Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Letter to Parents - Summer 2015

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 what a term it’s been!  Some highlights for me have included:

  • Last half term, receiving the ‘GOOD’ judgement from Ofsted for the 1st time ever in the academy or predecessor school’s history.  This means we have moved from being an academy in a category just over 2 years ago, to an academy  where:
  1. Teaching & Learning are good
  2. Behaviour & Safety are good
  3.  Leadership and & Management are good
  4.  Achievement & Progress are good
  5.  And all not just good, but still rapidly improving
  • We are the top performing school in the whole borough again this year for attendance, for the 2nd consecutive year.  This matters so much given the link between high attendance and high achievement in exams
  • We are once again full and oversubscribed for the 2nd consecutive year, we have a long waiting list, and for the first time ever, we had to attend the appeals panel last week as some pupils who didn’t get into OSCA were so disappointed, they appealed again to come here and not to the school they had been allocated!
  • ‘The Launch’ event this month to officially open our fantastic new facilities.  It was great to see so many parents and families there, and to enjoy such a great community event
  • Our OSCA Awards Ceremony last night, attended by approximately 400 guests and 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

 To have achieved everything we have in just over 2 years is pretty impressive, I am sure you will agree.  But, of course, we don’t plan to stop there.  We have very firmly set our sights on ‘outstanding’.  Our new Academy Development Plan has been written, and we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to keep raising standards across the board.  Your support in all of this has, of course, been absolutely pivotal, and it has been a real pleasure working in partnership with you this year.

 Thank you to those parents and guardians who completed the latest survey on promoting healthier drinking habits at the academy.  This concluded on Monday - the very day the issue around fizzy and energy drinks hit the national headlines!  I am pleased to say that the overwhelming majority were in favour of banning the drinks.


The results of the parental survey are below:

 We will, therefore, go with the majority view.  That means that from September:

  1. All energy and fizzy drinks are banned from all areas of the academy
  2. Any energy or fizzy drinks brought onto the premises will be confiscated and binned.  Practically, this is the only way to do it, as it would be too time consuming (and potentially messy!) to keep hold of drinks and return them
  3. Students may bring in plain water (not flavoured, as this often contains more sugar than e.g. coke) and fruit juice only

Please can I ask that you reiterate this with your children, reinforce that, like you, we have their best interests at heart, and are going for a ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ approach.  This is only one part of our drive to move learning and behaviour to outstanding, but I am confident it will have the desired impact, alongside all our other school improvement measures.

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.  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.  Can I also please draw to your attention the fact that caps are not to be brought into the Academy.  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 new supplier, as well as a link to the finance department if you have any queries.

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

  • 12.00pm on Friday 17th July
  •  OSCA re-opens for years 7 and 12 on Monday 7th September at 8.35am
  • OSCA re-opens for all other year groups on Tuesday 8th September at 8.35am

Other key dates next term include:

Thurs 17th September             Y11 Stepping Up Event at 6.30pm

Fri 25th September                  Y11 Paris/France trip

                                              OSCA Sixth Macmillan Coffee Morning

Mon 28th September               Y11 Paris/France trip returns

                                              Target Setting Day

Tues 29th September              Open Day and Evening

Wed 30th September              Open Morning

Tues 13th October                   Y9 Options Evening 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Tues 10th November               Y11 Parents’ Evening and OSCA Sixth Open Evening

Tues 17th November               OSCA Presentation Evening Class of 2015

Fri 4th December                    L4S Day 1

Mon 5th December                 Y11 mock exams for 2 weeks

Thurs 8th December               OSCA Community Winter Festival

Fri 9th December                    OSCA Rewards visits

And finally, thank you once again for all of your support this academic year.  Our thoughts now lie with years 11 and 13, and we are hoping and praying that this summer will 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 (and sunny!) summer holiday,

Marie McMahon