Supporting the school community
When the world changed, so did Ormiston Chadwick Academy (OCA). The academy switched to online learning ensuring that all pupils requiring a laptop, received one. A ‘normal’ live lesson consisted of rigorous questioning, engaging tasks, feedback and praise; all the ingredients of a normal face to face lesson! The school day continued as normal with the delivery of a full timetable including form time monitoring pupils’ well-being and maintaining good routines. The academy utilised the ‘breakout rooms’ on its online learning platform during lessons to support students’ learning and fortnightly personal development lessons continued keeping pupils up to date with current affairs. Also included was a wellbeing week full of family friendly activities that required time away from a screen such as baking, scientific experiments and crafts. Student work was showcased on social media to celebrate their dedication and exceptional efforts; students also received handwritten postcards through the post and sweet hampers delivered to their homes! The most engaged student in each year group received an iPad. Excellent engagement in lessons meant that its Year 11 had a chance of winning a Friday Night Takeaway a takeaway of their choice on Fridays, for their whole family to enjoy. Its online lockdown library enabled students to chose a book which was then delivered to their homes; when wellbeing home visits were made, the pastoral team brought reading books for the whole family. Communication with parents was maintained throughout the lockdown; parents’ evenings continued remotely as did the Year 9 option evening. Community is important to the academy; in the first lockdown they donated 200 pairs of science goggles to the NHS. During the second, they went into the community bi-weekly on the school mini bus, stopping at various landmarks around Widnes distributing learning resources to students whilst distributing treats to reward them for their tremendous resilience, flexibility and self-reliance; they are very proud of all their OCAers!