Category: Uncategorized

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


Weekly Newsletter – Important Information – Academic Year 2019-2020

Dear Parent/Carer


Important Information – Academic Year 2019-2020


In light of the change to the early May Bank Holiday 2020, I write to confirm all dates for the Academic Year 2019 – 2020. These can be found overleaf, along with the agreed Staff Training Days, when the Academy will be closed to students.


Could I also take this opportunity to inform you of the revised times of the day as below, which will be in place from September 2019. These changes will not affect the start or end of the school day, but do incorporate an immediate start to learning, whereby all students will go straight to Period 1 upon arrival to school. Students’ attendance will be logged as part of the standard registration to all lessons and punctuality will be monitored in the usual way. This ensures a flying start to the day, and will support better structure to Registration Time later in the day. This is a model that has proved very successful in education, and we look forward to putting this into place in the new academic year.


Times to the day (September 2019)


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday


Period /Registration /Break Time
Period 1 8:45am – 9:45am
Period 2 9:45am – 10:45am
Registration 10:45am – 11:05am
Morning Break 11:05am – 11:20am
Period 3 11:20am – 12:20pm
Period 4 12:20pm – 1:20pm
Lunch Break 1:20pm – 2:00pm
Period 5 2:15pm – 3:15pm


Period /Registration /Break Time
Period 1 8:45am – 9:45am
Period 2 9:45am – 10:45am
Registration 10:45am – 11:00am
Morning Break 11:00am – 11:15am
Period 3 11:15am – 12:15pm
Lunch Break 12:15pm – 12:45pm
Period 4 12:45pm – 2:00pm


Term Dates 2019 – 2020



Autumn Term 2019

Date Event
Monday 2nd September Staff Training Day – Academy closed to students
Tuesday 3rd September Staff Training Day – Academy closed to students
Wednesday 4th September Academy opens to all students
Monday 28th October –

Friday 1st November

Half -Term
Wednesday 11th December Staff Training Day – Academy closed to students
Friday 20th December Academy closes for Christmas Break



Spring Term 2020

Date Event
Monday 6th January School Progress Day
Tuesday 7th January Academy opens to all students
Monday 17th February –

Friday 21st February

Half -Term
Friday 3rd April Academy closes for Easter Break



Summer Term 2020

Date Event
Monday 20th April Academy opens to all students
Friday 8th May May Bank Holiday
Monday 25th May –

Friday 29th May

Half – Term
Wednesday 24th June Staff Training Day – Academy closed to students
Friday 17th July Academy closes to students for Summer Break
Monday 20th July Staff Training Day



INSET Days 2019 – 2020

  • Monday 2ndSeptember 2019
  • Tuesday 3rdSeptember 2019
  • Wednesday 11thDecember 2019
  • Wednesday 24thJune 2020
  • Monday 20thJuly 2020


Thank you for your continued support for Thistley Hough Academy.


With best wishes


Jayne Schofield


Run for Fun 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

Run for Fun Registration form


On Saturday 18th May we will be holding our annual Willows Fun Run, the gates will open at 10am with the first race starting at 10.30am.  This will take place at Thistley Hough Academy on their fields. There are 2 choices of distance: a 2km and a 5km route. You can walk, jog or run and all participants will get a medal on finishing. We are hoping that everyone will get involved and please bring along family and friends to our event to make it a huge success! There is a £1 entry fee which covers the cost of the medal.


The school will take every precaution to minimise risk on the day however you are responsible for your family’s general health and safety during the event.

  1. Wearing appropriate clothing and footwear
  2. Bringing water with you on the day
  3. Ensuring that family members are fit and healthy to take part


Please see terms and conditions on the Willows school website under forms and letters.


The 2k race will be first and then this will be followed by the 5k race. It would be great to get as much support as possible for those running the longer distance and there will be designated spectator areas to cheer them on during this race!


We are hoping to make this year our best yet and are hoping to see you all there!!



The completed application form can either be returned to the main office, including your £1 entry fee(s) before the event or brought with you on Saturday 18th May.

——————————————————————————————————————————————The following family members will be taking part in the Run for Fun event.

Name Age 2K 5K Both 2K/5K



Signature:……………………………………………………………………… Date: …………………………

Please tick the box to confirm that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions.

Important Information – VP Welcome and Examinations

Dear Parents/Carers


VP Welcome and Exams


Vice Principal appointments

Following a rigorous interview process, I am pleased to welcome two new Vice Principals to the Senior Leadership Team here at Thistley Hough Academy.

Mr Ian Brailsford, who has been Assistant Principal at the Academy since 2015, has now moved into post and I am sure you will join me in congratulating him on his new role. In September, Mr Alexander Laney will join us from Ark, St Alban’s Academy in Birmingham, where he is also currently a senior leader. We are very much looking forward to working with both Mr Brailsford and Mr Laney in their new roles at the Academy.

Year 11 Examinations

This week marks the start of the final GCSE Examinations for our Year 11 students, and I am sure you will join us in wishing them good luck as they enter into their final weeks of secondary education.

All students have been issued with their individual exam schedule and revision sessions timetable. Should you have any questions or concerns during this time, please contact Mr Dillon or Mr Budrys, who will be happy to discuss these with you.

As ever, I wish to thank you for your support for Thistley Hough Academy.

With best wishes


Jayne Schofield


Newsletter – Standards and Behaviour Procedures

Dear Parents/Carers


Standards and Behaviour Procedures


As you will know, we are constantly aiming to improve standards in the Academy.  As a result, we have been working on improving our behaviour procedures, following consultation with staff and students.


The improved procedures will be in operation from week commencing Monday 20th May, and will run as follows:


Level on ClassCharts Meaning Consequence
O OUTSTANDING work – going above and beyond throughout the lesson ·        Public recognition by the teacher

·        5 House Points added

E Meeting agreed EXPECTATIONS throughout the lesson ·        Public recognition by the teacher

·        1 House Point added.

I INTERVENTION required to address behaviour.

It is made explicit to the student that he/she is not showing respect for learning and a WARNING given about potential consequences.

·        Move seat, private conversation, basic in-class INTERVENTION by the member of staff etc.

·        Student has Level 3 recorded on class charts.



4 Despite intervention by the teacher, expectations are still not being met. ·        Student has Level 4 recorded and a 10 minute detention that evening.
5 In the teacher’s professional judgement, the class are not able to learn effectively with the student present in the room. ·        Student is removed to designated room within department.

·        Student now has a 20 minute detention that evening.


6 Despite being removed from the lesson to another designated classroom, the student is choosing not to comply OR student truants/walks out of a lesson from a lesson. ·        Student is taken to the Remove Room to reflect on their actions.

·        Student now has a 30 minute detention that evening.

7 More than one Level 5, or instances of truancy in one day ·        Student has now accumulated a 60 minute detention that evening for this lesson

·        Further action taken by the Academy to support behaviour improvements.


As you will see, the system is very clear and we expect it to lead to a consistent approach to classroom behaviour.


Detentions will all take place on the day that they are set so that students will see an immediate consequence to their actions; parents will receive notification of detentions through ClassCharts.  Any detention issued will always be the result of a student choosing to disrupt learning, despite warnings and intervention having taken place.


May I take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support for improving standards at Thistley Hough Academy.


With best wishes





Ian Brailsford

Vice Principal

Ski Trip final Details Letter

Dear Parent/Carer

Final Ski Details letter


As we get nearer to the departure of our trip to France we would like to give you some final details and try to answer last minute questions you may have.


Flight Details

Outbound Flight Number: LS981 Inbound Flight Number: LS982
Outbound Flight Time: 13:00 – 16:15 Inbound Flight Time: 17:15 – 18:30


Hold Luggage:

At this point we would like to remind you of the details for all student’s luggage. The weight limit for each student’s case is 22kg. This is a very strict limit, therefore please make sure you have weighed your cases wherever possible. We will have scales on the day of departure and will check each student’s case before leaving the Academy to ensure that each student is within the weight limits. We will have Equity tags to go on all cases but please ensure that your child’s case is labelled or is obvious in some way who it belongs to, in order to make the baggage claim process more efficient. Please ensure that any medications are bagged up, labelled and put into the hold luggage, as long as they won’t be needed for the duration of the journey. Your child’s group leader will then collect these once we get to the hotel to be kept safe.


Hand Luggage:

Each student is allowed to take one piece of small hand luggage on the plane. This should be rucksack/handbag size and should only hold student essentials. Please can we remind you of the governments hand luggage restrictions that any liquid containers going on board the plane must hold no more than 100ml, containers must be in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm. Contents must fit comfortably inside the bag so it can be sealed, however, we do recommend that liquids go into the hold case to make going through airport security more efficient. Also, all electronic devices should be easily accessible in order to be removed and scanned at airport security.


Departure Details:

Thistley Hough staff will be at school from 8.30am on Saturday 2nd February, we advise that you arrive in plenty of time before our 9:30 departure. This will allow us to weigh all luggage, take all spending money (€150 limit) to put into their individual folders and any other items that need to be kept with your child’s group leader. If your child wishes to bring additional money to spend in the airport, we would like to suggest a maximum of £20 which will be your child’s responsibility. We must be ready to leave THA at 9.30am sharp so please ensure your child is organised.



Social Media:

In order for everyone to stay up to date with our departures, arrivals and adventures throughout our trip we will be posting regular updates on our dedicated Facebook page. This will be everything from status posts regarding our location whilst traveling to pictures and videos of our students skiing in the Alps. This will be the best way to stay connected to our visit and a quick and easy way to get messages to staff and students if required.

Our Facebook username is as follows:

Facebook: Tha Skiing (add as friend)





Hotel Access:

During our visit students will be skiing for 4 hours each day and this can often take its toll. In previous visits, we have had requests from students to rest during one of our skiing sessions and remain in the hotel. Usually this is only 1 or two students at a time, therefore we cannot take a member of Thistley Hough staff from the mountain in order to supervise such a small number. However, having spoken to our hotel, they have assured us that their trained staff will be onsite at all times and would supervise our students if required in the communal areas or games rooms. They will have also contact numbers for Thistley Hough staff in case of emergency. If you give permission for your child to be able to remain in the hotel supervised by Equity staff please could you sign and return the permission slip below to the PE department


Emergency Contact Number:


In the case of an emergency here at home, if you need to get in contact with the trip at any point whilst we are in France the number above will be manned by a member of Thistley Hough staff 24 hours a day. Please only use this number in an emergency, all other contact can be made through the social media outlets as listed above. If you do not have any of the social media platforms to get in contact, in a non-emergency situation you can send a text message to the above number and we will respond at the next convenient time.


Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Yours sincerely


  1. Brown


Miss Jill Brown

Head of Sport and Health

Weekly Newsletter – Change of Student Entrance

Dear Parents/Carers

 Change of Student Entrance

As part of the ongoing commitment to our Road Safety Campaign here at Thistley Hough Academy, we have taken the decision to review the entrance/exit arrangements for students. As a result, after half term all students will enter and exit the building from the lower entrance located on the Newcastle Lane side of the building.

This change will take place from Monday 5th November.

This change has been made in order to ensure the safe pick up and drop off of all our students who arrive to the Academy by car, by using the dedicated drop off zone. This will also ensure that all students arriving at the Academy have a safe walking route away from the increased traffic, both at the start and end of the school day.

The move to the lower entrance will also ensure that students enter the Academy directly into the dining hall. We hope that this will encourage them to take advantage of our supervised Magic Breakfast programme which provides a free breakfast for all students at the Academy.

We ask that all students walking to school follow the painted footprints, clearly visible on entering the Academy site, in order to remain safe. As a brief reminder, our academy day starts at 8:45am and all students should be on site by 8:40am.

If you require any further information or would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards


Ian Brailsford

Assistant Principal

Letter from the Principal

Dear Parents/Carers


It is with great sadness that yesterday we informed our students that a member of our school community has sadly passed away. Alex Shaw was a delightful young lady who brightened everyone’s day; she will be very sadly missed.


As we outlined in the assembly, we have ensured that additional appropriate support is in place for our students and staff.


This is obviously a very distressing time for all concerned. Should you have any worries or concerns regarding support for your child, please contact your child’s Head of House at the Academy to discuss this further.


Our thoughts and condolences are with Alex’s family and friends at this very sad time.


Yours sincerely


Acting Principal

Jayne Schofield