Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Letter to Parents - Christmas 2014

December 2014

Dear Parent/Guardian

I hope you are all well, and are enjoying any preparations for the holidays ahead!  As we approach the end of another busy, highly successful term, I just wanted to keep you up to date on recent events, and to confirm arrangements for the end of term and the start of the New Year.

Clearly, maximising achievements in exams remains our number 1 priority.  Year 11 have had a busy few weeks of mock exams, helping them to prepare for 'the real thing' and we have been delighted with their maturity and motivation to do well.  As you know, OSCA achieved its best GCSE results ever in the summer, and we have raised the bar even higher for 2015, so the pressure is on!  We look forward to celebrating some excellent mock results with year 11 over the coming weeks.

The highlight of the term for me has been the very encouraging OAT inspection report we received recently.  The full report is on the website (http://ormistonsandwell.org.uk/docs/OSCA_OAT_Review.pdf ), but I wanted to pick out a few of the findings I am most proud of for you:

  • Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy is a rapidly improving academy.  It has made significant strides since its previous inspection because of good leadership and management
  • Students have developed a sense of ownership and pride in the academy
  • They now wear their uniform with pride because the reputation of the academy in the local community has improved
  • Behaviour in lessons and around the academy is good.  Pupils feel safe and secure.  They say that staff have a genuine interest in their wellbeing
  • Students say that… staff now really care about them.  Relationships are very good indeed with students trying their best in lessons
  • Attendance rates are high 
  • The sixth form is rapidly improving.  An improved ethos and sense of identity means that students value the sixth form

The report left us of course with some areas for improvement, and the good news is that these are areas we had already identified, and will continue to work on.  I am delighted the report has recognised how far we have come as an academy since the last inspection, and am immensely proud of all my students and staff, for their superb hard work.

Alongside our work on preparing students to get the best possible exam results, you know that I am equally passionate that learning should also be fun.  We certainly have had some fantastic enrichment activities over the last half term to complement all the work we are doing improving teaching and learning and raising standards.  Full details of these are available on the website, and in particular in our end of term newsletter (http://ormistonsandwell.org.uk/docs/December_15_Newsletter_2.pdf). This also includes key dates for your diary. The academy re-opens for students at 8.30 am on Tuesday 6th January, for the spring term 2015.

As a reward for the further improved standards of uniform, behaviour and attendance across the Academy this term, students (and staff!) will be allowed to wear non-uniform on Friday 19th December.  This will of course be optional, but we would ask students who choose to come in non-uniform it to donate £1 to Shelter - the homeless charity, to help those less fortunate than ourselves over the Christmas period.  The academy will finish on Friday at 12pm for all students.

Please note that lessons will continue as normal this week, so it is really important all students have 100% attendance even in the run up to Christmas, so they do not miss out on any learning. Please note that attendance on Friday too is compulsory, and essential if students wish to be eligible for next term's reward trip. 

And finally, thank you once again for your support and partnership this term.  Attendance is up even further, behaviour referrals are down again, ethos and the standard of uniform for the overwhelming majority are excellent, and the quality of teaching and learning is rising all the time.  And, of course, this has all been validated by our OAT inspection.  

It is really encouraging that all of these improvements continue to have an extremely positive impact on OSCA's reputation and popularity.  As you know, we are already full and over-subscribed with a waiting list in year 7.  We now know from the local authority that we are likely to find this replicated in the new year 7 in 2015.  Of course, we only have 180 places available, so competition for places is likely to be fierce!  A great accolade for all the fantastic work we are doing here in our determination to make OSCA a beacon of excellence in Sandwell and beyond.

I look forward to continuing to work with you in the New Year, and to the fruits of all our labour bringing another set of record results in the summer.

With best wishes for a peaceful and enjoyable holiday, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year,

Yours faithfully
Marie McMahon