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Hail the Scientist

Thank you for your continued efforts this last week or so. Reflecting upon our return, many of us may well have naïvely thought that we would establish some sort of rhythm and routine which would allow us to settle back into the new term. However, I now realise that each week will be very different […]

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Anything but COVID

Thank you, once again, for all your efforts of the past couple of weeks in supporting the schools and college in ensuring that we could open safely and, importantly, completely and in full. There is nothing that can replace face-to-face, in person, teaching and learning. I fear that through these messages, if I’m not careful, […]

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Welcome back and thank you

I wasn’t sure a weekly message from me would be welcome, however it does now indicate some sort of return to normality. I’ll just take some time this week to say thank you for all that the staff, pupils and students have done since the return. It has been, undoubtedly, an intense period in our history and […]

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Return to School arrangements, September 2020

Please click here to view Head’s letter to parents.

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The end of the school year

Well you’ve made it. It is officially now the end of the school year. I’m not sure that it feels like it. It doesn’t have the same resonance as usual. That said we have all certainly earned something of a summer break. It has been the strangest of periods in our history. Many of us […]

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Lockdown: Week 16

We are battling towards the end of the term and the end of the school year. Last week I talked about things becoming more normal. It’s felt, this week, that we’ve taken a few steps further forward in that respect. In this vein, it seems strange to be watching live football and switching to live […]

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Closure Briefing 14

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 15

After 105 days of the national lock down tomorrow as something of a red-letter day (unless you live in Leicester). Some of those leisure activities, which previously we’d taken for granted; for example, the pub or the restaurant; and some of those necessary services; for example, hairdressers and barbers; will reopen. This presents me with […]

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Closure Briefing 13

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 14

The sun has been shining this week (although the Sun isn’t shining as, for the first time in 40 years it isn’t Britain’s best-selling newspaper – not going to even mention which paper is now #1), there are more pupils back in school, there are more staff  back in school, Liverpool have won the Premier […]

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Closure Briefing 12

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 13

I hope that you are all as upbeat and buoyant at the end of this week as I am. I know that the return of our children has been rather limited but it has felt like we are slowly stepping back towards some sort of normality. Our school is not an educational institution without our […]

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Closure Briefing 11

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 12

It is relatively easy, as I discussed quite early in the lockdown period, to get one’s self into something of a whirlpool of despair, upset or even depression; particularly in these days. The lockdown as a consequence of the coronavirus, the shocking and saddening actions, from across the Atlantic, which resulted in the death of […]

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Closure Briefing 10

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 11

When I consider, on a Friday, what I’m going to discuss in my weekly message I can sometimes find it hard to identify something serious to discuss; or there are too many serious things to discuss, or there is something enormous and too significant which can’t be discussed. This week is an example of one […]

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Closure Briefing 9

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 10

As this has ‘officially’ been a half term holiday I intend to just to share a brief message this week. I do genuinely hope that you have taken some time this week to rest up, stay away from emails and make the most of this absolutely fantastic weather. The present national and international circumstances continue […]

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Lockdown: Week 9

’m sure you won’t need reminding but, it is the half term holiday and there are no expectations on anyone to be completing work. You all need that break. Take some time away from the work. Turn off your computer. Don’t check emails. Give yourself some brain space. It’s fitting that I can say this […]

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Closure Briefing 8

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 8

It’s all but I can do this week to just not spend the next few paragraphs ranting. We all waited on the governmental announcement of the weekend and we were looking for some clarity as to where we might be going and how we might get there. Sadly, the communication was not as clear as […]

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Closure Briefing 7

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 7

This will be something of a short message. I’m not expecting anybody to want to read this on a sunny bank holiday. It makes a nice change for the sun to be shining over the bank holiday weekend, even if it does not feel like a typical bank holiday; I’m not sure whether that’s as […]

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Closure Briefing 6

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing. Please Click here to view Covid-19 Parental Guide

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Lockdown: Week 6

I want to publicly thank all the staff at Oakwood High School and all the parents and carers for all your work with and for our children and young people. These are, as we have discussed on many occasions, very strange times and we have all been presented with personal and professional challenges, the likes […]

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Closure Briefing 5

Dear Parent / Carer Please Click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 5

We now have returned from our Easter break and have completed week 5 of lockdown. How long this will continue I cannot say. What I do know is that we have all been doing your bit again this week to support our children in their work and beyond. I know many of you are very […]

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Closure Briefing 4

Dear Parent / Carer Please click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 4

It really is still the Easter break and, as I said last week, I wouldn’t usually be sharing a message. But I will and you can choose to read, or not. A rhetorical question: Am I just doing these for my own sanity / routine / structure? We’ve had a number of pupils in school […]

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Closure Briefing 3

Dear Parent / Carer Please click here to view our weekly briefing.

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Lockdown: Week 3

As it’s (nominally) the Easter break I wouldn’t usually be sharing a Headteacher’s message / blog – you all have a whole lot of other things to be doing  rather than reading this nonsense. That said; now I’ve got on something of a roll with the messages and themes are developing it may well be […]

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Week 2 of lockdown

We are now at the end of week 2 of lockdown.  And we are ready to start the Easter break? That sounds and feels very strange. I can’t quite get the ‘end of a long term, time to relax’ vibe going. There has been loads of stuff online and in social media this week designed […]

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Closure Briefing 2

Dear Parent / Carer Please click here to view our second weekly briefing.

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Week 1 of lockdown

At the end of week one I’ll try to keep this short. I’m sure many of you have had it with looking at screens this week. Thank you for everything that you have done to adjust to our new ways of working and thank you for supporting our each other and our pupils; all of […]

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Closure Briefing 1

Dear Parent / Carer We thought that we should update you all as regularly as possible. It is our intention to send out a weekly briefing for parents / carers and the pupils.  Please click here to view.  

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Temporary closure

We are living through extraordinary circumstances and we have communicated so much, so frequently and (hopefully) clearly throughout the past few weeks. We are where we are right now and we are in a situation none of us would’ve wished for or imagined.I do believe that, as a community we have, as always, reacted with […]

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We face difficult days ahead

We face difficult days ahead. The magnitude of the current crisis is becoming clearer by the day. In these exceptional times I just wanted to take some time to reassure you that we, at Oakwood High School, are doing all that is necessary, recommended, reasonable and proportionate in the face of the pandemic.  We have […]

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Just thinking ahead

I want to thank all the staff, pupils and parents for their efforts this week. The weather has been a little bit better and, as a consequence, the atmosphere around the school has been a little bit more relaxed. It’s great when the children can get out and have a bit of a run-around at […]

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The globe is close to home

After a week away from the ‘chalk face’ we have been back at it again this week. It’s interesting what can happen and how events can move when we have a week away from school. In the 21st-century, news, information and events move so quickly. It’s not quite Wilson’s ‘a week is a long time […]

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Valentine’s Day

We’ve got to the end of another half term. This past six weeks has been pretty good on the whole. The weather hasn’t been too bad; notwithstanding the odd storm, strong winds, sleet showers, downpours and so on and so on. Pretty typical for this time of year I guess. We know that by the […]

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At least we are talking

This week has been ‘Children’s Mental Health and Well-being week’. A national opportunity for us all to stop and think about supporting children and young people with their mental health and well-being. For many of the older generation this might seem a little strange. In years gone-by, when I was a lad and all that, […]

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Random Acts of Kindness

A couple of things this week. Firstly, just referring back to the message of last week about ‘Blue Monday’. It was interesting and reassuring to read on the BBC website that, according to psychologists Blue Monday is ‘a load of rubbish’. The phrase was coined by a psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2004. He came up […]

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There’s no need to be blue on Monday

We’ve got over that period of New Year’s resolutions – the continuation of those resolutions with some of us and the slippage with others. That old line about ‘picking yourself up and dusting yourself off’ comes to mind. It is important to have something to commit to do but we shouldn’t make it a millstone […]

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Happy New Year

Probably for the final time this year: Happy New Year. I hope that you all had a wonderful break and you have been able to recharge the batteries. We know how challenging that first term can be for everyone; staff and pupils. The nights get longer, the days get shorter and colder and the challenges […]

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The Election

Having avoided, week on week, the election… I know that many of you will have voted this past few days. Some of you may be happy with the result, some of you may not. As Headteacher of Oakwood High School I really do try to make it my business to be professionally apolitical. It isn’t […]

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Christmas is coming

Thank you for your efforts this week. We countdown to the Christmas break. We have a couple of weeks to go at the end of a long long term. I know that it isn’t easy to get up and out and into school every day but the overwhelming majority of pupils do so with good […]

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Black Friday

I’m concerned about you all. I’m concerned that the opportunity to drawn into the carnage that is Black Friday might be too much for you. You just might get drawn into the madness that is Meadowhall (other large retail outlets are available) and you’ll end up spending your well-earned or hard-earned cash on ‘stuff’. That […]

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It’s good to talk and listen

As we move into  the depths of this Autumn I am absolutely determined not to talk about the general election and/or politics. In particular, I’m not going to discuss how politicians should or do behave – on the campaign trail or in office. If I state that I might just have half a chance of […]

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Past and Present

I’ve topped and tailed my week this week with work with Year 11’s. On Monday we hosted our annual ex-year 11 presentation evening. It was, as always, a lovely evening and was, this year, very well attended by the pupils. It is amazing to see how much those young people had changed in such a […]

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And it rained.

It’s not been the best of weeks really. Not that it’s been that bad at school necessarily, but the week started with defeat for England at Rugby World Cup final and ended with terrific floods locally and the sad news that a woman has died, having been swept away in floodwater. All I can say […]

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The half term is upon us

It’s the end of the longest half term and as such there seems little value in trying to find clever things to say to keep people motivated and ‘up and at it’. All I need to do is say thank you to everybody for their contributions over the past eight weeks; be that pupils, parents […]

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Bulgaria 0 England 6

Like many of you I watched Monday’s England football game (0-6 by the way) in Bulgaria. It was a strange experience. On one hand I felt angry and repulsed by the overtly racist behaviour being displayed by significant minority of fans. And on the other hand, quietly proud of the England team, all of the […]

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It’s a day

I think I need to start with an apology. In my general irritation with the accountability framework that schools and colleges have to face I forgot that it was one of the most important days of the year last week. You might have missed it too. On Saturday 5th October we should have all been […]

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To Ofsted or not to Ofsted

Those of us who work in education understand that we must be held to account for the performance of our children and young people. We may not like the OFSTEDs of this world but we are realistic about their existence and the demands that they will place on schools and colleges. It is with this […]

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Thank you

In considering what I might discuss this week it has been immensely difficult to avoid the momentous national ‘judgements’ and related political and constitutional discussions that have subsequently taken place. It would have been relatively easy to make some play over the Supreme Court judgement or the conduct of MPs in parliament; I have heard […]

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Being a teacher

Last week I talked about the positivity I felt having worked with some colleagues newly appointed to the Trust. This week, amongst other things, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some colleagues for key teaching roles within the Trust. That got me thinking about the teaching profession in general. There is something of a crisis […]

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Inspire Trust

Education is complicated these days. Long gone are the days when we had simple constructs. To a degree we knew we all knew where we were within those constructs. The central government directed the local government and the local government directed schools and colleges. We are now in a much more complicated educational landscape. That […]

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The return to school

Thank you for all of your efforts this week. However much we prepare for the return of pupils it isn’t until they are in the building that we fully realise what is needed and what we need to do to support them in their learning. However much the pupils prepare it isn’t until they are […]

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Welcome back

I hope that you have all had a wonderful summer. We are all back and at it from the first thing this morning. It’s been particularly strange time, meteorologically, but it seems that that is something we are going to have to get used to. Looking into the future the climate seems to be on a course […]

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All about cricket?

Thank you to all staff, children and parents for all your efforts this week – the first week of the new school year!. It’s always that little bit more interesting when we have our new year 7s in. On the whole they have been very good and have managed themselves well around the school building. […]

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