April 24th 2020

TAHS Weekly Newsletter. 

Thomas Alleyne’s produce PPE to support the NHS

Access to PPE is critical for healthcare workers in the current climate and this has been the motivation for Design and Technology teachers at Thomas Alleyne’s High School who have already produced over 300 re-usable face masks to donate to the NHS and other local care providers.

Graeme Quigley, Head of Design and Technology at Thomas Alleyne’s, was inspired by work he saw from other schools on Facebook; he realised it would be feasible to produce PPE Equipment using resources in the school. With an initial donation from the school Graeme and his colleague, Trevor Swindlehurst, made a prototype using poly-carbonate and took this to Stoke Hospital for trials and testing. The design passed with flying colours and so production in school began using a laser cutter and bespoke design press. The total of masks is likely to be1500 by next week through the dedication of these staff.

The team of two has increased to a team of four who are able to work safely to produce the equipment together. At least 300 masks have been produced so far along with ear protectors, which are made using the 3d printer to prevent cuts to ears from surgical masks worn by care workers. 260 of these have been made with more underway. The PPE have received lots of positive feedback; primarily for the sturdy design but also because they can be dismantled and sterilised for re-use and are more environmentally friendly.  The school have already been able to donate masks freely to many local key workers including Leighton Hospital, Sudbury Prison, St Mary’s Mount Care Home, Community Pharmacies and Balance Street District Nurses. 

Graeme’s design has been shared on the school Facebook page and a short video that shows the process of making the masks has already been downloaded over 6,000 times, even by a school in Canada.  Graeme explained “I feel that as we have the facilities in school to help, we need to do all we can to support healthcare workers in the local community”.  The school will continue to produce masks for as long as possible and has already received some donations to continue this work. One student sold tomato plants and raise £50 and other students in the keyworker school, inspired by Captain Tom, raised £100. Students and staff members have donated money to support this work. A Senior member of staff at the school praised the work saying ‘we are a community school and are proud to support our NHS key workers and healthcare workers through the fantastic work of Graeme and his team’.

I hope you all were able to enjoy some moments of normality during the Easter holiday, I know that many students have been working hard and have ensured that they have completed as much as they can that has been set. If your son or daughter is struggling to access Insight, where lessons are being set and instructions given to students, then can you please contact the schoolitsupport@tahs.net and they will assist you.  With that in mind can you check that your son or daughter is using Insight daily, we do not want any student to be disadvantaged because they have not been logging into Insight. It is not just used by their class teachers, it is used as a way of communicating with students, so Mrs Dodd, Mrs Walton, Mrs Bell or Mrs young may send information through Insight which is useful. Year 13 students, must please keep checking their UCAS account if they have applied to university, they are sending updates out and you need to keep on top of these, I would hate for any student to lose out on important information. If your child is interested in an apprenticeship then there are still plenty of opportunities out there. We have had one sent in today which may be of interest:

Engineering Apprenticeship opportunity that will be taught at Toyota Manufacturing UK starting in September 2020.

The roles are for Partner companies including;

         Faurecia UK Ltd

·         Futaba UK Ltd

·         Knapp Uk

·         Plastic Omnium

·         Radius Systems

Details of the apprenticeship are below:

Maintenance Engineering Apprenticeship

Ø  The training will last for 44 months and consists of 2 parts:-

1.       22 months familiarisation and off the job technical training in the ‘Toyota Academy‘ at Burnaston.

2.       22 months on the job training at the partner company.

Ø  On successful completion of the programme, trainees will receive a level 3 NVQ qualification in engineering maintenance and become maintenance team members.

Ø  Applicants must possess or be anticipating a minimum of 4 GCSE passes at grade 4/C or above including Maths, English and Science.

Further details are available on our website below.  Candidates can apply via this website and complete a short application.


Please keep using Unifrog to keep upto date with apprenticeships and also for Year 12 students they should be looking through the tools, starting to think about their personal statements and where the next step in their academic career, apprenticeship or employment will take them.  Please encourage them to log onto Unifrog, they are also now on Instagram as well as Facebook. 

We would like to encourage year 13 students to make good use of this time. To start reading around their chosen subject at university or to complete some MOOCS while they have some time on their hands. 

Year 12, if you do find yourself with spare time, firstly think about your health wellbeing, and then start to think about learning a new skill, a new language etc. 

A big thankyou to the students in year 12 who have become mentors to others, it will help these students enormously and willaid them in their journey.

Please stay safe.

Lions Young Leaders In Service Award

A number of students have been in touch to ask whether their community service counts towards the Lions Young Leaders In Service Award.  The answer is definitely YES!  Now open to lower school as well as 6th form, please contact Mrs Bell on bell@tahs.net if you are interested in taking part.  This is an internationally recognised award for community service which can form an excellent part of your personal statements, CVs or any of your future intentions.  Awards are given at 25 hours (bronze), 50 hours (silver) and 100 (gold) which must be completed within a 12 month period. 

I know several of you who have done almost double this already! 

Categories of community service include:Helping the elderly (doing shopping, mowing lawns etc)Helping children (teaching them a new skill such as baking etc)Literacy and education (assisting with homework, school work, mentoring)Disaster relief (fund raising etc)Other categories are public health, the environment, safety, helping the homeless and hungry and ‘other’.  I am sure that many of you have ticked many hours under these categories since isolation and maybe before.  The hours must be for unpaid service.Please email Mrs Bell who will send you a log for your hours if you are interested, or with any questions or queries.

How You Can Help Provide PPE

Your local hospitals, hospices and care homes are in urgent need of more PPE.  Do you have a 3D printer at home?  If so, then you can help by making mask extenders.  Can you sew or have you always wanted to learn this new skill?  This would be the perfect time.  There are Facebook groups such as Scrubs For Stoke or Derby For The Love Of Scrubs who organise patterns, materials and drop off points for PPE such as surgical scrubs, surgical hats, mask extenders and headbands.  The mask extenders are really simple to make – basically just a rectangle sewn together with a button either side for masks to loop over.  This helps save pressure on the ears of our key workers.  If you are interested, please visit the Facebook sites or get in touch with Mrs Bell on bell@tahs.net.  This also counts as hours of community service for the Lions Young Leaders In Service Award.

TAP for the coming Monday:
Both Years

Please look on Insight for 2 career related tasks from Mrs Bell.  The first one (goal setting) is more appropriate for Y12.  It guides you through Unifrog and helps you find the best career.  Y13 might also find it useful if you are uncertain about which career to take.  The second task is called ‘geeking out’ and guides you towards moocs, short videos and wider reading suggestions all linked to your chosen careers.  We will be looking at improving your personal statements soon and having wider reading and moocs to write about will really help your next steps.

Anyone fancy a sing along?

A group video sing-along to the Robbie Williams iconic ‘Angels’ is set to make the perfect Staffordshire Day tribute to the heroic keyworkers getting the county through the coronavirus pandemic.

We’re inviting you to say thank you to our NHS staff, care workers, other key workers and volunteers by recording your own selfie video version of the Robbie hit and emailing it in.

Your videos will then be edited together and will premiere as a special collective moment on Friday 1 May, as part of this year’s online-only Staffordshire Day programme, which will also feature poetry readings, art classes, cooking demonstrations, talks, theatre and live music.

Under 16’s will need parental permission.
More details can be found here:


Maths Puzzle

Thank you to everyone who submitted a solution to the marbles problem.  In fact there were hundreds of possible different solutions.  Here are 3…

Well done to Tom Newbury Year 9 for being the first person to send in a correct solution.

Please email your answers with workings / pictures to ibbs@tahs.net.  The correct solution and names of those who got it correct will be put in round-up next week. 

Corona Conundrums

Why not have a go at some of these short maths conundrums (loosely connected to the current Covid-19 crisis) set up by Chris Smith a maths teacher from Scotlandhttps://bit.ly/2UuPPqA

and remember… all maths is good maths!

Can you help?

Mental Health Support

SHOUT the UK’s first 24/7 text service that is free on all mobile networks for anyone in crisis at anytime, anywhere. Text number is : 85258  

Keyworker School Fundraising

200 laps for £100 raised for our PPE fund.
Well done to Kyle, Gemma and Minnie

English Success

More Great RE Work

Students of the week have been chosen by Mr Scott

Year 9 Students of the Week are:James, Liam, Rhiannan and George
Year 10 Students of the Week are:Alfie, DaisyYear 12 Ben

Each will receive their online certificate explaining the reasons they have been chosen.

Science News

This week we have Science Students of the Week selected by Mrs Pavey and Mrs Evans.

Mrs Pavey selected:

Year 9
Charlie Aldridge and Alfie Hall.

Year 10
Mollie Beresford, Joe Hudson and Leighton Thomas.

All of these students have produced consistently good virtual learning work; having a go at all work set and showing resilience.

Mrs Evans selected:

Jacob Bailey and Bailey Redshaw in Year 10.
Both students have been selected for producing fantastic Chemistry work via online learning and for completing every lesson of work to date.

Mr Mitchell would also like to nominate Carlie Martin in Year 12 for achieving a great score on the first Chemistry practice paper.

Well done!

PE Department

Geography Competitions 

A thank you to those who submitted entries and apologies that the email address was incorrect on the word document. To submit, please send your entry to geogcomp@tahs.net

Year 9 submissions have now closed. Year 10/11 and year 12/13 have until Monday to submit entries and the winners for each year group will be announced in next week’s newsletter. Please see previous newsletters or insight for the competition brief.

Good luck! 

Future Learn

We’re very pleased to announce, in partnership with FutureLearn, the launch of FutureLearn Schools, a new initiative that gives millions of students aged 13 and above free upgraded access to over a hundred relevant short courses, in order to support their learning and expand their horizons.

FutureLearn Schools will be available free from May until September 2020 to every eligible student in the UK and Ireland, and will be rolled out globally in due course.  Teachers, parents and students will also be able to access additional guidance and support for free through the initiative, such as the  Coronavirus support hub from Tes and support for parents and learners during Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Pearson.

Well Done Skye

Skye Gibson (Oldfields) sister of Sophie in Y11 has set up a stall selling cast resin ornaments and jewellery and has already made £52 for our PPE fundraiser.

Free Courses

Free courses online for age 13+ students in a range of subjects.Over 128 free courses are available online through Future Learn – some of our students have already taken advantage of this – Why don’t you?It’s free and easy to sign up.Courses include:

  • Spy Training for 13-18 year olds
  • Start Writing Fiction
  • Computer Programming for Everyone
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Project  Management
  • Heroism through Art and Film
  • Physical Theatre

And lots, lots more!

More New Life

One of our Shetland ewes has given birth to twins, this is the first time we have had twins from the Shetlands. So small and very cute. Mum and babies are doing well.


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April 4th 2020

TAHS Weekly Newsletter. 

The Science Department Donates Equipment to the NHS

Our Science students are continuing with their studies at home, consequently our science equipment in the laboratories is, at the moment, not being used.

On Tuesday we collected together our departmental PPE (personal protective equipment) from the laboratories and Prep. Room and donated it to our NHS.  Boxes of equipment were placed outside of the School for collection by various organisations.

We were able to donate well over 400 pairs of goggles and safety glasses, along with plastic aprons, gloves and a face shield.

The equipment has been distributed to Doctors’ Surgeries in Uttoxeter and Rocester, and also to the local Ambulance Service and Community Nurses.

We have received a message of thanks and a photograph from the Ambulance Service:

‘Thanks to you, every member of Burton and Hixon Stations now has their own safety goggles which will protect them in the fight we have with COVID-19’.

Northgate Surgery in Uttoxeter have also sent the following message:

‘Thank you so much for organising and providing us with the much needed goggles, it is much appreciated.  The GPs and I are very grateful for your kindness during this uncertain time’.

We are immensely grateful for all of the work being carried out by key workers on our behalf and trust that the Science Department PPE will help to protect our NHS staff.

In these unusual times we feel it is important to keep lines of communication open. Mrs Dodd has set up a new way of Year 12 keeping up to date with enrichment.  All year 12 students have been emailed a link and password to access the virtual Sixth Form via EDMODO, we encourage everyone to join as this is where we will be sharing resources in relation to Future intentions and Enrichment after Easter. As parents you can join too via your son/daughters link if you wish. Unifrog has now launched itself on Instagram.  This time can be used to plan your next step in your career journey. Use the tools on the home page of Unifrog to see what you can do.

I would spend some time going through these sections and look at the MOOC’s that are available for you to access. They will help to keep your brain active and engaged and you never know, you may learn about something totally unexpected that could give you greater insight in to a new career idea.Within the Subjects Library tool, once you have selected a career you can scroll to the bottom of the page and find a great section called ‘geek out section’ and this is for all subjects and all learners if you wish to enhance or develop your learning in any way.  We have many students in Year 12 who are currently undertakinganEPQ. The EPQ learning forum is going well with 32 students currently undertaking a project and that Mrs Dodd is very impressed with the range of ideas they have come up for their projects.

It is awful that we have not had the usual end of term activities and end of year 13 plans as we normally would.   It has been such a quick end to their time at Thomas Alleyne’s. We are still keeping in touch with them, if you can encourage them to please let their teachers, form tutors, and the Sixth Form Team know how they are getting on and if there is anything we can do for them then please let us know. 

For those that have applied to university then please check ask them to check their communication and messages from UCAS. They have stated that they have extended the deadline for acceptance on to these courses by two weeks due to the current situation, and to also state that if they have had a reduced offer or an unconditional offer then this extra two weeks will give them time to discuss with parents. It seems that some universities are trying to guarantee students on their courses so are changing the parameters by which they usually work.

Please all, you can encourage students to keep upto date on Insight, Outlook, Teams and Edmodo over the upcoming weeks then this will help them be aware of all communications from their teachers and Mrs Rudge.

TAP for after Easter as follows:

Both Years:

Both years:Stuck for ideas?  Why not try these 100 ideas for 100 days?  

Online Gigs

The Ticket Factory has created a calendar of streamed gigs.  Have a look and see if there is anything you fancy attending.

Online Theatre

The National Theatre are streaming free full length plays every Thursday such as James Corden in the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors.  Find them here:

Pet Photos

The Ticket Factory are running a Facebook competition for the cutest pet.  Why not join their Facebook page to upload your entries

Ofqual Notification

Ofqual have now published their guidance for school regarding the Summer 2020 grades for year 11 and 13. Mrs Rudge has sent the letter from OFQUAL to all students. Mrs Peers is working on a frequently asked questions document to share with all parents and students. This will be sent to all students early next week.

We know this is a time of great anxiety and we want to support all students as much as possible. However, please do note that Ofqual have stated specifically that the school is not to share any grades or rankings that we are considering. 

At this stage, we also do not need any additional work that your child has completed, including work with tutors. Any work that has been completed will have undoubtedly benefited them in their classwork before closure. 
Ofqual have stated that schools use the evidence available, particularly taking into account current Public Health guidelines. 

We are being asked to use a broad evidence base, including mocks, classwork, homeworks, and, where relevant, practical performances, to produce a fair grade. This means that if they were absent for any part or if coursework is incomplete, they will not be disadvantaged. 

We will continue to inform you of additional information as we receive, including advice for BTEC subjects.


It may be that since we have been using virtual learning that your son or daughter may have become a little overwhelmed by the work that appears on Insight. A tip that has been suggested is that they look at what they have achieved already.  They can click on ‘subjects’ on the top right of their homework page and deselect all the subjects. This will give them a chance to look at each subject in turn. They can then see how much work they have already completed and achieved and what they have left to do. We want them to feel a sense of accomplishment.

NSPCC Advice

The NSPCC have provided guidance for parents on talking to children worried about coronavirus.

Young Minds have a very informative web page about looking after your mental health when self isolating:


It includes 

  • staying connected
  • staying calm
  • dealing with stressful situations at home
  • helplines and resources

Maths Puzzle

Thank you to everyone who submitted a solution to last week’s puzzle about dominoes and triominoes. Everyone found the correct number of dominoes (28) but the triominoes was more challenging. The most common wrong answer was 56 but the correct answer was 76. 

This is made up from 6 triples (all 3 numbers the same), 30 doubles (where 2 of the numbers are the same) and then 40 where all the numbers are different.  The key here was to spot that 5, 3, 1 is different to 5, 1, 3.

Well done to one of our school Governors, Peter Taylor, who was the only person with the correct solution.

This week’s puzzle 

Please email your answers with workings / pictures to ibbs@tahs.net.  The correct solution and names of those who got it correct will be put in round-up next week

Calling all prospective medical/dentistry students

In order to support our students with the very challenging task of applying to study these competitive courses at university we have teamed up with a local consultant. She has agreed to act as a mentor to our students, offering advice and providing support with the online testing. Any student from y9 upwards who might be interested in applying for medicine or dentistry and would like to access this support or would like any further information please email Mrs North at north@tahs.net

English Success

RE Work

Thank you to a great week of work and the positive feedback we have received about the screencast lessons.  Here is a sample or great work  from Y9, 10 and 12 working from home – it really does show that it doesn’t matter what form your work takes – you can still make progress and keep learning.  Your efforts are really appreciated.

Students of the week have been chosen by Mrs Lindsay
Year 9 Students of the Week are:Sylvia, Keria, Grace, Millie, Lydia, Joe, Harry, Lewis and Jack.

Year 10 Students of the Week are:

Lilberty, Heather, Ben, Lydia, Polly and Josh.

Each will receive their online certificate explaining the reasons they have been chosen.

Science News

Even though our Science lessons are currently home based we are continuing to select students for their hard work across all academic years.

This week we have Science Students off the Week selected by Mrs Gwynne:

Year 10

Isaac Stanier, Katie Large, Aiden Moorfield and Tilly Shelley for super effort completing all work set to an exceptional standard.

Year 11

Jack Doyle, Eve Bednall and Seb Hancox for their continued commitment to Biology.

Year 12

Aaron Gwynne and Jenna Timmis for continued communication and completing work.

Year 13

Jack Marples, Thomas Paige, Emelia Lowe and Kim Burgess for completing all of the A Level Biology work that has been set.

Mrs North has also selected students for excellent work in both Science and Animal Care:

Year 9

Joe Hall and Findlay Taylor-Smith for excellent work in Science.

Year 10

Millie Yates and Tom Jackson for excellent Animal Care coursework.

Year 11

Millie Watson, Scarlett Simister and Jess Smith for completing all of their Animal Care coursework.

Year 12

George Mothershaw for making an excellent start on his coursework on the musculoskeletal system.

Well done!

PE Department

This week for core PE our students have begun a First Aid Course, through St John Ambulance. This is a practical course on Insight.

Our Yr 11 BTEC Tech Sport students have this week received their exam results. They have all received a personal email on Office 365 giving a breakdown of their result. Most of our students are rightly very proud of their results but for those below their target we will be notify the exam board that they would intend to resit. Our Yr11s continue to work hard on their Coursework and completed assignments should be emailed to their teacher on Office 365. 
Yr10 BTEC Tech Sport students have been researching Sports Injuries for their Coursework. Over Easter they have an optional project on Sports Leadership which they will find on Insight.

Yr12 BTEC Sport students are researching careers in Sport.

Yr13 BTEC Sport students are completing their assignment on Fitness Testing.

In conjunction with Staffordshire Training Provider The Training Initiative, we have been able to offer Yr11,12 and 13 students the opportunity to complete a L2 Fitness Instructor course, details are on Insight.
Practically, students have a number of project options over Easter- The first is a daily mile challenge, create a mile route using Google maps or another app and try and beat your time each day you can start by walking.
The Royal Ballet have got a progressive fitness programme on 


Leeds Rhinos have got a 14 day fitness challenge you can try (you don’t have to be a rugby player it is suitable for everyone) 

Alternatively create your own fitness/movement/ PE challenge, it might be to improve a skill e.g keepie uppies, or catching, try a yoga routine, make up a new game. Post your ideas on Office 365. 
Other ideas are on Insight

Games created by some members of Miss Jones’ PE group.

Gemma came up with Here’s the rules for the 2 games me and my two brothers made up:1) Crab Football:Basically, it’s a version of football that can be played inside, as long as there’s space! Each player starts in a ‘crab’ position, on hands and feet, kind of like the bridge gym pose but with arms bent below the shoulders, if that makes sense? Then, you set up as many goals as there are players (eg, 3), each about a meter wide. Next, you have to ‘crab crawl’ around and try and score the opponents goal. To score, it is a countdown: everyone starts with 5 points and if somebody scores in your goal, you lose a point and they gain one. Either first to 10 points wins, or first to 0 loses, whichever’s first!

2) Winguardium This game is also for indoors, and each player sits (preferably cross-legged, or kneeling) in a circle, with about half a meter between them all. The aim of the game is to defend your ‘goal’-your head- but you’re not allowed to move anything but your hands. If you can figure out a way of walking with your hands, that is allowed. If your head gets head-bumped by somebody else, you’re out!

Hannah invented a game called Tillies Out where the scoring system is, at the end of how many rounds you want to do, the person with the most times they have turned the lamp off wins. If the numbers are equal, the person who wins is the person who got sent back to the house the least amount of times.

Isabella continued with a fitness theme  – The game i did was to put exercises in one bowl and numbers in another. You pick a exercise and a number of times and continue until you finish both bowels
Sadie practiced her netball – 2 people each have a turn shooting the netball into the hoop. if it bounces off the wall and goes in its 1 point and if it goes in without touching the wall then its 2 points. the first person to 20 points wins.

Netball drills. 

The netball teams received a link with some solo drills they can practice at home if they have access to a ball. Everyone is welcome to try.


Please keep praticing your skills if you are able to and send in any photos or videos of any skills you have completed successfully

Internet Safety

Parental controls offered by your home internet provider to support homeschooling online safety

How to set up filters on your home internet to help prevent age inappropriate content being accessed on devices in your home. 

The 4 big internet providers in the UK – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time. They have come together to produce these helpful video guides to help you to download and set-up the controls offered by your provider.  

The link to this site can be found:


This site has lots of other useful resources for parents and carers to support online safety.


Geography Competitions 

As we are entering the Easter holidays, it is a good time to slow down and take a break from working all the time. So in light of this, we will be extending the final submission date of the competitions announced next week. The new dates are as follows:

Year 9-Wednesday 22nd April

Year 10 and 11- Friday 24th April

Year 12 and 13- Monday 27th April

Winners will be announced on May 1st.

Any questions, draft submissions, or final submissions can be sent to geogcomp@tahs.net.

Good luck and happy Easter!

Drama News

The National Theatre are currently offering free, at home access to some of their productions and this week are streaming the highly acclaimed One Man, Two Guvnors (recommended for parents/carers and students of year 11 and above). This is available for the next six days, please see the link below.


Students and families have additionally been sent an at home login on INSIGHT to access the NT collection over Easter.

Digital Marketing Course

Further to us securing the opportunity for students to do online fitness course we are also able to offer a similar opportunity for Digital Marketing – ideal for ICT and Business students in years 11 to 13.


Child Development

Child development students have been set the “egg baby” challenge over Easter – here’s the first two entries baby Bella and baby Derek!

BTEC Tech Award Health & Social Care Exam Results

This week saw the arrival of the results for the external exam taken in February for all our year 10 and year 11 Health & Social Care students.  We are incredibly pleased with the results with a fantastic 100% pass rate.  Lots of students have performed above their target grades, but special mention must go to Lydia in year 10 who achieved an outstanding 48/48 points towards her overall qualification.  Well done to everyone.

Great Art Work

The Art Department has been really impressed with how well Year 9 students have been engaging with the first two art tasks. Some brilliant use of pattern and tone – well done! Here are a few examples to share with you

New Life

A bit of positive news for peoples day, new life down on the farm.

An Impressed Mr Parker!

While all those who’re staying focused online are doing really well, I particularly wanted to mention the work members of 11U2 and 11H2 are doing in such unusual times. I’ve been sent some hugely inspiring and well-thought out pieces, and think you should all be proud of keeping yourself in great working habits. 


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