Southmoor Snippets Spring Term 2018

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Southmoor Snippets ISSUE 19 SPRING TERM 2018

The Going is Good at Southmoor Academy It’s always great to receive a strong endorsement. Our inspectors left no stone unturned and provided us with a thorough evaluation. We are however far more interested in using this to improve rather than to rest on laurels. We break having enjoyed our most successful school production to date and will return with tales of the ski trip. Have a great Easter!

Mr S. Garrett, Principal, Southmoor Academy

Upcoming Events Monday 16th April Summer Term Begins

Tuesday 8th May

GCSE Examinations Commence

Friday 6th July Year 11 prom

Southmoor Academy: Telephone: 0191 594 9991 Email:



Southmoor Snippets ISSUE 19 SPRING TERM 2018

Rising to the Challenge Just before the end of last term we reported on the progress of Year 8 pupils taking part in the ‘Pupil Achievement and Engagement Challenge’ in association with the Sir Tom Cowie Charitable Trust. The winners of the Challenge then headed across to Ullswater in The Lake District to spend half term at the Outward Bound Centre as part of their prize. Pupils had a fantastic time which was echoed by the centre manager.

“Our instructors, your staff and most importantly the young people themselves had some amazing adventures in some very trying Cumbrian weather. They acquitted themselves admirably and achieved a great deal in the short time they were here. They have seen and experienced things which 99% of the population never will.”

Well done to everyone who took part in the challenge and to our partners, Sunderland Community Action Group, who accompanied students on the trip.

Fantastic Fine Artists Win Recognition The work of three students from both AS and A Level Fine Art was entered into the annual ‘Youth Arts Exhibition’ held at Washington Arts Centre. We are delighted that all three entrants beat tough competition and won three of the six prizes on offer from 150 entries! The Mayor presented students with their awards and they will now go on to the ‘Sunderland Young Achievers Awards’ held at the Stadium of Light. The winners were Laura Giles (Year 13), Kiera Simpson (Year 13) and Shannon Evans who left last summer and is currently studying a BA Hons in Fine Art at Newcastle University. Well done girls!


Balliol Bound for Beattie

Health & Social Success

Congratulations to former Sixth Form student and ex-head boy Michael Beattie who, after a challenging interview process, has received an unconditional offer to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the world renowned Balliol College at Oxford University. Interestingly this esteemed course has produced 11 Prime Ministers over the years. Good luck Michael!

Mrs Ellis and Miss Mason were given a surprise this term when students from their Year 10 class who have been studying towards their Level 3 Health & Social Care qualification gifted them with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to say ‘thank you’ for their hard work in helping everyone pass their recent examinations. The group now go on to the coursework part of the qualification with many of the girls aspiring towards an A*.

In this issue... • Awards & Accolades • Latest News • Trips & Visits • School Performance Feature • Careers Initiatives • Teacher Talk • Latest from The Sixth Form • Southmoor Sport Update

We’d love to have your feedback about what’s happening at the school!

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Show Stopper Sophie Congratulations to Sophie Bulmer (Year 7) who recently attended the Sunderland Young Achievers’ Awards 2018 as both a prize nominee and performer. Sophie gave a solo vocal performance to the audience as part of Gentoo entertainment for being runner up in December’s ‘Genfactor’ competition before going on to scoop the award for 8 - 13 Music and Performing Arts Achievement. Well done Sophie, we look forward to hearing more from her in the future.

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Peace of Mind ‘It’s okay not to be okay’. This was the message that volunteers from mental health charity ‘MIND’ wanted to pass on to pupils when they presented an assembly this term. The volunteers will be working with Southmoor’s Peer2Peer mentors with the aim to improve mental health. The MIND volunteers are offering lunchtime drop-in sessions each Wednesday and Friday at 1.00pm in the Reading Suite where confidential support will be available to any pupils with concerns or questions. As an additional support, the school nursing team will also be available at the drop-ins to offer advice to students on issues such as weight management, sexual health, smoking, drugs / alcohol and general healthy living.

Age Appropriate Day Students came away from their usual vertical house tutor groups and worked together in year groups to look at age-related personal development topics. This is the first of five sessions across the remainder of this academic year. A wide range of topics were covered including: First Aid and CPR, Personal Finance, Personal Hygiene, Labour Market & Careers Pathways, Sex Education, Radicalisation, Mental Health and much more.

Baltic Bonanza A group of dedicated Year 11 GCSE Fine Art students visited the BALTIC Gallery Library and exhibition as a part of their current examination preparation. They were particularly engaged, interested and enthusiastic using the experience to further their progress with their own ideas for their chosen project starting points. Three groups of AS /A level and GCSE Art and Photography students also attended the Baltic and Side Gallery with the visits being arranged to coincide with the A level examination paper and help support student’s development of their own ideas.


Our school production for 2018 has been an unparalleled success. The praise audiences have lavished upon the young performers speaks for itself:

‘What a fantastic performance this evening! I honestly had goose bumps throughout!’ ‘What a show! Well done to all performers and the amazing orchestra. Also thanks to the staff who organised it all.’ Our cast and crew wish to extend their thanks for everyone that came to enjoy the show and to all that took part in making it such a huge success.


Buddy on Tour Year 10 Young Health Champions and ‘Buddy’ the anti-bullying mascot were given the opportunity to reach out to their younger peers at Grangetown and Valley Road primary schools. Students prepared and presented an assembly about different types of bullying, reasons why people bully and what pupils should do if they themselves or someone they know are being bullied. The assembly ended with students answering related questions from their younger peers. The Young Health Champions won’t stop here, they plan on visiting more primary schools with Buddy in an effort to ‘STOP’ bullying.

Science Week Spectacular In celebration of National Science Week, students enjoyed special demonstrations hosted by the Science Department during lunchtimes. From chemically induced fireworks that went off with a bang to participating in the dissection of a squid, students embraced the wonders of scientific discovery. A brand-new Science Club has been launched to give budding scientists the chance to get hands on with experiments and fully embrace the subject. It will take place every Wednesday lunchtime.


Surveying the Lakes District Year 12 Geography students descended upon the Lake District just before the end of term to learn a range of skills for the independent investigation part of their A-level course. They stayed at a Field Studies Council Centre in Grange-over-Sands and spent the day in Morecambe learning techniques and collecting data on coastal management. Despite the high winds and snow students conducted their beach profile successfully showing resilience to collect all of the data they needed before learning about statistical tests and GIS. They will now take the data they have collected for use in their studies.

Online Safety Rocks This term we were excited to welcome members of the band ‘Single by Sunday’ to Southmoor. Hailing from Glasgow, Capital FM have deemed them to be the best up and coming Scottish band of the moment. They performed for students in Years 8 - 10 and also delivered a very important message about online safety, bullying and discrimination.


National Careers Week With aspiration being high on our agenda, we have fully embraced National Careers Week staging a host of events for pupils across the school. There were visitors representing the fields of construction and engineering, health / social care as well as hair and beauty to name but a few. Engagement came in many forms including workshops, assemblies and one-toone guidance. Year 11 students got a chance to discover more about apprenticeship schemes with tips and specialist support available to make applications.

Year 7 Looking forward to University A group of Year 7 students recently visited Newcastle University. Although it might seem like a long time before these pupils make a decision on their chosen career paths, it is never too early to start looking at options open to them in the future. Students had the chance to tour the Newcastle campus, learn about university life and get an insight into the types of subjects they could be studying.


Well Spoken Students The English Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition is highly prestigious and traditionally the preserve of top public schools. It therefore makes Southmoor’s success all the sweeter to announce that we have won the North East competition! Our wonderful Year 11s then went on to compete in the Northern Finals, finishing 3rd overall and narrowly missing out on a place in the Grand Final at Cambridge.

Putting the Fun in Fundamental Physics In March, seven teams of young scientists took part in our ‘Physics is Fun’ competition with enthusiastic students presenting everything from model solar systems to magnetic levitation, homemade van der graaf generators to reflection telescopes. The passion for Science was clearly evident to the judging panel in every entry. Congratulations to the Year 7 team who wowed with their hands-on demonstration of magnetic field theory. They will now go on to compete against other schools in the area in a competition hosted by the Ogden Trust.

An Uplifting Career In January, we were once again invited to take a group of Year 11 pupils to visit Liebherr Sunderland, a manufacturing plant on the banks of the Wear for maritime cranes and cargo handling equipment. Students were given a tour of the site as well as receiving invaluable advice regarding apprenticeship opportunities. More visits to Liebherr took place throughout the rest of the term.

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Miss. Singh, Teacher of Maths What do you do at Southmoor?

I am a Teacher of Mathematics with Teach First.

Teacher Talk

Who was your favourite teacher at school?

What’s the best thing about Southmoor?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

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

My maths teacher coincidentally as he used to play guitar in our lessons when everyone was working. He was also the reason I got great results!

I’ve not been here very long and I can already see how great the people are. Both the staff and the kids are so friendly.

I like to play netball. I also love to read and meet up with my friends whenever I can.

Pasta! Almost all of my meals somehow revolve around pasta.

Who is your favourite musical artist or band?

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself...

Beyoncé, every day of the week!

I have a pet tortoise.

Encouraging Our Eco-Drive Further to our recognition on BBC Radio Newcastle back in November, The Student Council hosted assemblies to again emphasise the important contribution we make to preserving and protecting the environment through our Eco-Drive initiative. We are proud to have acted as trail blazers in making the move to replace food and beverage packaging with an environmentally friendly biodegradable material – we even beat the Prime Minister and big businesses to the punch!

Peak Peer2Peer Performance After being given the opportunity to complete bespoke ‘mentoring and befriending training’ offered by the charity ‘Sunderland MIND’, 12 Southmoor Peer2Peer mentors have completed and achieved the award. This will benefit the mentors in helping them to improve the health and wellbeing of their peers through peer support. The Peer2Peer mentors are currently making themselves available on Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes to chat to their peers about any problems they may be experiencing within school.

Discovering Software City Year 9 and 10 students were welcomed to Sunderland Software Centre where they met and spoke to a range of digital employers, further education providers and other organisations that have progression opportunities in the ever-growing field of software and digital development. Students took part in interactive workshops and practical demonstrations giving them fantastic insight as to how they could be working as part of Sunderland’s digital future.

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Progress Evening 2018

January saw the best ever turnout for our Sixth Form Open Evening which was a chance for students to think about their future. With universities and higher apprenticeship providers in attendance, guests had plenty of people to talk to. But even better than talking to the professionals, potential sixth formers had the chance to hear from our successful candidates for some of the best Russell Group universities in the country as well as enthusiastic students from current Year 12 and 13.

Illustrative Advice Our Fine Artists visited Cleveland College of Art and Design in Hartlepool to take part in an illustration workshop. There was also a tour of the facilities and an overview of courses on offer plus an in-depth talk from a professional illustrator who lectures at the college. The workshop was based around drawing ‘zombie style’ illustrations as well as a chance to colourise their own drawing work using ‘Cyntiq interactive monitors’. It was an experience that really challenged students to try something new and learn techniques that they may not get from using traditional media.

In the News (Again) Sixth Form students once again found themselves in front of the camera as reporters from ITV Tyne Tees News visited Southmoor to get their opinion of the recent announcement that Sunderland University will be one of only five new medical schools to be established in the country. Students were questioned on the prospects of the new opportunities that will be available to study locally, including GP and psychiatric training and what they thought of the new school’s potential.

ebsite at the Sixth Form w t si vi n io at rm fo 0191 594 9991 For more in or call hm ut so at m or www.thesixthf

Sport Digest


Falcons Swoop In For Training We were pleased to welcome coaches from Newcastle Falcons to deliver special rugby classes to students. With the introduction of rugby to our sporting enrichment activities we have seen a growing enthusiasm for the sport amongst students and this was a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills with help and advice from the professionals at one of the North East’s leading rugby clubs.

Year 13 Try Something Different As part of their ‘Practical Sports’ unit, Year 13 students completing the Cambridge Technical Sports and Physical Activity Course are getting a range of sporting activities as part of their studies. Sixth Form students have been trying everything from Fencing, Rock Climbing and Badminton to name but a few of the more unusual sports not covered by the basic curriculum.

Students Bowled over by Cricket Club This term saw the launch of the lunchtime Cricket Club where as part of our links with Sunderland and Durham Cricket Clubs we are working together to raise the profile of the sport. The club is a chance for students to try their hand at bowling, batting and fielding. Watch this space for more activities and events related to the game.

Winter Cup Wonders

Thanks for reading the latest issue of Southmoor Snippets. If you’d like to know more about anything you’ve read in this newsletter and for the most up to date and inclusive news , then please register for our weekly principal’s blog!

Congratulations to the Year 8 (A) Football Team who won all three of their games at the start of this term to become the Northern Region Winter Cup Winners. Outstanding performances came from the whole team but a special mention goes to player of the tournament, Max Fairweather. Well done boys!

Southmoor Academy: Telephone: 0191 594 9991 Email:

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