End-Of-Term Newsletter (March 2021)

It’s non-uniform day tomorrow (1st April) and we finish at noon. Instead of donating money to a local charity, we ask that each student brings in at least one item for the Black Country Food Bank.

Dear parents and carers

Given the frequency and volume of communications over the last few months, I thought we’d all appreciate a slightly shorter update at the end of this incredibly challenging term.

It’s been good to get to this point with some green shoots of recovery and I hope that this will continue next term with more safe relaxations of the rules. I think the entire Academy community is desperate to feel that normality again and I think we have all come out of this appreciating the smaller things in life like a walk in the woods or an (outdoor) coffee with friends. I’m very much looking forward to spending time with my family over Easter.

Speaking of families, we could not have got through this term without you. There have been lots of things that have been thrown at you, not least testing, and we’ve really appreciated your support and kindness. For us all to come together, for the sake of our young people, has been very uplifting and when we’ve had tough days, knowing that we all stand strong has been what’s kept us going.

Balance is important too. There isn’t a school in the country that gets everything right and whilst we try to, we know that things can sometimes fall short of our high standards. We pride ourselves on solving issues, we’re approachable and we’ll listen. If you have any comments or concerns, we need to know. Our lines of communication are always open and whilst conversations might be tough, the wellbeing and education of our young people are worth it.

I promised a short update, I’d like to signpost three things that we’ve already published:

It’s non-uniform day tomorrow (1st April) and we finish at noon. Instead of donating money to a local charity, we ask that each student brings in at least one item for the Black Country Food Bank.

Free School Meal support over Easter

Home Testing for Covid-19 - home testing should take place over Easter holidays, twice per week 3-5 days apart for students who have received homes testing kits.

In addition, I’d like to reiterate some guidance regarding online safety. It can be hard to know how to talk to your child about online safety. From setting up parental controls to advice on sexting, online games and video apps, you need to understand the risks and keep your child safe. These resources from the NSPCC are well worth looking over to help you keep your children safe.

It is vitally important that students come to school with the equipment required to learn. The minimum equipment that will be needed is a pencil case with a pen, pencil, ruler, calculator, pink and green highlighter and a pack of colouring pencils. There are still instances of students coming to school without this kit and we will be taking a zero-tolerance approach on being ready to learn.

We do expect further guidance to be announced regarding masks and social distancing in schools, we will write when these are announced and we have a chance to apply them to our setting.

Finally, we were devastated to lose a much-loved member of staff recently; Su Bailey made a difference to all of our lives and the messages and outpouring of love from the community when we announced her passing was incredibly moving. When we are able, we will find a way to permanently remember her.

During Easter, our Facebook Messenger will be picked up two to three times per week and we will be monitoring [email protected] once a day. Please continue to follow the national guidance and stay safe. We are, by no means, out of this pandemic but if we all follow the guidance and take care of one another, we’ll start to get things back to normal. Have a restful Easter break and we’ll see you when term starts again on Tuesday 20th April 2021.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Lisa Mason
Ormiston Forge Academy