Weekly Update - 6th May 2022

I hope that everyone enjoyed the long Bank Holiday weekend.

Students and staff have been working hard as always at the academy this week.  More “real” exams and assessments have taken place for Year 13 students in Performing Arts, LiBF, Child Development and Health & Social Care; and Year 11 students sat their Art GCSE over two days on Wednesday and Thursday.  Exams will continue throughout May and June, and we wish all students the very best of luck in securing the outcomes they deserve.  More information will be shared about Year 11 study sessions this time next week.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Year 7 and Year 9 students enjoyed interactive theatre showcase sessions called “Do You Hear Me?”, delivered by Ticbox Productions.  These were designed to explore the causes and the consequences of racism, to deconstruct theories and stereotypes, and to raise awareness whilst tackling issues in a lively, relevant and interactive way.  The sessions were both thought-provoking and entertaining, enabling students to talk openly and honestly about pre-conceived ideas and judgements, to examine and re-evaluate these, and to develop empathy and understanding for others within society.  I believe that these additional, extra-curricular experiences are truly valuable and important in developing and educating our young people, and I hope we will be able to offer similar sessions on a variety of topics in the future.

Also on Wednesday, Year 10 student Keeaun Jones represented Ormiston Rivers Academy in the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge Regional finals in Colchester, competing against students from 15 other schools throughout Essex.  He was supported by family members and several academy staff, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I am pleased to report that Keeaun’s speech “Small experience, Big change” earned him a well-deserved third place.  I have included some pictures below for you to enjoy.

On Thursday we enjoyed a visit from the OAT Lead Practitioner for Design & Technology, as part of our ongoing curriculum development & review programme, and we look forward to a further visit from our Regional Director on Monday, who will carry out an in-depth review of our PE and Performing Arts departments.

In the run up to the celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we were delighted to be invited to participate in the Queen’s Green Canopy Project at St. Mary’s Church in Burnham, alongside Burnham-on-Crouch Primary School and St. Mary’s Primary School.  This took place on Friday, and was attended by our Environmental group, accompanied by myself and Mrs Mahoney who leads the group.  Students assisted in planting a small copse of trees on the church green, including Hazel, Crab Apple and Rowan trees, designed to provide a restful place for people to think and relax in the future, as well as somewhere that will be beneficial to local wildlife and the environment.

Next week, please look out for communication from the academy in relation to the revised uniform policy, in response to the statutory guidance which comes into place from September 2022; as well as information regarding half-term revision sessions and plans for Year 11 and Year 13 leavers’ dates and celebrations.

In the meantime, I wish you all a safe and happy weekend.