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Gloucester Academy

Term 2 Newsletter

15th December 2022 - Term 2 Newsletter

Dear GA Families

I am exceptionally proud to be the Headteacher of Gloucester Academy and this term our students have achieved an exceptional level of excellence as they climb their own personal mountains.

In this newsletter we will endeavour to give you all a flavour of the personal development that our students have been involved in over the past six weeks and celebrate with you the academic success of our outstanding community of students.

Before we do though we would like to wish you all a fantastic Christmas break and we hope you get a chance to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.

This term we have:

Supported our students within the community

We are investing time and resources into ensuring we work with the community to support the students we have in our care.  This term we have had Young Minds Matter in the school so that our students can drop in and have a chat with their team.  Young Minds Matter (YMM) is a safe and confidential mental health support service developed for children and young people up to 18 years of age in schools across Gloucestershire.  We have also had ‚Äčlunchtime drop ins from 'Ideas Alliance' and ‘Matson Community builders' to give our students a voice in the community and a chance to make a change.  We have had weekly visits from the Redwell centre with ‘Redwell Round Up’ who provide activities for our younger students both in and out of school.  ‘School Beat’ officers came in to give a talk to our students about bullying and we launched our ‘Report it’ section on the website so that students can share any concerns they have with us directly any time of the day.


End of Unit rewards including a trip to the pantomime 

Students have been working hard to receive achievement points across the last two terms and have collected their rewards over the last week.  Our Bronze award winners have been able to budget for a form party whilst silver awards have had a gingerbread house workshop.  Students who achieved 100% attendance were taken to the pantomime receiving a commendation from the cast and crew for their enthusiasm and exemplary behaviour.   Our house cup winners this unit were Oxford receiving over 30,000 achievement points between them whilst Cambridge won the Inter House sport Cup


Year 8 event to Empower Her Cyber event

50 of our Year 8 girls went on a visit to the largest ever movement to inspire more girls into cyber science with brand leaders supporting our students with problem solving. This prestigious event was covered by many media outlets and got Gloucester Academy a slot in The Times Newspaper and BBC Gloucester Radio. 

Supporting our students with their next steps

Our Year 11 have had visiting speakers from our local sixth forms including Denmark Road, Holmleigh Park and Sir Thomas Rich’s and have been on a visit to check out what Holmleigh Park Sixth form is all about.  We have also had guest speakers into Year groups talking about the charity sector careers and aspirations and have launched UNifrog to all Year groups to help them decide future paths.  We are looking forward to an evening with our Year 10 students to discuss next steps around work experience and how to secure a placement.

Bespoke peer mentoring for our student leadership team

We have received outstanding feedback after two training sessions that our students have had around peer mentoring and raising awareness around mental health. Our students will put this to good use as they interact with other students around the school and support students and staff at lunch and break times.

Held an Academic review evening

Last week we had Academic Review Evening for Years 7 and 9 which literally saw hundreds of parents coming in to collect reports and speak to teachers about the success their child has had in school. Other Year groups will have received their report today and Academic Evenings for Years 8, 10 and 11 will follow.  Our staff thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with our families and we are glad that those that attended felt they got a real insight into how their child was doing

If you would like to know more about what your child is studying or taking part in the school please sign up to our twitter account, facebook or visit our website which contains links to both.

Again, I would like to share with you the feedback we have been getting from all year groups over hot chocolate on a Friday.  As Headteacher I have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of your children to talk through what they like about the school and suggestions they have made for improvements.


Year 7

I met with Alpha, Christian, Lilly, Madisyn and Chyanna and they explained to me that they liked:

The one-way system around the school as they felt it meant that everyone can just get to lesson, there are no busy corridors.

The afternoon of Sport on a Monday and that they can go home in their PE kit.

That the teachers are very friendly.

They would like to suggest the following:

They don’t like the amount of homework as sometimes there are two on one night

They want to not receive detentions if late to class as sometimes they have to go along way

More waffles available at breaktime.

From their comments and suggestions, I have:

Talked students through the need to set homework across the week for all the subjects so they get less on the weekend to do.

Talked to staff about only setting detentions if it is clear that an individual is very late.

Asked the dining staff to put out more waffles and to replenish if they run out.


Year 8

I met with Mya, Vanessa, Nectari, Macy, George and Hamid they explained to me that they liked:

The pride badges they can collect and wear on their blazers

The food that the dining hall serves

The fact they were doing a large range of subjects including music and DT

They would like to suggest the following:

They would like to have house activities that are not always sports based

To start their own enrichment club

They would like more access to lockers

From their comments and suggestions, I have:

Suggested that the House captains have a look at what sort of activities they could put on for the houses

What a great idea about enrichment we will be certainly be taking this forward

Lockers are being moved into the key stage 3 area once the weather improves.  We are putting up shelters to ensure they are waterproof so that students can safely store their belongings.

Year 9

I met with AJaia, Natasha, Louie, Oliver and Owen they explained to me that they liked:

The enrichment activities that are on offer over the term

Teachers are really thorough and care about their students

The friendly competition between houses

They would like to suggest the following:

To be less strict about jewellery that students can wear

More careers lessons

To use the football pitch at break and lunch

From their comments and suggestions, I have: 

We have a uniform policy that is easy to understand and makes sure that our students are safe in practical lessons, so our policy won’t be changing

We now have a career lesson every other week for all year groups so we are looking forward to some feedback on the new software UNIfrog and the experiences our students are getting 

We are looking at enlarging the Key Stage 3 playground now that our numbers have increased. We are just getting quotes to cover an area we don't currently use so that students have more space to play.


Year 10

I met with Grace, Grace, Toby, David and Tristan they explained to me that they liked:

The booklets we use and the fact that are useful for revision

Our new checkpoint assessments where students are given feedback on how well they are doing in each subject

The opportunity to take part in Duke of Edinburgh and Ten Tors

They would like to suggest the following:

More sports offered across the year

More careers lessons

From their comments and suggestions, I have: 

Met with the Head of Sport and we have put a plan together to offer more sports in our Elite Training session.  We will be buying in expert coaches and investing in some amazing equipment to ensure our students get a varied experience.  These changes will begin in Unit 3.

We have put in a careers lesson for each tutor group on alternative mornings so that all of Year 10 can log on to the new careers package and really make the most of it through bespoke lessons.  We are also introducing work experience so students have the opportunity to get out and experience workplaces across the community and beyond.


Year 11

I met with Fatima, Aaminah, Chante, Aaizer, Nikita and Ben they explained to me that they liked:

The visits to and from local sixth forms

The rewards that they achieve over the unit

The preparation for exams including the exam manifest

They would like to suggest the following:

That they have a choice around homework and the KIP assessments

They have a self-study period one of the days from Monday to Friday

They would like some enrichment PE 

From their comments and suggestions, I have: 

Agreed that they can have a choice over homework and that students can now submit ten revision cards rather than the KIP homework

We are looking into the self-study period but this is what Elite Training is for and staff would miss out on a valuable opportunity to teach them specific knowledge they would need

We agree about the PE that is why we put it into the holidays.  We will work with the leadership team to discuss how this could work

I hope you enjoyed finding out all about our second term at Gloucester Academy, I have certainly enjoyed reflecting on our achievements. If you have any feedback about what you would like to read in this newsletter please send it to Mrs Gasher

We encourage everyone to come and visit the Academy remember ‘Every day is an open day’ at Gloucester Academy, please visit our website and book a ‘school in action tour’.  Come and see one of the most improved schools in the country, we will take great pride in showing you around.

Have a fantastic break, stay safe and we are looking forward to seeing you again next term.  We thank you all for supporting your children in getting to school each day and encourage you to discuss the next rewards your child may get by achieving 100% attendance.  If you ever need any support with us we are always here to help.

Mrs P Lewis