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Tutor Review Day – Wednesday 20th October 2021, 11.00am-7.00pm.

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Staff Briefing

Friday song.Today’s song is dedicated to Year 7s doing Restart a Heart.

Reflection of the Week

The penultimate Friday! Six down and one week to go before we all get a well-earned rest. It is that time of year when the light is fading, we are all setting off to work in the reduced light of dawn and leaving as the sun sets, or often, just as it disappears over the horizon. After six busy weeks, when we are feeling tired, we sometimes let things get on top of us. As we navigate our way to half term and an opportunity to recharge and go again, take time to be kind to yourself and reach out to others.

Often when we are in the throes of our daily work, striving to do our best and make a difference, we lose sight of the great work we do. We pride ourselves at Oakwood, on our supportive and caring culture and ethos, but sometimes we don’t take time to reflect on the impact it is having. On Tuesday, we had Debbie Lamb from Anchored Schools visiting school, carrying out the safeguarding review. I would like to thank the 21 people involved in the meeting during the day, but especially Donna, who in her new role as DSL, did an amazing job of organising the day and ensuring that we were all in the right place at the right time. 

The overall feedback was extremely positive, citing the close relationship between safeguarding, pastoral teams, ARC and attendance and their relentless focus and commitment on the child’s needs as the bedrock to how we keep pupils safe. Communication and collaboration between staff in school and with multi-agencies was also a real strength. In addition, our support for pupils through key areas was highlighted. This included the amazing work done by the Child Protection team, IT team, pastoral teams and the First Aid/Attendance team. As well as these, the contribution of the curriculum in supporting wellbeing, positive mental health and keeping safe was strong. Debbie was out with pupils at break time, she described them as calm, settled and with a sense of belonging and with this comes safety. There are a few areas for development, but ones that are more than achievable and will bring value, especially around our approach to ongoing training and the monitoring of our safeguarding provision. These are areas that with COVID as our primary focus, we have left to tick over and can now start to develop further. Debbie visits many schools across the country and her very positive feedback reflects the amazing work done by everyone in school in keeping children safe and caring for their mental health and wellbeing.

This week I have also been impressed by the work of our School Council and School Leaders. Thank you to Jeremy for driving this, but it is clear to see that the pupils are really invested in Oakwood and want to make a difference. I was particularly affected by the enthusiasm of our School Leaders, led by Inayah Khan. They are working on a project to introduce better recycling into school. I am sure when they get this off the ground, they will have all our support.

The Inspiring Youth project is also in full swing. On Tuesday and Thursday after school the LRC was packed with pupils from Year 8 and 9 starting out on the project. In total, there are 60 pupils involved across the two year groups from a whole range of abilities and backgrounds. Thank you, once again, to Anna Fredenfeld for coordinating this and looking in her element getting them all organised!

Today we have Restart a Heart in the Main Hall for Year 7s. This is a great event, but more importantly, a great life skill for our pupils to learn. Hopefully, they will never be in a position where they need to use it, but knowing we have given them the opportunity to learn it means they are equipped, should the moment ever arise. Can you please check the email from Katie to see which Y7s are involved each period and ensure they are sent to the main hall.  We were anticipating a visit from the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, unfortunately the one allocated to us had to be cancelled. However, we have been fortunate enough to have received a late replacement. I am sure you will all give a warm welcome to Mr David Naisbitt should you see him with his special badge and carrying out a very important role today. Thank you to Katie for organising it and Nicola for her support with all the re-roomings. Another #TeamOakwood effort.

Lastly, on Thursday we received confirmation of funding for the Christmas School. A big thank you to all the staff who have put themselves forward for this to make it possible. It is a great opportunity to support families in our community during what can be a difficult time. I would especially like to thank Hayley for pulling the application together so quickly and successfully.

It is easy, as we get weary towards the end of a half-term, to look forward to a week off and in essence wish our time away. However, this weekend is a reminder for me of how precious time is. Tomorrow my daughter and youngest child turns 18 and becomes an adult. It is a timely reminder of how quickly time passes and how we need to remind ourselves, even when times are challenging and the days short, to try where possible, to live in the moment. I will leave you with this quote from Deepak Chopra “Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.” 

Have a good Friday and a restful and enjoyable weekend.


HR Requests: Cipher who provide our HR system have notified us that there are some ongoing and intermittent issues with the HR system. Staff are able to put requests for absence, pay etc in, however, at times approvers are not able to view these to approve. They are aware of the problem that lies with them and not our IT systems and hope to resolve this as soon as possible.

TRD guidance-sent by SWI

Extra-Curricular-email sent by DTA. Please share with your tutees.

PLT Star of the Week– deadline reminder

Today: Year 7 Restart a Heart – Main Hall, please see the schedule sent by KRO

No Y11 assembly

Next Week   

Professional Conversations: lesson reflections, sharing and reflecting all week, time disaggregated from Oct Twilight 2 hours.

Assembly Tug of War-teams of 6 per tutor group

Monday Briefing 8:25am  

Tuesday  LZ- suggested as time to sign off and review Appraisal

Wednesday Tutor Review Day 11am to 7pm

Thursday   Talent Leadership: SEND Analysis, EAL Strategies

Friday End of Half Term 1

I heard a Wispa 

Emily Nicholls who came in on her day off today to do work to support the department.

Helena Vereczy for translating in a difficult readmission meeting and Alastair Grant for allowing me to use his TRD presentation.

Lucie Oliver for encompassing all the 5Rs in her quest to ensure every Y7 received their Chromebooks, thank you!

Jordan Arno for covering a colleague’s absence and stepping into the Safeguarding review; he was calm and knowledgeable.

Michelle Bowater for being generous with kindness, a no-nonsense purveyor of advice and provider of sensible reassurance.

Alasdair Grant for welcoming colleagues into his lessons so that he can benefit from advice and embracing the school ethos of ‘better never stops’!

Jonathan Sharpe and Fin Macbean for stepping in at the last minute to offer cover support.

Sarah Fiddes and Lizzie Carr for helping others to mark assessments.

Toni (Site team) who has very kindly helped Tal get some big boxes into her car on several occasions.

Eve and Emily Nicholls, who stayed behind with a colleague after MRE to listen to them and look after them  when they had an overwhelming day!

Vic Sayer who stepped in to cover a maths lesson when they couldn’t do it in subject.

Christie and Jess for covering a colleague last minute


It is difficult to single one person or team out this week. At some point this week every team has had to cover and provide support for each other and sometimes in another area. Even without the challenges COVID brings, this is very usual at this time of year. Thank you everyone for pulling together, even when you yourself are feeling ready for a rest. The Heroes will be located in the staff room for you to help yourself to.

Headteacher Awards

No nominations this week, please keep them coming


To the Year 10 Netball team who have secured a place in the Rotherham Schools finals. This is the second Oakwood team following the success of our Year 11’s last week.

To our Year 7 football team, who won 4-2 in the County Cup last night