Academy weekly news

For the week ending: 18 September, 2020

A Parents Guide to Covid19 at Ormiston Denes Academy

Dear Parent/ Carer

I would like to open by thanking Year 11 students again for their attendance at our period 5 lessons on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and, indeed the staff. Although we are back in school, we must not forget that all our students missed a considerable amount of learning time so that’s why we have various programmes in place to help them catch up. It is important however that it is planned and phased catch up time; spread over the months that lie ahead. I sometimes refer to this as ‘managed urgency’. It is exactly the same as when you are behind in a contest when the last thing you want to do is rush, the key is to up the pace and momentum so that the quality remains and you ‘catch up’.

On Wednesday we went through our ‘lockdown’ and ‘fire’ procedure drills and both went well. It was very different this time as year groups came out together and they were managed by their heads of year and heads of key stage. It was very orderly but as always, we are reviewing both sets of procedures to see where we can tighten up and adapt plans. They are both scenarios you have to plan for but hope you don’t have to use. Overall I was very pleased, so my thanks to our students for conducting themselves so well.

As you may know, the Government is discussing the possibility of introducing “circuit breakers” whereby some areas are forced into a 2 week lockdown to break the spread of COVID19. However, they have not yet provided any firm guidance. We believe this could be treated in accordance with tier 2 of our closure plan, but we will confirm this once we know for definite.

We have been in negotiations with our catering providers and I can say that as from Tuesday there will be some provision of hot food. Whilst still not ideal, the hot snacks will be a welcome addition to our limited cold food choice that has been on offer. All the year group food areas will have tills so please ensure that your child has money on their account; which can be completed via ParentMail.

Yesterday, we held our Strategic Progress Board and Local Governing Body meetings. These are both really important meetings for us as they provide an opportunity to talk through plans and evaluate our progress. The external scrutiny is crucial for a number of reasons, not least to share ideas and help support the school.

I am pleased to enclose a welcome letter from Mrs Kirsty Gardiner, our Head of Year 8.

I have been impressed when I am ‘out and about’ seeing what’s going on and chatting with staff and students. It is a real pleasure and to give students their due, they are very kind when I try to kick a football. Being at the gate is also a highlight seeing our students arrive then leave at the end of the day. A huge thanks to parents for your support in ensuring our school uniform standards are maintained and that our students look fantastic.

Yours faithfully

Mr Jim Nixon, Principal

Welcome to Ormiston Denes Academy, north Lowestoft’s secondary school and the first choice academy for the majority of families in the local area. We offer a rigorous, traditional curriculum; supplemented by a broad choice from creative and performing arts, technology, and sport; all personalised to the strengths of individual students. Read more…

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