We are proud to serve the community of the Dengie peninsular and seek to make an active contribution to the area that our students and their families live in. We encourage our students to be active citizens, supporting local causes and contributing to life in their community.
At ORA we are privileged to have a Student Leadership Team who each focus on one of five key areas including: Community, Environment, Equality and Diversity, Safeguarding and Wellbeing and Teaching and Learning. Each area is lead by a dedicated member of Teaching staff coupled with Sixth Form and Year 11 Student Council leads.
The Community section of our Student leadership team is supported by the Assistant Principal for Personal development and aims to support local community initiatives by forming links with external agencies and causes.
Current projects that we are supporting as a school include:
We are working with the Maldon District Dementia Action Alliance to raise awareness amongst our young people of what dementia is and what it means for the people and families in the community who have the condition or support family members who do. As part of this, we are in the process of setting up a project to allow our students the opportunity to actively engage and interact with local care home residents suffering with dementia. The aim is to educate our young people whilst forging links and enriching experiences for all involved in the scheme.
The student leadership team are also forging a link with the local food banks to support with the operation and technology used. This project is in the early stages but the team hope to provide support with the valuable work that they do in our local community.
First Give is a Year 8 focussed social action programme where pupils learn about social issues in their communities, choose the issues which are important to them, identify charitable causes linked to these and then plan and deliver a social action activity (fundraising, awareness raising, volunteering) in support of their charities, and to help raise awareness of the identified social issue.
First Give is delivered through Drama lessons, where students follow an 8 lesson programme helping them to become more active in their school and local community. Pupils have previously supported good causes such as Cancer Research, Mind and Great Ormond Street Hospital, as part of the First Give programme.
On the 26th March 2021 the school held a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the Covid pandemic as part of the national reflection effort organised by the Marie Curie Charity, and backed by the Prime Minister and other political leaders to mark the anniversary of lockdown measures being introduced. We felt it was important to observe the minute’s silence as a community to allow students to reflect on the impact the virus has had on our community, their lives and the country as a whole. Many of our local community have been impacted by Covid 19 and unfortunately many of us have felt the loss of a loved one due to the pandemic. This silence allowed us to show our respect as a school community to those we have lost, as well as reflect on the challenging year that they have experienced.
During lockdown so members of the Dengie community set up the Dengie Gratitude Packages initiative. Led by Kelly Coombes a team of volunteers put together gratitude bags and boxes for frontline workers in the Dengie who have helped during the pandemic such as GP surgeries, community nurses and mental health teams. Several of our students were involved in packaging and delivering the gratitude packages in the community. As a school we supported the initiative by becoming a drop off point in the area for donations and by promoting the initiative via social media and communications.
This year the school is happy to have supported World Kindness day on 13th November 2020. Students nominated each other for kindness awards to recognise acts of kindness they have received or know about. We are also proud to have supported the Rural Council of Essex this year with their Christmas project. The Council produced Christmas boxes for those elderly members of our community who are socially isolated to ensure they receive some kindness and cheer at Christmas. Our students designed and wrote Christmas cards that formed part of the Christmas boxes.