Category: Uncategorized

Thistley Hough girls get the bug for the beautiful game

The appointment of experienced footballer Meg Baldwin to the Thistley Hough PE teaching team has led to a surge in interest in the sport among the Academy girls.

Since joining the teaching team in September Meg has created and coached an Academy girls’ team, who are going from strength to strength in their fixtures against other schools thanks to her strategies and experience.

Meg is a great role model for the girls as she began playing football aged 11 and was selected for Plymouth Argyle, before securing a contract at Chelsea Ladies Academy aged 16, and now plays as a midfielder for Port Vale Ladies Squad.

She said: “Girls football at Thistley Hough Academy has really taken off and I’m so impressed with the enthusiasm, competitiveness and resilience the girls have shown and they’ve made real progress.

“From day one I had 20 girls from Year 7 through to Year 11 wanting to play and that number has never dipped. They really enjoy learning all the skills then putting them into practice in a game at the end of the session.

“Whenever we play against other schools, they always comment on the rapid improvement we’re making and that’s really helped the girls to thrive and given them the enthusiasm to keep developing.

“I have been involved in coaching local girls’ teams who have all been successful and enjoyed playing football, and I love bringing that motivation and enjoyment to Thistley Hough. I want to ensure the girls have an equal opportunity to get involved in football, have fun, and hopefully continue their love for the sport outside of school.”

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.

High performance cars help to insipre young learners at Thistley Hough Academy

Luxury car manufacturers Aston Martin and Bentley are among 30 businesses who are the driving force behind a career’s day at Thistley Hough Academy aimed at bringing employers and students face to face.

 The full-day ‘inspiration event’ being held at the Penkhull Academy will see employers across a range of sectors ranging from healthcare to education, manufacturing, catering and professional services, take the floor to inform and inspire the young learners about their industries and all the careers opportunities available within them.

 All 150 students taking part will also get a chance to have face to face meetings with the VIP guests, look around an Aston Martin  and Bentley car, and use the opportunity to secure work experience opportunities.

 Sue Greenhalgh, careers adviser at Thistley Hough Academy, said: “Our ‘inspiration day’ offers an amazing chance for students to find out about a whole range of careers, many of which they will never have considered before hearing from these companies.

 “Very often we find that by the end of the day many of our students have secured work experience opportunities, purely by meeting employers and talking with them face to face.

 “Work experience and creating encounters with employers like this are an extremely high priority for us, as they play a crucial part in helping to bridge the skills gaps here in Staffordshire which is essential for the local economy.

 “We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of the employers who are giving their time to this event.”

 Among those taking part is Stoke based animation and visual effects studio Carse & Waterman, who have provided Visual Effects for TV Shows like Inside No9 on BBC, Keith & Paddy’s Picture Show on ITV and Alan Carr’s There’s Something About Movies for Sky.

 Company director, Daniel Waterman, said: “This year will be the fourth year I have supported Thistley’s dedicated careers day as it’s such a great event to be a part of as it provides quality engagement for so many students to open discussions around careers.

 “I feel it’s crucial to support an event like this as we can signpost routes for students into the visual effects, animation and games industry, and to highlight to students and teachers the importance of creative tech jobs and the big role they will play in the future.

“It’s also a great opportunity to raise local aspirations and show students that certain industries they might have thought are beyond their reach, are actually very achievable given the right direction and support.”

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.

Mock exams – keep calm and do your best!

As Mock Exam season begins here at Thistley Hough it’s natural to feel nervous, so we’ve put together five top tips to help you perform at your best and make the most of this important ‘practice run’ before your actual exams.

  1. Create a plan before you start – when you’ve little time left to revise the key is to not go into a blind revision fury. Take a half hour to work out what topics you need to cover and allot chunks of time to each bit because this will save you time in the long run. Once you’ve worked what questions are likely to come up, jot down key notes on each area.
  2. Use memory tricks – mnemonics can help you to remember key facts and phrases (an example is Never Eat Shredded Wheat for the clockwise order of North, East, South and West) so create some to remember tricky points you struggle to recall or look online for GCSE mnemonics resources.
  3. Remember to take regular breaks and breaks between topics. As a very rough rule of thumb if you’ve been revising for less than 20 minutes your break should be 2 minutes or less, 20-30 minutes – 5 minutes break, 30-60 minutes – 5-10 minutes. If you’ve done a total of 3 or more hours of revision in one day you can award yourself a 45-60-minute break.
  4. Use different revision techniques – answering practice questions, write down notes from memory, make flash cards and revision guides. Some people are very visual learners, so if it helps you put information into spider diagrams, pie charts or watch online video tutorials.
  5. Revise in a designated place – sitting in front of the television with a revision guide won’t get information into your brain, so find a space where you can relax, free of distractions. If there isn’t one at home then look at using another place like your local library. If people know when and where you are working, they will be able to support you in the best possible way.

If you need more help and advice with your GCSE revision then do approach your teachers, form tutor or head of year – and Good Luck!

Leon Baptiste encourages students to have healthy relationships, healthy bodies and healthy minds

A unique learning event allowed our students to learn about all aspects of their physical and mental health, from tackling tough exercise circuits alongside GB gold medallist Leon Baptiste to staying safe online and making sensible eating choices.

The entire Academy was buzzing with activity as representatives from Stoke City FC, The Donna Louise Trust, Stoke-on-Trent College, Newcastle College and the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College to name a few, tackled topics from keeping safe online to healthy eating, sexual health and healthy relationships.

This action-packed active learning day builds on the knowledge students regularly receive through the Academy’s ongoing participation in the Whole Population Health Project which runs in partnership with the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Leon, who won gold medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, inspired students with his personal story of training, overcoming injury and reaching the top of his sport. He said: “I’ve been going into schools now for about 10 years helping to promote healthy and active lifestyles for Sports for Champions UK.

“The key thing to get across is that it’s all about doing a little physical activity every day and thinking about the eating and lifestyle choices you make.

“It’s also about developing their mental resilience, as I sustained a serious knee injury at 14 which ended my aspirations of continuing in football. Because of that I made the transition to athletics and then represented GB at the European Junior Championships.

“At 21 I had to have knee surgery and it took a while to get my confidence back and compete again, and it’s important for students to develop that mental determination and know that if they want something they have to work for it.

“They see people on TV and think what they’ve achieved looks easy, but there’s always a story of hard work behind them.”

The circuits completed alongside Leon raised more than £693 which will not only support British athletes with their training but also help improve the sports facilities offered at the Academy.

Any parents or pupils interested in finding out more about the facilities and enrichment opportunities we offer at our academy can call us on 01782 883500 to arrange a visit.

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


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.