Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Letter to Parents July 2019

17th July 2019 

Dear Parent/Guardian

 As we approach the end of another busy term, I just wanted to give you a few updates, and confirm the end of term arrangements.  And, once again, what a term it has been!  Some highlights for me have included: 

  • A recent research visit from two of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. They were looking into how OSCA has made such great improvements over the years, whilst some other schools have remained ‘stuck’. They left us with incredibly positive feedback, including one of my favourite quotes about the academy ever: ‘We are in awe of all that your team have done for your students and the community’! It really did make me feel incredibly proud of Team OSCA 
  • Our OSCA Awards Ceremony last week, attended by approximately 400 guests, including some very proud parents and guardians. We gave out 150 awards, all for outstanding effort and achievement.  It was particularly impressive to see our ‘Brilliant Club’ Graduates in full university gowns and mortar boards, already producing university level assignments, and with a record number of First Class Degrees 
  • We are the top performing school in the whole borough again this year for attendance, for the 6th consecutive year, and one of THE top performing nationally. This matters so much given the proven link between high attendance and high achievement in exams. Indeed, we have also had an impact in improvements borough wide and OAT wide this year, through training local schools in best practice 
  • Our popularity continues to grow dramatically, and we are full and oversubscribed for the 6th consecutive year, with a long waiting list, and a huge number of appeals. We are delighted to be so successful now, but will ensure we keep to our ‘medium is marvellous’ mantra, and maintain the family feel so prevalent at our academy 

Alongside all of our hard work, we have managed to have a lot of fun too! Students have benefitted once again from a myriad of enrichment opportunities. Please do click on the link below to check out our latest newsletter, for a flavour of some of these.

OSCA Newsletter July 2019

I know we are all looking forward to a much-earned rest in the coming weeks. However, I know many of you may also worry that the 6 weeks holiday for students might lead to some potential dips in progress, especially for older students coping with preparedness for examinations. Did you know many subjects set summer projects for students to help keep their brains engaged?

This is especially the case for years nine and ten, but also for other year groups. It includes:

 Year 10: 

  • Computer science students have been set tasks via Seneca Learning
  • A History revision guide which students will need to study in order to complete a knowledge test in September.
  • A summer grammar booklet in French
  • A Geography Managing Resources Booklet
  • A 6 week Hegarty maths revision package,
  • A science summer challenge booklet
  • An RE Christianity revision project
  • An English work pack to help with their reading of the GCSE set texts 

Year 9: 

  • Digital IT students have been set ‘Know it All Ninja’ tasks to complete over the holidays. 
  • A summer grammar booklet in French
  • An hour a week revision challenge in geography
  • PAPA students are completing a summer project called 'Do You Hear the People Sing?
  • A science summer challenge booklet
  • RE Christianity revision project 

To name but a few! All of the work is available either on the student R drive, and they have all the relevant login information already, or on the identified websites. So, no need to get bored on those (inevitable!) rainy days.  Please do encourage your child, especially if they are going into year 11, to complete as much as they can, in between lots of rest and relaxation.

 As many parents and guardians will be buying new uniform in preparation for September just a reminder that the uniform list is on the website on the parents' page.  We have had excellent support from the overwhelming majority of parents in meeting the enforcement of uniform and ethos rules this year.  One thorny issue in this can be the definition of formal shoes.  We have therefore on the uniform page of the website provided examples of what the Academy means by these, and to help parents avoid spending money on shoes which are not suitable. Many sports shops are branding items as shoes that aren’t actually shoes (and charging huge amounts in the process!), so please do check on the website.

We really do not want to start the new term on a negative note about inappropriate uniform, and I know how expensive items can be. Please can I also reiterate that trousers must be formal too, no leggings/jeggings/very tight styles either please. As I always say, uniform is the physical manifestation of a student's attitude to school, so thank you in advance for working with us to ensure they get it right.  

I understand that the summer holidays is a time to relax and perhaps for parents to allow our young people to have a bit more freedom as teenagers. Please can I ask however that any summer piercings/extreme hair colourings are removed by the start of term in September.  Again, please visit our website if you have any queries about expectations, or contact your child's Head of House.

The website also has all the information you need about our uniform supplier, as well as a link to the finance department if you have any queries. The remaining selling dates at OSCA for your convenience are:

 Thursday 1st August - 2pm to 7pm

 In terms of practical arrangements, the academy will finish for students at: 

  • 12:00pm on Friday 20th July
  • OSCA re-opens for years 7 and 11 on Wednesday 4th September at 8.35am
  • OSCA re-opens for all other year groups on Thursday 5th September at 8.35am


For all other key dates next term, please see the newsletter and the draft calendar on the website.

 As a reward for students for such a successful term, Friday 12th July was a non-uniform day for students. We raised £630.00 on the day for the French Red Cross, so this year, the total is over £1400.00 for charity raised in 2 non-uniform days! 

On the subject of safety, please can I remind parents that we are sadly unable to accommodate parents dropping off or collecting students on our car park at the start and end of the day. Space is just too limited. An exception to this will, of course, be made in the case of registered disability. Please do talk to reception if this applies to you and a pass may be issued.

Please can I also strongly suggest that you try NOT to pick up your child in a car on Lower City Road at the end of the day if at all possible. It is simply too congested at this key time, and I do worry about the health and safety of students exiting. Many thanks in advance for your anticipated support on this.

 And finally, thank you once again for all of your support this academic year.  Our thoughts now lie with year 11 students and their families, and we are hoping and praying that this summer will top last year’s, and bring our best ever set of exam results, so watch this space!  I am so proud and pleased of everything we have achieved together this year, and look forward to celebrating even greater successes in the new academic year.

Best wishes for a happy, safe (and sunny!) summer holiday,

Marie McMahon