Principal's Blog #44 for Friday 25th November 2016
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Friday 2nd December 2016

Assemblies this week focussed on the importance of having high aspirations and how we can achieve them.  To recognise the worthy efforts of our pupils we have also launched a number of new rewards for the lead up to Christmas.  Our first Sixth Form Open Evening of the season was also a huge success.  Thanks to everyone who attended.

Shake it up

It’s back!  To mark the winter season, we have replaced our popular ‘Southmoor Ices’ with ‘Southmoor Shakes' serving ‘Yazoo' milkshakes that meet government standards for healthy schools.  Students who are recognised for ‘going the extra mile’ can be awarded a ticket to be exchanged for a free drink.

Bin it to Win it
Our rewards initiatives continue in our drive to encourage pupils to dispose of their litter responsibly and take pride in their school environment with the relaunch of our ‘Bin It To Win It’ campaign.  Pupils spotted disposing of their litter sensibly are given a reward ticket which can be exchanged for a prize.  There are up to 60 give-aways up for grabs each day!
Sixth Form Open Evening 2016

The Sixth Form was a hive of activity last night.  We had a fantastic turnout from Southmoor and Sandhill View pupils as well as students from other schools across the city and beyond coming to see our wonderful Sixth Form. This was our biggest event so far, with so many staff, parents and pupils coming together to enjoy everything our post 16 facilities have to offer.

If you’d like to apply for our Sixth Form, please use our online application service below.
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Flood of Clubs

In keeping with the ‘Enjoy’ aspect of our academy motto, we are finalising our programme of clubs and activities for the new year.  With everything from Art Clubs to Zentangles, we have masses on offer to keep our pupils active and engaged over the lunch period and after school. Pupils will even have access to a pre-ordering system, where their lunch will be delivered directly to the club venue, allowing them to make the most of their free time.

New Recruits for The MGFA

Our Martin Gray Football Academy continues to go from strength-to-strength and has now increased in size incorporating our new Year 7 recruits. The squad members have really impressed the coaches and we are looking forward to the boys representing our school and being successful in upcoming Martin Gray Academy football tournaments.  The players have just received their new training kit and are pictured below with Academy Director Martin Gray and coach Deano Browne. 

Team Building Bonds

Last week a group of Year 11 pupils were lucky enough to take part in training at Derwent Hill designed to put Nissan Apprentices through their paces.  The pupils took part in a range of fantastic activities from gorge walking to problem solving tasks.  Each activity was intended to make the pupils work as team, communicate and, most importantly, think. It was a tough few days, but very enjoyable. Pupils even had time to relax and have a table football tournament with Mr Henderson proving unbeatable! 
Southmoor Sages

Students in the Sixth Form recently took part in auditions for a place in the nationally recognised Sage Business Partnership Programme.  Ten of our students were invited to London on an all-expenses paid trip to undertake their first public speaking workshop. Outside of the full day training session held at the Old Vic Theatre, students enjoyed shopping in Oxford Street, a meal and a chance to get a feel for the city.

Charitable Spirit

Continuing our programme of Year 12 students hosting assemblies to lower school, the Sixth Formers launched Southmoor’s fantastic, and very successful, annual Tin Appeal.  Students commented that they were really pleased to have been involved in a ‘Southmoor tradition’ and hope that this year the amount of tins donated will be record-breaking.

Adding to this, Southmoor are also supporting Operation Christmas Child’s ‘Shoebox Appeal’, with each form class contributing their own personalised gift box.  The boxes will include photographs and letters from pupils in addition to gifts and treats for children who may otherwise not receive a gift this year.

Safety Works
With the ever-growing issues surrounding our own personal safety, a selection of Year 10 pupils were given the opportunity to visit a multi-agency interactive Safety Centre. During their visit, Police Community Support Officers delivered an enjoyable learning experience which allowed our pupils to participate safely in realistic situations, demonstrating everyday hazards and how to prevent them.
Principal's Awards

Our worthy Principal’s Award winners this week are: Daniel Taylor for excellent work Peer Mentoring a Year 8 pupil who, like Daniel, also has epilepsy, Danielle Winch  & Matthew Snaith for their personal achievement representing the Houghton Youth Band at the Royal Alber Hall, Luke Hill - who won a peer nomination for supporting a fellow pupil through a tough time at home and Felix Tomlinson for his outstanding contribution to PHSCE work in school. Well done everyone! 

Newcastle University Assemblies

This morning, Newcastle University visited Southmoor to deliver an assembly regarding further career paths and routes into degrees.  As a prestigious Russell Group University with close links to our Sixth Form, this was an excellent opportunity for our Year 11 pupils to find out about what options are available to them after they complete their GCSE exams next year. 

What do you do at Southmoor?
I am part of the fantastic ‘Learning Supporter Team’ who are based up in the Pupil Support Centre.  I also work in the English department with Year 10 and 11 pupils and the Early Morning Reading team, mentoring and supporting dyslexic pupils.

Who was your favourite teacher at school?

That would have to be my music teacher, Mrs Anderson – she was a lovely kind hearted lady who made learning fun. We used to go on some fantastic trips with our school choir, not as far flung as the trips in Southmoor, but all over South West Scotland.  She was also quite religious which I didn’t realise until after leaving school when I discovered most of the songs I knew were hymns!
What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love walking my gorgeous little Jack Russell terrier, Tally, she is typical of her breed, feisty, fun and loyal (and a bit crazy).

What is your favourite musical artist or band?
Coldplay would have to be up there (sorry Mr Lavery!), I saw them at The Stadium of Light and they were simply amazing!  I also like old stuff like Pink Floyd, Genesis and Queen.

What's the best thing about Southmoor?
Definitely the pupils!  Every day is different.

What's the one thing you could never be without?

Family and friends, Tally ‘the wonder dog’ and sadly now my reading glasses!  Sorry – I can’t narrow it down to just one thing!

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

Issue #41 Friday 11th November
Issue #42 Friday 18th November
Issue #43 Friday 25th November

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