Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Principal's Letter to Parents - Summer 2017

18th July 2017

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’s been! Some highlights for me have included:

  •  Standards of education at OSCA are so high now that we have recently been designated as a National Support School in recognition of our outstanding, emerging practice. This means, the Department for Education have asked us to work on school improvement projects with other schools in need of support. I am very proud to say that it also means I have become a National Leader for Education, and we now have designated 7 Specialist Leaders of Education across the academy, and plan to expand this team next term;
  • Our learning environment is superb now too, with C block scheduled to open by September, completing our £12 million rebuild and refurb plan. I have had a tour inside, and it looks amazing. I know we are all looking forward not just to seeing it in operation, but to coming back to a construction free zone in September too!
  • We are the top performing school in the whole borough again this year for attendance, for the 4th 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 this year, through training local schools in best practice. The six local schools we have worked with on attendance have improved on average by 1.5% on last year- a huge increase in attendance terms;
  • We are once again full and oversubscribed for the 4th consecutive year, with a long waiting list, and once again have 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! Even though we are so popular now, we won’t expand any further, as I am keen to keep to my ‘medium is marvellous’ mantra, and maintain the family feel so prevalent at our academy;
  •  Our OSCA Awards Ceremony last week, 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;

  • Alongside of all that 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.

July 2017 Newsletter

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. 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 new 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 3rd August - 3pm to 6pm
Friday 4th August - 3pm to 6pm

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

  • 12.00pm on Friday 21st July
  •  OSCA re-opens for years 7 and 11 on Wednesday 6th September at 8.35am
  •  OSCA re-opens for all other year groups on Thursday 7th 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 21st will be a non-uniform day. Students should bring in £1 for a charitable donation. Please can I ask you that students do still wear clothes suitable for a school setting. I appreciate we have had some warm weather, but nothing too short or too revealing please, or students risk being sent home to change, which would be a shame.

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 top last year’s fantastic results, 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 (and sunny!) summer holiday,


Marie McMahon