Weekly Update - 1st April 2022

As we reach the end of the final week of the Spring term, I am pleased to be able to share with you the wide variety of events, activities and celebrations which have taken place within the academy this week.

On Monday, we were visited by the OAT Lead Practitioner for Dance, who visited lessons and met with myself and our Head of Performing Arts and with current Dance students, in order to provide useful feedback and insight into this curriculum area.  I am pleased to report that the feedback received was very positive, but as always, we continue to strive to improve our practice even further, and look forward to working with all of our OAT Lead Practitioners again next term.

On Tuesday this week, we held the inaugural meeting of our newly-formed Anti-Racism Committee, comprised of staff, parents, members of the local community and Town Council, our Local Authority School Effectiveness Partner, and representatives from various youth and community engagement groups across Essex.  We are now in the process of drawing up an action plan to further develop this important work, including greater student input, wider recognition, and sharing the message that racism, or any type of discrimination is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at Ormiston Rivers Academy.  If you are interested in becoming part of our Committee please do let us know via the [email protected] email.

Year 9 students enjoyed the experience of a first-aid day on Wednesday, where they were taught vital and potentially life-saving skills.  I would like to thank the staff that supported this important event in the academy calendar.  Also on Wednesday, we hosted the SEN Roadshow, where members of the Local Authority SEND team, representatives from local support groups and academy staff came together to provide advice, support and information to parents on a range of issues.  This was very well attended and appreciated by all concerned.

On Thursday and Friday this week, all students were invited to participate in some fun, staff vs. student sporting activities to raise funds for the Ukraine appeal.  This was entirely organised by two of our sixth form students, Milly and Courtney, as part of a wider fundraising event organised by OAT Student Voice. If you would like to donate, please visit the OAT just giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/campaign/ormistonukraine

We have also recently received the results from the Intermediate Maths Challenge that several Year 10 and 11 students participated in earlier this term.  Our students’ efforts and hard work was rewarded with 27 Bronze and 11 Silver awards, and I am delighted to announce that 3 students have qualified to go on to the national “Pink Kangaroo” challenge – the highest-level Key Stage 4 challenge for all students across the U.K.  I am sure you will join me in congratulating them all.

Throughout this week we have also held Honours Assemblies for every year group, to celebrate students’ individual successes and efforts in relation to our core AIRR values of Aspiration, Independence, Resilience and Respect. It has been heart-warming to attend each of these this week, to give out the awards and to congratulate so many students on their superb achievements and attitudes; something that we genuinely encourage and applaud.  A huge well-done to all students that received these honours.

I hope that this week’s blog has given you a flavour of the wide variety of activities, opportunities and support that is afforded to our students and parents every day, as part of our academy life.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff and students for their continual hard-work and commitment, but also all parents & carers for your understanding and support.

I would like to remind you of the Easter holiday revision sessions that are taking place next week – you and your child will have already been notified of these.  I hope that students will take this opportunity to receive the additional and valuable support being offered by staff, prior to their exams in the summer term.

It only remains for me to thank you all, once again, for your support, respect and encouragement; and to wish you all a wonderful, relaxing and memorable Easter break.