Monthly Letter - November 2018

30th November 2018

Dear Parents / Carers

This half term has started in a really strong fashion with Year 11 MOCK exam season allowing students to demonstrate excellent progress in their GCSE studies, many highly successful sporting fixtures, a significant number of fundraising activities and preparation for Christmas activities, both in school and in the wider community.

A few highlights

Pool Academy has been Highly Commended in the prestigious STEM Inspiration Awards at the House of Lords. We were up against schools from across Europe for the award and so were incredibly pleased with the final result. A group of students from the Academy’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths club along with Mr Jones travelled to London last week after being shortlisted for the Outstanding STEM club Award.

We were delighted to be given a sapling tree by MP George Eustice as part of a national initiative. It was given to the Academy as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a network of forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth. Five saplings were sent to Mr Eustice MP thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV. Mr Eustice chose four secondary schools in Cornwall, including Pool Academy and Cornwall College, to send trees to.

Pool Academy students have been creating poppies for Truro Cathedral’s Remembrance Day service. Officials at the city’s landmark put a call out to the county for help to create thousands of the well-known red flower. Pool Academy staff decided they wanted to help join in. They downloaded a template from the website and students spent time cutting them out and writing messages on them. On Sunday, November 11, at 10.30am the paper poppies were released from the central tower during the service. Each poppy marked lives lost during the First World War.

Charlotte, Holly, Chloe, Cerys, Ruby and Emily took part in a two-night fundraising dance show recently. The girls, who are members of The Annette School of Dancing in Camborne, took part in the event which saw both group and solo pieces performed. The evening, attended by scores of parents and friends, helped to raise £2,400 for the charity St Julia’s Hospice.

Students and staff raised hundreds of pounds after wearing items of pink for charity. Kind-hearted members of Pool Academy helped to collect almost £400 after spending the a day sporting items of pink. They were encouraged to wear pink tops, socks, tights or shoes for a donation. There was also a bake sale and a ribbon sale to help bring in as much cash as possible. All donations will be sent to the two charities Breast Cancer Now and the Movember Foundation.

Friends of Pool Academy

The Friends of Pool Academy group met for their latest meeting on Tuesday evening. The conversation included: reporting of progress, sex and relationship education, an anti-bullying update and a dyslexia research opportunity with Plymouth Marjons. We would always welcome new members to this group so if you are interested in joining our next meeting, please contact Mr William McKenzie (wmc@poolacademy.co.uk)

Peer Support Programmes

This month we recognised the national anti-bullying week between 12th and 16th November. The theme this year was ‘Choose Respect’ and was supported by schools and companies across the UK.. Throughout the week students engaged in a number of different tutor time activities, culminating in a PSHE drop down day on Friday exploring a range of topics. We were incredibly grateful to members of Devon and Cornwall Police who gave all students a powerful and thought-provoking presentation exploring Hate Crime and its impact.

Furthermore, over the next couple of weeks we will be working with our anti-bullying ambassadors to develop their role across the academy. A key focus is working with a Cornwall based restorative justice programme. A cohort of older anti-bullying ambassadors will be trained in restorative justice practice, alongside our anti-bullying pastoral support managers, to resolve conflict across the academy. The Ripple Effect programme, is operating in a number of schools across Cornwall and has been recognised by Princess Anne, a patron of the Restorative Justice Council. Please take a look the the following website for more information: http://rjworking.co.uk/schools/

Community plan

Following a highly successful community planning meeting last half term we have been enjoying working with our community partners to celebrate the achievements and dedication of both our students and staff. We were delighted to receive an invite to the Redruth Christmas parade and there’s no doubt we felt very Christmassy afterwards. We’ve also welcomed hundreds of primary students in to school for activities ranging from robotics to space to cooking to sessions in our art gallery.

School Kitchen

It’s an exciting time in the school kitchen. We are pleased to announce that when we return in January our school catering provision will be run by Chartwells. They are bringing in a huge number of improvements to our service including new meals (chosen by our students), cashless payment systems and an outdoor kiosk serving quick ‘grab and go’ food to help alleviate those frustrating queues. We’d like to invite you to an evening where we will talk about the new systems for payment, the new food available and new ways we will be communicating with you in the future. There will also be opportunities to sample the new menu! The evening will take place on December 11th at 6pm in the Main Hall.

Ensuring the highest standards of behaviour

We would like to thank our parents for continuing to support the new PB detention system and our high expectations on behaviour and uniform. We have seen clear improvements in all aspects of Academy expectations. Students are respecting our ‘no’ mobile phone policy and are understanding the reasons around this.

The Academy is also delighted to see the significant number of achievement points that students are receiving. We are proud to be launching the new achievement point shop, allowing students to spend the achievement points that they’ve worked hard for during the year. Students will be able to trade their points for a variety of goodies that includes stationery, sports equipment and gift cards. The year 11s will also be able to use their points for money off their prom tickets. Students are able to see how many points they’ve earned, and request prizes through their iPads.

Parent Communications

One of the biggest challenges all schools face is keeping parents and carers fully informed and able to easily access the services provided. So from January we are bringing everything in to one, easy to use system. This single website will provide up to date information about your child such as their attendance and reports as well as letting you top up their dinner money, pay for trips, book parents’ evening appointments and get in touch with school. We'll be writing with more information nearer the time but meanwhile it is crucial that we have up to date contact information and the consent to use it. We have sent home forms for you to fill in, if these could be returned as soon as possible please it would be appreciated.

Finally, a few key dates for your diaries:

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As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (principal@poolacademy.co.uk). And please keep up to date with all our news on our school website: http://www.poolacademy.co.uk/latest-news-1 or on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/poolacademy/ If you have any questions or concerns, all staff email addresses are found on the main school website. Alternatively you can ring 01209 712 220 to make an appointment.

Yours faithfully,