Barnes Wallis Newsletter 20th October 2023

Message from the Executive Principal, Alastair O'Connor

It has been an amazing start to this new academic year, and as we reach the end of our first half term I wanted to share some messages with you.

On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team I would like to welcome our new Year 7 students and parents to Barnes Wallis. Our Year 7 Welcome Evening took place earlier this month and parents are really happy with the way their children have settled in.

Our Year 11's have started the year with a very positive attitude. Attendance at our GCSE booster sessions has been very good.

Barnes Wallis Open Evening

Our recent Open Evening for Year 6 students went extremely well with over 300 visitors on site

Mr O'Connor and Miss Dunsford gave a presentation to parents and the visitors were taken on a tour of all the faculty areas of the Academy.

The deadline for applications to secondary school is 31st October 2023. We were oversubscribed last year so parents are encouraged to apply on time.

Thank you to all the staff and students who supported on the evening.

We would like to thank students, parents/carers and our bus companies, who have ensured that we have met the government published guidance on the length of the school week. The guidance confirms that all state-funded mainstream schools are expected to deliver a school week of at least 32.5 hours. We are delighted with the range of GCSE booster classes that we have been able to schedule and in our wide range of enrichment opportunities.

Students have started to develop some very good habits and routines around independent work and homework . Barnes Wallis is currently at the top of the leader board across all DRET schools in the completion rates of SENECA learning. We would like to thank parents/carers for encouraging their child to complete homework tasks on time.

We were delighted to celebrate with our students and families on results day 2023. Students achieved the Academies best ever set of results in the history of the school, with students securing amazing destinations. We wish our 2023 cohort all the best of luck in their next steps.

DRET Winter Cup - Thursday 12th October 2023

Oh, what a day! Congratulations to all students that competed in the DRET winter cup representing Barnes Wallis Academy.

The Girls won the Winter Shield and the Boys came joint 2nd in the football shield. We finished 2nd overall. Only 2 points behind first place.

RAF Coningsby Youth Club helps children cope with military life

At Barnes Wallis we are delighted to have many forces children attend the Academy. This week it was wonderful to see Emily Bradbury, Samantha Goodchild, Fynn Chivers and Millie Courtney feature on this weeks BBC look North program.

All students attend a youth club run by a Lincolnshire RAF base that help children cope with the pressures of life in a military family.

Airplay, near RAF Coningsby, is one of many across the country supporting the children of parents on active service. The club is funded by the RAF Benevolent Fund and offers activities for children aged five to 18. For more information please contact the School.

At Barnes Wallis we have introduced Attendance Reward Challenges this year. Challenges are against tutor groups, year groups and houses. Rewards are given for best attendance, best attendance on spot days and 100% attendance.

The Government has set a target of 95% attendance for all students. Currently Barnes Wallis whole school attendance stands at 90% so let’s see if we can achieve over 95%.

The school opens at 8.22 am and starts at 8.30 am promptly when the gate is closed. Please make sure your child arrives to school on time as lateness can have big effect on learning and missed lesson.

As we come into the winter session it is important to still maintain high attendance, please see below information.

High attendance gains better GCSE results. The more you are in school the more you achieve. We want all our students to achieve high grades at GCSE.

Please feel free to contact Miss Dunsford, for any advice or support to improve your child’s attendance.


Live streaming has become popular on many forms of social media platforms as such as Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube etc. If the live stream is open to the public viewers may be able to leave offensive, inappropriate, or negative comments. If a young person is watching a live stream, they could be exposed to inappropriate content including sexual or violent content. There can potentially be hundreds to thousands of people watching a live stream who might be looking to exploit young children. In order to do this, they trick them into engaging into sexual activity, provide them with gifts or even make threats of violence if they do not do things, they want them to do

If you’re worried that your child is being groomed online or sexually exploited, you should call 101. If you feel that your child is in immediate danger, please call 999.

Social media sites have a set of rules to follow which is known as ‘Terms of use’, which they expect users to follow on their time using that social media platform. The majority of social media sites have the option to report harmful content.

The Year 11 students this year are receiving an extensive support programme which is designed to support their learning, understanding and achievement in their GCSEs. These include:

Morning tutor sessions Tuesday-Friday dedicated to either English, Maths or Science preparation with students allocated to these groups based on their individual needs.

Monday after school English refresh with weekly poems re-visited

Wednesday enrichment period which has had a Science focus this term, and will rotate throughout the year to cover more subject areas.

After school interventions have been running all term with Science on Tuesday and Maths on Wednesday. In January, option subjects will also be added to this provision.

At Barnes Wallis we have introduced the 'New Group Reading Test' (NGRT) for year 7-9. This is a standardised assessment to measure students reading skills against the national average.

It is nothing for students to worry about. They will be expected to work through a variety of exercises to assess their knowledge of various parts of English.

The tasks will include sentence completion, passage comprehension and phonic exercises.

Using the computer students will work their way through the questions. They will need to make sure they read the questions carefully so that they understand what they are being asked to do.

Once completed, we will use this information to make sure we are supporting students in all lessons across the academy.

The results will also be sent home to your parents.


Child and Adolescent Mental health services (CAMHS) is a specialist service offering mental health assessment and intervention to young children who need additional support with their mental health.

If you believe your child needs additional support with their mental health, they can be referred by your GP, Social Worker, Educational Psychologist, Community Pediatrician or other Lincolnshire Partnership and NHS Trust staff. If your child requires urgent mental health support, please contact Central Access Point (CAP) at any time on 0800 800 3302.

Young Minds is a mental health charity for young children, young people and their parents to ensure that all young people get the mental health support they need.

Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous mental wellbeing support. When using Kooth you can chat to the team, read helpful articles, have community support and access self-help activities.

Shout is a 24/7, confidential and free text service from most mobile networks in the UK. To access shout, all you need to do is text 'SHOUT' to 85258.

Dates for the Diary

  • 17th October - Flu Vaccinations
  • 20th October- Reward assemblies
  • 24th October- All star training day
  • 1st November- Rovember starts
  • 10th November- Rugby development day
  • 13th November- Year 11 Mock exams start
  • 15th November- JET Year 8 and 10
  • 22nd November- JET Year 8 and 10
  • 7th December- DRET rowing Cup
  • 8th December- JET Year 8
  • 13th December- Santa Fun Run