The SBL Academy Newsletter: Communication and Celebration
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Student Attendance at SBL

Our whole school attendance record has improved immeasurably at SBL Academy this year.  At the end of term 5, our attendance rate was 94.9% which is considerably above the national average and in the top quartile for our Local Authority. Additionally, in comparison to schools in South Glos, we are the most improved school with regard to all measures relating to attendance. We would like to thank you for your support with our attendance drive and are pleased to report this to you as it means that comparatively more SBL students are here, each day, to benefit from a good education and all the future rewards that this will bring for each student.   
Every student who has achieved attendance of 97% or better will receive a certificate to mark this before the end of term. We take great pleasure in sharing this success with a very large number of families and offer every encouragement to all students to try and better this next year.
This year we have introduced new, robust procedures which ensure any absence is justified and is unavoidable. Part of our process follows the guidance set out by the Local Authority to ensure consistency in approach across schools in this area. There have been occasions where absences are met with a penalty notice or the involvement with local authority legal procedures. We have the support of a highly qualified and experienced Education Welfare Officer who works closely with families where there are attendance concerns.
Attendance at the Academy would be even better were it not for the number of sessions that are lost to unauthorised holidays. If this were avoided, overall attendance would sit above 96% and 30 less students would be deemed as persistent absentees. We understand the economic reasons for the requests we receive but will continue to hold the line with this in the hope that those parents/carers who have chosen to take their child out of school for holiday during term time are dissuaded from doing so in future.
Please take time to celebrate your child’s good attendance before the end of term. Attending school, day-in and day-out, will have real benefits for each student over time. We look forward to seeing your child in September for their first day in the week commencing 2 September 2019. For more details of when your child will start back with us in September, please see below.

School Term Dates 2019/20

The school term dates for 2019/20 are available on our website. The programme for our first week back in September is confirmed as follows:
Monday 2 September: Training and Preparation for Staff
Tuesday 3 September: Training and Preparation for Staff
Wednesday 4 September: Years 7, 11 and 12 only
Thursday 5 September: All Years to attend
Friday 6 September: All Years to attend
Wednesday 4 September allows us to induct Year 7 and 12 groups into a new way of working as well as spending an extended time with Year 11 who have a very important and short year ahead of them before examinations begin in the spring.

Student research uncovers the ugly face of cosmetics

In June the Geography department welcomed for a second time the BOXED volunteers from UWE who delivered an interactive investigation into plastic in our oceans. After some discussion of the issue and it's longer term consequences on our seas and oceans students had the opportunity to complete an investigation in to the presence of plastic in our cosmetics.

Students were able to use universities standard equipment including high powered microscopes to investigate the ingredients in a variety of every day face washes. Having predicted based on their appearances to the naked eye whether there were plastics present, students then examined the samples under the microscope. Students discovered that a high number of cosmetics contain plastic as even though microbeads have now been banned companies with unsold stock are still allowed to send this to market.

This was a great opportunity for students to engage with Geographical investigation and the workshop was overall very well received.

Mrs K Oldfield

Inset Day: Monday 15 July 2019

Reminder that the school will be closed to students on Monday 15 July 2019. More information can be found in the letter to all parents published 15 May 2019.

Year 7 languages

We have recently consulted with Year 6 parents who will be sending students to us next year on a change of languages offered from French or German (current offer) to a new offer of French or Spanish. This would apply to Year 7 students joining in 2019 and to subsequent year groups. This would eventually lead to GCSE and A Level opportunities in these languages into the future.   Students currently studying German in Years 8-10 will have their opportunities reduced to proceed towards GCSE qualifications. Please see the letter summarising the proposal on our website.

School Uniform information

Our uniform supplier, Initially Yours, has asked us to provide parents with the following information:

"We want to provide the very best service to every customer over the summer period so, as last year, we are advising an "order before" date to buy new school uniforms.  We were able to control stocks better, there was less of a last minute rush at the end of the summer when stocks are at their lowest and we genuinely believe that this contributed to a better shopping experience for all concerned.  Our "best before" date for this year is 5th August.

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation."

Sports Day – Monday 22nd July

Field Events
P1 Year 9 (9.05 – 10.05am) 
P2 Year 7 & 8 (10.05 – 11.105am)
P3 Year 10 (11.25am – 12.30pm)
Remember to arrive in P.E kit and report to a P.E member of staff at the start of the lesson. 
Track Events
1.50pm – 100m
2.05pm – 200m
2.25pm – 800m
2.45pm – RELAYS! (teams to be organised on the day!)
3.00pm – THE RESULTS!

Don’t forget your suncream, water, hats 
Kit  - Represent your house with an item of that colour. Sports kit ONLY.
Good luck everyone!
Miss A Harriott
Teacher of Physical Education

Soccer Shooters are at SBL Sports Centre

Following on from the extremely successful May half term camp, Soccer Shooters will be at SBL Sports Centre every Wednesday during the half term for football games and activities! The days run 8.30am-4pm for children aged 5-12 years old. For more information and to book, visit

Summer Passport           

SBL Sports Centre will be offering a ‘Summer Passport’ for July and August, just £30 for access to the gym and exercise classes! Contact for more information.

Tea Cake Challenge

Year 10 hospitality and catering students had a lesson in how to use a limited amount of ingredients to undertake the ‘Tea Cake presentation challenge’.
As you can see they produced some amazing results!


GCSE Fine Art and Textiles exhibition

A huge thank you to everyone who came to view the fantastic work at our annual GCSE Fine Art and Textiles exhibition last week. If you missed the opening evening, the work will remain on show in Giotto Gallery for the rest of this term.

Well done to all of the year 11 students who have their work on show and for all their hard work and effort during the two year course.

Keeping Safe in the Community

This week students had assemblies about keeping safe in the community. The summer season and hot weather brings many opportunities for young people to have fun; we wanted our students to be aware of the risks associated with these. Part of the assembly was about the risks associated with open water. There are local bodies of water that do present serious risk, including the River Avon (through Keynsham and Saltford) and Wick Quarry. We encourage you to have conversations with your children about the assembly so that all are aware of the dangers.

Please also see Mr Knowles' entry on safe cycling.

Wishing you all an enjoyable summer

Mr Lyle

Hot Weather

We strongly advise that in the event of high temperatures students bring plenty of water, sun screen and a sun hat to school. Students may be outside during the hottest part of the day. Water bottles can be refilled at the water fountains before school, during break time, during lunch time and after school.

SBL Summer Concert: 4th July 2019

This year’s Summer Concert proved to be an evening of eclectic performances ranging from instrumental solos to original monologues and the debut of the SBL Academy Dance Group. It was fantastic to see so many students taking part in the event for the first time and there was great excitement backstage! All the students demonstrated high levels of professionalism in their conduct whether they were performers, technicians or serving refreshments during the interval. Our band of student technicians are to be congratulated for showing real resilience in the face of difficult circumstances on the day.
Our thanks go to all of the students and staff involved, and to all of the family and friends who came along to support the event. For one member of staff this was their ‘swansong’ performance - Mr Rees will be leaving SBL at the end of term for pastures new. On behalf of all those students who have taken part in Music both in and out of the classroom, I would like to thank Mr Rees for his unwavering commitment, passion and support for the Music department during his time at SBL.
Miss F Harland

Mis-information regarding Initially Yours

Initially Yours has issued a statement stating they have not had a factory fire and that their level of stocks of uniform are currently unavailable. This is completely untrue, Initially Yours is fully stocked in all its branches and wishes to let customers know that they can expect the same level of service and supplies always provided during the busy back to school period.

Bike safety at SBL Academy

We are really pleased that so many of our students choose to cycle to school each day, as it is a mode of transport that has multiple benefits for students’ health and well-being as well as the environment in general.
However, we grow increasingly concerned about the cycling proficiency of a small number of cyclists that we would like to draw your attention to.
We strongly advise that students wear a helmet to and from school and at all times that they are cycling, this is an item that we trust is provided and you encourage them to wear. We also advise that students regularly have their bikes serviced to ensure roadworthiness, and lock their bikes in school with a sturdy lock that has a good security rating.
It has been brought to our attention that some individuals have exhibited dangerous cycling behaviour outside of school.
Whilst this behaviour is not happening on school premises or during school hours, the safety and well-being of our students both in and out of school is our number one priority and we will be looking to identify these students and work with parents and, as necessary, the police to try to address these concerns.
Where concerns remain, we will not allow cyclists to leave their bikes at school and we will let parents/carers know - for their own safety.
By considering the above, we can hopefully make the journey to school much safer and more enjoyable for all road users, including pedestrians. It would be a shame for the reputation of all cyclists, most of whom cycle in a safe and sensible manner, to be tarnished by the inconsiderate behaviour of a small few.

Important dates for Term 6

Monday 15 July Inset Day
Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 July Trip to Mendip Camp, Cheddar
Monday 22 July Sports Day (weather permitting)
Tuesday 23 July Last day of term. Students leave at 1.25 pm
Monday 5 August – Friday 9 August. Summer School (by invitation) 
Thursday 15 August A Level Results Day
Thursday 22 August GCSE Results Day


Joe takes on an inspiring role

TV and film actor Joe Sims returned to his old school, Sir Bernard Lovell Academy, to inspire the next generation of stars.

Joe, best known for his role as Nige the plumber in  ITV’s Broadchurch, was at SBL from 1991-96 and took part in a number of school productions. He credits his drama teacher Mandy Langston for encouraging him to pursue his love of acting, joining youth theatre groups at Bristol Old Vic and HTV before working at HTV and studying at Filton College, Middlesex University and a drama college in the US.

Joe spoke to students in Years 8, 9 and 12 as part of the Future First programme, in which alumni stay connected to their schools, becoming role models, mentors or supporting fundraising and outreach events. Afterwards, he tweeted: “A pleasure to be back at my old school and talk to the students there. Thanks for having me @SBLCareers & @FutureFirstOrg the future is bright.”

SBL would love to hear from other former students who have achieved success beyond school. Careers leader Sven Rees said: “Your experiences since leaving could help to motivate and inspire our current students to feel more confident in making decisions about their future. It doesn’t matter when you left us, whether you’re in further education or employment, whether you still live nearby or have moved further away, there are still ways you can help.”

To sign up, go to the Future First website.

Karate Classes at SBL Sports Centre

Karate Classes have been running at SBL for 11 years, catering for all ages and abilities.  They take place on Sundays from 10:00 – 11:30am and on Wednesdays from 7:30 – 9:00pm.  More information is available from SBL Sports Centre.
Karate is an excellent sport for children and will help to improve their self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem.  Parents can also take part with their children
Please see the leaflet below for further details, speak to our Sports Centre or log on to the website:
Copyright © 2019 Sir Bernard Lovell Academy, All rights reserved.

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