Principal's Blog #53 for Friday 3rd March 2017
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Friday 3rd March 2017

News of new Year 7 applications reached us this week.  I’m delighted to say that Southmoor is more popular than ever and is now heavily oversubscribed.  No doubt the reasons why are frequently profiled in this blog.  The headline slot this week must go to our Wizard of Oz production.  I had the privilege of attending last night and the standard is truly professional.  It is yet another example of how the sixth form is having such a positive impact upon school life.  The cast however do come from all age groups and that’s what makes it so special.  The final performance is tonight (Friday).  Tickets on the door and a 6:00pm start.  Do come along if you can.
Geeking Out

We were honoured to invite award winning author, Holly Smale into Southmoor on Monday to speak to students about her chosen career path and what led her to becoming an author.  After some very good questions about life as an author from our enthusiastic students, Holly was kind enough to sign copies of her books which include ‘Geek Girl’, ‘Model Misfit’, ‘Picture Perfect’ and ‘All That Glitters’.

World Book Day

Continuing with the literacy theme, World Book Day featured heavily within Southmoor yesterday. The English department brought learning to life by dressing as characters from novels currently being studied at Key Stage 4.  This included the renowned ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’.  Activities also took place in our Reading Suite involving pupils from Valley Road Primary as well as Southmoor students.

Shaking Things Up

Monday sees the launch of ‘Mars & Galaxy Week’ where pupils who have gone above and beyond expectations in their learning and attitude can be awarded a golden ticket to trade-in for an extra-special milk drink at ‘Southmoor Shakes’.

Celebrating Success

Assemblies this week focussed on celebrating the achievements of our pupils and the rewards incentives that are available to acknowledge these.  This was also an opportunity to impress our high standards and expectations upon the pupils.

New Young Health Champions Join the Fold

Southmoor Academy saw Hannah Thirkell, Grace McLardy, Amber Thompson, Sophie Valente, Alice Gould, Zita Carr, Shannon Ellis, Emily Flett, Lexi Taylor and Danielle Winch qualify and receive their certificates for completing the ‘Sunderland Young Health Champion Programme’ and also the ‘Level 1 Award in Health Awareness’.   

These awards will allow them to work alongside our current year 10 Young Health Champions and act as peer mentors and offer support in health related issues. Well done girls!

Baltic Brilliance

Our current AS and A Level Fine Art and Photography students ventured to the Baltic Contemporary Gallery to kick start their own investigations in support of their exam. The students showed a really positive attitude and were engaged with all aspects of the work on show. The Photography groups also visited 'The Side' photographic gallery to view an exhibition entitled ‘Detroit-Unbroken'.

Principal's Awards

This week's winners are Victoria Armstrong, Year 11, for Personal Development thanks to her outstanding effort and determination to replace lost and corrupted computer work files, Eva Robson, Year 11, for Academic Achievement with exceptional progress in Physics, Stephen McClean, also of Year 11, for Personal Development thanks to his commitment, effort and positivity in P.E. We also have awards for Chantelle Mutyambizi, Lexi TaylorDanielle Winch for Personal Development in boosting morale of the entire cast of 'The Wizard of Oz' with their superb attitude, responsibility and enthusiasm. Well done everyone!

Going for Gold

At the end of last year, Geography Teacher, Miss Sleightholme, was presented with a Duke of Edinburgh’s Special Recognition Award for outstanding leadership and management of the scheme. Because of this, last week she was invited to St James’ Palace to be a special regional guest at a Gold Award Presentation and was able to witness 100 young people and, more importantly, some of her own cadets being presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards from HRH Duke of Edinburgh, as well as the chance to have a conversation with HRH himself!

What do you do at Southmoor?
I teach geography and I am form tutor for Griffin G. 

Who was your favourite teacher at school?
Mr Smithson, my primary school headteacher.  He was kind, fair, incredibly strict (he could silence the room just by raising an eyebrow) and he took us to France in Year 6.  As teachers go, he was pretty inspirational! 

What do you like to do in your spare time?
A lot of my spare time currently revolves around the Air Cadet Organisation.  I’m an Adult Sergeant, having spent 7 years as a cadet myself.  As a member of staff, most of my weekends involve running the Duke of Edinburgh Award, as well as taking part in activities such as kayaking, climbing, shooting, flying and visits to RAF bases.

Who is your favourite musical artist or band?
Coldplay are probably my favourite band.  I enjoy listening to them whatever mood I’m in and they are amazing live!

What's the best thing about Southmoor?

The rest of the humanities department … it is great working with supportive staff! Most of all though, it’s the students that are in my geography classes that make every single day.  Not a lesson goes by without one of my students impressing me with their hard work or making me laugh!

What's the one thing you could never be without?
Probably my phone.  Or maybe it’s a bottle of water!  Students I teach will know there are normally two on my desk … you have to stay hydrated when you spend all day talking like I love to do!

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 Missed out on previous editions of our blog?
Then check out the archive below!

Issue #50 Friday 3rd February
Issue #51 Friday 10th February
Issue #52 Friday 24th February

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