Month: August 2019

Thistley Hough Academy celebrates fifth year of strong GCSE results

Our staff, students and parents are celebrating after Thistley Hough Academy achieved our best ever GCSE results for the fifth year in a row.

This year 56% per cent of Thistley Hough Academy students achieved a Grade 4 or higher in English and maths, while five students achieved Bamber Scholar status (set up in honour of the founding headteacher Miss Bamber) this year due to them achieving a minimum of six grade 7’s or higher (the equivalent of A* or A grades). With 2 students achieving Bamber Scholars with Honours, which means they achieved grade 7+ in every subject.

Among those collecting their results who have achieved Bamber Scholar status are Cassandra Bethel and Marta Macedo who are both planning to continue their A-Level studies at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College.

Cassandra Bethel, from Penkhull, walked away with nine grade nines and a seven in French.

She said: “I didn’t get anything like these results in my mocks, but I did go away and do a lot of revision and reading around the subject. I also practised a lot of exam papers and made myself do those under exam conditions.

“I want to go on to do medicine as I want to be able to help people, so I’m enrolling onto the medicine pathway at the Sixth Form College and next week I’m on a medicine summer school placement up at Keele University which will be really good.”

Originally from Portugal, Marta, from Hanley, achieved a grade 8, seven grade 7’s, three grade 6’s and now wants to study history, sociology and economics at A-Level.

She said: “The results are definitely better than I expected, as I thought I was going to do well in maths but only get about a 5 or 6 in the others as the papers were harder than I thought. I’m really happy.

“I’m not sure what I’d like to do yet as a career, but hopefully the A-Level subjects I’ve chosen will help me go on to university and find a career.”

Academy Principal Jayne Schofield, said: “At Thistley Hough Academy we firmly believe that everyone can achieve and our GCSE students this year are no exception. Their results are a credit to them and their families and carers who have supported them.

“We take pride in providing our students with a caring atmosphere in which to develop, and GCSE results day is a special time where we celebrate with them and recognise their hard work and commitment.

“As an Academy our ambition is always to provide students with an education which will improve their life chances.

“Everyone here has worked incredibly hard to offer amazing learning experiences which we hope will instil our students with a lifelong love of learning and so they can fulfil their potential.”

In 2015 the percentage of students making progress in the key subjects of Maths and English increased so significantly that the Academy became the most improved school in Stoke-on-Trent.

An Ofsted inspection in March 2017 then went on to grade Thistley Hough Academy as good with outstanding features, and the Academy is now working towards being graded as Ofsted outstanding.

Any parents and pupils interested in finding out more about Thistley Hough Academy can call 01782 883500


What to do if…your Maths or English grades aren’t what you expected

A reminder for parents – grade numbers not letters

Following changes in GCSEs in 2017, there is now a numerical system which grades students from one to nine in each subject. The bottom of a grade 7 is equivalent to the bottom of a grade A, for example, and the bottom of grade 4 is equivalent to the bottom of a grade C. The bottom of a 1 is aligned to the bottom of a G.

Why a grade 4 is important for Maths and English

In the GCSE number grading system a 4 is roughly equivalent to an old C and is likely to be requested as a minimum by schools and colleges to move on to study at a higher level. Some courses may even ask for higher grades so check carefully and universities typically have minimum English and maths requirements, whatever subject you’re taking. Employers – be that for a part-time job now, or a full-time job several years later – may also ask for these grades.

If you missed out on a grade 4

If it’s by a narrow margin speak immediately to the sixth form or college you hope to attend. In some cases you may be let onto the course regardless, or they may offer classes to prepare you to retake these GCSEs or offer alternative courses. If classes are not available with them it may be worth checking other local colleges to see if they offer additional classes.

If you decide to retake, you have to retake all the units in the next exam season in order to be awarded a new grade, but speak to one of your careers or teaching staff on results day first of all who can advise you of all of the exact re-sit options.

You might want to consider applying for a review of marking if you think there was an error with the marking of your paper. Reviews of marking are available for a short period of time after you have received your results – but please note that once you have received a grade from a review, it is final. Your original grade will not count, even if it is higher. If there’s any doubt about the grade you have been awarded talk to your teachers as they can begin the process of submitting a marking review for you.

The deadline for enquiries about results for GCSE is Thursday, September 19, 2019. 

 What next…

 There are a number of different options for you to explore from vocational courses to A-levels, apprenticeships or employment. On results day there will be teaching and careers staff on hand for you to talk to, but if you want to talk to someone impartially and confidentially you can contact the National Careers Service who can offer advice via a webchat or a phone call. You can call them on 0800 100 900 and advisers are available 7 days a week between 8am and 10pm. For a webchat you will need to register at this link – and they are also available on Twitter at @ExamResults2019

Any Thistley Hough Academy parents or pupils with questions or queries about GCSE results day can call 01782 883500 or

GCSE results day – what to expect

The results day all our students work towards is almost here and is often full of emotions, as this is the first time many of them will ever have picked up formal results. Often they can feel tremendous pressure from their peers, their parents, social media and others to perform well if they are to progress to their next step.


Here’s our advice to students to help calm those GCSE results day nerves.


If you’re feeling anxious

Often our anxiety increases if we sit still and think about something more. Hormones in our body send us into ‘fight or flight’ mode and the quickest way to alleviate this is to move more. Take a brisk walk, jog or cycle to clear your head and avoid high caffeine sugary drinks and junk foods which can affect your blood sugar levels and make you feel worse.


Don’t isolate yourself

The most important thing is not to bottle up how you feel. Your parents, carers and teachers know you and what you’re capable of so they’re good people to get advice from. Often when we talk about something we’re worried about out loud it makes it easier to deal with and puts it into perspective.


Plan your results day

Check what time you’re allowed to come into school to collect your results and plan how you’re going to get there. Some students may want to travel in with friends, some may want to walk in alone or drive in with their parents. Decide what you want to do, who you want to be there with and plan what time you’ll leave. Make sure your phone is charged and the night before put anything else you’ll want on the day all in one place, so you don’t forget anything when you leave to collect your results.


On the day

It may be tempting to head home with your envelope and open your results there but try to open it while at the Academy as we will have lots of people here to support you including teachers and careers advisers. However, everyone is different so don’t feel pressured into opening results with friends if you’re not comfortable with that.


What if…

The results aren’t what you expected

There may be some pleasant surprises, or some disappointments, but if the option you’ve planned is no longer available to you, don’t panic. It’s disappointing if your heart is set on something, but there are lots of other options. There may be similar courses you haven’t considered which accept a lower entry level. Your teachers and careers staff are here to help you talk over your next steps and support you, so don’t be shy and make sure you approach us on results day.


The results are better than you expected

Congratulations! It is a great feeling when you achieve a better grade than you expected. It could make you think of taking a subject at A-Level which perhaps you had originally decided against or you may want to consider going somewhere else to study – or be confused about what to do next!


First – almost all schools, sixth form colleges and FE colleges are able to offer some flexibility if you decide you want to change your subjects. However, before you go ahead and make changes to your college choice or subject choice have a think about why you decided against that subject in the first place or why you chose that place to study. Do your reasons still stand? A-Level study is a step up and you will need to be determined and genuinely interested in your subjects to succeed.


Second – talk to someone. On results day there will be teaching and careers staff on hand to help you talk over all your options, so make sure you allow some extra time to take advantage of their advice and support. You can also contact your chosen sixth form or college direct to talk over your subject and course options.


What next – your choices post-16

Now results day is here you may realise you haven’t really decided yet what you want to do next. This is completely normal and there are lots of sources of advice and information to help you.


If you’re thinking of going to uni, or if you’re the kind of person that enjoys classroom learning you can choose to study A-Level subjects from psychology to business studies. Students usually study three subjects for two years, with exams at the end.


If you’re not sure you want to go into further education there are a number of different options for you to explore. You might do a vocational course (such as construction, childcare or engineering) rather than completing A-levels. Alternatively, you may want to go straight into the world of work and get an apprenticeship or seek employment.


On results day there will be teaching and careers staff on hand for you to talk to, but if you want to talk to someone impartially and confidentially you can contact the National Careers Service who can offer advice via a webchat or a phone call. You can call them on 0800 100 900 and advisers are available 7 days a week between 8am and 10pm. For a webchat you will need to register at this link – and they are also available on Twitter at @ExamResults2019

Any Thistley Hough Academy parents or pupils with questions or queries about GCSE results day can call us on 01782 883500 or


Free summer holiday club offers food and fun for Thistley students

Thistley Hough Academy was filled with great food smells and sounds as students learnt how to cook pizza from scratch and had a chance to learn archery.


Following the success of our Easter half term holiday club, the first of two summer holiday club days took place on Monday (August 5th), where more than a dozen students were treated to a cooking masterclass led by Staffordshire food education and training company Feast with Friends.


A second holiday club day will take place on Monday August 12th and currently has space for more students.


Having mastered the art of making and kneading dough, the wannabe chefs then got creative with a range of pizza toppings before baking them in the ovens at the Academy, filling the corridors with an aroma of delicious food.


At another session students enjoyed an archery lesson led by Time4sportUK, who aim to increase participation in sport among young people and to educate the community to live a healthy lifestyle.


Hosted in the dedicated Academy sports hall, each student was instructed on how to hold their bow and line up their arrow to the target before beginning practice alongside school nursing staff from the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.


Summer holiday club co-ordinator Isabelle Howles said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer our free summer holiday club again this year to students enrolled at the Academy, as it’s a great chance for students to enjoy some exciting new activities.


“There are limited places still available at our next club day on Monday August 12th which runs from 10am until 2pm, and any students who would like to join should get in touch with me as soon as possible.”


Any students interested in coming along to the next summer holiday club on Monday August 12th should contact co-ordinator Isabelle Howles by

Parents interested in finding out more about Thistley Hough Academy call 01782 883500 or email

For more information about Feast With Friends see and for details about Time4sportUK log on to


New Catering Provider at Thistley Hough

Thistley Hough has a new catering provider which comes with a new App!

Thistley Hough Academy Aspens Paperless Letter

Welcome to the Aspens App!

Our Menu at your Fingertips

Want to know what’s on the menu at your child’s school?  Well, we have developed the Aspens App which will enable you to read it with just a couple of presses on your smartphone.

It’s simple enough – just search for the app at the App Store or Google Play, install, add the unique PIN relating to your particular school and you will be able to view the current menu.


This will make it so much easier to help your child to choose their lunches.

But that’s not all…

  • Click directly to the school’s website to read more about the catering facilities and Aspens as a provider.
  • Ask any questions relating to a child’s particular needs and the food on offer.
  • Ask questions regarding school meal payments and the potential for free school meals.
  • Provide feedback about the meals so that we are able to maintain the high standards that we continually strive for.
  • Find out more about Aspens Services, upcoming promotions and fun days, our approach and commitment to healthy eating, quality and the environment.

Think about how many times your child has handed over a crumpled piece of paper, saying “Whoops, I was meant to give you this ages ago!

At Aspens we want to be able to communicate in the most effective way and make sure that the latest information about our school meals and current promotions reaches you when you need it.  We would like parents and pupils alike to have access to the details about our food at their fingertips at any time.

Aspens Website

Each school has a unique page on our website too with a direct link to a pdf of the menu to be viewed and printed if desired.  It also has the school’s unique reference for downloading the Aspens App.  Follow the link to view out menu.


Our new paperless initiative helps us to:

  • Be greener – saving 714 tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere.
  • Cut down on paper – do our bit to tackle deforestation and protecting endangered wildlife.
  • Move forward with technology and have regular contact with our customer base.

We use food suppliers who are local to our Units to support local businesses and cut down on food miles, so it is a natural and fitting step for us in considering our carbon footprint and to cut down on printing flyers too.

We appreciate your co-operation in this change and look forward to sharing our menus in a timely manner, with no more crumpled up bits of paper being pulled out of schoolbags!

If there are parents that do not want to download our free app or visit our website, we can email a copy of our menu, if requested, by contacting the email address below:

If you have any questions whatsoever on this, please do get in touch and we’ll do all that we can to help.