May 22nd 2020

TAHS Weekly Newsletter. 

I am pleased to say that this week Mrs Dodd organised a real-time zoom session with Year 13. The purpose of this was for all Year 13 students to be able to speak to Mrs Dodd and Mrs Featherstone and ask questions that they or you had about results, university and apprenticeships.  All questions and answers will be sent to Year 13 students via Insight.

This week our wonderful Mrs Walton was nominated for ‘Star of the Week, this is due to all the extra hard work and commitment she has made to support Year 11 into 12 transition.  This is not a small task as I’m sure you can imagine.  She has been liaising with many Year 12 and 13 students during school closure and supporting Mrs Dodd to help answer queries from parents and carers. If you have any queries then please email Mrs Walton at

Thank you for all your continued support whilst your child is working from home. Please encourage them to keep up to date with the work that is being set by their teachers. All work is being set on Insight but they may need to check other platforms as instructed by their classroom teacher.

UCAS and University Q&A Session

On Friday the 22nd of May Mrs Dodd hosted a Year 13 Q&A Session Via Zoom about UCAS and University offers.

Here is a selection of some of the questions asked:

Q: Can I defer my entry?

A: Deferral from 2020 entry to 2021 entry is at the Universities discretion and every university is different. I advise that students contact individual universities directly via email. The 6th form team has a template for this if needed.

If a university does not accept a request to defer, and you still want to follow this route, you may have to withdraw and reapply via UCAS in a new cycle. The risk involved with this is that there will be more people applying next year due to a larger cohort of year 12s nationally and many deferral requests from the current year 13’s and international students.

If you are thinking of deferring think carefully about what you are going to do with the year to make it of value – there will less options for work experience and travel. You will not have to declare it to the university form whom you wish to defer, but it should be time well spent, that will develop your personal skill set and experience.

Q: Will Results day go ahead?

A: Yes, it will and Post-16 results will be issued as planned nationally on the 13th of August 2020. We are not yet able to say what that will look like logistically but will let students know in due course.

Q: What if I have changed my mind and want to go with my insurance offer instead of my firm?

A: The first step here is to contact your insurance university (an email template is available from the 6th form team) Explain that you have reflected and ask if they would still be willing to offer you a place. If they get back to you with a yes at that point you can email to withdraw your firm offer. Insurance Choice will do the admin via UCAS. The Sixth Form team can provide 1:1 support on this via phone.

Q: Will there still be support for clearing?

A: Yes – you will be supported by the 6th form team on results days to go through the clearing process, where you haven’t achieved the grades to go to your chosen university.

Q: I have changed my mind about what I want to study – what do I do?

A: UCAS Extra is available which show what universities and specific courses have spaces – this is like early clearing and you can look through it and any course with an X has availability. If you want to apply for one of these courses, then you will have to already be in clearing or withdraw from your applications to place yourself in clearing to proceed. Again, please do contact the 6th form team for support with this if you are considering it.

Q: Will I need to make a new personal statement for a new course via UCAS Extra or Clearing?

A: Generally, no – but the sixth form team will email the university to support your application and to explain why you want to change to a different course.

Q: Can we defer on results day?

A: Yes – but mu advice would be that if you know that you wish to defer to do it now. Universities may defer some students but not all.

If you need any further support with anything related to Post-18 Future Intentions please do not hesitate to contact the sixth form team

Senior Prefects for the Class of 2021

After half term all year 12 students, staff and current Senior prefects will be receiving a google form to vote for the new Senior Prefect team for 2020/2021. It will give you half term to have think of who you would like to vote for – everyone will get the opportunity to vote for two males and two females. You will not be able to vote for yourself! Once we have all the votes in, we will invite those with the highest votes to write to Mrs Dodd if they wish to apply for a Senior Prefect role. Further advice and guidance about this will be given nearer the time.

After Half term

We have a busy 1/2 term ahead of us coming up with UCAS, personal statements, and Future Intention planning coming up. Please ensure that you can log into your Unifrog account in preparation. Mrs Young has sent out some guidance about this.

Sixth Form Future Intentions – Y12 and Y13 Important Information From UCAS

Y12:  please read this information about 2021 applications.  The Sixth Form team and your tutors will help you progress your applications and personal statements after half term.  However, it would be useful for you to start completing your competencies on Unifrog in preparation.
Despite current challenges, we remain focused on supporting students with their continued studies and are pleased to announce that the 2021 cycle is now open.

Students looking to begin an undergraduate course in 2021 can now search for courses and make a start on their application. Although they can fill it in, it can’t be submitted until the 8 September so there’s still plenty of time for them to do their research and consider all their options.

To help you support those starting their research into university and college, we’ve developed a series of short, self-led tasks. 

Y13:  please read this important information about results day, receiving results and clearing.A level results day has been confirmed as 13 August, and SQA is working to ensure students receive their results by 4 August. So, here at UCAS, we’re busy making final preparations and can confirm that things will run broadly similar to previous years, with Clearing opening on 6 July giving your students the flexibility to make choices throughout the rest of the year.

Some of you may be aware that we’ve also been working on a couple of new features and enhancements for this year – our main focus being Clearing Plus: the personalised way for unplaced students to find their place in Clearing.

For the first time, unplaced students in Clearing will be able to view a list of courses they’ve personally been matched to in Track – alongside our search tool, which will still have 30,000 course options.

Year 8 Transition

I would like to thank the Administration Team at TAHS for collating and posting all the transition letters.  If you have not received yours then please contact me.

The Transition Team are working very hard to ensure that we meet the needs of all your children. This week myself, Mr Godwin, Mrs Oliver, Mrs Major and all of the Heads of Houses and Student Support Assistants have met with the Middle Schools, via Zoom, to share information. This is a lovely process where we are able to learn such wonderful information about your child.  This is part of the normal transition process.

This week I am working on putting together a presentation that we will be ready to send to you in a few weeks.  This will allow you to see us, your team, we have asked that all members of the Transition Team introduce themselves so that we can try to alleviate some of the anxiety that they may be currently feeling. Alongside the presentation we are coordinating activities that we will be able to send to you so that you can encourage your child to participate and feel part of the TAHS community and then when we provide you with a list of form tutors, you’ll be able to email them so your child will have some communication with their new Form Tutor.

Last week I introduced myself and Mr Godwin, this week it is the turn of Mr Brassington, Head of Orme and Mrs Moore, Student Support Assistant for Orme.

Mr Brassington.  I am the head of Orme House at Thomas Alleyne’s.  A little bit of information about me: I have been working at TAHS since October 2009 and this will be my third academic year as a Head of House.  I teach English in addition to my pastoral role. I am also responsible for assemblies here at Thomas Alleyne’s so will always be on the look out for volunteers, bear this in mind when you see me in the school corridor.

Hello, My name is Mrs Moore. I am the student support assistant for the Orme House. I have been a member of staff at Thomas Alleyne’s for 13 years. You will see me around the school a lot in the corridors supporting students and staff both in and out of the classroom, outside the theatre as you enter Orme assembly or at the front of the school on ‘late gate’. 

The Orme office door is always open for any students if they would like support or help or just want to talk through events that have happened and to gain some perspective. Some students just pop in to say hello and get a biscuit and I hope that you will want to do this too! 

I look forward to meeting you all in September.

I have feel that the message that I gave last week needs to be reiterated, especially as we move into half term and with all the conversations that are happening on social media and in the press. 

‘There is no doubt that this year’s transition will different but we are working to ensure that we meet the needs of all students. We will keep you informed of activities and events, let you know when we will be sending communication and endeavour for your child to know who their Head of House, Student Support Assistant and in time who their Form Tutor will be. At this time, we cannot guarantee that your child will meet their pastoral support team in person before the end of this academic year, but we will ensure that they will have the opportunity to put a face to a name and listen to their team and how we can support them.  

We are working collaboratively with your Middle School to ensure that we know as much about your son or daughter as possible, that we answer all the queries that come to us and that we help to make all the Year 8 students feel part of the Thomas Alleyne’s community.’ 

If you have a query about the transition process at Alleyne’s then please contact me on

Support from Catch22 (Stoke and Staffordshire CCE (Child Criminal Exploitation) Service)

As you will all be aware, lockdown restrictions have resulted in a significant increase in the amount of time children and young people are spending online which has led to increased opportunities for grooming and exploitative behaviours. This short video signposts to support from Catch22 if you have any concerns.  Telephone numbers appear at the end of the video.

Year 11 Employability Skills

By now most of you will have a clear idea of what you will be doing in September. Whether that be 6th form, College or an Apprenticeship there are a number of free online courses available at the moment which can help you to boost your employability, update your CV or improve your study skills in time for your next step. 

From courses in touch typing to coding to developing your CV there is a course here for everyone. I may  give the Basic First Aid course a go myself during half term. Click on the ones that interest you – why not have a go and let us know which ones you tried?

Touch Typing

Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, Powerpoint

Basic First Aid

Developing Career Resilience

How to write a CV

How to succeed at writing applications

How to succeed at interviews

Communication Skills

Presentation Skills

Digital Technologies – Duke of Edinburgh

Digital Technologies – Minecraft coding, Movie Maker

Plumbing , electrics, auto-service technician and carpentry introductions

Food safety

When accessing any of these courses please be aware that they are all free and so will contain feature ads, click on ‘remove ads’ and you will see the content. When registering only give out the briefest of information e.g. name and email. Never give your telephone number.

Maths Puzzle

Thank you to everyone who submitted a solution to the football league problem.Here is the solution…


It is great that I am also getting solutions from parents each week – well done to Andy Bailey who was the first person to submit the correct solution.


Using each of the integers from 1 to 35 make a chain where the sum of any pair ofconsecutive integers is a square number.You have to use all the numbers but can only use each one once.

Please email your answers with workings / pictures to  The correct solution and names of those who got it correct will be put in round-up after half term.

Corona Conundrums

A few weeks ago I put this in the newsletter

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 Scotland – to my amazement I received an email earlier this week from Chris Smith himself, thanking me for sharing the link with you.  Therefore I thought I would share it again so that more of you can have a go at some of the conundrums.

Well done to the following students for all the great maths work they have been completing this half term

Year 9: Charlie, Holly, Jack, Gemma, Bradley, Spencer, Chloe, Elliot, Georgiet, Joe, Grace, Megan, Billy,  Zita,  
Lucy, Joe, Tom, Mia, Megan, Sylvia.

Year 10: Mollie, Ollie, Grace, Maddy, Lily, Megan, Liberty,  Abi, Katie, Heather, Finley, Jack, Kacper

and remember… all maths is good maths!

English Success


Some Year 10 students in RE have been reviewing key principles of Buddhism this week and attitudes towards happiness.  As part of the lesson they were asked to share a picture that best represented happiness to them and explain why.  Here are some of the images received. Take a look…

Students of the week have been chosen by Mr Scott

Year 9 Students of the Week are:

Ben, Oliver, Alice

Year 10 Students of the Week are:Katie, DiasyYear 12 Alice, Alicia, Becca

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

Science News

Launching on 05 June: free online GCSE Science lessons 

As part of continuing to support science teaching and learning during COVID-19, we’re launching a brand-new series of free online GCSE Science lessons, brought to you by Pearson Edexcel and developed to be relevant for all awarding bodies.

The lessons will be broadcasting from the Pearson UK Learning YouTube channel from 05 June 2020 at 11 am.

Online lessons to help nurture your curiosity and passion for science

To help all GCSE-level students continue to engage with science learning, our lessons will be taught by Primrose Kitten, an experienced science teacher with a passion for helping students to achieve their best.The 45-minute lessons from Primrose Kitten, will showcase science and its real-world applications.

 Everyone studying GCSE-level science is welcome to join, whether they’re taking the course at school, college or remotely, and regardless of exam board.

 There’ll be one lesson available to join each week. Each lesson focuses on a different topic and tailors to the various stages of science learning, so you can choose the ones that are right for your students.
You and your students can use the lessons at a time that suits – be it joining us on the day on YouTube or viewing the recordings afterwards. Visit our website for details on the lesson timetable and topics.

Science Students of the Week

Year 9

Holly-Marie has been selected by Mrs Pavey for great Physics practicals.

Katie has been selected by Mr Crum for excellent effort.

Liam has been selected by Mr Crum for consistent hard work.

Year 10

Heather , Millie , Finley , Ollie and Harry have all been selected by Mrs Gwynne for super progress.

Tilley and Lily have been selected by Mr Crum for excellent engagement and effort.

Will has been selected by Mr Crum for excellent effort and achievement.

Tiff has been selected by Mr Crum for consistent excellent effort.

Year 12

Ben has been selected by Mrs Gwynne for making super progress.

George has been selected by Mr Crum for superb effort.

Year 13

Amelia has been selected by Mr Crum for excellent effort.

Well done!

Elkes News

Miss Attwood and I have had another week of learning new things as we move towards the half term, and make preparations for the transition of year 8s up to Thomas Alleyne’s. We had the chance last week to catch up face to face with our brilliant form tutors via Zoom, and I also wanted to thank my Y12 English group for trying an online lesson! Special mentions this week go to Lucy and Alyssa, who teachers have seen some great efforts in their online work. I hope you all have a restful half term, and as ever, if you need anything, email and to get in touch.

Orme News

Happy International Meditation Day! I know I am late, and this was yesterday but I still think it is worth noting. Meditation is how I prepare myself before my working days begins, this is every morning.  20 minutes of quiet contemplation where I sit completely still and try to ignore my dog who always tries to distract me by trying to lick my face. Apps such as Headspace, Waking Up and Calm are great tools to help guide this quiet time and I recommend having a look.

Tiredness can take a huge toll on our bodies and mind. It is just as easy to ignore how tired you can become when your days feel a little empty as it is when they are filled with activities. Taking the time to HALT is particularly important when you’re tired. A good night’s sleep or a leisurely nap may be all you need to change your outlook for the day.

Another option If you are feeling particularly tired, take a short break by listening to music, going for a walk, or simply taking a deep breath. Maybe it’s been a rough couple of days or a week that requires time watching your favourite movie or eating your favourite food. Recharging both your body and mind will help you get through tough moments.

It has once again been a real pleasure to see your contributions from the weekly assembly task (my daughter now looks forward to testing the various activities I get each week).  Keep them coming in!  Special mention to Thomas who seems to be single handedly entertaining and feeding his family based on the activities he has completed.

Sad news this week, my Breville has decided my over reliance on bread-based meals was not at all healthy and has stopped working. It has been a tough few days having to eat meals like an adult instead of a teenager.  I did ask my daughter to do circuits of my garden raising money for a replacement, she has informed me that she will not be doing this however as she is tired of eating essentially the same meal everyday and quite fancies a salad.

I will still be available for any questions or support you may need over half term at

Have a fantastic half term, ensure you get some rest and recharge body and mind.

Mr Brassington

Torrance News

Over the last few weeks Heads of House have been setting assemblies around the topics of Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and after half term you will have an assembly on Communication. We selected these topics because we thought they were especially important at the moment, whilst we are all having to work in these unusual circumstances. Students have been able to complete tasks each week to encourage them to develop skills in each of these areas and to also earn certificates for completing these tasks. I particularly wanted to say well done to Connor and Charlie, who have been sending me their efforts every week – thank you for all of your hard work on this!

I hope you are all keeping safe and well, we are really missing seeing you in school every day! Remember me and Mrs Collier are only at the end of an email if you need us: and


Both Miss Arbery and myself have enjoyed reading that Whitmore students have been selected for subject related prizes in round up this half term, for the work you have produced remotely at home. It is reassuring to read your names and remember how brilliant you are and how quickly you have adapted. 

Communication has been high with the Whitmore team this week and we look to celebrate your successes away from the class room as well. With many of you learning new skills and helping out with jobs around the house and community.  We wish you all a happy and safe half term. 

Students of the Week:  Charles has been learning to cook, Daisy has been helping her mum do up the garden and build a bar, Blake has been continuing with his cadet work, and interviewed his great grandad who was an evacuee of the war for VE day, painting fence panels & laying a patio, Billy has been helping out grandparents.

PE Department

Students continue to engage in a wide range of physical activity both from what we are setting on Insight and their own ideas. Please continue to share these with us. Half term optional projects will be on insight for all.

Even though competitive sport is on hold – Staffordshire School Games are setting online competitions for Year 9 – last week we came 2nd in the district for kick ups with a toilet roll. Well done to George, Fletcher, Jed, Sam, Rhys, Ryan, Max, Sam and Jessica who all took part. Dean Macaulay was first individually in the district with an amazing 54!

Have a go and see if you can beat him. This week’s challenge is an up -down plank, all year 9 have been sent the details on insight and have until Wednesday to enter.

Congratulations to students who have gained places on KS4 BTEC Sport Activity & Fitness and KS5 BTEC Sport.

Transition resources/ Bridging work/Preparation tasks and info will be uploaded to Microsoft Teams, this is accessed the same as your school outlook email. If you have received confirmation you are studying these courses in September please check on Teams. Any issues email Mr Barrow

Yr 10 and 12 resources are on Microsoft Teams – please check this regularly and work through material as you are able.

2.6 Challenge

Mr Barrow is continuing to do the 2.6 challenge to support the schools fundraising efforts. If you would like to sponsor him please email or

So far he has –

26th April 2.6km run in 15min 53sec

27th April 26 press ups in 26 sec

28th April 2.6 mile run in 26.20

29th April 2.6 min plank 

30th April 26 sec plank with 26kg on back and 2.6 min crusifix with 2.6kg hand weights

1st May 26 squats with wife on back

2nd May 26 times to top of stairs 5 min.47 sec

3rd May 26 alternate hand catches with tennis ball in 27 sec 

4th May 26 kick ups with a rugby ball

5th May 26 min yoga challenge

6th May 26kg bench press 61 reps (continuous to failure)

7th May Connor in Yr9 challenged me to his work out 26 press ups, 26 squats, 26 bicep curls, 26 sit ups. Connor did it in 1min 45 , Mr Barrow did it in 1 min 54 (not sure if weights were the same)

8th May 14 reps shoulder press with 26kg barbell

9th May 13 reps bicep curl with 26kg barbell

10th May 26 min run = 4.52km

11th May 260 press ups in 17 min

12th May 26 Malcolms in 9min 37 (A Malcolm: lie on your front, getting up running back 10m, doing a burpee, then running forward 20m doing a burpee and then returning to the start – that is one Malcolm)

13th May 26 successful basketball free throws in 48 shots

14th  May 26 successful rugby drop goals 10 m away in 48 shots

15th May 26 min exercise bike – 10.3 miles on Level 3 

16th May 26 cricket bowls hitting stumps 9 times

17th May 26 successful rugby penalties out of 38 attempts

18th May 260 skips

19th May 260 runs to top of stairs

20th May 260 star jumps

21st May 6.2 mile run in 58 mins

22nd May 26 burpees

Why not see if you can beat Mr Barrow on any of his challenges or send in a 2.6 challenge for him to try.

Art Work

Year 9 Art students have been emailing some excellent responses to the still life project. Here’s a selection of this week’s highlights’. Look out for your next project – hopefully there will be something for everybody!

Exciting New Art Project for all Year 9 Pupils

Can all Year 9 pupils please ensure they check out Insight to get details of an exciting new art project. Inspired by Grayson Perry’s Art Club there will be weekly tasks for you to complete. The most exciting and innovative submissions will be displayed in a virtual exhibition at the end of term.
Thank you for all the brilliant work Year 9 have been producing during the lockdown. If you are still completing the other projects then feel free to continue with this and over half term and email the  finished work to your teachers. Well done to Jack Bright for producing some amazing studies this week based on the Still Life theme.


Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre are streaming their production of Macbeth. Suitable for 11+

The link to the production is below 


School Website

School Shop


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s