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Gloucester Academy

Term 4 Newsletter

Dear GA Families

I would like to start this newsletter with a huge congratulations to all of our students that have been working hard to ensure they are making great strides up their own personal mountain.  This term has seen the beginning of the Year 11 exams and the students are an absolute credit to themselves and their families ensuring that they are here on time and doing their very best every day.  Just to remind all parents and carers that we do have teachers on site every day until 5.00pm to support and help prepare our Year 11s, building their confidence and giving them last minute tips so please encourage them to stay.

All of our year groups have been up to so much since I last wrote to you, here is a flavour of what has been happening at Gloucester Academy

Success at the Ten Tors Challenge

Our fantastic team of Year 10 and Year 11 students completed the highly challenging Ten Tors Challenge in Dartmoor.  Our team of pupils independently navigated across the Ten Tors or hills across Dartmoor, facing challenging weather conditions, an overnight camp and an immense 35 miles of walking.  A huge congratulations to Ellie-Mae, Ewan, Grace, Rumen and Sahil for their accomplishments.

NHS Careers Workshops for Year 10 and Year 11

In this unit we welcomed back two Outreach workers from the NHS to support our KS4 students, build confidence, choose their future careers, and apply for apprenticeships.  We now cannot wait to see what mountains they choose to climb when they finish Year 11 at Gloucester Academy.

Channel 4 Workshops

Our Year 8 and 9 students, alongside our Year 10 Drama GCSE group took part in a fantastic series of workshops led by Channel 4.  The workshops aimed to inspire our students about the vast array of career paths available in TV and Film, as well as develop key employability skills needed for these roles through interactive workshops.

Year 10 Visit to the Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire

In May 100 of our Year 10s visited the Park Campus, at the University of Gloucestershire where they had the opportunity to find out what university life was like.  From exploring classrooms, drama studios, halls of residence and sports facilities our students had an amazing opportunity to get excited about higher education and understand what exactly their future may look like!

Year 10 Visit to AccXel Construction

A small group of Year 10 studentswere lucky enough to be invited to AccXel, a local construction and training company that offers a range of apprenticeships in construction and engineering.  During the visit, our Year 10's got to try out cutting-edge simulators of tractors and heavy machinery, meet current students and learn about what an apprenticeship in construction looks like.

Year 7 Assembly from Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove

Our Year 7 students were treated to an assembly from a local solicitor, Chloe Barnard, who practises at Cheltenham firm, Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove.  Our students were inspired by Chloe's journey from school to university to becoming a practising lawyer and gained key tips and helpful hints on how to get ahead in the legal profession!

Careers Sessions with GROWS

Once again, our Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10 students had the exciting opportunity to work with leaders from GROWS to explore their future with sessions on personal finance, the benefits of higher education and an exploration of life at university.

Gloucestershire College Open Evening

In order to support our Year 10’s, get ahead and be confident in choosing their next steps for after their GCSEs we were delighted to offer the opportunity to attend Gloucestershire College's Open Evening where our students had the chance to meet their future teachers, learn about new courses on offer and even tour the classrooms that they may be learning in!

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 Abdul, Emmanuel, Tanzi-Mae, Logan, Bana and Keira they explained to me that they liked:

  • The new sports that they get to try out in PE for example Golf
  • Football after school and at lunch
  • The new bagel shed and the fact they get a hot breakfast every morning
  • The library as you can use it every break or lunch time

They would like to suggest the following:

  • We have a summer uniform so we can wear dresses or shorts
  • Lessons are more interactive
  • Mountain Rescue (our alternative space) is not the nicest of spaces as it is very busy

From their comments and suggestions, we have:

  • We have now added shorts to our school uniform list and are working with Monkhouse to ensure they have the Logoed shorts in stock for September
  • Next year we are adding turn and talk to our lessons so students are able to discuss answers before they give them which will be a great addition
  • Mountain rescue is moving to a more bespoke setting so it is much more conducive to supporting our students 

Year 8

I met with Kieran, Evan. Anthony, Destiny, Lucy and Savannah they explained to me that they liked:

  • Two hours of Sport on a Tuesday and they get to try out many different sports
  • Having help with Sparx homework in lesson so they are able to complete it at home
  • The morning free hot bagels
  • Being allowed to carry your phone in your bag so you can have it when you go home.

They would like to suggest the following:

  • Students should be allowed to go to the toilet at any time in lessons
  • We should have different sets for different subjects
  • We should have more Drama lessons

From their comments and suggestions, we have:

  • Ensure staff are aware that students can go to the toilet if it is obvious that a child needs to go.
  • All classes are taught the same lessons regardless of which class they are in - it is the class size that differs. I have encouraged all to ask for help where needed and for staff to ensure students understand what is needed.
  • We have hired 2 drama teachers for September so we are looking forward to some productions and more drama lessons in the timetable. We will have drama available for students who would rather do this than sport in their period 6.

Year 9

I met with Paul, Andreas, Tayton, Chelsea, Tenida and Stilton they explained to me that they liked:

  • The rewards are amazing and we really enjoy them
  • We like the fact that we now do practicals in science it is great to be hands on
  • We like learning Spanish and teachers across the school are great
  • We like the new screens in Humanities and Maths as we can see the board

They would like to suggest the following:

  • We would like to play on the field in summer
  • We would like a longer break
  • We would like to learn more languages

From their comments and suggestions, we have: 

  • The field is now open in the summer and students can book some football nets out and play together on the field
  • We are not thinking of extending morning break but we can have a look at it for next year
  • With the current model of lessons, we would be able to offer two languages. Currently students have 5 lessons of Spanish in Years 7, 8 and 9 so they are really well set up to choose it in Year 10.  If we had another language student would have a lot less time to master the language.  It is however a good point and one we continue to talk about

Year 10

I met with Rahan, Artiqah, Oumou, Fatima, Stansislava and Isla they explained to me that they liked:

  • The rewards system and the praise points we receive.
  • Mountain rescue is really useful as it is somewhere you can be to talk to someone.
  • The diversity of the school
  • The chance to make their own enrichment societies between students with common interests.

They would like to suggest the following:

  • More chance to express culture for example culture days
  • Have swimming lessons
  • More chances to work with younger year groups

From their comments and suggestions, we have: 

  • Spoken to the prospective leadership team around having assemblies where we share individual backgrounds and cultures leading up to a culture day sounds a great idea.
  • We have spoken to Henley Bank who are offering their swimming pool - something for the future.
  • We will pair up our new Year 11 leaders with members of staff so they are supported to interact with the younger years.  All great ideas and ones we can start planning.

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.

Remember we are always here to help or listen, so please stay in touch.

Mrs P Lewis