Thomas Alleyne's High School
Weekly News Roundup

Week Commencing- 23rd March 2015

Headteacher's Blog

I would like to welcome our new readers particularly those from our Middle Schools. I hope you find the newsletter is helpful in supporting your son/daughter become familiar with Thomas Alleyne's High School. I know some year 8 and possibly Year 7 students will be joining us this Summer for our first ever Summer School. We hope this will support them with their transition into High School. I look forward to meeting them then.

This week I am thrilled to have launched GCSEpod in assemblies with students. GCSE pod is a collection of over 3,500 audio-visual podcasts which students can watch or listen to on mobile devices, tablets and PCs.

They are designed to help students with revision or learning. We have made the decision to offer these podcasts to all year groups. Year 9 and 10 students may use the podcasts to check their understanding of key topics whilst Year 11 may use them for revision purposes. Whilst the official launch is not until today one student has already streamed 96 podcasts.  At the moment the subject areas where the podcasts have been accessed the most are in English and Biology.

As well as this, one of our parents who is also a support member of staff logged on and sent me this comment which I hope you will find helpful

‘I clicked on the GCSEpod icon on FROG out of interest and signed up to see what it was and I am very glad I did.

I know I am neither teacher nor student but found the site very interesting. It is very easy to use and to follow.

The podcasts are easy to use with subjects being broken down into easy to find titles and topics.

I know my daughter is not due to take her GCSE's until next year but she does have some Yr 10 exams in April. I sat with her last night and showed her the site. We both thought that it would help her with revision tactics. She liked how she could create her own playlist on certain topics that she might find a struggle. Beth liked the fact that she could sit with it on her laptop, plug her earphones in and block out the outside world whist she was listening to the topics without distractions.

Everyone is different when it comes to revision and how they retrieve and store information. I found it very useful as it is a long time ago since I took my exams "O Levels!!" and what worked for me way back then might not work for my daughter.

I know that both my daughter and I will use this site, my daughter to help with her revision and absorbing the information and myself so I have a better understanding of how to support her.’’

I know the site will not suit everyone, but I hope that you find it to be another tool which you and your son/daughter can use to support them through with their GCSEs.

The sessions which teachers are very generously running during the Easter holidays will be of even greater value so please encourage your son or daughter to look at the programme and attend these sessions. As many of you are aware I will be in the theatre on the 16th April from 10.00am – 1.00pm hosting a revision session for parents of Year 11 students - I do hope you will be able to join me.

On a different note I would like to offer my personal thanks to the students who performed their House Drama play every morning this week to students in school. As I explained to students they presented the difficult but important topic of child sexual exploitation in a powerful and informative way. I was also fortunate this week to be able to go to the parental viewing of the House drama performance for the winning house Torrance. It was a lovely evening and students again gave an outstanding performance this time focused on the potential impact of driving over the legal limit. We hope to be able to share this show with the rest of the school also.

Finally, on a very sad note, you will all have now received a letter with our tragic news about Mrs Reaney.

Mrs Reaney went into the MacMillan Hospice about 2 weeks ago after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in October 2013. Since then she underwent various treatments however the cancer progressed and she passed away on the 24th March. Mrs Reaney taught modern foreign languages superbly and was an inspiring Deputy Head of Sixth form who supported many students both academically and personally. I only got to know Mrs Reaney for a brief amount of time personally but I found her to be a most inspirational lady and teacher. She will be missed greatly by our staff and students. Our thoughts are very much with her family at this very difficult time. Students will be fundraising for the Douglas MacMillan Hospital who looked after Mrs Reaney.

The funeral will be held on 15th April in Stone during our Easter holiday. Mr Reaney has asked that you let me know, through emailing, if you or your son/daughter would like to attend. Please do this by Thursday 2nd April 2015.

Please see below a link to ways in which you can support your child during periods of bereavement.

GCSE Pod Login

1. open internet browser and go to

2. PC in school go to the shortcuts folder on desktop and select shortcut

3. Frog via the link on the iPhone

4. From school website click on the banner on top website home page

5. Download the Apple iPhone app from the app store

Easter Revision

Please see the link below for details of the Easter revision program that is being put on by staff. Please see the named member of staff for further details.

News from Science

Following on from the inspiring events throughout last week’s ‘National Science Week’ lessons followed a more familiar pattern.

Here’s an insight into one of the biology lessons.

Have you ever wondered how lactose-free milk is made or low-calorie food is sweetened?

Both processes utilise enzymes, which don’t contaminate the product and can be used over and over again. Year 11 used the enzyme sucrase encased in gel beads to investigate the breakdown of sucrose into glucose and fructose, both of which are much sweeter than sucrose.

In this way food can be sweetened using less sugar; thereby reducing its calorie content.

Each week we celebrate success in Science and Environmental Land Based Science. Students are nominated in recognition of outstanding effort and positive attitude towards their Science studies. Each student is presented with a certificate during their house assembly.

This week’s star Science students nominated by Miss Sims are:

Olivia Stanier and George Taylor in Year 10 and Molly Jordan and Malachi May in Year 11.

Well done to all!

Mrs Coope demonstrates producing the gel beads to Year 11

Absence from School

The rules regarding pupil absence from school have been changed by the Department for Education. Please ensure you read the letter linked below to ensure you are aware of these changes and how they affect you and your children.

Y10 @ Tutbury

Year 10 history students enjoyed a fabulous day out at Tutbury castle this week as part of their Controlled Assessment research. They had talks by castle curator Lesley Smith and Dr Gareth Williams, expert on Tutbury Castle from the British Museum. Students explored the castle site, held artefacts and walked across the floodplain of the river Dove to help understand the advantages of the site. A few even had a close shave with an executioner's sword...

Post 16 Transport for Year 11

Year 11 students who travel on school buses and who will be joining 6th form in September need to apply and pay for continued transport Places are allocated on a first come first served basis All applications must be made online at from 16th April.

U15 Girls' Rugby

On Wednesday the team travelled to Dudley Kingswinford Rugby Club to compete in the Regional Rugby Finals. Having qualified as Staffordshire champions, they were placed in a pool with Wodensborough, Belvedere & Hereford academy. The standard of competition was very high and we all felt quite apprehensive watching the opening game. Those nerves soon subsided when we got on the pitch to play Wodensborough, the games were 8 minutes each way and we led at half time 1 try to nil. In the second half, our speedy players exposed some of the gaps in the oppositions defensive line and we ran out 4 - 0 winners. Further victories against Belvedere & Hereford Academy saw us top the pool by lunch time and qualify for the cup competition.

The afternoon saw as play Wodensborourgh again. This was a much closer affair with Thomas Alleyne's winning 2-1. Our only defeat came next when we played Nunnery Wood next, we battled hard but found them a bit more experienced and we lost 4-1. In our last game we had to avoid defeat to finish Runners up, our squad was depleted due to injuries ruling 3 players out. In a really close, hard fought game we managed a 3-3 draw against Church Stretton.

A massive well done to all of the girls who participated. Caitlin Arnold again captained the side brilliantly and she made a lot of tactical decisions both on and off the pitch. Some tough tackling from Katie Edwards, Antonia Lee- Jones, Hannah Thacker and India Wilson protected our defensive line. Some quick feet from Mylene Bepole, Rhiannon Kenny, Niamh Miller, Hannah Whittaker & Vicky Brookes helped us to gain ground further up the pitch. Ellie Chatfield, Alisha Hudson, Georgia Apperley & Chloe Kerr supported both the attack and defence magnificently, helping to bring down players and keep possession of the ball.

A massive well done to all that competed and a thank you to Mark Tolley who has been in to coach the girls on a Monday night. Many of the girls had not played before and have made huge progress in a short space of time.

Boys' Rugby

County Semi-Final Success

Thomas Alleynes Year 9 reached the semi-final of the county cup to narrowly lose in a 29-27 defeat to Alleyne's Stone. It was a thrilling game that came down to the last kick of the game. All team members had a great game.

Meanwhile on Wednesday the U18's reached the semi final of the county cup 7's at Newcastle school. All squad members were a credit to the school.

Girls' Sport

Today Miss Quinn dropped off 5 year 10 girls to Loughborough University to take part in a Girls Active Camp run by Youth Sport Trust. The camp is designed to look at why female participation in sport and physical activity is lower than males and what can be done to combat this. During the weekend they will be attending workshops that will look at what type of physical activity girls prefer, how the marketing of a club can affect attendance and how to vlog and blog!!! They have already met double Olympic Champion Victoria Pendleton so it is shaping up to be a great weekend. When they return they will have pledged to encourage and engage 50 other girls to take part in more physical activity for 10 weeks. This is a really exciting time for these girls and we can't wait to see how they get on.

Last week 11 of our pupils took part in the East Staffs Dance Show at The Brewhouse, Burton. Both evening shows were sold out and the pupils were excellent. The dance club at school happens on a Thursday in the wooden gym and is starting again after half term. It is always looking for new members and it would be great to see some new faces. If you need any information please see Miss Quinn.

YESS Easter Egg Bingo

On Thursday 2nd April at 6.30pm in Thomas Alleyne's theatre is the annual Easter Egg chocolate bingo evening. Any profits raised will help support the work of Youth Emotional Support Service in meeting the emotional needs of young people in the Uttoxeter area. Please consider coming along for a fun and exciting couple of hours. No tickets needed, just turn up on the night. Bring the whole family, bingo cuts across all age boundaries! Hope to see you there!

Key Dates Reminder

PTA meeting - Wednesday 1st April 7.30 pm

Easter holiday - 3rd - 17th April

School opens on 20th April for students

Year 10 Football

The year 10 team played John Taylor in their last game of the Burton and district league. Victory would have definitely confirmed us as league champions, having already beaten the other two teams in the league.

At the opening of the game all of the football was played by Thomas Alleyne’s and there were many attempts made on goal. There was a shot on an open goal but the goal keeper somehow managed to scramble back and clear it away. At half time Thomas Alleyne’s were 1-0 up.

The second half started badly by Thomas Alleyne’s conceding a goal and we almost conceded a second had it not been for a clever clearance by Luke Bebbington. Again Thomas Alleyne’s had several chances and a powerful shot on goal by Gabriel Wild was miraculously saved by the John Taylor keeper. The game ended 1-1 and so we have to wait for all other games in the league to be completed before we can be confirmed league champions.

House Chess

Congratulations to this year’s champion -

Michael Wright Year 12 Whitmore.

Michael defeated Laura Wilson 10E3 in a close fought final. Laura is the first female to reach the House chess final and looks a likely future champion. The match was watched by a spellbound audience. It was one of the best finals in recent times. ‘It was a great final. Michael is a real champion but Laura ran him close ‘ said Mr Quigley .

1st Michael Wright Whitmore

2nd Laura Wilson Elkes (Year 10)

3rd Jay Nevin Torrance (Year 9)

4th Gabrielle Bepole Orme (Year 10)

House Placings

1st Whitmore 8 House Trophy Points

2nd Elkes 6 House Trophy Points

3rd Torrance 4 House Trophy Points

4th Orme 2 House Trophy Points.

Well done to all competitors.


The tension is palpable!!!

Post 16 Transport Consultation

Can the parents of pupils in year 11 please take time to look at the consultation regarding transportation for post  16 students. You have until April 2nd to comment on the proposals.

Ski Trip 2016!!

We have not even gone on this year's trip and it is time to start planning next years!

The trip is booked for the Easter Holidays, 2016 and letters are now available from Mr Cartwright in room 43. In the first instance this is open to pupils in year 9 and 10 on a first come first served basis.

The deposit is on ParentPay, reply slips need to be returned to Mr Cartwright. For further details please do contact me at the school.

As the pupils who have been before say #bestweekofyourlife

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