Posted on: April 24, 2020
Welcome back to the start of possibly the strangest summer term any of us has ever experienced.
Much has been happening over the last few weeks in the academy and I wanted to take this opportunity to update you.
A massive thank you to all parents for your help in keeping students engaged in learning at home. In total 95% of students accessed learning either online or using paper copies of work that we have sent home. Well over half of all students are regularly completing work and engaging with staff for all their lessons. This is much better than the national picture as reported in some newspapers. I know how hard this situation can be with two children of my own, so I really appreciate your efforts in this regard. It will have a massive impact on ensuring that our students don’t fall behind!
The academy was open over the Easter holidays to provide childcare for key workers. Many thanks to the Bee Active staff for their help in supervision duties and organising activities. The academy also continued its Free School Meal delivery service over Easter and we have now been able to source breakfast items as well. These have been and will continue to be delivered along with the lunch bags for as long as we possibly can. Additionally, the Free School Meal voucher system is now up and running and should provide further support to the community.
Year 11 are still very much part of the academy. We have now collated a list of all the subjects that all Year 11 students were intending to start in Year 12. We have received the specifications for all the different courses involved and we are beginning to set up online Google Classrooms for our staff to start helping Year 11 students prepare for September. The main colleges are beginning to put work and resources on their websites and we have asked them for that information. Mr Smart has also emailed the year group and signposted them to a wide range of resources that can help them prepare for next year which can be found here – http://www.ormistonsirstanleymatthewsacademy.co.uk/y11-working-from-home/
In light of recent messages from the Government that social distancing is likely to remain in place for many months to come does cast some doubt over whether we can still hold a Year 11 Prom in early September as we had provisionally booked. If this becomes impossible at that time then we will rearrange a later date. We will have a prom!
We will be sending out a survey for both parents and students to complete next week. We would like to know how you are doing and what we can do better to try and support you over these difficult days. I would be grateful if you could please fill it in.
There has been a lot of speculation in the newspapers about when schools are going to reopen. In all honesty, we have no idea! What we are doing is planning how we reopen safely whenever we are given the go-ahead to do so. The Government will no doubt issue some guidance on this in due course but it is important for all in our community to understand that when schools do reopen they will have to find ways of following social distancing. This means that they will have to be organised very differently. We are currently looking at what that might look like at OSSMA.
Please keep in touch with the academy through the surveys, website or Facebook. If there are any questions that you would like us to try and answer, please get in contact and we will do our best to help.
Take care and stay safe
Head of School