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Gloucester Academy

Term 5 Newsletter

3rd June 2024

Dear GA Families

Welcome to the final term of the school year which is always packed full of experiences for all of our students. Year 11s are currently in the middle of their exams.  We are getting some great feedback from them around how well prepared they all feel and how well they think the exams are going.  We know that this time is hard for all of them and we encourage you to contact us if you think your Year 11 child may need some help from our Early Help team to get through the last two weeks.  We are always on hand as no one climbs their mountain alone. 

I hope you enjoy reading all of the amazing things our students have been up to this last term and I cannot wait to share everything we get up to this term.  I especially cannot wait to meet all of our new Year 6 intake who we are eager to meet on the transition days and in the summer at our Summer Residential.  This year's Year 7 have been exceptional and next year I am sure Year 7s will be equally as brilliant.  All of our students are an absolute credit to the school and it is an absolute privilege to be climbing with them.  

This term we have:

Celebrated Culture and Diversity

This unit our Head’s Ambassadors have launched their Culture Project with the rest of our school community, and we are delighted to showcase our flags in Reception which represent the 89 nationalities of students within our community.  To support this, every student has also submitted a menu which represents their culture, and each month a new menu will be selected and made.  This month we were delighted to taste some amazing South African cuisine with the menu created by our Year 10 students!

Enrichment Fayre

Our Unit 3 enrichment fayre set Unit 3 enrichment off with a bang!  With more activities on offer than ever before, from History Society, a new Eco Society, a Random Act of Kindness Society, the very popular Football Society and so many more! 

Geography Fieldwork for Year 8 and Year 9

To understand more about the process of Geographical Enquiry and prepare students for A-Level and degree level study our Geographers have been engaging in fieldwork and research, both in and outside the classroom.  With Year 8 exploring the title ‘How sustainable is our school?’ and Year 9 researching ‘To what extent is Gloucester at risk from natural hazards?’.

Ten Tors Training and Event

Our Ten Tors team have been preparing for the final event which was held on 10th May 2024, with gruelling weekends away climbing tor after tor!  We are so proud of their resilience and determination in the face of incredible dreary weather!

PSHE Drop Down Sessions

To ensure that each and every student’s social, emotional and mental health is supported we have been delighted to run sessions with external speakers on the importance of Happiness and Mindset in achieving your goals, which students were able to see the effects of a strong mindset as the speaker walked over shattered glass without so much as a scratch!  What’s more, we have been delighted to be working closely with Gloucestershire Constabulary on sessions targeted to each year group to promote wellbeing and health. 

Bronze to Gold Rewards Days

To celebrate the huge achievements of our students we were delighted to host our termly rewards day which saw students engaging in activities from Biscuit Decorating to a quiz based Easter Egg hunt!  We were delighted to see every student involved in these activities and their hard work rewarded!

Limited Edition Project Year 9

Our Year 9 students on the ‘Limited Edition Project’ had the opportunity to pitch their product to brand owner ‘Tubby Toms’ and we were delighted that their product has made it into manufacturing.  Very soon their product will be available to buy in stores and we cannot wait!

Careers Assemblies

To support every student to reach their full potential we have hosted a range of careers activities to showcase a range of diverse careers over the past unit.  We have been delighted to invite; Solar Engineers, Architectural Technologists, Singers, Architects, Hartpury College, NHS regarding careers utilising Maths and careers in HR, the RAF, Apprenticeship providers and Estate Agents into our community to ensure our students are ready for their next steps after school!

Spanish A-Level Taster Day at Pates Grammar School

Our amazing KS4 Higher Spanish students had the opportunity to visit Pates Grammar School in Cheltenham for an A-Level Taster session where they had the opportunity to meet current students and teachers, get a taste for A-Level style Spanish lessons and try out some amazing Spanish food!

SEND Festival of Sport

On the 12th April 2024, Gloucester Academy hosted the SEND Festival of Sport.  The event was run by the GSSN and involved most of the Gloucester primary and special schools. The students engaged in adaptive sports with the support of our wonderful sports leaders.  The leaders represented the school fantastically and were praised by all the primary teachers.  This was a great opportunity for our students to demonstrate the skills of leadership and to build upon the strong relationship we have with our feeder primary schools.  We look forward to hosting more of these events in the next academic year.

Cricket Fixtures

Our Year 7 team is prepped and ready to go, with fixtures lined up for after half term.  They are performing well in elite PE, developing their batting, bowling and fielding skills in preparation for the upcoming fixtures.  The Year 8 team played very well against Severn Vale, but unfortunately came off as the losing side. Shoutouts go to Haseeb and Fizan for showing their skills and their experience, as they play outside of school.  Similar to the Year 7 team, the Year 8 team has a very busy half term, with a number of fixtures lined up.  The Year 9 team won convincingly against Severn Vale 66 runs to 33, with standout performances going to Theophilus Abraham, who is a new addition to Gloucester Academy.  Some very positive things to take away from that fixture, and our students will look to build on it after the half term holiday. 

Rounders Fixtures

The girls teams have also had a winning start to Unit 3 in their rounders fixtures.  Our Year 7 team came up against St. Peters High School and won 15-13, with player of the match performances coming from Lily-Paige Greening and Ffion White.  Super performance and great determination to win against tricky opposition.  Copying our Year 7 team, the Year 8 rounders team also won their first fixture of the unit against St. Peter's High School 14-9.  Foyin and Melanie were the stand-out players.  They recently played Holmleigh Park and won 11-8.  Stand out performances from Tanzi’Mae Oakes for her batting and Ocean Dalling-Clarke for her bowling.  The Year 9 team have not had a fixture yet, but they are well prepped for the upcoming fixtures after half term. 

Severn Stars Netball Trip

On the 5th May 2024, Mrs Streeter and Miss Roper selected from the 1st and 2nd sports teams to watch Severn Stars vs Dragons at University of Worcester.  Gloucester Academy students had reserved seats at the front of the arena to observe the match.  This was a fantastic opportunity for the Gloucester Academy students to observe a high standard Netball performance.  The first half of the match was a very tightly contested game, where teams were scoring goals for goals.  Severn Star then took a lead in the second half by making some impressive interceptions.  The Gloucester Academy students were amazed by Severn Stars GK jumping!  At the end of the match the students were lucky enough to meet and have photos with the players.

Gloucester Rugby Trip

On 18th May 2024, Mr Hoyle and Mr Price selected students from Year 7 to Year 9 who had been a part of the 1st team Rugby fixtures to watch Gloucester vs Newcastle Falcons at Kingsholm Stadium.  Gloucester Academy students were given front row seats and were all in great spirits.  Each and every time a Gloucester Rugby player scored a try, our students were making the most noise.  This involved them chanting the famous ‘Glawwwwster’ chant repeatedly!  We look forward to arranging another trip to watch Gloucester Rugby next academic year. 

Matson Library Visits

Our incredible librarian Mrs Oliver has launched weekly trips to Matson Library, where students can get involved with community events, take out books and explore the huge array of literary classics on offer!
We have many more opportunities planned for our children this term including our annual Rewards Day, announcement of the House Tutor Group Fund prizes, visits to Universities for Year 10, Geography fieldwork trips for GCSE students and trips to the Cheltenham Science Festival!  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 Isabelle, George, Darian, Rumaysa, Clayton, Sunit and Alia they explained to me that they liked: 

  • They liked how the school is arranged into different areas for Year groups and subjects 
  • PE as there is a wide range of sports to try out and enjoy 
  • That we have a one-way system around the Heartspace so it is easy to move around 
  • That there are lockers available for Year 7 and 8

They would like to suggest the following: 

  • Longer time to get to lessons so we are not late 
  • Different setting in PE so we all get a chance to complete 

From their comments and suggestions, I have: 

  • Changed the timings of the day to ensure students can get to lesson and have begun to put in a keep left policy on staircases
  • We will be reviewing PE so that there will be chance to join clubs and have more opportunities to compete 

Year 8

I met with Abdul, Gaige, Zen, Oscar, Alpha, Davies, Kyarnie, Liv, Sara and Kora they explained to me that they liked: 

  • The trips that the school puts on for rewards as you get to do some really amazing things. 
  • The pizza is great and we love the pasta and curry bar 
  • PE is great we get to do lots of different sports 
  • The teachers really care for their students and you have a sense of belonging 
  • The school production was an amazing experience 

They would like to suggest the following: 

  • We would like to study French 
  • More choice for double PE 
  • Increase the time you get to move form lesson to lesson as the staircases are hard to navigate 
  • Free water bottles 

From their comments and suggestions, I have: 

  • Looked into offering more languages in the new enrichment programme we are hosting next year 
  • We are changing double PE next year so you can do double PE if you wish, join sports clubs or join a completely different enrichment for Period 6 
  • We are working hard to sort out the stairs and have begun putting in the keep left system 
  • We have ensured that the water fountains in the school are all working and are giving free water - we encourage students to bring a water bottle or they can always earn one through great attendance. 

Year 9

I met with Charlie, Jack, Jack, Tiano, Evra, Tiano, Kevin, Willow, Selina and Tyler and they explained to me that they liked: 

  • The length of lunch it lets you have enough time to relax and see friends 
  • The food choices in the dining area are great, there is always something to try with our new culture days 
  • DT lessons are great they have inspired me to take on engineering 
  • The quietness of the classroom means you can always learn  

They would like to suggest the following:

  • We are allowed to go to the toilet whenever we want 
  • A boxing club would be good 
  • More options in PE after school as not everyone enjoys it 
  • A chance to join more Sports clubs 

From their comments and suggestions, I have:  

  • Explained that we have made sure that where possible students are allowed to go if they need to but it is not an automatic yes as this causes a lot of disruption  
  • We will have a new enrichment programme next year which will mean that students can choose Sports clubs, sports for fun or just do a completely different enrichment activity for example Chess or Warhammer. 

Year 10

I met with Paul, Toby, Logan, Latasha, Antoaneta and Amelia-Ami and they explained to me that they liked: 

  • Trips we have put on to universities so they can have a look around 
  • The school production that we put on this year and the fact they have a chance to do the one next year 
  • Food lessons are great as there is a lot of practical work 
  • The homework set means that you can always study more if you want to
  • Lessons are really good and the options are great 

They would like to suggest the following:

  • Being allowed to wear false eyelashes 
  • Make PE warm ups less repetitive 
  • More speakers in assemblies so we can learn about a wider range of careers 
  • Badges for other subjects not just Maths
  • Some extension activities at the beginning of lessons 

From their comments and suggestions, I have:  

  • Allowed some Year 10s to look at the uniform policy and we have adapted it for Year 10 and 11s
  • There is a huge range of speakers and careers lessons we will ensure this continues into Year 11 
  • Subject badges are on their way as we celebrate subject scholars 
  • We will consider the beginning of lessons and ensure there is an extension that can be considered ready for the second part of the lesson. 

I hope you enjoyed finding out all about our fifth 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