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Gloucester Academy

Term 3 Newsletter

Dear GA Families

Welcome back to term 4 of the school year and we are looking forward to some amazing opportunities.

We are halfway through the year now and we are feeling incredibly proud of our students.  Watching them grow in confidence is an absolute pleasure.  This last week we hosted our school production.  We hope those of you who came to see ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ enjoyed it, students and staff were exceptional and thoroughly enjoyed it as did those of us that watched the performance.  It was our first production as a Greenshaw school and marks the start of many more.  I hope you enjoy reading about all of the other experiences that students have had last term and as always please get in touch if you would like to suggest some opportunities or would like to help out in any way.

This term we have:

  • Life of Pi Trip

As part of their GCSE Drama course in January we took Year 11 students to watch the ‘Life of Pi’.  We really believe this trip helped to inspire our young thespians, and encouraged them to pursue their love and passion for drama in the future.

  • Pantomime Trip for Unit 1 100% Attendees

To reward students who earned 100% attendance during Unit 1 we were delighted to take them to Kings Theatre to watch a production of ‘Mother Goose’.  It was incredible to have the whole theatre to ourselves and be rewarded with a surprise of ice cream from the production company.  An incredible experience and we cannot wait to go back next year!

  • GROWS sessions for Year 9

To ensure all of our students understand the limitless possibilities of their next steps after Gloucester Academy, it was fantastic to have external careers advisors from GROWS visiting Gloucester Academy to support our Year 9’s understand key information on their next steps, labour market information and key employability skills!

  • University Trip for Year 9

Our Year 9 students had an outstanding opportunity to visit the Royal Agricultural University to learn all about the university and the wide range of courses available to study.  The students loved touring the grounds, learning from current students and were blown away by the amazing opportunities on offer.

  • Poetry Slam with Real Life Poet “Spoz”

A small group of Year 7 students had the opportunity to work with Poet ‘Spoz’ for a day, taking part in Poetry ‘Rap Battles’ alongside writing and performance workshops.  We were blown away by their insightful and sensitive final pieces which were written on the theme ‘Refugees’.  We are now excited for the final performance later this term against other local schools!

  • Limited Edition Project

One of the most exciting projects this year has to be the Year 9 Limited Edition Project, where a small group of Year 9 students are creating a product with local business Tubby Toms, which will later be sold in stores. So far, the Year 9’s have been taken under the wing of local business people from the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, Tubby Toms and Gloucester Services to understand the journey of a product from idea creation to marketing to selling to customers!  We cannot wait to see and taste their final product!



  • Incredible Enrichment Opportunities

At GA we are proud to run over 26 different enrichment opportunities that take place at lunch or after-school, with many of which being so popular that they run multiple times a week!  We are

delighted to see our students pursuing their passions outside of the classroom but also having the confidence to step up and lead their own enrichment.  In particular, I would like to thank Kyarnie and Kloe-Joy for setting up Dance Society and choreographing complex routines for their group to learn, to Harley for setting up the immensely popular Friday Football Society in collaboration with Mr Rahman, Mya for setting up Total Drama Society, Zack and Lucas for leading Warhammer and all of the other incredible young people at GA leading their own societies!

  • Flying Starts and GA Prep

We love that we start each day at 7.15am here at GA, and are proud that GA Prep sets so many of our students up for a fantastic day ahead with breakfast, a chance to do homework, sports activities and more!  In addition, our hugely successful flying start sessions are helping our Year 11’s ascend their mountain with sessions running every day from 7.30am or 8.00am.

  • Careers Assemblies

We know that that future career aspirations are always at the forefront of our students’ minds, therefore to help them make informed decisions and broaden their horizons, we are delighted to invite speakers from various sectors into GA to support the incredible work taking place in our timetabled Careers lessons, Careers Trips and work completed by our Careers Advisor.  This half-term we have had lectures from; Apprenticeships and T-Level Talks, Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Public Sector, a local entrepreneur and owner of ‘Henry’s Stroud’, Camp America, Alex McIntrye a local solicitor and of course messages from old students to our Year 11s.

  • 4 O’Clock Club

Our 4 O’clock club is back!  We have been delighted to invite local primary school students to take place in one hour sessions to give them a flavour for life at Gloucester Academy - from History to Gym Sessions to Cookery!

  • Oxford University Visit

We are continuing our great work with our partners at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University and recently took 14 outstanding Year 11 students to explore Oxford for a day.  Whilst touring the campus, meeting students, seeing university accommodation and more was incredible, what really excited our students was taking part in a debate around ‘The Trolley Problem’.  It has been fantastic to see our Year 11’s working harder than ever after this visit, and we cannot wait to see them at institutions such as Oxford in the future!

  • GROWS Sessions

Once again, we have invited our partners at GROWS back to GA, and this time to kick off their sessions with Year 7 and Year 8!  Exploring what university is, creating their own university societies and exploring future career paths.  Incredible!

  • Carducci Trust Music Workshop

To help our KS4 Musicians get inspired ahead of their coursework deadlines local musicians at the Carducci Trust led an inspirational workshop to our Year 10 and Year 11 Music GCSE students. 

  • Crown Court Trip

Learning about the Law and the Justice system is always a request from our students at GA, therefore we are so thankful to Mrs Smith for leading a trip to Crown Court which allowed students to take part in a workshop learning all about the justice system and the court process.

  • Gloucestershire County Council Visits

We are continuing our work with the Gloucestershire County Council and have recently invited in their outreach team to work with Year 9, with a focus on gaining an understanding of young people’s wants and needs for their future.  More specifically, our Year 9’s fed back on new initiatives, plans and proposals around the creation of new homes to better direct council planning now and in the future.  It is great that our young people are able to use their voice to propel positive change!

  • Year 11 Leadership Projects

Our Year 11 leaders have been busy completing their Legacy Projects, and we have been blown away by Smith’s Assemblies on Pride, Emma’s assembly to Year 7 on her role as transition lead, Juveriya and Chenoukaa’s new Friendship Society as a quiet drop in for students wanting to see a friendly face, a few games and a chat, Oumou and Artiqah’s plans for our Culture Day and Flags to celebrate our 89 nationalities within GA alongside Tyler’s PSHE lesson on Mental Health and Relationships for Year 7.

  • New Character Representatives Appointed!

A huge congratulations to the new KS3 Character Representatives appointed, who have recently undertaken a leadership training session with Mr Hoyle.  We are excited to see you at Open Mornings alongside other events and being amazing buddies to new students at GA!

  • Young Minds Matter drop ins

Catrin Garland, Nicola Watt and Mary Coughlin; Education Mental Health Practitioners from Young Minds Matter, continue to be available every Thursday lunchtime for a ‘drop in’ session; students can attend these drop ins without an appointment to discuss any mental health concerns, be referred to TIC+ and gain access to YMM Chat.

  • SEND Ten Pin Bowling Extravaganza!

Strike!  Mr Sinden and his fantastic team had the opportunity to take a variety of Year 7 and Year 8 students bowling alongside other local schools.  It was fantastic to see the students supporting each other, getting strike after strike and making the very difficult decision on whether to have the barriers up!

  • Mindfulness for Year 7 - Year 10

A small group of students in Years 7 - 10 have been taking part in Mindfulness programme sessions with Miss Kawecka. These sessions are timetabled once a week for a period of eight weeks.  These sessions support these students to pay attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and without judgement.  This supports students to become resilient and effective learners so that they can blossom emotionally, socially and academically.

  • Strengthening Minds for Year 7 - Year 10

A small group of students in Years 7 - 10 have been taking part in ‘Strengthening Minds’ programme sessions with Miss Bines.  These sessions are timetabled once a week for a period of 10 weeks.  The sessions empower these students to take ownership of their own emotions and actions; whilst reflecting and learning new skills to manage and overcome challenges in and outside the classroom.

  • School nurse drop ins

Nisha Shah and Emily Ireland, our school nurses, continue to be available every Monday lunchtime for a ‘drop in’ session; students can see the school nurse for any health concerns they have and do not need to have an appointment.  Should you wish for your child to see the school nurse, please encourage them to attend the ‘drop in’ on Monday lunchtimes or email Miss Bines ( if your child wishes to be referred for an appointment.

  • Ten Tors Training Events

This weekend we have seen our team of Year 10’s take on the dreary Dartmoor weather and get ready to take on Ten Tors 2024 by storm, a 35 mile, independent walk across 10 ‘Tors’ or hills across the rugged Dartmoor terrain.  We are beyond proud of their resilience and determination in the face of wet weather, the fiercely cold weather, blisters and more, and a huge thank you to Miss Walker and the team for supporting each training weekend.

We have many more opportunities planned for our children this term including our FameLab Science Final, Brilliant Club Graduation, Year 8 PWC Trip, Midwifery Sessions for Year 9, visits from a local Author and from speakers from Cambridge University, and of course a trip to Twickenham for a rugby event!  It is incredibly important that we ensure that our children at the academy get as much experience as they can when they are with us so that they are well informed and full of character when they pursue their next steps.

One last area I would like to share with you is the feedback we have been getting from all year groups over hot chocolate this term.  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 Tyler - Jay, Elin, Alfie, Leah, Mia and Ibitamuno   and they explained to me that they liked:

  • They liked the assessments they have been doing as they can get to see how well they are learning
  • The whiteboards that they all have so they can join in in the lesson and show their learning
  • The outside areas to play and socialise in
  • That lessons are fun and the teachers really get to know you.

They would like to suggest the following:

  • More gym equipment in the play areas so there are more things to do
  • A celebration reward for tutor groups that have been doing really well
  • More feedback in lessons so they can see if they have got it right
  • The food lines are too busy and there is no food left

From their comments and suggestions, I have:

  • We are having a bigger playground built once the funding comes through and think it is a great idea to put some more play equipment out there.
  • We are looking at a way of using the golden tickets to give rewards on a Friday Period 5
  • We are all focusing on ensuring that the teacher circulates during the independent stage of the lesson so that students get feedback
  • I have spoken with the catering team and we are redesigning the food counters at Easter so the queuing is much better organised and we have put more food out at breaktime so we do not run out.

Year 8

I met with Reese, Toby, Jai, Logan, Davis, Marshall, Sulayman, and Halim they explained to me that they liked:

  • The length of the lunch break gives you time to relax and play
  • The PE lessons are great we are loving football
  • The chance to go on many school trips
  • Lining up for lessons means that you get there on time and it is orderly
  • We are loving the new outdoor shelters as there is somewhere to sit down outside.

They would like to suggest the following:

  • We would like longer to get between lessons as sometimes it is a rush if there is no line up
  • We would like to try different sports
  • Some way of looking at your timetable if you have forgotten it
  • We would like a roof on the bike shed

From their comments and suggestions, I have:

  • Discussed the extension of the time between lessons.  We haven't changed this yet as it will change all the times of the day but we are definitely going to do this as soon as possible
  • I have met with the PE department who assure me there is an extensive range of sports.  We will publish the sports available for each year group so we can see where we need to add things if necessary.  We are just introducing Karate for all year groups after a suggestion that some students would like to learn self-defence.
  • In the morning we ensure that any missing timetables are given to students before the day starts.
  • I have spoken to Gloucestershire council and they are going to hopefully support us with the bike shed roof.  We are meeting in April to discuss the next steps but again this will happen.

Year 9

I met with Keith, Edwin, Jack, Jack, Logan, Kieran, Ella and Rhian and they explained to me that they liked:

  • The line up before lessons to make sure everyone is together and the start of the lesson is orderly
  • The shelters outside are great we would like one over the line up
  • The school building is clean, tidy and well looked after
  • The range of sports on offer for Year 9
  • The range of support available for students that need that but extra
  • The range of subjects you study in Year 9

They would like to suggest the following:

  • Some revision sessions in the morning to help them learn the words for the assessments and the new style of homework
  • A roof on the bike shed
  • More bins in the playground
  • Having an option in PE so you don't all have to do the same sport
  • The football cage needs adjusting as it has lost its shape.

From their comments and suggestions, I have: 

  • Passed on the revision suggestion to the Assistant Head in charge of assessments.  We agreed that this is a great suggestion and we will do something to support Year 9
  • The roof is coming!
  • We have suggested moving some bins around to the KS3 area, we are just looking where to locate them
  • By September there will be a choice of sports in some of the lessons
  • I will ask the site team to look at the cages and ensure they are in good shape. Year 9 has moved to a different playground now so we hope that the football cage is better!

Year 10

I met with Ibitein, Prashesh, Takondula and Tobias and they explained to me that they liked:

  • The teachers are really excellent
  • We love the range of food available in the dining area
  • The lesson structure is really useful as it is the same everywhere so you always know what to do
  • The school community and culture is amazing we all feel that we belong together

They would like to suggest the following:

  • We have culture days to celebrate each other’s diversity
  • Year 10 and 11 have their own toilets as it gets crowded
  • We are able to where coats in PE if it is cold
  • A chance to have some input over the books we read in Year 10 tutor time
  • We would like to be able to choose sports sometimes

From their comments and suggestions, I have: 

  • Our Year 11 culture team are working on the culture days. They are currently working on a permanent fixture in the school to celebrate all the countries that our school represents. There will be a display of 89 flags in the reception area going up soon. I have spoken also to the catering team who are putting on dishes once a month to celebrate the cultures we have in the school. We will be asking for help on this soon.
  • The toilets in the school are being refurbished so there will be more available soon
  • You will be able to wear your coat outside to PE as of today
  • It would be great to set up student voice around the books our students read in the morning

  • You will be able to choose sports soon.  We are going through all the options and making it clear when you can choose your sport and what is available.

Year 11

I met with Year 11 the Student leadership team they explained to me that they liked:

  • The opportunity to do call and response in lessons (this is where the teacher asks a question and the class responds out loud together), it is really quick and the teacher gets instant feedback about the class's understanding.
  • The chance to do lunch time revision and flying starts in the morning.  They appreciate the time that all staff give them to support them with their GCSEs
  • Enjoying the PE lessons, they have in the timetable, it is a time to relax
  • Half term schools (opportunity to come in and have more revision) are really helpful as you know there is a teacher to help you with your revision rather than trying to do it on your own

They would like to suggest the following:

  • The queues in the line are still causing an issue, especially at lunchtime. The teachers are always on a line to support it now but it doesn't always work
  • Transitioning between lessons in the C and D blocks is hard due to the number of students in the building
  • More things to do or activities to join during break and lunchtime
  • More educational trips for them so they can visit more places and get an idea for their next stage

From their comments and suggestions, I have: 

  • Talked about the lines and thanked Year 11 for feedback, we have put more staff on but it is clearly not making the difference it needs to.  We are redesigning the counters to improve the flow of students but will think of other ideas with the help of students and the catering team.
  • We understand that as we increase the number of students there are, we are increasing the traffic flow between lessons. We have been looking at a one-way system upstairs and all being well that will be in place for September
  • We encourage students to bring in games or start their own societies at break and lunch.  We have revision lessons on, sports on and clubs.
  • We will take on board the feedback around trips and ensure that this is rectified for future cohorts.

I hope you enjoyed finding out all about our third 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.

Mrs P Lewis