Author: Ian Brailsford

Weekly Newsletter

Dear Parent/Carer

RE: Weekly Newsletter

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Manchester attacks, at the Ariana Grande concert on 22ndMay 2017, we reflect on the world in which we live.

 

In recent times, the world has seen attacks: in schools; on public transport and as people move around in daily life. These times, as well as showing the worst in people, also highlight the best in mankind. People, from all walks of life, have put their safety and well-being aside, in acts of courage to save others. It is these we must remember too.

 

At Thistley Hough, we understand the complex world in which we live and the risks faced, all be them small. We feel it is our duty to safeguard our students, giving them crucial life skills and advice should the worst occur. It is for this reason that we will be continuing to practice lock down procedures and evacuations. We will also be educating students in the ‘Run, Hide, Share’ campaign. Details of which are available at:

http://www.npcc.police.uk/NPCCBusinessAreas/WeaponAttacksStaySafe.aspx

 

The film advises those who get caught up in an incident to ‘run, hide and tell’ – guidance which can be applied to any place. We know that from case studies and real life testimony based on the experiences of people who have survived attacks the advice given in the film has saved lives.

 

 

Understandably, this subject can be emotive. Should you wish to discuss this topic, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Hodges or the Pastoral Team.

 

Yours sincerely

 

H Hodges

 

Mrs H Hodges

Senior Assistant Principal

Weekly Newsletter – Road Safety Launch

Dear Parents/Carers

Weekly Letter – Road Safety Launch

As I am sure you are aware, yesterday saw the launch of Thistley Hough Academy’s Road Safety Campaign #cutout, which is being widely covered by the media. This was a huge success and I was delighted with the ongoing support that we received from Local Authority members, Staffordshire Police, local businesses, and the community and friends of Thistley Hough Academy. We were honoured to be joined by The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of the City of Stoke-on-Trent, Councillor Ross Irving and Miss Christine Warren, who attended in support of our ongoing campaign.

Over the coming months we will be doing a range of activities within school and in the local community to continue raise awareness of road safety. I will of course keep you informed in our ongoing plight to keep our students safe and I would ask that you continue to support us in making our school and local community safer.

As referred to in my letter of last week, in order to gain an understanding of the current travel provision for our students and to help us understand how we can continue to make your journeys as safe as possible, we have an online survey that we would like you to complete. You can find a link to the survey on our website at Road Safety Survey

Once again, thank you for your continued support.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Holly Hartley

Principal

Weekly Newsletter – Launch of #Cutout Road Safety Campaign 2018

Dear Parents/Carers

Launch of #Cutout Road Safety Campaign 2018

Further to our previous correspondence, I write with continued concern that a number of our students are still not exercising caution when crossing the roads around the Academy on their journeys to and from school.

Thistley Hough Academy continues to work closely with the Local Authority and Councillors to address ongoing concerns with regard to road safety around the Academy. The wellbeing of our students is paramount, and we are committed to ensuring that we do all we can to educate them with regard to keeping themselves safe when crossing the road. I am however, disappointed that a number of parents/carers are continuing to park on the pedestrian crossing and other restricted areas outside of the Academy.

As a result we will now be launching our own road safety initiative: #Cutout Road Safety Campaign 2018. This campaign will launch on Thursday 10thMay 2018 and will be prominent throughout the local area. We would appreciate your support in ensuring that we continue to make our roads as safe as possible.

In order to gain an understanding of the current travel provision for our students and to help us understand how we can continue to make your journeys as safe as possible, we have an online survey that we would like you to complete. You can find a link to the survey here: Thistley Hough Academy – Road Safety Campaign (PRE).

Whilst I am thankful to the vast majority of parents/carers who adhere to the restrictions in place, I again ask that all parents/carers use the lower car park drop off zone to ensure that we are all doing all that we can to ensure the safety of your children.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Holly Hartley

Principal

Weekly Newsletter – Attendance and Punctuality

Dear Parent/Carer

Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and punctuality to school are crucial to student success at every level in education. There is a clear correlation between student attendance and progress. As such, as ever, attendance is a key priority at Thistley Hough Academy.

‘Good’ attendance is that that exceeds 96%.Attendance that falls below this threshold results in the Academy taking action. This includes: home visits from the Attendance Officer and Attendance Improvement Officer, and possible referral to the Educational Welfare Service. The penalty for non-attendance can be up to £2500, or a custodial sentence.

The Academy expectation is that students are in school by 8.40am.Therefore, those students who enter the Academy after this time are deemed late and as such will be placed in a break time detention on the day they are late.  Any student who is late two or more times in a week and/or fails to attend break detention will be automatically placed into Senior Leadership Team (SLT) detention for half an hour after school.

It is to be noted that the Academy will not permit any student to take holidays within term time.Should this occur, absence will be deemed unauthorised and may result in referral to the Education Welfare Service. This year has seen rapid improvement in attendance, with thanks to the collaborative approach between the Academy, students and parent/carers.

We recognise that there may be times when your child is facing difficulties attending school, or further advice is needed. For any support or further guidance, please do not hesitate to contact the Attendance Officer, Miss Jo Huxley on 01782 883500.

We look forward to your support in driving improved attendance and academic results for your child.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Holly Hartley

Principal

Ski Trip Letter

Ski Trip to Risoul 2019

 

28th February 2018

 

Dear Parent,

 

I’m pleased to be able to tell you about an exciting trip the P.E. Department is planning for our students.

 

We will be staying in Risoul, France from 2nd – 9th February 2019.

 

Thistley Hough Academy has chosen to travel with Equity; they are market leaders in providing successful school ski tours to a choice of resorts across Europe and North America. They are completely financially protected by ABTA and ATOL, meaning in the event of any unlikely unexpected occurrence your money is protected. Equity are also accredited by ‘Learning outside the Classroom’ and the School Travel Forum; both organisations which support excellence in the planning and delivery of highly successful school ski trips.

 

 

The trip includes:

 

  • return coach transfer from school to Manchester airport
  • return flights from Manchester to Grenoble/Turin (TBC)
  • coach transfer from Grenoble/Turin airport to resort
  • 7 nights full board accommodation including breakfast, hot lunches and a 3 course evening meal
  • a 6 day lift pass which covers the whole local area of Risoul and Vars
  • fully comprehensive travel insurance including medical, redundancy cover, travel delay, personal liability, 24 hour emergency services, ski breakage and snow guarantee
  • ski equipment hire for 6 days (skis, boots and poles) including helmets
  • 4 hours of ski tuition per day with fully qualified staff
  • A bespoke ski trip hoody
  • as well as a variety of evening entertainments such as quiz night, DVD evening, games night, etc

 

The Academy is requesting a voluntary contribution of £846 to cover these costs.  Payment needs to be paid on Parent-Pay and the permission slip needs to be taken to Miss Brown Please be aware that if we do not receive sufficient contributions this visit may not be able to take place.

 

 

A non-refundable initial deposit of £300 is due by 30/04/2018. This deposit will be broken down as follows:

 

Amount Due Date
£200 30th March 2018
£100 30th April 2018

 

 

Trip refunds

  1. All initial deposits are non-refundable.
  2. If your child changes their mind about the trip or you withdraw your child from the trip for any reason (subject to point 3), any payment for the trip will still be payable unless the student can be substituted. This is due to the fact the academy will be charged in full for the reserved place.
  3. If your child is unable to attend the trip at the last moment for a legitimate reason supported by a medical certificate, i.e. illness or injury, then a refund of payments will be made where the requirements for a claim on the academy’s insurance has been met. The initial deposit still remains non-refundable.

This will then leave an amount of £646 to be paid before Wednesday 31st October 2018, the minimum monthly payment plan is outlined below:

 

Amount Due Date
£100 31st May 2018
£100 29th June 2018
£100 31st July 2018
£100 31st August 2018
£100 28th September 2018
£46 31st October 2018

 

However, the total balance or more than the stated payment amount per month may be paid at any point.

 

Please also note that a valid passport will be required for your child.

 

Further details will be provided and an opportunity for you to ask questions at a trip meeting for parents and students at a later date which will be confirmed in due time. However, if you have any questions regarding the trip please do not hesitate to contact me via email at jill.brown@thistleyhough.org.uk, or telephone 01782 883500.

 

This is a fantastic opportunity for your son or daughter to engage with their classmates in an unfamiliar setting, discover new places and ideas and most importantly further develop their own skiing skills.

 

 

Please complete the attached form and return it to Miss Brown as soon as possible.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Miss J. Brown

 

 

 

 

Skiing trip to Risoul, France on 2nd – 9th February 2019.   

 

Name of Student ………………………………………………. Form………………………….

 

I acknowledge receipt of letter for the ski trip. I agree to pay the minimum of £300 deposit balance.

 

Signed (Parent/Carer)…………………………………………………… Date………………..

Weekly Newsletter – Easter Holiday 2018 / Important Dates

Dear Parents/Carers

 

RE: Easter Holiday 2018 / Important Dates

 

I am writing to inform you that the Academy will close for the Easter Holiday at 3:15pm on Thursday 29th March 2018. The Academy will reopen to the separate year groups below as follows:

 

Year 11 Students

The Academy will reopen to Year 11 students on Thursday 12th April. All Year 11 students are expected to be in school from 8:40am until 4:15pm on both Thursday 12th and Friday 13th April. These days are focused solely on Year 11 students and will assist with revision and preparation for their upcoming final examinations in the summer term, therefore full attendance is crucial. All students must be in full academy uniform and should have basic equipment. Further information will be distributed to all parents of Year 11 students next week.

 

Year 7, 8, 9 & 10 Students

The Academy will reopen to all Year 7, 8, 9, & 10 students on Monday 16th April at 8.40am as normal. All students must be in full academy uniform and should have basic equipment at all times. May I take this opportunity to encourage parents /carers to ensure that students attend every day and arrive on time. The law states that it is a legal responsibility of a parent/ carer to ensure that a child of compulsory school age receives full time education.

 

Important Dates

Please see below some upcoming events and important dates for your diary.

Date  
Thursday 29th March 2018 Academy closes at 3.15pm for Easter break
Thursday 12th & Friday 13th April 2018 Academy open for Year 11 students only
Monday 16th April 2018 Academy reopens for all students   (Week 1)
Monday 7th May 2018 May Day – Academy closed
Wednesday 9th May 2018 Year 8 Parent’s evening      4.45-7.45pm
Monday 14th May 2018 GCSE Examinations begin
Friday 25th May 2018 Academy closes at 3.15pm for half term break
Monday 4th June 2018 Academy reopens for all students    (Week 2)
Wednesday 20th June 2018 Year 7 Parent’s Evening       4.45-7.45pm
Thursday 12th July 2018 New Intake Transition Day and Evening
Friday 20th July 2018 Academy closes for the Summer Break

May I take this opportunity to wish you a pleasant and restful Easter break.

 

With best wishes

Holly Hartley

Principal

Weekly Newsletter- Attendance – Broken Weeks

Dear Parent/Carer

 

Attendance – Broken Weeks

 

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

 

Attendance is considered to be of such fundamental importance to a child’s education that when Ofsted inspect a school they look closely at levels of attendance and benchmark the school against national indicators.

 

Last year national average attendance for secondary age students was just below 95%. We aim to ensure that all students have 96% attendance as an absolute minimum, and actively encourage all students to aim for 100%.  Attendance of 96% allows for 7.5 day’s absence in any one year, a level of absence that would raise concern with most employers.

 

As sickness usually occurs in blocks over a continuous period we look closely at the number of weeks where a student is marked absent on one or more occasions. Students should not have more than one or two broken weeks in the course of the academic year.

 

It is possible for students with attendance above 95%, but who regularly miss a day here or there, to accrue sufficient absences by the end of summer, to finish with attendance well below the national average. For example, a student who takes 2 days off every half term would have 12 days absence by the end of the school year and attendance below 94%.

 

Broken weeks can lead to large amounts of learning being lost and ‘gaps’; but can also be an indication of other worries such as struggling in a subject, regularly not completing homework or even truancy.

 

If we become concerned about the number of broken weeks, even if attendance appears to be above average, we will write to you letting you know the number of broken weeks your child has accrued and offer the opportunity to discuss ways in which the Academy may be able to improve the pattern of attendance. Progress Leaders will be writing individually in the next couple of weeks. Notwithstanding, if having read this letter you have noticed a pattern, or have concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Academy’s Attendance Officer straight away.

 

Yours sincerely

P Hughes

Mr P Hughes

Assistant Principal – Inclusion

Weekly Newsletter – Road Safety on Thistley Hough

Dear Parents/Carers

Re: Road Safety on Thistley Hough

Further to my letter dated 05 January 2018, I write with deep concern that a number of our students are still not exercising caution when crossing the roads around the Academy on their journeys to and from school.

During form time yesterday, students were shown real footage of a student who was involved in an accident on Newcastle Lane. Whilst we appreciate that this footage was shocking, we believe it was necessary to highlight the importance of taking good care whilst crossing the road. During this dedicated form time, we reminded students to ensure that they do not use their mobile phones, headphones or other devices whilst crossing the road, and again impressed upon them the importance of taking the utmost care whilst crossing the road. We would urge that you continue to discuss the importance of this with your son/daughter at home.

Thistley Hough Academy is continuing to work closely with the Local Authority and Councillors to address ongoing concerns with regard to road safety around the Academy. The wellbeing of our students is paramount, and we are committed to ensuring that we do all we can to educate them with regard to keeping themselves safe when crossing the road. I am however, disappointed that a number of parents/carers are continuing to park on the pedestrian crossing and other restricted areas outside of the Academy. As advised in my previous correspondence, we have now started to photograph and pass on the registration plates, of any cars causing an obstruction, to the relevant authorities, and will continue to do this as part of our road safety campaign.

Whilst I am thankful to the majority of parents/carers who adhere to the restrictions in place, I again ask that parents/carers use the lower car park drop off zone to ensure that we are all doing all that we can to ensure the safety of your children.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely

 

Holly Hartley

Principal

Weekly Newsletter – THActive

Dear Parent /Carer

THActive

Our THActive programme for this term has now been finalised and we have many clubs and activities running at lunchtime and after school for students to join. Overleaf is the Spring Term timetable.

Attending extra-curricular activities gives students the opportunity to meet new people, make friends, try new skills, relax and have fun! Research shows that students who regularly attend extra-curricular activities are more engaged in learning and make more progress in lessons than students who do not.

We expect every student to attend at least two clubs or activities a week with the exception of Year 11 students, who we expect to attend at least one. Please actively encourage your son or daughter to take part in the THActive programme.

Can I also inform both students and parents that at the end of the school day everyone is welcome to attend any one of the clubs and can complete homework in the mezzanine. However if they are not attending a club they need to leave the school site and not walk around the Academy.

Yours sincerely

Darren Sanders

Assistant Principal

Weekly Newsletter – Road Safety on Thistley Hough

Dear Parents/Carers

Re: Road Safety on Thistley Hough

On the second day of the term, I feel compelled to write to you again to express my very grave concerns with regards to parking on Thistley Hough.

Yesterday, on the first day of term for students yesterday, I was informed by a local resident that a minor collision had occurred as a result of congestion and parking on Thistley Hough. Thankfully nobody was injured in this incident, however a number of local residents report that they were verbally abused by the parent/carer involved in the collision. Clearly this is not acceptable behaviour, and I am greatly saddened that the Academy is being represented in this way.

On numerous occasions we have written out to parents/cares to implore them to use the lower car park and drop-off zone. There is ample space in this area in which students can be dropped off and safely picked up. I would urge you again to ensure that you use this facility if it is necessary to drop-off/collect your children in your vehicle. Thistley Hough is simply not large enough to cope with the volume of traffic and the number of parents/carers dropping off and collecting their children on this road. Myself and the governing body remain deeply concerned of the serious health and safety risks posed by such large volumes of traffic on this road. This risk can be dramatically reduced by parents/carers using the lower car park.

As I am sure you are aware there is a pedestrian crossing for the use of students on Thistley Hough itself. On a daily basis, parents/carers and taxi drivers continue to park on this pedestrian crossing. I often ask drivers to move their vehicles when parked illegally on this crossing. As a result of yesterday’s incident and our continued concerns for student safety, I will now be photographing all registration plates and taxi licence plates and forwarding them on to the relevant authorities in the hope that this leads to changes in behaviour in order to positively impact on student safety.

In addition, next week I will be meeting again with local residents to discuss their concerns in order to see if any further action can be taken. We continue to work with the local council, cabinet members and other relevant stakeholders to continue to drive improvements to student safety around the roads to and from our academy. Clearly parental/carer support in this matter is vital. For the majority of parents/carers who park responsibly on the lower car park, I wish to thank you for your support in this matter.

I am frustrated that this issue is ongoing. Please be assured that our absolute priority is the health, safety and well-being of your children.

Yours sincerely

 

Holly Hartley

Principal