Weekly Update - 02/07/2021

Dear Parents and Carers, I hope you are all doing well? I thought as we approach the final few weeks of term I would remind you of the academy’s values. 

Our values stand at the heart of our Academy.

Aspiration - We want every student to aspire to greatness and feel confident in their ability to do so. ORA is committed to providing the opportunities, support and guidance to enable our students to reach for the stars.

Independence - At ORA we strive to develop independent learners and thinkers; young people who have the skills to navigate themselves through life and achieve success.

Resilience - At ORA, we know that the ability to cope in spite of setbacks is one of the most valuable life skills that will serve our students well at all stages of their education and future lives. Resilience is a measure of how much you want something and how much you are willing and able to overcome obstacles to achieve it.

Respect - Respect stands at the heart of the ORA ethos. Respect for yourself, respect for others, respect for the environment. This value pervades everything that we do and makes us stronger as a community.

Over the last three weeks, with careful planning and meeting covid guidelines we have been able to go into some of the primary schools which has been fantastic, we have had excellent feedback from the schools so a special thanks to the staff that have done this. Due to restrictions and not being able to run our usual ‘transition days’, we have launched our Year 6 into 7 hub, please do take a look at our website for more information. 

https://buff.ly/3AgOw1n

I am also delighted to announce that Lenny in Year 7 has today been announced as the overall winner of the OAT “Make Yourself Heard” public speaking competition for 2021.  A huge well done to Lenny - we are all very proud of you!

Covid update 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms/  Students will be expected to continue to test over the summer period.  Above is the link where you can order more testing kits. We are waiting for further information regarding the return in September and I am currently working on two models. The first model being back to “normal” and students returning to using the full academy, Gavin Williamson has suggested this again in Parliament this week but we haven’t had any confirmation as yet. In terms of testing we do not know yet if students will be supported in testing when they return in the autumn term like this year or not, so I’m sorry to be vague but we are still waiting for the DfE to confirm this.  However, from reading the guidance so far it is suggesting that we will be testing (with consent) when students return. As soon as we have any updates I will of course inform you. We very much hope that life will be back to normal again. 

Parking

A large number of students are now being collected at the end of the day which is causing delays out onto the main road. More importantly, some parents are parking irresponsibly using pavements or just blocking the small way one system we have in place. Can I please ask that if you are collecting your child that you turn into the academy and turn left, so you are not blocking the route for the exit points. Can I also ask that you do not pull up onto or block the pavement as we need to ensure students remain safe and at the moment some students are having to walk on the road to get around cars as a result.  Sadly the car park wasn’t designed for so many cars.  I have been in contact with the Trust and the Local Authority but we are limited to this area only so I ask that you all be vigilant when driving into the academy and ensure you follow the guidelines we have in place. Additionally, our student Environmental Support Group have raised concerns regarding CO2 emissions from cars whilst waiting for students.  Could we please, therefore, ask you to switch your car engines off whilst waiting for your children?  This would be much appreciated, and we thank you, as always for your ongoing support. 

Finally, we have been contacted by a member of the community who is very concerned about the visibility of students cycling to and from school.  If you child cycles to school, could you please try to ensure that they are wearing some form of hi-vis or reflective clothing.  Many thanks once again.