Category: Thistley Hough Academy

Staff battle to be best baker raises over £1,000 for Children in Need

Staff at Thistley Hough Academy proved they had the right ingredients to rise to the challenge of generating hundreds of pounds for Children in Need.

Around 25 staff battled it out to be top baker for the national fundraising event, filling the Academy with the sweet smells of Victoria sponges, cheesecakes, carrot, lemon and chocolate cakes. They were judged by a panel of students and staff before being devoured in two charity cake sale events.

The Heads of Year team helped organise the week of Children in Need charity activities, which included a ‘wear your own jumper day’, a fundraising raffle, a ‘name the bear’ competition, and a ‘guess the number of sweets’ in a jar competition.

Evelyn Aboraah, Head of Year 7,  said: “We had an amazing response to Children in Need this year from everyone and in total the Academy has raised £1,048.

“I wasn’t sure how many staff would take part in the bake-off, but when it came to it everyone suddenly became really competitive and we had a great response! Our parents were also brilliant, with more than 35 coming along to our coffee and cake sale events.

“All of the bakes were judged by student representatives from each year group, together with Academy Principal Jayne Schofield and Assistant Principal Chris Dillon, who presented the winning baker with a bake-off apron.”

Winner of the staff bake-off was Head of Year Mrs Ellis-Austin with her delicious Victoria sponge, closely followed by a mouth-watering cheesecake produced by Widening Participation Project Co-ordinator Isabelle Howle.

Other winners were students Grace Leese and Sophie Bould who both guessed the number of sweets in the jar correctly, while the Pudsey Prize Raffle was won by student Sadie Wain-Chawner.

She added: “I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported our events. This is the first year we’ve organised something like this and everyone really enjoyed it, while the amount we’ve raised is absolutely wonderful.”

Any parents or pupils interested in finding out more about Thistley Hough Academy can call to book in and tour the Academy by calling 01782 883500.

Thistley Hough Academy welcomes two new Vice Principals

Thistley Hough Academy welcomes the appointment of two Vice Principals to the senior leadership team.

Both are familiar faces at Thistley Hough Academy, as Mr Ian Brailsford moves from the role of Assistant Principal to Vice Principal in charge of students and pastoral care, while for Vice Principal Alexander Laney it marks a return to teaching in Stoke-on-Trent having originally trained at Thistley Hough Academy.

Ian originally joined Thistley Hough Academy in 2011 and has been integral to the new structure which involved moving from heads of house to heads of year. These heads of year will remain with a particular year group throughout their time at the Academy.

He said: “Although it’s a new position for me my goal remains the same, which is to make sure our students are getting the best possible educational provision in order to open doors and help them succeed in their future.

“Moving into this role allows me to have more of a strategic overview so I can help lead the direction of the Academy, however both Alexander and I are still very much available for parents and students.

“In terms of pastoral changes, we have returned to operating with five non-teaching heads of year, so every student has a direct pastoral link throughout their entire time at Thistley Hough Academy who is always available throughout the day.

“They are a constant point of contact which will also help to make the transition from primary to secondary school far easier, where they have been used to having one member of staff as contact to suddenly having 14 different teaching staff.

“It means we can have a far stronger relationship with our students and their parents as they will have a constant point of contact and building these relationships is key to achieving better outcomes.

“As part of that process we will also opening more channels for contact between the Academy and parents, and there will be more features online so parents can track the progress of their child.”

Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, Alexander was keen to return to teaching in Staffordshire to make a difference in his local community.

He said: “I trained as a teacher at Thistley Hough Academy, so when I saw this position I jumped at the chance to come back to Stoke-on-Trent as it was really important to me to return and give something back to the community.

“The Academy is a very different place to the school that I trained at 10 years ago and I am really excited to be part of the journey that the Academy is on.

“One of the main factors pulling me back to work in Stoke-on-Trent is that there is a desperate need to raise aspirations of students across the city. This shift will take time, as it’s both a cultural, and a generational shift in attitudes. However, in order for the school to succeed, it’s a challenge we must win.

“This role means I will be evaluating the quality of education we offer – what is being taught and how it is being taught – as if these are right then everything becomes easier. Education isn’t just about passing exams, it’s about going deeper than that, enabling our students to master a subject and fall in love with the joy of learning.

“Achieving an Ofsted rating of Outstanding isn’t the goal for me, as while the validation of external bodies is nice, I measure success in a different way. When our students understand that in coming to our academy, and working hard, they will be successful in securing a future that affords them real opportunities, and when our past students are coming back from University and apprenticeships to change the face of Stoke-on-Trent for the better, then we can say we have succeeded.”

Hospital work experience opens Pippa’s eyes to NHS jobs

Thistley Hough Academy student Pippa Chinn had a unique chance to see life inside the doors of one of the UK’s biggest teaching hospitals after approaching the Academy careers team about her interest in becoming a doctor or nurse.

The Academy enjoys a great relationship with the University Hospital North Midlands who have supported student placements for a number of years. These are invaluable in helping young people understand the huge variety of roles and apprenticeship opportunities available within the NHS and builds their confidence and communication skills.

Pippa’s interest in helping people was sparked by BBC TV series Me Too character Dr Juno.

Pippa said: “I’d always wanted to be a nurse or a doctor and to help people and Dr Juno was sort of my idol and I wanted to be like that.

“My parents were pleased when I told them I had a placement at the hospital and the experience has been really good. thought I would be sat at a desk, but I’ve done basic life support where I got to work on a dummy and use a defibrillator as we had to imagine the patient was unconscious.

“I also did another course with the nursing assistants looking at things like vital signs and how you check those on a chart and asses how at risk a patient is.

“Now I’ve done work experience I definitely still want to go into the NHS, but now I think I need to look at different departments more before I figure out what part I want to work in because there are so many roles.”

Ian Carruthers, Head of Widening Participation at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, said it was just this kind of awareness raising of NHS careers among young people that work experience is designed to achieve.

He said: “While Pippa’s age meant she couldn’t have patient contact yet, she has been able to experience some of the training programmes that ourclinical staff  undertake”

“Work experience placements with Thistley Hough Academy are important because these young people are our future workforce, and while they often know we employ doctors and nurses, they don’t know about all the other careers we have available.

“When Pippa first came to us she wanted to be a nurse or maybe a doctor. If she wanted to become a nurse she could either apply to university after her level three exams or apply to us to become a nursing assistant apprentice then grow her career via the Trust’s internal qualification opportunities.”

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 – 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