Weekly Update - 09/07/2021

Dear Parents and Carers, 

I cannot believe we only have one full week left of the summer term. It has gone so fast! This week we have had a range of activities taking place, including a virtual transition day for Year 12 on Tuesday, and a visit from our CEO, Nick Hudson, on Wednesday.  It was wonderful to take him around the academy to show him the fantastic work taking place. On Thursday we hosted a new staff induction day. I am pleased that we have been able to secure some new outstanding practitioners who will join the academy in September. We do still have two vacancies, Vice Principal and SENCO; however both roles will be advertised again next term. In the interim Jo Williams (new Principal) will be supporting Claire Scott (Deputy SENCO) to oversee the SEND provision and the wider SLT will support Jo in the absence of the Vice Principal for the first term.

All week the focus for Year 9 has been on Careers, via a programme provided by Ormiston Academies Trust.  This has involved students taking part in a range of activities learning about different functional areas within the Ormiston Trust from Finance and Estates to Human Resources and Marketing.  Each day has seen students meet staff working in the Trust with Live Q and A sessions allowing students to ask questions about  each career path.  Students have then completed a range of tasks to gain experience in the type of work that these staff do every day.  Tasks have ranged from organising Trust events to creating biodiverse spaces in our Academy schools. Feedback from students has been positive, with students enjoying liaising with staff from across the Trust and gaining experience in different areas whilst developing their transferable skills. We hope that this event will continue for year 9 students annually.  I am also pleased to announce that on Monday, we had a virtual assessment on careers provision within our academy, and as a result we have been accredited and awarded the Quality in Careers Standard Accreditation. 

Sadly Covid cases locally seem to be rising, I am aware of local primary schools confirming cases. Please continue to test your child and report any confirmed LFT or PCR test to myself directly. This will also be the case for the first week of the summer holidays so please do email me [email protected] as I will be the main contact for the summer period as all staff will be enjoying their well deserved break . 

For September we have published the dates of the Inset days and staggered return for Years 7, 8 and 12 so please do check the website for all this information.  It also includes the holiday dates; please remember that the first half term in October will be a two week break. Despite the change in leadership, the rules will remain the same regarding uniform, hair colour, nails etc, so please ensure you have the correct uniform for your child ready for when they return. All information as always is on our website including the uniform policy.  If there are any issues at all regarding this please email [email protected]

  • Thursday 2nd September: Year 7, 8 & 12 only
  • Friday 3rd September: All year groups return

Half term: Monday 18th October to Friday 29th October 2021 (2 weeks) https://ormistonriversacademy.co.uk/key-info/term-dates

The Open Evening for the new cohorts is Thursday 16th September, at the moment we are planning for this to be face to face but, as always, we will be following the latest guidance around this. 

Essex are running a number of summer activities for young people, please follow the link below for more information. 

https://www.activeessex.org/children-young-people/essex-activate/summer-bookings/

As part of our transition support we will be running a summer club for new Year 7 students, information around this has been shared but the main contacts for this are Ms Ingate and Mrs Edwards if you have any questions. We will also add a page on our website regarding this as I appreciate a lot of information has been shared early. The timetable looks amazing and I know those students involved are going to have a fantastic time. 

Next week being our final week we will focus on rewards, all students will have a virtual honours assembly except Year 12 who will have this outside (weather permitting). We have been able to do this due to the low numbers.  As a thank you each year group will be given a special treat and more information will follow directly to the students regarding this. 

On Monday 12th July, to celebrate the England football team reaching the finals of the Euros, we will hold a non-uniform day with the theme being England colours or a football shirt of the student’s choice.  We would ask for a donation of £1, which can be paid via ParentPay.  Money raised will go to a charity to be chosen by the students on Monday.

Finally we have now been provided with the guidance around the September return and what this will look like. Gavin Williamson said "we all owe a great debt of gratitude to pupils, parents and teachers who have given up so much as we have taken action to save lives”. He added that step four "does not mean the end of the pandemic, but the government is moving to a new phase of managing Covid".

The main changes relate to:

  • Testing requirements for secondary students on return in September - All secondary school students should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5

days apart, on their return in the autumn term with consent. Therefore we will need you to complete the consent form again for testing. This is the same testing as before, all the information is on our website. https://forms.gle/josvR3wXBPmZn1Sv6

  • Removal of the requirement to prevent mixing and keep consistent ‘bubbles’
  • Removal of contact tracing responsibilities
  • Self-isolation of close contacts will not apply to under 18s or those who have been ‘double jabbed’ (from 16th Aug)
  • Addition of PCR tests instead of self-isolation for close contacts
  • Face coverings no longer required
  • Removal of the need to stagger start and end times
  • Removal of restrictions on gatherings and group sizes

I will be working with the team to ensure everything is in place ready for September. 

Have a safe and great weekend!

Emma Baker

Principal