Staff Briefing


Friday song – This week’s Friday song is dedicated to everyone who has gone above and beyond to help keep things running, despite the staff challenges the week has thrown at us. Thank you

Reflection of the Week

Well it’s Friday and the end of week 2 (well 1.5 to be accurate). In a week that has seen the integrity and, at best judgement of sporting icons and political leaders, brought into question it is fair to say that this is not something that can be levelled at any of Team Oakwood. Despite the challenges we face, whether that’s staffing, spaces, government guidance (the list is endless), you show not only incredible resolve, but real leadership and are incredible role models to our young people.

On Monday we saw the start of the Year 10 ILEs and Year 11 catch ups. Overall so far, it has  been a successful week. After the first few days the invigilators were very complimentary of the way the Year 10s were conducting themselves, always the kiss of death! However, despite the odd pupils that have subsequently been spoken to and a reminder to all the year about the importance of meeting the expectations and rules that govern the exams, things have remained positive with the vast majority. It is worth reminding ourselves that the last time this year’s group sat an ILE was in the summer of 2019, when they were in Year 7! 

On Monday we also came together, albeit  virtually (thank you to the small audience that helped give Eve and Stacey someone to perform to) for the curriculum twilight. I would like to thank  Eve and Stacey for their presentation, planning and input. The work we have done on the curriculum over the last few years has really moved on and this was recognised by Ofsted who stated, ‘leaders have designed a challenging and exciting curriculum that considers pupils’ aspirations and interests’. However, it was also recognised that there were inconsistencies across the school,  ‘there are inconsistencies in the implementation of the school’s curriculum. Pupils’ experiences in subjects vary. In some subjects there is clear evidence of the work leaders have done to improve the way in which subject plans are planned and delivered. Leaders should ensure that these strategies are now deployed in other subjects’. It was clear from the three clear focuses and the level of professional discussion on Monday, that there is a commitment across all subjects to make this happen.

Tuesday also saw more development time given over to training. Reading is another area identified by us and reinforced by the inspection. ‘The work leaders are doing to create a culture of reading is not fully developed. Pupils are not exposed to books or other texts as often as they could be. Some pupils read rarely. This is not supporting leaders’ work to broaden pupils’ vocabulary. Leaders should ensure that improving the reading culture in the school is addressed’. (Ofsted Nov 2022).

I would like to thank Emily Hall for her excellent and insightful presentation. It’s not easy presenting to the whole staff, it’s even more difficult when you can’t see your audience. However, despite these challenges, the quality of the training was first class and is a clear step in the right direction to not only creating a reading culture, but actually transforming how we use reading to support learning, secure progress and above all improve life chances. Over the coming year more work will be done to help embed the culture and equip all staff to deliver the reading and use of subject specific texts with confidence.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to everyone this week for going above and beyond to keep the school running. It would be unfair and almost impossible to single people out, as I believe at some point you have all picked up something extra to make sure our pupils’ experience and learning suffers the minimum disruption and they are kept safe. There is still some uncertainty ahead, but there are early signs that the current wave is reaching its peak, we can but hope. In the meantime, I continue to ask for your support and most importantly the support for each other. You have earned this weekend, more than most. Please make sure you take time to recharge and reset.

Have a good day and a great weekend.


Sadly we say goodbye to Beth Reading.

Beth started her time at Oakwood in April 2020 in the middle of a global pandemic! Despite this, Beth made every effort to learn her role with professionalism and immersed herself within the Oakwood family. She very quickly settled in and became a great asset to the team, always giving 100% and going above and beyond in everything she did. Beth always has the best interest of pupils and the school and would do anything for anyone.

Beth has a great sense of humour and was the office comedian, there was never a dull moment and quite often we got told off by whoever was in 001 for laughing so loudly. There have been lots of dramas mainly relating to Beth’s hair being cut into a mullet style (see picture) this had us laughing for days whilst Beth was traumatised, especially since the hair cut cost her over £100! 

Her knowledge of First Aid was incredible and Katie and Liz really don’t know how they ever did cope without “nurse Beth”. When Beth went on her First Aid Course the instructor even made a comment to say she knew more than him! 

 If Beth was an animal she would be a spaniel as she is always happy and eager to please, very daft and has lots of energy! 

Wickersley is extremely lucky to gain Beth as a colleague, she will be greatly missed by pupils, staff and parents. We wish her all the best in her new role as Attendance Manager and hope she keeps in touch. However, we are now  in competition with you Beth on Attendance figures! 

PLT Star of the Week– deadline reminder

Next Week: 

Assembly- Safer Internet Day (This a National event on 8th February and we feel that this message is timely due to recent issues on this topic for some of our pupils)

In addition to the regular assembly there will be an additional one for Year 9 ILEs, date and time to be announced.

Monday- Briefing 8.25 (remote, link shared)

Y10 ILEs continue

Tuesday- Learning Zone – Feedback from reading training, moderation and standardisation of Y11

Wednesday- Year 11 and 10 return to normal lunch rotation

Thursday- Talent Development: Plans for Y11 revision programmes – January to May

Y10 & Y11 peer mediation course all day 

Friday Y10 & Y11 peer mediation course all day

I heard a Wispa 

Alex Hinelwood and Hannah Cave (PE ITTs) who offered to take Year 11 PE groups to help with staff absence. Not only did they take the groups, but it was a first for both of them. Alex taught girls’ rugby for the first time and Hannah Year 11. Thank you for stepping in and supporting.

Helena for her amazing support in KBO’s Y9 class, she keeps her sane at times.

Jacob Bennett; to say he has only been with us for a short period of time he did so well covering reception last week and remained calm and composed, nothing fazed him and he was brilliant with parents and visitors.

Sharon Burton and Karen Mckernan for invigilating at a pupil’s home to secure ILE grades for a Y11 pupil.

Bernie Brown, for the amazing way she goes about putting the cover list together and remaining so calm (outwardly anyway), thank you and it’s a Golden Wispa for you.


All of you who have stepped in to cover colleagues this week. There is chocolate in the staff room, help yourself.

Headteacher Awards

Alana Crosby and Inayah Khan because their personal statements, work ethic and general attitude to learning is amazing in their MAP lessons.