Letter to Parents

14th Feb 2018

Letter to Parents

Friday 9th February 2018

Dear Parent/Carer


This week, eighteen of our Year 11 students graduated with either a bronze or silver Industrial Cadets Award. Working in partnership with Work Discovery Sunderland, students were able to take part in various careers related activities, including employment sector days, visits and challenges. Students who completed 20 hours of activity achieved the bronze award and students who evidenced 30 hours were awarded the silver. This year, Red House Academy are the only school in Sunderland to have students achieving this prestigious award through Work Discovery Sunderland.

Many career-related activities are planned next half-term including:

  • Year 7 and 8 'Careers Speed Dating' day working in partnership with NBS and Business in the Community.
  • Year 8 'Business and Enterprise Certificate' working in partnership with the Foundation of Light.
  • Year 8 and 9 'STEM Challenge' day at the University of Sunderland.
  • Year 9 ESH 'Building My Skills' programme - Business Contact Session 4.
  • Year 9 STEM 'Mentoring Project'.
  • Year 9 and 10 'Raising Aspiration' visit to the University of Sunderland (Paramedic Team).
  • Year 11 one-to-one careers guidance meetings.


We have seen a significant increase in attendance this half term and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting us. It is statistically proven that students attain better grades when they are in school 95% of the time or more. Many parents have now been into the academy to discuss attendance and plans for individual students are in place to ensure a rapid increase in attendance. If your child's attendance is below the required mark of 95% we will be inviting you into the academy to discuss this. Students have received certificates and prizes this half term for their outstanding attendance; however, we would like to do more of this. Students who have low attendance at school are shown to be statistically more likely to under achieve in exams and other assessments within the academy, which will be detrimental to future life chances. Attendance in school is imperative, not only for academic achievement but also for social development. Red House Academy is committed to ensuring that students and parents understand the absolute importance of high attendance. We are keen to work with parents and offer any support that we can.

Key Skill Development

Each half-term sees the whole Academy tackle a key area of Literacy or Numeracy, teaching and reinforcing it right across the curriculum to ensure that we all become experts in it. This half-term was the turn of 'Best Buys', in which we worked out which products were the best value for money; next half-term will be focused around 'Imagery', in which we will all look at how writer's use language to create pictures in the minds of their readers. Your support from home is, as always, invaluable so please do make these topics part of your normal daily conversations. For example, you might ask your child to work out which bag of apples is the best value in the supermarket, or talk to them about what effect a particular simile in their reading book creates.

Reading books will become a vital part of daily equipment from next half-term. Every student in Years 7 and 8 has been issued with a reading book, which they should carry on their person at all times. They will soon be issued with a Reading Log, which will enable them to track the reading that they do at home, and we will need you to sign it every night to prove that they are reading for at least 20 minutes each day. Students in Years 9 and 10 have recently selected a reading book from Academy lists, and these books will be issued to them after the holidays. They too will be expected to have the reading book on them at all times, so that we can support them in their journey to become ever-more skilful readers

Sporting News

Red House was well represented for the Sunderland Schools Badminton tournament. Four year 10 students were selected to represent the 14-16 age group. Charlie Pattinson, Kevin Daymond, Matthew Liddle and Harry Knowles who are regulars of Mr Watson's Badminton club excelled during the tournament against a variety of schools. The competition was tough with many schools having county and club players from year 11, but our Red House students showed excellent determination throughout and outstanding team work in the doubles games to finish third on the day. Our students came away proud and highly motivated to come back next year for the overall win.


Starting 19th February, we will be introducing a more convenient way to pay for school meals, trips, after school clubs and much moreonline, using a secure service called ParentPay.

ParentPay will be live at school on 19th February; from this date, we will be working towards no longer accepting cash and cheque payments, making the school a cash-free environment.

ParentPay offers you the freedom to make payments whenever and wherever you like, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - safe in the knowledge that the technology used is of the highest internet security available.

You will have a secure online account, activated using a unique username and password; you will be prompted to change these, and to keep them safe and secure. If you have more than one child at our academy, or children at other ParentPay schools, you can create a single account login for all your children.

Making a payment is straightforward and ParentPay holds a payment history for you to view at a later date; no card details are stored in any part of the system. Once you have activated your account you can make online payments straight away.

You should have already received your unique ParentPay Account activation details w/c 5th February 2018, if not please contact the Academy.


From 12th March we will no longer be administering any non-prescription medication (e.g. aspirin or paracetamol). If you have given the academy any non-prescription medication for your child, we would ask that you collect it from the academy. Any non-prescription medication held at the academy will be disposed on 12th March 2018.

Medicines will only be administered at the academy when it would be detrimental to a child's health or academy attendance not to do so. Where clinically possible, medicines should be prescribed in dose frequencies that enable them to be taken outside the academy hours.

The school will only accept prescribed medicines that are in-date, labelled, provided in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist and include instructions for administration, dosage and storage. The exception to this is insulin which must still be in date, but will generally be available inside an insulin pen or a pump, rather than in its original container.

If you child will need to take prescribed medication please contact the Head of Year before 12th March to ensure you have completed the necessary forms so that we can administer the medication prescribed or indeed if you have any other concerns regarding this matter.

As the half term draws to a close I would like to thank you for continued support as we work in partnership to ensure that Red House students are the best that they can be. The academy reopens for students on Tuesday 20th February 2018.

Yours sincerely

Joan Kennedy