24th July 2020
What a strange year this has been for us all. We started off very normally and we were able to achieve so many wonderful things. These have included our epic residential to Wales, students working with Nexus Lexus to update the courtyard, visits from the Desert Rats, students standing up and speaking to 1500 students and adults at the WE day at Theatre of Nottingham. We also enjoyed our annual visit to the world skills show, the first Nottingham football festival for Alternative Provision (we were robbed!!) and work experience at John Lewis, Crowne Plaza and Trent Bridge cricket, and then the Pandemic stopped us in our tracks!
What occurred next was remarkable: students, parents, carers and staff all working together to get each other through this period of challenge. The dedication of everyone has been amazing. Now we are seemingly at the other end, I want to recognise once again that we could not have achieved what we have without your support. Thank you.
Now is the time to start to look forward to the future and to our new academic year. Over this time we have not been idle, but preparing for what we can do that is bigger and better than before. We will be installing a science lab at Richmond House so that we can, for the first time, offer science to all year groups.
We have also invested in a huge number of laptops so that all students, in all years, can have access to technology across the curriculum. At High Pavement, we have filled our new library, and the focus next year is on improving literacy skills with literacy boxes in every classroom.
Another very exciting development is that for the first time we will have two new parent Governors joining our Governing body. Jo Humphreys and Chantel Robinson both have students at the Academy and they will be working closely with me to see how we can better support our parents. Their emails are:- should you wish to contact them are Jhumphreys@stonesoypacademy.org.uk and Crobinson@stonesoupacademy.org.uk.
We have completed a bumper edition of our latest SSA Academy news which I hope you will enjoy. It is always lovely to see photographs of the wonderful work that our students and staff are doing. It was too large to include in this letter but we have posted it on the website so please do have a look.
We have only just heard that Stone Soup Academy has been selected as a winner of the 2020 NCFE Aspiration Awards in the Centre of the Year category. The criteria for this category included examples of going over and above to help learners and having a positive impact on learners and the wider community.
Apparently, the judges spent hours reviewing and deliberating over the large amount of entries received as it is a national award so they told us that choosing a winner out of so many wonderful nominations was not an easy task, however, after reading our nomination they were so impressed with achievements of Stone Soup Academy that we won!! Isn’t it amazing what we can achieve together.
I have got some amazing news to share with you about an ex student from Stone Soup Academy. Like all your children, Finlay joined us after experiencing difficulties in mainstream school. Finlay’s path to Stone Soup was a difficult one but not unlike what many of our young people face. I know that for some of our our students and parents, they arrive at Stone Soup believing that they have failed in some way but I believe that Stone Soup Academy vision’s of ‘Creating Unimagined Futures’ is alive for all of our students and gives our young people the future that they didn’t think was available to them. In short, we change lives and Finlay is a clear example of what our young people and your children can achieve. Finlay has achieved a 1st Class honours degree in Creative and Expressive Therapies from the University of Derby. We are so proud! Finlay now wants to work with children who face the challenges that she did in school and to focus upon showing them that it is not about your past, as this cannot be changed, but it is about what you can achieve in your future that matters.
So as we end the year, I would like to let you know the arrangements for our return in September. We will be continuing with social distancing as much as we can within our buildings and our cleaning regime will remain vigorous to keep both staff and students safe within the school. We will also require students to apply hand sanitiser and to act in a safe and responsible manner.
All students will return full time at the start of term (9 a.m. – 2.45 p.m. year 10 and 11, 9.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. year 9). We will also be reinstating our canteen facilities so we will be able to provide hot meals for our students.
Students will return to the academy as follows:-
We will update our website www.Stonesoupacademy.org.uk if there are any changes over the summer. Please keep a look out just in case.
With this letter you will find two for you to complete and return to the Academy.
Consent Form: Please complete and return at the start of term
Address Form: Please check the details and amend and return if they are incorrect.
As always, we will be available should you need to contact us over this period.
I hope that you have a safe and enjoyable summer and we will look forward to seeing all our wonderful young people on the other side.