* would like to receive the Pool Post / Bulletin by paper format / personal email. *Delete as appropriate
Name of Child……………………………………………… Tutor Group…………..
Name of Parent* / Carer*………………………………………………………………..
Email address: ……………………………………………………………………………
Signed ……………………………………………………… Date ………………
I am writing to make you aware of the dates set for School Photographs.
Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will have individual photographs taken on Friday 15th September 2017. Students are expected to wear full school uniform. All orders must be received via Student Reception by Friday 13th October 2017. Please note that we only pass the orders on, we have no authority to open the orders when received.
Year 11 photos will be taken on Friday 20th October and orders should be returned by Friday 17th November.
Sibling photographs will take place at a later date if there is suitable interest, therefore, please can we ask that you complete and return the slip below in order for us to gauge the level of interest for making a booking.
If there is suitable interest, we will arrange a date for the sibling photographs and will then send information out to you with details of how to book a slot.
Photographs are taken by Tempest Photography. They are stored securely on the school database and are used for identification purposes only.
If you have any objection to your child’s photograph being taken in school, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s Head of House or the Deputy Head of House.
Miss Claire Meakin
Please return to Mrs York via Student Reception by Friday 15th September.
Name of student: …………………………………………………. Tutor Group ………………
I would* / would not* be interested in booking a sibling photograph
*please delete as appropriate
I can be contacted on ……………………………………………………………………….. to book if required.
6th September 2017
Geography GCSE Iceland Residential
The Geography Department is planning an exciting new 4 day GCSE trip to Iceland this year. We are currently finalising arrangements for this trip which it is hoped will run from the 1st - 4th March 2018.
The trip will visit some of the most unique geographical features in the world, including a day trip to the famous Golden Circle visiting the Kerid Volcano, Gullfoss Waterfall and The Geysir Centre amongst many others. In addition, we will be visiting Thingvellir, where students can stand on the boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Students will also have the chance to take a dip in the Secret Lagoon, a natural hot spring lake and to explore the city of Reykjavik. The trip links directly to many parts of the new GCSE specification, including natural hazards, resource management and climate change.
The cost is £900 with a £200 deposit payable no later than 29th September 2017 to secure a place. The full payment schedule can be found below. Please note that the deposit cannot be refunded once we have committed to accommodation and flights. The initial deposit can be paid by cash or cheque and any further payments will be made by a new e-payments system to be introduced by the school later this year.
All transport, admission tickets and accommodation at Hotel Cabin, Reykjavik with breakfast, lunch and dinner whilst in Iceland is included. Students must have their own full passport. This trip is offered on a first come, first served basis, to Geography GCSE students. At this stage, all arrangements are provisional and if there is not sufficient interest in the trip, it will not run. Scheduled times and exact arrangements will be confirmed later with an itinerary being issued to all parents and students at a special meeting prior to leaving.
Initial deposit: £200 To be received by 29th September 2017
Interim payment: £575 To be received by 5th January 2018
Final Payment: £125 To be received by 19th February 2018
---------Please hand in to student reception for the attention of the Finance Dept--------
I wish to reserve a place for my child _______________________________ on the forthcoming Geography GCSE Iceland Residential. I enclose an initial deposit of £200 (cheques payable to Pool Academy).
Signed____________________________ Parent/Guardian Date:__________
14th September 2017
This year your child will be in the first cohort to take the new Geography GCSE. They will sit exams written by the AQA exam board.
The GCSE is split into three papers - Paper 1: Living with the physical environment, Paper 2: Living with the human environment and Paper 3: Geographical applications. In paper 1 we study three topics; The Challenge of Natural Hazards, The Living World and The Physical Landscapes of the UK - Coasts and Rivers. In paper 2 we also study three topics; Urban Issues and Challenges, The Changing Economic World and The Challenge of Resource Management – Water. Paper 3 includes geographical skills, questions on the fieldwork students have completed and an issue evaluation. Students will receive information on a geographical problem linked to the topics they have studied and will be asked questions on possible solutions.
The dates of the paper are as follows:
Paper 1 - 22 May 2018 PM
Paper 2 - 05 June 2018 PM
Paper 3 - 11 June 2018 PM
Included in this pack, there is a homework timetable which runs up until February half term. This gives an overview and due dates for each piece of homework that Year 11 will be set along with a date and time for a drop in session. These sessions will run in HUMS4 on the dates and times specified for any students struggling with the homework, or for extra guidance on the topic of the homework.
Revision guides and helpful tools for GCSE Geography revision
We have provided for you and your child a set of Knowledge Organisers, one for each of the topics in paper 1 and 2. These should act as a revision overview and give key information on the different sections of each topic.
Revision guides can be purchased from Amazon. There are a range of revision guides available, each with different features and price tags. To find these easily, type “9 – 1 AQA GCSE Geography” into the Amazon search bar. Students have access to different revision guides and textbooks in school and may have a preference to a specific guide.
GCSEPod has hundreds of podcasts on the topics covered in AQA 9 – 1 GCSE. The podcasts are sorted by paper and then by topic. Please note that at present, there are not very many podcasts available for paper 2 but these are scheduled for release before December.
BBC Bitesize (App) is a new app that has pre-made flashcards which can be filtered by exam board and then by paper/topic. These flashcards are a mixture of information, videos and short questions.
Cool Geography is a website that contains a variety of notes not only on geographical theory but also case studies and examples. The notes are AQA specific and are sorted by topic. http://www.coolgeography.co.uk/
BBC Bitesize (online) is a valuable source of revision notes on GCSE Geography. Please note that these are NOT AQA specific and therefore are much more general than the revision sources above, however they still have relevant information. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography
Dear Parent / Carer
You can now make online payments to school via instant bank transfer, credit or debit card
I am pleased to inform you that we have introduced a new service – “School Gateway”. This means that you will be able to make online payments via the School Gateway smartphone app or website. We will notify you by text or email when new items such as school trips or tickets for events are available for payment on School Gateway. You will also be able to give online consent, where required, for your child to take part in activities. Aside from saving the school time and money on administration, School Gateway will also make it easier for parents to pay any time 24-7 and reduce the amount of cash being carried by children on school premises.
What you need to do now
Activate your School Gateway account. It is quick and easy to do. All you need is your email address and mobile number that school holds on record for you.
· Download the app: If you have a smartphone, please download School Gateway from your app store (Android and iPhone). The app shows the same information as the website PLUS it saves the school money when we send you a text message.
· Visit the website: www.schoolgateway.com and click on “New User”. You’ll receive a text message with a PIN number. Use this PIN to log into School Gateway.
Please complete and return the tear off slip below as soon as possible to ensure we have your current email and mobile phone information. We hope that you will find School Gateway to be a fast and easy way to pay for school items. Please do not hesitate to contact the school’s Finance Office if you have any problems using this new service.
Please return to the Finance Office: School Gateway Cashless Payment System Registration
Student Name: ……………………………………………………….. Tutor Group: …………………………
Parent/Carer: Name: ……………………………………. Mobile telephone number: ………………………
Parent/Carer Name: ……………………………………. Mobile telephone number: ………………………
Signed: …………………………………………………………………………………….. Date: …………….
Pool Academy offers all of its students the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. In partnership with the Cornwall Music Service Trust we offer the following instrument lessons:
Drums, Guitar, Voice, Keyboard, Piano, Violin, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Cornet and Cello.
For all music lessons, with the exception of keyboard and drums, your child will require their own instrument, for which they will be responsible for bringing to each lesson.
Group lessons are charged at £5.00 per lesson and last for half an hour. Individual lessons are charged at £10.00 per lesson and last for 20 minutes. There are 10 lessons per term.
Group lessons will normally consist of 4 pupils. Wherever possible a group lesson will be made available, however this is reliant upon uptake. If insufficient requests are received to form a group lesson your child’s name will be added to a waiting list for that instrument. If, however, you are happy to have an individual lesson for your child please indicate on the form and I will do my best to accommodate requests. I will keep you informed if there is not enough interest for a group lesson to take place at this time.
Subsidies are available to families in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM), Children in Care, and Children of Service Families, GCSE/BTEC Music pupils (with Performance option only)* and to those families in receipt of Disability Living Allowance. These concessions are available to pupils for one instrument only. Please see the pricing sheet overleaf to see how much you will pay.
We are able to check within school for those who receive FSM, Children in Care and Service Families & GCSE/BTEC Music pupils however, it is essential we receive a copy of the relevant documentation for DLA otherwise we will have no choice but to ask for payment for the full amount. Documentation must be provided each term.
Once your child has been allocated a place in a lesson your child will be provided with a timetable via email for their instrumental lesson and a copy will always be displayed on the music noticeboard in the music corridor. Music lessons normally will take place throughout the school day and group lesson times will normally vary from week to week.
We must emphasise that once you agree for your child to take up the lessons you are committed to paying for all 10 lessons in the term and we ask for payment in advance. Unfortunately, we cannot issue refunds if your child misses any lessons due to illness
Pool Academy Instrumental Lessons Registration Form
Name of Pupil: _______________________ Tutor Group _______
Would like to learn the following instrument(s):
Group Lesson Only Individual if no group lesson available
Strings * please specify
Violin, Viola, Cello
Trumpet, Trombone, French horn, Cornet
Guitar* please specify classical, acoustic, electric
Woodwind* please specify
Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone
Other (Please state)
Please circle below you are a beginner or to which level you have had lessons previously
Level of learning:
Beginner Intermediate Advanced
(Up to Grade 3 or equivalent) (Grade 4 and above or equivalent)
I have attached a copy of the relevant document for DLA to
claim reduced rate lessons. ( )
My child is entitled to receive Free School Meals/
Child in care/Service Family* ( )
I have no entitlement for reduced rate lessons. ( )
My child is taking GCSE Music/BTEC with Performance option* ( )
* please delete as appropriate
I understand the terms as set out in the letter I received with this form and agree to pay the fees as required.
I am writing to thank you for your support over the years that I have been Principal at Pool Academy.
I was appointed in February 2001 and from that point until September 2001 I worked for one or two days a week at the school before becoming full time in September.
The time has passed so quickly and I have many happy memories of students and staff.
Our Ofsted Inspection in June 2017 was fantastic, as was our re-designation as a Teaching School.
Miss Meakin will take over as Principal in September. I know she will work hard for the school and community and I am sure the school will move towards excellence.
I wish you all well for the future.
Mrs Zelma Hill
5th July 2017
Dear Parents / Carers
I am delighted to present to you Pool Academy’s recent Ofsted Report.
The school was inspected on the 6th June 2017 and judged to be a Good School.
The Inspectors noted that the quality of teaching is good and continues to improve. Pupil progress is good across a range of subjects. The Inspectors were impressed, in particular, with science teaching and told me they saw inspirational teaching in science lessons.
The Inspectors were also impressed by the behaviour of our students and noted the school was an “orderly environment” where students demonstrate “respectful, good humoured behaviour”. They also stated that, “Students display pride in their school” and wear their uniform “smartly”.
Safeguarding was judged to be effective and children from all year groups said they feel safe at the school”.
The school has four areas to address which are:-
• to review the system for reporting assessment outcomes in mathematics so that pupils clearly understand how much progress they are making.
• develop the teaching practices established in science and share them across the school.
• work more closely with parents of the minority of pupils who find it difficult to come to school regularly to improve attendance rates.
• ensure that the school’s Behaviour Policy is consistently applied by teachers in all subjects.
Miss Meakin and the Leadership Team are devising an action plan to address these areas over the next year and look forward to working in partnership with parents to continue to drive the school forwards.
Thank you for your support which is greatly appreciated by all at Pool Academy. I would also like to express my personal thanks for your continued support as I approach my retirement.
You can download the full report here
The school term finishes on the 21st July at the end of a very busy year.
On the 21st July, school will close at 1.15pm. The school canteen will be open for lunch for students who wish to eat their lunch before departing for home. School buses will leave at 1.45pm.
If you wish your child to remain at school supervised until 2.55pm, please could you contact the school on 01209 712220. If you choose to do this you will need to arrange transport at the normal time.
Start of term for Years 7-11 is Wednesday 6th September. The new Year 7 will come into school for an induction day on Wednesday 5th July.
We look forward to welcoming students back following a safe and happy summer break.
Mrs Zelma Hill
Dear parent / carer
We would like to invite all Year 6 students who will be coming to Pool Academy from non -feeder primaries to join us on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th of July when they will follow a specimen timetable and experience a range of lessons and meet other children who will be joining the school in September. The sessions on Tuesday will allow them to meet other children from non-feeder primary schools, prior to meeting the other children joining us in September on the following day.
Students should arrive at School reception by 9.00am on both days, where they will be met by senior students and taken to the school gym. They will then be placed in the tutor groups that we have selected for September. Please do not drive up to the rear school car park to drop off your child.
Students should wear their Primary School uniform and it would be helpful if they could wear trainers as they will be expected to actively participate in some sessions. They will also need their pens/pencils. Students can either bring a packed lunch or £2.30 to purchase a school meal. Anyone entitled to a free school meal will just need to sign against their name at the canteen when they collect their meal. We will also provide all students with a drink and snack at break time. Please return the reply slip indicating your child lunchtime arrangements for the induction day and non-feeder day.
Students will be ready to leave at 3.15pm. Please Park at the front of the school and walk to the gym at the front of school next to reception to collect your child.
Also, our Year 6 Parents’ Evening will take place on Wednesday5th July in the Main Hall at 6.30pm, where there will be an opportunity to view the school uniform, learn about how we monitor and support progress at Key Stage 3 and speak with various members of staff including your child’s new form tutor. Please return the reply slip to Pool Academy to give us an indication of whether you will be able to attend this event.
As a reminder, School commences on Wednesday 6th September 2017 at 8.30am until 2.55pm. The children will have an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the school after their summer break and before other Year groups join us. Further details for this day will be sent to each student soon.
Please do not hesitate to contact the school on 01209 712220 if you have any concerns or queries regarding these arrangements.
Mr Jason Webb (Assistant Principal)
Dear Parent / Carer
POST ELECTION UPDATE: FAIR AND ADEQUATE SCHOOL FUNDING
Following the general election outcome on 8 June, Headteacher colleagues across the country and I felt that it is appropriate to contact you again regarding school funding to update on the current position.
The salient points are as follows:
· The Conservative manifesto pledged an additional £4bn to fund schools over the next five years
· Schools across England are still awaiting a detailed announcement relating to the introduction of an urgently needed National Funding Formula
· School funding – and severe teacher shortages – are having a profoundly negative effect on school provision. In a recent survey of over 750 Headteachers:
45% confirmed that 2 or significantly more teaching posts are being cut from September 2017
92% said school funding was ‘inadequate’ or ‘at crisis point’
90% stated that recruitment was either ‘difficult’ or ‘extremely challenging’
Against this background, it is crucial that the new Government responds quickly and effectively to a growing crisis in our schools.
We are encouraged that following the election, the media have widely reported a recognition by the Prime Minister that our concerns “must be addressed”.
We remain concerned, however, that the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies recently stated that when rising student numbers and inflationary costs are taken in to account, an input of £4bn will still lead to a “real terms cut of 2.8% in per pupil funding between 2016 and 2022”. This represents a huge sum of money.
The only way for our cash-starved schools to function effectively is for proper investment – capital/buildings and revenue - to be made into existing schools. The Government must also avoid giving schools additional money through a new formula and then taking it back again through “hidden costs” and stealth taxes.
Along with headteachers from 17 counties stretching from Cornwall to Norfolk and many points in between, I am determined to work collaboratively to ensure fair and adequate school funding for every school is achieved. As such, headteachers will complete and encourage the following actions:
· Make the strongest representations to local MPs to ensure that all our schools receive adequate funding. It is crucial that they use their unique influence to hold the government to account on behalf of every child and their families. (We are sending a copy of this update to our six MPs in Cornwall).
· Continue to encourage parents and carers to campaign vigorously to secure adequate school funding. There are national and regional parental groups that are keen to gain your support. They include the group ‘Fair Funding for all Schools’: www.fairfundingforallschools.org
· Update all stakeholders regularly
Can I thank you again for your unstinting support which is clearly making a positive difference to our crucial campaign.
Mrs Zelma Hill
Dear parent or carer
Inspection of Pool Academy by Ofsted
We have just told your child's school that we will inspect it on 06 June 2017. The lead inspector will be Paul Williams, HMI. We are writing to you because we would like to know what you think about the school. Please take a few minutes to read the leaflet which came with this letter. It explains why we inspect schools, and what happens during an inspection.
Your views about the school are important to us
If you are a registered parent or carer of a pupil at the school (including pupils on sick leave or who are temporarily excluded), you can tell us your views about the school by completing Ofsted's online survey, Parent View, at: www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk.
Parent View asks for your opinion on 12 aspects of your child's school, including the progress made by your child, the quality of teaching, how the school deals with bullying and poor behaviour. It also provides a free-text box for you to make additional comments, if you wish. The inspectors will use the online survey responses when inspecting your child's school. Written comments can also be sent to the school in a sealed envelope, marked confidential and addressed to the inspection team.
To register your views, you will need to provide your email address, which will be held securely. It will not be used for any purpose other than providing access to the online survey. Neither schools nor Ofsted will have access to any email addresses.
Please complete the online survey by noon on 06 June 2017 as this will give the inspection team more time to consider your views. However, we will consider all online responses that are completed during the inspection, although the free-text box facility will not be available after noon on 06 June 2017.
Speaking to an inspector
If you are unable to complete the online survey, it may be possible to speak to an inspector during the inspection, for instance at the start of the school day, or to pass on messages to the inspectors if you are unable to speak to them in person. Inspection administrators will be happy to make the necessary arrangements. If concerns are raised about child protection, we may have to pass the information we receive to social services or the police. You can contact the administrators on 03000131037. Inspectors will be pleased to receive your comments, but cannot deal with complaints about individual pupils or settle disputes between you and the school.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the online survey.
Dear Parents / Carers,
Your child’s GCSE examination series starts at the beginning of May. In order to support students, we have ensured that we have a comprehensive programme of revision in addition to your child’s timetabled lessons
Revision sessions will run prior to the examinations and where there is a morning examination breakfast will be served – at no cost to the students – from 8.15am in the school canteen.
Once the exams are completed for a subject the timetabled time slot will be allocated to other subjects for revision of subjects yet to be examined. This will all be managed in school and students will be informed.
The last school day for Year 11 will be Wednesday 14th June. Year 11 will have their normal school day from 8.30 till 11.15 am and then a leavers’ assembly from 11.15 to 11.45am. Students can then go on study leave from 11.45am. Students will be expected to be in school uniform for this day.
Some students will have a history examination on the afternoon of the 14th June. Those students are encouraged to stay in school to attend a revision session and early lunch will be available for them. Their examination will start at 1.15pm.
While students are on study leave from the 14th June, teachers will still be available to see them and support them with their revision during their timetabled lessons. If students wish to come in after study leave commences, they must make sure they sign in at reception. They do not have to be in uniform for these revision sessions.
Students must arrive in good time for their examinations – at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their examination. It is important to remember that students have to come into school in their full uniform for examinations. Once the exam series is finished, any donations of uniform for our second hand uniform sale are welcomed.
If you require an additional copy of the exam timetable please email our exams officer: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions / concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me: email@example.com.
Mrs A Ludlow
NCS (National Citizen Service) is the country’s flagship youth development programme available to all 15* to 17 year olds. They recently came into School and delivered a presentation outlining the benefits and experiences that can be gained from the programme.
More information for parents can be found here: NCS Information
Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) is an important part of our school curriculum. It provides students with the skills and knowledge that will allow them to live confident, safe and healthy lives.
All students will be covering the topic of Radicalisation at the start of this term as part of our PREVENT programme. Students will then move on to look at the following topics:
Relationships – girlfriends/boyfriends
An introduction to sex and the law
Stereotypes and prejudice
Young people in the media/child sexual exploitation
Healthy and Safety in the workplace (in preparation for work experience placements)
Managing relationships/strong emotions
Revision/keeping calm/stress relief
The topics that your son/daughter will be covering during their RE lessons this term are:
Christianity in Cornwall
Christianity in Cornwall, including local saints
Christianity in Cornwall, including modern paganism
Christianity (thematic studies) – Relationships and Families
Christianity (thematic studies) – Crime and Punishment
If you have any questions about our PSHE or RE programmes or would like any more information about specific schemes of learning please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mrs Neesham (Assistant Principal) email@example.com
Miss M Williams
Head of PSHE/RE
Dear Parents and Carers
As you know Mrs Hill is retiring at the end of the academic year after 17 years of highly successful and dedicated service to Pool Academy as Principal. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Governors, staff, students, parents and carers to thanks Mrs Hill for everything she has given the school during this time.
On behalf of the governing body, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Miss Claire Meakin as our new Principal. Miss Meakin is currently our Vice Principal and has worked at the academy for over 8 years.
Miss Meakin will commence this role from 1st September 2017 and during the next term, Mrs Hill and Miss Meakin will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition for the academy and the local community.
The Governors and I have every confidence that Miss Meakin will continue to take the academy from strength to strength.
Mr Nick Lake
Chair of Governors
Dear Parents and Carers
From Monday 20th March 2017, Pool Academy will not allow any mobile phone use during the school day.
If you wish for your child to carry a phone with them for their journeys to and from school, the expectation is that it is switched off and remains in their bag once they enter the school building.
Should you need to contact your child during the school day, please use the standard procedure of phoning or emailing the school. This will allow us to support your child appropriately if the need arises.
As you are aware the school iPads are filtered whilst being used at school and at home. We appreciate your support monitoring the use of all mobile devices.
We understand that there may be exceptional circumstances that mean an individual student may need to have access to their phone during the day. If this is the case, please do get in touch with your child's form tutor, head of house or any member of the pastoral or senior leadership teams to discuss how we can achieve this.
If you have any concerns about how to safeguard your child’s use of mobile technology, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Mrs Zelma Hill