Staff and students at Sir Bernard Lovell Academy are celebrating an Ofsted inspection that confirms their school is improving.
SBL was placed in Special Measures by the education watchdog in 2014, leading to the secondary school in Oldland Common becoming part of the Wellsway Multi-Academy Trust in 2015.
In the first inspection since it became an academy, Ofsted has moved the school up a grade to Requires Improvement and has noted a number of strengths.
Pupil behaviour is said to be much better and achievement rising in a number of subjects.
Lead inspector Lee Northern said in his report: “The school is now set on a clear and secure path of improvement. Key to this has been strengthening the impact of leadership, governance and the trust.”
He said the Principal Dean Anderson, who took up his post in September last year, was providing effective and determined leadership. “There have been significant improvements to relationships, clarity of purpose and staff morale throughout the school,” the report said.
“There is a strong focus on building long-term, sustainable improvements, rather than seeking short-term gains which may not be sustained.”
The inspection team highlights the introduction of the Ready to Learn system which it says “has greatly reduced instances of poor behaviour.” The report notes that pupils say they feel safe in school and are confident they have adults they can turn to if they have any worries.
Mr Anderson said he recognised there is still a lot of work to be done.
“We are really pleased with the inspection report as it clearly supports our own judgements of the educational experience of our students. Nothing in the report has come as a surprise as leaders at all levels have thoroughly evaluated our provision. We know exactly what we need to do to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the academy,” he said.
“We are taking urgent action to introduce more challenging lessons, step up our extra-curricular provision and ensure our sixth-for provision overall prepares students for life beyond school. We are also continuing to work hard to reduce exclusions and improve attendance.”
The report acknowledges the impact of the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust in helping to secure better outcomes for students. The proportion of Year 11s achieving a ‘standard pass’ in both GCSE English and mathematics in 2017 was up on the year before and was in line with other schools nationally.
“The trust has provided valuable support and challenge for improvement. Trust officers have a realistic and well-founded view of the school’s effectiveness, based on a good understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses,” Ofsted said.
Andrea Arlidge, WMAT CEO, said: “The inspection proved a very positive experience for the staff at the academy. All at WMAT are pleased that the hard work that has gone into improving the educational experience for learners at SBL is starting to pay off and outcomes are improving. We fully support the work of the Principal and leaders in the academy to build upon this rapid progress and further improve the quality of education for students in this community.”
For further information please see the Ofsted report.
In preparation for the GCSE exams, we will be hosting a session for parents/carers on Thursday 22 March 2018 in the main hall (M90) between 6pm-6.30pm.
Please come along to gather information about the exam arrangements and how you may support your child.
The highly qualified and experienced team who have been running camps around the South West since 2001, will be at Wellsway between 26th-28th March, and SBL between 3rd-5th April.
Booking is highly recommended due to demand, please visit www.pro-coaching.co.uk for more details and to secure your place.
We are pleased to be able to offer another exciting ski trip for the February half term in 2019. The total, all inclusive, cost of the trip is £875 which represents exceptional value. For full details please see the ski trip letter 2019 (Pdf, 154kb)
As you may be aware, on the last day of term 3 there was a non school uniform in aid of the World Scout Jamboree.
The Jamboree enables young people from around the world to connect, learn about different cultures and have the experience of a lifetime.
Overall, an incredible £630 was raised to go towards Scouts in less fortunate situations who would not be able to attend otherwise. Thank you very much to everyone who supported me in the fundraising efforts it is so greatly appreciated.
Izzy Dent - Year 10 student
We need your views
Ofsted is inspecting your school, and would like to hear your views. You can do this by completing an online pupil questionnaire at the following link: https://ofsted.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Pupil/10037178
Your views are really important to us, and will help inspectors understand your experience of school. The questionnaire will close at 11am on 28 February 2018, to give the inspector time to look at the results. The questionnaires work in Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer 11, and on mobiles and tablets when you copy and paste the link into the browser.
We do not ask for your name, so you will not be identified from the responses you make.
We have just told your child's school that we will inspect it on 28 February 2018. The lead inspector will be Lee Northern, HMI. We are writing to you because we would like to know what you think about the school. Please take a few minutes to read the leaflet which came with this letter. It explains why we inspect schools, and what happens during an inspection.
Your views about the school are important to us
If you are a registered parent or carer of a pupil at the school (including pupils on sick leave or who are temporarily excluded), you can tell us your views about the school by completing Ofsted's online survey, Parent View, at: www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk.
Parent View asks for your opinion on 12 aspects of your child's school, including the progress made by your child, the quality of teaching, how the school deals with bullying and poor behaviour. It also provides a free-text box for you to make additional comments, if you wish. The inspectors will use the online survey responses when inspecting your child's school. Written comments can also be sent to the school in a sealed envelope, marked confidential and addressed to the inspection team.
To register your views, you will need to provide your email address, which will be held securely. It will not be used for any purpose other than providing access to the online survey. Neither schools nor Ofsted will have access to any email addresses.
Please complete the online survey by 11am on 28 February 2018 as this will give the inspection team more time to consider your views. However, we will consider all online responses that are completed during the inspection, although the free-text box facility will not be available after noon on 01 Mar 2018.
Speaking to an inspector
If you are unable to complete the online survey, it may be possible to speak to an inspector during the inspection, for instance at the start of the school day, or to pass on messages to the inspectors if you are unable to speak to them in person. Inspection administrators will be happy to make the necessary arrangements. If concerns are raised about child protection, we may have to pass the information we receive to social services or the police. You can contact the administrators on 03000131112. Inspectors will be pleased to receive your comments, but cannot deal with complaints about individual pupils or settle disputes between you and the school.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the online survey.
School inspections: a guide for parents (Pdf, 363kb)
Well done to all the students and staff who went on the 2018 ski trip to Pinzolo, Italy during the half term holiday. Everyone made huge progress in their skiing and had a wonderful time taking part in some snow-shoeing and other après-ski activities.
If anyone is interested in going on next year's ski trip in Boi Taull, Spain then please see Mr Shiells.
Public Health England urges vigilance about spotting signs of scarlet fever
Public Health England (PHE) is advising parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of scarlet fever following a substantial increase in reported cases across England in 2017 to 2018.
Scarlet fever is a very contagious, seasonal bacterial illness that mainly affects children and is not uncommon for this time of year.
The latest Health Protection Report showed 6,225 cases of scarlet fever had been reported since mid-September 2017, compared to 3,764 for the same period last season. There were 719 cases reported for the most recent week (22 to 28 January 2018).
This increasing trend is in line with usual patterns although cases are currently higher than those reported at this point in the last 4 seasons. It is not possible at this point to determine what the final numbers will be for this season. Scarlet fever is a clinical diagnosis and not usually confirmed by laboratory testing so the activity we may be seeing may be due to increased awareness and reporting of scarlet fever, although the exact cause is still being investigated.
Scarlet fever is usually a mild illness; PHE is advising parents to be on the lookout for scarlet fever symptoms, which include a sore throat, headache and fever with a characteristic fine, pinkish or red rash with a sandpapery feel. If signs of scarlet fever are suspected, it is important to contact your local GPor NHS 111. Early treatment with antibiotics is important and can help reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia and the spread of the infection. Children or adults diagnosed with scarlet fever are advised to stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.
Nick Phin, Deputy Director at Public Health England, said:
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:
For further information for on scarlet fever visit the NHS Choices website.
Guidelines for the management of scarlet fever are also available from the PHE website.
New mental health and emotional wellbeing website for young people
South Gloucestershire has just launched Mind you which is a mental health and emotional wellbeing website for young people. Mind you aims to help children and young people look after their mental health, find out about mental health problems and where to go if they are finding things hard. There is also information for parents/carers and professionals.
Funded by the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Mind you, has been developed by the Public Health and Wellbeing division at South Gloucestershire Council. Children and young people have been involved in creating the website, including pupils and students from Digitech Studio School, Brimsham Green School, Yate Academy, Charborough Road Primary School, Abbotswood Primary School, and Callicroft Primary School, as well as young people from the Youth Council, Children in Care Council, Barnardo’s HYPE, and OTR Mentality Project.
For more information please see: www.mindyou.org.uk
Year 9 Choices
Parents, carers and students will be able to find the key information here as students decide their subject they will study from next year as part of their Key Stage 4 subjects.
Here you will find the Choices booklet, the Pathway reply forms and a copy of the assembly that was shown to students on 24th January so that you can understand the messages we have given to students. We have tried to also explain why this is such an important time in your child’s life and the challenges and joys of the adult life that lies ahead for each and every young person. We would be grateful to receive your support on this when talking to your child at home.
In the week commencing 29th January we will send a recommendation home outlining the pathway we feel will be best for your daughter or son. You can choose another pathway if you wish but we will be in touch with you if we feel that the choice of subjects made is not likely to be successful.
What you need to do next:
Please contact your child’s Head of House if you have any questions are if you are unsure on what to do next.
Dear parents/carers and students of Sir Bernard Lovell Academy I am delighted to welcome you to a new school year and introduce myself as your new Principal. I was thrilled to be appointed by the Wellsway Multi-Academy Trust to lead this Academy on the next stage of its journey.
I have explained a little about my background and aspirations for the academy to students in assemblies over the last few days and have been working closely with staff since my appointment in July to ensure the best possible start to the new term. I am looking forward to making sure that students here at SBL have every opportunity to be successful and achieve their full potential in and out of lessons.
I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new year 7 students who are joining the Academy at an exciting time and I’d like to wish the year 11 students the best of luck for their up-coming GCSE exams, they have a hard year ahead of them and I’m sure they will respond well to all the support that will be in place for them from curriculum teams.
They are following on from a very successful year where the Academy achieved the best results ever: 63% of students achieved a grade 4+ in both English and maths with 58% achieving 5A*-C including English and maths. Results were good in a number of subjects which ensured that more students than ever before were able to go on and follow the courses or apprenticeships that they wanted to. This set of results will be built on this year and I’m sure I’ll be writing to you next September congratulating them on breaking records again!
When I was given the opportunity to join SBL following the interview process that took place in July, I had no hesitation in accepting and am really looking forward to getting to know students, staff and members of our community. I was previously a Principal and Executive Principal with the Academies Enterprise Trust, with responsibility for the leadership of a number of schools, including Broadlands Academy in Keynsham where we achieved a Good Ofsted grading in 2016. As a result, I was then appointed as Director of Education with a large multi-academy trust with groups of schools across the country. Although I enjoyed working with Principals and senior leaders in a variety of settings, I missed being part of a school: working with students and staff to improve outcomes and educational experience.
I am delighted to be here and I am looking forward to meeting some of you at events over the next year.
Our open evening is Thursday, 21st September 2017, when the school is open from 6.30pm - 9pm, with the Principal's talks at 7pm and 7.45pm.
We have open mornings scheduled for:
If you wish to come to an open morning, please can you contact the school to make an appointment.
All student who have applied to study at SBL in the sixth form next year are invited to an induction day on Thursday 29th June. Letters will be sent home with more details during the next few days.
Notice to invited students
The workshops will run from 11.00am - 12.30pm in the Sports Centre Conference Room. 2nd June and 10th June.
During term 5, the Year 11 Aspire students went to the University of Bath to learn first hand from current students what studying at university might be like. They had a tour of the university, which is a campus university, participated in an activity session about university life and were able to ask current students what studying at university is really like. All students were fantastic ambassadors for the school.
Don your Stetson, grab your partner and prepare for some barn dancing fun at SBL on Friday 16th June 2017 at 7pm - 10.30pm. Yeehaa!
Tickets: £8 which includes one free item from the BBQ. To get your tickets call: 01454 868 158 or www.ticketsource.co.uk/sbl
If you are feeling so down that you can’t see a way out, know that others have felt this way and survived. You are not alone and however bad you feel, you can be helped. Here is some information about dealing with suicidal feelings.
Self harm is difficult to talk about but it’s a common problem and you can beat it. Find out what self-harm means and what to do if you think you’re affected by it.
They rolled out the red carpet at Sir Bernard Lovell Academy for a Night at the Oscars.
The glittering awards ceremony at the Oldland Common secondary school was to celebrate the film-making talents of students.
It received endorsements from the organisers of the Academy Awards in America and the Baftas in the UK.
The school’s theatre was packed for the event, which showcased films in various genres and animations made by students in their tutor groups .
Principal Rupert Maule said: “This was a wonderful event, with all the razzamatazz of the real thing. SBL has a proud tradition in the creative and performing arts and it is lovely to see our current students maintaining those standards.
The successful students received celebrity messages from wellwishers, including Alex Lovell from BBC Points West and Ian Downs from Sam FM.
A message from the Oscars organisers in the US said: “A lot of the famous directors of today started off making home movies with super 16mm films (most famously Steven Spielberg) and now with mobile phone technology who knows where thenew superstars of tomorrow will come from? Hopefully Sir Bernard Lovell Academy.”
The Bafta organisers said: “There was a great mix of genres from supernatural to spaghetti westerns and classic thrillers to technically brilliant animation. It was lovely to see some homages as well as original storytelling.
“All the films used different techniques to make them creatively more interesting. Most notable was the strong use of music across a number of the films but I also wanted to congratulate those responsible for directing, editing and special effects.’
The Oscars night was raising money for Unicef and to support a group of students who are going to Tanzania with Camps International in the summer.
Local businesses including Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Krispy Kreme , Bowlplex, Pizza Hut and Vue Cinema supported the event.
We all have mental health, yet it's often something we find difficult to talk about when we're struggling. With one in ten children and young people in the UK - that's three in every classroom are suffering from a diagnosable mental health problem, we think it's important that you know who to turn to for help. Besides speaking to a member of staff at SBL or a trusted adult, here is a list of useful contacts offering advice and support:
Kooth is a free online service offering emotional and mental health support for children and young people, aged 11-25. Users can have a drop-in chat with a counsellor, therapist or book a one-to-one session. They have a monitored online forum and users can also record a journal. www.kooth.com
Off the Record
Off the Record provides free and confidential mental health support, information and workshops for young people aged 11-25 in Bristol. www.otrbristol.org.uk / 0808 808 9120
TESS is a text and email support service that is run by Self Injury Support, which offers help to girls and young women up to 24 in the UK who are affected by self-harm. 0780 047 2908 (Open Sunday - Friday, 7-9pm). Visit www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk to access their email service.
Anorexia & Bulimia Care (ABC)
ABC offers personal, ongoing, emotional support and practical guidance for recovery for people struggling with Anorexia Nervose, Bulimia Nervosa and binge eating, in addition to related self-harm. www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk / 03000 11 12 13
BEAT is the UK's leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight and shape. www.b-eat.co.uk / Youthline: 0345 634 7650
Provides advice on all aspects of bullying. www.bullying.co.uk / 0808 800 2222
A 24-hour helpline for children and young people to discuss any issues they're concerned about. www.childline.org.uk / 0800 1111
National Self Harm Network
Support for individuals who self-harm to reduce emotional distress and improve their quality of life. www.nshn.co.uk
NHS Choices - Young People and Mental Health
An information hub offering young people advice and help on mental health problems including depression, anxiety and stress. www.nhs.uk/livewell/youth-mental-health
A national charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide among young people. www.papyrus-uk.org / 0800 068 4141
Talk to Frank
Friendly, confidential advice on drugs. www.talktofrank.com / 0300 123 6600 / live chat, text: 82111
Support and information about how to cope with various issues, whether it's mental health, money, relationships, finding a job, or drugs. www.themix.org.uk / 0808 808 4994
Time to Change
Time to Change is a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health. www.time-to-change.org.uk
A leading childhood bereavement charity offering practical support and guidance to bereaved children, their families and professionals. www.winstonswish.org.uk / 08452 03 04 05
Young Minds is the UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. www.youngminds.org.uk / 020 7089 5050
Last week our Year 12 students were lucky enough to attend a prestigious Philosophy and Ethics conference at Bristol's Colston Hall as part of their A level studies.
The event was led by internationally renowned philosopher Dr Peter Vardy and featured a series of lectures and debates linked to their A level course specification.
Sessions included a debate on arguments for and against euthanasia, lectures on philosophical arguments for the existence of God and the problem of evil.
Students were given a booklet of notes and activities written by Dr Vardy.
Some of our students achieved stellar results in the GCSE results, proving that hard work, effort and a growth mindset pay off enormously. We are absolutely delighted with their achievements.
Ben Llewellyn (left) achieved 5A*s and 6As and Tom Kerfoot (right) achieved 11A*s and 1A.
Lucy Head (1st left) with 4A*s, 4As and 5Bs. Jess Bennett (3rd from left) with 4A* 4As and 3Bs. Lucy and Jess worked hard all year to achieve their goals.
Between Tom, Ben and Lucy they achieved 24 A*s for the Academy.
Luke Campbell (left) gained 3As and 2A*s and Oscar Jones achieved 4As.
Amelia Matthews (left) is a keen golfer and is hoping to reach professional ladies' standards. Amelia worked just as hard on her GCSEs achieving 6As and 3Bs.
George Wiltshire (left) achieved 1A and 4Bs, despite a year-long placement with Southampton football team for most of Year 10. An amazing catch-up! Jacob Wardle (right) 1A*, 3As and 4Bs.
Well done to Chloe Giles who gained 1A* and 3As.
And last of all but certainly not least, Sam Radley achieved an amazing 8As.
It is wonderful to see so many of our students returning to join the Sixth Form. Congratulations to everyone for all your hard work!
Our School Librarian Ms Tenniswood has taken out all the hard work of finding great books to read with a recommended lists for KS3 & 4. So why not borrow a couple of books from the library and loose yourself in some great literature this summer holiday.
There will be a meeting about fund raising for the Tanzania scuba expedition on 26th May in Post-16, room P11 at 1.05pm.
Congratulations to all the SBL students who completed the Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) Award Diamond Challenge. The DofE Award is celebrating its 60th year and so we chose to take part in the Diamond challenge to raise money for the charity which has done so much to develop the potential of young people.
In total eighteen students aged from 11 to 16 and six members of staff set out across the Brecon Beacons on the 23rd April to tackle the Pen y Fan horseshoe. The hike consists of three peaks with over 11km of walking and 650m of ascending. It was going to be a tough challenge! Luckily, the weather smiled on us and we had clear views all the way around, although some pupils said their first view of the peak they had to climb made it worse!
"A long ridge walk and a nail-biting descent down a gully..."
Needless to say the students were fantastic, with morale and resilience high for all of the day. After a slow(ish) start, we made it to the top of Cribyn (795m) and that was our first peak successfully climbed. The students’ energy started to pick up just in time for the biggest climb of the day, Pen y Fan (886m). The photo above shows some very happy students on top of the highest mountain in South Wales. After that it was just the final peak to go of Corn Du (873m). Fortunately there was no stopping our team and they successfully made it to the top. A long ridge walk and a nail-biting descent down a gully finished the day, as well as a sighting of a very cute "baby horse". (We think it's called a foal, Lucy!) Adam got the prize for the funniest descent of a slope - he just rolled down it! Well done to all our students for completing probably the toughest walk of their lives and representing the spirit of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme so wholeheartedly.
Mr Shiells and Ms Blueman
The multi academy Trust's in house catering, Zest are introducing a brand new lunchtime menus starting from Monday 23rd May, which will operate on a two week cycle. Claire Mansri, Executive Chef for the Trust says, "a great dealing of planning has gone into creating these menus. We have primarily focussed on creating great homemade food using fresh healthy ingredients at an affordable price for our staff and students to enjoy.”
Zest's school lunchtime menu (pdf, 354kb)
All meals are £1.90 on their own or £2.40 with a dessert (choice of fresh fruit, yoghurt or dessert of the day)
If you have any questions or feedback please contact the school.
1 trillion pictures taken in 2015…
Please send your photos to your Head of House.
Information for children, young people and their families in South Gloucestershire
We have put together a study guide to help support your son/daughter in the run up to the examination period. It contains all of the key information that will enable your child to study more effectively in preparation for their exams. If you would like more information please get in contact with the school.
Year 11 exam study guide (pdf, 1.2mb)
We would like to invite you to a consultation evening to discuss academy rules on the use of mobile phones on Thursday 28 January at 5pm.
The evening is open to parents and carers of all students.
Notification to all parents and carers of Years 9, 10 and 11 participating in the iPad scheme which are in an active lease (fully paid or monthly instalments). Our iPad insurance is changing, please make any claims prior to the last day of term (18th December) by following the instructions in this article. You will be notified of all changes to the iPad insurance policy via letter on the first week back of term after Christmas.
Road safety are part of a new initiative to redistribute bikes within our local community and we invite you to take part. We are looking for unwanted bikes (16” wheel +) to be donated by your pupils and parents which will be collected on arrangement by the Road safety team before Christmas.
All donated bikes we receive will be taken to our workshop at Broadlane, checked over by our qualified mechanics, refurbished where required and then offered to young people who don’t have access to a bike for whatever reason who would like to take part in Bikeability training.
We will be collecting from SBL Academy on Monday 14th December 2015.
If the above dates don’t suit please don’t let this stop you donating a bike, please contact us to arrange a more convenient time, please get in contact with us. Tel: (01454) 86 8449
Martina Byrne-Obee (Martina.Byrne-Obee@southglos.gov.uk)
Road Safety Officer