Pearl of Africa

Thursday 2nd November 2017

Dear Parent / Carer

Re: Ugandan Children’s Choir – Performance at Pool Academy

On 15th November from 6.30pm we are delighted to be hosting a performance of the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir; a renowned Ugandan choir made up mainly of orphan children from Uganda.

The choir will be spending the day in the Academy working with selected students in 3 workshops where they will be learning African songs and dances and also learning African rhythms on drums as well as making African crafts.

In the evening, the choir will be putting on a special concert for families of Pool Academy and the local community.  They are a truly inspiring choir – everything you would expect from traditional African rhythms, song and dance.

The choir has toured the UK for the past few years, performing mainly in schools, colleges, churches and headline sports events. 

The concert is free for all who attend, with a voluntary donation.  There will be a sale of African crafts during the interval and at the end of the concert.  Through this, the choir hope to raise funds for their orphan community.

We hope to see you at the concert – it promises to be one of the performance highlights of the Academies calendar this year.

Yours sincerely

Miss Claire Meakin

Monthly Letter

30th October 2017

 Dear Parents / Carers

We need to say a huge thank you to all those parents who were able to complete our parent questionnaire.  We strive to improve our students’ and parents’ experience of Pool Academy so we are always grateful to receive feedback on how we are doing and areas we might want to focus on.  A simple summary of the responses can be found at the end of this letter for your information.  The questionnaire was anonymous but all parents who specifically left their contact details were contacted by email/phone initially, and then they were invited in to meet with us to discuss their feedback in more detail.  I have really enjoyed meeting many of you and would welcome any additional parents to make appointments by phoning Mrs Sadie Sutcliffe (Principal’s PA) on 01209 712220 or by emailing her at Our next Parents and Carers Forum Meeting is 21st November at 6pm and we would welcome all parents to continue the discussions about these areas during this meeting.

We have also been working with our Parents and Carers Forum to make our website more accessible.  Your comments would be appreciated and if you have any, or would like to discuss this with a member of the Leadership Team, please do get in touch.  A quick reminder too about a small change in uniform from today, Monday 30th October.  We are asking that if socks can be seen, that they are black please.  Thank you for your continued support with this.

Pool Academy’s mascot, Buzz the Bear, travelled even further after successfully completing his second mission to space.  Scores of people arrived to watch him take off at the school’s open evening.  He was strapped to a helium balloon, along with high-tech equipment, to take photographs from the air.

Despite the drizzle, and being momentarily tangled on a flood light, the bear journeyed for about an hour and a half before landing in South Devon.  He rose more than 61,000 feet into the air and at some points reached speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. The lowest temperature was recorded as minus 40 degrees.  

Mr Jones and his team collected the bear from a tree in North Devon the next day and brought back the technology to analyse the data.  Hundreds of photographs and film footage showed shots from above the clouds including the sun set.  Earlier this term a competition was run with the local Primary Schools to find reporters, presenters, engineers and designers to help make the launch night a success and they were all invited to help out with the launch.

Our Year 11s will start their Internal Exams tomorrow (Tuesday 31st October). Each subject has issued revision material for students.  Mr Ryder has also sent a link to support year 11s with any problems they are having understanding elements of their work.  Please encourage them to use this if they are having any difficulties with their work.  If you would like to speak to anyone, please feel free to contact the relevant Head of Department (email addresses on the website) or email me directly ( and I’ll coordinate a response for you.

We continue to work with our Student Leadership Team to review the arrangements at breaktime and lunchtime.  Keeping students safe will always be our first priority and it’s important that we can properly supervise students across the site.  As the winter draws in, we will be restricting the use of the muddy fields and encouraging students to access the indoor spaces.  We have 300+ seats available in the Main Hall and 500+ seats available in classrooms meaning all students can sit at a table.  

We also have the gym open, areas for students with specific needs, access to quiet spaces and a range of teachers each day are working with students during their breaks to give them extra support where needed.  We will continue to review this provision and welcome you to get in touch if you would like to discuss it.

At the end of last year we introduced 3 Key Challenges for students - Excellent achievements, impeccable conduct and making a positive impact in the community.  We also introduced our ‘Miles scheme’ last month, where students earn achievement points to allow them to access key rewards trips.  Mr Jones (Network Manager) has been working to create an app which will allow students and parents to review students’ progress against these challenges and miles.  We hope to be able to share this with you in our next letter.

Many of you will be aware that Mrs Boase reluctantly had to resign her position at the academy earlier this month.  Mrs Boase has worked at the academy for 14 years and will be missed by students, staff and parents.  We were lucky to be able to appoint Ms Facey to start as SENDCo in January and I look forward to introducing her to you in the new year.  Across this half-term, Mrs Boyall (Vice Principal) will work closely with Mrs Adams (SEN Manager) to develop the work of the SEND team further, and Mrs Boase will continue to support key students with their reviews.  Mrs Neesham (Vice Principal) will be sending a letter to all parents about how she is securing consistent teaching for all students across the academic year.

Devon and Cornwall Police have invited all schools to take part in a project called ‘Operation Encompass’.  Operation Encompass is a Police and Education early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people exposed to domestic abuse.  A full update has been added to the end of this letter.  We believe this is a vitally important project.  If you have any questions, as always, please do get in touch with us.

We are very proud of all of our students, but we need to give a special mention to those who have recently received top certificates in a National Maths Competition.  Students from across the academy took part in the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge in July resulting in Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards being handed out as well as Best in Year titles.  More than 2,500 students from across the UK took part and had to problem solve and think their way through 25 multiple choice exam questions.  

Please can I draw your attention to a few future events coming up in the remainder of October / November:

  • w/c 31st October (and following 2 weeks) - Year 11 internal exams

  • 3rd November - The Big First Aid Lesson

  • 10th November - RAF and Royal Navy Education Programme (Year 7 and Year 8) and Next Steps South West Careers day (Year 10)

  • 15th November - Pearl of Africa choir performances

  • 16th November - Careers evening (Year 11)

  • 21st November - Parents and Carers Forum meeting, 6pm

  • 29th November - Parents and Carers Quiz Night, 7pm

I look forward to seeing you at an event soon but in the meantime, if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully,  

Miss Claire Meakin


Pool Academy’s Parental Questionnaire - October 2017

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

Three quarters of parents said:
The Academy ensures all students behave
Their child receives an appropriate amount of homework
The Academy is well led and managed
They would recommend the Academy to another parent.

Areas of focus for the Academy now are:

Responding to concerns:
All parents who left their contact details in the questionnaire, have been contacted specifically about the concern they raised, but also invited to come in to talk generally about their experiences.  
All parents have been invited to informal drop in sessions and to book formal appointments.  
The Senior Leadership Team all attended the first Parents Carers Forum meeting to introduce themselves and have an informal discussion about their aims for this year.
We ask that if parents have concerns, please get in touch and we will aim to resolve these with you as soon as possible. (

Communicating with all stakeholders about the Academy’s Anti-Bullying strategy:
We are introducing an anti-bullying charter that all students will participate in making.  This charter will then be placed around all rooms in the academy.
We will be asking more students to volunteer to be trained as our academy anti-bullying ambassadors.  We will be running these sessions leading up to the Secondary Schools’ National Bullying Awareness Week from 13th - 17th November organised by the Anti Bullying Alliance. 
At the next Parents Carers Forum meeting, Mr Walker will be available for questions about our charter and other actions for the academy on this area.

Ensuring all progress information is as valuable as possible:
Mr Ryder (Assistant Principal) is working with our Parents Carers Forum 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.
Please contact him by phone or email ( if you’d like to work with him on this.

Staffing and Timetable Changes

Monday 30th October 2017

Dear Parent / Carer

I am writing to let you know that we will have some necessary staffing and timetable changes required from the start of November. Pool Academy recognises the importance of students having access to high quality teaching from consistent staff and have updated the timetable to ensure all students have this.

Mrs Ludlow will continue to be absent whilst her treatment continues and as Miss Meakin has informed parents, Mrs Boase has also reluctantly left the Academy. Students will be provided with new copies of timetables on Wednesday 1st November, with any changes that are going to take place, starting on that day.

I would like to reassure parents that the Academy continues to strive for the best possible outcomes and learning experience for our learners. If you have any questions or comments about this news, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely

Mrs L Neesham

Vice Principal


Operation Encompass

Dear Parent/Carer,
The school has been given the opportunity to take part in a project that will run jointly between schools and Devon and Cornwall Police

Operation Encompass is the reporting to schools, prior to the start of the next school day, when a child or young person has exposed to, or involved in, any domestic incident.

Operation Encompass will ensure that a member of the school staff, known as a Key Adult, is trained to allow them to liaise with the police and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence, while ensuring that the school is able to make provision for possible difficulties experienced by children, or their families, who have been involved in, or exposed to, a domestic abuse incident.

We are keen to offer the best support possible to all our pupils and we believe this will be extremely beneficial for all those involved.

Yours sincerely

Miss Claire Meakin

Response to National Funding Formula Announcement

28th September 2017

Response to National Funding Formula Announcement – Sept2017

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following the Secretary of State for Education’s announcement about school funding on 14 September 2017, Headteachers working across 17 counties – from Cornwall to Norfolk - believe that you have the right to know the facts that will affect your child’s education for years to come. 

The attached information factsheet draws only from information provided by the Department of Education and the Independent Institute of Fiscal Studies.  The implications of the newly announced funding formula are profound.

Is £1.3 billion enough?

It should be acknowledged that introducing a new national formula was complex and challenging.  This Government is the first in a generation to try and grasp the nettle.  Schools that have previously been at or below the “breadline” do receive some improvements to their funding position, but the universal view of Headteachers across the 17 counties is that this is not enough to make a real difference.

In July 2017, the Government announced that schools would benefit from £1.3 billion of additional funding.  This does not, however, make up for the £3 billion overall reduction that was already announced and planned for 2015-20.   Over a five year period, there is a shortfall of approximately £1.7 billion.  The Institute of Fiscal Studies states that during 2015-20 school budgets will have been cut in real terms by 4.6%. 

This means that there is simply not enough money in the system.  As a result, the Department for Education is unable to implement a new funding formula that meaningfully addresses the two principal aims of their new policy.  These are, firstly, to fund all schools adequately and secondly, to ensure that schools with the same socio-economic / school based characteristics in one area of the country will be funded the same as another in a different part of the country.

So, how do the new arrangements work?

Instead, due to the £1.7 billion shortfall, the new funding formula is now dependent on a series of limits (capping) to either how much a school can gain or potentially lose from the formula.  The caps are largely arbitrary and mean that any new per pupil funding is often based on the previously discredited formula.

Better funded schools gain funding protection which means that their relative positions are unaltered.  We have no real issue with this.  Schools such as ours know how challenging and difficult it is when budgets are reduced and squeezed to the limit.  The problem is, however, that in order to fund these protections the Government is limiting what many other low funded schools will be able to gain under the new formula.  Crucially, these differences will not last for a year or two, they will last for years and years. 

What does this mean for our schools?

The examples shown on the attached factsheet are truly shocking.  Parents and Carers need to be clear that schools in very similar socio-economic areas will continue to have entirely different levels of funding. This often amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds in the primary sector and even millions of pounds across the secondary sector each year. 

Far from being resolved, your child’s education will still be at the behest of a post code funding lottery.  Some schools with the same socio-economic characteristics will be able to afford teacher/pupil class sizes of 20, whilst others will have to make do with 35.  Some children will have three Teaching Assistants in their class, whilst others from similar backgrounds in a different part of the country will have none.   At the end of the day though, all pupils will take exactly the same Key Stage 2 tests and go on to take the same maths and English GCSEs.  Their futures are simply not being fairly catered for. 

By the same token, “similar schools” with entirely different budgets will be made accountable via identical league tables and OFSTED inspections.  How can this be fair or reasonable?

So what do we do now?

As stated previously, costs will continue to rise and again differently funded schools will have different abilities to soak them up.  All school budgets will be under severe pressure, but some will be under much greater strain than others.  

As Headteachers, we simply want to see every child’s school in England, funded adequately.  It is not about all schools receiving identical amounts of money, but it is about the fair application of a formula right across the country. 

We recognise that there has been some improvement to our budgets and that as a country we must live within our means.  We cannot, however, suggest the new formula is, in any way, satisfactory.  The finances of very low funded schools are still insufficient to provide the service that your child deserves.

Your influence as parents/carers is utterly vital.  Please discuss these issues with your local MPs and local representatives.  There are also many active local parent groups who you can engage with.  We will continue to lobby vigorously too and provide further updates shortly.

In his budget in March 2018, the Chancellor must do better to support your child’s education.  MPs and education ministers must continue to bang the drum until every child’s education is fully and fairly funded.   

Yours sincerely

Miss Claire Meakin



Pool Post / Fortnightly Bulletin Letter

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 (

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

Please contact Mrs York ( 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

Yours sincerely,

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 ………………

School Photographs


September 2017

Dear Parent/Carer


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.

Yours faithfully

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.

Geography GCSE Iceland Trip

6th September 2017

Dear Parent/Carer,

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.

Payment schedule

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

Yours sincerely,

Amy Sparrow

---------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:__________

New Geography GCSE information

14th September 2017

Dear Parents/Carers,

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.

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.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Conway-Baker

Geography Teacher

School Gateway Cashless Payment System

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: 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.

Yours faithfully

Colin Barco

Finance Director


Please return to the Finance Office:     School Gateway Cashless Payment System Registration

Student Name:     ……………………………………………………….. Tutor Group: …………………………

Parent/Carer: Name:  …………………………………….  Mobile telephone number: ………………………

                        Email: ………………………………………………………………………………………………

Parent/Carer   Name: …………………………………….   Mobile telephone number: ………………………

                        Email: ………………………………………………………………………………………………

Signed: ……………………………………………………………………………………..    Date: …………….



Music Lessons 2017/18 Sign Up

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

Brass*please specify

Trumpet, Trombone, French horn, Cornet

Guitar* please specify classical, acoustic, electric

Percussion (Drums)

Woodwind* please specify

Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone


Keyboard/piano*please specify

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.

Signed:                                                                         Date:

Thank You

Dear Parents/Carers

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.

Yours sincerely

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.

    Yours Sincerely

    Zelma Hill

You can download the full report here

Last day of term

Dear Parents/Carers

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.

Yours faithfully

Mrs Zelma Hill


Y6 Induction Days

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.

Yours sincerely

Mr Jason Webb (Assistant Principal)

Post-Election Funding Update

Dear Parent / Carer


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’:

·         Update all stakeholders regularly

Can I thank you again for your unstinting support which is clearly making a positive difference to our crucial campaign.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Zelma Hill