It is almost the end of term and Christmas is upon us. It feels like only yesterday that we were returning from the summer and now we are about to end one year and start another. Let’s hope that 2021 is a good one with fewer challenges than this year.
This term has despite the challenges been a great one. The attendance of our students has been amazing and regularly has been hitting 90%. This is fantastic when nationally attendance has dipped and in alternative provisions it is often in the 60% range. Thank you for your support in getting our young people up and out to school. You might have seen us on the news and in the Nottingham Post when we won the TES Alternative Provision School of the Year award. This was a brilliant achievement for the Academy and testament to the hard work and commitment of the students, staff, parents and carers. This was a national award and we were delighted.
We have also this term started working with a student counsellor from the University of Nottingham which has been a welcome addition to our support services for students. Our students have been meeting with our Counsellor on a Thursday and using this time to work through any issues that they have been having. We are hoping to continue this support throughout the year.
We have also linked with a new company called Dreeams and they have been coming in to provide group work for our students around key topics such as:-
These sessions will continue across the academic year.
Mock exams are now underway for both year 10 and 11 students. Although we know that these exams can be stressful they do give our young people an opportunity to experience the real thing and to prepare themselves for the summer exams. They also give our staff the opportunity to see who needs more support and in what areas so that the lessons can be personalised for them. Mock exams will continue each term as we move through the year.
We are continuing with our vision of creating unimaged futures at the academy. As part of this vision we are supporting our young people to support their younger brothers and sisters with their own literacy by taking home a book from our community section of our library and using it to read to them. They then need to take some footage of this happening, email it to school and we will reward them with a prize. We are hoping that this project will support their reading whilst helping their siblings.
Our first meeting of the Stone Soup Award will take place after Christmas. We are looking to award up to £500 to worthy ex students of Stone Soup Academy who left us in 2019 or before. This fund has been set up to support any of our students who have since left but are finding it difficult to find work. This fund could support training, purchase of tools/equipment even bus or tram fare to get to a job. Please contact me if you would like further details.
Our student leadership group met for the first time this term and they are also starting their SSAT leadership qualification as part of this group. It is excellent to have feedback from the student body to tell us what we should improve to make the experience better for all young people at the Academy.
Free school meals: The government has said that FSM vouchers will be given to those students and parents who are eligible over Christmas. These vouchers will be sent to the referring school or LA who referred your child and not to Stone Soup Academy. If you are eligible for free school meals please contact your home school directly to remind them. Students who come to us via Unity will have the voucher emailed to them and we have already forwarded your emails to them. Please contact your personal coach if you have any questions about this.
Finally, we have had our first celebration evening of the year. Although we would normally invite all our parents into the academy, on this occasion it was remote. I hope that you found the evening useful. Reports will be posted out at the end of term.
The final day for our students will be Thursday 17th December. Students will be having their Christmas dinner, an assembly and then depart at 1.05 P.M.
I also need to let you know of the arrangements for the last day of term and provide you with information about the track and trace process the Department for Education has asked school leaders to implement after the term ends.
Public Health England has agreed a six-day window after the final day of teaching in which schools are expected to continue their track and trace system. This will allow enough time for positive Coronavirus cases to be identified and confirmed by a test and, most importantly, for relevant contacts in the school to be traced.
If your child becomes ill with Covid like symptoms or receives a positive result for COVID-19 in the 48 hours after leaving school, (by Saturday 20th December) then we ask you to text your child’s personal coach with the result of the test if you have it and let us know when their symptoms started so we can alert other students and their families.
I very much hope that this isn’t the case and that this is only a precaution.
Students will return on Monday 4th January
Year 10 and 11 Will return on Monday 4th January at 9 a.m.
Year 9 Will return on Monday 4th january at 9.30 a.m.
Thank you for your support and being part of our Stone Soup family. I hope that you have a great COVID free Christmas and that you and your family keep safe.
As always, if you do have any questions and queries then please let me know.
Happy Christmas from all at Stone Soup Academy
See you in 2021!
Stone Soup Academy