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OIAMFS: Message From Principal Mr Rees To Students In Years 7-9, Parents and Carers

1st June 2020

Topic: OIAMFS Message From Principal Mr Rees To Students In Years 7-9

Dear Student,

First and foremost, I hope this letter finds you and your families well. I also hope you enjoyed your week off for half-term, managed to enjoy the wonderful weather and, for those who celebrated it, managed to have a very enjoyable Eid.

As we move into the final half term of the academic year, it is becoming ever more clear that it is unlikely that we will be able to welcome those students in Years 7-9 back into the building before September. It is crucial therefore, that you continue to work remotely, completing the online work or work packs your teachers are setting for you. I know that this term many of you will be contributing to our “Experience Miscellany” and I cannot wait to see how you choose to express yourselves within it.

Working remotely undoubtedly has it challenges and we appreciate all your efforts to engage as well as you can. This engagement is absolutely crucial as the work covered, even during lockdown, will ultimately be needed for your final assessments in the future, no matter what format they take. Indeed, this year’s introduction of “Centre Assessment” means that it is entirely possible that how hard you work, both throughout lockdown and your arrival back into school, will directly contribute to the overall grades you are awarded at the end of Year 11. The truth is, nobody quite knows what the future will look like, so please make sure you are fully prepared for whatever comes our way by always giving 100%.

I also want to take this opportunity to remind you that, no matter what, we are always here for you. It is possible that many of you are finding lockdown incredibly challenging. You will have concerns, fears and uncertainty relating to many aspects of the world you now find yourselves in. This is only natural, but we are here for you. No matter how small, trivial or insignificant you might think your worries are, please rest assured that we don’t think they are small. We don’t think they are trivial. We don’t think anything you worry about is insignificant.

We will continue to keep in touch through our regular phone calls and will also continue to send you weekly newsletters from your Head of Year. I will also continue to be in touch throughout the half term letting you know what is happening with regards to school and your ultimate return. Until then, remember the values that are at the heart of all we do:

  • Show compassion to everyone that you interact with. Now, more than ever, we don’t know what they have been going through.
  • Be honest with yourself and everyone else. Are you doing the very best you can right now?
  • Have integrity in all that you do. Now is the time to be the best version of yourself you can be.
  • Strive for The world may be changing and adapting, but these changes should never be the basis of excuses and should never prevent you from doing your best in every endeavour you undertake.

Stay safe. Stay well. Stay in touch.

I look forwardly to hopefully seeing you all again very soon.

With very best wishes,

Stuart Rees, Principal

Monday 1st June 2020

Topic: OIAMFS May 2020 Newsletter

Dear parent/carer,

As the days and weeks blur into one, you could be forgiven for not realising that we have reached the end of another half-term; however, let me assure you that, once again, this is a term that has much to be celebrated.

My son was watching a well-known film this weekend – ‘Rocky’, and within it, there was a line of dialogue that felt particularly pertinent to society at the moment:

“You, me, nobody is going to hit as hard as life does. But it isn’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how you win!”.

 Such a quotation seems to embody how brave and magnificent the OIAM community have been over these past weeks. We have had to be brave. We’ve shown we can be. We’ve had to learn differently. We’ve shown we can. We’ve learned that our fears can be overcome and we have developed a much deeper appreciation of what really matters to us most.

I am grateful to every member of our school community who, no matter how hard life hits them have continued to get up and continued to keep moving forward. They continue to demonstrate the grit and resilience synonymous with OIAM students and I couldn’t be prouder of them. It is crucial that this half-term is a time for us to rest and recharge, or “sharpen the saw” as the 7 habits displayed in our atrium refer to it.

Unfortunately for those students in Years 7 – 9, it has become ever clearer that it is unlikely that we will see them return to school before September. As much as we want to see them, we will not jeopardise anybody’s health in order to rush back to school. Therefore, can I please once again implore students to continue engaging with the online work being set by teachers and continue trying to do their absolute best.

Those students in Year 10 find themselves in a slightly different position, with the government recommending that they should receive some face to face time with teachers before the summer holidays. As such, we will be offering students in Year 10 the opportunity to return to school in order to attend some face to face seminars. Once again, unfortunately this will not be the same as a normal return to lessons, but it will help support our students as we collectively move forward. We will be writing to all Year 10 students, parents and carers separately to outline the options available and the timescales they will operate within.

Finally, many of our staff, friends and families have been celebrating Eid this weekend. Please may I take this opportunity to say ‘Eid Mubarak’ to everyone. Celebrations will have undoubtedly been somewhat different for most families, but I hope it was equally enjoyable.

Whatever you are doing this half term, I hope you have a lovely break and we will be in contact with you again soon.

With very best wishes,

Stuart Rees, Principal