The SBL Academy Newsletter: Communication and Celebration
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Message from the Principal

Dear Parents/carers and students

As you will be aware, we were asked to take part in the OFSTED pilot for their new inspection framework and welcomed Paul Williams (HMI) and his team of HM Inspectors into the Academy earlier this week.  The framework for inspection of schools is undergoing some changes and being consulted upon at the moment.  There are some significant changes with the focus shifting very clearly to the quality of education, in particular they spent time looking at the Curriculum our students follow and the quality of its implementation.

There are no judgments or reports offered as part of the pilot, but we did get some first-hand insight into the requirements of the new framework and the potential changes to the method of inspection.  I will be feeding back to staff on our training day next Friday and to our students during assemblies on the first week back after half term.  We were delighted to receive positive feedback from the inspection team which indicated how very impressed the inspectors were with our students and, in particular, the way in which they conducted themselves and spoke about their school.  Inspectors commented on the way in which students have positively approached the changes we have made here and how they are starting to take more responsibility for their learning.

We will use the feedback to shape our next steps in terms of our improvement journey and I felt heartened by the number and type of positive comments the inspection team made and the strengths they found in the school.  I will produce a guide for parents towards the end of this academic year which will set out our priorities and aspirations for our students into the future in order to keep you fully informed of developments.

As Principal, it was great to hear such positive comments about our students and staff.  The inspection team stated that the school has clearly improved at a strong pace since the last inspection in February 2018 and that we are doing the right things to ensure that our learners have the best possible experiences and life-chances.  I am excited about the next stage in our development where we will focus on ensuring our students can access a high quality curriculum that prepares them for life in modern Britain.

Thank you also to those parents who sent in emails ahead of the pilot inspection.  Your kind words and testimony were well received by staff.

Kind regards
D Anderson

Important information re: exam contingency date - Wednesday 26 June 2019

We have been informed by the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) who are the providers of regulations and examination practices across the UK that there will be an exam contingency day on Wednesday 26 June 2019.

The decision comes following the tragic events of past summers, namely the Manchester attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.  JCQ have decided that they need the option to postpone an exam in the event of an incident and rearrange for a later date to allow all students a fair and equal chance.
  • All exam candidates must be available to sit exams from the start of the exams in May until Wednesday 26 June 2019.
  • If an exam is rescheduled into this contingency period and a student is away on holiday, they will not be eligible for special consideration.
This decision is not a school decision and applies to all candidates in all schools.  Students will not be expected to be in school that day unless they have a scheduled examination, however, they must be available and not away on holiday.

Food Technology

Taste of Game


Last Thursday year 10 Hospitality and Catering students had the amazing opportunity to prepare a pheasant and create a tasty dish.  The students were given a demonstration by Bod a Chef at Vale Kitchens.  They had to work in pairs to debone the pheasant before they could cook and season the meat.  They then were shown how to present the dish in a professional manner.  The pheasants were kindly donated by a local butcher.

Tea Cake Challenge
 Year 10 Hospitality and Catering students put their presentation skills to the test with the Tea Cake Challenge.  They had a limited amount of ingredients and time to present their ingredients in a creative way. Here are their creations.

Fancy a Bite

Year 11 Textiles students have just finished their coursework, creating amazing novelty food cushions inspired by a range of artists.  Come and have a look in M51 and the DT display cabinets.



New Careers Advice website

We now have a new Careers Advice website.

If you have any questions please contact Mr Rees our Careers Lead email: tel: 0117 456 5900.

Year 10 Work Experience

We are pleased to inform you that we will be offering Work Experience to all current year 10 students.  This will take place the week beginning 25 November 2019 when your child has just started Year 11.  There will be a Year 11 World of Work Day on Monday 25th November within school to help prepare the students fully before they go on placement from Tuesday 26 - Friday 29 November 2019.  We decided to change the date as the WEX will be more beneficial to students who are just entering Year 11 and considering their post 16 options and GCSEs seriously.

Work placements are essential to students as they get the chance to leave the classroom and participate in the world of work, giving them great hands-on experience and the opportunity to network with industry professionals.  We have found that Work Experience is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding school events students participate in.  It can often lead to Saturday and holiday employment, offers of apprenticeship training once leaving school and motivation towards achieving the grades and qualifications required for their chosen profession.

It doesn't matter if a student doesn't know what they want to do when they leave school; they should use this opportunity to try something out and see if it's right for them.  They are also able to find out first-hand what skills employers are looking for, get practical experience and develop their self confidence and communication skills.

Please think carefully about what your child will enjoy as well as the suitability of the placement.  Certain placements may only be suitable for over 18's or may be dangerous, so the activities they can offer a younger student are incredibly limiting.  This could lead to a dull and frustrating time and not give students an accurate experience of their chosen industry.  There may be competition for the best places as other schools may be doing Work Experience at the same time, so get hunting to secure a placement early.

Please note that all Work Experience employers must have Employers' Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, otherwise we will be unable to approve the placement.  Employers will be able to confirm this information.

Please also view our careers website which has information on using the WEX website.

Here are a few tips to help students find the right placement:
  • Use the LPW WEX site which has hundreds of potential placements - 
  • User guide is on school website - 
  • Pick something you will enjoy!
  • Think about how you are going to get there.  Consider travel time and cost.  Remember you may be working from 9am to 5pm.
  • Contact employers initially in person or by phone so that they can give you an immediate answer.  Plan what you are going to say and any questions you may have.
  • Be prepared; They may ask that you put your request in writing or an email and you may have to attend an interview or fill in an application form.
  • Please ask a member of staff or a family member to check any correspondence that you will be sending to an employer.  It is very important that your spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct as first impressions count.
  • Ask your family, friends and neighbours to help you find a placement.  For information and advice, see your Tutor, Careers Adviser, Ms Millard, the Work Experience Officer, Ms Murray or Careers Lead, Mr Rees.
  • Ensure you have a written request letter and your placement form when going to visit them so they can sign and commit at the time.
We have a Work Experience Information Evening on Wednesday 6 March at 7pm

PE Extra-Curricular Activities

PE extra curricular activities

Hockey Camps at Wellsway Sports Centre

Hockey Camps at Wellsway Sports Centre          
We have teamed up with Go Crea8 Hockey who will be delivering 2 days within the February half term for hockey players of all abilities! The camps will be held on Wellsway Sports Centre hockey pitch, and will run on the Tuesday and Wednesday (subject to uptake). To register your interest, please click here! Early drop off is also available. Take a look at to see the type of thing you can expect.

Football Camps at SBL Sports Centre
Football Camps at SBL Sports Centre
Soccer Shooters will be in SBL Sports Centre on the 20th and 21st February, offering football and other activities to children aged 5-12 years old. The camps are led by qualified and experienced coaches James and Jake, and will keep your young ones happy, active, and safe! Click here for more info and how to book your place!

School Nurse information

The School Health Nurse for SBL is Alli Fry, who runs a
 confidential drop-in clinic for young people in G4 every Tuesday lunch time (no appointment is needed).

These sessions can be useful for seeking advice and support around many issues including mental health, emotional wellbeing, healthy relationships, sexual health and healthy lifestyles.

Parents are able to contact the school nursing service for advice and information on 01454 862202


This is South Gloucestershire’s mental health and emotional wellbeing website for young people. ‘Mind you’ aims to help children and young people look after their mental health, find out about mental health problems and where to go if they are finding things hard. There are also sections for parents/carers and professionals.
Funded by the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, ‘mind you’ has been developed by the Public Health and Wellbeing division at South Gloucestershire Council. Children and young people have been involved in creating the website.
There is also support in school – speak to tutors / deputy heads of house / heads of house.
We have put this link on the school website:
Copyright © 2019 Sir Bernard Lovell Academy, All rights reserved.

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