Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Principal's Letter to Parents - July 2016

Dear Parent/Guardian

As we approach the end of another busy term, I just wanted to give you a few updates, and confirm the end of term arrangements.  And what a term it’s been!  Some highlights for me have included:

  • Our OSCA Awards Ceremony last week, attended by approximately 400 guests and proud parents and guardians. We gave out 150 awards, all for outstanding effort and achievement.  It was particularly impressive to see our ‘Brilliant Club’ Graduates in full university gowns and mortar boards, already producing university level assignments
  • We are the top performing school in the whole borough again this year for attendance, for the 3rd consecutive year, and one of THE top performing nationally. This matters so much given the proven link between high attendance and high achievement in exams
  • Our learning environment is superb now too, with the completion of our £9 m rebuild and refurb programme last year. I have recently secured significant funding from the Local Authority for a complete refurb of C block (which was not originally scheduled on the build plan), so watch this space for more details!
  • We are once again full and oversubscribed for the 3rd consecutive year, we have a long waiting list, and once again had to attend the appeals panel last week as some pupils who didn’t get into OSCA were so disappointed, they appealed again to come here and not to the school they had been allocated!
  • Alongside of all that hard work, we have had a myriad of enrichment opportunities. Please do click here to check out our latest newsletter, for a flavour of some of these.

So, immensely proud though I am of everything we have achieved together over the last 3 years, it doesn’t stop there!   We have very firmly set our sights on ‘outstanding’.  Our new Academy Development Plan has been written, and we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to keep raising standards across the board.  Your support in all of this has, of course, been absolutely pivotal, and it has been a real pleasure working in partnership with you again this year.

As many parents and guardians will be buying new uniform in preparation for September just a reminder that the uniform list is on the website on the parents' page.  We have had excellent support from the overwhelming majority of parents in meeting the enforcement of uniform and ethos rules this year.  One thorny issue in this can be the definition of formal shoes.  We have therefore on the uniform page of the website provided examples of what the Academy means by these, and to help parents avoid spending money on shoes which are not suitable. Lots of sports shops are branding items as shoes that aren’t actually shoes (and charging huge amounts in the process!), so please do check on the website. Please can I also reiterate that trousers must be formal too, no leggings/jeggings/very tight styles either please. As I always say, uniform is the physical manifestation of a student's attitude to school, so thank you in advance for working with us to ensure they get it right.  

I understand that the summer holidays is a time to relax and perhaps for parents to allow our young people to have a bit more freedom as teenagers. Please can I ask however that any summer piercings/extreme hair colourings are removed by the start of term in September.  Again, please visit our website if you have any queries about expectations, or contact your child's Head of House.

The website also has all the information you need about our new supplier, as well as a link to the finance department if you have any queries. The remaining selling dates at OSCA for your convenience are:

Wednesday 3rd August - 3pm to 6pm
Thursday 4th August - 3pm to 6pm

In terms of practical arrangements, the academy will finish for students at:

  • 12:00pm on Friday 22nd July
  • OSCA re-opens for years 7, 11 and 12 on Wednesday 7th September at 8.35am
  • OSCA re-opens for all other year groups on Thursday 8th September at 8.35am

For all other key dates next term please see the newsletter, and the draft calendar on the website here.

As a reward for students for such a successful term, Friday 22nd will be a non-uniform day. Students should bring in £1 for a charitable donation. Please can I ask you that students do still wear clothes suitable for a school setting. I appreciate we (finally!), have some warm weather, but nothing too short or too revealing please, or students risk being sent home to change, which would be a shame.

On a staffing note, I wanted to let you know that Mrs Thompson, one of our VPs, is retiring this year, after 6 years at OSCA, and 39 years as a teacher in the West Midlands. I am sure you will want to join me in thanking her for all she has done for the academy, and for students over the last nearly 40 years, and in wishing her a very long, and very happy retirement!

And finally, thank you once again for all of your support this academic year.  Our thoughts now lie with years 11 and 13, and we are hoping and praying that this summer will bring our best ever set of exam results, so watch this space!  I am so proud and pleased of everything we have achieved together this year, and look forward to celebrating even greater successes in the new academic year.

Best wishes for a happy (and sunny!) summer holiday,

Marie McMahon