Spencer Spotlight – December 2021

A Message from our CEO

Welcome to our latest Spencer Academies Trust newsletter. We are very pleased to be able to share with you an end of term round-up of some of the amazing and exciting events that have taken place across our family of schools this term.

My thanks to our staff, parents’ governors and of course our children and students, that have been so busy, creative and successful this term, we really appreciate everything that you all do and celebrate your achievements.

Enjoy this edition, and wishing you a peaceful and restful break when the holidays arrive, I hope you’ll be able to spend valuable time and create memories with family and loved ones.

With my best wishes,



SAT News

Castleward Spencer Academy

This term we saw Castleward Spencer Academy open its doors for the first time. The primary academy is based in the heart of Derby City Centre and will be central to the regeneration site within the Castleward area.

Millside Spencer Academy

We are delighted to have been selected from a competitive process by Nottinghamshire County Council to open a brand-new primary school located at East Leake. Our teams are currently working to open Millside Spencer Academy in September 2022.

Angela O’Brien receives her OBE

Our Director of Primary Education, Angela O’Brien OBE, officially received her medal at Windsor Castle for her contribution to Education. Prince Charles gave out this honour, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. SAT CEO, Paul West acknowledged what a fantastic achievement it is, ‘on behalf of the entire Trust, sincere congratulations to Angela, as she receives her very deserved honour.’

SAT Trust Choir

In November, six of our primary academies came together under the SAT Trust Choir umbrella and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in Nottingham as part of the Music for Everyone performance. Students from Chetwynd Spencer Academy, Fairfield Spencer Academy, Portland Spencer Academy, Sunnyside Spencer Academy, Glenbrook Spencer Academy and Rosecliffe Spencer Academy put on a special musical evening. Well done to all involved!

Remembrance Day

Many of our academies marked Remembrance Day with special events and activities. It was great to see so many creative ideas from both our primary and secondary academies, from handmade poppy reeves to award-winning displays.

Children in Need

Well done to all of the academies who put on their Pudsey ears, spotted outfits and pyjamas in aid of Children in Need. It was great to see so many of you getting involved and raising money across the trust.

Anti-Bullying Week

We loved seeing your odd socks and anti-bullying week content across the trust. The one kind word campaign for anti-bullying week ran from the 15th -19th November. A collection of kind words and images were shown across the trust, well done!

10-Year Anniversary

Glenbrook Spencer Academy has been the first to acknowledge SAT’s 10-year anniversary with a special cake design competition. The winning cake design was by Tia, with Elcie-Jae and Ruby presenting the instructions. The very talented Mrs Smith turned their designs into an actual cake and they presented it together to our CEO earlier in the term.

Estates & Services Highlights


SAT now operate catering at more schools with Brackensdale Spencer Academy, St Giles Spencer Academy and Derby Moor Spencer Academy. The introduction of the Relish system in catering now allows pupils to order meals via tablet in the morning – this is currently being trialled with the intention to roll out to all primary schools. John Port Spencer Academy and George Spencer Academy have both had fully refurbished 6th form kitchens.

Health & Safety

We have had a busy year due to CV19 giving support on risk assessments and building a portfolio of Risk assessment templates that can be tailored by the schools. We have offered constant support on all other Health and Safety issues and have also introduced long working devices for site teams.

Facilities & Projects

We have had one of the busiest years on projects, taking on a variety of work including external play equipment at 9 sites and canopies were erected at 10 academies. Major building works are being carried out at John Port Spencer Academy and Rushcliffe Spencer Academy as part of section 106 contributions.

Brackensdale Spencer Academy is also being refurbished. We have completed lighting replacements for LED, re-roof over 0% and currently replacing 63 windows – next year this will have all electrical & heating updated. Add to this refurbishment such as science labs, sports halls, bleacher seating, powered gates, 6th form kitchens, security gates/fencing, painting galore and over 65 toilets updated.


Secondary Snapshot

Farnborough Spencer Academy

Since the appointment of the new Principal, Farnborough Spencer has continued to move forward, building on the work of the first three years in the trust. A new ethos has been designed, in partnership with the Academy community, under the banner “We Are Proud”. The central aim of this is engendering a sense of pride and worth in being part of the Farnborough Spencer community. Students and staff alike have discussed how this will work day today and have come up with a set of pledges which sum up what they stand for.

This sense of pride and community has been seen since returning in September. The Academy’s “Be Proud” extracurricular programme, now reaches over 40% of the Academy’s students and includes provision both before and after school in a range of different activities from the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme to the Harry Potter-themed Wizards and Muggles club and the thriving LGBTQ+ group. The Academy has also enjoyed a range of trips and visits this term. Students have had the opportunity to complete photography projects in rural Derbyshire and experience the magic of the theatre at Curve in Leicester.

None of this would be possible without the hardworking staff team at Farnborough. Farnborough is oversubscribed this year in most year groups, and applications for 2022 are considerably ahead of the same point last year. The Academy is looking forward to continued progression in the new year.


A Note from Fraser

Fraser Mitchell, SAT Director of Secondary Education said, “I’m so proud of all eight of the secondaries in our Trust. Every single Spencer Academy has worked hard to deliver all the experiences our children deserve and missed so much earlier in the pandemic. It’s not just been about great teaching and learning, but also about reigniting extra-curricular and enrichments opportunities for all our pupils.

“It’s been great to see young people back fully involved – whether in or out of the classroom. I want to extend my sincere thanks and Christmas Wishes to every Spencer student, parent and staff member – have a great break everyone. We will see you gain in the new year.”


Primary Focus

Castleward Spencer Plant a tree for the Queen’s Jubilee

In October, the HM Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Mayor of Derby and students from Castleward Spencer Academy planted one of 70 School Celebration Trees as part of the Queens Green Canopy initiative during a tree-planting ceremony at Castleward Spencer Academy.

The UK-wide tree planting project is aimed at creating a lasting legacy in honour of The Queen’s lifetime of service to the Nation. 2022 will be the year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a celebration and thanksgiving for her 70 years on the throne.

Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy raise money for a defibrillator

Well done to Chellaston Fields Spencer Academy who have raised over £1,300 for a defibrillator to be installed at the school site. A special mention to Sean Hedley. Sean (who is a parent at the school) lead the campaign with his ‘100 mile run in 20 days’. Well done to the children and staff who also supported with raffles, cake sales and sponsored run – a real team effort!

Star Baker

We would like to give a special shout out to Chetwynd Spencer Academy’s catering team. They have created a starfish biscuit that is given to new starters at the Academy, to welcome them to the Spencer community.


A few words from Angela

SAT Director of Primary Education, Angela O’Brien OBE “The Spencer primary schools have all worked incredibly hard this term to ensure that all the pupils have settled into positive ways of working in their learning and relationships. It has been so nice to see the many examples of rich curriculum experiences and a return to quality first teaching.

“The focus for us as a team has been on mobilising powerful knowledge, not only in the classrooms, but across the schools too. The cluster model we have adopted is developing really well and has opened up more opportunities to work collaboratively to raise standards and share best practice. We also are looking forward to our next Primary INSET in February where we will be giving the spotlight to the classroom leaders to share their practice and all come online together.

“Regardless of the barriers and challenges, the leaders and teachers rise to it all and it has been a pleasure to work alongside them.”

The team would like to share a big thank you to all staff and schools for supporting any of our strands of work, from the GSA SCITT and the Spencer TSH, to the Maths Hub, Research School and Spencer Apprenticeships. We value your support and being able to work in partnership with you. Find below our most recent bulletins, newsletters and other opportunities with the SALT teams on quick links below. Merry Christmas from us all!


Vacancies & Events


For the latest vacancies across our academies and trust please visit: Spencer Academies Trust Careers


Upcoming Events

Events to acknowledge in the upcoming term:

  • Term start day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Burns Night
  • Chinese New Year
  • Safer Internet Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Charles Darwin Day