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Monthly Archives: June 2020

Community Update 26th June

Dear Parent / Carer,

Community Update 26th June 2020

I hope you have all enjoyed the hot weather this week and it has not been too hot for you. This has been a busy week in college. It has been really good to see the plans for continuity of care, therapy and learning coming out of the virtual MDT meetings, planning the return to college for some of our learners with complex medical and care needs. I am grateful to the families and students who have engaged with these.

It has also been wonderful to see many of the Year 11 and sixth form students who are leaving us during the course of this week. It is a great shame that we have not been able to celebrate with a graduation event but you should all have your leavers hoodies now! I would like to thank the Friends of Oak Grove College for paying for these hoodies. All those leaving have made such progress over their time with us and they should be proud of their achievements. This can only have happened with the support of families and staff working in partnership and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and support over the years.

It is that partnership work that enables young people to flourish. We are all proud of the achievements of the students and as they move on to many varied places including:

The Sand Project

Northbrook MET

Brinsbury College

Funtastic Futures

Chichester College

Superstar Arts

 

We are proud of all of our leavers and all they have achieved.

It is wonderful to hear of the achievements of our students after they have left so please do keep in touch.

There will be a leavers message from the College on our YouTube Channel this evening.

Free School Meals:

The government has confirmed that all those entitled to FSM will get a voucher to support them over the holiday. This will be one voucher, issued at the start of the holiday and will be ordered from the college using the current Endred system. Families won’t need to apply for it or to order it.

Last day of term:

The last day of term for students in college is Friday 17th July.

Exam Results Day:

Exam results will be available from 10am in The Rosie on Thursday 20th August 2020. Please ensure you follow the signs regarding the social distancing principles that we will be applying on the day.

Summer holidays:

All providers who hire the buildings over the summer have either cancelled their provision or have not yet been given the go ahead to operate. We will also need to do our annual maintenance work to ensure the building is safe and we have some pre-booked building work we are expecting to take place.  We are looking at how we can provide some limited, respite support for families. I hope to have details and clarity about this for next week.

Return in September:

As year 6 students are not going to be able to undertake transition visits to meet their new classes we are expecting to have the very start of the term with our new students returning first. We are expecting the new government guidance on returning to school in September to be issued next week. At that point we will be able to plan with some certainty. Even with the social distancing measure at 1m there will be many challenges to resolve, especially for transport and how we keep groups separate for lunch time.

Letters will be issued next week confirming who class/ form tutors are for next academic year.

Students in college currently:

If your young person is coming into college please can you ensure they have a rain coat and/or sun cream as appropriate as we now seem to be having a more traditional summer. They will spend a significant proportion of their time out of the classroom outdoors. This is part of the government safety guidance.

It is important they do not turn up early to college and use the social distancing markers outside prior to entry.

Anyone who is coming into college is entitled to a free school meal – the county council has changed its policy back to all in college get a free meal. However if you are entitled to a FSM in college you cannot receive a food voucher for that week as well. I am sorry that the policies keep changing in regards to meals, however I am very grateful for the excellent support from our catering team and the West Sussex Catering team over this time.

Please ensure students wear clean clothes each day to ensure that we are able to be as effective at infection control as possible.

Any student who feels unwell should not attend college that day.

Work at Home:

Well done to those using the online platforms for their skills development. This is an excellent work effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reports:

Annual reports for students who have not already had them this year (some were completed and issued in the Autumn term) will soon be available for you and we will be inviting families of students currently in year 9 to come in and meet with someone to discuss the report but also to brief those students on September as they will be going to college for one day per week and starting their options courses. Our aim in doing this is to reduce their anxiety and help prepare for as smooth as start as possible in September.

Please keep the photos coming for the website and to show us what you are doing to:

forwebsite@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

I continue to be proud of how all members of our wide community have worked together over these last couple of months.

 

#proudofteamOGC

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Phillip

 

Phillip Potter

Headteacher

 

Update to families 26 06 2020

Virtual Tour

We have put together a virtual tour for our new Year 7 students to show them the college and introduce them to key people. Though we would love to be able to invite you in to see this for yourselves, this video hopefully gives you a glimpse of Oak Grove College and the range of opportunities you will experience whilst here.

Further details around how we are looking support transition further will be sent out this week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwjmX6oim_o&safe=true

Community Update – 19th June

Dear Parent / Carer,

Community Update 19th June 2020

I hope that you have all been able to make use of the more varied weather and that you all continue to be well and healthy. It is wonderful to see some of the work examples and photos that continue to come in.

This week we have been working on:

Virtual MDT meetings for our students with more complex needs to plan for return to college.

Again a small increase in the number of students we are providing for.

Preparing for Sixth Form students who are leaving have been invited back into college on Monday and Tuesday, 22nd and 23rd June.

Preparing for Year 11 students who are leaving will be invited back into college on Thursday and Friday, 25th and 26th June.

Please remember special school guidance is to increase numbers carefully and is not year specific.

If you feel that your child/ young person needs a place at college please contact us via the college office. All those who have been allocated spaces have been spoken to by my team.

 

Students in college currently:

If your young person is coming into college please can you ensure they have a rain coat and/or sun cream as appropriate as we now seem to be having a more traditional summer. They will spend a significant proportion of their time out of the classroom outdoors. This is part of the government safety guidance.

It is important they do not turn up early to college and use the social distancing markers outside prior to entry.

Anyone who is coming into college is entitled to a free school meal – the county council has changed its policy back to all in college get a free meal. However if you are entitled to a FSM in college you cannot receive a food voucher for that week as well. I am sorry that the policies keep changing in regards to meals, however I am very grateful for the excellent support from our catering team and the West Sussex Catering team over this time.

Year 11 students in Marvel and Da Vinci officially leave on 30th June. We will therefore not offer any more placements to those students from then (apart from in exceptional safeguarding cases) however those in receipt of FSM will continue to get the vouchers until the end of the academic year. Sixth form students who are leaving this year also officially finish on the 30th June.

Please ensure students wear clean clothes each day to ensure that we are able to be as effective at infection control as possible.

Any student who feels unwell should not attend college that day.

Laptops:

Some of the laptops for those eligible students have been received and as soon as the eligibility has been confirmed we will write to you to arrange the delivery of the laptop. Please remember these laptops revert to the college at the end of this pandemic. We have still no information about those allocated to Year 10 students.

Work at Home:

Well done to those using the online platforms for their skills development. This is an excellent work effort.

Mental Health and Positive Wellbeing:

It is important at the moment to take time to ensure we are maintaining positive mental health. Taking time to consider our feelings is important and adults and children should be encouraged to do this. This great infogram helps to help you think about how to do that.

Remember that the college website contains information to support positive mental health and wellbeing.

Free School Meals:

The government have now confirmed that they will issue free school meal vouchers at £15 per child per week over the summer holiday. We are assuming it will use the current voucher system but we will confirm this as soon as we know it.

Cooked meals; September 2020:

The price of cooked meals in September 2020 will be £2.35.

 

Use of Oak Grove College grounds:

This has been a great success and so Louise will be taking bookings for all Saturdays in June on lwilson@oakgrovecollege.org.uk Please remember to use the Littlehampton Road entrance next to the swimming pool. However these bookings will not be on offer in July as we will be using the Saturdays for tours of the college for families with children in year 5 who still have to make decisions about their preferred school for year 7 by the end of July. This is the only way to enable people to visit, maintain social distance and clean for opening on Monday.

 

Deirdre Rodgers:

Families of students in year 10 and above may remember Deirdre who worked in the business team at college for many years. She retired in 2017 and as a community we are sorry to tell you that she has recently died. Staff from college attended the lovely celebration of her life on Monday and our love goes to her husband Nick and the rest of her family. She will be missed.

 

Reports:

Annual reports for students who have not already had them this year (some were completed and issued in the Autumn term) will soon be available for you.

 

September 2020:

I know many people are starting to think how normal college will be in September. The honest answer is I have no idea. There is no government guidance on this yet. If infection rates continue to go down, then it is likely we will be able to operate quite close to normal but with limited movement around the site and very few off site visits. I hope the government will publish their plans and guidance soon (it does not come to schools in advance and we are not consulted on it). As soon as we get the guidance we will work through it and let you know the plan.

The side effects of the lockdown will be serious for the college. Last year we earnt £77,000 from hiring out our college facilities; this financial year, so far, we have earnt nothing.

I do think it will be important for us to stagger the return of the students so that they get used to new routines, we can assess students and implement updated therapy programmes as soon as possible and help to manage the anxiety that many will feel about a return to college.

Thank you for your great support at this time.  We are all looking forward to seeing year 11 and Sixth Form leavers next week.

Please keep the photos coming for the website and to show us what you are doing to:

forwebsite@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

I continue to be proud of how all members of our wide community have worked together over these last couple of months.

 

#proudofteamOGC

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Phillip

 

Phillip Potter

Headteacher

Update to families 19 06 2020

Community Update 12th June

 

Dear Parent / Carer,

Community Update 12th June 2020

As the lockdown is gradually eased and small, gradual steps are taken to the country opening up more it is important to recognise the significant efforts of all our families and students have made in coping with difficult, fast changing and anxious times. Alongside that I want to thank the staff team for their amazing hard work to getting what has been asked of schools done in a timely and clear way and for going above and beyond on so many occasions.

We have been able to gradually increase what we are doing:

Face to Face counselling for some students will start to take place in a socially distanced way in college.

A few more students are now coming into college and a few more will be added to this next week.

More work packs are being sent out for students to complete.

Sixth Form students who are leaving have been invited back into college on Monday and Tuesday 22nd and 23rd June. Families may need to transport students in.

Year 11 students who are leaving will be invited back into college on Thursday and Friday 25th and 26th June. Families may need to transport students in.

 

Please remember special school guidance is to increase numbers carefully and is not year specific.

If you feel that your child/ young person needs a place at college please contact us via the college office. All those who have been allocated spaces have been spoken to by my team.

Durrington High School:

Year 10 will start to go back for lessons from next week and all of their students will have to walk onto site: if you are dropping a student off on-site you will notice more staff at the gates and around.

Health guidance:

Please remember this guidance:

For anyone – young person or staff member – who believes they may have symptoms or is notified that they are a confirmed case of coronavirus, the individual affected must stay at home self-isolating.

  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, OR you have received a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result, the clear medical advice is to immediately self-isolate at home for at least seven days from when your symptoms started. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 if you haven’t already
  • Consider alerting the people that you have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Following a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts.

Students in college currently:

If your young person is coming into college please can you ensure they have a rain coat and/or sun cream as appropriate as we now seem to be having a more traditional summer.

It is important they do not turn up early to college and use the social distancing markers outside prior to entry.

If you are not in receipt of FSM after half term and you wish your young person to have a meal in college you will need to pay for this. This is a change in DFE policy. Alternatively you can send them in with a packed lunch.

Year 11 students who are moving on from Oak Grove officially leave on 30th June. We will therefore not offer any more placements to those students from then (apart from in exceptional safeguarding cases) however those in receipt of FSM will continue to get the vouchers until the end of the academic year.

Laptops:

Some of the laptops for those eligible students have been received and as soon as the eligibility has been confirmed we will write to you to arrange the delivery of the laptop. Please remember these laptops revert to the college at the end of this pandemic.

Qualifications:

Some of our teachers have spent a huge amount of time completing paperwork, moderation and sending in lots of evidence of the work that students have completed in years 10 and 11 to ensure they still get awarded their certificates and qualifications. This has been a huge task and it is important to recognise that and to thank those colleagues. This means no student should be disadvantaged in terms of qualifications for the future but does mean it is based on their classwork and not exam performance.

Work at home:

Well done to those using the online platforms for their skills development. This is an excellent work effort. Below is a certificate from Sumdog awarded to one of our Year 9 students for answering a huge amount of questions in one week.

Therapies in School (TIS):

This is being updated with new resources to provide support and further information for young people that benefit from Therapies in Schools, including, activities, useful tips and advice as well as contact information.

The TIS Service consists of additional Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy services funded by West Sussex County Council and delivered by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

The TIS Service works collaboratively with existing therapy services in schools, providing a “one team therapy” approach, by offering additional training and input to support.

To find out more, please follow this link:

https://wiki.rixwiki.org/west-sussex-mmm/home/tis-wiki-2

Welfare calls:

Where this is appropriate, when phoning to check that all is well with you, staff will ask to speak to your daughter/son. This is part of our aim to keep students connected to college and also serves as a safeguarding check. However if you have any questions or worries then please phone the college or email me at head@oakgrovecollege.org.uk . If you are worried about a safeguarding issue please email dsl@oakgrovecollege.org.uk .

 

Resources sensory kit:

The Frozen Light Theatre Company is an amazing theatre company with the aim of creating high quality, age appropriate theatre for audiences with PMLD. They have released a fantastic sensory kit based around ‘The Forest’ for families to access at home.

http://frozenlighttheatre.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/The-Forest-sensory-resource-kit-.pdf

 

Superheroes Triathlon at Home

Every year Claire Moyle takes a group of students to Dorney Lake in Windsor to take part in a Superhero’s Triathlon event. This year instead, students can all take part at home. Every MLD student in school is taking part so we are going to have a School v Home competition. Each week Claire will post a leaders board for the top triathlete in school and at home. All you have to do is walk, push, jog, run or bike 20km (13 miles/half marathon). This can be done in small stages as you have a month to complete the challenge and it can also be done individually or as a family. Send your weekly mileage to cmoyle@oakgrovecollege.org.uk  stating whether you walked, pushed, jogged, run or rode so she can enter it on the leader board.

Use of Oak Grove College grounds:

This has been a great success and so Louise will be taking bookings for all Saturdays in June on lwilson@oakgrovecollege.org.uk Please remember to use the Littlehampton Road entrance next to the swimming pool. However these bookings will not be on offer in July as we will be using the Saturdays for tours of the college for families with children in year 5 who still have to make decisions about their preferred school for year 7 by the end of July. This is the only way to enable people to visit, maintain social distance and clean for opening on Monday.

You Tube:

I hope you have all seen the new signed song on our You Tube Channel; our Communication Lead, Mia is trying her hardest to get some of our signed work onto the BBC!

 

Thank you for your great support at this time, I am available all day on Tuesday to take calls from families if you wish to speak to me specifically. Please phone the office and they will put you through.

Please keep the photos coming for the website and to show us what you are doing to:

forwebsite@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

 

I am proud of how all members of our wide community have worked together over these last couple of months.

#proudofteamOGC

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Phillip

 

Phillip Potter

Headteacher

Update to families 20200612

Superhero’s Triathlon

Every Year I take a group to take part in Superhero’s Triathlon at Dorney Lake. This year you can all take part at home. Every MLD student in school is taking part so we are going to have a School V Home competition.

Please see further details in the attached document and remember to send your mileage to cmoyle@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

 

 

Frozen Light Theatre Company

The Frozen Light Theatre Company is an amazing theatre company with the aim of creating high quality age appropriate theatre for audiences with PMLD.  Frozen Light was grown out of a desire to make theatre for audiences that don’t usually access theatre in mainstream arts venues.

More information can be found about them on their website.

They have released a fantastic sensory kit based around ‘The Forest’ for families to access at home.

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TIS Wiki

Please find the link to the TIS Wiki Home Page

This is being updated with new resources to provide support and further information for young people that benefit from Therapies in Schools, including, activities, useful tips and advice as well as contact information.

The TIS Service consists of additional Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy services funded by West Sussex County Council and delivered by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

The TIS Service works collaboratively with existing therapy services in schools, providing a “one team therapy” approach, by offering additional training and input to support.

Community Update 5th June 2020

Dear Parent / Carer,

Community Update 5th June 2020

I would like to start this letter by thanking all those in the Oak Grove College community who are working tirelessly with our young people and providing support to families in these testing times.

My thanks also goes to all families for their ongoing support, cooperation and resilience during Covid-19 lockdown.  It is lovely to hear from families the adaptations and resilience our young people are showing.  I also recognise the challenges that this has placed on families and the longer this goes on the greater the need for support especially around wellbeing and mental health of our students.  Below are some links to resources to support around these areas –

  • Primarily about how to deal with anxiety and other mental health concerns in young people:

https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/looking-after-yourself/coronavirus-and-mental-health/

  • Primarily ideas and resources to help promote positive wellbeing at home:

https://www.place2be.org.uk/our-services/parents-and-carers/coronavirus-wellbeing-activity-ideas-for-families/

If there are any further resources or support you need in these areas do contact us.

 

We continue to plan to gradually increase our numbers but ultimately we need to ensure that the provision we provide is safe and that you have trust in what we are doing following the national guidance on mitigating risks for students and staff.

Our position remains that:

Any further reopening will be gradual

Priority is given to those students of families of key workers and those identified by us, social care and families as specifically vulnerable.

If you feel that your child/ young person needs a place at college please contact us via the college office. All those who have been allocated spaces have been spoken to by a member of the senior leadership team.

 

At the end of last week we released a video outlining the measures we have put in place across the college and how we are looking to move forward with increased numbers. The feedback on this from families has been positive. If there are any specific questions that students have around the provision we have setup do get in touch via the office and will look to produce a further video to answer these.

 

Can I remind you of the guidance from the Director of Public Health for West Sussex for those who show symptoms:

For anyone – young person or staff member – who believes they may have symptoms or is notified that they are a confirmed case of coronavirus, the individual affected must stay at home self-isolating.

  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, OR you have received a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result, the clear medical advice is to immediately self-isolate at home for at least seven days from when your symptoms started. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 if you haven’t already
  • Consider alerting the people that you have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Following a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts.

Attached to this letter is a poster from the government outlining their expectations if you are contacted via the NHS Test and Track service.

 

Work at home:

We are busy producing further home school packs to be sent home shortly. These are in addition to the online learning resources we have on our website –

http://oakgrovecollege.org.uk/home-learning-page/

Students in subject based learning can also access English and Maths work via WordShark and SumDog which is being monitored by their English and Maths teachers.

In addition the Oak National Academy learning curriculum have excellent resources specifically tailored to communication and life skills.

https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom/specialist/#subjects

Please keep the photos coming for the website and to show us what you are doing to

forwebsite@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

The gallery has been updated so see who you can spot on there –

http://oakgrovecollege.org.uk/home-learning-page/oak-grove-community-image-gallery/

 

Digital Devices

Further to the government announcement of providing digital devices to students in the following categories –

  • care leavers
  • children and young people aged 0 to 19 with a social worker
  • disadvantaged year 10 pupils

We have an update that West Sussex have received their allocation and we are awaiting for the local authority/virtual school to distribute these to schools.

 

Donations

We have been fortunate to have received donation from a range of different organisations during this period. £4000 from the Sussex Crisis Fund to support creating sensory packs to send home, £1125 from St Andrews Church in Tarring to support families in need and £300 from St Marys Church. Huge thanks goes to these organisations who have donated these funds.

 

Welfare calls:
Where this is appropriate, when phoning to check that all is well with you staff will ask to speak to your daughter/son. This is part of our aim to keep students connected to college and also serves as a safeguarding check. However if you have any questions or worries then please phone the college or email Phillip at head@oakgrovecollege.org.uk . If you are worried about a safeguarding issue please email dsl@oakgrovecollege.org.uk .

 

Use of Oak Grove College grounds:

This continues to be a great success and so Louise will be taking bookings for all Saturdays in June on lwilson@oakgrovecollege.org.uk Please remember to use the Littlehampton Road entrance next to the swimming pool.

 

Thank you for your continued support of the college community. If you wish to discuss this letter, please phone in next week on Monday or Tuesday.

I would also like to thank students, families, staff, govenors, therapy/nursing teams and all our support teams for this continued support and hard work during this time.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

James

 

James Winchester

Deputy Headteacher

 

Update to families 200605

 

Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation – Play Zones

The Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation are offering safe “PLAY ZONES” for families with children
with special educational needs and / or disabilities.

Please see the Flyer below for further details:

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