Oaks Bulletin 12.3.21

Dear Parent/carer,

We have really enjoyed welcoming all our students back into the academy after a period of self-isolation following the Christmas break, during which we have provided remote and live learning. Although we did see many of our students in our in-school provision over the last few months, we have missed the daily face to face contact in the academy with so many others, and we are delighted to see everybody back in school.

In terms of COVID testing we have completed 724 lateral flow tests and I am pleased to report that all have been recorded as negative so far. We have currently entered into the second phase of testing. Once the students have completed three tests in school, they will then complete subsequent tests at home. More information about this can be found in the Lateral Flow Testing Update below.

We are currently busy making arrangements to provide examination boards with evidence of Year 11 work to support they GCSE assessments. More information will be given to Year 11 parents, explaining the process and best way for students to prepare.

I do hope you enjoy reading this bulletin and in doing so gain a further insight into our academy.

Kind regards,
Peter Kingdom

Lateral Flow Testing Update

Who is in the Spotlight?

Teams Update

Desert Island Challenge

Modern Technology Meets History

Celebration

Lateral Flow Testing Update

As mentioned above this first week back has seen us implement our mass testing programme across the whole school.  The testing programme is working really well and seeing minimal disruption to students lessons.  As I write this bulletin I am pleased to say that 61% of students have now completed the first two tests and have behaved impeccably throughout.

Thus far we have not received any emails about a missing result so I hope that you are all very happy and are receiving the results promptly.  As mentioned in the Academy Update on 8.3.21 there can sometimes be a slight delay in results from NHS Test and Trace.  If your child’s result has not arrived by end of the following day, please send an email to aperrinaldous@theoaksacademy.co.uk and I will look into it.  Please let me re-assure you that in the event of a positive test we would make contact with you immediately.

As we enter the second week of testing, students are quickly approaching the completion of in-school testing.  Once students have completed all three tests they will transition to home testing and receive a supply of 6 tests.  The home testing kits come with full instructions and all the equipment needed to complete the tests.  During testing the students have also been learning how to complete these tests themselves.  We are confident that as they move to the third phase of Lateral Flow testing they will be able to complete the tests.  Please see the accompanying guidance from NHS to best support your child in completing the tests and registering their results.

All results of these tests need to be registered with NHS Test and Trace.  Full details of how to do this are contained within the booklet accompanying the tests.  We do not need you to communicate negative results with the academy but we absolutely must be made aware of any positive results so that we notify any close contacts who may also need to self isolate. If you do receive a positive result please contact aperrinaldous@theoaksacademy.co.uk as soon as possible so that we can take the appropriate action within school.

Individuals with a positive LFD home test result along with close contacts will need to self-isolate immediately in line with the stay-at-home guidance. Individuals need to report all test results, positive, negative or voids to NHS Test and Trace as soon as the test is complete, as set out in the test kit instructions and self-report gov.uk page. This will enable NHS Test and Trace to monitor the spread of the virus. They should also inform their educational setting of their result so the setting can identify close contacts, who will also need to self-isolate.  A confirmatory PCR test must be booked, then continue to isolate for 10 days if the PCR test result is positive. The individual should also inform their educational setting of the PCR result.  If the PCR test is negative, then the individual and their close contacts can stop isolating.

If you are sill yet to give your permission for lateral flow testing, it is not too late!  Please visit http://www.theoaksacademy.co.uk/lateral-flow-testing/to read the guidance and give your consent.

Earlier this week we received updated guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care which states that all households with secondary school children can access home testing kits.  If you would like to access home testing kits for your whole household they can be collected through the local testing site.  The nearest local testing site to the academy is on the Chester Street Carpark, CW1 2ER which is open between 1.30pm and 7pm (Monday to Sunday).  They can also be ordered online if you are unable to attend in person.  Please click the link below to read this updated guidance and see further information about collecting testing kits for your household https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff.

Spotlight on Creative Arts, Technology and PE Faculty

Welcome to the Creative Arts, Technology and PE Faculty. We pride ourselves in offering a rich, creative and inclusive curriculum. Our subjects enrich, inspire and challenge students through balancing a combination of academic, practical and creative engagement ensuring that students develop both the subject-specific knowledge and skills fundamental to success in our subjects. We have had a really positive year so far with our students demonstrating their effort, determination and resilience. We have worked with a determination to keep our live lessons as practical as possible to fully immerse students in our subjects. This approach has required us to adapt activities but has ensured that our students have continued developing their creativity, skills and ability to apply their knowledge through practical experience. I have been impressed with how students have embraced this opportunity and new approach to their learning.

Here are some examples from our lessons of what students have been working on.

Art

Students have been developing their creative skills in Art through looking at the work of artists and creating responses inspired by them to develop their skills. Year 7 have been working on portraits, Year 8 have been investigating food, Year 9 have focused on Africa, Year 10 have been working on architecture and Year 11 have been focusing on entertainment. Students have been encouraged to experiment with different media, as well as developing their drawing skills, to create interesting and varied responses and show their development of different skills, techniques and ideas within the project they are working on.

Drama

Students have been developing their knowledge of practical skills in Drama. Year 7 have been looking at Greek Theatre and physical theatre to change from one character to another using the technique of morphing. Year 8 have been working on Melodrama by exploring characters, conventions stereotypes and exaggeration. Year 9 have been looking at Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and how vocal expression, facial expression, gesture and posture are used. Year 10 have been looking at Blood Brothers to understand the storyline, characters and themes. Year 11 students have been working on monologues exploring vocal and physical expression.

Music

Through the incorporation of free instrument apps for piano, guitar and drums, students have focused on the continued development of their performance skills. In addition to developing these skills students have also been learning new knowledge and key words about how to work out the note names on the piano, the correct playing technique, relevant theoretical knowledge, the characteristics of particular styles of music such as pop, the Tango and the Samba and what makes a good performance. This has been covered in an interactive way through quizzes, discussions, listening activities and demonstrations.

Photography

Years 10 and 11 students have been using everyday objects to continue developing their photography skills and ideas. They have focused on the work of photographers who use everyday objects creatively such as Daroo who uses pencil crayons, Benedetto Demaio who uses stationery and sweets and Olivia Parker who creates collections of objects such as shells. They have used objects creatively using light and shadow to create effects. Students have also been using free photo editing apps such as Snapseed and Photopea to edit and experiment with their work and have taken part in quizzes, discussions and demonstrations.

Food Technology and Hospitality and Catering

Students have been looking at the considerations that go into preparing to cook different dishes such as methods of preparation, nutritional value, sensory characteristics, micro and macro nutrients and considerations such as the target market. Different year groups have focused on different dishes such as couscous salad, vegetable soup, shortcrust pastry and filo pastry. Year 10 have been looking at nutritional deficiencies and excess, methods of cooking, environmental factors and a time plan for two dishes. Year 11 have been preparing for their upcoming practical assessment looking at meeting customer needs, costing two dishes, time planning and other considerations as they prepare to cook their chosen menu.

PE and Sport Studies

In PE students have been encouraged to stay physically active and the importance of this for their health, fitness and wellbeing. They have been given several different activities to complete related to a range of different sports. They have also been encouraged to participate in one of the Joe Wicks workouts or Just Dance routines. In Years 10 and 11 the Sport Studies students have been continuing to work on their current units – Year 10 have been working on contemporary issues in sport and Year 11 have been working on leadership skills in sport and sport and the media.

Cultural Capital

To complement our curriculum, we strongly believe in our enrichment programme and how this can enhance and add real value to the educational experience of students. We have been keen to continue with this during this period of live learning and have set a range of cultural capital challenges for the subjects in our faculty that many students have chosen to participate in.

In January we launched a competition for a new photograph for our school postcard. There were lots of excellent entries for this and the winner, who was chosen anonymously, was Destinie Brown (Year 9). David Simcox in Year 11 was the runner up with some fantastic landscape and nature photographs.

Miss E Wright

Curriculum Team Leader of the Creative Arts, Technology and PE Faculty

Teams Update

After the success of using Microsoft Teams during Lockdown, and the extra benefits this provides our staff and students, we have decided to continue to use Microsoft Teams as a platform for the setting of homework. Staff will assign homework tasks with clear deadlines using the Assignments function, this will be prefixed with HHWK so you are able to see that this is a task to be completed out of lesson times. Using Teams allows for valuable dialogue between pupils and teachers, and also allows pupils to easily submit their task via this function to save them having to remember to bring it in to school! Some more practical task will require in class submission, but this will be made clear by staff when setting the task.
 
While we are transitioning from Show My Homework staff will continue to set the work in both places, however after the Easter holidays this will be on Teams only.  Please can I ask that to support staff you regularly check your child’s Teams account. If you were loaned a device by the school during lockdown you will be able to keep hold of this to support this function. To check homework you will need to look at the Assignments tab which will list any tasks for completion. If you require any assistance or support with this function then please contact the school.

Desert Island Challenge

To end lockdown some of our Year 8s and 9s took part in a desert island challenge. Their first task was to decide which items they would pick to help them to survive after crash landing on a deserted island. Each pupil was allowed to pick only one item and had to justify the usefulness of it. The choice was vast and most groups made some really good choices, picking several items with multiple uses. Once the pupils had completed the first task they were tasked with extracting a survival pack from a swamp using only a rope. The pupils had to come up with a plan and then carry it out. Various solutions were trialled in order to overcome the problem and ultimately each group triumphed.
 
Overall, these skills of improvisation and teamwork are key skills for future D of E pupils which will be running again after the lockdown ends. Pupils in Years 9 and 10 are eligible to take part in the Bronze and Silver awards which involve physical activities, the development of skills and the development of outdoor skills which are put into practice on expedition. There are three levels in total and pupils have until they are 25 years old to achieve their Gold award which they receive at Buckingham Palace.
 
Mr Austin – Head of Year 8 and 9
 

Modern Technology meets History

The History department have given students the opportunity to show off their skills on Minecraft, the interactive online building game. 

Year 8 students have successful submitted their entries and created fantastic examples of the English Parliament and the cellar from the infamous Gun Powder Plot. 

The accuracy of students was superb, and the department are very pleased with their efforts! 

The winners were:

For the best Gun Powder Plot cellar build – Scott Clarke and Jakub! 

For the best Houses of Parliament build – Jessica Shea and Sophie Chapman! 

Well done year 8!

Mr Jessup – Teacher of History

Celebration

Well done to the students below who have been awarded Star of the Week, in the last two weeks, by their Teacher.

Student Engagement Prize Draw

Before half term all staff inputted data on student engagement. This data captured student engagement in lock down learning, and commitment towards submitting their assignments. We were delighted to see so many pupils achieving the top award for recognition from staff. All students who sat in the top 50% of their year group will be awarded additional achievements points for their commitment to learning over lockdown. The top 10 pupils from each year group are listed below. We would like to publicly acknowledge their work and achievements, therefore all of these pupils will be placed into a prize draw which will be drawn live in their year group assembly next week, the winning pupils will a achieve a £20 voucher. Good Luck!