March 2023 Newsletter
Dear Parents / Carers
Thank you all for your commitment and support over the past Spring term.
Staffing update- In March, academy leaders interviewed candidates for a permanent teacher vacancy in the academy. We are incredibly pleased to announce that Mr Watkins-Smith, who is currently teaching Year 3, will be joining us as a permanent member of staff at Smithies Moor.
Parent Governor – We are pleased to announce that through the parent governor elections, we received one parent governor application. As an academy and as a trust, we welcome Peter Bellwood as our new parent governor to join Richard Lupton on our Governing Council.
Over the past year we have taken part in the DfE Behaviour Hubs program with support from a Lead School- Spring Grove Primary School, Huddersfield. This has been a great success in developing behaviour rules and routines across the academy. In the Summer term, we will be launching our new Behaviour Curriculum. Like all curriculum areas this will have a long term plan and areas of behaviours will be explicitly taught to all our pupils. The children will have behaviour objectives to focus on each half term. Through staff training we are developing a behaviour culture where behaviour is seen as communication. This is having a positive impact on supporting all pupils in the academy. This is supporting our co-op ways of being through succeeding together and doing what matters most.
Amazing things happen here at Smithies Moor.
The whole academy got involved with Internet Safety Day this term.
Mental Health Week
Over the mental health week, all classes were able to join in activities for both physical and mental health development. This supports our co-op ways of being – Be yourself, always.
British Science Week
All classes have taken part in Science Week. The children were able to complete experiments and investigations to further develop their scientific knowledge. The posters created by families that came into the academy were absolutely fabulous. This showed great parental commitment and support. Thank you.
The annual DT exhibition was great. It showcased the talents in art and design technology across all year groups. The children and staff were very proud of the work displayed at the exhibition.
Fair Trade Workshops
Fair and Funky from Huddersfield came and delivered a Fairtrade SCRAPtastic workshop. Pupils learnt about the importance of Fairtrade, what the Fairtrade mark means and made something out of recycled materials.
After school Clubs
It is great to see many children coming to the different afterschool clubs at the academy. New clubs will be announced in the first week back and a chance for your child to sign up to the clubs for the Summer term.
Year 6 have had the opportunity to visit Robinwood on a residential trip for 3 days. They took part in lots of challenges and activities, including zip wires, the giant swing, caving and lots more. This was fabulous and the children were amazing when facing their fears and staying overnight was a real adventure. The staff that supported the children were also amazing and said that the children were absolute superstars!
Young Leaders Event- Miss Garrity from Co-op Academy Manchester came to work with a group of Year 4 and Year 5 pupils to develop their skill sets as Young Leaders. They will have the opportunities to use these skills over the Summer term and into next year with different projects in and around the academy. We are developing leaders of the future. This will happen every year to continue to support our pupils in developing skills for life. They are building on the co-op ways of being and doing what matters most.
Due to staffing, Year 1’s visit to Abbey House Toy Museum had to unfortunately be cancelled this week, however it will be rescheduled for the Summer term. Safeguarding and staffing of the trip is paramount to ensure the children enjoy their experience with safety being a priority.
In March, Legacy Sport offered Year 6 children a chance to gain a certificate for safe cycling. The Year 6 children were able to ride bikes in the playground and in the local area for two days to gain the skills they needed to stay safe on a bike.
We joined other schools over the past year at the local Cross Country Primary event with a small team of fantastic runners. Seren St Hilaire, in Year 5, qualified for the National Cross Country final which took place on Saturday 25th March. She ran so well in the final and came 36th out of 170 children taking part. As an academy we are immensely proud of her sporting achievements.
Over the past few months key stage two pupils have had the opportunity to be selected to take part in the Co-op Academies Sporting Competitions. We have had great success at these events against other Co-op primary academies. The children have thoroughly enjoyed taking part at Co-op Academy Leeds and as a bonus have won plenty of medals in the different activities.
Our April parents evenings will be face to face. We are hoping that we can meet parents and carers to be able to discuss your child’s progress in school and offer targets and next steps in their learning. If you do not wish to meet face to face, the teachers will be happy to make a telephone call to parents as an alternative. Parents evening will take place over two evenings of Wednesday 26th April and Thursday 27th April 2023. A separate letter will be sent out for you to choose your preferred date and timings.
Please ensure that your child attends the academy if they are well enough to do so. Being in the academy everyday will support your child to receive the best opportunities offered to them at the academy.
Pupils who are super attendees and have attendance above 96% received certificates and a chocolate treat yesterday to show our appreciation for their efforts in attending school. Some pupils also received certificates to celebrate their improvements in their attendance over the year so far. One of our ways of being is Succeed Together. Please support your child and the academy by using the class charts app, the school phone number or call in at the office to explain any reasons why your child is not in school. BCL attendance officers will continue to make home visits and support the academy with more panel meetings with families who need further support with attending school. These are all a high priority as part of our improvement strategies this year and beyond.
As an academy we are unfortunately below the national and local averages for attendance at 91.9%. To help improve our overall attendance, we must work together to succeed together in making sure all pupils attend school everyday unless they are too ill.
Please remember extended holidays or leave from school will not be authorised unless there are extreme circumstances. Letters will be sent home regarding any requests made for extended holidays in term time. Kirklees Authority will be notified if the family takes the holiday. They could decide to issue a penalty notice to parents linked to the leave taken.
As an academy, we take pride in our appearance and therefore all children will be expected to be in full academy uniform everyday. Please ensure all children are wearing black shoes. Your child will need a PE kit to change into on their PE days. If you need further support with uniform, please contact Miss Pickles, who can request free uniform from The Uniform Exchange. Wearing a full uniform encourages all our pupils to be proud of the community they belong to and to work together as Smithies Moor in order to succeed together.
We are working with National Online Safety to support staff, pupils and parents in keeping children safe online. Please join our school community and access resources, webinars and guides on a wide variety of online safety subjects. It is here as a resource to support us in keeping our children safe in the online world.
To create your account, please follow https://nationalonlinesafety.com/enrol/co-op-academy-smithies-moor and complete your details. When you’re set up, you’ll be able to set ‘Parent/Carer’ as your user type.
You can access National Online Safety online via any device- including via our brand-new smartphone app. To download the app, please go to:
Alternatively, search for ‘National Online Safety’ in the App Store/Google Play Store.
As we enter the Summer term we will be carrying out statutory assessments with all Year 6 pupils, all Year 2 pupils, phonics assessment with Year 1 and Year 2 pupils and Multiplication checks with Year 4 pupils. Additional support and interventions have been put in place to support all pupils and make sure these periods of time are as relaxed and stress-free as possible. If you have any queries about these assessments, please contact your child’s class teacher directly through class charts messages or face to face.
Continuous staff development
Being part of the trust has supported staff training and development to ensure your child has the best education opportunities here at Smithies Moor. The trust is using an additional INSET day to ensure all staff in our academy and local academies have the opportunity to complete further professional development. This means that on Monday 3rd July 2023 the academy will be closed to all pupils for staff training. This will be added to the diary dates on our website.
We wish you all a restful two weeks break,whether you are celebrating Easter, observing Ramadan or just enjoying the free time and look forward to seeing you all back in the academy on Monday 17th April at 8.50am.
Thank you for your continued support,
Mrs Catherine Brackenbury
Head of Academy
Mr Jack Sowter