Year: 2017

Student Safety in the Wider Community

Dear Parents/Carers


Student Safety in the Community


Following consultation with Staffordshire Police, please find attached to this letter an information leaflet for parents/carers about youth violence and street gangs.   Please do take the time to read this information.


Staffordshire Police are committed to tackling the issues of gang related crime. Clearly as a school we are committed to securing the safety and welfare of our students – both during and beyond the Academy day.  Some parents may be concerned about their child and we would urge them to contact the numbers on the information leaflet or the Academy to seek support.


I am sure that many parents/carers watched the BBC1 drama last week called ‘Three Girls’.  This programme told the upsetting tale of the exploitation of young girls.  Whilst we do not wish to frighten or alarm parents/carers we would urge everyone to take note and be aware of the risks facing young people today.  It is vital that we maintain close scrutiny of the whereabouts of all children and that we are vigilant about who they are in contact with. This includes social media.


Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Kelly Whitfield, Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, at the Academy.


I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a pleasant half term break. We look forward to seeing students back in school on Monday 5th June, at 8:40am.


With best wishes


Holly Hartley


Weekly Newsletter – Punctuality / Mobile Phones

Dear Parents/Carers

Punctuality / Mobile Phones


The Academy and the Governing Body of Thistley Hough Academy place great emphasis on students being punctual to school and to lessons.  Lack of punctuality affects the learning and behaviour of students who arrive late, and impacts on the learning of others also. Please support us in ensuring that your child arrives to school on time every day, in full uniform and with the correct equipment, ready to work hard.

The Academy expectation is that students are in their form rooms or assembly at 8.45am. Therefore, those students who enter the Academy after 8.45am are deemed late and as such duty staff will take their names and they will be placed in a break time detention on the day they are late.  Any student who is late on more than two occasions in a week, and/or fail to attend break time detention, will be automatically be placed into Senior Leadership Team (SLT) detention for one hour after school on a Friday.

Mobile Phones/iWatches/Electronic Devices

May I take this opportunity to remind parents and carers that students are not permitted to use mobile phones for any purpose whatsoever whilst in the Academy. This includes making calls, texting, using the internet, taking photos/videos, and checking the time. Mobile phones must be switched off (not on silent mode), and out of view of all fellow students and staff at all times, and preferably kept in the student’s locker or personal bag. This also applies to iWatches and any other electronic devices or web enabled sources of information.

Thank you for your continued support.


With best wishes


Holly Hartley


Weekly Newsletter – Website/Social Media, Uniform and Important Information

Dear Parents/Carers

Website/Social Media, Uniform and Important Information

Academy Website

As you may have noticed we launched our new academy website last week (, which contains lots of useful information for parents and carers including term dates, uniform information, THActive club timetables and ways to support your child’s learning etc.  Please have a look around our new website for all of this, and further interesting and important information.

Thistley Hough Social Media

Regular updates and Academy News articles are also published on our social media channels. These can be found at:

  • Facebook – Thistley Hough Academy
  • Twitter – @thistleyhough

Please follow us to stay up to date with all academy events.


Please could I take this opportunity to remind all parents/carers that students should attend the Academy in full school uniform at all times. Full academy uniform information can be found on our website at and is included on the reverse of this letter for your convenience.

Fidget Spinners 

We have seen an increase in the number of students bringing Fidget Spinners into the Academy. The Academy policy is that students are not allowed to have them in school unless they have been given permission by our SENCO, Mr Paul Hughes. Staff will confiscate spinners from any student who does not have specific permission to use one whilst in school.

With best wishes

Holly Hartley





Thistley Hough Academy Uniform:


  • Purple blazer with school badge.
  • Plain white shirt with stiff collar and a top button.
  • School tie – this must be clean and free of graffiti.
  • Grey school trousers (not leggings, tight fitted trousers or jeans).
  • Grey ‘A’ line school skirt – knee length (tight fitted skirts are not acceptable). Skirts must not be rolled up at the waist.
  • A plain grey or purple Dupatta may be worn (tassels and embroidery are not acceptable). Headscarves must be plain grey.
  • Plain black tights or black or white ankle socks.
  • Plain black leather/leather looking shoes (not platforms, boots, trainers or any sports/fashion branded footwear. Canvas shoes or pumps are not allowed). Ankle boots may be worn under trousers, but are not allowed with a skirt.

Ofsted Report 2017

Dear Parents /Carers Ofsted

Inspection – March 2017

As you are aware the Academy was inspected by Ofsted on 22nd – 23rd March 2017.

The report has now been finalised and will be published on the Ofsted website on 26th April 2017.

I am delighted to announce that Thistley Hough Academy has been graded as Good with some Outstanding features.

I would like to thank all those members of the school community who shared their comments with the inspection team and also those parents/carers who took the time to share their views on Parent View, Ofsted’s on-line questionnaire.

The full report is now available on for you to read and hard copies can be collected from Reception.

Copies will also be emailed home to parents/carers.

Please do let us know if you would like us to post one home to you. Please find below a summary of some of the key points from the inspection report:

• “The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.”

• “Pupils benefit from an extensive range of activities which help them to develop selfconfidence and high aspirations for themselves.”

• “Pupils are well cared for at the school and parents agree.”

• “Leaders place a high priority on developing pupils’ self-confidence and aspirations. The wide and diverse range of extra-curricular activities has an impact on this.”

• Relationships across the school are positive and highly conducive to good learning. Pupils work hard and are polite, courteous and well-mannered.” • “The school prepares pupils very well for the next stage of their education or employment.”

• “Leaders are successfully unlocking the academic and personal potential in all pupils.”

• Teaching, learning and assessment have improved considerably since the last inspection and as a result “Teaching is Good”. As a result, pupils make consistently good progress. Teaching in English is now a ‘significant strength’. The Creative Education Academies Trust is a company limited by guarantee Registered in England and Wales no 7617529 Registered Office: 7 Sicilian Avenue, LONDON WC1A 2QR The Creative Education Academies Trust is a charity, regulated by the Secretary of State for Education

• In 2016 every Year 11 pupil made progress that was “well above average across a range of subjects, including English” and every Year 11 pupil who has left the school over the past three years has moved on to higher education or employment with training.

• “All groups of pupils make good progress across year groups”.

• Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities “make good progress because they receive effective support”.

These points are just a small snapshot of the full report and I do hope that you take the time read it in its entirety.

I am absolutely delighted with the findings of our inspection and this is a great moment for everybody at Thistley Hough; staff, students and families alike. Walking around the school every day, I see great dedication, ambition, high expectations and acts of brilliance and kindness, big and small. This is the Thistley Hough that I know and love and I am delighted that Ofsted saw the same.

As I have always maintained, our vision is to be graded as ‘Outstanding’ overall and the findings of this inspection are a significant step on this journey. As we start the next chapter in the proud history of Thistley Hough, I look forward to working with the whole-school community to realise this but, more importantly, making sure that every student that leaves us is enabled to do great things with their life.

Yours sincerely

Holly Hartley

(A very proud) Principal

Ofsted Inspection

Dear parent or carer

Inspection of Thistley Hough Academy by Ofsted

We have just told your child’s school that we will inspect it on 22 March 2017. The lead inspector will be Richard Sutton. We are writing to you because we would like to know what you think about the school. Please take a few minutes to read the leaflet which came with this letter. It explains why we inspect schools, and what happens during an inspection.

Your views about the school are important to us

If you are a registered parent or carer of a pupil at the school (including pupils on sick leave or who are temporarily excluded), you can tell us your views about the school by completing Ofsted’s online survey, Parent View, at:

Parent View asks for your opinion on 12 aspects of your child’s school, including the progress made by your child, the quality of teaching, how the school deals with bullying and poor behaviour. It also provides a free-text box for you to make additional comments, if you wish. The inspectors will use the online survey responses when inspecting your child’s school. Written comments can also be sent to the school in a sealed envelope, marked confidential and addressed to the inspection team.

To register your views, you will need to provide your email address, which will be held securely. It will not be used for any purpose other than providing access to the online survey. Neither schools nor Ofsted will have access to any email addresses.

Please complete the online survey by 11am on 22 March 2017 as this will give the inspection team more time to consider your views. However, we will consider all online responses that are completed during the inspection, although the free-text box facility will not be available after noon on 23 Mar 2017.

Speaking to an inspector

If you are unable to complete the online survey, it may be possible to speak to an inspector during the inspection, for instance at the start of the school day, or to pass on messages to the inspectors if you are unable to speak to them in person. Inspection administrators will be happy to make the necessary arrangements. If concerns are raised about child protection, we may have to pass the information we receive to social services or the police. You can contact the administrators on 03000131358. Inspectors will be pleased to receive your comments, but cannot deal with complaints about individual pupils or settle disputes between you and the school.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the online survey.

Yours faithfully

Cathie Mair

Weekly Newsletter – Half Term / Important Information

I write to remind you that the half term holiday will commence on Monday 20th February 2017. Students must attend the Academy until 3:15pm on Friday 17th February 2017 and return on Monday 27th February at 8.40am ready for lessons to start at 8.45am, in correct school uniform with all necessary basic equipment. Full information regarding both uniform and basic equipment can be found on the Academy website at

Year 11 information

Mock examinations will commence for Year 11 students on Monday 27th February and finish on Friday 10thMarch. Students have been issued with a timetable of the subject examination dates and will be aware of the subjects for which they need to prepare.

Upcoming Important Dates

Year Group/Event Date Time
Year 9 Options/ Parents’ Evening Wednesday 1st March 2017 4:45pm – 7:45pm
Year 8 Parents’ Evening Wednesday 22nd March 2017 4:45pm – 7:45pm

Bringing medications in to the Academy

I wish to remind all students, parents and carers that medication can only be kept in school and administered to students when it has been prescribed by a doctor. It needs to be in the original prescribed container with a prescription label attached. Parents/carers need to complete a ‘Parental Agreement for Academy Staff to Administer Medication’ form from the Pastoral Office. The medication is then kept in a locked cupboard in the Pastoral Office and administered to students following the instructions given on the form. We are not permitted to accept any medication that has not been prescribed. Should your child have any prescribed medication requirements whilst in school, please contact Mrs Huxley at the Academy who can discuss this matter with you further.

May I take this opportunity to wish you a pleasant half-term break.

With best wishes

Holly Hartley


Academy students invest in their future

Students at a City Academy will learn how to manage their money with the introduction of a school bank.

Thistley Hough Academy in Penkhull has opened its own banking branch manned by students for students, who will save ‘Thistley Dollars’ with the aim of improving their financial literacy.

The project is being run with support from Academy business partners Novus Property Solutions and The Hanley Economic Building Society.

Academy director of mathematics Chris Dillon, project co-ordinator, said: “Supporting students to develop their understanding of the world of finance is a vital part of our work at the academy.

“Every student will be encouraged to open an account which will come with an initial balance thanks to Novus.

“We already have more than 200 of our students signed up to the school bank with more accounts opening daily.

“Students have a chance to become regular active savers throughout their time at Thistley Hough Academy and we feel developing student’s financial literacy is a vital part of our work.

“From next week all of our students who have accounts can register so they can go online and see how much money they have in their account, as that’s part of preparing them for what they will experience in adult life and forms part of our financial literacy curriculum.”

Novus have completed building the school bank which is be manned by students supported by staff from The Hanley Economic, and students will be encouraged to save and deposit money on a regular basis.

He added: “We believe this project will provide our students with a financial education that will allow them to access financial services with confidence in the future.”

Nathan Fletcher, aged 11, from Stoke, said: “Emma from the bank comes in every Thursday so we can go along then and pay money in.

“I’ve made four deposits so far because I had some Christmas money, as I’d like to save for when I’m older to help me get a good job.

“This is my only bank account and my parents think it’s a good way for me to save my money.”

Hamza Shakil, aged 13, from Etruria, said: “I started using the bank four weeks ago and I’ve already saved about £20.

“It’s easy to use and it’s the only bank account I have and when I told my parents about it they thought it was a good idea.

“Ultimately I’d really like to save up for a good car.”

Emma Hancock, branch assistant from the Hanley Economic in Newcastle, said: “The student savings bank is a great way to get young people saving and to understand the benefits of doing that.

“It helps them to learn important lessons about money, creates a good saving habit and makes it easier for students to save with us through regular visits to the school.

“As a local building society working with our community is a key part of who we are and it continues to be a pleasure to work with Thistley Hough Academy to help embed the importance of saving.”

Kevin Rhone, Head of Social Value at Novus Property Solutions said: “Our Business Class partnership with Thistley Hough Academy aims to prevent social background determining a young person’s success at school and beyond.

“Improving students’ skills and employability is our key focus, and the bank project is one of many which we support, from mock interviews to skills challenges aimed at ensuring they have a strong start in life.

“It will provide a focal point for pupils to open a bank account, manage their money and more importantly provide them with financial skills they need when they leave school.”