Celebrating Pupil Progress

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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!

Teacher Talk: Creativity and Perfecting Poetry

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English at Spark Academy is nothing if not varied: from persuasion to poetry, and comprehension to creative writing. You only need to see our previous Teacher Talk posts to see that – you can read all about our work on political speeches and information retrieval by looking back through Spark Ideas. At the moment our Year 6 students are beginning their SATs preparation in earnest. This year is very important for them. This is why we have already started practising their reading and SPaG skills – but we also know there’s more to English than comprehension and grammar!

 

Why poetry?

 

That’s why we like to sprinkle some creativity in with our SATs preparation. Earlier this term, the Year 6 classes at both Oadby and Belgrave spent some time working on poetry. They learnt to create similes and metaphors. The classes also looked at more complex literary techniques: personification and hyperbole are two such techniques. These are all techniques that the students will be identifying and analysing all the way up to their GCSEs.

We looked at lots of different types of poetry, from acrostic poems to traditional poetic forms. Here are some examples of poems our amazing Year 6s wrote themselves!

 

An Acrostic Poem about Ice Cream

 

Ice cream, ice cream

Cookies and cream.

English toffee…

Chocolate chip and

Rocky Road.

Even strawberry or

Almond chocolate… but

Most certainly vanilla!

Ria J.

If anything could make us want to eat ice cream in December, it’s Ria’s clever poem.

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The Vaccum

 

The vacuum sleeps in a dark store

Waiting to be picked up and roar.

You can give him anything to eat

When you press the button, it looks for meat.

It’s long giraffe neck

Is like a bird ready to peck –

It zooms around really fast

and when seen it looks very vast.

It always listens to me

(Not buzzing like a bumble bee).

It keeps things nice and clean.

He is always mighty and always mean.

R.

Amazing use of personification, similes and metaphors!

 

 

The Sea

 

The calm sea with no people around.

The violent sea when the wind blows all around.

The beautiful sea when the sun comes out.

The sea crashes against the rocks just like

thunder and lightning at night.

The sea is very warm when I jump in,

just like a warm coat on a frosty night.

Today the sea is quiet with no one in sight.

The sun shines on the sea when it’s bright.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to the sea…

For it’s time to catch our flight!

Kayaan V.

What beautiful imagery of the sea, all built up through similes and metaphors!

 

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My Monster

 

We didn’t only write poetry in our lessons – some of our students also wanted to perform their poetry. Here is Ayman reading his monster poem on Halloween:

 

 

What do you think of the poems our Year 6s wrote? If you or your children have poems you’d like to share with us, we’d love to read them!

Who is November’s Student of the Month?

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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.

 

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

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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!

 

Who was November’s Top Sparkie?

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As you know, at Spark we like to celebrate one member of staff each month for going above and beyond to help the whole team. This month’s Top Sparkie is no different…

 

Why did we vote for this month’s Top Sparkie?

 

Before we reveal who this month’s winner was… Let’s have a look at some of the lovely things the rest of the team had to say.

 

helpful, patient and kind

 

helpful and always cheers everyone up by making us smile

 

This month’s employee of the month is valued for lots of reasons. These reasons aren’t just for the work they do but for the contribution they make to the morale and motivation of the whole Spark team.

 

But who actually won?

 

This month’s winner came from Spark’s admin department. She:

 

truly is the Chief Happiness Officer!

 

and one of the other reasons given for nominated her was for her

 

always being positive and working longer than necessary in the evening

 

This staff member works hard every day to help parents and students with any questions they have. This month has been no exception, even though the admin department has had a lot of changes. Most of you know that this month Spark welcomed Barbara to the team. Our Top Sparkie has worked through

 

lots of admin changes this month and she has worked hard to keep everything running smoothly

 

And the winner is…

 

The Spark team nominated our fantastic admin assistant Nidhi Rana as our Employee of the Month for October! Her continuous devotion to her role and hard work has not gone unnoticed. Nidhi is one of the keystones of Spark, holding lots of pieces in place to keep the whole business running successfully. And she does it all with a smile and a positive attitude!

 

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Keep up the good work Nidhi!

 

 

Student Spotlight: Fatima Sheikh

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Spotlight On…

Now we’re a little ways into our Autumn term, we thought we’d look up a few more of our Alumni. So many of our past students have done so well for themselves that it’s a tough decision to work out who to feature in our Spotlight Posts next!

This week we decided to catch up with Fatima Sheikh to learn all about her journey since leaving Spark…

 

What subjects did you study at Spark?

 

I studied Biology and Chemistry A-level with Spark Academy.

Why did you choose to study here?

 

A close friend highly recommended Spark to me. From studying with her and realising how much she benefited from this tuition, I decided to give it a try.

 

What was your favourite part of studying with us?

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Spark but I think my favourite part was the atmosphere in every lesson. As Mital was always super friendly and supportive, I never felt shy to ask for help when I needed it. I am someone who doesn’t always feel confident, so this helped me immensely. This is because Mital always made sure that every student understood what she taught. She made everyone feel comfortable in the classroom.

 

What are you doing now?

 

With the grace of God, I have been accepted into The University of Leicester to study Medicine.

 

Do you feel like Spark helped you to achieve what you wanted to achieve?

 

Without Spark I don’t think I would have been able to achieve the results I got. The way Mital explained how to tackle difficult questions, and the immense about of practice she made us do, I don’t think I would have been able to understand, or answer the questions as well without her little tips and tricks, especially in Chemistry.

 

What advice would you give students currently at Spark?

 

To all the current Sparkies, keep working hard, you can do this! Remember it’s the effort you put in throughout the year that will help you beyond measure. It will also reduce the stress when it comes to exam time. If you keep going, you can all do this ❤️

To find out more about how Spark can help you, book in for your free trial today!

Student Thought: Different and Varied Learning

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This week’s Student Thoughts are from members of the Oadby Year 5 class. Their ideas and comments help us to shape our lessons and develop the way we teach Maths and English.

 

What do you like about Spark?

 

We always ask our students what they enjoy about lessons at Spark Academy. Without student enjoyment, Spark would be the same as all other tuition providers.

Rohan Upple told us that his favourite part of both Maths and English is

 

that it is fun

 

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Rohan (right) and fellow student Ariyan (left) working together.

 

At Spark, we strongly believe that making our lessons fun is key to helping our students learn. This is especially important as we are very aware that our students have spent all day learning, so by ensuring our lessons are enjoyable we can help our students stay focused.

Another student, Amelia Suleman, told us that

 

I enjoy learning different things in maths such as percentages. I enjoy learning different things in English such as spellings and comprehension.

 

The varied nature of our lessons and our coverage of the whole curriculum means that every week at Spark is different. This is obviously something our students also enjoy!

 

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Amelia working hard to create sentences using the progressive tense.

Why did you choose Spark?

 

Amelia told us that she

 

looked at Kumon before Spark and I picked Spark because they follow the school curriculum

 

We strongly feel that following the national curriculum is the best way to support our students at school. It is clear that our students feel the same way!

Student Thoughts: Organise; Revise; Survive!

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As you know, at Spark we are always looking for ways to share the successes of our students. What better way is there to do that than to ask our students to write about their successes themselves? This week’s Student Thoughts post with advise on how to organise and revise in Year 11 comes to you from one of our AS Level students. 

Hi, my name is Kiran and I am currently studying AS Chemistry and Biology at Spark Academy. I have been a part of the tuition centre since Year 8. I truly feel that Spark has not only helped me with my school work but has also allowed me to develop as a person and provided me with support throughout the years.

 

What I like most about Spark:

 

One of my favourite things about Spark Academy has to be the teachers. Their enthusiasm towards teaching their subjects is amazing; you can see and feel the passion that they have which encourages you to stretch your potential and work hard. Every lesson is unique and enjoyable which makes you look forward to next week.

 

Getting the balance right

 

I am here to talk to you about how I revised for my GCSEs and how I balanced my studies with extra-curricular activities. Over the course of a few blog posts I will be sharing ideas that I used to help me revise as well as manage my time!

If I had to narrow the key points down they would be:

 

Know What You Need to Do and When Your Deadlines Are

 

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Whether this is having a to-do list on post it notes or a diary that you check regularly, having work written down will prevent you from forgetting to do it. For example each piece of work I have I write on individual post its and stick them on my study wall so I remember. This can be used for reminding you about homework you need to be do or when and what to revise for an exam.

 

Stay Organised

 

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Try to have each subject’s notes or books kept separately instead of all mixed up. When it comes to revision you need to know where everything is and not waste time looking for your notes! You could use plastic wallets or folders with dividers to organise yourself.

 

Look After Yourself!

 

Make sure you have regular breaks. Revision in large chunks is not effective. For example, I used to revise for 30 minutes followed by a 5 minute break or even 45 minutes of work with 10 minute breaks. Whatever suits you best! Also don’t forget to leave time for you to relax and do things that you enjoy.

See you next time where I will talk about revision techniques that I use! Remember – if you organise, you can revise and you will survive your GCSEs!

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Student Thought: ‘Great Experiences with Spark’ A-Level

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science 1 - Spark Academy  We value all of our students and we love to know what they think about us. For this Student Thought post, we spoke to some of our A-Level Biology students.

Of course, at Spark most of our A-level students study more than one subject with us! Shivam Jiven studies Biology and Chemistry, and Bhupinder Walia studies Biology, Chemistry and Maths. It’s great to see how manybio dna - Spark Academy of our A-level students choose to come to use across our range of A-level subjects.

We asked our A-level students what they most enjoyed about Spark…

 

The style of teaching – how’s its broken down into parts with teaching and past paper questions

Shivam Jiven

We know how important exam practice and learning to tackle exam questions is for our A-level students. It’s great to see they appreciate the effort our teachers put in to balance their lessons between learning and exam practice!

The teachers are supportive and the work extends past school work

Bhupinder Walia

Studying a topic at Spark before looking at it in college can often give our students a big boost of confidence. They have their basis for the topic before the rest of their class and can work to further their understanding.

What did they have to say about teaching during lessons?

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The teaching is clear, well detailed and allows for a fun experience instead of us being confused. The teachers are nice and extremely friendly which makes asking questions fine.

Shivam

Our Biology specialist Gemma is always happy to create an environment where students feel they can question their teachers – it all goes towards our greater understanding.

You get a greater understanding and the teachers help identify strengths and weaknesses so you know where to improve.

Bhupinder

Being able to assess your own strengths and weaknesses is incredibly important at A-level. When you are freer than ever before to direct your own learning, it’s important to be able to pick out what you really need to work on. Mital, Gemma and Chris are very happy to find they’re supporting their A-level students in this self-assessment!

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Anything else to add?

 

Keep up the good teaching!

Shivam

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Thanks Shivam! Your participation and willingness to learn is just as important when it comes to our successful lessons.

 

Student Spotlight: Mirunalini Suthan

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Spotlight On…

It’s time for another Spotlight post! This week we’ve been catching up with another of Mital’s former students, Mirunalini Suthan to see how she’s been doing.spark academy tuition e1506086893524 - Spark Academy

 

 

 

What subjects did you study when you were here?

 

I studied Chemistry A-level at Spark.

Why did you choose to study with Spark instead of anywhere else?

 

The centre was recommended by a family friend to us. Spark was also the only tuition centre which offered chemistry for A-level pupils from the many others I looked up.

What did you enjoy most while you were attending your tuition lessons?

 

I attended taster sessions there and really liked the environment and teaching style. The environment was friendly and comfortable which allowed to ask as many questions and I needed to until I fully understood the topic. I also liked the fact that we were given booklets that were specific to each topic with questions in them so that we could practise them. This was very useful as it helped to not become intimidated by the questions and style of questions.

What are you doing now?

 

I have been accepted by the University of Hull to study the course I wanted (Geology with Physical Geography (Bsc) )

Do you feel like Spark helped you to achieve what you wanted to achieve?

 

Spark was very helpful as going there gave me the drive and motivation to keep pushing myself to do even better than I did before. I gained a lot of knowledge and skills in terms of answering questions. My level of confidence and attitude towards answering questions has change and improved significantly. Now I’m not intimidated by harder questions or afraid to answer them. I am also proud to say that I am no longer embarrassed when not knowing the correct answer to a question or asking for extra help. This is a big achievement for me as that feeling of embarrassment has been a very large hurdle for me to pass for these past few years, it was something I’ve never thought I could do.

What advice would you give students currently at Spark?

 

The only piece of advice I would give to current students is that they should give 100% of their effort when learning and to never ever feel embarrassed to ask for extra help. Asking for extra help does not make you less intelligent than others in your class. It will all be worth it and it will definitely help you in the long run.

To find out how Spark could help you too,  book your free trial today!

Student Thought: ‘Challenging but fun’

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Student Thoughts is a new feature for us at Spark Ideas. At Spark, we always value what our students think of us and this seemed like a good place to let their opinions shine!

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This week we spoke to one of our Year 9 groups to see what they think of Spark. These are a group of English and Maths students from the Oadby site. They had a lot of nice things to say!

 

What do you enjoy about learning at Spark Academy?

 

 I enjoy working with the people I get along with.

Anaya

The work is challenging but fun and you easily get on with the other people in your group.

K*

Group work is a staple in a lot of our English lessons at Spark. It’s fantastic to hear that students are not just benefiting from this, but building friendships to enjoy working with their classmates.

 

That teachers give you extra help and are by your side to help you exceed your best. And you have more attention from teachers.

Rhea

 

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It’s brilliant to hear that our efforts aren’t going to waste – our small classes really do help the students succeed!

 

Did you look at other tuition services before Spark? If so, why did you pick Spark Academy?

 

Most of the students said they hadn’t looked anywhere else – for Aman and Rhea, Spark has been their first and only tuition provider. As Dhruv says:

This is really good!

 

I also found out lots of students have come to us through recommendations:

My cousins recommended this tuition and I had a free trial lesson which I loved. I have been coming here now for 3 years.

Rhea

 

My friend recommended it.

Aman

Those students who had tried elsewhere before Spark were definitely happy to be here now:

 

[I did go to another provider] but they weren’t as good because this [is] more modern and I really enjoy it.

K*

 

I didn’t learn anything at my other tuition.

Anaya

I think we’re all glad to hear you’re learning a lot more with us, Anaya!

 

Anything else to add?

 

Tuition has helped me massively and has made my grades higher, especially in Maths. Tuition has made me gain a lot of confidence.

Rhea

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It was wonderful to hear all of the lovely things our Year 9 class had to say, especially as many of the students have been with us for a few years now. We hope that you continue to enjoy and learn with us!

Want to know more about the work our students have been doing? Look here to find out!

Interested in experiencing Spark like our amazing Year 9s? Book your free trial today!

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