Academy Principal’s blog

Christmas Letter - 20th December 2019

Dear Parents & Carers,

As Christmas fast approaches, it seems timely to reflect on what a busy and eventful term it has been!

Students in Year 11 have been working hard to prepare for their mock exams in January. They have had sessions on planning their revision and the most effective ways to study, delivered by both staff and sixth form students. Your support in ensuring that students find time for study amongst the festivities of the Christmas break is appreciated. Late buses have been arranged from January for a Monday and Thursday evening for students attending revision sessions – further details of these can be found on the website and a letter will follow. Each student in Y11 has received a copy of their own personalised mock exam timetable; in addition, an overview of details of the mock exam timetable and guidance for revision can be found here: https://www.sharnbrook.beds.sch.uk/students/gcse-revision-20192020/

Outside of the hard work in lessons, we have found time to enrich all students’ learning opportunities with some ‘real world’ experiences. Sharnbrook Academy held its own political debates and student vote in the week of the general election, expertly organised by Mr Walker. The quality of debate amongst the student leaders of the key parties was absolutely phenomenal, with Sharnbrook students able to watch the discussions on a special live broadcast.

The end of term has been marked by many celebrations, festivities and showcases around the academy. The drama production of ‘A Christmas Carol’, performed over two nights, was outstanding. This week, there have been two concerts from music students – both a traditional carol performance and a rock concert – both of which were thoroughly entertaining. The Winter dance showcase which took place this week was incredible – watch this space for West End performances from Sharnbrook students! Our thanks go to the Drama, Dance and Music teams whose hard work makes these events possible for students.

The sixth form Christmas market was also a fantastic success, with students from across the academy able to enjoy the treats and activities on offer from the sixth form team of both students and staff. All money raised from the market will go to the charity, Plastic Oceans UK. In another fantastic demonstration of the generosity and community spirit that is in such abundance at Sharnbrook, tutor groups collected an incredible 144 packed Christmas hampers which were then donated to local families for Christmas. This would not have been possible without the support of both tutors and parents, for which we are very thankful.

Ahead of the new term, please may we politely remind parents of the uniform policy (please click here).  Please be aware that students are only permitted to wear one pair of stud earrings with no other visible piercings permitted. Furthermore, leggings, jeans, hoodies and trainers are not school uniform and consequences are in place if any of these items are worn. It is also an expectation that students bring the following equipment, contained in a pencil case, everyday: 2 black pens, pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber, ruler and a scientific calculator (recommended: a Casio fx-85GTX). Students in Y7 and Y8 should also have a planner/homework diary and an ERIC book; although, we recommend that students in all years carry a reading book with them. We make no apology for expecting high standards of both uniform and conduct around the academy and are committed to ensuring that these expectations are upheld.


Many thanks to parents and carers who have given feedback on the new behaviour policy. The final version will be emailed out and enforced from January. Alongside the behaviour policy, we will be looking closely at the support our students receive to be successful in their learning and also the way in which we recognise students’ successes at the academy. Further detail and communication regarding this will follow.


Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to the following staff this term: Mrs Gadsen who has been a lunchtime supervisor here for over 30 years and is now looking forward to a well-earned retirement! Mrs Biju and Dr Dyer who have worked tirelessly in science leave us for pastures new. Mrs Westwood from maths is moving onto exciting new opportunities outside of teaching and Mr Eldridge, who has been at Sharnbrook for many years, is relocating for a new adventure with his family. We would like to thank all staff leaving the academy for their fantastic contribution to the school, and wish them every success in the future.


I will continue to keep you updated with news and developments in the new year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support, and wish you a very ‘Merry Christmas’ and a happy, healthy new year. We look forward to welcoming all students back to school on Monday 6th January at 8.30am (Week B), ready for another excellent term.

Kind regards

Clare Raku
Principal

December 2019

Dear Parent/ Carer

December is now upon us and it is timely to let you know about our Christmas events and celebrations as well as key dates for the new year.

We have a number of events to which you are invited, would be very welcome and will be wonderfully entertained.

  •  Wednesday 4th December + Thursday 5th December - School production of ‘A Christmas Carol’
  •  Monday 16th December - Christmas Concert
  •  Tuesday 17th December - Winter Dance Showcase
  •  Wednesday 18th December - Christmas Rock Concert

For details of how to book tickets and further information please visit the school website. Our thanks to all the staff and students actively involved in making these events happen.

Other Christmas news for you:

Christmas in a box – Tuesday 10th December
In keeping with a long held Sharnbrook Christmas tradition, all our tutor groups are busy preparing their food parcels ready for collection next week. Every one will go to a family in serious financial need at this time. Thank you for your continued support of this initiative.

Sixth form Charity Christmas Market – Tuesday 17th December
A roaring success last year, our sixth formers are organising their stalls with all proceeds going to their chosen charity for the year: Plastic Oceans UK

Christmas Dinner – Wednesday 18th December
Chartwells will be serving up a festive Christmas dinner, available in both dining rooms at both lunch breaks. Students have been asked to sign up via form tutors. Payment for the dinner will be via ParentPay.

Last day of term/ Christmas fancy dress – Friday 20th December
As is our tradition, we invite all students to wear fancy dress or mufti with a Christmas twist for the last day of term. Homemade costumes, Christmas jumpers and Santa hats are all welcome! A few guidelines:

  • We would ask all students to make a £1 contribution to form tutors by Thursday 19th December – all of which will go to charity.
  • All students must be identifiable for safeguarding reasons, so any costumes involving full covering of faces should be avoided.
  • All costumes must be appropriate to wear in our school setting. If students are unsure about this, they should speak to their HOH/ sixth form staff in advance.

Our BTEC Media production students will be putting on a whole school Christmas broadcast for the whole school during the last lesson of the school day. Many tutor groups may organise snacks and light refreshments to share during this time.

Please note: school closes at the usual time of 3.15pm on this day.

Whilst students will continue to work hard both in and out of lessons right up until the last lesson of term, we trust students will enjoy these Christmas events and appreciate the sense of community that they bring.

Please find key dates for your diary next half term below:

Key dates for the next half term

 7th – 14th Jan – Year 11 mock exams
 15th – 24th Jan – Year 11 GCSE practical exams
 22nd Jan – 13 Feb – Sixth form shadow days (external applicants)
 22nd Jan – Year 10 subject consultations (early closure)
 23rd – 24th Jan– Year 9 immunisations
 26th Jan - 1st Feb – Year 8 Blue Peris trip wk. 1
 2nd Feb – 8th Feb – Year 8 Blue Peris trip wk. 2
 10th Feb – 14th Feb – Year 12 work experience week
 11th Feb – Year 11 subject consultations (early closure)
 12th Feb – 14th Feb – Year 7 + year 8 Grafham residential
 12th Feb – Safer internet presentation to parents by Bedfordshire Police
 14th Feb – 22nd Feb – School ski trip to Austria
 14th Feb – Last day of half term
 24th Feb – Return to school (week B)

 

Mrs C Raku
Academy Principal

 

 

November 2019

Dear Parents/Carers

Term 2 is now in full swing, with students working hard in lessons and taking advantage of the excellent range of extra-curricular opportunities available to them. Full details can be found here – https://www.sharnbrook.beds.sch.uk/students/clubs

On Monday, the academy fell silent at 11am to mark Armistice Day. Students across the school watched a special live broadcast in tutor time, and a service of remembrance was held in the memorial garden: the respect demonstrated by students across the academy was exemplary. Pictures of the service can be found here – https://twitter.com/SharnbrookAca/status/1194558526766669824?s=20

The last two weeks has seen trips out for Geography fieldwork in Dorset, art galleries in London and RPE visits to St Paul’s Cathedral, amongst others. A bus load of excited students have also started a course of skiing & snowboarding lessons in Milton Keynes! I would like to take this opportunity to formally thank and acknowledge the hard work and commitment of Academy staff, who give so generously of their time and without whom these opportunities for our young people would just not be possible.

Please may I remind parents and carers that Y13 subject consultations are coming up on Thursday 28th November – please book appointments as soon as possible. It was fantastic to see so many parents in attendance for our Y11 academic tutorials yesterday. The relationship between home and school is absolutely invaluable, and it was a fantastic opportunity for students to set themselves targets and goals, with the support of both parents and tutors. Further to tutorials, there will be a short presentation for the parents of Y11 students on Monday 25th November from 6-7pm in the main hall, delivered by myself and Mrs Benson, Progress Leader for Y11. The session is designed to provide guidance, support and practical advice for parents to better support your children through their GCSEs. Please register your attendance via Eventbrite https://year11gcse2019.eventbrite.co.uk

May I remind parents that as part of our drive to raise standards even further and ensure that students are always prepared for excellence, we now have a required equipment list. Most students have adapted well to this change and are arriving to lessons ready to learn; however, there are still a few students who are ill prepared for learning. Any student without the following equipment, contained in a pencil case, will receive a consequence: 2 black pens, pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber, ruler and a scientific calculator (recommended: a Casio fx-85GTX). Students in Y7 and Y8 should also have a planner/homework diary and an ERIC book; although, we recommend that students in all years carry a reading book with them. Thank you for your continued support with this change.

As the weather turns colder, it is timely to remind both students and parents that blazers should be worn at all times. Plain black, V-neck jumpers are permitted to be worn under a blazer during the colder weather. Hoodies and sports tops are not permitted to be worn; they are not a substitute for a coat and if worn in school, will be confiscated until the end of the day. Equally, school shoes must be worn at all times; trainers are not acceptable. Boots are permitted; however, any boots should be of ankle height only, worn under trousers and not worn with a school skirt. Your support with uniform is, as always, appreciated.

Please remember that you can find real time updates of academy life by following our Twitter feed.

Information about the progress and attitude of your child can also be checked daily using our Go for Schools platform; details for logging on can be found here

At Sharnbrook, academic success goes hand in hand with enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities. With that in mind, tickets are now on sale for our Christmas drama production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and can be purchased through Eventbrite here - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-christmas-carol-tickets-80223997135. Book early to avoid disappointment for what promises to be a fantastic show! Tickets are also on sale for our Winter Dance Showcase and again can be purchased through Eventbrite here - https://dancewintersa.eventbrite.co.uk

I look forward to updating you again later in the term with more stories of Sharnbrook success! Many thanks for your continued support.

Yours faithfully

Clare Raku
Academy Principal

October 2019

Dear Parents/Carers

It has been an excellent start to the academic year, with most students having now settled well into their new classes and working very hard on their studies.

It was a pleasure to meet parents of Year 11 students at Thursday’s Sixth Form Open Evening, and there was such a positive ‘buzz’ about all of the fantastic opportunities that Sixth Form has to offer our students for the next stage of their education. We anticipate receiving a high volume of applications, and would encourage all Year 11 students to speak to their form tutor about next steps.

May I remind parents that as part of our drive to raise standards even further and ensure that students are always prepared for excellence, after half term, the ‘recommended equipment list’ will become a required equipment list. Any student without the following equipment, contained in a pencil case, will receive a consequence: 2 black pens, pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber, ruler and a scientific calculator (recommended: a Casio fx-85GTX). Students in Y7 and Y8 should also have a planner/homework diary and an ERIC book; although, we recommend that students in all years carry a reading book with them. Thank you in advance of your support with this change.

We are already looking forward to Term 2 – the calendar is full of opportunities for our students including visiting speakers, trips and productions! We welcome all students back to the academy on Tuesday 29th October.

Wishing you a restful half term.

Yours faithfully

Clare Raku