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Southmoor Snippets ISSUE 14 AUTUMN TERM 2016

What success looks like... This has certainly been a vintage year for Southmoor. Our first

crop of A level students are progressing to top universities and promising careers, whilst a far larger cohort from across Sunderland and beyond joined us in September.

Recent & Upcoming Events Upcoming Events Wednesday 7th September School Year Begins at 8:35am

Academy Open Evening At Southmoor Academy

Summer term has been packed full of enrichment activities, whilst still maintaining the academic rigour needed for the exam season. It was great to see so many parents and friends at our awards evenings. Equally, our new Year 7 evening was full of parents supporting our 216 new starters. Our latest version of Snippets serves as a brief reminder of Southmoor’s highlights last term. It is notable just how much we have left out due to constraints of space hence why the weekly blog has become so important. You can sign up at Southmoor’s website! Best wishes and I hope you had a safe and enjoyable summer break.

Southmoor Academy: Telephone: 0191 553 7600 Email:


More Record Breaking Results for Southmoor Academy

GCSE Results Southmoor also celebrates another fantastic year at GCSE with results climbing even further from last year. Terrific twins Elliot and Thomas gained an amazing 21 A*/A grades between them! They were in good company with no less than 14 pupils gaining 8 or more GCSEs at A*/A and a further 22 achieving 5 or more A*/A. The proportion of pupils gaining C+ in English and maths also improved by 4.3% to 65.3% and 5A*-C by 2 points to 63%.

These results remain significantly above national averages and early indications show them to be some of the very highest results in Sunderland. Naturally with such high performance we are seeing record take up for courses at Southmoor’s Sixth Form and with the calibre of entrant, we look forward to great results at A/S and A level next year!


A-Level Results at The Sixth Form What a start. Our first set of year 13 results and our second set of year 12 grades together show all the hard work of the last two years paying off. Not only have we got a 100% pass rate across both years, but 59% of those year 13s are leaving with at least one A*-B grade, and two students leave us with A*A*A!

While our year 13s go on to courses at universities including Durham, Newcastle and Kings College London, to study subjects from History to Computer Science, the year 12s will dwell on a superb set of AS grades. Whether it is the 71% gaining at least one A-B, the 11% hitting AAB in at least two facilitating subjects – well above last year’s average for Sunderland – or even the four students who came out with four As each, they are on track to make our second year even better than our first.



Southmoor Snippets ISSUE 14 SUMMER TERM 2016

Introducing Our New House Badges Along with our uniform, we have also decided to give our House logos a spring clean. We called upon the creative skills of our school designer, Mr. Davison, who has rebranded the graphics for each of the Houses that every pupil at Southmoor belongs to. We are pleased to launch these new designs in this edition of Snippets and new badges will be provided for all pupils in September, to be worn as a complete part of our newly updated school uniform. (See page 5).

The Principal’s Awards Relaunch We are pleased to celebrate the return of our weekly Principal’s Awards to Southmoor. The Principal’s rewards categories are now academic achievement, sporting achievement, and personal / social development. There is also the opportunity to pupils to nominate their peers for an award. Winners will be presented with a certificate and an engraved pen by Mr Garrett along with a photo of them receiving their awards which will be sent home to parents. We will also be awarding special Principal’s Award trophies to those students who repeatedly are nominated for a Principal’s Award as well as those who show outstanding performance in their nominated category.







Julie Eliott MP Visits Southmoor

In this issue...

We were delighted to welcome Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central in early June. Mrs Elliott spoke in assembly about her experience of the democratic system. Her visit was all the more poignant given the recent events surrounding the death of Jo Cox MP. Pupils were given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues that they felt were important to them and yes, it did include the Referendum!

• Latest News • Meet Our New Staff • New School Uniform • Congratulations Corner • Rewards Schemes • Astounding School Trips

Diabetes UK Prestigious Care Award We are delighted that Diabetes UK have chosen us for a “Good Diabetes Care in School Award.” This is because the school has demonstrated excellent care and support for its students with Type 1 Diabetes. The school has ensured that none of these students are excluded from any part of the school curriculum and are not in any way inhibited or held back from reaching their potential because of their

condition. Diabetes UK came into school to present the award. Our diabetic students all spoke openly about how we had supported them during their time at Southmoor. Laura Stubbs ,who is in Year 13, told us that the good care and support she received in the lower school had had an impact on her decision to stay at Southmoor to attend Sixth Form.

• Southmoor Ski 2016 • Teacher Talk • Latest from The Sixth Form • Sports Digest We’d love to have your feedback about what’s happening at the school!

Contact us:

0191 553 7600


Keep in touch with Southmoor Academy

Southmoor Academy


Remembering Our Colleagues We took time out recently to remember two of our esteemed late colleagues, Mr. Trevor Farrell and Mrs. Eleanor Murphy. This poignant gathering allowed us to reflect upon just how much these colleagues made an impact on the lives of both the pupils and staff at Southmoor and how well respected they were. Their passing was marked with the reading of poems by pupils, the unveiling of a commemorative bench on the school field and a balloon release.


New Faces at Southmoor Academy At Easter we welcomed a handful of new faces to Southmoor Academy. We’re always on the look out for not only the best teaching talent there is on offer but also professionals that will improve the school behind the scenes.

Mrs Maddison, Teacher of Science I recently joined Southmoor Academy at Easter after working at Castle View for 15 years. I am

looking forward to working within an outstanding department and in an 11-18 school. Time has flown since starting here and I cannot believe I have completed a full term, which has been so enjoyable thanks to the staff and the students.

Mrs Meek, Teacher of English Prior to joining Southmoor Academy at Easter, I worked as an English Teacher at Walbottle Campus in Newcastle where I taught for seven years. I am delighted to have joined the wonderful English Department at Southmoor Academy. I am looking forward to teaching literature, which I am very passionate about, as well as the opportunity to develop the curriculum in line with the new GCSE specifications. I have really enjoyed my start here at Southmoor, as staff and students have been very welcoming and a real pleasure to work with.

Miss Thompson, Swimming Instructor I joined Southmoor Academy in May as a Swimming Instructor. Prior to this, I worked as a Swim Manager at Hetton Community Pool. My aim is to get more children involved in

swimming and increase their knowledge and awareness about the dangers of water, and how

to reduce the risk of deaths in open water. I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring my skills into an educational setting.

Primary Links As part of our support initiative in the transition between primary school and joining us here at Southmoor in Year 7, Mr. Marr and a group of Year 7 pupils have been out and about at the end of last term giving our new recruits a further taste of what life is like as a pupil at Southmoor. We look forward to welcoming all 215 of our new recruits this September.

Parliamentary Pupil The results of the Sunderland UK Youth Parliament Elections on Thursday 16th June in the council chambers are in and we are delighted to announce that our very own Victoria Farquhar of Year 13 was elected as a deputy member. She will be responsible for feeding local issues into the national arena and engaging young people in the democratic process. Well done Victoria on this fantastic achievement!


Our New School Uniform Makes its Debut This September there will be changes to Southmoor’s school uniform. The school tie and the girls’ skirts will be replaced. School ties will be free of charge in the first instance and the subsidised new skirts, which are of a very good quality, can be obtained from our local supplier: The Uniform Shop. We hope that the changes to the skirt in particular will ensure a consistent look across the academy and prevent future uncertainties about style and length. For this school year only, girls who are currently in Year 11 will not be required to wear the new skirt. Please note that girls may still wear formal trousers if they prefer but that they must conform to our uniform policy for every pupil in that they must not be either fitted or made from canvas/jeans. We also remind parents that shoes must also be black, formal shoes that can be polished. Black trainers or any other type of non formal shoe are not permitted outside of PE activities. There will be a display available in our School Reception. These changes will come into effect for the new school year in September.




Year 7 Egg Heads At the start of the last school year, our Year 7 pupils used research and investigation to determine how to grow a plant from a seed. This included research and investigation in seed germination and potting. Every Year 8 pupil has now planted an onion set and will hopefully reap the benefit of their knowledge and understanding in the successful growth of their own onion this September.

As well as getting busy in our garden with onions and hens, our Year 8 science pupils are also looking after our new arrival of chicks. In addition to caring for their cute fluffy friends, the pupils are also exploring their life cycle, survival skills and producing their very own ‘Chick Diaries’ to record their findings.

Rio Rewards! Summer term for Champions who have 100% Atten dance, Outstanding for Learning and a de Behaviour dicated attitude to Pe rsonal Development. Prizes are to be won on a weekly basis, as well as entry to the champs prize draw! One lucky person fro m each house will win an amaz

Rio Rewa rds



You have been awarded Gold, please present this to student reception to gain a medal for your house group and for entry into a prize draw.






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! N S to T I O t this L A presen house T U please your R A Gold, dal for draw. N G awardedgain a meo a prize C O e been n to entry int

ing £200 worth of high-street shopping vouchers !


Our Summer rewards incentives, called ‘Rio Rewards’ were launched, based upon the theme of the summer Olympic Games, hosted in Brazil. Students participated in theamed competitions based upon Olympic ideals and were awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold tickets, allowing them free entry into weekly prize draws. Pupils with 100% attendance each week, were also granted further automatic entries. All entries were resubmitted into a bumper prize draw for each House, of a £200 high street shopping spree. What a way to get the Summer off to a winning start!



Southmoor Summer School Sizzles In the last week of the summer break, we were joined by over a hundred of our next crop of Year 7 students to take part in an exciting program of fun activities and lessons for our summer school 2016.

Our budding Year 7s took part in all sorts of games to help them build bonds with their new peers, make friends and, above all, have fun! We also gave them a chance to meet some of their new teachers and get a taste of the kind of lessons they have in store. It all cumulated in the final two days where our new students tackled an inflatable assault course followed by a mini-sports day event on the last Friday before the new term. Thanks to everyone who attended it was great fun and we can’t wait for next year!

TV Vet in Training Will Talbot of Year 8 rolled his sleeves as he took on a veterinary challenge for national television where he appeared on CBBC’s ‘Junior Vets on Call’. As part of the episode, Will was seen caring for animals and described the experience as something he will ‘Never forget.’ Well done Will, lets hope this is the start of a promising acting career!

At the start of our Summer Term we introduced ‘Southmoor Ices’, a mobile ice cream cart that will be available over the lunch period on hot, sunny days. Tutors will be given special tickets every day to hand out to pupils who they feel have earned themselves a reward. These tickets are then redeemable for a free ice cream at Southmoor Ices during lunch. The scheme has already proved very popular with our pupils and we’re happy to report that there is no shortage of our students enjoying a well deserved ice cream on the school yard over break!

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CSI:Southmoor Southmoorfor Year 8 CSI:

Our year 8 pupils were an asset to Southmoor Academy when they attended the ‘Chemistry At Work’ sessions presented at the University of Sunderland last term. The highlights of the day included: participation in the demonstration of hydrogen explosions in the Sun; using scientific analysis to identify patients with Cystic fibrosis; the importance of shapes to our happiness; and the use of fingerprinting in CSI.

Top of the Hill The Derwent Hill trip was yet again a fantastic success and the staff involved would like to thank all pupils who took part for their brilliant behaviour and excellent attitude. No matter how tired and wet pupils got they were relentless in trying their best and having fun. The activities were non stop from climbing mountains, diving in gorges, climbing up cliff faces, canoeing and sailing. Phew!



Work Discovery Week

Young Scientists visit the Fab Lab In July our KS3 Science Club pupils spent a day at Sunderland University’s FabLab. Pupils were amazed at some of the fantastic technology available and were able use ICT to design their own key-rings and bring their creations to life using impressive laser technology. Great engineering skills and outstanding resilience meant pupils were even able to develop and build their own hydraulic arm to take home! All pupils were an absolute credit to Miss Maven and will most definitely be among Southmoor’s high flying future scientists!

Southmoor students recently stepped out of school and into the work place. Students explored The Bridges shopping centre, to gain an experience of managerial roles, others visited Caterpillar, to explore the wealth of opportunities available to young people in engineering. Alongside this, students spent time at work discovery week, which was supported by a range of different employees. Our girls impressed the engineers by being the quickest group to assembly a mini car! A group of students will also return to present an enterprise activity which they have been working on, going head to head against 19 other Sunderland secondary schools in a dragon’s den style competition. Good luck!

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Join us for our 2016 Academy Open Evening! This time last year, we opened our doors to the public, staging our Annual Open Evening. Once again, our staff pulled out all the stops, demonstrating their creativity in bringing learning to life, with Macbeth’s Murderous Mire in English, a taste of the continent in our Languages Café, Maths mocktails, giving the topic of ratio a Hawaiian twist and a WWI ‘Beat the Bunker Challenge’ in History, including authentic wartime memorabilia. Coupled with a tour of our facilities, supported by our very own pupil guides, entertainment from our Steel Pan Band and a personal address from the Principal, guests were given a real flavour of life at Southmoor. Thanks to all this we were once again oversubscribed as a popular choice for secondary education in the City. We’re doing it all again this year so why not drop in with your child to see what success at Southmoor really looks like. Our Open Evening starts at 5:00pm on Wednesday 21st September. Everyone is welcome, so why not join us?



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Southmoor Ski 2016 Over the Easter holidays, 40 students and 8 members of staff, departed for the Annual Ski Trip, this year returning to Andorra. The 26 hour coach journey did not deter our students from an action-packed week of activities that awaited them! Throughout the week, pupils enjoyed 5 hours of lessons on the slopes each day. Our skiers mastered the intense black runs and our snowboarders enjoyed the jumps within the snow park that are on offer at the Vallnord Resort. During the evenings students participated in a range of après ski activities including bowling, ice-skating, a pizza party, a visit to a luxurious spa and our end of the week comedy awards ceremony. Our dedicated Twitter account @Southmoor_Ski highlights all of our achievements. Behaviour was impeccable and all pupils returned with smiles and life-long memories of their visit.

Congratulations Corner In April, our very own Mrs. Ormston took part in the London Marathon. Having started her training in November and with two Great North Runs under her belt, Mrs. Ormston overcame her nerves and a foot injury to complete the run in under 6 hours, with a sprint to the finish line. Raising funds for St Oswald’s Hospice, Mrs. Ormston has currently raised over £1000 for the charity and hopes to reach a target of over £1500. At the finish line, Mrs. Ormston swore she would never run another marathon again but has since started considering doing it all again next year in London, Paris or even New York!

Congratulations to our previous Year 13 Student, Isla Laidlaw, who was awarded the title of First Runner-Up in the coveted Miss Sunderland finals in June. This achievement entitles Isla to an automatic place in the Semi Final of Miss England 2017. As part of her fund raising efforts, she recently organised a non-uniform day at Southmoor, raising over £400 for the ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ charity. Well done Isla!

Wonders of the West End


Prior to Easter, the Performing Arts Department led a trip to the West End in London. The three day trip was jam packed with activities, including a West End Performance of Les Misérables, a meet and greet with the stars of the show, a tour of HMS Belfast, a walk along The South Bank and soaked up the atmosphere of a bustling Covent Garden Market. By far the most popular activity was the Stage Combat Workshop at Pineapple Studios. The students had great fun pretending to battle across the stage etc. - and it looked convincing too! Keep your eyes and ears open for information about next year’s trip.

Coastal Coursework On a recent field trip, Southmoor Academy’s Year 10 GCSE Geography groups visited Blyth and Seaton Sluice in Northumberland to look at why and how the coastline in this area is managed. Students were dropped off in Blyth and walked the entire length of the coastline (4 miles!) to Seaton Sluice where they then interviewed local people on coastline management and collected other information before they were rewarded with their fish and chips! Students now have all the information they need to complete their report which is worth 25% of their GCSE Geography grade.

Codex to the Capital Alice Ward of Year 7 and her mum set off to the capital on in May to take part in the ‘Codex 1300 Project’. Southmoor students participated in this children’s version of the historical document, with Alice representing Southmoor on a trip to the capital for the Codex to be signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury before it is sent The Vatican in Italy. Alice’s mum said of their trip. “Thanks for such a fantastic opportunity. Alice and I had an amazing time! We had a private tour around the Houses of Parliament and even got to sit in the House of Commons watching the MPs take a vote!”


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We take the time to chat with Miss Nichol, Curriculum Leader of Performing Arts at Southmoor

Teacher Talk

When did you join Southmoor and what do you do? My day job is leading the Performing Arts Faculty and teaching Music, but I also teach some Maths and the best bit of my job is running productions and concerts with the wonderful Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Wilson. It’s always rewarding to see our students come together for their live performances.

What’s you Favourite Artist/Band? It’s no secret that I have a geeky obsession with Beethoven - every piece of music that we know and love now would be unrecognisable if not for his influence, but I also like listening to Louis Armstrong, Amy Whinehouse, Idina Mendez, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars... the list goes on forever!

What are your spare time interests? Anything and everything, as long as I’m not bored! I fill my time watching and writing for musicals and concerts, ‘gigging’ at bars in Newcastle, cooking, playing tennis and watching football!

Who was your Favourite Teacher? My form teacher in Year 4 really stands out as being the most influential, he was so enthusiastic and motivated and really cared about all of the individual students in his class. I was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to have him as my mentor when I trained to be a teacher - I felt star-struck when I realised it was him so many years later.

Best thing about Southmoor? The students at Southmoor are second to none! There is some real talent hiding in the classrooms just waiting to be inspired - that’s why I love teaching, it’s a fantastic experience when you find hidden gems like that !

What’s the one thing you can’t be without? Definitely my piano! She’s just been put into storage while I get some work done on my house and I’m already struggling!

Looking to Tomorrow Around the end of the school year our Year 12 sixth form students begin to really focus on their future and start to make plans for life beyond Southmoor. To help them along their way, we took all students to the annual UCAS Exhibition at Northumbria University. This was a chance to get talking with university admissions staff and subject specialists. The event hosted hundreds of exhibitors from companies and universities across the UK. Our students returned much more informed and laden with prospectuses!

Revision Retreat Over 50 of our most able students descended on the countryside of Northumberland during the may bank holiday, with two main goals; to have lots fun and to revise with a purpose. Students studying for the GCSE in ICT were accompanied by the whole Business Computing Department, who trained them in revision skills and facilitated a range of bespoke study sessions. When not revising, the group embarked on a range of outdoor activities.

A SENsational Visit During Spring Term, our Special Educational Needs team stepped out of Southmoor and paid a visit to North View Academy. The school provides educational opportunities and outcomes for pupils from the city and beyond, whose needs relate to Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Our team found the visit beneficial, where they were given the opportunity to discuss ideas and share good practice to help them in their role when supporting vulnerable pupils at Southmoor.



Hello & Goodbye... That’s it. The end. Our first sixth formers have competed their A-level courses, and now all that remains is for them to collect their results after a long summer break. It has been an absolute pleasure to guide these wonderful students through their sixth form studies and we celebrated that fact with a farewell BBQ in July. There were some tears of course but there is also a lot more for our inaugural sixth formers to look forward to as well. We wish them all the best. As much as saying goodbye is hard, it’s so much more of a pleasure for us to welcome Year 11 students from Southmoor and across the city, as new recruits to our Sixth Form. We hosted a jam-packed two day transition event, where students engaged in a number of activities including lots of team bonding and a series of taster lessons. We look forward to starting the new term with our new Year 12s in September.

The Big Debate ‘Should I stay, or should I go?’ - to coin a phrase from The Clash: should we stay in the EU or should we go? This perplexing question, answered by the nation in the referendum on June, 23rd, was posed to our Year 13 students before the seminal referendum. This historic event was probably the first opportunity for our Year 13 students to cast a vote; therefore, The Sixth Form was very pleased to secure two high-profile speakers to deliver opposing views: Dominic Coupe, Regional Representative for the Vote leave campaign and Jesse Jacobs, Regional Field Director for Britain Stronger in Europe campaign. During the lively debate our students asked some very pertinent and intelligent questions. Both representatives enthused that it was a pleasure to talk to our students and that we were one of the only schools in this area giving students such an informed and unbiased choice. The students were able to form their own opinions afterwards in our own ‘mini-referendum’ after the debate.

site at e Sixth Form web th t si vi n io at rm 0191 594 9990 For more info or call hm ut so at m or www.thesixthf

Sport Digest


New Goals for Callum We would like to congratulate Callum Redpath in Year 11 for having accepted a prestigious two-year scholarship at the Sunderland AFC Academy of Light. The Football Club boasts one of the best Academies in the world, having been granted the highest possible rating during the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan. Callum can look forward to receiving the best training in footballing excellence but also valuable advice, a sound education and a solid platform to move forward. Starting in September and with his first game for the Sunderland Youth Squad in July, he has a lot to look forward to. Good luck!

High Kicking Success for Ethan Our resident Karate King, Ethan Brown, has once again returned back from competition with success! After recent success and being called up for the KUGB national squad - this time he returns home with more personal accolades, becoming Boys’ Karate Champion at the 50th KUGB National Championships, held in Birmingham last weekend. Well done Ethan for this prestigious achievement!

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! Simply go to to sign up to our mailing list.

Southmoor gets the Silverware Congratulations to our amazing boy’s football teams who collected several trophies at the Sunderland Schools Football Awards towards the end of the last school year. Overall our lads brought home the Under 15 Cup, whilst finishing second in their league. Our under 14 boys were not to be out done either with a league topping performance at the end of the season! They have all been great representatives of the academy this year and have been very dedicated to after school football training and fixtures which has certainly paid off!



Sixth Form Sports Afternoon The end of the school year saw pupils venture off to Flamingo Land resort for the day, where they had a thrill-seeking time enjoying the attractions and the zoo. Meanwhile back at school, Year 12 hosted an activities day with giant inflatable and a BBQ to round off the term.

Southmoor’s soon to be Soccer Starlets In early June we welcomed Year 5 pupils from Hill View Juniors and Valley Road Primary, who are joining our Martin Gray Football Academy squad training sessions each Wednesday. The latest recruits to the Academy, enjoyed the session and embraced working alongside their secondary peers.


Southmoor Snippets Autumn Term Edition  

Our Termly Newsletter for Southmoor Academy in Sunderland.

Southmoor Snippets Autumn Term Edition  

Our Termly Newsletter for Southmoor Academy in Sunderland.