Monthly Letter - December 2018

Dear Parents / Carers

We have really enjoyed taking part in so many community Christmas activities this month.  A particular ‘thank you’ to Redruth Town, Illogan School and Trewirgie Junior School for involving us in their activities - we loved being part of them. We owe a huge thank you to Treloweth school too who allowed us to borrow their wonderful lanterns - they really are beautiful! I hope you had the opportunity to join us for our Christmas concert.  I felt incredibly proud of all the young people who took part. If you missed it though, students are busy preparing for our performance of High School Musical which takes place 26th February - 1st March and we hope to see you there!

We received some wonderful news recently that we will be given £1,000 from the Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme to go towards the creation of our new fitness suite. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who shopped in Tesco at either Pool or Redruth and put their blue tokens into our collection point. The money is extremely welcome and will go, along with the £10,000 funding from the Big Lottery fund, towards the new suite.

We believe the high tech equipment will help to improve the health of students and staff as well as boost the provisions at Pool Academy.

Miss Stephens will be leaving us this week and I am proud to introduce Mr Sidwell to you as the new Head of Year 9.  Mr Sidwell has been at the school for 11 years, both as a DT teacher and Head of Year, and he writes: “I am really looking forward to taking on our Year 9 cohort in the New Year.  I look forward to meeting parents and working with the Year 9 group to ensure they have a positive and productive year. I am keen to focus on maintaining the strong values of our school and supporting all students to have the very best attendance.  May I take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year”.  Mr Sidwell can be contacted via: js@poolacademy.co.uk  or on the normal school number.

Ms Carter and Mr Durant have been working hard this term to ensure our Year 7s have the very best start to Pool Academy and our local primary students have lots of opportunities to work with Pool Academy staff and students.  These transition activities are vitally important to ensure all students have the very best experience when they move to secondary school and so from next term, Ms Carter will take on a new role with us, focusing on literacy development throughout primary and secondary school.  Ms Carter writes: “I am exceptionally proud to have been given an exciting new role at Pool Academy in which I will support Literacy Progression from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4. I am looking forward to working closely with our local primary schools to understand students’ literacy skills and support all students to meet their milestone goals.  Literacy underpins success in all subjects and it is essential that our teachers are able continue with the strategies embedded during the primary year,s and weave them into our whole school literacy plan. I am excited to work with students, parents and the community to develop a Literacy support programme that meets the needs of all students.” Ms Carter can be contacted via: nc@poolacademy.co.uk or on the normal school number.

To support Ms Carter’s new role, I am delighted to introduce Mr Roberts as the new Head of Year 7.  Mr Roberts joined us in September as a science teacher and writes: “I am incredibly excited to be taking over from Ms Carter as Head of Year 7 from January. I am really looking forward to getting to know all of the students in Year 7 and helping them on their learning journey through Pool Academy. I have been teaching for over 20 years and have been Head of Year in my previous two schools. As Head of Year I believe in working with parents, students and staff to best support each individual to move from where they are to where they could be, personally, socially, in terms of learning and future career aspirations. I am a parent myself and firmly believe that I should work  in the way I would expect for my own daughter in her school. I hope to meet and speak to many of you as Year 7 parents over the coming weeks. If you have any questions or concerns about the transition please do contact me.”

Mr Roberts can be contacted via: dro@poolacademy.co.uk  or on the normal school number.

The Digital Academy has got off to a fantastic start this term. In Year 9 all students have been working hard to achieve their ‘Inspiring Digital Enterprise’ Award. This award allows students to learn about digital, enterprise and employability skills and we have seen our classes learning topics including web design, cryptography, online marketing and coding. Over half of Year 9 have achieved their Bronze award already, and we are incredibly proud of them. It shows how talented our students are! We have also been able to welcome students from Trewirgie Junior School to take part in Lego Robotics workshops. They worked in teams to create Lego Moon Buggies which they could program to take part in competitions. It was great to see the co-operation in the teams to make sure that their buggy was the first across the line! We have started a Lego Robotics club after school on Thursdays, and it would be great to see more Year 7, 8 and 9 students coming along.

We are busily preparing our Gallery for its official Launch in January and will have some exciting news to share with you then. In the meantime, we have been enjoying some wonderful workshops this month in celebration of our official launch. In December Year 5 students from our local primary schools came and worked with Artist Ben Sanderson who will be joining us more in the New Year.


We recently held the launch of the new canteen provision. The new menu has certainly got my tastebuds excited and judging by the sounds coming from the tasters I wasn’t the only one too! Chartwells, our new catering providers, start on the first day of term and we will be keeping you up to date with all the new developments right here.  If you have any questions though, please contact Phil Jones by emailing phil@poolacademy.co.uk

At Pool Academy we have a zero tolerance approach to bullying and we are glad to report that students’ feedback says they are happy that our procedures and policies deal with any issues effectively.  We continue to review and make improvements to our procedures regularly though as we feel this is such an important issue nationally and within the whole of our community. Thank you to all of our fabulous students who are putting our anti-bullying motto ‘See it. Report it. Stop it.’ into practice and making sure our ‘Red Button’ policy is effective.  Ms Facey is currently working with our Anti-bullying ambassadors to develop their role and we are already moving forward with a number of ideas.   These include establishing a space at break and lunchtime for all students who want to talk. The ambassadors will be there to support and give advice, but mainly to provide a safe social space. Furthermore, over the rest of the academic year each year group will take charge of an anti-bullying project. Year 7 are stepping up first with a competition for the perfect ‘Keep yourself safe online’ poster. There is a prize for the winning entry from each year group. These posters will be displayed across the academy to inform our students about how to manage their own online safety.  Finally, during the spring term, our Anti-bullying Ambassadors will begin further training in leading change across the academy.

During this half term we have been busy visiting all of the local primary schools discussing the transitions from primary to secondary.  The highlight being a trip to Treloweth School where Miss Meakin and Mr Durant took some Pool Academy students to visit their old school and chat to the Year 6 students about life at Pool Academy. Our Pool Academy students answered questions from the Year 6 students and discussed their experiences (all good) they have had at Pool Academy.  There were lots of great stories and myths about secondary schools discussed which was very exciting to listen to. Over 250 students visited the school gym which had one of the biggest space domes in England set up in it. Primary students experienced the "Space Odyssey’s" fascinating planetarium presentations, which was led by Simon Ould, an experienced Science Teacher and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.  Simon used his extensive teaching and lecturing experience to carefully adapt the delivery and content of every presentation to be appropriate for the particular group involved. The Year 5 and 6 students loved completing their projects on space and Darwin with this once in a lifetime 3D experience. After the experience the primary students got involved in lessons with some of our outstanding teachers. Mrs Cromey led some samba workshops, Miss Rowe delved into the drama world while Mrs Strana put students through the pressure of a master chef experience making World War 2 and Christmas treats, lots of fun was had.  We have also hosted some great sporting events such as football, basketball and cross country competitions for the Crofty Trust. Pool Academy sports leaders have been a great help when officiating and organising the events. Lots more exciting things to come next year.

Year 11 received their Mock exam results on Friday 30th November. On the back of these results the staff at Pool are offering revision support to students from Monday to Friday 3-4pm. A revision schedule link has been emailed to all students and a link has been texted out and put on Facebook for parents. This outlines which sessions are on each night. These are open door sessions and it is up to the students to take charge and be proactive to identify their targets with their teachers and attend the sessions they need to focus on. Teachers will also be phoning home to ensure that the right students are coming to the hour of support being offered. Please help support this schedule by checking when they are running and encouraging your child to attend.

At the end of this term we say a sad goodbye to Mrs Strong and Mrs Hutchinson but we are delighted to welcome back Mrs Weir to the Mathematics department.  Last year Mrs Weir supported students to achieve brilliant GCSE results and we are excited to have her rejoining the team. Mr Joyce will also join us as a new Head of Faculty.  He will be working with English, Languages and Sociology. In addition to Mr Joyce, we are also very pleased to welcome Mrs Kingsley to the Languages department. Mrs Kingsley is an experienced teacher and she will be working across all year groups delivering French lessons.  Mrs Crocker, who joined the school earlier in the term, has already made a brilliant impact on our students and she continues to work with us across the school to support students.

January will see some changes in timetable for our students. This is due to staffing changes and increased teaching provision in some subjects across the school.  Students will be given their new timetables before the end of term via email. They will have time with their tutors on the last day of term to ensure they have this information before they go away for their Christmas holiday.  

As a school, we know how important it is to you to have quick and easy access to your child’s information from school. From January, we are unifying all our online systems to bring them all in one easy to use portal. That means one place for attendance statistics, reports, letters, online payments, parents evening bookings etc. I know I hate having hundreds of usernames and password combinations and this will simplify our current services, whilst also providing new ones. We are also going to start emailing letters home as much as possible  as we are often aware letters can end up at the bottom of school bags for days and will reduce our environmental impact.

Finally, a few key dates for your diaries next half term:

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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,

Miss Claire Meakin

Principal