Interim Principal Latest Update - 27th March 2020
At the end of the weirdest of weeks, I wanted to wish you all well over the weekend. Next week, we will be continuing to post work for students on Google Classroom that mirrors the "normal" school timetable. However, after the Easter break, we are considering a new "remote learning" timetable that is more "fit for purpose". We want to get the balance right between providing enough work for students to maintain their learning whilst not overwhelming them and putting undue pressure on you, as parents.
Reading, reading, reading!
One of the additional opportunities provided by the shutdown is having time to read and we would love parents to encourage wider reading as much as possible. I have attached an advice/guidance sheet from Mrs Rayner, our OBA Reading Champion. As you will see, if you are running short of books, there are lots of free resources out there and Mrs Rayner has suggested some useful activities to help you get the most of their reading. An increase in your child's reading age could be one of the positive benefits to come out of this shutdown and any improvement will have an advantage once "normal" teaching recommences in the academy.
Support for families
We now have processed the FSM vouchers and eligible parents should have received a text message or e-mail. If there are any issues, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help. Please note that, apart from our very limited provision in school for a small number of students whose parents are key workers, the academy is closed. Calls, however, are being routed through to our receptionist and our admin team are working hard, remotely, to support any essential services. Next week, it is hoped that a national e-voucher service will be established but, for now, I want to applaud all the staff who have worked so hard to provide our own "back up" plan.
In the two weeks prior to shutdown, our staff worked very hard to establish Google Classroom and train themselves up in a very different way of teaching and learning. We recognise that students are learning all the time in the use of this technology, as are the staff! For parents, too, we know how hard it can be if there are IT problems so, if there are issues, please do not worry. If you or your child can contact a teacher, we will do our best to help. Also, under the "Remote learning" tab on the school website, you will find a link to IT support. Additionally, Mrs Diamond has shared a step by step guidance clip of how to edit and hand in online assignments on a phone and on a laptop which may be helpful.
Finally, our children are living through a tough time but I am seeing evidence of their spirit shining through. When we emerge from this period, I hope that they can use their newly found resilience to make rapid strides in their education. A wiser man than me once said, "Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough."
Together, we will continue to nurture and care for all the OBA children but, most of all, we want them, and you, to stay safe.
Mr T Rawdin