October 2019 Letter


18 October 2019

Dear Parent/Carer

I would like to welcome all students and their parents and carers to this new term. Year 7 students should all have settled in to life at Tollbar Academy.

Once again, the GCSE results of Year 11 were excellent. You may already be aware from recently published tables, that attainment and progress were well above national expectations. Under the current system for 2019, Mathematics, English and the majority of other subjects have been marked from grades 1-9, with a standard pass being a Grade 4 and a strong pass being a Grade 5. The Academy celebrated outstanding GCSE results with 89% of students achieving Grades 9-4 in English and 74% achieving Grades 9-4 in Mathematics. In total 95 Grade 9s were achieved across all subjects. There were 329 students in the year group, and 71% of those achieved Grades 9-4 in both English and Mathematics, with 49% achieving Grades 9-5. 63% of Year 11 students entered the EBacc group of qualification; 97% of students achieving Grades 9-5 in Biology, 96% in Chemistry, 98% in Physics achieving a total of 39 Grade 9s in the EBacc group subjects.

At A Level, students celebrated some exceptional results, with a 97% pass rate across all A Level subjects. Several subject areas achieved a 100% A*- C pass rate, including English Language, Literature, French, Music and Government and Politics. In History, 71% of students achieved A*- B grades, with 32% securing A grades. Further success was achieved in Religious Education / Philosophy, with 65% of students gaining A*- B grades and 40% securing A grades. In Economics 80% gained A*- C grades and 65% of students achieved A*-B grades. Destination data for our Sixth Form College shows that all students that wanted to progress to university secured a place; with 17% embarking upon courses at prestigious Russell Group universities. We were also delighted to continue our success in supporting students to secure places at Oxbridge, with one of our highest performing students heading to Oxford University this year. Some students opted to pursue a different route, and their A level results enabled them to secure places on high quality apprenticeship schemes. This year, students gained places with a number of reputable national and local companies, including Siemens, EasyJet and Lenzing.

I am extremely proud of the achievements of all the students and they are a credit to themselves, the Academy and their parents and carers.

Attendance and Punctuality

It is important that your child attends regularly. Parents and carers have a duty in law to ensure their child attends regularly, unless they are able to do so by reason of ill-health or other legally acceptable reason. We monitor and check the attendance of all students at the Academy. Our attendance team make contact with every parent or carer in the case of absence. Please can I remind you to telephone the Academy every day that your son or daughter is absent. If an absence is for three days or more, medical evidence may be required in order to authorise the absence (i.e. a doctor's appointment card, medical passport stamped or prescription).

I would like to remind you of the importance of students arriving on time to the Academy. The Academy day starts at 8:50am when students are expected to be on site and on their way to their Form room. By 8:55am all students should be in Form. If a student arrives after that time they will be given a late mark. Persistent lateness results in a detention. We would welcome your support in ensuring your child is on time in the morning.


May we take this opportunity to thank parents/carers for their understanding and co-operation with regard to high standards of uniform. For further guidance and clarification please see the Academy website for suggested footwear, trousers and the Academy Uniform Policy. Please can we also remind you that students are not permitted to wear make-up, with the exception of discreet make-up in Year 11.

Please note that:

Tightly fitted trousers and trousers that are tight or cropped at the ankle, or trousers made of stretch material are not part of the Uniform Policy.

Jewellery is not permitted to be worn (except for wristwatches). Earrings - only one small stud per ear, (all jewellery must be removed for P.E. activities).

Nose/eyebrow/tongue piercings or any other form of body piercing are not permitted.

Student Safety

Please can we remind parents and carers not to do U-turns in the entrance or exit of the Academy. Some parents are also parking along the road near to the entrance and exit to the Academy which is restricting the view of pedestrians and cyclists. This is endangering the lives of students and members of the public.

If your child cycles to school, please can you remind them to wear cycle helmets and have reflectors, a bell and lights for their own safety. Please ensure that the brakes on your child’s cycle are in full working order. Students must also lock their bike when it is stored in the bike sheds.

Please will parents and carers discuss and reinforce with their child, the importance of cycling in an appropriate manner. We are still receiving a small number of complaints from members of the public about students cycling without due care and attention to pedestrians and other road users.


I also would like to raise awareness of the growing concerns about keeping young people safe online. Further advice and guidance on E-Safety and keeping safe online can be found on www.thinkuknow.co.uk and www.net-aware.org.uk in addition to lots of other valuable information for parents and carers.

First Aid Room

Please note that the First Aid Room at the Academy is for emergency support only for issues arising during the Academy day. If children are genuinely ill in the morning, parents and carers should take them to their doctor who is appropriately qualified to deal with any issues students may have.

Mobile Phones/MP3 Players/iPods/Smart Watches/Fitness Trackers

The Academy has a policy of not allowing students to bring mobile phones or MP3 players/iPods/smart watches/fitness trackers onto the site. These devices are not permitted in order for us to ensure the welfare of every student and limit the disruption to their education. Any student who is suspected of having one of these devices will be searched by the Academy and the device will be confiscated for five school days. Students who continue to bring their mobile phone into the Academy will be subject to the Academy's Behaviour Policy.

Tollbar Academy Year Pattern 2019-2020 and 2020-2021

We have enclosed the Tollbar Academy Year Pattern for 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 and which can also be viewed on our website under Half Term Dates. Please do not use term dates which are published on websites which are not affiliated with Tollbar as these have been found to be incorrect.


Throughout the academic year a number of events and careers activities will take place across all curriculum subjects.

Students have directed time during Citizenship lessons to access Startprofile which is an online platform about careers. This will enable them to research and access information about careers of interest. In Citizenship lessons students study the following units of work which form part of the careers programme of study.

Year Group Unit of Work
7 Let's Get Inspired! - Employment Sectors
8 'Step into the NHS' - National competition
Choosing GCSE Options
9 Getting ready for the world of work- skills, Labour Market Information (LMI)
10 Preparing for the World of Work - CV writing and interview technique
11 Post 16 Options - research
College applications - preparing a personal statement and completing online college applications.

Further details about the careers programme of study can be found on the Academy website.

Events Calendar

For your information, we enclose the Events Calendar for 2019-2020. This calendar is also posted on the Academy website.

Please sign your son/daughter’s planner on page 30, the Academy/Home Communications page, to indicate that you have received this letter.

Yours faithfully

Mrs C L Yates

Enc: Events Calendar for 2019-2020

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Tollbar Academy Principal

Caroline L Yates
BA (Hons).

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson