THA Winter Festival - Thistley Hough Academy

Thistley Hough Academy

Dear Parent/Carer

Winter Festival 2020
I am pleased to be able to write to you about something not directly related to coronavirus. However, I wish to start by thanking you and your children for their continued and robust approach to dealing with the pandemic. It is this response that we wish to recognise and reward during the remainder of this half term.


Today we have launched The Thistley Hough Winter Festival with students. This is a week of events and lessons aimed at enriching the learning experience, which is scheduled to take place in the last week before the term end. All activities will be delivered in a relaxed, fun and curriculum-driven way. The festival will maintain key Thistley Hough traditions, such as Christmas Jumper Days, a virtual whole academy assembly, and a traditional Christmas meal in our canteen. Throughout the week, each subject will deliver winter-themed lessons where the knowledge, understanding and skills they have developed in each subject can be applied to winter contexts. These are not the stereotype of “Christmas” or “film” lessons, rather they are an opportunity to extend the learning curriculum.


Given the lifetime of the virus on materials like paper, and the need for us to maintain separate bubbles between year groups, it is not necessarily covid secure for students to exchange cards and gifts in person this year. Accordingly, we have set up mailboxes for each floor to post their cards and gifts in. These need to be posted by Thursday 10th December, so that we can allow an “isolation” period of 1 week before sorting and delivering, in appropriate PPE, to students in the Academy. If your child wishes to take up this offer, they must ensure that the items are clearly and legibly labelled with the recipients name and year group as a minimum. Unfortunately, we cannot permit students to exchange cards and gifts at the Academy in person this year, as we continue to protect against self-isolations at Christmas.


As in previous years, we will be supporting our local community by holding a food bank collection. There will be collection points at each student entrance and whilst students are welcome to donate at any point during December, we would particularly welcome donations on the final Wednesday and Thursday of term, to coincide the Christmas Jumper Days and Christmas meals. Food banks are typically appreciative of any donations, but for obvious reasons the following foodstuff items are particularly welcomed:



  • Cereal
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
  • Lentils, beans and pulses
  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tea/coffee
  • Tinned fruit
  • Biscuits
  • UHT milk
  • Fruit juice




A traditional Christmas meal is a wonderful thing, and we will continue to offer this in the last week of term. No booking in advance is necessary, but students must ensure that the standard meal-deal price of £2.30 is available on their cashless account before going to the canteen (Free School Meals will operate in the usual way). Please note that we will be alternating lunchtime arrangements on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th December so that all students get an opportunity to have a Christmas Dinner. Following 3 weeks of Pre-Public Examinations, Year 11 students will have the option of having a Christmas lunch on both days, as a reward their commitment and hard work. Further to this, on the last Friday of term, all students in the Academy will receive a complimentary breakfast that morning, thanks to The Magic Breakfast.


Key Dates for your Diaries:


Card & Gift Delivery Service Opens Wednesday 2nd December

Closes Thursday 10th December

Deliveries Thursday 17th and Friday 18th December

Food Bank Collections Every day in December, but in particular on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th December
Christmas Jumper Days Wednesday 16th December and Thursday 17th December
Christmas Meal (Years 7, 8 and 11) Wednesday 16th December
Christmas Meal (Years 9, 10 and 11) Thursday 17th December
Magic Breakfast Friday 18th December
Last Day of Term Friday 18th December


Our Principal, Ms. Schofield, will write to you again to confirm arrangements for the last day of term, including finish times, arrangements for the start of term in January and how to contact the Academy during the winter break.


I wish you, your families and friends, a relaxed and enjoyable Christmas break. Please take care.


Yours sincerely



Dave Fenney

Assistant Principal

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