Outwood Academy Shafton is absolutely thrilled to announce that, after our recent Ofsted inspection, the academy has been judged to be "Good" in every category, with Overall Effectiveness also judged to be "Good". This is a huge accolade for the academy and the community it serves and rightly recognises the transformation in outcomes for young people over the 3 years since joining Outwood Grange Academies Trust.
MindSpace is a safe place for young people to discuss their mental wellbeing.
MindSpace offers a unique blend of early intervention support for young people and their parents. Click here to find out more.
Our Student Voice President for 2018/19 is Sophie Lee. Sophie is currently in Year 10 and is a fantastic role model to other students within the Academy. She worked hard to campaign for student votes and is keen to show students how seriously she is taking the role.
‘I would like to thank everyone who supported me during my campaign. I’m extremely appreciative to everyone who voted for me and I won’t let you down.’
Sophie will work closely with other student voice groups including the Charity Committee, VMG Representatives and her Vice Presidents, Ebony Holland and Alfie Booker. Sophie, Ebony and Alfie form the Student Voice Leadership team and their roles are focused in each one of the Deeps. Sophie is working with the Deep Leadership team, Ebony is working within Deep Support and Alfie is working within the Deep Experience team. We are very excited to see them progress in their roles.
For 2018/19 Student Voice has a number of groups that encourage students to become involved within the Academy:
Each term the SV Leadership team will meet with VMG Representatives to listen to student voice and ensure students feel their voice is heard within the Academy. We are keen to develop links with our community through our Charity Committee. So far this year we have raised a total of over £1500 for a variety of local and national charities. We are also keen to increase the number of Ambassadors we have in Year 7 and 8. These students are excited to show their support for anti bullying campaigns and also keen to raise awareness of looking after our environment.
So far it is another successful year for Student Voice and we are excited for what we have planned in the Spring and Summer term!
Students from Outwood Academy Shafton have been working hard all year in Science club, and many have been awarded Discovery CREST awards from the British Science Association for their project work so far. These students were then given the opportunity to complete independent projects to work towards a Bronze-level award, a well regarded, high quality and tangible recognition of success. After visiting the Big Bang Fair in March this year (a fair designed to inspire students and promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers), the Science Club decided to take students to the Big Bang Near Me Fair with these projects to give them the experience of showcasing their work. Five projects in total were entered by Outwood Academy Shafton and different awards were available to the students depending on the area of their research.
During the non-presenting sections of the day our students got hands on with all the activities, such as virtual welding, flight simulations, laser engraving, and handling snakes and tarantulas! Lewis Evans-Blakelock, Year 8, won an Engine Build Challenge and received a certificate for assembling a Rolls Royce turbofan engine!
Thousands of people visited the Big Bang Near Me event and our students presented their work throughout the whole day to students from Primary and Secondary schools from the Yorkshire and Humber region. They were also formally judged by a panel for a variety of awards such as the best projects for the various disciplines. They were judged against all sizes of groups and all years, including 6th form students.
Thomas Smith, Year 7, presented his work “Which type of milk should we send to third world countries for aid?”. Jonah Rose, Year 7, presented “Can we extinguish a house fire with ice cream?”.
Charlie Steeples’, Year 7, project “Making energy clean and sustainable” won the Best Science Project Award against all other competitors.
Oliver Copeland’s, Year 7, very impressive presentation of “Can kindness increase recall?” won him the Ace Communicator Award.
The team behind “Is sugar addictive?” Jack Alexander, Bradley Green, both Year 7, and Blake Mawson-Burren, Year 8, won themselves the Best Teamwork Award. Two of our students even managed to progress to the national finals to represent the Yorkshire and Humber region at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair in March 2018 at the Birmingham NEC, and will be showcasing their work at the same event that we attended as visitors this year!
The students who presented and those that supported on the day should be incredibly proud of their outstanding achievements, as we most definitely are! An absolute credit to their families and to our Academy.
Friday 6th July saw pupils from year 7 & 8 arrive at Hogwarts (or at least Harry Potter world). The trip had been organised as an end of year reward for students who had put exceptional perseverance and effort into the Accelerated Reader programme. As the Harry Potter books are amongst the most borrowed resources in the LRC, what better reward could there be than to take them to where a lot of the filming for the movies took place. The trip had to be organised a year before to provide the right incentive for the students. So it’s fair to say that anticipation was high.
That said, the day surpassed everyone’s dreams. There was so much to see and do from learning how to use a wand to flying on a broom.Pupils saw the Great Hall, the potions, the Forbidden Forest, the giant spiders, and flying car amongst other treats. When the moment arrived for the screen to go up, revealing the huge entrance doors to the Great Hall, there were gasps of awe and excitement. The doors opened up, revealing long tables complete with crockery and cutlery and surrounded by knights in shining armour and masses of props that had been used in the movies. Throughout the tour pupils got to see many of the original costumes and props from the films, were shown how special effects and animatronics were used and got the chance to fly over Hogwarts on a broomstick before finally seeing a scaled down model of Hogwarts and visiting the gift shop.
The students loved the whole experience. From riding the broomsticks and walking through the Forbidden Forest, to visiting Privet Drive and sitting in Mr Weasley’s car. Pupils exemplary behaviour and good manners were commented on by members of the public and they certainly outshone all the other students on the tour. Mrs Carrie had a special notebook bought for the event where students have written comments about the day. Ms Fletcher commented that “It was magical from start to finish with so many highlights. The students were a credit to themselves and the academy. Expressing thanks to staff, showing appreciation and being pleasant, polite and helpful to members of the public. Ms Carrie struggled to find a highlight from a day so full of them, commenting “There were far too many to choose from but the look on the look of amazement on the students’ faces when the huge doors opened up to revealing the Great Hall was magical.
A few students were moved to tears when we walked into the room with the model of Hogwarts castle”. Mrs Peasegood’s highlight was the dedication of the trip’s organisers. She told me. “Yesterday I became aware just how far above and beyond some of our staff go for our students. I was blown away by how much effort Mrs Carrie, Mrs Fletcher and Ms Capps had all made to make the Harry Potter trip magical for our students. Between them they had made up over 60 sandwiches for the coach journey home in case the students had forgotten to bring enough food for their tea as well as lunch. They had also bought boxes of crisps and crates of water…all with their own money and time”. What an amazing experience. As one of the students wrote ‘the books may be fiction but the magic is real".
The Incredible Power of Memory
Students often ask about the "mysterious" staff training that happens in the academy each Tuesday evening. For the students, it is the one night of the week when they don't stay, in their hundreds, for after academy enrichment. Instead, this time is given to the Deep Learning team, our Directors and our departments to ensure that our staff receive the highest quality continuous professional development which, in turn, impacts directly on continuously improving the quality of teaching in our classrooms. Among other things, this time is focused on ensuring that all our teachers remain absolute experts in their relative field of study. It is also the time when students' assessments are rigorously standardised so that we can quality assure the accuracy of the information that comes out to parents and students in our Praising Stars(C) reports.
During the last half-term, we focused, through this time, on ways to develop memory recall with our students. With the exam season just weeks away, revising is a key skill that our Y10 and Y11 students need to develop. We were thrilled, once again, to invest in and host our annual Revision Festival. Families attended in record numbers and were seemingly very impressed by the support and materials made available to our young people as they prepare for their GCSE exams. With an array of techniques showcased, the event showed that our teachers had given a lot of thought and developmental time to designing ways to help students learn what they need to learn. There was a great deal of fun to be had too - GCSE PE's "Revision Pong" was an instant hit and there were great demonstrations of the various apps and online platforms that have been invested in to help our students. It was great, too, that Mindspace could attend the event and that a number of the stalls looked at student and family well-being and how to remain calm and focused during what can feel like a pressurised time.
"Memory" refers to the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain and later retrieve information. There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage and retrieval. I was fortunate to lead an assembly with all students that looked at the science of memory and ways in which your own memory can be improved. Whilst retrieval of knowledge is, of course, important for students who sit exams, remembering what you have learnt is important for all learners - a house cannot be built on a foundation of sand. So, we have to ensure that what is learnt in our classrooms is concreted into the long-term memory of our learners and becomes a strong knowledge-foundation. Memory is strengthened by retrieval practice. Learning does not miraculously "sink in". It is essential to use and to teach retrieval methods routinely: Low stakes quizzing, key practice routines, mental rehearsal methods and strategies that replace weak ideas like "going over your notes" with self-quizzing and repeated practice.
In 2017 GCSE Specifications (WHAT students are expected to learn) changed across the whole country placing a much bigger emphasis on ROTE LEARNING - or "Learning Off by Heart". Students now have to recall from memory an anthology of 18 poems in English, quotes from a 20th century place, a 19th century novella and Shakespeare play in English Literature. They have to be able to recall from memory and manipulate 20 different science equations for Physics. And, in subjects such as GCSE PE, they have to recall anatomical names and facts. There are many more examples, but this knowledge expectation has to change what we deliver through our curriculum and we have to raise, even more, the expectations of our learners in terms of the revision and practice that they need to do in order to maximise their potential.
However, memory is so much more than this because memory is about knowledge and knowledge makes you interesting, gives you confidence and a feeling of self-achievement. Memory, it should also be considered, is about WHAT you know and remember but it is also about what you EXPERIENCE and how that makes you feel. Your "memories". This absolutely aligns with what we try to achieve her at Outwood Academy Shafton. Our students returning from the recent ski trip will never forget the breath-taking sights they have seen or the feeling when they took to the slopes for the first time. You never forget how it feels to go to the Prom or to walk in to over a thousand people cheering for you at Prom breakfast. When you stand in respect of the fallen in solidarity with your fellow students - this stays with you. The feeling of pride as you return from the Duke of Edinburgh expedition, captain the Y7 football team to their first ever win, get nominated as a Learning Star, take to the stage with the Outwood Brass or open a food bank for the community become a part of your incredible story. This year, once again, we have more students than ever taking part in the brilliant National Citizens Sevice programme. They will fill their summer with a thousand unforgettable moments and achievements.
So here's to committing all that brilliant knowledge from your classes to your memory and to making amazing memories for you during your time with us at OAS.
Are you a past student of Outwood Academy Shafton, or did you attend Shafton ALC, Willowgarth or Priory School & Sports College? We would love to hear what you are up to. We are in the process of setting up a student alumni. Please get the message out and share our link to build our growing family. We can keep you up to date of any reunions and events you may be interested in. It’s always fantastic to hear the successes of our past students and provide you with the opportunity to come back and inspire our current students. Please click on Future FirstRemember, spread the word!
We are so delighted that our Student Voice now have a team of dedicated Eco Warriors looking at different ways for us to be more environmentally friendly.
Student Voice are seeking donations of tinned goods, pasta, instant mash etc for their pop-up foodbank. All donations can be dropped into Reception and will be gratefully received.
Any students interested in completing the Bikeability Level 3 qualification please speak to Mr Jepps. It involves a 1.5 hour ride in the community where you will be required to demonstrate a number of skills.
Absolutely delighted that we have a new AR Millionaire and a new Multi-Millionaire! Great work from Evan and Amy - amazing achievements in such a very short space of time!
Well done to Zain this week's AR Star; Zain has read almost 940,000 words and is so close to becoming a word millionaire! Keep up the great work Zain!
Parent View gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your child’s school.
Parent View asks for your opinion on 12 aspects of your child’s school, from the quality of teaching to dealing with poor behaviour. Ofsted will use the information you provide when making decisions about which schools to inspect, and when. By sharing your views, you’ll be helping your child’s school to improve. You will also be able to see what other parents have said about your child’s school.