Emotional Wellbeing

25th May 2018

Dear Parents and carers,

Emotional wellbeing is at the heart of what we do at Pool Academy. Of course we all want your children to achieve success, but if they are not emotionally ready to learn then the learning bit is really hard for them to achieve. And, in some cases, helping them manage their feelings is necessary. 

There are three distinct areas young people struggle with, which impact on their wellbeing:

Low aspirations and / or self-esteem
Friendship and / or bullying difficulties
Emotional and / or mental health difficulties

These strands are more often than not interconnected. 

With the recent nationwide focus on youth mental health, the government have ventured that schools are in a prime position to give support to those struggling with their emotional wellbeing. In 2019 they will set aside £215 million to help schools develop their mental health capacity.  At Pool Academy, we are highly motivated to see how we can develop our own provision given this financial support, as historically schools have been left to manage unfunded. However, we don’t need to wait. We already have many strategies and provisions which are intended to help our community feel ready to learn.

We are currently supported by Headstart Kernow to build on our Thrive knowledge and become a Trauma Informed School (TIS). We are using this understanding, and the accompanying funding to build our capacity for supporting wellbeing.

From May half term our form tutors will use ‘Motional’ - a wellbeing assessment tool sponsored by Headstart Kernow – every half term to assess their tutor groups wellbeing, and highlight those who are currently finding things difficult. Once identified, we have a broad resource bank, with individually targeted support plans so the young people can receive the help they need. This tool will also help us check that things are getting better, and change the support package if not.

Our new anti-bullying charter is in place, created in collaboration with the Student Leadership Team. Here are just some of the adopted ideas. 

They have made one of the toilet areas open to just Year 7 and 8. This simple solution has already helped many of our young people feel more secure about taking a comfort break. 
They are creating a space for students to go at break and lunchtime and receive support from our elected anti-bullying ambassadors. 

‘If you see it, report it’ is being adopted as our anti-bullying mantra. Staff and the ambassadors cannot help if we don’t know.

From September Pool Academy will be working with Franklin Scholars to help develop our older students Peer Mentoring skills.  Year 10 will provide support for our more vulnerable Year 7s throughout the year, while at the same time helping them with their literacy and / or numeracy. This national strategy is very effective at providing both emotional support and personal development. 

Our mentors will also work alongside our Pastoral Support Managers to provide restorative justice for those who have been targeted. This will be managed by our Heads of House, and will include restorative conversations between students and staff. 

Furthermore, we have created a quiet ‘Space’ for those in KS4 who are profoundly anxious about coming to school, and for medical reasons cannot face the mainstream classroom. Here they receive support from one of our most experienced Learning Facilitators, and are able to work on their classwork, and gain feedback. This facility has already had a visible impact on the attendance of this vulnerable group. 

Additionally, we are increasing our therapeutic capacity, with staff being trained in yogic and mindfulness techniques to help our students navigate particularly tricky times in their day. There is an abundance of statistical evidence that these softer approaches have major impact. 
We are also working hard to ensure our students literacy and numeracy skills are improved so they feel better about themselves and their learning. Pool Academy accepts students with a really broad ability range. Our Heads of Department are working together to create a really robust cross curricular literacy policy to help these young people feel successful. We are also working to ensure teachers have the skills they need to plan for these needs. 

All this alongside more established provisions provided by the Student Services Team, our Heads of House and our Pastoral Support Managers. 

When we think of emotional wellbeing, many of us imagine the most challenging of situations. However, there are multiple reasons that can lead to a young person experiencing difficulties. An absent parent. An impending divorce. Bereavement. Low levels of literacy. Friendship difficulties. Financial worries at home. Etc. There be no stigma around opening an honest, non-judgemental discussion with us about why your child may be struggling. When we start to communicate honestly, we are beginning to help our young people most effectively.
If you think your child is having difficulties with their wellbeing, please let us know. In the first instance this can be the Form Tutor, or Head of Year. For more serious concerns contact our Safeguarding Team. Information about the Safeguarding Team, and other local support groups can be found here. Please keep them somewhere handy.

Best Wishes,


Rachel Facey- rfa@poolacademy.co.uk
Assistant Head for Wellbeing and Additional Educational Needs
 

Monthly Letter (May 2018)

Dear Parent / Carer

Every month I have tried to give you a flavour of the exciting things that have been happening across the academy, along with a summary of key future dates for your calendar.  These letters have been texted to parents, along with adding them to our website (http://www.poolacademy.co.uk/letters-home/)  If you have any suggestions for how to improve these letters, or you have had trouble accessing these letters by text, please let me know by emailing principal@poolacademy.co.uk or asking for Mrs Sadie Sutcliffe when phoning 01209 712 220.

Digital Academy

From September students will have the chance to explore the digital world as part of our Digital Academy.  We are linking up with employers and local colleges to enable students to have hands-on experience of new technologies from Game making and Digital media to Programming and Robotics.  Students who enroll in the Digital Academy will have regular visits to enhance their learning, and to find out from a local Tech community what it is like to work in this exciting field.  As a result students will be equipped to shape the digital world they are growing up in.

Art Gallery

We are very excited about Pool Academy’s Art Gallery.  Our hope is that the Gallery will be used by our students and also the local communities.  We are currently blocking up windows and painting walls in readiness to receive our first selection from the Cornwall Schools’ Art Collection.  The Cornwall Schools’ Art Collection comprises paintings, works on paper, and sculpture. Artists represented include Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth, Alfred Wallace and Terry Frost.  Students from Year 7, 8 and 9 will work with artist Jonty Lees to select, exhibit, interpret and document these works. They will create new knowledge around these works which will exist in various forms such as podcasts, captions, workshops etc.  We have also been working with our artist in residence, Turner Prize nominee Hilary Lloyd, who has been helping us think about what our gallery should be like. Next month we will be inviting you to the launch of the gallery but for now, here is the first draft of our website: https://www.poolschoolgallery.org/

GCSE Exams

Year 11 have entered the exam season and have made an excellent start.  There are revision sessions running both before and after school. Teachers are available for any last minute questions and revision tips.  Thank you to parents and carers for your continued support with helping the students to be prepared. Good luck Year 11 - you will be great!

We have also started the process of getting our Year 10s prepared for their Mock exams.  Revision materials have been emailed out to students with links to past papers, apps, websites and subject areas on the school website in the ‘Parent area’. Some subject areas are offering extra support sessions after school for students and materials have been passed onto tutors so that students can revise in tutor time.  Exams begin on 18th June and we ask that parents and carers take an active role in helping students to prepare so please do read the information being sent home and come along to the Mocks Results evening on the 18th July. We wish the Yr10s the best of luck for their exams!

Peer Support

We have been running regular peer support meetings with representatives from each tutor and year group.  We have created toilets just for Year 7 and Year 8 use as requested by their representatives. We are now in the process of creating rooms for break and lunchtime which will be manned by trained student volunteers to support and advise students where this might be appropriate.  The red button on students’ iPads now has direct links that takes them to a list of bodies that can offer support for any concerns, such as the NSPCC or Kooth.

Prefects

Last week, we said our final ‘thank you’ to our Year 11 Prefects, including Amber (Head Girl) and Sol (Head Boy).  Interviews have taken place for our new prefects and the successful students will be informed this week. We look forward to seeing them continue to represent our academy in the next 12 months.  

Olympian Mentoring

The Olympian mentoring programme is going really positively with students being supported by Thinus Delport - International Rugby player and Emily Hibbs - Commonwealth Clay Pigeon Shooter.  The students involved are hugely lucky to be supported by these successful athletes, and have focused on motivation, leadership and self-esteem through sporting activities.

Transition Sessions

We have been holding activity sessions for Year 5 and 6 Primary students.  The sessions have been very well attended and have included activities such as Take Off and Bake Off, Experiments Galore,  Buzz’s VR Experience and Robot Challenge to name but a few. You can see some photos on our website and facebook page.

Buzz the Bear

Congratulations to Buzz and Phil Jones who recently completed the London Marathon 2018!  Phil and Buzz trained hard for months to be able to run the 26.2 mile route through the capital city.  It was such a hot day but Buzz and Phil did extremely well and raised thousands of pounds for charity. Buzz has had a couple of days of rest before training again and trying out new equipment for another adventure.  We can’t say much about it yet but I can say it involves Buzz, his friend and a ROCKET!

Parental questionnaire

Thank you for completing the questionnaire during this academic year - your responses have allowed us to prioritise our actions to ensure students (and their families) have the very best experience whilst at Pool Academy.  We hope you will take a few minutes to fill in the questionnaire for the final time this academic year, so we can review our progress this year and ensure the next academic year is even better. The link to the questionnaire is here. We hope the online survey has been easy to use but we have enclosed a paper copy with this letter too in case you would prefer to complete an offline copy.  The questionnaire will be open until Tuesday 12th June, 12pm so please try to complete the online form, or return your paper copy to reception, before that date.

Please can I remind you of a few events coming up including first day back in September:

Year 5 and Year 6 Transition sessions continue

Miss Meakin, principal@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Year 11 Students start study leave

13th June

Miss Meakin, principal@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Sports Day

19th June

Mr Durant, ad@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Friends of Pool Academy

19th June

18:00 - 19:00

Mr McKenzie, wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Year 9 Parents’ evening

20th June, 16:30 - 18:30

Mr McKenzie, wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Curriculum Enrichment

& Work Experience Week

w/c 25th June

Mr McKenzie, wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

Mrs Grenfell, ng@poolacadmey.co.uk

 

Year 6 Parents’ evening

4th July

18:00 - 19:30

Ms Carter, nc@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Year 11 Prom

5th July

17:00 - 23:00

Miss Conway-Baker, kco@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Academy Awards Evening

12th July

(Arrival from 18:00)

18:30 - 20:00

Mrs York, sy@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Community Awards Evening

17th July

(Arrival from 18:00)

18:30 - 20:00

Mr Hamblin, nh@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Mocks Results evening

18th July

17:30 - 18:30

Mrs Phillips, jp2@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Last day of term.  (Students finish at 13:15)

Friday 20th July, 13:15

Miss Meakin, principal@poolacademy.co.uk

 

GCSE Exam Results

Thursday 23rd August, 9:00

Mrs Rowe, tr@poolacademy.co.uk

 

First day back for all students

Wednesday 5th September

Miss Meakin, principal@poolacademy.co.uk

 

Finally, a few notices for next year:

Uniform

Please can I draw your attention to the uniform page on our website http://www.poolacademy.co.uk/uniform/ , in particular 8 key areas:

  • Ties and Blazers.  These must be worn each day.  Students will be allowed to remove blazers during hot weather though.

  • Trousers.  These should be a ‘formal cut’ and not skinny trousers.

  • Skirts.  These again should be a formal cut and not tube skirts.

  • Socks.  If visible, these should be black only.

  • Shoes.  These should be black, polishable shoes without a logo.

  • Hairstyles.  Hair should be neat and conventional with no extremes of style or colour that draw attention.

  • Jewellery.  Rings, bracelets, wristbands, visible necklaces and piercings (other than 1 small stud in each ear) are not allowed.

  • Makeup and nail varnish.  We ask that makeup is kept to a minimum.  Nail varnish is not acceptable.

We ask that all parents support this uniform policy and reserve the right in September to challenge any student not in full uniform.  As always though, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your child’s tutor or Head of House in the first instance.

Academy Inset Dates for 2018/19

  • 3rd September 2018

  • 4th September 2018

  • 22nd July 2019

  • 23rd July 2019

  • 24th July 2019.

If you require any further information, or if there is anything we can help with, please get in touch.   

Yours sincerely

Miss Claire Meakin

Principal
 

Year 10 College Taster Days

23rd May 2018

Dear Parent / Carer                                                                                 

Year 10 Taster Day at Truro College

On Wednesday 13th June, students have the opportunity to attend Truro College on a ‘Taster Day’. This will give them the chance to experience various Post 16 courses available to them at the college.

The students will leave after registration and return to school by 2.55pm. Truro College are providing coaches to collect and return students, they will also be providing students with lunch.

 Year 10 Taster Day at Cornwall College

On Thursday 5th July, students again will have the opportunity to attend a ‘Taster Day’, this time at Cornwall College or at one of their other sites.

The students will again leave after registration and walk over to the college, those that have chosen to go to one of the other sites will be taken by mini bus. Students will need to bring a packed lunch.

Students will not be required to wear school uniform for either sessions, however we would advise smart/casual clothing. Students will need to wear suitable clothing for the activities chosen, so PE kit for sports activities and closed shoes for construction.

Would you please complete the attached slip below and return it to the school by Monday 4th June.

Yours sincerely

Nikki Grenfell

Careers & Work Experience Co-Ordinator

01209 712220

Ski/Snowboard Trip. Bormio (Italy) 5th- 13th April 2019

Dear Parent/Carer

Pool Academy will be running a trip with Camborne Science and International Academy to Bormio in northern Italy during part of the 2019 Easter Holidays. 

Activities include: 

•    Six days of ski tuition (four hours per day with the option of additional skiing)
•    Full ski equipment, helmets and boot hire.
•    Apres ski activities (this could include swimming and bum boarding)
•    Full board accommodation, including hot lunches.
•    Bus travel to/from Bormio (and within the resort).

The cost for this trip is £835* 


The Bormio trip is available to 42 students from Year 10. To apply for a place on this trip please return the reply slip below to Mr McKenzie via Student Reception. Students have until Friday 8th June 2018 to submit their application.

Pool Academy ski trips are popular so the attendance and behaviour of students will be factors considered when issuing places for the trip and will be monitored prior to the trip. Please note: the deposit will not be banked until your child has a confirmed place on the trip. Students will be notified before the end of the school year if they have been offered a place on the trip.

Once places have been confirmed deposits will not be refundable. 

If you have any queries, please contact me on the email address/phone number listed below. 

Yours sincerely

Mr W McKenzie (wmc@poolacademy.co.uk) 

Assistant Principal

Tel: 01209 712220

Limited Chemical Spillage Incident

15th May 2018


Dear Parents / Carers

I wanted to make sure you are aware of an incident today.

The Fire Service attended the Academy this morning and very efficiently removed a bottle of concentrated Nitric Acid from our chemical store which had been spilled.  The chemical store is located in the Technician’s Office and therefore the students do not have access to this chemical store.  As a precaution, site and science staff have sought medical attention but none have reported any symptoms.  

Our Exams Officer has informed the Exams Board about the incident and they are aware that revision immediately prior to the exam was covered by teachers who are not the students’ main science teachers.  

Whilst this incident took place in an area inaccessible to students, in the unlikely event that your child complains of feeling unwell we would recommend that you contact your local GP or phone 111 for advice.

I will be in contact with the Exam Board again later today and will keep in touch regularly with them to ensure that no student is negatively affected by the incident.

As ever, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely

Miss Claire Meakin
Principal  

Adverse Weather Policy

May 2018

Dear Parent / Carer

Adverse Weather / Emergency Closure Policy

 Following on from the recent bad weather, we have produced the above policy which will come into immediate effect.

Please can we ask that you follow this link which will take you to the new Adverse Weather / Emergency Closure Policy.

Could you please take your time to read and then download the letter in order to complete and return the slip which will give your child the necessary consent to walk home / get the school bus from Pool Academy if required.

This reply slip will be valid for 5 years from the date it is signed, or the period of time your child attends the academy.

It will be your responsibility to inform the academy if your circumstances change and your child is no longer allowed to walk home / get the school bus home from the academy.

Yours sincerely

Mrs L Neesham

Vice Principal

 

Monthly Letter (April 2018)

April 2018

Dear Parent / Carer

I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing Easter break.

Year 10 mock exams will begin on the 13th of June. The exam timetables are being finalised by our Exams Officer and will be emailed to students as soon as possible. Mrs Phillips will be running a number of revision and support assemblies to help prepare the students with revision skills and departments will be directing students what to be studying at home. The exams results evening will be held on Wednesday 18th July where we would love to see all Year 10 students alongside parents and carers attending to collect results and information about beginning our journey into Year 11 together. 

The exam season is well and truly underway.  Seeing some students completing their French/Spanish speaking and the 10 hour Art exams..  Year 11 students have completed their final Revision reviews and these are being used to focus their revision and  help them with the final preparations for the next round of exams.

We have a Support Meeting on the 10th of May for both parents and students with information about the exam Timetable, key revision tips and information.  This evening will run from 6pm and feel free to come with any concerns or questions you may have.

The Year 8 Parents’ Evening is on Wednesday 9th May between 4.30pm and 6.30pm. To make appointments with your child’s teachers, please visit pool.parentseveningsystem.co.uk to use our online booking system. All year 8 students should now have received details about their options choices for year 9

Applications are open for students to apply for Prefect positions. All year 10 students will receive an email with the application process and what will be expected of them in a powerpoint.  The closing date for applications is 3pm on Wednesday 9th May.  Interviews will take place after this with successful students being informed before May half term.

On Monday 23rd April, 9 year 10 boys attended the South West Regional Finals for Futsal.  This came after being crowned County Champions in February.  They travelled up to Swindon to represent Plymouth Argyle at the competition.  The boys played against teams such as Bristol City, Exeter City, Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City, Newport County and Swindon Town. The boys put in a brilliant performance throughout but unfortunately couldn’t do enough to make it to the semi final play-offs. 

You may have heard that there is a new piece of legislation coming into force in May called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We have the highest standards of data security in our school and are working with our suppliers to assure they are compliant with the new laws. As part of this, we will be asking again for your consent in the ways we use your and your child's data.  A letter will be sent home with more details in May.

We are pleased to welcome a new Catering Manager to Pool Academy, Marc Occhilupo.  Marc has an an extensive background in catering with 25 years as a chef working for the likes of Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein.  Over the coming months, Marc will be initiating new ideas, menus and promotional material which will benefit our school, pupils and the community alike.

We’re looking forward to welcoming Year 5 and Year 6 students over this summer term to Pool Academy for activities, both during the day and after school.  We are very proud of all the current Pool Academy students who have volunteered to support them.


The next meeting of the Friends of Pool Academy will be on the 1st May at 6pm.  The agenda is as follows:-


Meet the site team
Meet E Wooderson  -  Health and Community Manager at CN4C - Lottery funded engagement activities and support for parents at Pool Academy
Trustees - charitable status
Purpose of Friends of Pool Academy

Please note that the last day for Year 11 students is the 13th June when they will then start their study leave.

Please can I remind you of a few events coming up in May:

Friends of Pool Academy meeting
1st May
18:00 - 19:00
Mr McKenzie
(Assistant Principal)
wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

Transition sessions begin for Y6s
2nd May
15:45 - 16:45
Miss Meakin
(Principal)
principal@poolacademy.co.uk

Year 8 Parents’ evening
9th May
16:30 - 18:30
Mr McKenzie
(Assistant Principal)
wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

GCSE Exams start
14th May
Mrs Rowe
(Exams Officer)
tr@poolacademy.co.uk

Half Term
Monday 28th May - Friday 1st June

If you require any further information, or if there is anything we can help with, please do get in touch.   

Yours sincerely

Miss Claire Meakin

Principal

Monthly Letter (March 2018)

23rd March 2018

Dear Parent / Carer

Thank you for your support and understanding during the wintry weather.  Closing the academy is always a last resort but the safety of students and staff is of paramount importance.  

Thank you also to all the parents and friends who made it to watch our Talent Show last night.  I am so proud of all our students and I loved seeing the range of talents on display! If you missed this one, I do hope you can join us for the next - you will not leave disappointed!

Student questionnaire results

We conduct a student questionnaire each term to get the students’ views on school. Mr Walker has been discussing the responses from the latest one with representatives from each tutor group to decide the best next steps. One key focus for next term is looking into separate toilets for Year 7 and Year 8 since the students say they would feel happier.

Anti-Bullying Charter

The student leadership representatives from each tutor have been meeting once a week. These sessions have been led by the Head Boy and Head Girl. Proposals going forward include:

  • Having each year group look at creating individual posters on different types of bullying

  • Establishing rooms for break and lunchtime for students to use if they want to talk to another student about something concerning them.  These will be staffed by Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. We hope to have these in place soon after Easter holiday.

‘Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’ (HBSC)

This is a cross-national study of the health behaviour and lifestyles of young people. The overall goal of the study is to increase the effectiveness of health promotion and health education in schools and among young people in general. A standard questionnaire is used, allowing information on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of young people in England to be compared with the same age groups in other countries participating in the survey.  The school will be participating in the survey and further information will follow in April.

Update about the new GCSE Grading

We recently updated the school website with a fact sheet from the DfE about GCSE grading.  If you missed it please find further details here: New GCSE Factsheet for Parents

Year 8 Options

Thank you to all our Year 8 parents for ensuring the options forms were returned on time.  We are currently working through the list to ensure students all get the subjects they want.  We hope to have confirmation of these to you when we share the students’ full reports on 26th April.

Year 10 Assessments

All Year 10 students will be sitting assessments at the end of the academic year.  These will allow us to target revision and support across the whole of Year 11. We will be inviting our Year 10 parents in to collect results from these assessments with their child so we can explain the results in full detail, along with how students

Update from Friends of Pool Academy meeting on 6th March

Agenda items discussed included: Meeting Rachel Facey (SENDCo), Parental questionnaire responses, Data and reporting, Homework expectations, The Anti-bullying Charter, Hard canopy areas, Citizenship award and the potential for ‘Friends of Pool Academy’ to gain charitable status.  The minutes can be found here: Minutes

These meetings are open to all parents and we would always welcome new parents.  The next meeting is on 1st May 2018 with agenda items so far including:

  • Meet the site team

  • Meet E Wooderson  -  Health and Community Manager at CN4C - Lottery funded engagement activities and support for parents at Pool Academy

  • Trustees - charitable status

  • Purpose of Friends of Pool Academy

Pool Academy Art Gallery

Students are taking part in an exciting opportunity to help set up a charity funded Art Gallery within the premises of Pool Academy.  Students will be working with Project Leader, Jonty Lees, and will be given the chance to make decisions on how the Gallery will grow such as choosing the Gallery logo.  They will also be working with our ICT team to develop the look of the website and include trips to visit other galleries to gain inspiration and ideas. The students will also have the privilege of taking part in two planned Art workshops run by leading Artists including Hilary Lloyd, a Turner Prize nominee.  The Gallery will become part of the school landscape and will eventually host exhibitions and workshops for people in the wider community, as well as being used as a resource centre for our students. We also have plans to set up the ‘Arts Award’ for students and the wider community supported by Cornwall Museums Partnership.

Transition Ambassadors

We were delighted with the number of students who applied to be transition ambassadors.  After Easter we will be visiting next year’s new Year 7 students in their primary schools and the transition ambassadors will play a key role in supporting the students to feel confident and excited about their new school

Please can I remind you of a few events coming up in April and May:

 

Easter Holidays start - 30th March

Start of Term - 16th April

Olympian Mentoring programme continues - 17th April - Mr Durant (Head of PE) - ad@poolacademy.co.uk

STEM event - 20th April - Mr Jones (STEM Coordinator) - jjo@poolacademy.co.uk

Year 8 reports to parents - 26th April - Mr Walker (Assistant Principal) - sw@poolacademy.co.uk

Year 10 Parents’ evening - 26th April, 16:30 - 18:30 - Mr McKenzie (Assistant Principal) - wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

Friends of Pool Academy meeting - 1st May - 18:00 to 19:00 - Mr McKenzie (Assistant Principal) - wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

Transition sessions begin for Y6s - 2nd May - 15:45 to 16:45 - Miss Meakin (Principal) - principal@poolacademy.co.uk

Apple Conference - 4th May - Mr Bareham (Head of Computing) - tb@poolacademy.co.uk

Year 8 Parents’ evening - 8th May - 16:30 - 18:30 - Mr McKenzie (Assistant Principal) -wmc@poolacademy.co.uk

If you require any further information, or if there is anything we can help with, please do get in touch.   

Yours sincerely

 Miss Claire Meakin

Principal
 

Year 11 Easter Revision Sessions

21st March 2018

Dear Parent/Carer

As we approach the exam season it becomes all the more important that our students maximise their opportunities to revise and prepare for the summer GCSE exams. 

The Easter holidays allow us to organise and run focussed sessions that will allow our students to extend and deepen their understanding of the subjects they are studying and to this end we as a school, are running several sessions throughout the holiday.

We highly recommend that your child attends these sessions and cannot stress the value that we place in the topics and subject content that will be covered by them.

The table below informs you of the sessions currently being offered.  We would appreciate you highlighting the sessions that your child will attend.

Date                           Subject                                   Focus                                        Time

Fri 6th April               Maths                                     GCSE Prep                                9am -12.30pm

                                  Science                                   All / Required practical            1pm – 4pm

Mon 9th April            French & Spanish (HIGHER ONLY) Writing/Reading and Listening                                                                                                                                                   9am - 1pm

                                  French & Spanish (FOUNDATION ONLY) Writing/Reading and Listening                                                                                                                                        1.30pm-4.30pm

Weds 11th April           Maths                                  GCSE Prep                                 9am -1pm

                                     Art Exam Prep                   Exam Prep                                 9 am - 2pm

Thurs 12th April           Geography                         Paper 1                                       9am - 4pm

                                    Art Exam Prep                    Coursework                                9am - 2pm

                                    History              Content (your choice)/exam questions       10am – 2pm

                                    Music GCSE                         Coursework                               9am - 1pm

Fri 13th April               Drama                             Folder work and unit 1 prep           12pm -3pm

                                    History             Content (your choice)/exam questions        10am -2pm

                                    Music GCSE                    Coursework                                     9am - 1pm

If you would like your child to attend, please download the form to complete here and return to: Student Reception by Monday 26th March 2018.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Head of Department.

Yours sincerely

Middle Leadership Team

Year 8 Options Update

Dear Parent / Carer

Many thanks for submitting the options form with your child. We are now in the process of reviewing the choices made. 

As part of this review we will now be looking at first and second choices in consultation with tutors and Heads of Department.  Where a child’s first choice is not possible, or a specific option cannot run, we will consult with yourselves and your child over the next 4 weeks.

We aim to have the choices finalised and released in the first week of the Summer term when you will receive written confirmation of your child’s options for Year 9.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the process.

Yours sincerely

Mr Ryder

Assistant Principal

Parent/Carer Monthly Letter (February)

Dear Parent / Carer

Just before half term letters I wrote to you with the results of our Spring survey which we were delighted with.  In summary, at least 80% of parents said:


Their child is happy
Their child feels safe
Their child is well looked after
They were happy or very happy with the progress their child is making
Their child is taught well
Pool Academy ensures students behave
Pool Academy is well led and managed

The Senior Leadership Team have invited all parents who left their contact details in to discuss their comments and we are incredibly grateful for everyone’s support as we work together to continue to improve the experience of students and their parents.  Following on from the last questionnaire, we continue to work with the students on the Anti-Bullying Charter and we will be updating parents at our next Friends of Pool Academy meeting on 6th March at 6pm.  In my March letter, we will also update you on the results of the student questionnaire.

Our Citizenship Launch day was a huge success. Mr George Eustice MP was interviewed by some of our students and a recording of this interview was played to Years 7, 8 and 9.  He was asked questions ranging from his experiences of school, his first public speaking, to...."Are the students of Pool Academy important to the UK Government, and if so why?". Mr Hamblin said, "A number of visiting speakers gave interactive presentations, including a marathon running book writer (but not, I believe at the same time), two local Police Community Support Officers, a member of the National Citizenship Service and a representative of  The Volunteer Service.  Throughout the day students were also led to discuss what a Good Citizen is and how they can make individual contributions to the school, to develop themselves and benefit the community. In doing so they will  achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards."  Our next PSHE day is scheduled for Friday 23rd March 2018 and is entitled 'Happy, Healthy Students'

Please can I take this opportunity to remind you about our Parent Governors.  Mrs Sarah Newham and Mr Steve Eathorne represent parents on our governing board.  Mr Eathorne is the chair of the achievement committee which supports the academy to drive up academic standards, and Mrs Newham is a member of the engagement committee which supports the academy’s ‘Happy and Healthy’ agenda.  If you would like to contact either governor, please email Mrs Sutcliffe (Clerk to Governors) using ss@poolacademy.co.uk

Finally, two further notifications:

There has been some confusion about the Year 11 Leavers’ prom.  Attendance will not be linked to the number of achievement points.  If we have concerns about a student attending, as always, we will discuss this with their parents.

Mrs Boyall has decided to leave the Academy from February halfterm.  We wish her every success in her new role.

Please can I remind you of a few events coming up in February and March:

Event
Date and Time
Academy Contact
Contact email address

Year 11 Parents’ evening: 27th February, 4:30 - 6:30pm
Contact: Mr Ryder (pr@poolacademy.co.uk)


Iceland Trip: 1st - 4th March
Contact: Miss Sparrow (as@poolacademy.co.uk)

 
Friends of Pool Academy (formerly Parents and Carers Forum): 6th March, 6pm
Contact: Mr McKenzie (wmc@poolacademy.co.uk)

 
Tablet Academy activity: 6th March
Contact: Mr Jones (jjo@poolacademy.co.uk)

 
Energy Quest Day: 7th March
Contact: Mr Jones (jjo@poolacademy.co.uk) 

Year 10 Reports to parents: 29th March
Contact: Mr Ryder (pr@poolacademy.co.uk)

 
Easter holiday: 30th March - 13th April
 
If you require any further information, or if there is anything we can help with, please do get in touch.   You should have received a card before halfterm with key contact details on - if you didn’t receive one, please let Mrs Sutcliffe (ss@poolacademy.co.uk) know and she’ll forward one on to you.    

Yours sincerely

Miss Claire Meakin
Principal
 

School Expedition- Tanzania Explore 2019

Following the success of last summer’s expedition, it is very exciting to be offering our Year 9, 10 and 11 students the opportunity to travel to Tanzania with Camps International during the summer of 2019. Here students will be working on a range of sustainable and meaningful community and
conservation projects before trekking through the vibrant tropical forests of the Usambara Mountains.

Parents and interested students are invited to attend our Parents Presentation Evening to find out more. This will be taking place on Thursday 1 st March at 18:30 in the Main Hall.

Letter home

Presentation

Y11- English Department

Dear Parent/Carer

As I am sure you are aware, your son/daughter has the opportunity to receive two GCSEs in English: English Language and English Literature. Your son/daughter has now completed the courses for both of these subjects.

It’s now time for revision: we need to a) revisit all the skills needed to enable the best level of responses for Language papers and b) revise all Literature texts.
How can you support your son/daughter?

1.    Our new day for ‘Masterclasses’ is a Wednesday. Students are informed if they are required to attend because we believe they need extra, small-group support with specific elements of the course and you will receive a text message to inform you of this. If your child has not been told they have to attend, they are still welcome to do so. This is a session of one hour only to look at specific Assessment Objectives that they may have struggled with in a recent piece of practice exam work.

2.    On Thursdays we have ‘Open Classrooms’ in English in order for students to revise independently. English teachers will be available for guidance and support.

3.    Homework is an important part of progress and every student was issued with a booklet to aid revision in Literature before Christmas. Each class teacher will now be setting a task each week from this booklet to be handed in for marking.


How can we help you to support your son/daughter?

•    We have created a ‘Parent Area’ for English under ‘Information for Parents’ on the Academy website. Here you will find example exam papers, mark schemes and some exemplar answers.

•    The date of the next mock exam is Friday 9th March. This will be Paper 1: Shakespeare and pre-20th century text (either Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol, or Jekyll and Hyde.)
We look forward to seeing you at the next parents’ evening, but if for any reason you cannot attend and wish to speak about your son’s/daughter’s progress, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Shelley George
Head of English
 

Parent Questionnaire Results

9th February 2018


Dear Parents / Carers

A huge thank you to the 100+ parents who were able to complete our questionnaire.  If you didn’t have chance to complete it but would still be interested in leaving your feedback, please email principal@poolacademy.co.uk or phone the normal school number (01209 712 220) and we’d love to hear from you.

In the Autumn questionnaire, at least 80% of parents said: 
●    Their child is happy
●    Their child feels safe
●    Their child is well looked after
●    They were happy or very happy with the progress their child is making
●    Their child is taught well

In the Spring questionnaire, all the above areas remained above 80%, and the additional areas above 80% now include:
●    Pool Academy ensures students behave
●    Pool Academy is well led and managed

We are delighted with the positive improvement in results and thank all the parents and carers who have worked with us on the identified areas.  

We recognise there is still work to be done though and a particular thank you to the parents who left their contact details for this questionnaire and have met senior leaders to start a plan of action for this term.

In the Autumn questionnaire, parents identified the following areas as priorities for the Academy:

Responding to concerns:
●    At least ¾ of parents responded positively or very positively in the Spring questionnaire about this area.
●    Senior leaders have been available for drop in sessions and bookable appointments since the start of the year.
●    We aim to respond to all emails and phone calls within 24 hours. 
●    Included with this letter is a card with contact details for key staff.
●    If you have any concerns though, you can always escalate this by emailing principal@poolacademy.co.uk

Communicating with all stakeholders about the Academy’s Anti-Bullying strategy:
●    The Spring questionnaire saw a 50% increase in the proportion of parents responding positively or very positively about this area.
●    Mr Walker (Assistant Principal) has been working with students and parents (via the ‘Friends of Pool Academy’ group) on our Anti-Bullying Charter, and more widely our Peer Support Strategy.  If you would like to review this with him, please contact us (principal@poolacademy.co.uk or the normal school number).


Ensuring all progress information is as valuable as possible:
●    The Spring questionnaire saw an 11% increase in the proportion of parents responding positively or very positively about this area.
●    Mr Ryder (Assistant Principal) has been working with parents to produce a summary sheet that details when parents can expect to receive information, what it means and how they can best support their child.  He continues to develop this so if you would like to review this with him, please contact us (principal@poolacademy.co.uk or the normal school number).
●    We also recognised that some parents weren’t able to access the online progress tracking information easily.  Therefore we have recently sent out reports via paper whilst we work with parents on this.

The Spring questionnaire identified one additional key area for improvement:  Ensuring students have the appropriate amount of homework.  
●    Mr Ryder (Assistant Principal) and Mr McKenzie (Assistant Principal) will be working with all Heads of Departments to devise a summary sheet for homework so you and your child know when they should expect to have homework and what format it will take, e.g. project-based.
●    If you would like to work with them on this, please contact us (principal@poolacademy.co.uk or the normal school number).

Again, thank you for your continued support whilst we work with you to improve the experience at Pool Academy for all students and parents. 

Yours sincerely

 
Miss Claire Meakin
(Principal)
 

Year 11 Prom

January 2018

Dear Parents / Carers                                                                                                

YEAR 11 PROM EVENING THURSDAY 5th JULY 2018, TREGENNA CASTLE HOTEL

The Year 11 Prom will take place at the Tregenna Castle Hotel, St Ives on Thursday 5th July 2018.

The total cost for the evening is £27.00 without transport and £30.00 with transport from school and back. In order to guarantee a ticket, the full amount must be paid by 20th April 2018

The payment for Prom will be added to our School Gateway Cashless system where you will be able to pay in full or via instalments:

Instalment 1-£10.00, to be paid by 26th February 2018

Instalment 2 - £10.00, to be paid by 24th March 2018

Instalment 3 - £10.00 (with transport), £7.00 (if transport is not needed), to be paid by 20th April 2018

Students will enjoy a three course meal followed by a disco.  The dress code for the evening is formal.  A cash bar will be open throughout the function for non-alcoholic drinks.  Please click here for the Menu choices and arrangements for transport. This should be completed and returned via Miss Conway-Baker / Miss Giles.  A Prom ticket will be issued from the 4th May on receipt of full payment.

Transport to and from the venue will be available but must be booked in advance as seats are limited.  Please indicate clearly on the attached sheet whether your child needs to travel on the prom bus. 

The schedule for the evening is as follows:

5.00pm - Meet outside Pool Academy – (please do not park in the bus bay at any time during the evening).

5.30pm (prompt) - Bus will depart

6.00pm - Arrive at Tregenna Castle Hotel

7.00pm -Three course meal will be served

11.00pm (prompt) - Bus will leave Tregenna Castle Hotel

11.30pm - Bus arrives back at Pool Academy – please arrange for your child to be collected from the bus bay.

There will be a photo booth provided during the evening, which will take unlimited photos.

Yours sincerely

Miss Conway-Baker and Miss Giles

 

Year 11 Mathematics Revision Guides

Dear Parent / Carer

The Mathematics Department have taken delivery of the order of revision guides and exam question workbooks as mentioned at the Year 11 evening before Christmas.

If you are interested in purchasing the books, please could you enclose payment with the slip below to the Finance Office. This will generate a receipt and allow us to release the books to your child.

In the event that we experience a greater demand than we have ordered, there may be a slight delay while we order more books in.          

Available at both the Foundation and Higher levels, these books retail at £5.95 each.  We are offering both at £5.

I hope that you will take advatage of this offer.

Yours sincerely

Mr Alastair James

Head of Maths

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Please complete and return to the Finance Office via Student Reception.

Student Name:_____________________________________________________________

I enclose £5 for the copies of the mathematics revision guide and exam paractice books at the Higher/Foundation level.

Signed:_____________________________________________  Date:_________________

Year 11 Mock Science Papers

12th January 2018

Dear Parents / Carers

Year 11 students will be sitting three Science Mock Papers on the following dates:

·         Wednesday 17th January (Biology Paper 1)

·         Wednesday 24th January (Chemistry Paper 1)

·         Wednesday 31st January (Physics paper 1)

We have decided to sit additional mocks in Science as the exam board (AQA) have recently released new specimen papers and we have an opportunity to compare the mock data generated with other students from across the country. This will allow us to have a much more accurate picture of how our students are progressing and to determine the grade at which they are currently working.

Please note that the students will be sitting either a Higher Paper or a Foundation Paper. If sitting a Foundation Paper, the students can achieve from Grade 1 to a Grade 5. Grade 4 is equivalent to the old Grade C for the current Year 11 students.  Higher tier paper students can achieve from Grade 4 to Grade 9. The risk with students who sit the Higher tier is that if they do not perform well enough to achieve a Grade 4, they will end up with a ‘U’ (ungraded).

There are a number of common questions which appear on both Foundation and Higher Papers. If a student who sits the Foundation Paper did well on these, we could consider entering them for the Higher tier. However, if a student sitting the Higher Paper does not perform well enough on these questions, we may well have to consider entering them for the Foundation Paper. This would of course be communicated with you at the time.

Please click here to access the Physics equations which the students have to remember going in to their exam. We would be extremely grateful if you could support them in learning all of these. The students have been sent details of a GCSEPod playlist that will support their revision and they also have their revision guides and workbooks – these will prove to be invaluable so please make sure that they aren’t gathering dust on bookshelves! We also offer intervention on Wednesdays after school from 1500 – 1600.

I am extremely proud of our Science Department and with your support, I’m confident that our students can fulfil their potential. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Yours sincerely

David Buckingham

Head of Science

dbu@poolacademy.co.uk

Changes to Y11 Mathematics Groups

Dear Parent/Carer

We have made an important change to Year 11 Mathematics so that the progress and achievement of our students can reach their potential. The decision was not easily arrived at and we are aware that it may cause concern for some of our students and parents. However, the decision has been made to designate the teaching of Year 11 to a specialist set of teachers. As a result there will be changes in some students' classes and teachers. 

From today, students will start an intensive programme in preparation for their exams. Students and yourselves will regularly be updated with information about topics they have mastered and those they are still working towards. 

I am confident that in Summer 2018 we will be celebrating excellent GCSE Mathematics results with all students. In the meantime though, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. 

Yours sincerely

Mr Alastair James

Head of Mathematics

aja@poolacademy.co.uk

Monthly Letter (January 2018)

Dear Parents / Carers
 
I am delighted to welcome students back to Pool Academy for the start of 2018.  The Autumn term was, as always, busy and we are incredibly proud of the students’ achievements already this academic year.  Every month I have written to you about a few of these achievements, along with including details about events coming up in the next month.  I have tried to make these letters as easy to receive as possible so have added them to our website and have texted them to you.  If you haven’t been receiving these monthly letters, please can you contact Tracy Lewis who will be able to update your contact details for you.  Her email address is tl@poolacademy.co.uk or you can speak to her using the normal school contact details (01209 712 220 or pop into main reception).

Just before the holiday we reminded students during our celebration assemblies that their ‘Key Challenges’ are: Strong progress across all subjects, impeccable conduct and making a positive impact in the community.  I was thrilled with the number of students who met all of the challenges across the Autumn term and enjoyed writing postcards to them to say congratulations - I am hoping to write even more postcards this halfterm though.

We also held house assemblies where we talked about 3 changes we are trialling for this term:


●    We are opening up all tutor rooms during break and lunchtime.  This has meant a few tutor rooms moving from laboratories and workshops but now all students have access to their own indoor space.  We also have 3 large communal indoor spaces open (Dining hall, gym and library) so students can always find a quiet space to sit and relax.
●    Most students have never had a C3 detention but when it was absolutely necessary, these have been running after school.  For the next term we are trialling running the detentions for behaviour during lunchtime.  This will mean that students can still catch the school buses and don’t have to walk home in the dark.   We will notify you if your child receives a C3 detention and then the students will be expected to do the detention the next day during lunchtime.  Students will be able to eat their lunch during the detention.  Please note: during this trial period, homework detentions will still run after school.
●    We have introduced an extra registration session from 1:45pm - 1:55pm each day to allow tutors more time with their tutor groups.  This will support our focus on Citizenship this term and I look forward to including more information about this in my next monthly letter.

I am really pleased to welcome 2 new members of staff:
●    Mrs Rachel Facey - rfa@poolacademy.co.uk.  Mrs Facey will lead our SEND team and will work closely with Mrs Adams to ensure students’ individual needs are met.
●    Ms Alana Trathen - atr@poolacademy.co.uk.  Ms Trathen will work in the pastoral team as one of the Deputy Heads of House.  

Just before October halfterm, many of you completed our parental questionnaire - thank you.  (This was sent as a text which included 10 quick questions.)  I was really grateful to the parents who also left their contact details and met with me to discuss their thoughts in more detail.  During the questionnaire, parents said the strengths of the Academy include: My child is happy; My child feels safe; My child is well looked after; I am happy or very happy with the progress my child is making and My child is taught well.  The 3 areas we have been working on since the last questionnaire are: Responding to concerns; Communicating to all stakeholders (students and parents) about the Academy’s Anti-Bullying strategy and Ensuring progress information is as valuable as possible.  I hope you are happy with the progress we are making in these areas but if you have any further suggestions, please do get in touch as we would love to work with you further on this.  We will be sending out a link to the questionnaire again just before February halfterm and we would be very grateful if you’d take the time to answer the 10 questions.


Please can I remind you of a few events coming up this term:


‘Friends of Pool Academy’  (formerly Parent and Carers’ Forum),    16th January,  6pm, Mr McKenzie    wmc@poolacademy.co.uk


Options evening for Year 8, 1st February, 4:30pm, Mr Ryder, pr@poolacademy.co.uk


Year 7 Parents’ evening, 7th February, 4:30pm, Mr Ryder, pr@poolacademy.co.uk


Year 11 MOCK Interview day, 8th February, Mrs Grenfell, ng@poolacademy.co.uk


Immunisations, 8th February, Mrs Adams, ya2@poolacademy.co.uk

Half term: w/c 12th February
 
If you require any further information, or if there is anything we can help with, please do get in touch.

Yours sincerely

cm signature.PNG

  
  

 

Miss Claire Meakin
Principal