Dear Parent/Carer

As we reach the end of our first term I would like to thank you for your support in ensuring that your child makes the most of their time at Stone Soup Academy. We are only one term in and we have already achieved so much. 

We heard only this week that we have achieved the Optimus Award for Wellbeing and Mental Health. I would like to say thank you to those parents who participated in the evaluation day along with the students who spent time with the assessor to outline all that we do in support of student’s mental health and wellbeing. It was a full day but we are delighted that we were recognised. 

We started this term in September with a visit from Stephen Holland the Comic Laureate. He is based in Nottingham and he is working with us to promote literacy. We have ordered lots of graphic novels which our students are really enjoying. 

As part of our vision of creating unimagined futures we are developing lots of opportunities for our young people. One of the most exciting I think is the possibility in Spring 2023 of a Stone Soup trip to New York. This would be an amazing opportunity for 5 young people as we would fund the whole experience for them. We are still very much in the planning stages but it is a privilege to be in a position to be able to offer such opportunities. Once we have further details about the how and who then we will be in touch, as we can only take a small number of students we want to get the process right.

This term we have also completed our first set of mocks for all students in year 9 – 11. The students were absolutely amazing and you should feel so proud of what they have achieved. They were the best set of mocks so far so well done!


We have also started our first group of Stepping Stones which is based at Richmond House. This programme is for KS3 students and students are able to stay with us for up to half a year before they go back to their home school. Spending time with us gives these young people the opportunity to gain confidence and experience success. We have been really pleased with our students’ progress and already two students have successfully completed the programme and returned to their home school.


We have been encouraged by our students’ generally positive attendance during this first half term, currently averaging 82% across all students in the academy. This figure is however lower than our average for the 20/21 academic year, which was 85% and further away from our aspirational target of 90% attendance for all students.

We work closely with our referring schools to both challenge and support our students to attend regularly and consistently and I wanted to outline some key points within our ‘Attendance Policy’ to outline our processes and give you as parents/carers an understanding of how we operate as a school. 

With regard to reporting student absence it is the responsibility of our parents/carers to phone in and make us aware of any absences and the reason for that absence. Where we have had no contact regarding absence your child’s personal coach will call you directly to gain an understanding of the absence so this can be accurately recorded on our register.

In the case of two consecutive days of absence without any contact from you as parents/carers the student’s referring school/organisation will be informed and appropriate steps will be taken alongside the referring organisation to ensure the child is safe and well. Two consecutive days of absence without contact is an immediate safeguarding concern for us and highlights the importance of positive and regular contact between us as a school and you as parents/carers.

For students whose absence is a persistent concern, there will of course be regular contact with your child’s personal coach to encourage attendance and following the 5th day of absence within the academic year there will be a specific call from your child’s personal coach to highlight that your child’s attendance is becoming a cause for concern. 

Once a child reaches 10 days of absence within an academic year a letter will be sent home, highlighting our concerns once more and inviting you in for a meeting to discuss your child’s attendance with their personal coach. We repeat this process following 15 absences where a meeting is arranged with our Head of Engagement and again following 20 absences, at which point a meeting is arranged with myself, Senior Vice Principal and a member of staff from your child’s referring school to discuss your child’s placement with us. 

Throughout all of these steps and associated meetings we are here as a school to support our students as well as you as parents/carers so again I cannot reiterate enough the importance of regular contact as well as building a positive relationship with your child’s personal coach and us as a school as this can only add value to your child’s experience with us. 

Although as a school we do not instigate legal proceedings regarding student absence this may be part of your child’s referring school/organisations policy and I would advise you make contact directly if this is a concern. If you have any further questions regarding our attendance policy and procedures then please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Covid Vaccinations for 12-15 year olds

You may be aware that the Government is putting in place vaccinations for 12-15 year old students. These will take place in school but only for those students who have parental consent. We have emailed out the 

letter from the Government and it is on our website. It is an online consent form in the same format as those you have completed for school vaccinations when your child was younger.

FSM vouchers

Vouchers for parents who are eligible to receive them are being sent out via your child’s home school and via the local authority dependent upon if you are located in the city or the county. If you are struggling over the half term please contact us and we will see how we can support you.

Return to School

We will all return to school on Monday 1st of November 2021.

Stepping Stones 9.15 a.m.

Year 9 9.30 a.m. 

Year 10 9.00 a.m.

Year 11 9.00 a.m.

I hope that you all have a restful half term and I will look forward to welcoming your children back on the 1st of November 2021. As always if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Kerrie Henton


Stone Soup Academy

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