Celebrating Pupil Progress

As our parents will know, at Spark Academy we have just finished completing our Spring term assessments. Although we see progress every lesson when we see our students, we understand that it’s important for students and parents to see progress in test scores too – both at Spark and at school.

We have been very proud of our students this term. Across the board we have seen improvement from last term in every class – and some of our students have absolutely outdone themselves!

 

Which students have progressed the most?

 

While all of our students have progressed, it’s always nice to celebrate a few individuals or classes. Spark Ideas would like to say a big congratulations to:

 

 

Radhika (Year 5 at Belgrave)

 

Radhika has worked very hard since joining Spark in the Autumn term. She has progressed fantastically well in her sentence writing and understanding of spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as making big strides in her Maths work. Her determination to succeed is definitely paying off!

 

 

Maya-Diyaa (Year 4 at Belgrave)

 

Maya-Diya has made great strides in her spelling and reading comprehension since she joined Spark. Her hard work has been supporting her both at Spark and at school – keep it up!

 

Eshaan (Year 3 at Oadby)

 

Eshaan never fails to be positive during his lessons at Spark and has worked exceptionally hard to improve his own understanding of literacy and numeracy. Eshaan’s hard work has been noticed both here and at school – his teacher has been impressed by his improved number skills and his understanding of similes!

 

Our Entire Year 4 Oadby Class

 

Yes, the whole class! This group of students have worked consistently throughout this term to improve their understanding. In English specifically, every student made a significant improvement from last term – before Christmas most were finding spelling, punctuation and grammar difficult, but through dedication the whole class has come on in leaps and bounds. Well done Year 4!

 

Adnan (Year 10 Oadby)

 

Adnan is an individual who is totally determined to succeed in his GCSEs next year. He consistently puts in 100% every week and in every homework, which is helping his progression enormously. In his tests at school, Adnan has already improved by almost two full grades since October. Congratualations Adnan and keep it up!

 

Rahul (Year 11 Belgrave)

 

Rahul is a student who has really sat up and took notice this term – he has begun working hard in lessons and submitting homework every week, which has made a big difference to his work. He is progressing well and on his way towards achieving his target grades when he sits his exams in a few weeks.

 

Congratulations to all of our pupils who have made progress this term – we look forward to celebrating you again soon!

Who was February’s Student of the Month?

We are a few days into March now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate February’s Student of the Month! It’s hard for us to choose just one student each month as all of our students consistently work hard to improve in lessons.

Nic, our Head of Science at Spark, nominated this month’s winner.

 

What did Nic have to say?

 

 

Nic choose this particular student for a variety of different reasons…

At the Belgrave site, this person has consistently

Grown in confidence within science

 

and has started to

 

challenge the information given and ask questions in and around the topics being covered to broaden her knowledge.

 

It might seem like challenging what you are told is a negative, but for our budding scientists it is the potential beginning of a glittering scientific career in the future. At Spark we encourage learners to push their knowledge. They often achieve this through questioning the facts they are presented with. What, why and how are our students’ tickets to great futures!

Another reason Nic nominated this student is

 

for consistently out performing her peers with her homework.

 

As you know, at Spark we set weekly homework to help improve our learners understanding and depth of knowledge. The month’s Student of the Month has a great attitude towards her homework. She commits to gaining the most out of her homework each week.

 

So who is our Student of the Month?

 

Congratulations to Year 9 pupil Maysha Hoque on her win this month! Maysha studies at the Belgrave site and also attends lessons for English and Maths. Hopefully her can-do attitude will be infectious in all of her lessons! We have no doubt that she will continue to be just as fantastic a student in her lessons to come.

 

 

Congratulations Maysha!

Headteacher Talk: What Does Success Mean to You?

March is just beginning and the year is ticking on towards exam season for many pupils at Spark. It’s time to hear what our Headteacher Gemma has to say about success and it’s role in your life!

 

ever doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams. – Hillary Clinton

 

Success.

 

What does success look like to you? For me, it is a measure of achievement. If I set myself a goal, no matter how big or small, and I’ve reached it, then I say that I have been successful.

There is still plenty of time left of this academic year to end it with success. Although we only publicly recognise the successes and hard work of one student a month, it is clear that so many of our students are working hard to make sure they have achieved their goals at the end of the school year.

 

I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. – Estee Lauder

 

 

One of my favourite  scientists, Charles Darwin is quoted as saying

 

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’

 

 

For me, I think this is a powerful thought. Okay, so he was talking about species becoming adaptive to their environments in order to survive. However, it can be applied to anything in life. For example, if you don’t get a great score in a test or a mock exam, what are you going to change about your preparations to ensure you do better next time?

 

This is emphasised by a quote from Winston Churchill,

 

Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

 

 

So if you get knocked down, or you experience a set back, you will only see success if you pick yourself up and try again. Learn from your mistakes, don’t dwell on them!

 

So, what are you going to do to make a success of your goals? I leave you with this final quote,

 

A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. – Colin Powell

 

Who is December’s Student of the Month?

It’s time to celebrate another student of the month here at Spark Academy. Our holidays mean that our lessons end this week – but that doesn’t mean that our student of the month is any less deserving.

As you know we’ve already nominated two students to celebrate: Neha Patni and Shreya Kumari. You can read all about their nominations by following the links.

 

What should we know about December’s student of the month?

 

This month we are celebrating a student from our Oadby site – for the first time this year! Once again we have chosen this particular student because he (yep, another first for this year!) has been nominated by more than one teacher.

In fact, this particular student had nominations from three different teachers. We have to say we were very impressed by all of the wonderful things everyone had to say.

We’d like to offer a huge congratulations to Adnan Ahmad, December’s Student of the Month!

 

Tell us more about Adnan!

 

Adnan is a Year 10 student at our Oadby site, attending Spark for English, Maths and Science. His nominations all came from English and Maths. Adnan’s Friday night class is in the unique position of being partially shared by both English and both Maths teachers. Therefore, Adnan’s efforts and determination have been noticed by everyone.

Let’s have a look at some of the wonderful reasons the teachers gave for nominating Adnan!

 

Working 1-1 with Adnan, I have seen the huge progress he has been making since he first joined. He uses feedback to improve his work, and remains positive if ever he is unsure of a topic. He continuously strives to improve his work, and tries his hardest every week.

Adnan definitely deserves this award.

Charlotte, English.

  

Adnan always tries really hard in his Maths lessons. If he does not understand anything he always makes sure he asks for help and has a good understanding by the end of the lesson. He is polite to everyone and always says thank you for helping him.

Katherine, Maths.

 

Adnan is always very positive during his lessons. He is always fully focused and ready to learn each week. This shows that he always puts in 100% effort. His work ethic and determination to improve his English work is very admirable, and he has a positive impact on everyone in the class.

Rebecca, English

 

Congratulations Adnan! Keep up the good work!

Who is November’s Student of the Month?

Last month the teachers of Spark Academy decided to celebrate Neha Patni as their first student of the month. You can read all of the reasons why by looking back at her post!

For November, the team got together again to share their nominations. It was then that something very exciting happened… There was a name that came up again and again!

As you know, we teach English and Maths as a package. As teachers, we are aware that not everyone feels confident in both. We know that many students prefer one to the other. We strive to help our students develop a passion for both subjects. Our end goal is that they can excel and participate in both English and Maths. This month’s student of the month does exactly that!

 

Who is Student of the Month for November?

 

This month we celebrate another Belgrave student. She (yes she!) comes to Year 8 classes for English, Maths and Science. Her Science teacher Nic told us that this student’s name also came to her mind when she was thinking about her nominations. To be considered for Science as well just shows you how amazingly she has been performing since joining Spark.

We would like to offer a big congratulations to… Shreya Kumari!

 

So why Shreya?

 

Let’s have a look at some of the lovely things Shreya’s teachers Chris and Charlotte had to say about her and why they nominated her.

Charlotte told us:

 

I nominated Shreya as pupil of the month because of her meticulous hard work and her ongoing effort. Shreya consistently completes all of the tasks in her booklet to an excellent standard. She has superb presentation in her booklets and takes care to ensure her homework is completed every week. Shreya deserves this award as her progress in lessons has grown massively since she first joined, and now every lesson her hands are up and she is ready to learn.

 

Some of Shreya’s wonderfully detailed and beautifully presented work in English.

 

Chris says that:

 

I believe that Shreya deserves to be student of the month because she is always on time, always prepared and eager to learn. She also puts a lot of effort into her presentation, even with her “rough” working out for Maths! One of the things that I have noticed about Shreya, is that her confidence has grown substantially since her first lesson at Spark. She is now willing to talk and help others and can explain to other students how to do Maths problems. This is a totally different Shreya that arrived first at Spark. Even though Shreya has a little voice, she has a big heart along with her personality.

 

Keep it up Shreya – Well Done!

 

Surviving Sixth Form

As we approach the final weeks before Christmas, some of you will look back and feel your first term at Sixth Form hasn’t been plain sailing. We spoke to Mital to get some advice for Year 12s. If her advice is as good as her A-level classes, you know you’re in good hands!

Sixth form. Sure, in essence it’s just the same as school –studying subjects and gaining qualifications. But as you are probably aware by now, it is a whole different environment. Free periods, no uniform, independent study, less subjects, more freedom – sounds great, right? Yeah sure, it is for a while, but the procrastination between lessons has led to your workload piling up. Crying might seem like the only option… And you no longer get excited about wearing your own clothes. If only you could wear pyjamas rather than make an effort!

The difficulty of the modules, the amount of deadlines and lack of structure can be an overwhelming adjustment. However, there are ways to overcome the stress of sixth form:

Time Management

 

You might not have a student planner anymore but this does not mean you don’t need one. It will become crucial to record your lessons, deadlines, targets and to-do-lists.

With the glorious introduction of free lessons, it feels like you have won the lottery, but this free time is an opportunity for you to get lots of work and deadlines done within school hours so you are able to use your time at home to get a head-start on reviewing your lessons and making revision notes. Wait? What? Revision notes already? Yes, now is the time to make revision notes but it will bail you out later on. The depth of the GCSE subjects you took pales into comparison to A-Level courses and so it will become important to revise as you go along rather than leaving it to the last minute.

Organisation

 

Sixth form may mean that you no longer use exercise books in lessons. It’s really important that you have a system in place for keeping track or your notes. You might want to buy folders for each of your subjects. Have sections so you can divide your class notes, revision notes, homeworks and past papers.

Balance

 

Organisation, time management and proactivity – mega important. But also making sure you have a good work life balance is just as necessary. Don’t forget to hang out with your friends, for a much needed break Remember the importance of regular exercise and a balanced diet– these help maintain a healthy state of mind for working. There is a lot that needs to be done but don’t burn yourself out!

Sixth form can be a daunting and an overwhelming adjustment, but it takes time to master the level of independence and increasing difficulty and depth of the work. We’ve discussed how to make the transition easier but also remember that this change is preparing you well for university. University lacks a lot of structure, more free lessons, less discipline and less guidance. This is all a process of growing up and becoming independent characters and your sixth form college is providing the first steps in this transformation. So take the bull by the horns and take control of your sixth form learning experience.

The Spark: Top Sparkie’s Super Award Nomination

Tuesday is News-day and this edition of the Spark reports on another fantastic award nomination for Spark’s founder Mital Thanki.

Top Sparkie’s Super Award Nomination

Spark Academy’s owner and founder Mital Thanki has been nominated for Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year at the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017.

The Awards

 

The Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017 is a national business award. These awards have been running for five years and recently expanded to hosting ceremonies in five cities: Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and London.

The Awards

 

acknowledge[] the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain.

 

A regional award won by Mital Thanki

There are many categories, including Small Business Entrepreneur, Start-Up Entrepreneur and Young Entrepreneur of the Year among many others. A panel of experts choose the winner for each category from thousands of worthy applicants.

 

The Nomination

 

Mital has been nominated for Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year. This is a category that celebrates businesses that Natwest describes as

 

key mobilisers

 

due to the influence that these businesses can have on the industry they belong to. The Natwest Awards class a small business as one with fewer than fifty employees. The Awards also want to reward and celebrate those who dedicate their lives to the success of their business.

Another award received Mital and Spark Academy in 2017

Mital expertly manages Spark Academy’s ten employees. Furthermore, she oversees all areas of the company and is part of everything that Spark does. Her dedication to the company and its management is one of the reasons she has been nominated for this award. There are six nominees in total, which means that Mital has some fierce competition for the award.

 

Who are the other nominees?

 

The other nominees include: Adam Chapman, from Allvalves Online Limited; Amy Cunningham, from The Strings Club Limited; Emma Adams, from the Brit Pop Shop; Kasim Choudhary, from ThinkFest; and Matthew Innis, from Fitnniss. All of these nominees work incredibly hard since they have been able to build their businesses to be so successful.

These nominees come from a wide variety of small businesses. The Awards have over one thousand entries for each category, so it is clear that every nominee truly deserves to be in the running for this award. Moreover, it is infamously difficult to run a small business and each nominee is doing fantastic work.

A regional award won by Mital Thanki.

When are the Awards?

 

The Awards ceremony in Birmingham will take place on Thursday 16th November. Mital will be travelling there to enjoy the evening, as well as the nail-biting wait to discover whether she has won her category. In addition, the Spark Academy team will be waiting anxiously to hear the news all evening.

Mital said

I feel honoured to be a shortlist amongst so many brilliant entrepreneurs. I wish everyone the best for the night!

 

Who is Spark’s first Student of the Month?

Now we are all well a truly settled in to the Autumn term, we have decided to celebrate our first Student of the Month.

Why pick a Student of the Month?

 

All of our students work hard every week. As teachers, we are using Class Dojo to keep track of the fantastic work our students are doing in lessons. However, sometimes it’s nice to celebrate one student who has consistently performed and worked well in our lessons.

 

How did you choose?

 

It wasn’t easy! All of our teachers choose a student that they felt deserved to win Student of the Month and then we had to make a decision. Each teacher had a very good reason for the student they nominated, which made it hard to choose just one.

So… who is Student of the Month?

 

October’s Student of the Month is Neha Patni. Neha is a Year 9 student at the Belgrave site.

Neha was nominated by her English tutor, Rebecca, because of her unfailing positivity. She is always willing to put her mind to whatever task and whatever topic she is learning that week. Neha’s positive attitude is infectious and she is always able to lighten the mood of others in the class.

Neha (left) giving a speech with the rest of her group.

Neha’s English class has been studying Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing for the past few weeks. It is a complicated and sometimes challenging play, but Neha has put 100% effort into understanding it each week. Neha is willing to participate and discuss in every lesson. This makes her a fantastic addition to every English lesson!

Furthermore, in recent lessons Neha has always been the first to volunteer to read and roleplay. In plays with tricky plots, roleplay is a brilliant way to help the whole class understand. Neha’s passion and enthusiasm has helped everyone around her to understand Much Ado.

Next month we’ll take another vote, but for now…

Fantastic work Neha! Keep it up.

What is Class Dojo?

This week we’ve turned to our Primary and E-learning specialist Vikz to learn more about Class Dojo. We’re finding Class Dojo is fantastic during our lessons – hopefully you’ll all be just as impressed!

What is Class Dojo?

 

Class Dojo is a fun interactive way for you to earn points while enjoying your lessons at Spark. Class Dojo is an innovative way for teachers, pupils and parents to connect with each other over behaviour management while you go about your normal day to day learning.

 

How does it work?

 

At Spark you can earn many points many ways. The points that you collect and earn go into your class points and these can earn you Spark Goodies. Soon there will also be an elusive spot available as Student of the Month for those whose hard work can be seen from the points they’ve earned!

Every time you do something great at Spark you will be rewarded with either team points or individual points.

All the points at the end of the academic year will help to calculate awards and prizes for each year group and subject. When our amazing awards evening comes back around in July, students and parents will be able to reap the rewards of the fantastic contributions and hard work put in all year round.

Some of our classes have already made a fantastic start on their Dojo points!

How can I earn points?

 

There are lots of ways you can earn Dojo points in all of your subjects.

Some points apply across all subjects, such as being on task or working as a team. There are also subject specific points: in English you can earn 2 Dojo points for getting all your spellings correct every week, in Maths 2 Dojo points can be earned for explaining an answer during lesson time; and being safe in a science practical can also earn you 2 points. The more classes you take with us, the more points you can earn.

A surefire to earn Dojo points is to always bring your homework in and try your best every week. Furthermore,one of the wonderful things about Class Dojo is that it allows teachers to reward everyone for their own individual contributions and hard work.

 

What can I earn with all my points?

 

Dojo points will be tallied up at the end of the year and you will unlock rewards. We will be announcing the rewards in the near future, so make sure you stay tuned to Spark Ideas to find out!

 

What is an Avatar?

 

An Avatar is a little creature that represents you in the world of Class Dojo. This creature can be any creature that available at the time. You will soon have over 70 characters to choose from and there are more being added all of the time!

Happy ‘Dojo-ing’!