Dear Parents / Carers,

I hope that this finds you all safe and healthy.

This has been a busy and challenging week in college. A number of staff have tested positive and we had our first experience of the NHS Track and Trace app instructing a number of staff to isolate. The staff cases are not linked. This has been followed throughout the week with other colleagues, who have not been at work, being told to isolate having been to the supermarket etc. Alongside that we have had asymptomatic students identified in the testing centre.

No plan this week for on-site provision has survived the full day. That is not because we are not following safety guidance, we are sticking to this and everyone is ensuring that we do our best all of the time. It is however, a clear fact that the new variant is more easily transmittable.

While we will try and support families and offer places where that is needed we can only do that within the operational number of staff I have and using rooms where people can socially distance. It unfortunately can also change at the very last minute. I am really grateful for the flexibility that everyone is showing.

In relation to the new variant of Covid this is not necessarily showing with the classic symptoms initially. People are reporting headaches, feeling very tired and unwell. If a student is due in college but is unwell they should not attend.

It is also essential we have your up to date contact details, email and phone numbers to be able to get through to you.

The rates of infection in Worthing and West Sussex are falling, however they are still high and both local hospitals have over 270 Covid patients in them in total.

We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that we support and provide for all the students and families within our community.

Year 9 options choices:

At this time of year, students in year 9 would normally attend our Options Evening.

This year we will be posting a booklet to all year 9 students for them to have a look at and read through.  We will also post a booklet that students must complete.

On Wednesday evening, we will publish two videos on our YouTube channel: one will be led by Carrie-Anne, Senior Teacher KS4, explaining the options process and one with a very short explanation of each option subject.

Year 9 form tutors will arrange a time to discuss this with each student and then the final form MUST be sent into college by 22nd February 2021. We need to start planning September 2021 soon!

Any questions about the options process please contact Carrie-Anne at csillence@oakgrovecollege.org.uk

Keeping Active: 

It is really important to keep active and to do some exercise, using whatever space you can.

Alongside all the previous activity videos from the PE team on our YouTube account we will also be starting the Oak Grove Virtual School Games from Monday.

Lockdown Learning: Data issues:

The Oak National Academy is offering their website for free (in data terms) for all those whose have internet connections with O2, Three, Vodafone, EE, BT, Virgin and Sky.

BBC Bitesize is offering their website for free (in data terms) for all those who have internet connections with BT Mobile, EE and Plusnet Mobile.

We are also busy trying to get the 50+ laptops the college has had delivered out to students and their families. Please remember they have to come back to the college once these challenging times are over.

Contact with form tutor:

Attached to this email is an outline of how to download Teams onto your computers/ phones at home so that form tutors can organise form group catch up sessions.

Contact homelearning@oakgrovecollege.org.uk if you need help with this.

Expectations of work during lockdown:

Everyone is in very different situations at home/ school/ work at present and therefore in relation to work it is important you do what you can do. We don’t expect everything we send home to be completed straightaway. It is also important that students are doing life skills work with you at home.

A range of different videos will come out next week for each part of the college to give you a clearer idea on how to structure time and the expectations of work.

Free School Meals:

Lesley in our Finance office has successfully ordered the Free School Meal vouchers! We will deliver a three week voucher to those families on Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Please keep them in a safe place. We will need to hand them over to someone so please make sure you answer the door and enable staff to socially distance.

I am delighted at the number of photos and great work I have seen over the last week. Students are clearly working well and doing lots of great things. You are all doing a fantastic job in crazy times. Thank you for all of your support and team work within our community. Lots of certificates follow this letter!

I will be sending out well done letters for work and hot chocolates to go with them when staff recommend them.

Yours sincerely,

 

PGPotter

 

Phillip Potter

Headteacher

update to families 210122

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