Year: 2017

Weekly Newsletter – Health Morning

Dear Parent/Carer

Health Morning


On Tuesday 5th December, we will be holding the first of our PSHCE mornings of the year at the Academy to launch our Health Initiative. On Tuesday, Students in Year 7 to 10 will be working with a range of healthcare providers including the NHS and School Health to look at several health issues including Hydration, Sleep and Oral hygiene.


Each of these has been carefully chosen as small changes in lifestyle can reduce the likelihood of developing significant and potentially life-threatening illnesses in later life for example, Heart disease, Cancer, Diabetes and Kidney disorders.


Students will also be given the opportunity to talk to front-line staff in the NHS about potential career pathways, and the skills required for particular roles.


Year 11 students will be receiving their second presentation from Elevate on preparing for GCSE Examinations in the Summer and beginning to complete their Post-16 applications supported by the colleges. Feedback from the students after the first Elevate presentation in September was overwhelmingly positive, with many students commenting on just how useful the session was.


All of these sessions will take place between 8.40am and 12.20pm and it is vital that all students attend the Academy as normal. Timetabled lessons will resume form 12.20pm (Period 4).


May I also take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of Thistley Hough Academy.


Yours sincerely


Caty Reid

Acting Principal

Newsletter – Information and Standards

Dear Parent/Carer

RE: Information and Standards

In order to ensure that we maintain our high standards at Thistley Hough Academy, we are introducing Standards Cards. This is a credit card sized card which will be carried by all students in their top blazer pocket. If a student’s uniform does not meet our high expectations

  • shirt untucked, blazer sleeves rolled up, they will be asked for their card, which the member of staff will If a student receives four signatures for infringements in a half term, they will be placed into an after school detention for 30 minutes on the same day. A text will be sent home to let parents/carers know that their son or daughter has received a detention.


We are also a no chewing gum school. Students who chew gum in school will be asked to dispose of it and also have their Standards Card signed.


Failure by students to carry their Standards Card will result in an automatic 30-minute detention. They will then be issued with a new card.


Please may I take this opportunity to remind you of the Thistley Hough uniform, which we expect to see students in, and the basic equipment we expect every student to have in school each day.


Basic Equipment

  • Black or blue ballpoint pen
  • Pencil
  • Rubber
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Reading book
  • Standards card

* Full PE kit must be brought to all PE lessons.

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
  • A plain grey or purple Dupatta may be worn (tassels and embroidery are not acceptable). Headscarves must be plain
  • Plain black tights or black or white ankle
  • 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 maybe worn under trousers, but are not allowed with a
  • Extreme hair styles, unnatural dyed hair colours and facial piercings are not


Dates for the diary


Date Event Further details
Thursday 7th December 2017 Year 11 Parents’ Evening Please note this is a change of date.
Tuesday 19th December 2017 Christmas Jumper day


Academy closes at 2pm for the Christmas holidays

Staff and students can wear their Christmas Jumper over their school uniform. In exchange, we are asking for a food donation to the local

Food Bank

Wednesday 3rd January 2018 Staff INSET Day Students do not need to attend
Thursday 4th January 2018 School reopens to students


Year 11 mock examinations begin.

All students MUST attend.
Wednesday 7th February 2018 Year 10 Parents’ evening
Friday 16th February 2018 Academy finishes at 3.15pm for the half term holiday
Monday 26th February 2018 All students return


May I also take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of Thistley Hough Academy.


Yours sincerely



Caty Reid

Acting Principal

Year 7 Team-building – Change of Venue

Dear Parent/Carer

Year 7 Team-building – Change of Venue

I have received information this week from Entrust that a decision has been made to alter the trip venue. The students will now be going to Standon Bowers. This is due in part to the time of the year and the accommodation for the students. I have attached a copy of what the students will be doing whilst they are at Standon Bowers, this includes their arrival times and departure times.

The students have been separated into two parties by form as per my previously letter.

The following forms will be going to Standon Bowers Monday – Wednesday






The following forms will be going to Standon Bowers Wednesday – Friday





All students on the day of their departure need to be in school normal time. Should you require an additional information about the alteration of venue or any other queries please do not hesitate to contact me on the main school number.


Yours sincerely

Mrs C Turvey

Head of Year 7

Weekly Newsletter – Data Assessments and Reports

Dear Parent/carer

Data, Assessments and Reports

As our children continue to develop here at Thistley Hough Academy, it is important that we keep you up to date with how your child is doing personally. The news is filled with information about “attainment” and “progress”, with stories of how schools and students alike are judged on these two measures. Einstein once said “Everything should be as simple as possible; but not simpler”; with this in mind we will take this opportunity to explain a little about how your child is assessed and monitored at Thistley Hough Academy.

Your child’s teachers will be assessing them throughout every lesson: this could be how willing they are to answer a difficult question, considering the words they use in an answer or their responses to a particular task. Regularly teachers will take workbooks and other portfolios of work in for marking where, using our STEP procedure, students have the opportunity to respond and develop because of their individual feedback. Of course, at key points students will complete more formal assessments or tests, and indeed later in the Academy students in years 10 and 11 will complete “mock exams”, leading to the real thing in the Summer of year 11.

There are four points during the year that we will deliberately collect assessment information from teachers about your child: November, January, March and June/July. We collect information on how well your child is doing in each subject (their attainment) and how well they are responding to the learning experience (their attitude to learning, or AtL). Both of these pieces of information are sent home in our school reports. These reports will contain key information relating to attendance, and information about key staff to contact. The main body will look a little like this:

Your child’s attainment is colour coded against their target for that point in the year, using a colour scale from “significantly below” to “significantly above”


An AtL of 1 is exceptional, but he majority of students should receive at least a 2 from each subject. 3s and 4s may indicate issues around classwork, homework, behaviour and other factors, so it is worth contacting the class teacher to discuss these if they appear. Further to this, we hold Parent’s consultation evenings across the calendar for different year groups, where you will have the opportunity to discuss your child in more detail with their teachers:

Year Group Parents Evening Date(s)
7 Wednesday 20th June 2018
8 Wednesday 9th May 2018
9* Wednesday 14th March 2018
10 Wednesday 7th February 2018
11 Wednesday 6th December 2017

Wednesday 28th February 2018

Please be aware that for year 9, Wednesday 14th March 2018 is also planned to be “Options Evening” to help students choose their GCSE and BTEC subjects going forward.


For year 11, there are some key dates to be aware of relating to formal, external examinations. These exams cannot be rearranged for any reason, and so it is essential that students involved are punctual in attending them; we ask for your support in ensuring that medical appointments and holidays are particularly avoided in the run up to these dates, and during the exam periods themselves:

BTEC Child Development – 10th January 2018

BTEC Travel and Tourism – 11th January 2018

Year 11 Mock Exams – throughout January 2018

First “real” summer exam – Monday 14th May 2018

 We will continue to keep you up-to-date with key dates and guidance on how to support your child throughout the year; but of course, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Who to contact for further information?

For information about: Who to contact
Your child’s overall school performance Their Head of Year and/or Form Tutor
Your child’s performance in a subject The subject teacher, in the first instance
Examinations Mrs. Sarah McGregor, Exams


Data and Assessment in general Mr. David Fenney, Assistant Principal, Director of Assessment and Data

Yours sincerely


Caty Reid

Acting Principal

Weekly Newsletter – Information

Dear Parent/carer

RE: Information

I would like to thank all the students and staff for their dedication and hard work in what has been a very busy beginning to the academic year and wish everyone a safe and restful break.  Please see below some helpful and important information to reflect upon.


Reading is an important part of life at Thistley Hough Academy, but why is reading important?

  • Evidence suggests that those who read for enjoyment every day perform better in exams than those who do not. Reading helps students to develop a broader vocabulary, meaning that their ability to communicate grows as their reading exposure
  • Reading can make our students (and us) more empathetic. Being able to recognise and understand other people’s emotions is a crucial skill, whilst also allowing us to develop a better understanding of other
  • Reading builds neural pathways in the brain so that general knowledge is increased. Reading is exercise for your brain. It’s not just that your brain processes words and meaning while looking at text; reading actually changes your brain’s
  • Reading also encourages
  • Reading sparks the imagination, opening up a mind to new ideas and

Please encourage your child to read every day.


Please can all parents be aware of the following:

Police have warned parents of a new dangerous craze on Facebook which encourages children to go missing for 48 hours. This is all part of a new 48-hour challenge and it is leaving many parents extremely worried. This new Facebook game has led to children as young as 14 being reported missing by their parents – after they have taken part in the Facebook 48-hour challenge. In a sick twist, the missing children will gain more points and the higher they score the more they get mentioned on Facebook in a bid to find them. This then results in the frantic parents searching for their children, asking Facebook friends to help – adding to the “game”.

This new game which has really taken off in Northern Ireland and is set to hit the rest of the UK is a copycat of the Game of 72 which swept through Western Europe a few years ago. The craze saw many children dare one another to vanish without a trace for up to three days. As a result, the police are warning parents across the country to keep an eye on what their child is doing while on Facebook. Should you wish to discuss this any further please contact Mr Sanders at the Academy.

Upcoming Dates

Monday 23rd – 27th October – Half term

Monday 30th October – School reopens at 8.40am

Thursday 2nd November – Awards evening (further details to follow)


Yours sincerely


Caty Reid

Acting Principal

Weekly Newsletter – Attendance

29 September 2017


Dear Parents/Carers




At Thistley Hough Academy we are constantly striving to enable all our students to achieve their full potential.


Research shows that there is a direct link between academic achievement and regular attendance to school.  With this in mind, we want to enlist your support in ensuring your child realises their full ability level, by encouraging them to attend school on a regular basis.


It is a minimum expectation that students’ attendance is at least 98% over the academic year.  The importance of this can be seen in the table below:


Student attendance % Number of day absent per average week Number of full days absence per academic year Number of weeks absent per academic year
98% 4
90% 0.5 19 4 weeks
80% 1 38 8 weeks (this exceeds half a term)


Sometimes students become ill and have to have time off school, but, please could you ensure if this is the case, it is only in serious cases of illness.  Similarly, good attendance can be ensured by making any doctors, dentist or other appointments at a time outside normal school hours and we would request that you do this wherever possible.


The Academy will recognise excellent attendance with regular rewards to encourage our students to strive for 100% attendance.


Should you have any concerns regarding your child’s attendance, please contact the Academy directly, in order that we can best support you and your child.


Yours sincerely



Mrs C Reid

Acting Principal

Weekly Newsletter – Information

Dear Parent/Carer


Important Information


Thank you for your support during the start of the academic year. Students are smart, arriving on time with basic equipment, and are ready to learn. Rewards are already being given to students for excellent attitudes to learning and we look forward to recognising more outstanding achievements throughout the year.



A new academic year often brings with it resolutions and a renewed enthusiasm to try something new, get a little fitter and meet more people. Overleaf you will find the THActive programme for the spring term. We encourage all students to join at least one club and hope that you will do the same. Involvement in extra-curricular activities brings enjoyment, new knowledge and friendship. When students in Year 11 begin to apply for post-16 places whether that be at College, as an apprentice or for a career, participation in extra-curricular activities is a great way to show the skills of team work and willingness to try new things. It also builds students confidence. All afterschool clubs run from 3:15pm – 4:15pm unless otherwise listed.


Internal Isolation

As you will be aware, Thistley Hough Academy will not tolerate poor behaviour or disruption to learning in any way. To push standards even higher, the Academy has reviewed its provision of Internal Isolation. In the unusual event that students do not comply with school rules and are referred to Internal Isolation, they will remain in the facility from 8:40am to 4:00pm, with designated breaks throughout the day. Parents will be informed of the referral, and it will be logged on the student’s record. Should you have any questions or concerns please contact Mr. Sanders, Assistant Principal, at the Academy.


Thank you for your continued support.


Yours sincerely

Caty Reid

Acting Principal

Year 7 Team Building Residential

Dear Parent/Carer


Year 7 Team Building Residential

Week Commencing 9th October 2017


As you are aware the year 7 residential is quickly approaching and in order to complete our final checks we need to complete some important contact and medical information. The attached permission slip from Chasewater must be completed in order for your child to be able to attend the residential.


If you are yet to complete payment of your child’s trip via parent pay or to have made alternative arrangements with the academy we request that you do as soon as possible.


During the 3 day 2 night residential students will be taking part in a range of exciting activities designed to help them work with their new friends and teaching staff.  This exciting experience will include a range of activities such as climbing, BMX, archery, bush craft, orienteering and water sports. Additional information about Chasewater can be found at:


We have also enclosed the suggested kit list provided to us by Chasewater. Students will be staying in a variation of Dormitory’s and Yurts, therefore we recommend that they bring warm bedding for the evening. We will be taking part in water-sports if possible therefore we recommend that students bring the recommend equipment for water based activities.


We will be holding a meeting for Parents/Carers on Tuesday 26th September from 5pm at Thistley Hough where a representative from Entrust and myself will be able to answer any questions/queries you may have.


We request that all medical and consent forms are returned to your child’s form tutor by Friday 29th September.


If you have any require and further information please do not hesitate to contact The Academy.


Yours sincerely



Christine Turvey

Head of Year

Temporary Changes to the Leadership Arrangements at Thistley Hough Academy

Dear Parents and Carers

Temporary Changes to the Leadership Arrangements at Thistley Hough Academy

I am writing to let you know of some temporary changes to the leadership arrangements at Thistley Hough Academy.  These have been put in place to cover the absence of the Principal of the Hart School in Rugeley, a sister school within the Creative Education Trust.

With immediate effect, Mrs Hartley, currently Principal at Thistley Hough Academy, will be taking up a temporary position as Executive Principal of both Thistley Hough Academy and The Hart School, whose Principal is currently recovering from surgery.  Mrs Hartley will retain oversight of Thistley Hough, whilst its day to day management and leadership will be the responsibility of the current Vice Principal, Mrs Reid who will be supported by Ms Schofield, Senior Assistant Principal.  Mrs Reid’s interim title will be Acting Principal and Ms Schofield will be the Acting Vice Principal.

Mrs Hartley will split her time between the two schools and will be working very closely with the Creative Education Trust and with leaders at both schools to ensure that they continue to develop and provide excellent education.

I am sure that you will wish to join me in wishing Mrs Hartley well and in supporting Mrs Reid and Ms Schofield, in whom the Trust and I have full confidence.

Yours sincerely

Gill Howland

Chair of Local Governing Body

Thistley Hough Academy

Thistley Hough Academy celebrates another great year of GCSE results

Staff, students and parents at Thistley Hough Academy in Penkhull are celebrating today after an increased number of GCSE students achieved top grades in the key subjects of English and Maths.

This is the first year English literature, English language and maths papers have been graded under the new numerical system as opposed to letters, with four to nine being equivalent to grades C to A*.

This year 52 per cent of Thistley Hough Academy students achieved a four or above in English and maths, which represents a seven per cent increase on last year.

The results have also revealed that 13 students will be awarded the Academy title of ‘Bamber Scholars’ (set up in honour of the founding headteacher Miss Bamber) this year due to them achieving a minimum of six A* or A grades.

Principal Holly Hartley, said: “These excellent results follow on from our class of 2016 whose results in English and maths were very strong, while in 2015 the percentage of our students making progress in these subjects increased so significantly that we became the most improved school in Stoke-on-Trent.

“These results are no exception and are a credit to the hard work of our students, the support their parents provide and the commitment our staff make to ensuring every student here achieves their full potential.

“We know how amazing all of our students are and we are very proud of their individual achievements, and I would like to wish them all every success in the future.”