Welcome to the first edition of The Oaks Academy Bulletin! We as an academy feel very strongly about communication and want to keep our community as informed as we possibly can. All future communications, concerning the whole school, will be shared through the newsfeed on the website. We will still provide you with a link via school communications system, but you can find them at any time by visiting the Latest News tab on the menu.
These bulletins are not designed to be just informative, we hope to share with you and the wider community all the wonderful things happening at The Oaks Academy and celebrate student’s achievements. Each school bulletin will have a focus on a different subject, and we will be sharing with you the ongoing work of the faculty and celebrating examples of student work. For our first ‘spotlight’ we would like to celebrate the work of the Maths and Business Faculty.
If you would prefer to read this document in an alternative language please click the purple button in the lower left corner. This is a new feature to the website which we hope will be of great use to the members of our community for whom English is an additional language. The translation feature can be applied to the whole website and our long term aim is to display much more content through the website so that it is accessible to whole of our community.
Please explore the bulletin via the navigation buttons below.
Lateral Flow Testing
We are continuing to use Lateral Flow Tests within school to identify cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst staff and pupils who are asymptomatic. The testing is going well within school and we feel confident that this measure is helping to keep all students, staff and their respective families as safe as possible.
In order to do this and in anticipation of more students returning to the academy we are continuing to gather consent for the the Lateral Flow Testing. Please visit our Lateral Flow Testing Page to read more about these tests and submit your consent via the Microsoft Forms link.
Last week the Department for Education issued new guidance around the ‘daily contact testing’ element of the Lateral Flow Testing initiative in secondary schools. This kind of testing was to be used if a child tested positive. Close contacts were to be kept in school but tested daily. Thankfully we haven’t had to implement strategy and the new guidance has removed it entirely. If we have a positive test the original protocol will be followed. This means that a positive case will be sent home, tracing of close contacts organised in school and persons affected are required to isolate for 10 days.
Please note that this change does not affect the Lateral Flow Testing already in place for students. Students are to be tested twice on their return to the academy. Please visit www.gov.uk to see updated guidance from the Department for Education.
Post Card Competition
Mrs Abberley is looking for student’s art work as the new image for our praise postcards. If you would like to submit an entry please send your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 3rd February. Good luck!
Year 11 – What is happening with my exams?
Following the announcement early this month from Boris Johnson and the DFE that this summer’s examinations have been cancelled, we felt that it is important to give an update on what is required from schools and their students. We are currently awaiting the outcome of a DfE and OFQUAL consultation to give us clear and unequivocal guidance so that we can let all students know what to expect.
It is clear though that we will have to give judgements and provide evidence for a true reflection of their actual knowledge and understanding, not as in 2020 where we gave judgements on where we felt they would have been. Pupils will still be expected to complete assessments but in a different way than expected.
So far these are the key proposals:
- Final assessments/judgements should be made at the time the exam period would have taken place (May/early June)
- Submit final assessment/judgement to exam boards will take place in mid-June
- Possible sets of papers to use as final assessments could be provided by the exam boards
- Coursework to be completed as previously expected.
- Pupil will be allowed to appeal there grades. with the exam boards
Our best advice until then is to attend all your live/remote lessons and continue to work to the best of your ability. Communicate all questions and concerns with your teachers, and try not to worry. How you progress in the summer and how we connect you with your next step in life is our absolute priority. As soon as we know more we will share it with you.
Next week we will be sending out details of our adjusted year 11 intervention programme. This programme is designed to target specific pupils based on mock and class data, and will require pupils to attend additional sessions to support them with making further progress. If your child receives an intervention letter, and you would like to discuss this with me further, then please do not hesitate to contact me direct.
Teaching and Learning
Many thanks again for your continued support of your children at home during this challenging time. It has been heart-warming to hear your messages of thanks that have been expressed via email and phone call, we really do appreciate your thanks and it makes the challenges that we face even more worthwhile. Thank you to those of you who took the time out to complete the latest parent survey, we have used your comments to shape the direction of our remote learning provision moving forward.
As a result of your feedback, we have made some minor adjustments to our practice to ensure that all children are receiving quality feedback on their submitted work, in line with our curriculum planning. From Monday 1st February all children will be set their assessed pieces of work via the assignment tab on Microsoft Teams for each subject. These tasks are designed for staff to gauge how well a pupil has grasped key concepts and will shape the teachers’ planning and feedback for individuals and whole classes. For pupils to continue to make progress, feedback will be given, this could be in the form of whole class feedback, personal feedback, or a numerical score for a test. For this to be successful for teachers and pupils, work will need to submitted on time via the assignment tab, if your child fails to upload their work, a text message or phone call home will be made so you are able to prompt them to submit their work for marking purposes. Please see the video guidance on how to upload an assignment, and if you require any additional support with this then please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Please can I take this opportunity to remind you of the times of our school day, and can I ask that you remind your children of the importance of being punctual to their lessons.
Finally, please can I ask that if you are struggling with IT, either access or the use of it, then please do let us know. We will always endeavour to support you the best that we can. Thankyou once gain for the support that you give the staff at The Oaks and the help and support you give your children, as I have said previously, the key to a childs success is when school and home work together, and together we will get through this.
Special Educational Needs and Disability
The challenges that many parents face nationally home schooling their children are widely recognised. This becomes even more challenging when your child has additional needs.
On January 27th at 6 and 6.30 pm, we held our first online Zoom meeting for parents with the SENCo, Laura Bailey. This was an opportunity for a face-to-face discussion about the experiences of schooling during Covid. Parents were able to share these experiences and listen to each other in a supportive and understanding environment. Some of our pupils are finding it difficult and others are thriving, and there is no one size fits all approach, families must find what works best for them.
There are plans to meet regularly and to develop a parent forum where we can convene and discuss national and regional issues as well as sharing experiences and lending support from external agencies. Dates will be shared shortly and we would encourage everyone to join, there is no expectation for you to have your camera or mic on, you can just listen if you prefer. You will continue to receive telephone calls from the SEND team and we hope you find these helpful and supportive.
This week is Mental Health week, please do something nice for this, take a walk, bake a cake, or play a board game together. It is crucial that we all take care of each other and prioritise positive family time.
Please email Laura Bailey if you have any queries, thoughts, or questions email@example.com
Spotlight on Maths
Welcome to the Maths and Business Faculty, this academic year has already seen so many changes as we have implemented a new scheme of work across both Key stages. Our new scheme of work encourages our students to talk mathematically, knowing the answer is now not enough, we are encouraging them to explain why and justify their answers. Pupils have embraced this since September and now continue to do that as we deliver live learning. I am very proud of how our learners have tackled this new learning approach and worked collaboratively with the teachers in my department to develop their proficiency on Microsoft Teams, by being patient and offering help.
So many of our students are working so hard engaging with live lessons, completing work in many forms, on paper and worksheets, assessments and interventions on Mathswatch. Some Year 11 students have actually sat an Enterprise and Marketing exam amidst this lockdown, showing real commitment to their future. These results will be released to students on the 11th March 2021.
Every member of the Maths Faculty has offered additional interventions to Year 11’s outside of the school day trying to keep their Final Year at The Oaks Academy as normal as possible. Extra-curricular events continue to run the coding club has continued on teams – entering the Alan Turing competition again this year, just in a different format. The school has just signed up to an online event, with Dr James Grime, “Bits and Pieces – Secrets of a Digital World”. The event will take place on Thurs 4th March at 7pm and will last for one hour. Selected students will be invited to attend from years 9-11.
Below is a selection of work that we would like to celebrate and share with our families, I hope you enjoy!
The Alan Turing Competition has started again and instead of meeting after school for our brew and biscuits, it is all online. The bonus is it does give a chance for students to work collaboratively to solve the clues.
A fantastic opportunity to talk mathematically and suggest ideas.