September 18th 2020

TAHS Weekly Newsletter. 

I do feel that we have embraced the ‘new normal’ and that all new systems that we have implemented are being adhered to.  I would like to reiterate that students in Year 12 and 13 have been provided with study areas within school to allow them to complete school work when they do not have a taught lesson.  We have been asked by the community to politely remind students that if they do leave school during the day to go home that they do maintain social distancing and follow government guidance on the use of face coverings etc.

All Sixth Form students that from Monday 21st September in order to sign in and out all students must scan the QR code and complete the online form with name, date and time of signing in and/or out.

Images of the QR code to scan will be situated upstairs in the Sixth Form area.

All students must use this system if they are leaving school and when returning into school if it is on the same day.  This is in order for us to ensure the safety of our students and to adhere to safeguarding and fire safety regulations.

I have sent all Year 13 students notices to inform them that they must update the class teachers on Unifrog to enable them to complete their academic references. I have been informed that a number of students have not done this. Please could you check that they have done this. Unifrog is an amazing tool that we have purchased for the school and it really helps support our Sixth Form students in their how to preapre for their next steps Post 18.

A few days ago I messaged all Year 12 students and explained that unless they do not have a lesson on Tuesday, that they must be in school for period 3 to have their photo taken for their lanyard. This is part of our safeguarding policy and it is also part of their school uniform to wear their lanyard every day. Year 13 students were issued with their photographic ID last year and the Sixth Form Team will be taking photographs in the theatre. A schedule has been sent to all students via Insight. If Year 13 have lost their ID then please ask them to let me know and I will arrange a time for their photo to be taken.

Mrs Bell has sent the folowing message:


Skills sessions for Week 4 are as follows.  Information and workbooks are available on Teams and Insight.

Y12:  immunisation and vaccinations; healthy eating habits

Y13:  stress and stress management including tips for better sleep

Eco-School is an opportunity for our school to be awarded a Green Flag status. We have a team of students in Year 13, led by Okii, who last year worked with Mrs Rudge to ensure that all buses and minibuses that were dropping of and collecting students from TAHS turned their engines off while students were embarking and disembarking, they spoke about how they would like more bike sheds so students could be encouraged to travel to school by bike and be able to securely lock them up. Mrs Rudge has since provided 2 further bike sheds on the school site. We have also been able to secure an area of land on the school site that we can use to plane trees on.  This is only the start of our journey. I will be working with Okii and his team in Year 12 and 13 to see what else we can achieve this year. We are also going to ask for representatives from Years 9-11 to join our team and to help make a difference.

Wellbeing Sessions

PE Update

We are commencing with practical PE lessons from 28th September.  The activities delivered will be based on the government’s guidance.  Please ensure all students in Years 9, 10 and 11 have all items of PE kit and that they fit correctly.
PE kit / Uniform List

  • Black TAHS polo shirt
  • Reversible TAHS rugby shirt ( This is for all outdoor lessons not just rugby)
  • Black Shorts
  • Black Football socks
  • Black Swimming shorts / Swimming costume
  • Shin Pads (Must be worn for Football and Hockey)
  • Gum Shield (Must be worn for Hockey and Rugby)
  • Football Boots 
  • Indoor Trainers

Optional – Black Skort, Black TAHS fleece, Plain Black leggings, Plain Black Tracksuit bottomsCoats can be worn outside in inclement weather for PE.
Students will be informed of the activities they are doing on Insight next week. Due to the nature of the timetable and the changing government advice it is important students check this before each PE lesson for any changes.

Year 9 Photographs

Year 9 school Photographs will this year take place on Tuesday 22nd September during their Period 3 lesson. Students are asked on this day to ensure that they are wearing smart and correct uniforms including a white shirt, their house tie and if they would like, their blazer. We ask that students remove their black jumpers for these photos if they are wearing them.

News from Science

Call for Club members!

Staffordshire University is offering our Year 10 students the opportunity to join a free ‘Virtual Club’, which will be a mixture of webinars and demonstration videos taking place over 10 weeks on Saturdays from October to December 2020.  The club will appeal to students interested in Science and Engineering.

Club members will receive free materials at the start of the club to enable them to fully participate in the webinar sessions.

The University are also offering a ‘Virtual and Live Club’ which will initially be virtual, but it is hoped that in January club members can be invited onto the campus, in line with Government Guidance.

For more information and an online application form please click on the link below:

Application form

This term we are continuing with our Science Students of the Week award.  Students will be selected from all year groups who have excelled in their science studies and will receive an electronic certificate.  We will also be continuing with our fortnightly award for students who have performed exceptionally well in their Animal Care studies.

This week’s Science Students of the Week:

Year 9

Maddy and Joshua have been selected by Mrs Gwynne for an excellent start to Biology. 

Charles has been selected by Miss Thorley for great scientific knowledge in class discussions.

Alfie has been selected by Mrs Dykes for his excellent knowledge in Chemistry.

Year 10

Charlie has been selected by Mrs Dykes, who remarked that ‘Charlie was on fire with is photosynthesis this week in biology!’

Chloe has been selected by Miss Thorley for working hard to master ionic formulae.

Alex has been selected by Mrs North for excellent attitude in Biology, both class work and homework.

Year 11

Tyler and Madison have been selected by Mr Mitchell for a really positive start to lessons in Physics and good understanding of topics taught so far.

Harley has been selected by Miss Thorley for fantastic contributions to lessons and a brilliant positive start to the year.

Year 12

Jess has been selected by Miss Thorley for her efforts in starting BTEC Applied Science.

Eleanor has been selected by Mrs North for fantastic engagement in Forensic Science.

Year 13

George has been selected by Mrs North for excellent work on Applied Science coursework.

Isobel has been selected by Mrs Gwynne for a promising start to Year 13 Biology.

This week’s Animal Care Students of the Week selected by Mrs North are:

Year 11

Amber, Ollie and Jacob for excellent contributions in class.

Well done!

History Year 11

Just a reminder that all Year 11 have an exam on Year 10 work (Medicine through Time) before the end of September. Homework is revision for this exam.

Torrance News

Another busy week this week. I feel the 3rd week back has really demonstrated how well the students are adapting to the new school routine and systems in place. It is great to see so many achievement points being awarded. A special mention has to go to Mr Pollitt’s form group (9T1) who have all picked up multiple achievement points and not a single behaviour point – what a fantastic start to the academic year!

Next week the students will have another skills session with their form tutors where they will continue to focus on mental health and wellbeing topics. These sessions are crucial to ensuring that our students can identify mental health concerns and develop strategies to enable them to deal with potential challenges to their wellbeing.

As there wasn’t chance at the end of the last academic year, I would like to let all Year 10 Torrance  students know that applications are now open for House Captain. Please send your applications to by Monday 28th September, I look forward to reading them!

Orme News

As we all approach the end of the first month returning to school I am as always surprised and impressed at how well you all adapt to anything life throws at you. It has been described to me as the “new normal”, though I wouldn’t like to see this phrase used myself. When we use a word like normal we forget that the current situation requires a response, it is a challenge that needs us to gather ourselves as a school community and coordinate our efforts in keeping the school a safe and welcoming environment despite the challenges. It has given me great pleasure to see Orme students responding to this challenge by realising more is expected, that we must do better to ensure that we can also achieve what we did before as part of normal school life.

Orme students have shown this willingness to be resilient and rise to the challenge by returning to lessons and showing some excellent work and effort. I would like to give a special mention to a few of our year 9 students this week who have managed to accumulate double figures in achievement points already, this is more challenging with fewer lessons each day meaning less opportunities to impress.  Sophie and Harry from 901, Luke Jordan and Isabelle from 902. I am immensely impressed by the start you have made, showing that despite our days being far from normal, you can still work hard, achieve, and enjoy success as we always have done here at Thomas Alleyne’s. Well done!

Year 10 Orme students, we are looking for House Captains. If you think you have the qualities we need; leadership, positivity, resilience and empathy then please write a letter of application and send it to me at  This should be no more than a single page so try to be clear and concise.

This coming week Mrs Major will deliver an assembly on resilience during our recovery session on Tuesday, hopefully we can all take something from this as we continue to face Everyday challenges. This week’s quote is on that theme of adversity, challenge and resilience

“In the face of adversity, we have a choice.  We can be bitter, or we can be better.”  Caryn Sullivan

Mr Brassington

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Quite a few of our students will be starting to think about their options for the future and making decisions about which subjects to choose, or what career and educational pathways to take once they have completed their time with us.  The Future Intentions team thought it would be useful to have a regular section in the round up to introduce you to a range of different careers and also to inform you of any upcoming events which may support you with your choices.  

We would like to say a huge thank you to Lorna who recently completed her A Levels at TAHS for designing us our logo. Lorna inspired us for our first ‘Career of the week’ section!

Career of the week

Job title: Illustrator  Illustrators produce drawings, paintings or diagrams for use in products like books and greetings cards, or on packaging.
Entry requirements:You can get into this job through: a university course an apprenticeshipapplying directly University Course: Entry requirements You’ll need a higher national diploma or degree in illustration or a related subject like fine art or graphic design. You’ll usually need: between 1 and 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma or degree Apprenticeship – Entry requirements You could do an advanced apprenticeship in graphic design, then with experience and further training, move into illustration work. You’ll usually need: 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
What you’ll earn:£14000 – £40,000 a year depending on the hours you work
Working hours, patterns and environment:Your day-to-day tasks may include: discussing requirements, or ‘briefs’, with authors, editors or designers negotiating prices and timescales deciding on the right style for illustrations creating illustrations using hand drawing, painting or computer design packagesYou could work in a creative studio, from home or at a client’s business. You may work for an organisation or be self-employed and work from home.
Career path and progression:With experience and graphic design skills you could work for a design agency, publishing company or magazine. You could also move into specialist work, for example architectural or archaeological illustration   For further information, have a look – this is a really great insight into the career path of an illustrator and talks about her love of her profession  

If you have any suggestions for a career you would like to know more about then please email us at

Upcoming events

UK University & Apprenticeship Search Virtual Fair on Wednesday 21 October from 12:00-18:00. The event is free, it will feature over 80 universities, colleges and apprenticeship providers, and it’s open to students in Year 13, 12 and 11. 

For more information and to register for the event click on the link below

The event will also include 10 webinars which will provide information on topics such as Choosing a course, Student finance, Personal statements, Employability and Apprenticeships

Once registered you will be able to access the virtual fair any time until Wednesday 4th November, but you will only be able to live chat with representatives and view the webinars on the day itself.

For help with registration or more information then please see Mrs Featherstone in the Careers office – room 74.


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September 11th 2020

TAHS Weekly Newsletter. 

This week has been successful with our Year 13 and 12 students focused on learning, not only in lessons but also the new systems we have implemented around the school. 

Students in both year groups do not need to be on the school site if they do not have a timetabled lesson. If the student does choose to stay on site then there are venues which they can use to study. The Common Room and Study Room are available all day. These areas are set out like classrooms, as per the guidance we have received, which means that the students will be facing forward whilst they are in there.  They can access the wooden gym, this also is only available to Sixth Form students. Period 3 they can use the canteen, the Theatre and Ede Studio as lower school will all be classrooms. We hope that you can reiterate the importance of your child following all guidance that we have introduced.

We have ensured that all Sixth Form students are able to purchase food and hot drinks whilst maintaining their bubble. When they are on break and lunch Room 65 is open for hot and cold food. This is a great opportunity and the food will be cheaper than similar food that they could purchase from shops in town.

If your child chooses to leave the school site during a non-taught session then please can you ensure that they understand the importance of social distancing and the purpose of wearing masks. This will not only support the school but also the local community.

As stated previously we are not expecting students to wear suit jackets as part of the current school uniform, notice will be given for when this will change, however we must impress upon them the importance of following all other aspects of the school uniform policy. For ladies they must wear a skirt of a suitble length for school, a blouse, smart jumper and shoes or boots. These are not part of the uniform policy; trainers or pumps, short tight skirts, ‘pleather’ skirts, jeans, t-shirts and hoodies or jumper dresses. Gentlemen can wear smart trousers, shirt, tie, jumper (no obvious branded logo) and shoes or boots. As with the ladies unifom, these are not part of our uniform policy; trainers, hoodies and jeans. Please support us by talking with your child about expectations around school uniform.

Year 13 students should now have ensured that they have updated their Unifrog information with their new academic teachers, this will enable their class teachers to write their subject reference and their form tutor to complete their part of the academic reference. This can be done by logging on to Unifrog and follow the instructions.

All Year 13 students should now have sent their form tutor a copy of their personal statements, this applies to all students including those that have already decided they are choosing another path Post-18. Their form tutor will read this and return it using Unifrog with feedback and amendments. 

UCAS is open for applications for competative course such as medicine, dentistry and vetinary and OxBridge applications should also be submitted soon as the deadline for this is only a few weeks away.

Year 12 are currently in their induction phase and teachers are being asked to assess them on certain areas inculding; punctuality, homework, Sixth Form 7 and bridging work.  This information will be collated and will be communicated with you.

Over the upcoming weeks I will be providing information on Unifrog for parents which will offer help and support on how to access and navigate this virtual platform. 


All Y12 and Y13 students have 3 ‘Skills’ sessions on their 4 week timetable as part of their 6th form pastoral programme.  It is essential that they complete this work regarding social, emotional and general health plus citizenship which forms part of their 6th form agreement and our duty of care.  Powerpoints and workbooks can be downloaded from Insight or Teams.  Any queries, please contact Mrs Dodd or Mrs Bell.  The theme of this weeks Skills session was emotional well being.

Office 365 & Insight

More details are to be provided in school but as a reminder all students have office365 accounts and staff are using the teams app contained within for class and homework.

Access via

login: eg

Password: as per school login


login is the same as the school network

A guide with videos are contained within this presentation and this will be backed up in school.

Pastoral Round Up

A huge well done to students this week for completing their first full week with the new systems in place. We appreciate, particularly for our Year 10 and upwards students, that there has been a lot to get used to and I would like to thank them for acting so responsibly this week. To our Year 9 students you seem to be getting to know the site well now and I hope that you are starting to feel part of the Thomas Alleyne Community.

Elkes News

Having seen most of our students back this week, I’ve been really pleased and impressed at how many have adapted to the changes and systems in place, helping new students find their way, working with us on social distancing and mask wearing, and getting back into good habits in lessons. Hearing from students and parents about the ways our students have coped and in some cases flourished during the pandemic is refreshing and reassuring, and I wanted to give particular mentions to Garrard W, Xanthe, Alfie A and Hannah C (not all Elkes students!) for getting involved in tremendous initiatives like local food banks, youth groups, businesses and family support during recent months, all of whom are great examples of what makes our community so special. I hope you’re all enjoying being back with us, and if we can do anything to make the coming weeks easier, just let us know.

Mr Parker


A busy and tiring first full week back in school. It is always a shock to the system following the summer holidays. It was good to see all of the Whitmore students in with their form tutors on Thursday afternoon for the skills session. Also to see the exotic animals in 10W1’s form room which is based on the farm. The vast majority of our students have made a good impression and have been awarded credits and it was nice to share that information with form groups and put some faces to names. 

Miss Jones 

Orme News

As we come to the end of our second week back at school and back in face to face lessons I have been reflecting on how the new beginning of a  school year brings with it the end of summer,  it has been particularly enjoyable this week to see our school community within their year groups enjoying the social time around the school building, the good weather has only added to this as we have been able to enjoy this communal time in outdoor spaces.

As next week also marks the Great British Beach Clean I was reminded how well our students look after the school environment, the privilege of enjoying a clean and pleasant space between periods of work really helps me to maintain a positive and productive attitude, I will let you know how this holds up when grey skies and rain arrive.

 I hope that you all take the weekend as an opportunity to further recharge away from daily pressures, I will be heading away from the often-gloomy skies above Stoke on Trent to recharge this weekend and am reminded of some slightly pretentious but certainly relevant lines from Shelly,

“Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs, —
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress its music.”

I hope that Orme students and the rest of the school also enjoy the weekend in your own “silent wilderness” and return on Monday recharged and productive. 

Mr Brassington

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September 4th 2020

TAHS Weekly Newsletter. 


Welcome back.

This week has been a very positive return to school for our Year 12 and 13 students.  This is a year like no other, and we are pleased that our Sixth Form students have taken on board the changes that we have implemented.

Each student has had a session delivered by their form tutor which explains all the changes that we have implemented, inlcuding the change in breaks and lunches and where they are able to purchase food from at break and lunch.  We have ensureed that all are aware of the one way system that we have in operation around the whole school site and they are aware of all the academic opportunites that they can access this year.

Students in Year 12 and 13 are one ‘bubble’ and as such we have provided them with areas that they can use during lesson tim if they have a study period.

Periods 1 and 2 – in addition to the Sixth Form area(s), they can study in the wooden gym if on a non-contact, Sixth Form 7 and/or Study Skills. 

Period 3 alongside the Sixth Form area(s), they can study in the Canteen, Theatre or the Ede Studio 

These areas have been set up to reflect the government guidance and we cannot permit students to alter the seating arrangements in any way.  All chairs and tables are facing forward.  We have explained the inportance of this to students, could I ask that you reiterate this with them. Whislt students are in these areas they must be considerate of others and keep noise to a minimum. Chairs and tables must be kept in the same place, for example chairs cannot be moved so a group of students can sit together and tables must not be sat on. 
We had agreed that students may leave the school site in their study period but we request that this should be kept to a minimum and masks should be worn.

We request that if a student has a driving lesson that these are not arranged during lesson time and that if medical appointments are needed, where possible, these are also made outside of lesson time.

If you need to communicate with any of the Sixth Form Team then could I ask that you email

French Leaderboard

Congratulations to Polly Jones in Year 11 and Joseph Hall in Year 10, the current all-time high scorers on for Thomas Alleyne’s High School, with a combined total of 5300 points, which is the equivalent of around 45 hours of work. How long can they stay there though? Kacper Wielechowski and Grace Atkin aren’t far behind …

Pastoral Round Up

As a new member of staff, I feel that was able to share some of the feelings that many of our returning students would have felt this week, particularly our Year 9 students starting their first day at High school. The changes that have been made to school however have meant that everybody is working together to ensure that we can all adapt to our new surroundings and systems. I personally want to thank all the student’s for dealing with so well and supporting each other at this time. I have really enjoyed my first week at Thomas Alleyne and I am now looking forward working with you all in the future.

Helen Major Assistant Head for Behaviour and Wellbeing.

Elkes News

I’m sure I’m echoing the sentiments of colleagues when I say how tremendous it was to welcome Elkes students back this week, and also to see the year 9s finding their feet in their new environment. We’re all at different places in terms of familiarity with the site and systems, with our groups, changes to lesson structure and so on, but the adaptability and maturity shown by so many has been hugely impressive, and I wanted to thanks those students who have just come in, taken on board why certain things have had to change and got on with it, because they are the ones who make this school community a safe and positive place for us all. As ever, if parents or students need anything at all, just get in touch.

Mr Parker

Torrance News

It has been lovely for me to meet the students of Thomas Alleyne’s this week and as the new Head of Torrance I can definitely relate to the nerves that our new Year 9 students will have felt starting here at Thomas Alleyne’s this week. I have been so impressed with them all getting to grips with the new safety measures around school.

To start the academic year, all students completed recovery sessions as part of their RESPECT programme with their form tutors. It was great to see them engaged in discussing the events of the last few months, how lockdown may had impacted on mental wellbeing and looking at strategies that can be helpful if they are feeling anxious about returning the school, COVID-19 or any of the challenges they face. As part of this session, staff and students also took time to consider gratitude and benefits of taking time to focus on the positives in their lives and our communities. Gratitude for our key workers and the NHS was a clear part of these discussions which is also reflected by the impressive news that I heard on my first day here, that 19% of our Year 13 leavers are going on to pursue careers in the NHS.

I’d like to say a big well done to all the students this week as we get used to our new normal and thank them for a wonderful welcome to the Thomas Alleyne’s school community.

Miss Keeling


It has been fantastic to welcome all of the Whitmore students this week. You looked really smart in your uniform and approached the return to school with maturity. 

The routine of the school day and route around the school are hugely different but it has been reassuring to get back into the classroom and deliver lessons face to face and communicate verbally with students. 
In PE lessons, we have been discussing the importance of exercise and physical activity and the role that plays on both physical and mental health. Many students are enjoying having the walk to school back and some sporting clubs returning in the community. I hope that we are all able to enjoy some physical activity at the weekend so we are energised and prepared for a full week in school next week. 

Miss Jones 

Orme News

First of all, a huge welcome to all Orme students as you begin the 2020-2021 academic year!

For those of you returning to Thomas Alleyne’s, we are glad to have you back as you continue your journey through education. For those new students who are just joining us in year 9, I encourage you to make the most of your time here. The experiences you will have at Thomas Alleyne’s will always improve with both the effort and application you put into being part of both the Orme and wider school community.

It has been a real and welcome pleasure for me to finally return to my classroom this week and teach. Whilst the work we have completed through remote learning has been worthwhile it cannot truly replicate the experience of being face to (socially distanced) face in a classroom. Whilst I, like many of you I am sure, felt a little anxious about being back in a classroom it very soon felt like the most natural place to be, even with all the new rules.  

Each week I select quotes, thoughts or lines from literature to hopefully help the school community reflect on the challenges that are part and parcel of each and every day. For this week I have used a line from The Foresters that I am sincerely hoping will prove to be true, “Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’.”  Alfred Lord Tennyson.

As always the orme team are here to help you with any issues that may arise as you begin this new challenge.

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