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Southmoor Snippets ISSUE 15 SPRING TERM 2017

A Sensational Spring Easter is late this year and as we look forward to the prospect of warmer days and more outdoor opportunities, it is good to reflect upon our busy and successful spring term. Southmoor is thriving.

Upcoming Events Upcoming Events Monday 24th April Summer Term Begins

Tuesday 2nd May

Year 9 Curriculum Surgery

Monday 19th June

Year 10 Curriculum Surgery

June 23rd - 26th

Disneyland Paris Trip (Years 7 & 8)

There are more enrichment opportunities than ever before. This is only made possible through the hard work of staff, support of parents and enthusiasm of pupils. Snippets certainly points to us developing a very effective combination! The Sixth Form continues to prosper and enriches all that we do. The Wizard of Oz production was a great example of this, with pupils across the age range achieving something really special. Our summer itinerary is equally packed with plenty of enriching experiences to help support all our hard working pupils throughout the exam season. Older students will already have received revision timetables packed full of support for the holidays and beyond. It’s also an important time to relax and recharge for a while. Some of our pupils will be doing this whilst participating in the French trip. Updates of all our activities can be found on social media and as part of the weekly blog. Do please sign up via our website. Happy Easter!

Southmoor Academy: Telephone: 0191 594 9991 Email:



Southmoor Snippets ISSUE 15 SPRING TERM 2017

In this issue... • Prizes & Awards for Our Students • Adventures in the Lake District • Achievement for our Sixth Form Students

Our New Young Health Champions We are proud to present Hannah Thirkell, Grace McLardy, Amber Thompson, Sophie Valente, Alice Gould, Zita Carr, Shannon Ellis, Emily Flett, Lexi Taylor and Danielle Winch with 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 to offer support in health related issues. Well done girls!

Michael is ARTiculate Sixth Form student Michael Beattie successfully competed against 4000 applicants to achieve third place in the prestigious ‘ARTiculation Prize’ held in association with Cambridge University at Clare College, Cambridge. The ARTiculation Prize has been designed to give young people a forum in which they are able to express their own ideas on art. The competition was an extraordinary event with some truly outstanding presentations. This year’s adjudicator was Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts, who expressed just how impressed he was by Michael’s presentation on Hélio Oiticica, Tropicália.

• New Clubs & Reward Incentives • Wizard of Oz Performance Wows the Public We’d love to have your feedback about what’s happening at the school!

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0191 594 9991


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Picture Perfect Pupils Our resident photographer and Head of Art, Mr. Milne along with our School Designer, Mr. Davison, have been out and about in school taking images of our pupils as they work hard and enjoy their lessons. The images they have gathered (a small sample of which you can see below) will be used to show off to the world just how great Southmoor is as well as to refresh some of the displays around the building. We’d like to thank staff for allowing us into their lessons to take the pictures and, above all, our fantastic students, whose enthusiasm really does shine through.

Staff and Students Working Together This term, a selection of Year 9 pupils joined the senior leadership team where they had the opportunity to talk about their work and voice their opinion on aspects of teaching, learning and life in general as a student at Southmoor. The leadership team were very impressed with the students and welcomed their thoughts and ideas in helping to make our school the best it can be.



A Life Saving Lesson Sixty-two Year 12 and 13 students attended a certified first aid course in the Sixth Form this term. After two hours of intensive training, they are now qualified to respond to a variety of medical emergencies. Well done to all for their exemplary attitude and commitment to a truly life saving lesson.

Codex in the Classroom As reported last year, our students took part in a collaborative project to re-create the historical ‘Codex Amiatinus’, a bible produced by monks in Wearmouth over 1300 years ago. The new ‘Codex 1300’ was then sent to Westminster to be signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, before recreating the original bible’s journey to the Vatican City in Rome. The Codex has now returned to our region after being received by the Pope. This term saw Southmoor’s turn to host the Codex as it tours Sunderland’s schools. It provided an excellent opportunity for our students to take a closer look at a document that will hopefully be as momentous as the original was 1300 years ago!

School Rocks Our after school clubs and activities continue to prove popular. One particular club hosted by Mr. Lewis and Mr. Shaw is really rocking our students’ world. Rock School is an enrichment time club that invites pupils who are passionate about rock to try their hand at guitar, base, drums, vocals or even just share their love of the genre. Pupils enthusiastic about rocking out with the club are welcome to join them in the Performing Arts Block after school on Wednesdays.



Geeking Out We were honoured to invite award winning author, Holly Smale into Southmoor this term 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 2017 Continuing with the literacy theme, World Book Day featured heavily within Southmoor in March. 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.

Science Spectacular Science staff treated students to a spectacular set of experiments to brighten up a Thursday lunchtime and celebrate National Science Week. The experiments focused on the potential of chemicals to release huge amounts of energy. This included burning jelly babies, expanding elephant’s tooth paste, Mentos in cola and exploding methane bubbles!


In this issue of Snippets, we have a chat with Mrs. Saints and find out about her missed connection with Beyoncé What do you do at Southmoor?

Teacher Talk

I’m very lucky as I work alongside some fantastic colleagues in the English Department; I also work as an Assistant Director in the brilliant Sixth Form. I love both my roles equally!

with really well even though – funnily enough and I can’t think why – they all joked about how much I talked!

What’s you Favourite Artist/Band?

Best thing about Southmoor?

I love all genres of music; everything from Stereophonics to Elvis Presley!

It’s becoming a cliché, but I have to say the students. There are so many lovely pupils and they make every day different.  Now I’m part of the Sixth Form I get to see students mature into lovely young adults.

What are your spare time interests? Shopping, shopping and more shopping! No, seriously, reading books and the cinema. I also, occasionally, like to chat with friends over the odd glass of wine.

Who was your Favourite Teacher? In infant school we had a Headteacher called Mr. Chicken (honestly), who knew everyone by their first names and would always have time to talk to pupils. In High School, I had quite a few teachers I thought were great and got on

An Uplifting Visit To embrace ‘National Apprenticeship Week’ we welcomed local crane manufacturer Liehberr to Southmoor. Our Year 7 pupils engaged in some exciting challenges, including welding and manufacturing tasks and puzzles. The activities encouraged team work, as well as promoting STEM career opportunities in our local area.

What’s the one thing you can’t be without? Again, another cliché, but my family. I have a gorgeous granddaughter but I only get to see her during school holidays as she lives all the way up in Inverness!

Tell us something unusual about yourself I once met Beyoncé and was actually personally invited by her to an after-show party … and I didn’t go!



Offers of a Lifetime Offers have started to flood in for our sixth form students from universities across the country. Special mention has to go to Adam Liddle who has secured a place studying Natural Sciences at Christ’s College Cambridge. Adam is a hugely talented scientist who has passed the most rigorous application process in the country - we are immensely proud of him. Among the many students who have secured excellent offers, three former Sandhill View students stand out. Brandon Smith has been offered a place at Veterinary School in Liverpool while Bobbie-Jay Barnett and Dillon Scott are both heading to Durham to study Psychology and Physics respectively. Many congratulations to all of our hard-working sixth formers!

Fundraising Fun Sixth Formers donned their pyjamas to raise money for Comic Relief as well as holding a bake sale at break time and challenging Mr. Ireland, Mr. Lavery and Mr. Wright to have their legs waxed in aid of charity. Congratulations to all involved for raising £300!

Project Perfection This term students have been presenting their extended projects to a panel of Sixth Form staff. From a photographic project on the changing nature of women’s fashion, to an experiment in altering the genetic make-up of wheat via a fully functional computer game, the things our students have achieved independently are truly breathtaking. Well done!

For more information visit the Sixth Form website at or call 0191 596 9991


Dressing the Maasai Pupils have been hard at work in Technology lessons making dresses for the MaaChild Charitable Organisation in Africa. The aim of MaaChild is to take the brightest children from the Maasai tribe and help them achieve their aspirations with an educational bursary by providing 4 years of secondary schooling; a dream for many children in this part of Kenya. It’s great to see our students helping out by making garments for the Maasai children involved in the programme, lending a small helping hand to children less fortunate with their prospects for a good education.

Revision Rewards! Our Year 11 pupils continued their commitment to preparing for their upcoming GCSE exams where a phenomenal number of additional revision sessions have been attended since the launch several weeks ago. We have plenty of incentives on offer to help motivate our students including prize giveaways and prom tickets to name a few. Keep up the excellent effort Year 11!

Revision Retreat Students from the Sixth Form and Year 11 recently visited the idyllic Lake District on a revision retreat. There was a focus on stretching students from across the Multi Academy Trust in their GCSE English Literature studies but also time to enjoy the spectacular setting of The Lakes. A Level students were on hand to support and share their experience of Sixth Form so far.



Flood of Clubs S & ART FTS CRAB CLU



With the help of our staff and members of Sunderland Community Action Group we have put together the biggest roster of clubs and activities we have ever had, with incredible variety available to our students. New clubs range the gamut from Art & Crafts to Zentangles. There is even now an option for students to have their lunches delivered directly to the club they are attending! Posters around school will inform what is happening at lunchtime and after lessons. You can also download our new menu from our website.


Motivational Mondays In support of motivating Year 11 pupils in the lead up to their crucial exams, we now get their week off to a great start with a ‘Motivational Malteaser Monday’ assembly. As part of this, pupils are nominated each week by their teachers for their efforts and achievements and are rewarded with a bag of Malteasers.

Help keep Southmoor tidy...!

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 with up to 60 giveaways up for grabs each day.

Dispose of yo ur litter respo nsibly

Up to 60 prize s

to win

a day to be w a prize. on!

10 10

CSI: Southmoor for Year 8

Congratulations must go to our wonderful drama department for a superb production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The show ran for two nights at the beginning of March and the cast put on an amazing show. Visitors, staff and students alike all had nothing put positive things to say about the professional standard of the production. Well done to all involved both on stage and behind the scenes.

Outward Bounds Year 11 students visited Ullswater over half term to take part in an ‘Outward Bounds’ course. Students completed a gruelling series of activities and were presented with a John Muir Award. Challenges included walking within the glaciated environment and sleeping on the mountain tops on a physically demanding expedition. A big thank you to the Sir Tom Cowie Trust for funding the course for our pupils.

Improving our School Building One of Southmoor’s advantages over so many ‘new build’ schools has been the abundance of space. This has certainly helped accommodate our wonderful Sixth Form and all the additional pupils wishing to join us. Despite this, we have had challenges with access to a building designed in a different era. However this term we have taken a significant step forward by installing a new lift. This means both visitors and students requiring this facility can now gain access to the hall and second floor of our building.


Buddies Week 2017 For the second time this term we welcomed 168 Year 6 pupils from our local feeder schools to take part in a buddy morning to support them and build upon their confidence in the transition from primary to secondary education. The pupils were EACH paired with a Year 7 student and took part in a range of activities and lessons. Pupils also experienced lunchtime at Southmoor and dined in our restaurant. Our visitors were a credit to their primary schools and we look forward to seeing them again soon prior to them starting with us in September.

Baltic Art Visit AS and A Level art students attended interesting exhibitions at both the ‘Baltic Contemporary Art Museum’ and the ‘Side View Gallery’ in Newcastle as an introduction to a new assignment. The students’ responses, attitude and reflections on the work was outstanding with some genuine heartfelt reactions displayed on their behalf.

Mars and Galaxy Week This term we launched ‘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 extraspecial milk drink at ‘Southmoor Shakes’.

Our pupils revelled in the opportunity to claim their Mars and Galaxy milk drinks with pupils who went above and beyond expectations handed golden tickets by their teacher entitling them to this special treat. Well done to all those who earned themselves a ticket!


Sport Digest


Thank you for reading the latest issue of Southmoor Snippets. If you would like to know more about anything you have read in this issue or for the most up-to-date and inclusive news, please register for our weekly Principal’s blog! Simply go to...

Martin Gray Football Academy Goes from Strength to Strength 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 received their new training kit and are pictured above with Academy Director Martin Gray and coach Deano Browne. to sign up to our mailing list.

New Lunchtime Activities JOIN US ONLINE! Southmoor Academy @SouthmoorAc

As part of our drive to encourage and create enrichment opportunities for our students, we have started to introduce a range of sporting activities over breaks and lunchtimes. Year 7 enjoy regular table tennis competitions in the small quad, whilst Year 11 have a brand new pool table to challenge each other on. There is also dodgeball in the new gym, basketball, football on the all weather pitch and swimming in the pool. We will continue to work with Sunderland Community Action Group to introduce more activities throughout the school year so watch this space!

Southmoor Snipptes #15: Spring 2017  

The latest edition of our termly school newsletter for Southmoor Academy.

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