The SBL Academy Newsletter: Communication and Celebration
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Dear Parents/Carers,

Once again I write to you at the end of a very short, but incredibly busy term. Our Year 11 students are fully engaged in their GCSEs as are some of our Year 10 students. Our Post-16 students are also taking their exams in the last stage of their formal education. The conduct of students during the exams has been exemplary as we expected from such a talented group of young people.

Please take the opportunity that the Half Term break brings, to encourage them to continue working hard as there are a number of really important exams after the holiday. Remember the comments we made earlier in the year about them needing regular breaks to balance their revision and how important it is that they have time to rest and recharge before the next set of exams.

There are a few things I need to update you on. As is always the case we have a couple of staff who are leaving us today. I’d like to thank Mrs Taylor in Maths for her hard work and dedication and wish her luck for the future. Mr Price has been covering for Maternity in Technology and as we welcome Mrs Cropley back after Half Term, we say goodbye to Mr Price. He has worked hard to ensure that exam groups are able to be covered by a Technology specialist and has developed a good relationship with his tutor group. I’d like to thank them both for their contribution to the significant improvements that have been made over the last two years in this Academy. In addition to Mrs Cropley, we will be welcoming back Ms Roberts in English later on in the term.

At this time of year we often have changes in staffing in preparation for September. I can confirm that we have been able to secure high quality replacements for those staff who are leaving us and that we are currently advertising for some additional staffing in key areas. I will update you at the end of next term as to the changes.

In previous years, the school has been unable to get involved in training new teachers as a result of the previous Ofsted Special Measures judgement. As you will remember the school came out of Special Measures in February last year and as a result we have been able to work closely with Bath Spa University and Bristol University Graduate Teacher Programmes. Mr Jones, Assistant Principal has been key in developing this relationship and has worked closely with a number of trainee teachers who have been with us in a variety of departments this year. As a result, I can confirm that a number of these trainees will be joining our teaching team in September as they have been highly impressive during their placements with us. I am really pleased that our investment in this project has enabled us to recruit some really great teachers to work with your children.

One of the key improvements this year has been regarding our work with our local primary schools. Mrs Hart has taken over leading our Primary Transition and has developed a clear programme of induction for our new Year 7 students. We have also increased the number of opportunities for parents and carers to engage with the school to better understand our systems and expectations as we want the transition to be as smooth as possible. We are currently oversubscribed in Year 7 for September which is a really great indicator for me that the work we are doing is having an impact within our community.

In order to further develop our community work, we will be asking students to become more involved in projects like our Community Christmas Dinner. I would also like parents and carers to become more involved with the Academy and support some of the projects that we would like to run. In particular, I would be interested to hear from parents/carers who would like to get involved in fund raising activities and from those who have links with businesses that may be able to offer prizes or support for our rewards policy so that we are able to recognise and celebrate the success of our students. There are so many projects that we could run if we had external support including better opportunities for our students to become more involved in the world of work or in preparation for work experience etc. If you are interested in getting involved please email

Previously, I said I would update you on the progress of our ‘Green Team’ and our desire to eliminate our use of single use plastic bottles. Over the summer term, we will have four new water fountains fitted around the school where students will be able to fill their water bottles. We will also be providing an SBL water bottle for our students to use in order to encourage them not to use single use plastics. Additionally, we will be introducing some new seating outside which will include benching made from recycled bottle tops. Our Art department are also looking at different projects for students to become involved in which will enhance their understanding of the impact our use of disposable materials has on our environment.

Finally, thank you all for your support this year, particularly with our uniform and behaviour expectations. We were visited by a new WMAT Trustee two weeks ago who had previously visited two years ago on behalf of the DFE when the school was still in Special Measures. She was overwhelmed by how significantly different the Academy now is and in particular commented on how calm and purposeful our environment is. I would like to thank our students for how well they have responded to the changes we have made and our heightened expectations. They are starting to realise their potential and we hope we can continue to raise their aspirations by working closely with you to ensure they have the best educational opportunities.

Good luck to all students taking exams after Half Term.

Kind regards,
Mr D Anderson

Use of mobile phones and other electronic devices

Dear Parents/Carers,

To ensure clarity and consistency across the academy please be aware of the following key points from our mobile devices policy.

Mobile phones should be switched off and in bags when students enter the school site in the morning.

If phones are seen they will be confiscated and stored securely. Students can use their phones after they are dismissed by their last teacher.

If a student has previously had their phone confiscated we will require a responsible adult to collect the phone. There will be no exceptions to this rule. 

If a student uses their phone as a bus ticket or has a long walk home it is their responsibility to ensure that the phone remains switched off and in their bag at all times. We will always ensure that students are given the appropriate pass, ticket or alternative to secure their bus journey home.

Students are not allowed to use mobile devices in school and are not permitted to make calls on school premises. If a student feels unwell during the school day it is essential that they go to student services. A first aider will assess the situation and work with the House team to coordinate the most appropriate action. If a student is too unwell for school we will contact parents/carers to request that they are collected.  

This policy applies to phones, tablets, iPads, headphones and all other mobile devices.

This information has been explained to students in assemblies delivered by the Vice Principal and Assistant Principal. Please support us by discussing this information at home.  

We will always offer students access to a school phone if they need to urgently contact a parent/carer.

Please also support this policy by not texting or calling students during school hours, please contact the school reception on 0117 456 5900.

Year 11 exams

Please see the exam week briefing (w/c 03/06/19) for Year 11 students (Pdf)

Magnificent Taylor-Madge wins more medals than Manchester City...

Well, almost! Huge congratulations to Alfie Taylor-Madge (8Ca1) who proudly returned from the Bitton under-13s football awards ceremony with the event's big awards: 'Manager's Player of the Year' and 'Players' Player of the Year'.

Very well done on a successful season from everyone in Callisto House.

Sixth Form induction day 26th June 2019
8.45am - 3.00pm

Designed to be a fun, informative and entertaining day, this will showcase what it is like to be a sixth-former in the Wellsway MAT and give year 11 students the opportunity to meet and get to know their fellow students. Those students who have applied to the Post-16 Centre at SBL will learn more about their chosen subjects as well as participate in other interesting and inspiring activities! We look forward to seeing all year 11 students who have applied to the Post-16 Centre there.  Applicants will have received letters outlining the day.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss the application process please contact Mr Clompus.

Don’t miss out on NCS!

We have supported The National Citizen Service (NCS) this year to promote their programme to our Year 11 students. So far, we have 39 students signed up to take part in this transformative experience during the summer holidays.

NCS gives students the opportunity to take part in a four week experience, having fun, learning new skills, making new friends and helping the local community. It includes a residential at an activity centre (think rock climbing, raft building, zip wires etc.) a residential at the University of the West of England and two weeks planning and running a project to help the local community. On completion, each student will receive a certificate signed by the Prime Minister.

The summer programme lasts four weeks in the summer holidays so they won’t miss any school. It’s also backed by the government and costs just £50 to take part – including food, transport to the residential centre and accommodation.

This is an opportunity we would recommend for all our Year 11 students. Not only will you have a lot of fun doing it, you will pick up useful skills sixth forms, colleges, employers and universities are looking for.
There is still time to sign up to the NCS experience. You can visit or speak to Cathie from the South Gloucestershire team on 0203 589 5050. Bursaries are available.

Don’t forget, even if you have already signed up, you can refer your friend and when they sign up and start NCS you will get a £20 Amazon voucher or an NCS survival kit!

Mr Rees


SBL Academy has just purchased Unifrog which is the complete destinations platform – a one-stop-shop for students across KS3, KS4 and KS5 regardless of their interests or academic ability. It is the only place where students can compare every university course, apprenticeship and FE course in the UK as well as university in 30 other countries across the world. This is alongside getting access to labour market information and advice on careers and subjects for all routes.

Helping students to record and evidence their key activities & competencies and prepare their CVs and personal statements alongside the teacher reference, CEIAG interactions recording and destination tracking tools - all in line with the Gatsby Benchmarks - Unifrog makes managing students' progression into their next step after school a doddle. 

Unifrog have generated a parent form code for you under the name 'parentssirbernard'. Please visit to get signed up. You will need to fill in the required fields such as name, email address and create a memorable password before clicking 'Sign up'. It should be mentioned that form codes are only used once and so email addresses and passwords are used to log in from then on.

Unifrog will be launched to students after half term.
Mr Rees
Careers Leader

Welcome Year 6 students!

Transition activities at SBL are well under way. Mrs Hart (Transition Coordinator) and Miss Connor (Assistant SENCO) have been making primary school visits and meeting Year 6 parents and carers. We are very excited to be working with Year 6 students. Welcome Packs and Key documents Reply Booklets have been sent out via Primary Schools.
For key information and updates see the transition section on the school website.

Important dates for Term 6

Monday 3 June 2019 First Day of Term 6
Thursday 6 June: 6 pm Parent Information Evening for Parents/Carers of Year 6
Thursday 13 June: 3.30 – 6.40 pm Year 7 Parents/Carers Evening
Tuesday 11 June School trip to Microsoft HQ in Reading
Monday 17 June Inset Day (exams scheduled for this day will go ahead)
Tuesday 18 June: 6 – 8 pm Year 12 Parents/Carers UCAS Information Evening
Wednesday 19 June: Sports Day
Thursday 20 June: 3.30 – 5.30 pm SEND Parents/Carers Evening
Saturday 22/Sunday 23 June DoE Gold Award trip to Brecon Beacons
Monday 24 June, Tuesday 25 June and Wednesday 26 June: Year 5 Taster Days
Wednesday 26 June Year 11 trip to UWE for Transition Day to P16
Thursday 27 June: 6.30 – 10.15 pm Year 11 Leavers’ Prom
Friday 28 June Year 12 trip to Birmingham University
Tuesday 2 July: 8.30 am – 2.45 pm Transition Day for Year 6
Tuesday 2 July: 6 pm – 7 pm Transition Evening for Year 6
Thursday 4 July: 3 – 7 pm Art and Photography Exhibition
Thursday 4 July: 7 – 9 pm Summer Concert
Friday 5 July Year 10 trip to Blackpool Brook Forest of Dean
Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July Trip to Chelwood Scout Camp
Week commencing 8 July International visits to France and Germany
Week commencing 8 July Duke of Edinburgh Gold Assessment
Week commencing 8 July Year 12 Work Experience
Monday 15 July Inset Day
Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 July Trip to Mendip Camp, Cheddar
Tuesday 23 July Last day of term. Students leave at 1.25 pm
Monday 5 August – Friday 9 August. Summer School (by invitation) 
Copyright © 2019 Sir Bernard Lovell Academy, All rights reserved.

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