ICT Easter School – Friday 25th April

ICT Easter school on Friday 25th April will be in S115 and S116, rather than in North (apologies for the change – maintenance on the school network means there will be no ICT access in North ICT rooms on that day).


Thursday 13th March saw the third annual G-Olympic Games take place at the academy whereby 7 local partner primary schools took part. Pupils took part in a quiz spanning 5 rounds, questions were both sporting and geographical in nature and pupils from years 5 and 6 performed extremely well in what turned out to be a fiercely competitive and closely matched competition. The final ‘Quick fire’ round saw Leighswood Primary propel themselves up the leader board from fourth to first place during the final question making for a very dramatic final. The Games were fantastic fun and enjoyed by all.  The Geography Department would like to thank staff, students and parents of all the local primary schools who were involved and also Mr. Spence for delivering the much anticipated awards ceremony at the end of the games.

The results table is as follows:

School Name     Number Of Points

Leighswood Primary       75

St. Michaels Primary       74

Castlefort Primary           73

Pelsall Village Primary    72

Holy Trinity Primary         64

St. Johns Primary             58

Ryders Hayes Primary    56



Cashless Catering

Cashless catering

Why? The benefits

  • Reduces need for cash in the academy so cash cannot be lost or stolen.
  • Shorter queues.
  • Quicker meal service.
  • Removes free school meal stigma.
  • Easier for parents – pay online using ‘parentpay’.
  • Parents can see/have access to how their children are spending money and this encourages better eating habits.

How do you get an account?

  • Sign an ‘opt in’ form (signed by parent) to allow the finger scan to take place.
  • If parent does not want a finger scan, then a swipe card may be requested (but, if lost, it will cost £5.00 for a replacement.
  • Register the account at the catering department or finance office.

How do you put money on the account?

  • Parents can pay online using ‘parentpay’.
  • Parents can pay at local shops displaying ‘paypoint’ sign.
  • Parents can send cheques payable to ‘Shire Oak Academy’ and hand in to the catering manager before 12.00 each day.
  • Students can top up accounts by putting cash into revaluation machines, situated in North and South Buildings. These are open from 8.30 each morning.

How do free school meals students get their meals?

  • Free school meal (FSM) students have an allowance of £2.10 each dinnertime added to the account.  If not used then it is deducted NOT carried over.
  • If FSM pupils wish to top up their accounts to buy ‘extras’, then they may do so, the same as all other pupils.
  • The system will always take the FSM allowance first before your own money.
  • FSM pupils to go to main hatch.  This is the only service point that offers a full balanced meal.

How does it work?

  • Pays for breakfast, dinner and snacks.
  • Go to normal service counter.
  • Be finger scanned or swipe card.
  • Your personal account comes up.
  • Staff deduct amount you have had.
  • You are told your remaining balance.
  • Remember parents can gain access and can find out ‘what you have had for lunch!’


Any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to see or contact Mrs Julia O’Neill 

Year 10 Geography visit to Birmingham

This week, our year 10 geographers undertook fieldwork in Birmingham city centre. The aim was to understand how a MDC’s city has redeveloped, a necessity caused by urbanisation. The year 10 geographers behaved impeccably and showed true enthusiasm and understanding for what was happening in Birmingham. The students firstly went on a canal boat tour of the old industrial heart of Birmingham; this was in order to see the transformation the CBD has undergone in more recent times; they were then able to compare this to the inner city and its lack of investment and development. After that, pupils studied the areas of: Brindley Place, The ICC, The Mailbox and The Cube,finally visiting Birmingham’s new library. All students gave positive feedback to how the library had improved the overall environment in this part of Birmingham and we were impressed, once again, with their mature approach to their fieldwork.

Geography Students - Birmingham

Breakfast Club



For further information contact:-

Jackie Graham/Louise Gamble T: 01543 364060

Edgmond Hall Gifted and Talented Residential 2013

In September 2013, pupils from years 7-12 attended the spooky residential at Edgmond Hall, Newport, Shropshire. This year’s main theme was ‘Zombies’ and pupils and staff took part in a wide range of activities over the fun-packed weekend.

We arrived in Edgmond on a Friday evening, just in time for dinner of homemade chicken curry and pasta bake followed by a delicious apple and blackberry crumble with custard. After pupils had settled into their dormitories, they took part in a zombie textiles activity with Miss Skeates and also participated in an interesting session from the” History Man” about WW1. Unfortunately the bonfire was cancelled due to bad weather, so we settled into a cosy room at the hall to listen to ghost stories from the” History Man” by candle light.

Pupils were up bright and early on Saturday morning to get into the spirit of the weekend and paint their faces for the zombie theme with Miss Skeates and Miss Robinson. They then went to their first session which was a STEM activity with Miss Hughes and Mr Swann. Pupils designed and made a range of catapults and bow and arrows, using only limited resources.

After lunch came MFL with Miss Staton and Mr Bey. Pupils investigated Paris and came up with a story board for a zombie escape route in the city, whilst practising their French vocabulary. Mr Straw took control over an exciting drama session focusing on scenes from the film ‘Shaun of the Dead.’ Miss Robinson and Mr Diskin ran the Maths session which consisted of working out the probability of survival at Edgmond Hall and an exhilarating game of ‘Zombie Bulldog.’

After a delicious dinner of ‘brains and veins’ on jacket potatoes followed by homemade chocolate cake with ‘zombie drool,’ pupils got ready for a very busy evening. Miss Bhatti ran a survival session where pupils needed to race to get the best survival gear then explain their choices to their peers and Miss Skeates and Mr Diskin taught the pupils the ‘Thriller’ dance. At twilight the pupils met on the field and performed the synchronised dance for Miss Bhatti and the camcorder. The evening ended with a spooky night time walk through the words surrounding Edgmond. We only hope forty zombies in the dark did not scare the locals too much!

Sunday morning started with sausage baps to fuel us for the activities before home time. Mrs Maguire-Turner arrived with art supplies and pupils used calligraphy pens to add zombies to famous Paris scenes. Mr Edwards and Mr Jones from the Geography department had the pupils planning the best possible escape routes on maps of Cannock and the Brownhills area. They then did their usual and disgusting taste test session where pupils decided whether the food they were eating whilst blindfolded was suitable for human consumption or zombie.

The weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by all and Shire Oak and Edgmond Staff are eagerly awaiting next year’s ‘Cowboy and Indian’ event. We hope to see you there!