COVID19 Updates

18.09.2020

Dear Parent and Carers,

I hope you and your family are keeping well and I would once again like to thank you for your continued support over the last few months.

I want to write to you today following the announcement that local authority leaders, directors of public health and the national government have made the decision to place Wolverhampton, into local lockdowns from Tuesday 22nd September following an increase in rates of transmission of COVID-19 in the area.

The local circumstances have meant that schools must now abide by safety restrictions prepared in the instance of government intervention in local areas, as is now the case here in Wolverhampton. This, therefore, applies to Ormiston NEW Academy.

Ensuring everyone’s health, safety and wellbeing, whilst maintaining a consistent education for our students with minimal disruption, has been and continues to be our absolute priority for this academic year. We are closely following all Government and local government guidance, and because of our robust contingency planning, we already have the necessary preparations in place to respond to a range of scenarios relating to a local lockdown.

Moving into Tier 1 will see very little change to how we are already safely operating our school, with various robust and precautionary safety measures in place. We will remain fully open, full time, to all students and staff.

This means that from Tuesday 22nd September, face coverings must now be worn by all students and staff when moving around the premises including in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot be easily maintained. This is in line with Government guidance. We would suggest that students wear face coverings from Monday 21st September. Since the return to school this month, we have provided students and staff with the option of wearing a face covering at times during the school day, which some have chosen to do. We are aware some students are exempt from wearing face coverings for medical conditions. These students will be contacted on Monday; if you would like to confirm with us that your child is included please email us on [email protected].

The school has a small supply of disposable masks to distribute to those students who are unable to obtain a face covering by Monday. We do expect the use of reusable masks or daily disposables, provided by yourselves, going forward. Face coverings must be as plain as possible and without any offensive or aggressive words or images on them. If you have any issues with accessing an appropriate face covering for your child then please do contact the school directly by writing to [email protected].

We will be continuing to operate many other safety measures we have in place including social distancing, social bubbles, staggered school days, and increased hygiene and cleaning protocols to help limit any spread of the virus.

We do not yet know how long Wolverhampton (or any of the other areas) will be placed into a local lockdown for, or whether we will progress to the further Government Tiers (2, 3 and 4) which would be implemented should the transmission rate of COVID-19 continue to increase locally. If we were to move to the next Tier (2), that would require a mix of on-site and remote learning as part of a rota system. However, should there be any changes or updates to the current Tier that we are in and the safety requirements, we will contact you immediately.

As you know, we have done all we can to ensure that your child has the best possible start to the new academic year, following an extraordinary few months and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in helping us do this. The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and wider school community will continue to be our priority, but we will also do everything we can to minimise any disruption to your child’s education. In the meantime, if you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy


» 14.07.2020

14 July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I am writing today to update you on the collection of exam results in August. We know that things can change very quickly in the current climate but these are important days and I wanted to communicate plans with you as soon as possible. I am sure that you will have lots of questions about the process; we’ve put together a frequently asked questions that we hope will provide some answers and reassure you that we are doing everything we can to work with students and their families.

Due to the Government’s directive to ensure 2-metre social distancing which will ensure the safety of students and staff, we will be operating an appointment system for the collection of results on the following dates:

Year 13 – Thursday 13th August 2020

Year 11 and Year 13 GCSE resit students – Thursday 20th August 2020

Someone from our team will call you to let you know your child’s appointment time before the end of term. If you miss this call, please email Mrs Everitt-Smith for year 13 appointments ([email protected]) and Mr Preston for year 11 appointments ([email protected]). If we haven’t managed to get hold of you by the end of term, we will try again in the week leading up to results day.

We have taken the decision to share year 12 GCSE resit results via post, to reduce the number of students who will pass through the Academy on Thursday 20th August.

Our senior leadership team will be on hand to welcome students on their arrival to the Academy where we will manage their receipt of results using appropriate Covid-19 protocols. If they require staff support a safe and secure area will be available for this.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we will not be permitting parents on site on either of these days. We know this might be disappointing but to minimise the risk to our staff and students it is vital that we keep the traffic through the Academy as low as possible. Additionally, there will be no opportunities for any group photographs and we will not be doing any media coverage. Students will be encouraged, for the safety of all, not to group on-site or outside the Academy gates once they have collected their results. If students have any queries or concerns regarding their results they should speak to a member of staff before they leave the school site.

All schools have entered Centre Assessed Grades (CAG). To make the process fair for everyone, exam boards are now standardising the centre assessed grades across all schools and colleges. The exam boards will use evidence such as prior attainment (at school or college level, not individual student level) and national level grade distributions so that final grades are aligned across all schools and colleges and of equal value to previous years. This will make sure that students are not disadvantaged if some schools are more generous than others when making their judgements. Based on this, individual grades may be adjusted upwards or downwards. This means that the final grade awarded to a student could be different from the one their school or college has sent.

Students will also have the option to re-sit their exams in the autumn or next summer (2021) if they wish to. If students do choose to sit exams, both grades (the calculated grade awarded in August 2020 and a later exam result) will stand. Students should be reassured that certificates will look the same as in any other year.

If after reading the FAQ document, you still have concerns and need to speak to me or a member of my leadership team, please send an email to [email protected], or by telephone 01902 623111 and we will do our best to answer any questions.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here is some Government guidance on staying alert and safe: https://bit.ly/2T0FT7j

FAQs

Ofqual GCSE and A level consultation outcomes and autumn exam series proposals
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofqual-gcse-and-a-level-consultation-outcomes-and-autumn-exam-series-proposals

Infographic: Process for awarding GCSEs, AS and A levels summer 2020
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofqual-gcse-and-a-level-consultation-outcomes-and-autumn-exam-series-proposals#infographic-of-the-awarding-process

What is Ofqual? (worth reading this as we refer to them quite a lot in this FAQ)
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England. Ofqual was set up in April 2010 under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 and is also covered by the Education Act 2011. Ofqual is a non-ministerial government department with jurisdiction in England. They have 200 permanent employees as of January 2019 and are based in central Coventry. They maintain standards and confidence in qualifications in England: GCSEs, A levels, AS levels, vocational and technical qualifications. They are independent of government and report directly to Parliament.

Grading in 2020 – information for students video: https://youtu.be/VXuDOrtJY1Q

Why hasn’t my child been awarded the same grade that they were predicted on their last report?
We were asked to do two things by Ofqual for our students. First, we had to make a judgement about the grade that each student was most likely to have achieved if they had taken their exams in summer 2020. To do this, we had to take account of all available evidence including school records, mock exams and non-exam assessment (NEA) that a student has done.

It is worth noting that NEA is not just coursework components, but also test scores and classwork / homework grades etc achieved throughout the duration of a course.

Second, we had to rank each student relative to others for who we also judge would have got the same grade. For example, if we judged that 8 students would have been most likely to achieve a grade B at A level or a grade 4 at GCSE, we had to rank those 8 students from 1 (the most secure/most likely to achieve the grade) to 8 (the least secure/least likely).

Those judgements had to be holistic, based on the range of evidence that we had. So, students shouldn’t worry about one disappointing mock exam result, or if their NEA work wasn’t finished, or they haven’t been able to complete work to their usual standard – or at all. We took all the evidence into account and came to a balanced view.

While schools and colleges do not routinely work in this way, teachers are highly experienced at making assessment decisions and evidence shows they can rank order their students with a high degree of accuracy. Many will already be familiar with ranking students where they do this in subjects with NEA.

What information have you used to decide on the grade?
Our guidance was to take account of all available evidence including school and college records, mock exams and non-exam assessment (NEA) that a student has done to recommend a grade.

Who decided what the grade should be?
Teachers and heads of department know their students and are best placed to make these judgements. Our leadership team also quality assured these grades before they were submitted to the exam boards. The grades that the teachers recommended then went through a process with Ofqual and the exam boards to ensure that they were fair and balanced when compared against the rest of the education sector.

Did NEWA make the final decision?
No, the final decision was regulated and audited by the exam boards and by Ofqual.

How do I appeal about the grades?
Ofqual is committed to doing all that it can to make sure students are not disadvantaged by these unprecedented circumstances, including allowing for an appeal where appropriate. In line with the direction given by the Secretary of State for Education, appeals will be allowed in cases where NEWA believes it has made an error when submitting information; or similarly, if we believe an exam board made a mistake when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade. Additionally, a student who had evidence of bias or discrimination should raise this with their centre.

Ofqual has given serious consideration as to whether a student could appeal against their school or college’s centre assessed grades and position in the rank order. On balance, they have decided it would not be in the interests of all students, or the fairness of the arrangements overall, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the appeal would have to be undertaken by someone better placed than the student’s teachers to judge the grade they would likely have received if the exams had taken place – in the unique circumstances of this summer Ofqual do not believe there is any such person.

An appeal would also require students to have access to the information their school or college put forward before being submitted to exam boards. Ofqual have decided that this may compromise the reliability of this year’s approach. Furthermore, if one student successfully appealed against their position in the rank order, it would have negative implications for other students who would, in turn, need to be given an opportunity to appeal. Ofqual intends that students who feel that their grades from the summer do not reflect their ability will have the opportunity to take their exams in the autumn series or in summer 2021. If they choose to do this, students will be able to use the higher of the two grades for future progression.

My child was unwell/absent during the mock exams. Has my child been disadvantaged by this?
Our judgements had to be holistic, based on the range of evidence that we had. So, students shouldn’t worry about one disappointing mock exam result, or if their NEA work wasn’t finished or they haven’t been able to complete work to their usual standard, or at all. We took all the evidence into account and came to a balanced view.

My child didn’t revise for their mock exams but would have done so for the real thing, has this been taken into account?
Centre assessed grade judgements have to be made objectively. This is particularly important in addressing the concerns some may have about the possibility for bias in this process and its potential impact on some groups of students, or those with certain characteristics. Our overriding priority and the guidance that we received is to ensure that students are rewarded for their hard work over the time of their study.

My child was getting better results in class recently, but these don’t match the grade, have these been taken into account?
Grades are balanced across the period of time that they have been studying the subject, they have to be holistic and based on a range of evidence and not just class grades. Whilst it may feel that some recent good grades haven’t been reflected in the final grade, we can assure you that they have.

My child can no longer start the college course that they were planning to – what can I do?
Firstly, double check with the college in question that this is indeed the case. Colleges will be making considerations due to the disruption this year and Ofqual have assured us that no student will be disadvantaged. If your child is still struggling to secure a place, please work with us and our careers advisors and let us support you.

When can my child resit these exams?
Students who do not believe their calculated grade reflects their performance will have the opportunity to sit examinations. The DfE has announced that there will be an opportunity for students to sit exams in the autumn and Ofqual has confirmed these exams will be available in all subjects. Where a student wishes to sit an exam, DfE’s guidance on Centre responsibility for autumn GCSE, AS and A level exam series sets out that they expect the centre that entered them for the summer series to enter them in the autumn series and take overall responsibility for ensuring that they have somewhere appropriate to sit their exams. Students will also have the option to sit their examinations in summer 2021.

What is standardising?
Standardising makes sure that results are as fair as possible by using statistical evidence to ensure the same grading standards are applied across all schools and colleges from one year to the next. Exam boards standardise every year, but with no exams this summer, it will have a bigger role to play in making sure results are as fair as they can be and of equal value to previous years.

This summer, all exam boards will follow the same standardisation process set out by Ofqual. It will take schools’ centre assessment grades and consider them against:

• past results for each school or college and changes in its year-on-year entry profile
• prior attainment information for this year’s students
• national outcomes for each subject in previous years.

Combining centre assessed grades with this data ensures consistency of grading standards across the country. This is important as some schools may have been more generous than others when making their judgements and ensures they are treating this year’s cohort consistently with any other year. As a result, individual grades may be adjusted upwards or downwards which means that, although the overall rank order of students will be preserved, final grades awarded to a student could be different from the one their school or college sent to the exam board.

How will centre assessment grades be standardised?
(Ref: Ofqual/20/6625 June 2020)
To make sure that grades are fair between schools and colleges, exam boards will put all centre assessment grades through a process of standardisation using a model developed with Ofqual. The standardisation model will draw on the following sources of evidence: historical outcomes for each centre; the prior attainment (Key Stage 2 or GCSE) of this year’s students and those in previous years within each centre; and the expected national grade distribution for the subject given the prior attainment of the national entry. For AS/A levels, the standardisation will consider historical data from 2017, 2018 and 2019. For GCSEs, it will consider data from 2018 and 2019, except where there is only a single year of data from the reformed specifications. Standardisation will not change the rank order of students within each school or college; nor will it assume that the distribution of grades in each subject/centre should be the same.

However, if grading judgements in a subject in some schools and colleges appear to be more severe or generous than others, exam boards will adjust the grades of some or all of those students upwards or downwards accordingly. This means that the centre assessment grades submitted by schools and colleges and the final grade that students receive could be different. It also means that adjustments to centre assessment grades might be different in different subjects. As with other years, the statistical model will consider prior attainment at school or college level, not at individual student level. As such, students’ individual performance will not be predetermined by their prior attainment at KS2 or GCSE.

When are the results out?
Students should be reassured that certificates will look the same as in any other year and they will be issued their results on the expected dates in August:

Year 13: Thursday 13 August
Year 11: Thursday 20 August

There is a change of exam results embargo time – from 6.00am to 8.00am.
We are already making plans for issuing results, all students will have an appointment slot and we will have strict Covid-19 protocols in place to ensure everyone’s safety whilst allowing us to support students face to face.

What about exams and assessments in 2021?
For the summer 2021 exams, the DfE has recognised that students in years 11 and 13 will have missed a critical period of their education due to lockdown in 2019 to 2020 academic year. It is vital that these pupils are able to catch up and access exams that lead to the qualifications they need to progress. They are, therefore, planning on the basis that GCSEs and A levels will take place in summer 2021 but with adaptations, including those which will free up teaching time. Ofqual will launch a consultation on proposed adaptations to exams shortly.

How can I make a formal complaint?
In the first instance, we would ask you to contact the Principal and discuss your complaints directly. However, if you feel you need to make a formal complaint then you can find the policy and the complaints form on our website: https://www.onewa.co.uk/our-academy/policies/

» Show less


» 18.06.2020

18 June 2020

Dear parents/carers,

From Monday 22nd June we are going to be rolling out live lessons using Microsoft Teams. We are hoping to have an hour lesson every week per subject, the lesson will be conducted by the regular class teacher.

We appreciate there are going to be lots of questions and some concerns. So, we’re writing this week to update, answer some questions and give you the opportunity to contact us with any questions.

Students attending the face-to-face sessions this week will have an introduction to using Teams and will have a takeaway work pack to support them. For the students who aren’t able to attend the face to face sessions, our team will deliver the work packs on the morning of 22nd June.

Teams is very much like any other video platform but it integrates well with already existing student accounts and it’s easy to access. Microsoft has done an excellent video here: https://bit.ly/3e5nJK7

We are also mindful that teaching and learning online with larges classes will be a learning curve for all of us, so we’ve developed some friendly guidance and expectations that will help us all. I’ve attached this document, it’s called Live lesson expectations.

I know that there will be lots of questions about signing in, devices, bandwidth and safety – this excellent article from Microsoft will offer some reassurances https://bit.ly/2N5v7Jj. If you still have questions, please drop us a private message on Facebook or email [email protected] and we’ll try and answer.

Following the year 10 launch, our plan will be to roll this out to year 12 during the week commencing 29th June and hopefully start to offer some lessons to other groups before the end of the academic year. In the meantime, all year groups will continue to be taught remotely so please encourage students to keep picking work up via the VLE. Our provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children remain unchanged.

We very much appreciate all of the support and encouragement that you have given us as we try and bring things back to a version of normal.

Mrs L Wilkes
Assistant Principal – Teaching and Learning
Ormiston NEW Academy

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on staying alert and safe: https://bit.ly/2T0FT7j

Download

» Show less


» 01.06.2020

01 June

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you and your families are keeping well and students managed to take a break during half term, the weather was certainly very kind to us all.

We had confirmation last week that students in year 10 and year 12 will start to have some contact time from the 15th June. The plans made several weeks ago will now be greenlit and we will start to communicate with individual students and invite them in. For an overview of the plan and FAQs, I’d refer you to our communication on the 20th May which you can find here: https://bit.ly/2TXC17D – please note that the dates in this link have been pushed back by a week.

We are planning to welcome the return of year 10 from Monday 15th June for just two hours each over a two-week period. In addition, we are also planning to have contact time with year 12, in the week of 29th June. These two year-groups have key exams next year and this face-to-face contact time will help our transition back to full-time studies at the Academy when the time is right.

Throughout this week staff will be meeting and preparing for this wider opening. All year groups will continue to be taught remotely. In order to allow this to work, we are expecting to stick to the current (remote learning) structure via the academy VLE. Our provision for children of key workers and vulnerable children remain unchanged.

We will be contacting individual families in year 10 and year 12 by telephone this week with details about the contact time – this contact provides you with lots of details about times and where to meet.

We have been planning this for a number of weeks and our health and safety audits and risk assessments have been extensive, you can find them below. If you would like to speak to me or a member of my leadership team, please send an email to [email protected] or by telephone 01902 623 111, we will do our best to answer any questions.

Work is being set remotely again, let’s try and get the students back up-to-speed. We appreciate the time and efforts that you go to supporting them and if you need additional support please contact us.

Please take care and stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on staying alert and safe: https://bit.ly/2T0FT7j

Download

» Show less


» 01.06.2020

01 June

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you and your families are well.

I am sure that many of you will have been keeping a keen eye on what the next steps forward are for the country.

While a great deal will be debated and discussed over the coming days, and a number of questions are still unanswered, the Prime Minister did give an indication of what the Government is proposing for the easing of lockdown. We are all aware that some people will welcome this news, others may understandably feel more uneasy or uncomfortable as we slowly return to some level of normality. However you feel, I have no doubt that you will have a significant number of questions.

We expect that all aspects of these announcements will be discussed in detail over the next few days in Parliament and then the education aspects considered by the Department for Education (DfE). At this point, we are then likely to get some official guidance from the DfE and our sponsor, OAT, about the practicalities of what all of this means for schools and, most importantly, your children.

Until that point, it would be wrong for us to speculate on what our response is as an Academy. There is going to be more than enough comment and discussion in papers over the coming days – and we simply don’t want to add to the confusion.

So, please be assured that we will let you know what the next steps are as soon as we have a clear indication of the where we go from here from the DfE and OAT. While we can’t give you any detail at this stage, just know that we will work together to support you, your children and our staff through the coming weeks and months. We will work out the right approach for our community when more detail is given.

Thank you once again for all your support over recent weeks.

Please take care and stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on staying alert and safe: https://bit.ly/2T0FT7j

» Show less


» 20.05.2020, ReOpening & FAQS

20 May

Dear Parents/Carers,

I do hope that your families remain well.

Things are beginning to change a little and, following my previous correspondence, I write to you with a further update.

Thank you for your trust in NEWA. Unlike other colleagues at other schools, we have not been inundated with questions and requests regarding the wider reopening of the education sector. This has allowed us to spend valuable time creating the right plan for your children without added pressure. This has meant a great deal to us and we are eternally grateful for your faith in us.

We have received an avalanche of communications over the last few days from Government departments. It remains subject to change and we have been told that a final decision will not be made until 28th May 2020. This date provides the Government with an option to cancel these plans if the wider risk of the virus increases. However, we would be negligent if we left our communications and planning to the last minute.

We are planning to welcome the return of year 10 from Monday 8th June for just two hours each week. In addition, we are also planning to have contact time with year 12, commencing from the 22nd June. These two year-groups have key exams next year and this face-to-face contact time will help our transition back to full-time studies at the Academy when the time is right.

All year groups will continue to be taught remotely. In order to allow this to work, we are expecting to stick to the current (remote learning) structure. Our provision for children of keyworkers and vulnerable children remains unchanged.

Year 10 students: From June 8th, there will be small groups (no more than 15) of year 10 students invited into the Academy. Students will attend in the morning from 09:30-11:30. This structure will allow us to have contact with every student in year 10 over a two-week period.

Year 12 students: Furthermore, week commencing June 22nd, there will be small groups (no more than 15) of year 12 students invited into the Academy. Students will be in the morning from 0930-1130.

It will look like this:

Week One (June 1st) – Staff only (staggered contact process throughout the week).
Week Two (June 8th) – Year 10 – staggered through the week (two hours for each student) – contact time – discussing mental health, wellbeing, reviewing work and accessing the VLE.
Week Three (June 15th) – Year 10 – staggered through the week (two hours for each student) – contact time – discussing mental health, wellbeing, reviewing work and accessing the VLE.
Week Four (June 22nd) – Year 12 – staggered through the week (two hours for each student) – contact time – discussing mental health, wellbeing, reviewing work and accessing the VLE.

At this point, the provision in the Academy will be reviewed and we will make further decisions regarding the remaining three weeks of term, when I will write to you again.

There are also a number of other areas that I would like to mention, we have covered these in more detail in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document:

  • Movement around the site will be limited, groups will be assigned their own toilet block and extensive cleaning of toilets and rooms will occur between groups.
  • There will be no breaks or lunches. All students on site will be provided with a grab bag lunch to take home with them.
  • Students will not be required to wear uniform. However, we do ask that students come in wearing clean clothes and that clothes are washed after they have been in.
  • All students who are unwell should stay at home, whether the symptoms they display are ‘covid symptoms’ or not.
  • The times of drop off (arrival) and collection (depart) will be staggered.
  • If your child needs to be dropped off or collected, only one parent should do this.
  • Please do not gather at entrance gates or doors and do not enter the school site unless you have a pre-arranged appointment
  • The academy remains closed to all other visitors, however contact can be made with the academy by email [email protected] or by telephone 01902 623 111.

I would like to give you every assurance that we are already working very hard to ensure that when we open, we will be meeting the Government’s guidance on social distancing and infection control. However, we would ask that families who are shielding or students who are clinically vulnerable to take the advice of their GP or clinician and make an informed decision about whether they should attend or not.

We will be writing to you again with further information, including the proposed day when your child is invited to return, about allocated drop-off and collection times, and the process for doing so to help minimise contact. Students may not necessarily be in friendship groups, it is important that students do not see this as a social exercise and we must ensure that after the sessions they return home immediately. At the end of this letter you will also find a list of frequently asked questions you may find useful.

I can’t begin to tell you the extent of planning this has involved, our health and safety audits and risk assessments have been extensive. Given the fluidity of the situation, I thought it helpful if we offered you more direct contact with myself and my team. This is an opportunity to discuss, in confidence, any matter that is important to you and your family. It need not be specifically about the reopening of the school. If you would like to speak to me or a member of my leadership team, please send an email to [email protected] and we will do our best to answer any questions.

It is important to state that schools have not been closed. They have remained open for the children who have needed our support and care, including the children of key workers. Teachers and leaders have in many cases worked harder than any point in their professional lives as they have sought to support home learning and to ensure that those families who needed it, had food. Parents too have been magnificent in attempting to support their children’s learning while in many cases, also trying to continue to work.

For now, we are simply making plans for how we might open schools more widely from 1st June. The Government will make the final decision on whether to open schools more widely when it reviews the latest science, including transmission rates, on 28th May.

There is still a great deal of planning to work through. There are daily briefings and clarity is beginning to be provided by the Government. Matters are becoming clearer.

Finally, I wanted to let you know how proud I have been of the students over the last couple of months. Whether they are among the small number who have been in school or, like most, they have been at home, I know that they have been a credit to themselves.

Many of you have been kind enough to tell me how they are getting on and what learning they have been doing. I do enjoy hearing what they are doing, so please do keep letting me know and please keep encouraging them to keep up with their studies.

Please take care and stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on staying alert and safe: https://bit.ly/2T0FT7j


FAQs

Why are you opening?
The Government has announced its first steps for learners in year 10 and 12 “to supplement remote education with some face to face support for these year groups from 1 June”. They do not, however, expect the learners to return on a full-time basis at this stage, “so we do not expect a full timetable to be offered as schools and colleges look to minimise the number of pupils in school or college each day”. Therefore we are following government advice and providing contact time for students who have important exams in 2021.

Is this only for year 10 students?
The contact time will be offered to students in year 10 and in year 12.

Can my child see their friends?
In these small groups, students may not necessarily be with close friends. It is important that students do not see this as a social exercise and we must ensure that after the sessions they return home immediately. We are already working very hard to ensure that when we open, we will be meeting the Government’s guidance on social distancing and infection control.

Will I get fined if I don’t send my child in?
You do not have to send your child to school during this pandemic. There are no plans to fine parents of children who do not attend at the present time.

My child is in another year, why can’t they come in?
The Government has asked us to prioritise year 10 and year 12 students because they have important exams next year. Engagement levels with the VLE have been very pleasing throughout all year groups and we will continue to set work in this way. If you think that your child would benefit from some one-to-one time on video or via the phone, contact us and we will try to accommodate this request.

What precautions are you making for children to be safe?
Schools and academies are following national guidance produced by the Department for Education and Public Health England. We will operate social distancing (where possible), keep children in small groups throughout the day, increase cleaning schedules and ask children to follow more stringent hygiene routines. We will also stagger the start and finish of the school day to reduce the number of adults and students arriving and departing at the same time.

When will the Academy open?
It is likely that we will be fully open in September but we have not received any guidance on this and the Government will advise these plans in due course.

Does this replace remote learning on the VLE for year 10?
No, this does not replace remote learning via the VLE. Students will only be in for two hours at first, and they should continue to access and complete tasks set for them on the VLE

What will students be doing during these sessions?
The sessions will run a little like tutor groups where we will discuss mental health, wellbeing, work that has been set and access to the VLE. Further sessions will have more of a traditional teaching and learning focus.

How long are the sessions?
Each session is two hours.

Do students need to bring all their work in?
Students should not bring anything into the academy, all equipment will be provided.

How will students get into the Academy?
If students are able to attend then they would make their way to NEW in the way that they always have done. We’ve moved the start and end of the day to avoid busy periods on public transport. Once at NEW, students should report to main reception.

Can they meet up with their friends after the sessions?
It is important that students do not see this as a social exercise and we must ensure that after the sessions they return home immediately. We will reiterate this with students in the academy.

Are you still open to keyworkers?
Yes. Provision for keyworkers and vulnerable children remains unchanged and available to all year groups.

Do students have to wear uniform?
Students will not be required to wear uniform. However, we do ask that students come in wearing clean clothes and that clothes are washed after they have been in.

Someone in my household is still shielding, should my child attend?
We would ask that families who are shielding or staff who are clinically vulnerable to take the advice of their GP or clinician and make an informed decision about whether they should come in or not.

Someone in my house has symptoms (or has had) symptoms – should I send my child in?
All students who are unwell will be told to stay at home, whether the symptoms they display are ‘covid symptoms’ or not. If you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus then we ask that you follow the NHS advice which is documented here: https://bit.ly/368HMnP

When will you let the other groups in?
At the moment we have only been asked to invite year 10 and year 12 in. Whilst we try not to speculate, with just seven weeks left until the end of the academic year, it is unlikely any other groups will return before September.

Will children have to social distance?
We are working very hard to ensure that when we open, we will be meeting the Government’s guidance on social distancing and infection control.

Will you be serving food and where will the children eat?
We would recommend that children come in with a snack (if needed) and a drink in a bottle. Students will be provided with a lunch grab bag on their departure from school. To note, the water coolers will be unavailable but bottled water will be, if required.

My child travels in on public transport, do they have to come in?
There is absolutely no expectation that any student HAS to come in. If you or your child do not feel comfortable coming in using public transport, please stay at home and let us know by writing to [email protected].

Why can’t my year 10 child come in more often – it seems pointless coming in for 2 hours per week?
We have had to plan to bring all of year 10 and year 12 in safely by following key guidance. We do not want lots of students on-site at the same time therefore we have had to create a rota system. Whilst we appreciate that it is not a perfect solution, it is safer and it allows us some contact time with all students. We will review this approach and inform you of any changes.

How can you enforce social distancing with year 10s?
Students in year 10 will already be very familiar with social distancing. However, we have lots of new signage up around the site and will be marking out workspaces to ensure social distancing compliance. It will also be one of the first things that we’ll talk to students about.

Will teachers and staff have to use PPE?
No – PPE will not be compulsory, but will be available for staff to use, at their discretion. If a child becomes unwell and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, staff will have to isolate that child from others and use PPE to protect themselves. In some circumstances, for example, where a child needs personal care or has specific additional needs, staff may use PPE whilst they support a child.

My child is worried about coming back to school, how can I help them?
Talk to your child in a positive way about school, seeing friends and teachers again. Help them understand how social distancing works and make sure that they know about the importance of handwashing. We are also more than happy to speak to the student about their concerns one-to-one.

Will schools be teaching the National Curriculum when children return?
No. We will initially focus on ensuring children feel safe and anxiety-free. We will deliver a curriculum designed to support children back into school routines and classroom learning.

» Show less


» 14.05.2020

14 May

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you and your families are well.

I am sure that many of you will have been keeping a keen eye on what the next steps forward are for the country.

While a great deal will be debated and discussed over the coming days, and a number of questions are still unanswered, the Prime Minister did give an indication of what the Government is proposing for the easing of lockdown. We are all aware that some people will welcome this news, others may understandably feel more uneasy or uncomfortable as we slowly return to some level of normality. However you feel, I have no doubt that you will have a significant number of questions.

We expect that all aspects of these announcements will be discussed in detail over the next few days in Parliament and then the education aspects considered by the Department for Education (DfE). At this point, we are then likely to get some official guidance from the DfE and our sponsor, OAT, about the practicalities of what all of this means for schools and, most importantly, your children.

Until that point, it would be wrong for us to speculate on what our response is as an Academy. There is going to be more than enough comment and discussion in papers over the coming days – and we simply don’t want to add to the confusion.

So, please be assured that we will let you know what the next steps are as soon as we have a clear indication of the where we go from here from the DfE and OAT. While we can’t give you any detail at this stage, just know that we will work together to support you, your children and our staff through the coming weeks and months. We will work out the right approach for our community when more detail is given.

Thank you once again for all your support over recent weeks.

Please take care and stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on staying alert and safe: https://bit.ly/2T0FT7j

» Show less


» 17.04.2020, FSM

17 April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the length of this message regarding Free School Meal (FSM) provision. We have incorporated a lengthy frequently asked question (FAQ) section that we felt would prove to be useful to all. Please also forgive us if you receive or see this message multiple times, we need to reach all parents eligible for FSMs so this communication will be going out via text, email and social media.

Our delivery service will stop on the 20th April. Parents who have been receiving a weekly meal delivery will receive a final delivery on Monday 20th April. This will be in addition to the voucher system. From Monday 20th April NEWA will be using the Government voucher system provided by Edenred. This service will continue for the foreseeable future and each FSM child is entitled to £15 per week. We are working hard this week to set the system up and hope to have the first voucher with you early in the week commencing 20th April. We are planning to have vouchers for you every Monday thereafter. However, please be patient, this is a new system and we are beholden to the administrators, Edenred, to send the codes out.

In the email that you receive, you will get an eCode that you need to exchange for a voucher. All of the details on how to do this are in the FAQ section below:

1. What’s the difference between an eCode and an eGift card?
eCode – this is the 16 digit code which will be sent to you. You’ll need this code to access www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk and choose your supermarket eGift card. You cannot use the eCode directly with the retailer, it must be exchanged for an eGift card.

eGift card – each supermarket has their own eGift card. To order your eGift, redeem your eCode at www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk. The eGift card will be sent to the email address entered during check-out and can be spent in-store at the chosen supermarket.

2. How do I use my eCode to select a supermarket eGift card?
We recommend ordering your supermarket eGift at home before going to the store. To select your supermarket eGift card, follow the steps below:
1. Copy eCode from your email
2. Go to www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk
3. Enter the 16 digit eCode (you can enter more than one eCode if you have more than one to redeem)
4. Select a supermarket
5. Enter the amount and add to basket
6. Checkout and enter the email address you would like the eGift card sent to
7. Your eGift card will be processed and sent (please allow up to 3 hours for it to be delivered to your inbox).

3. Which supermarkets can I pick from?
The below supermarkets are available:
• Morrisons
• Tesco
• Sainsbury’s
• Asda
• Waitrose (John Lewis)
• M&S food

4. How do I know what the value of the eCode is?
This is stated in the email sent to you by the Academy.

5. Do I have to use the full value of the eCode when choosing my eGift card(s)?
Yes – your balance will be visible on the webpage.

6. Can I choose to redeem my eCode at more than one supermarket?
You can mix and match different supermarket retailers within the same order, provided the total value you’ve chosen for each is equal to the total value of the eCode you’ve entered. For example, with a £10 eCode, you could choose £5 for Tesco and £5 for Sainsbury’s.

Simply enter the value you would like to order on each supermarket eGift card and your balance will update so you know how much you have left.

Please note that the full value of the eCode needs to be redeemed in one transaction, you cannot redeem a partial value of the code and save the rest for later.

Most supermarkets accept multiples of £1 or 1p per eGift card, however some other supermarkets have larger fixed amounts that can be ordered, e.g £10.

7. How long do I have to redeem the eCode?
Your eCode will expire after 1 month.

8. What happens if my eCode has expired?
The eCode is cancelled and the money associated is then returned to the Department for Education.

9. What can I purchase in-store with the eGift card?
The eGift card is issued to you in respect of the free school meal benefit and will only be accepted in store for the purchase of food and groceries.

10. How do I know what the value of the eGift card is?
The value will be present on the eGift card itself.

11. How do I use a supermarket eGift card?
A supermarket eGift card is a digital voucher. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode which can be presented at the till in-store either on a smartphone screen or printed on a piece of paper, just like a gift card.

Some eGift cards can be used to purchase online. Please see Q13.

12. How long does the supermarket eGift card last for?
Sainsbury’s 24 months from last transaction
Tesco 5 years from last transaction
Asda 24 months from last transaction
Morrisons 12 months expiry
Waitrose (John Lewis) 24 months from last transaction
M&S food 24 months from last transaction

For more T&Cs, please refer to the supermarket’s website.

13. Can the vouchers be used in-store and online?
Sainsbury’s: Yes (in-store) No (online)
Tesco: Yes (in-store) No (online)
Asda: Yes (in-store) Yes (online)
Morrisons: Yes (in-store) No (online)
Waitrose: (John Lewis) Yes (in-store) Yes (online)
M&S food: Yes (in-store) No (online)

For more T&C’s, please refer to the supermarket’s website.

14. My school has ordered an eCode for me, but it hasn’t come through to my email?
Firstly, check your junk mail. If it still hasn’t arrived within 3 hours, please contact NEWA to ensure that they have your correct email address. If necessary, we can cancel the previously sent eCode and resend to your correct email address. If this still doesn’t work, we can contact Edenred.

15. I have ordered an eGift card, but it hasn’t come through to my email?
Firstly, check your junk mail folder and trash.

You will receive two emails – one will be a confirmation or your order and the other will be the
eGift card itself. If your order confirmation email has arrived, then your eGift card is in a queue and is on its way. If you’ve received neither emails, it is possible that you have entered your email address incorrectly at checkout. If you think this may be the case, please contact [email protected].

16. What happens if I have a smartphone but no data when I’m at the supermarket?
We suggest ordering your eGift card at home when connected to WiFi before you go to the
supermarket. Take a screenshot of the eGift card barcode before going to the supermarket as this should still scan ok in-store.

17. I’m not able to get to the supermarket.
You can forward the supermarket eGift card to someone else to purchase goods on your behalf if you’re not able to get to the supermarket. The eGift card email contains a link to a barcode which can be presented at the till in-store, just like a gift card.

18. How often will I receive the supermarket voucher?
We have the flexibility in how often we send you an eCode and we are planning to send weekly to arrive on a Monday. The eCode can be redeemed for a supermarket eGift card within 1 month. The eGift cards have different expiry dates – please see Q12 for further details.

19. I have more than one child, will I receive multiple eCodes?
NEWA will send one eCode to you, for the total value of your childrens’ free school meal entitlement.

You can find the original FAQ document at the EdenRed website: https://bit.ly/2wDyu5S

I appreciate that there is a lot of information here but I have been reliably informed by other Principals that this process works well and is straightforward. If you encounter any problems or struggle to access this scheme, please email [email protected], message us on Facebook or call the Academy on 01902 623 111.

This is a time when we all need to look after each other and I’ve been heartened and humbled by the many messages that I’ve received from our community. If you are struggling in any way, please get in touch – we will try and signpost and support in any way we can.

Please take care and stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Don’t forget:
Wash your hands
Cough/sneeze into your elbow
Don’t touch your face
Stay more than 6ft (2m) away from others
Stay home if you feel sick

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on social distancing: https://bit.ly/2UxH51F

» Show less


» 09.04.2020

09 April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

The Academy site will be closed on Friday 10th of April until Monday 13th April. We will reopen again on Tuesday 14th of April where we will resume our offering to children of keyworkers and FSM provision. We will write next week regarding the move to the FSM voucher scheme.

If you need to contact the Academy urgently over the Bank Holiday weekend, please email [email protected] or use Facebook Messenger – we will have someone picking up twice a day.

We hope that you have a peaceful weekend and please stay at home.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Don’t forget:
Wash your hands
Cough/sneeze into your elbow
Don’t touch your face
Stay more than 6ft (2m) away from others
Stay home if you feel sick

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on social distancing: https://bit.ly/2UxH51F

» Show less


» 03.04.2020

03 April 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

I certainly didn’t expect to bring this term to a close in such a way. We’ve all been working remotely now for two weeks and I think that the staff will join me in saying that we miss working with your children. That’s why we work in education and that’s why our commitment to you and them remains paramount.

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks whilst we’ve all been trying to find our feet but we feel that we are all making progress and will be ready to move forward after Easter. We won’t be setting work over Easter but I’d encourage students to stay in touch with their work, catch up, read and try to utilise some of the learning links on our website. There is also a folder on the VLE of fun Easter activities students can complete while they enjoy their break.

You can find our learning links here: www.onewa.co.uk/student-resource-links and our reading list here: https://bit.ly/3bKLdmb. If you are looking for a family fitness regime we can recommend The Body Coach every morning live at 0900. We also have a page with contacts for a number of support services listed. If you are struggling in any way, I’d urge you to visit this page on our website www.onewa.co.uk/covid19-updates and access the Safeguarding Update from the 23rd March or get in touch with us at school.

Apart from the Bank Holidays on Friday 10th April and Monday 13th April, the Academy will be open to children of keyworkers over Easter so we will remain available if we are needed. The best ways to get in touch are through our Facebook Page, calling the Academy main number or using [email protected].

The term starts on the 20th of April and we will assume that the Academy will remain closed. If we receive instruction to open, we will communicate this with you through normal channels. We will continue to set work via the VLE. After Easter, we will start to introduce a little more normality in our social media feeds and share some of the incredible stories and work from our students.

When we start back it is likely that our Free School Meal (FSM) provision will change and move to a national voucher scheme; you may have seen this on the news. As I write this we are receiving guidance from our sponsor and from the Government. It is important that the solution is fair and ensures that families are supported, we ask that you give us time to plan properly and communicate this to all. I would expect an update during the Easter break. In the meantime, our admin team will be working behind the scenes to collate email addresses. It’s important that we have an email address as this will be the likely way that FSM vouchers will be distributed.

Our current system will still be available over Easter with deliveries taking place Monday 6th and Tuesday 14th April. We are trying to ensure that this service continues. If you have any questions, please email us on [email protected] or send us a Facebook message. I should also remind you that travel into the Academy is not permitted.

This will be a different Easter break, perhaps one that is more peaceful. Under normal circumstances, we’d all be busy planning activities for the children and perhaps some days out. Our challenge will be to find new ways to fill the days, it’s a good time to spring clean and for us all to do those jobs that we’ve been putting off. Perhaps getting the children to help out in the garden or around the house? Whatever you do remember that we aren’t stuck at home, we are safe at home. Let’s be thankful for those frontline services and especially the NHS staff who are going above and beyond to keep us all safe and to look after those in need.

Please take care and stay safe.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Don’t forget:
Wash your hands
Cough/sneeze into your elbow
Don’t touch your face
Stay more than 6ft (2m) away from others
Stay home if you feel sick

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on social distancing: https://bit.ly/2UxH51F

» Show less


» 03.04.2020 - Qualification Update

03 April 2020

Qualification Update

Dear Parents/Carers,

As you may have seen, details were published today of how grades will be awarded to students taking GCSEs, AS levels and A levels. Details for how vocational and technical qualifications will be awarded this summer will follow.
Attached to this letter is a message to students from Sally Collier, who leads Ofqual, the organisation which oversees exams and qualifications in this country. That letter outlines the process, but I also wanted to ensure you heard from me today so that you understood how grades will be awarded to students this summer. You can of course also ask me any questions if anything is not clear.

Your child’s teachers will provide grades in each subject they are taking. These assessments will be based on what the teacher believed each student would have achieved had they sat exams this summer, and on a range of evidence.

This will include:

  • Students’ classwork and bookwork, or performances in subjects like PE, music or drama
  • Any non-exam assessment, whether or not completed
  • The results of any assignments or mock exams, and
  • Any previous exam results.

We have not been asked to set any additional homework or mock exams to make these assessed grades.
Teachers will also be asked to rank students in order for each subject, so as to split students awarded the same grade. These grades will be confidential and teachers will not be allowed to share these grades with students. We have been asked to send these grades to Ofqual by the end of May/start of June.

Ofqual will then look at all the grades and decide what the final grades for each student in each subject should be. It is developing the model it will use to do this, so all grades are fair, but it expects to use a range of information to do this such as cohort prior attainment and previous exam results at schools.

Your child will get their final grades in the summer – Ofqual has said that results will be provided no later than they had been expected, in August, but that the objective is to provide grades earlier than that so that you and your child have certainty as soon as possible.

There will be an appeals process and Ofqual has also said that it is working with exam boards so that there is an opportunity, if possible, for students to sit exams, if they would like to, in the autumn term. More information on that will follow, and I will share that when it is available from Ofqual.

Clearly these are unprecedented circumstances, and the situation in all walks of life at the moment is far from ideal, but I hope this provides some level of certainty of how the process will work this summer for all exam grades. Ofqual has said it would like to reassure you that the grades your child will get this summer will look exactly the same as in previous years, and will have equal status with universities, colleges and employers, so that young people can move forward in their lives as planned.

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-gcses-as-a-levels-will-be-awarded-in-summer-2020. I hope this gives answers to questions you may have, but if not, please do not hesitate to contact me. In the meantime, I hope you and your family are staying safe and are in good health.

Yours sincerely,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

» Show less


» 27.03.2020

27 March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

I wanted to start by thanking you today for giving us the time to get systems up and running. Your patience has been appreciated by staff and so have your messages of support. I’m delighted to say that we’ve had record numbers of students using the VLE to access school work and I think we’ve all started to find the best ways to learn in different ways. Our IT Team have been busy ensuring everyone has access and if you need any advice or support please contact either 01902 623 145 or [email protected].

The update today will talk a little bit about building structure. We all know that routines are key for children. It doesn’t matter what the routine is, just that it is consistent. However, these are still new habits that need to be formed and we shouldn’t expect them to happen overnight. We are asking children to adapt very quickly. We should give them the opportunity to learn the new habits and routines in a new setting, School timetables are very different to home, we need to work together to help you find the balance but more importantly give the children time to adapt. This is a huge upheaval and we all need to take our time to adapt.

We know that our families will be having a range of different approaches to home learning. We cannot control how you do this. However, we can support families by providing access to staff through email and to enable them to carry on learning. It’s also important to support the mental health and emotional state of the children during this transitional phase. We should not expect our children to be able to understand what is happening and the scale of the time we are talking about (because nobody does!) As with the routines, we need to take our time with this. Children WILL learn! We can model how to adapt to learning at home without panic. Reading, cooking, cleaning, gardening, helping with younger children, listening to others, being kind. All things that children learn daily and will do without too much intervention. Life is learning, change things slowly and the whole family will find it easier to adapt. And if you need some extra support or advice, our senior staff are on hand to speak to you and help out.

I have attached an excellent parent factsheet from The Key regarding home learning. Given all of this advice, information and the constant flow of work, my advice would be not to panic. Give yourself and your family time to adapt. We’re here right with you and our aim is to support the change gradually and not create more pressure at this time.

HOME LEARNING PDF – CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

On a different note, we need to ask all visitors to stay away from the Academy. The country is on lockdown and travel into the Academy is for essential visits only, this includes dropping children off and collecting them.

We continue to provide a delivery service of Free School Meals. We are trying to ensure that this service continues to support our families. If you have any questions, please email us on [email protected] or send us a Facebook message.

We’ve received some enquiries about trips that are happening later in the year or in 2021. All of our trips are currently under review and unless you have heard otherwise will continue to run as normal. We are in constant discussion with tour operators and following strict advice from Government departments. If you have concerns or questions about payments, please email [email protected]. We will be in touch nearer the date when a decision has to be made about the individual trips going ahead.

I’ll finish off by saying that we are constantly reviewing the learning links on the website, you can find them here: http://www.onewa.co.uk/student-resource-links/. You can also find an age-appropriate reading list here. If you are looking for a family fitness regime we can recommend The Body Coach every morning live at 0900. There are nearly one million people from all over the world taking part every day and we’d encourage you to visit The Body Coach on Facebook to join in.

Please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on social distancing: https://bit.ly/2UxH51F.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Don’t forget:
Wash your hands
Cough/sneeze into your elbow
Don’t touch your face
Stay more than 6ft (2m) away from others
Stay home if you feel sick

» Show less


» 24.03.2020

24th March 2020

A short update today as there are some brief areas that I need to communicate:

Our remote learning (VLE) is now in operation and we will continue to improve offerings and contact as time moves on.

  • If you are self-isolating or showing symptoms of Covid-19 as outlined by the NHS, PLEASE do not leave your house, PLEASE do not visit the Academy and ensure everyone in your household isolates themselves for the advised 14-day period. If you need to pick anything up from the Academy, email [email protected] and we will arrange a contactless delivery.
    • The academy are no longer accepting visitors on to site – if you need to speak to someone at the academy please call 01902 623 111 or email [email protected]
  • We’ve published some guidance on support services for young people who might be struggling to cope with the current developments. You can find that on our website: http://www.onewa.co.uk/covid19-updates
  • The Department for Education has alerted us to a scam email currently doing the rounds all over the country. The DfE has been informed that some parents have received an email stating the following: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’. It has been confirmed that this is a scam email and is not official. We urge parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond, and delete it immediately.

Even more importantly, please follow Government advice by washing your hands frequently and reduce your social interactions – here’s some Government guidance on social distancing: https://bit.ly/2UxH51F

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

Don’t forget:

1. Wash your hands

2. Cough/sneeze into your elbow

3. Don’t touch your face

4. Stay more than 6ft (2m) away from others

5. Stay home if you feel sick

» Show less


» 23.03.2020 - Safeguarding Info

23 March 2020

Safeguarding Update 

Dear Parents/carers,

The events of the last week have been challenging and, as an Academy, we have done our best to answer every question asked of us in an open and honest way. We’d like to deal with the mental health of our students in exactly the same way. We know that many of our young people will be struggling with the changes and the uncertainty over exams, although you can find information on the latter here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

There will also be heightened anxiety generally. We believe that we can start to manage this anxiety by limiting time on social media and ensuring that we get any information about Covid-19 from the NHS website and official sources. Following the guidance is key and starting to build daily routines and structures will help us all adjust.

Of course, the safety and wellbeing of our students continues to be of paramount importance and there are lots of useful physical and mental advice support services for you to share with your children. We’ve listed some that we recommend below.

ChatHealth (School Nurse Services): A confidential text messaging service that enables children and young people, 11 years and older, to contact their local, public health, school nursing team. This is available on 07480 635486.

Kooth: A free, safe and anonymous online support for young people (11-19 years plus) available at all times at www.kooth.com. It includes accessing online counselling support. Monday-Friday: noon-10pm. Saturday and Sunday: 6pm – 10pm.

Health For Teens Website: For general health advice – www.healthforteens.co.uk

Wolverhampton 360: Young People’s Substance Misuse Services are still available as and when needed. Please phone 0300 123 33 60 or email [email protected]

Brook (Sexual Health Support: 11 years old plus): Brook are contacting young people directly to discuss the appropriate mode of support for their personal circumstances.

Childline: Website is operating www.childline.org.uk and the counselling service is still available; please call 0800 1111.

Papyrus (Youth Suicide Prevention charity): Please call 0800 0684141 or email [email protected]

The BBC also has an excellent resource on protecting your mental health: www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51873799

It is also important to state that our staff are also picking up emails and are contactable. In the first instance, it might be worth contacting me to discuss options but if a student has a concern and would like to speak to a particular member of staff, we’ll do all we can to arrange a telephone chat. To contact me or the safeguarding team at ONEWA, email [email protected].

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Leanne Clarke
Senior Leader Safeguarding

» Show less


» 23.03.2020

23 March 2020

Click here for information provided by the DfE for parents and carers.

Dear Parents/Carers

Now that we have managed the school closure and done all we can to ensure a continuation of education via remote means, our attention turns to exams and qualifications for students in years 11 to 14. Over the last 24 hours, we have received a barrage of Government and exam board communication and instead of posting links we wanted to distil this information and break it down. We know that everyone is concerned but students across the United Kingdom are in the same position and we are committed to making sure that students aren’t disadvantaged in any way.

The Government has provided clarification on how qualifications and grades for students who are due to complete courses this year will be awarded. We have provided an official link to the statement below. It is self-explanatory but we felt that it might be useful to summarise the key points:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-details-on-exams-and-grades-announced

  • Teachers will be asked to make a judgement on the grade they feel students would have achieved if they’d sat all exams and completed courses as normal. This judgement will inform the grade they are awarded for their subjects. Importantly, teachers will be able to base their judgement on a wide range of evidence and not just on most recent mock exam results. This means that tests, essays, classwork and homework etc completed during studies can be taken into consideration by teachers. This also means that the predicted grade that teachers recorded on reports may potentially differ from the final grade they suggest should be awarded. Teachers will do everything they can to ensure students achieve the grades they were on track to achieve.
  • For sixth form students, the prior attainment (ie the grades achieved in GCSEs) will also be taken into consideration by exam boards alongside the grades suggested by teachers. This is nothing to worry about- the exam boards will be looking at what students with similar GCSE grades typically achieve in the subjects undertaken in the sixth form.
  • The plan is for the exam boards to inform students of the grades they’ve been awarded at the end of July, this is earlier than normal.
  • An appeal process will be put in place if students feel the grades they are awarded don’t sufficiently reflect what they feel they would have achieved had they sat all exams as normal. At the moment we don’t have any information about how this process will work.
  • Students will be awarded full A level, BTEC and GCSE qualifications and will eventually receive certificates as normal. The value of these A levels, BTECs and GCSE will be no different from those awarded to students in previous years.
  • Although full qualifications will be awarded, there will be the opportunity to sit exams in subjects early next academic year (ie at some point from September 2020 onwards) if students wish to do this. This may be something students will want to consider and we will speak to everybody a little later in the year when more detail is available.

There are a few more points I’d like to raise now that we have more clarification on how qualifications will be awarded:

  • Firstly, the completion of any coursework that teachers require students to complete at home is vital now that we know their judgement will be used to inform final grades. This is particularly important for subjects like art (May 20th deadline) and technology.
  • Secondly, for sixth form students, the advice from universities is don’t rush decisions. If students have heard back from all universities they’ve applied to before March 31st (which will apply to most students), they have until May 5th to make firm and insurance choices. Universities will be contacting applicants direct with regards to how they will be moving forward with applications and offers.
  • If students have applied to go to university, make sure student finance applications are completed. This is something done at home with parents or carers.
  • Finally, please refrain from contacting teachers about suggested awarded grades. Teachers are working with students and not against them. We always have the best interests of students at heart and teachers need time to reflect back on the wealth of assessment done with students over the period of study before making their final judgment.

Finally, the Government has put together a document of frequently asked questions about exams and you can find that at this shortened link https://bit.ly/2xT80xj. There is very little we can add at this point but will do all our best to reassure students at this difficult time and ensure that we communicate information as and when we receive it.

The most important thing I can say now, given all this information, is to ask students NOT to give up on your studies. Complete coursework, study and continue to work hard. In turn, my priority is to ensure that none of our students face a barrier when it comes to moving onto the next stage of their lives – whether that’s further or higher education, an apprenticeship or a job. Staff are on hand to answer any subject-specific questions from parents, carers and students and the head of each year will continue support students with any concerns they might have or any emotional troubles or anxiety brought on by these events.

We will be in touch with further updates. In the meantime, stay safe and continue to follow guidance from Government departments and the NHS.

Yours faithfully,

Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

» Show less


» 20.03.2020


20 March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

As you know, we are all facing extraordinary challenges and the situation is placing pressure on all parts of society. Our staff have been doing all they can to keep our school open since this crisis began and I would like to pay tribute to their remarkable commitment. They have been extraordinary and will continue to play their part over the coming weeks.

The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. No date has been set for when schools will re-open for all students.

From Monday, and throughout the Easter holidays, the school will continue to be open for the following groups of students:

  • Children whose parents are frontline which includes those who work in the following sectors and industries: health and social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and national security, transport, utilities, communication and financial services. For clarity please visit the official Government list by visiting this link: https://bit.ly/3deTRLh. Please email [email protected] if you are a frontline worker and require our support with your childcare needs. If you think that you fall within the critical categories above you should confirm with your employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
  • Those classed as what the Secretary of State described as “vulnerable children”. These could be those who have a social worker and those with EHCPs. We have details of these children and have already been in touch with those effected.

From Monday 23rd March and throughout this period, our school will provide care for these children. The students who are attending need to be in at normal school times and in uniform, and bring with them with a change of clothes suitable for physical activity each day. Toast will be provided for breakfast, as well as a school lunch. Students should report to the sixth form centre.

Children who do not fall into the groups listed above should remain at home with appropriate care. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

Another priority over the last 24 hours has been ensuring the provision of food for supported children, children of key workers who will attend the Academy and children who receive free school meals.

After receiving guidance from the Department for Education today and in consultation with our catering company, Chartwells, we can do the following:

  • Children of keyworkers and supported children who are attending the Academy during the closure will be fed during their stay with us.
  • Grab bags for free school meal students will be available from the Academy from 1130 until 1330 every weekday (including the Easter holidays).

Monday 23rd March will be the first day that we operate this model and we will make full provision for free school meal students. However, as time goes on, we will have to reduce the numbers if we find that the grab bags aren’t being collected.

If your child receives free school meals and the grab bag cannot be collected, please send us a private Facebook message or email [email protected] and we will do all we can to support you.

Another key announcement is that tests and exams will not take place this summer. For children and young people, who have worked so hard to prepare for their SATs, GCSEs or A levels, this will be upsetting and we sympathise with them. At the same time, we understand the decision the Government has made and we are reassured that children’s grades in GCSEs and A levels will be awarded on the basis of moderated assessment, in conjunction with the exam boards and Ofqual. This means that the hard work students have done will be rewarded. It may not feel quite the same, and nor is it, but they will receive grades that will progress them to the next stage of their lives.

We will continue to provide home learning resources for your child. The academy website and VLE will be the main platform to set work for students and staff will set work each week. We will provide work packs for those without internet access and teachers will be available via school email during school hours for students and parents.

In the meantime, I would once again like to take this opportunity to thank you wholeheartedly for your understanding and ongoing support in helping us to manage this unprecedented situation.

Yours faithfully,
Craig Cooling
Principal
Ormiston NEW Academy

» Show less


» 19.03.2020

19 March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

One of our priorities over the last 24 hours has been ensuring the provision of food for supported children, children of key workers who will attend the Academy and children who receive free school meals.

After receiving guidance from the Department for Education today and in consultation with our catering company, Chartwells, we are able to do the following:

  • children of key workers and supported children who are attending the Academy during the closure will be fed during their stay with us.
  • grab bags for free school meal students will be available from the Academy from 1130 until 1330 every weekday (including the Easter holidays).

Monday 23rd March will be the first day that we operate this model and we will make full provision for free school meal students. However, as time goes on, we will have to reduce the numbers if we find that the grab bags aren’t being collected.

If your child receives free school meals and the grab bag cannot be collected, please send us a private Facebook message or email [email protected] and we will do all we can to support you.

Thanks.

Thank you.

Craig Cooling
Principal

» Show less


» 18.03.2020

18 March 2020

Further to the announcement by Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, we have been instructed to close the Academy from the end of the day on Friday. We have been busy, working in the background, in readiness for this eventuality and we will now be pushing the button on a number of contingency plans.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51643556

Please be patient with us. We will be communicating plans over the next 24 hours but we need a little time to gather our thoughts, talk to staff and make sure we update everyone in a calm and clear way. We will continue to operate our messaging service out-of-hours but we are unable to answer any questions about the closure or the repercussions until we have received further guidance from the Department for Education and our sponsor, Ormiston Academies Trust.

We are awaiting guidance from the Department for Education on exams and are unable to speculate on plans, we will update you as soon as we know anything.

Further to this statement, we would like to ask that parents with the following professions make themselves aware to us by emailing [email protected]. The professions are NHS staff, the police and delivery drivers. We already have details of children with education, health and care plans.

The health and wellbeing of students regardless of whether they are in our care or not is always paramount and will continue to be. I will write again shortly.

Thank you.

Craig Cooling
Principal

» Show less


» 13.03.2020

13 March 2020

Dear parents and carers,

I am sure you are aware of the outbreak of Coronavirus and the subsequent confirmed cases in the UK. With this in mind, I am writing to you with information and advice about the outbreak and our plans for the coming weeks. At Ormiston NEW Academy, we take the health and safety of our students and staff very seriously so we are sharing guidance from Public Health England (PHE) on the steps you should be taking. The academy are planning as best we can for future events and would appreciate your support and understanding. I can confirm that there is currently no cause for concern at the academy.

Actions we are taking:

  • Regularly reviewing government and health guidance and will keep you informed of any developments
  • Keeping the academy clean to prevent the spread of any virus
  • Raising awareness of how to prevent the spread of the virus with staff and students
  • Ensuring there is soap available at all times for students and staff to wash their hands regularly

Following advice from PHE, students and staff are being encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water regularly, especially before eating and after going to the toilet. As a secondary measure, students are permitted to bring hand sanitizer into school. If you wish to send your child in with hand sanitizer, please ensure they understand how to use this appropriately. Staff will monitor the use of hand sanitizer as closely as possible; however, hand sanitizer is sent in at your discretion.

To prevent the spread of infection please make sure you and your child follow these general principles to prevent any respiratory virus:

  • Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol based sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Cover your cough and/or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in a bin
  • If there is no tissue available, cough/sneeze into your sleeve near to the elbow
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

We are also currently reviewing our contingency plan, in the event of a school closure. To date we have received no guidance as to whether this will be action taken, however the academy want to be proactive in dealing with such an event.

Should the government take the decision to close schools, please note the following:

  • We have remote access to the parent/student database (SIMS) so will be able to access data (including contact information) from outside of the academy site, if required
  • Our website and social media platforms will provide up to date information – please ensure you check these regularly
  • Our text messaging system will also be used as a method of communication
  • Our admin and business functions will continue to operate remotely. This means answering parental queries via email (assuming volumes are reasonable)
  • Student learning – it is vital that, if the school closes, students continue to work. Whilst there is no substitute to classroom learning with a teacher, we will set appropriate work, both electronically and revision based.
  • Students will have access to their academy emails and can communicate with their class teachers via the email system. Students can use this method of communication to submit work to their teachers for feedback.
  • Parents can help us by doing the following:
    • Making sure your child has somewhere quiet to work
    • Ensure your child is working at the expected level that they would do so in school
    • Any work that is required to be submitted via email, is done so within the allocated deadline

The Department for Education have set up a helpline to call; 0800 046 8687. If you require further information, please also visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-guidance-to-assistprofessionals-in-advising-the-general-public/guidance-to-assist-professionals-in-advising-the-general-public

If you are worried about any symptoms, please call NHS 111 – do not go directly to your GP or Health Care environment.

Please be reassured that we will contact parents as and when information changes.

If you or your child have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours faithfully
Craig Cooling
Principal

» Show less