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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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Community Update 29th May 2020

Community Update 29 May 2020

Thank you for your continuing support and cooperation during this long, hot lockdown due to the risks of Covid 19. As we start to move into this new phase there will be many anxieties about the future as it all becomes a little uncertain again.

The government announced yesterday that it believes it is able to move forward for its plan with wider opening of schools from the 1st June and 15th June.

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

Our position was reviewed in detail by the governors this week and remains the same:

Any further opening will be done gradually.

All year 11s and sixth form leavers have been contacted and we will be able to clarify your end of Oak Grove time in college for them and we will be able to share a plan next week. The leavers hoodies have been ordered.

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.

Our YouTube channel will have a video on it that shows some of the challenges of further opening and how we are reducing risk.

As we work towards a more normal scenario there is now guidance for those who show symptoms which I have outlined below from the Director of Public Health for West Sussex:

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 are wearing sun cream or have some sun cream in their bags. Can they have water bottles and a hat as well!

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.

FSM:

The saga of Free School Meals continues! Before half term the DFE said that they would not be funding or providing vouchers for the May half term. Yesterday evening they changed their minds and announced it to everyone before telling schools! We will request vouchers for this last week for families and I am sorry this system results in you being messed around. It is as frustrating for us as it is for the hundred families directly impacted.

Work at home:

I am delighted that so many students are working on the on line maths platforms. Jack in 8SS has completed 2254 questions in the last 30 days. This is amazing. Don’t forget you can access Sumdog, My Maths, WordShark and TT Rockstars to do great learning. Some of you have certificates winging their way to you.

In response to comments from families we have also made some videos on YouTube to engage learning. These include a great drama video and more sensory learning so please make sure you are using these and don’t forget the excellent Oak National Academy Specialist Learning Curriculum at:

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

 

Staffing:

I am sad to say that Jill Bruford will be leaving us as a Teaching Assistant but will be continuing to work with us through the Friends of Oak Grove College. We are all grateful for her excellent work through the last few years and wish her the best for the future.

Albert Coe, one of our teachers in Koa is leaving at the end of the summer term. He is expecting to move to Australia.

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 .

 

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.

Thank you for your continued hard work and energy to support everyone and your determination to look after all, please do check the YouTube channel for the video about wider opening.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Phillip

Phillip Potter

Headteacher

 

Update to families 200529

Community Update 15/05/20

Dear Parent / Carer,

Community Update 15th May 2020

Well done on your continuing great resilience, fortitude and ability to cope with such a difficult ongoing situation.

You will be aware of the broadcast from the Prime Minister which has been followed by a range of documents and guidance from the government, including one released last night at 7 30pm. I have not written to you before because we have been waiting for all of the guidance. Now on Friday I am still waiting for more of it to come in.

Last week I said to you “What I can promise though is that we will do what is safest for all members of the community and we will continue to do our very best and this will take time to work through”. This still stands.

Currently, we do not anticipate any big change to the off-site or on-site provisions that we currently have in place and additional young people will not be expected back in college on the 1st June. We are working with families to support everyone in the best way possible. We continue to review each student on a case-by-case basis weekly.

There are many issues we need to work through and resolve before any next steps can be taken. These are the issues as of today, I recognise this is evolving all of the time;

Issues:

  • The need for clinically vulnerable people to stay at home remains
  • The need for everyone to socially distance remains the case
  • Social restrictions to see your friends and family remain in place
  • OGC has a number of staff who are unable to work for 12 weeks due to their underlying medical conditions
  • OGC has one main entrance into college and the other, smaller, accesses are not safe for students to use as part of a drop off system.
  • OGC has lots of students and staff who have to work in a small area.
  • Many of our young people cannot socially distance.
  • Any changes need to be small and gradual.
  • We need to have a guaranteed supply chain for cleaning materials, PPE and resources that children will need.
  • Space in classrooms if we want to try and maintain social distance would mean no classroom can have more than 5 students in it (they really are that small) and this is on the assumption they do not leave that classroom during the day.
  • Guidance states that students should not mix with other groups of students in the day meaning staggered lunch and break times and our building layout makes this very difficult.

Special School Guidance

To support the above, guidance has been issued by the DfE, West Sussex County Council, the professional associations and local NHS services.

Within the guidance there are areas of specific Special School Guidance about the next stage. This says we should “work towards a phased return of more children…. Without a focus on specific year groups”. The planned year groups announced by the government coming into schools does not apply in special schools and it is for me to decide how and if we expand the number of students in college based upon consultation, guidance and risk assessments which must place the safety of all as the primary issue.

Annual reports for students:

Year 11 subject based learners and 14 sixth form reports were issued earlier in the year and we will issue reports summarising progress for the autumn and spring terms for the rest of the college in the near future.

Free School Meals (FSM):

Again I am sorry that this system is proving so difficult for many of you.

Thank you to all families for their patience in negotiating the Edenred FSM website.  As a result of some ongoing issues, the week of 18th May will be the final week that families will be receiving their FSM voucher codes direct to their email addresses.  From 1st June onwards all vouchers from Edenred will be processed by Oak Grove College and posted home.

To ensure that the chosen vouchers arrive safely to the correct addresses please would you email Lesley Crosby at lcrosby@oakgrovecollege.org.uk with your address and your supermarket choice from Aldi, Asda, McColl’s, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.  Please remember that, while all supermarket vouchers can be used instore, only Asda and Waitrose can be used online. There will be no vouchers for half term week.

Leavers in Year 11 and sixth form:

Please make sure you reply to the letter sent to you re hoodies as soon as possible at transition@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaQBPna2t9lhNCnjX_1V-SQ?view_as=subscriber

We have also released today the signed OGC version of “Dancing in the Moonlight” on YouTube. This is well worth a watch!

Use of Oak Grove College grounds:

This has been a great success and so Louise will be taking bookings for Saturday 23rd and 30th May on lwilson@oakgrovecollege.org.uk Please remember to use the Littlehampton Road entrance next to the swimming pool.

Transition:

Please remember that we need students help in supporting transition for the students joining us next year:

  1. Draw and take a photo of a “welcome” poster
  2. Take a short video with student waving, saying hi or what they most like about OGC

These will be used on or website and transition documents. Please send these to transition@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

Please discuss this letter with your daughter/son and make sure they see the videos on You Tube. It will help keep them feeling connected to the Oak Grove community and their future.

Thank you for your continued support of the college community and the ways in which you have been creative with your families at home.

I am available on Monday, all day, to take calls from families about any aspect of the wider reopening of college from the 1st June. Please phone the college and I will be available.

Please continue to stay safe. Everything we are doing is with the safety of all in mind.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Phillip

 

Phillip Potter

Headteacher

 

Update to families 15 05 2020

The WellChild Family Tree Network

The WellChild a charity for sick children is supporting families with the latest information, updates, news and resources for families to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.

Home

The charity also offers a support network for parents through the WellChild Family Tree:

“Being part of the WellChild Family Tree helps immensely. Being able to talk to other parents any time of the day & for them to understand exactly what you are going through is priceless” – Victoria, Jack’s mum

Join the WellChild Family Tree Network

The Rainbow Cup – Boccia England

The Rainbow Cup is open to everyone; from experienced boccia players to those of us who have never played boccia before, along with mums, dads, grandparents, friends, carers and volunteers. Please ‘spread the word’ and encourage anyone you know to join in the fun!
It is really easy for anyone to take part, with a new game weekly.

The competition will start on Monday 11 May and will initially run for 4 weeks.

West Sussex Parent Carers Forum Info

Please see important information below:

 

Community Update 8/5/20

Dear Parent / Carer,

Community Update 7th May 2020

I am glad that we seem to be seeing the sun again as we move into the Bank Holiday weekend.

There is even more speculation about the end of lockdown in the media. None of it is helpful and none of it is based on any proper understanding of the risk assessments, supply challenges, or physically how small schools are if we need to practice social distancing to any level. Whatever we are asked to do will be gradual.

We may be clearer by the end of this weekend. It surprises all those families I have talked to, that we in schools have no pre warning of what the government is going to say before they say it.

What I can promise though is that we will do what is safest for all members of the community and we will continue to do our very best and this will take time to work through. We have a senior leadership team meeting on Monday where we will process what is announced and any guidance that follows and we will update you in the usual way.

 

Free School Meals (FSM):

Thank you to those families that are continuing to work with us and tolerate this awful central government system.

 

Leavers in Year 11 and sixth form:

You will get a letter in the next couple of days sent to you asking if you want a leavers hoodies. Replies should be emailed to transition@oakgrovecollege.org.uk The order needs to go in soon so please make sure you do reply as soon as possible.

We are working on a way of celebrating the achievements of those who leave at the end of June and hoping we will be able to have a celebration in October for Year 11’s and a separate celebration for sixth form in October as well. We are planning that we will still be operating social distancing in all we do for the ongoing future: hence the two different events.

 

Oak National Academy:

This is nothing to do with Oak Grove, but this is a great on line resource that has a specialist curriculum area that will be supportive and helpful for families with a young person who is based in Koa or Animus. It also has useful sections for students based in Marvel, Avatar and Da Vinci in the formal curriculum section although be warned it refers to year groups in relation to national expectations so it will need to be used sensitively.

The range on this on line platform is expanding each week and it is useful, of a good quality and helps to structure time.

It can be found at:

https://www.thenational.academy/

Families of Koa and Animus students should look at this section:

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

Families of Avatar, Da Vinci and Marvel students should look at this section:

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

 

Telephone Calls from College: 

Please try and avoid phoning back the college if you have missed a call from us, it may well be a colleague working from home and the member of staff on reception will not be able to help you.

 

You tube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaQBPna2t9lhNCnjX_1V-SQ?view_as=subscriber

 

These include dance videos, some messages to groups of students, fitness videos and some sign language development videos.

As we commemorate VE day on Friday you can find on our twitter feed and you tube channel a signed version of “We’ll Meet Again” which will help to make your commemorations at home fully inclusive and give a great opportunity to develop your sign language skills.

We have also released the OGC version of “Hello” on You Tube. This is well worth a watch and to be shared.

 

Bereavement:

There are even more resources on the website now to support families and children who suffer a bereavement both in more normal times and in these different times.

 

Growing Packs: Last chance to sign up:  

One of the learning packs we want to put together for people who want them are some growing packs with seeds/plants, pots and compost. This would require it to be delivered. The outdoor learning team will put these together. If you want one of these please email us at pa@oakgrovecollege.org.uk and we can then organise it for you.

 

Use of Oak Grove College grounds:

This has been a great success and so Louise will be taking bookings for Saturday 16th May, 23rd and 30th May on lwilson@oakgrovecollege.org.uk Please remember to use the Littlehampton Road entrance next to the swimming pool.

 

Sussex School Games

This week students at home and at college have continued to participate in this is exciting sport competition running throughout the summer term. Students have been representing Oak Grove College alongside their friends and family, by participating in 4 sporting challenges which can be undertaken with limited or creative equipment. Please get involved and enjoy being part of the Oak Grove sporting community  and make sure you upload any results to www.activesussex.org/scorecard

There is a video on our You Tube channel showing you how to get involved and adapt some of the challenges. Send us photos of you taking part in these challenges.

 

Life Skills challenges:

At the end of this letter is a table suggesting a range of life skills challenges that students can undertake. It would be great to see photos of students undertaking these; send them to forwebsite@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

 

Transition:

We have started working with feeder schools and families to plan for the Year 6 students joining us at Oak Grove in September. This is going to be very difficult and stressful for many of them as they will have missed our so much on their normal routine over the last few weeks.

We need help from our students. Can they:

  1. Draw and take a photo of a “welcome” poster
  2. Take a short video with student waving, saying hi or what they most like about OGC

These will be used on or website and transition documents. Please send these to transition@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

Please discuss this letter with your daughter/son and make sure they see the videos on You Tube, especially “Hello” and our version of it. It will help keep them and you connected to the Oak Grove community and their future.

Thank you for your continued support of the college community and the ways in which you have been creative with your families at home.

Please continue to stay safe, wash those hands and ensure you maintain a distance of 2m whenever you leave the house from other people.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Phillip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update to families 7 05 2020

 

We’ll Meet Again in SSL (Sign Supported Language)

“We’ll Meet Again” in SSL (Sign Supported Language, Using BSL signs) A reminder as we continue in lock down 2020. By Mia Langley Funnell.

 

PE – Sports Alphabet Home Activity

Here is a great fun activity from our PE Team, for you to try out at home .