Monthly Letter (June 2018)

Dear Parent / Carer

The introduction of the Art Gallery at Pool Academy has been brilliant and it has been amazing to see the students really enjoying their time in there. They are very proud to take ownership of the space and eagerly look forward to their workshop sessions with Jonty and the other artists who they have worked with. We have had students almost each week asking if they can join the gallery group and we now have a waiting list which is fantastic.  Students have really enjoyed exploring a range of materials and the freedom to be ultimately creative in their own environment. It has been lovely to see the impact the gallery has had on the students’ confidence and listening to their excitement of the activities they have participated in. This is truly a special gallery which the community will love.

We are delighted to let you know that we have recently received the new musical instruments and equipment that we campaigned to raise money for earlier in the year.  We now have two new digital stage pianos, a cahon, 24 brightly coloured ukuleles and a fabulous portable PA system. Year 7 and 8 are furiously learning their favourite songs on the Ukulele whilst Year 9 are planning an outdoor concert to say thank you to our staff, students and parents for all their support raising money for the department. More details to follow in the next few weeks. Exciting, (and noisy!) times ahead in the Music Department!

Pool Academy and Plymouth Argyle Football Club will be officially launching Cornwall’s first New Girls’ Player Development Centre on 6th July at the Academy.  The centre is the only one of its kind in the county, which sits just below Cornwall FA Girls’ Advanced coaching centre and will be based at Pool Academy.  To celebrate the new initiative, and the new partnership between the school and the football team, Plymouth Argyle officials will be travelling to Pool to lead a mixed gender tournament with up to 120 primary school students attending.

This year, we have reviewed our pastoral system to ensure all students benefit from the very best support.  I am delighted to inform you that our House System remains the same but in addition we have appointed five new Heads of Year: Head of Year 7 Miss N Carter; Head of Year 8 Mr A Durant; Head of Year 9 Miss S Stephens; Head of Year 10 Mr N Williams and Head of Year 11 Mrs J Phillips.  The Heads of Year are responsible for the pastoral care and support for their year groups and will endeavour to ensure that your child has the best possible experience at Pool Academy. Contact details all follow the same format, e.g.

Following a review of the behaviour and rewards system, we have now updated our behaviour policy to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed in their learning. Detentions will now be after school and will range from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Parents will be notified via our texting system, therefore updated phone numbers are essential. If you would like more details there is a link to our policy on the website.   We have also appointed a member of staff to oversee our rewards system. Mr Best is eager to work with parents and students to ensure that achievements are recognised and celebrated. Rewards will range from prizes each term to daily recognition of positive work ethic and citizenship. There will be concerted focus on students’ achievements and rewarding all students who demonstrate good behaviour for learning.

Along with restructuring the pastoral team, we have also introduced Heads of Faculties to work very closely with students and parents to ensure all students achieve the very highest standards in their academic studies.  

  • Mr Ryder (pr@...) will lead the faculty for English and Modern Foreign Languages

  • Mr James (aja@...) will lead the faculty for Maths, Geography and History

  • Mrs Cromey (ecr@...) will lead the faculty for Art, Music, Drama and Physical Education (PE)

  • Mr Bareham (tb@...) will lead the faculty for Science, Computing and Design Technology (DT).

These senior staff will be responsible for supporting students across all the subjects in their faculties, along with ensuring all parents receive regular and effective communication so you can support your child fully.  They will be holding an introductory meeting in September so you can hear about their vision for securing the very best outcomes. For now though, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Our Anti-bullying Ambassadors are ready for action. After a rigorous selection process, the ambassadors have now been trained to support all students across the academy. All the ambassadors need now is the tie they have requested so that others can identify them easily. The students have decided upon a drop-box in Student Reception for those who either believe they are being bullied, or believe they have witnessed bullying, where they can make anonymous declarations. They have also organised themselves into Year Group teams, to cover a drop-in centre where students can receive advice and to pass on information to the Pastoral Team where needed. The ambassadors have lots more ideas about how to ensure all students feel happy and safe at Pool Academy and we are excited to harness their enthusiasm to make changes if they are needed.

Year 10 exams are well and truly on their way. Just a quick reminder that the seating plans for each exam are up on the wall in Student Reception the evening before so students can check where their seat is in plenty of time as they will change with each exam. Lots of subjects are still offering extra support sessions.  We look forward to seeing you all at the Mock Results Evening on Wednesday the 18th at 5:30pm in the main hall where we will be able to give students the results of the majority of their exams to identify targets for September. The final exams may need a little longer to share results, but students will have the remainder by the end of term.

A large number of students responded very positively to our student survey earlier this term and we are confident that our new Student Leadership Team will ensure that every young person has a voice at Pool Academy. A large number of students felt that they make good progress and that they are well taught. Students also were clear that they knew where to go if they needed any help. For 2018-19, we will be adding more detail to our student surveys and asking our Student  Leadership Team to analyse responses and develop action plans to support our young people even more.

Buzz the Bear has had a busy end of term. Since completing the London Marathon (thank you for the generous donations, Phil and Buzz raised £3000 for Crohn's and Colitis UK), he’s taken a trip underground with the Cornwall Mine Rescue team. Buzz spent time with them down a mine in a secret location that they use for training and now can add being deep underground to his list of achievements. His team have already started to plan his next mission, a project with year 7 and 8 pupils next year involving long sea voyages to highlight the problems of plastic in our oceans. Watch this space!

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-

Year 6 Parents’ evening- 4th July- 18:00 - 19:30- Ms Carter-

Year 11 Prom- 5th July- 17:00 - 23:00- Miss Conway-Baker-

Academy Awards Evening- 12th July (Arrival from 18:00)- 18:30 - 20:00- Mr Best-

Community Awards Evening- 17th July (Arrival from 18:00)- 18:30 - 20:00- Mr Hamblin-

Mocks Results evening- 18th July- 17:30 - 18:30- Mrs Phillips-

Last day.  Students finish at 13:15- Friday 20th July, 13:15- Miss Meakin-

GCSE Exam Results- Thursday 23rd August, 9:00- Mrs Rowe-

First day back for all students- Wednesday 5th September- Miss Meakin-

Finally, a few reminders (again) for next year:


Please can I draw your attention to the uniform page on our website , 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 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 C Meakin


Phil Jones