Weekly Update - 22nd April 2022

I hope that everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter break.  It was great to welcome students and staff back to the academy looking refreshed and ready for the final term of this academic year.

Although it has been a shorter than usual week, there has still been plenty going on.  Year 10’s started Tuesday with their first two PPE exams, and have continued these throughout the week.  All students have conducted themselves with great professionalism and maturity during the exams, arriving fully equipped and displaying exemplary behaviour.  Well done to all concerned.

We also enjoyed a visit from the OAT Lead Practitioner for History on Tuesday as part of our ongoing programme of curriculum development that has been running since the start of the year.  This was followed by a visit from our OAT Regional Director on Wednesday, who carried out learning walks in several lessons, conducted book scrutinies and spoke with many students about their progress and aspirations.  As always, we welcome and appreciate the feedback and insight that these visits provide in helping us to develop our practice even further.

On Wednesday, the last two groups of Year 10 students took part in the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” workshops, giving them the opportunity to develop their oracy and debating skills and to express their opinions on a wide variety of topics.  Myself and other members of the Senior Leadership Team are looking forward to hearing the presentations from the 5 shortlisted students; and to choosing our academy representative who will go on to the regional finals.

We held our final Parents’ Evening of this year on Thursday for Year 8 students and parents.  Once again, it was great to be able to welcome parents into the academy and hold face-to-face discussions regarding their children’s progress, attainment and achievements.  We will be reviewing the timing of Parents’ Evenings for the next academic year, and I will share further information with you in this respect as soon as possible.

Year 7 students enjoyed an interactive enterprise day on Friday as part of the academy’s comprehensive careers’ programme.  The day involved students setting up their own social enterprise to try and solve a problem in one part of the world whilst also helping to support and find a solution for those in another. The Enterprise day linked to several curriculum areas, including Business, Citizenship. Maths, Geography, English & PSHE.

This week, our inspirational student Environmental Group have also been busy planting sapling trees around the school grounds as part of the OAT and Woodland Trust “Plant a Tree” initiative.  I have included some pictures below for you to enjoy.  They have also been invited to take part in the “Queen’s Green Canopy” planting at St. Mary’s Church on 6th May, a community wide event to mark the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, and I will share further pictures of this in future updates.

Overall, it has been a really positive start to the summer term, which is always a busy one, with formal exams fast-approaching.  We have recently shared details of our online revision hub, which contains lots of useful information, hints and tips for both students and parents.  The page can be found via this link: Ormiston Rivers Academy - Revision Hub.  There is also further information regarding exam preparation, including well-being and dealing with exam stress via this link: Ormiston Rivers Academy - Exam Preparation

I hope you will find this information helpful, but as always, please do contact the academy via the appropriate channels should you have further questions or particular worries in this respect.

Finally, I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend, and look forward to continuing to update you over the remaining weeks of this term.