Dear Parents/ carers
Thank you to all of you for your great support and work this year. It has been a roller coaster of a year but your young people have shown themselves to be such resilient, enthusiastic and happy learners.
I hope that you all manage to have a great holiday and a rest.
The start to term, at this point and subject to guidance, will look like this:
1st September Summer Holiday
2nd September INSET Day
3rd September INSET Day
6th September All Year 7 (all areas of college) & Year 10 (subject based learners)
7th September As 6th September plus KOA, Year 11 & Animus
8th September All students
Please note the change for Year 10 and year 11 students from what was previously advised. This is because of the availability of FE college provision.
In the run up to the return to college it is vital that students, where they can, are continuing to test at home. More testing kits can be ordered on line.
Our website and social media feeds will contain any necessary updates over the summer and there are some transition videos and end of term messages on there now.
I wish you all a safe and happy summer holiday, I hope you all get to relax and see loved ones.
Everybody at Oak Grove College is looking forward to seeing you all in September, ready to connect, ready to learn, ready for adventures, ready to live “Everyone matters, every day counts”.
This week has continued to be a challenge in terms of staffing levels in the college with further staff having to self-isolate after being instructed by NHS Track and Trace or remain at home to look after children sent home from school.
After reviewing the staffing levels in the college for the remaining two days, I am sorry to have to update you that we are asking families of Year 9 subject based learners to keep their children off for Thursday and Friday.
This does mean that the students are in effect starting their Summer Holidays early.
I am sorry to be in this position though as I know you understand we need to keep everyone safe.
Thank you for your on-going support in these challenging times.
Thank you for your patience and continued support during this week. We have reviewed our staffing this afternoon and based on this we are happy to be able to welcome Year 8 subject based learners, who are not self-isolating, back into college on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week.
As you can appreciate this is a fluctuating situation and we may have to be in a position to change our plans but feel confident in the staffing levels we currently have. We are going to have the remaining Year 8 students put into two groups to enable us to have these students in college.
A decision around Year 9 subject based learners will be made tomorrow afternoon.
If your child is feeling unwell, please do not send them into college and if they have one of the three most common symptoms, then a PCR test will need to be arranged in line with the advice from Public Health England. The three most common symptoms are:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
Once again thank you for your ongoing support in these challenging times.
Dear Parents/ Carers,
Over the course of the weekend we have had a significant number of staff who have been instructed to self-isolate for a wide range of reasons and a number of staff where family members have tested positive.
At this point Year 7 (Avatar) and Animus are operating as normal.
I expect Year 10 to operate as normal from Tuesday for the rest of the week.
Most of Koa is operating as normal with the exception of class AM and RL (these classes have had separate letters).
Classes in the sixth form are operating as normal with the exception of class EE and KP (there classes have had separate letters).
Year 8 have a group self-isolating and I hope to be able to open to the rest of the year on Wednesday.
Year 9 are those most impacted by staffing shortages and I hope to be able to reopen to them on Thursday.
I am so sorry that we are not able to operate fully but it is vital we do so in a safe way for all members of the community. Community transmission is very high at present and it is important we call continue to do our part to help tackle this pandemic.
I know this is frustrating for all of you, it is for all of the staff as well. This challenge and frustration is being felt in a great number of schools across the country at present.
I assure you we will continue to do everything to support all of the community and to protect all of the community.
Video below outlines our approach as the country moves into Step 4 on Monday July 19th.
Dear Parents/ Carers,
I am sorry to send you an email late in the evening.
I have this evening been informed that a member of staff has tested positive for Covid 19 on their LFT test (they are showing no symptoms) and that other staff have showed symptoms of Covid 19 and have had to have PCR tests this evening.
At this point I need to ask you to keep your young person at home tomorrow as I won’t have enough staff available without them crossing our ‘bubbles’ and this will breach all of the safety measures we have used over the last 18 months
A number of staff may, depending on test results, then have to self isolate for longer so I will be in contact tomorrow to clarify the test results and impacts of this.
I am sorry to be in this position though I know you understand we need to ensure the rules are followed to keep everyone safe.
Thank you for your on going support in these challenging times.
- Our Team Captain for our next Superhero Challenge is Liz Johnson.
- Our mission is to help her travel a combined total of 55,553km from the 17th July to the 14th
- Your method and length of travel is completely up to you, so walk, push, jog, run, swim, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, skate, and cycle and have fun in the sun!!! Hopefully.
- You can do this as an individual or a family and record everybody’s results.
- Log your results and photos each week and I will keep you updated with our team’s progress by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your reward will be a T-shirt and medal for everybody that takes part.
- Have fun and stay fit and help our team win the challenge
Dear Parents/ Carers,
Following the announcement from the Prime Minister at the start of this week it is important that I outline the impact this has on our plans for the rest of the term.
Next week is an important week for those in Year 11 and Year 14 who come to the end of their time at Oak Grove College. We are in the position that we can do some things to support and celebrate students in relation to their leaving, but we cannot do the normal things. This may feel frustrating and disappointing for some students and their families.
We had already decided that to reduce numbers and ensure that the integrity of bubbles was maintained that the sixth form events would be separate and different from the Year 11 events.
The sixth form will have an assembly in the hall on Wednesday period 5 and the first part of period 6 as a leavers assembly, and will all be off site on Friday at Lodge Hill, where they will all have fun as a team in the outdoors and take part in a range of activities. We cannot have an indoor leaving version of a prom where families are invited as this would compromise social distancing and all of our bubbles.
Year 11 will spend Wednesday off site. They will have a version of a prom on Thursday evening and this will be for the students and limited staff only. Families will not be able to join this event.
I have attached a letter from the Director of Education (see below) that explains about large events and how this impacts on what we do and how we do it.
I am sorry that we are not able to do the same things for all leavers, we had plans and were ready to run with the full removal of restrictions to run normal leavers events. We are doing different things for different groups based on the number of staff that are required to run specific events, the availability of outdoor space and the ability to cope with adverse weather if needed.
It is essential that as a college we continue to follow the rules and that we ensure we are looking after all of the community. In West Sussex the rates of Covid are rising fastest in the 10 – 14 year old age group and I wish to avoid joining that trend, as the alternative will be classes going back into cycles of self-isolation.
Next week the planned new build starts on our back field. This means that on Monday and Tuesday the back field will be closed. This will be while the construction fencing is put up. After this, parts of the field will be open for outdoor lessons and lunch time.
This means that for Monday and Tuesday students in Marvel, Da Vinci and Avatar will have to spend less time outside at lunchtime so we that can juggle the lunch arrangements.
Once year 11 and year 14 students have left next Friday we will have more flexibility in how we arrange lunch times.
We cannot delay the start of the building project otherwise it won’t be ready for September.
The initial work is going to involve the removal of lots of top soil, so the field is going to look a mess while there will be little that looks exciting or promising happening. By mid July it should look more exciting and we will share photos on our social media platforms to keep you updated.
Many thanks for your continued support in what continues to be uncertain times and operating in very different ways.
If you have any questions about this please contact me by email or phone.
Pride month helps us teach tolerance, respect and equality. It helps our young people understand how damaging homophobia is. It helps our young people understand what to do and who will help them if they or a loved one is discriminated against, whether that is because of their disability, their gender, their racial identity, their sexuality or any other aspects of their life. Pride month helps us to show young people that they can be different and still loved.
As well as learning about tolerance and healthy relationships in their Personal Development lessons, we will be joining in with School Diversity Week. Students will have the opportunity to take part in different discussions and activities within their tutor groups. This could be anything from exploring and creating beautiful rainbows to being encouraged to speak about the issues that affect them.
We will also be having a Rainbow day on Friday 25th June where students can where their brightest home clothes in exchange for a £1 donation to Just Like Us.
Attached is the Pride Newsletter that we have sent out to all families –
We have also shared the following resources –