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.


School Website

School Shop


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