Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey students are pleased to be back in the classroom

Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey students are pleased to be back in the classroom

Oasis Academy were pleased to welcome back Year 10 and Year 12 students this week after three months of home learning in response to the Coronavirus. The academy has been open throughout the closure period, including during the Easter break, half term and bank holidays for those with parents who are key workers and other eligible students.

Staff explained to students arriving for their first day back about the many measures the academy had taken to make returning to school as safe as possible. Changes that have been introduced include temperature and wellbeing checks prior to entry, social distancing markers along the route, and throughout the school a one way traffic measure.

Students had much more space in the classroom as capacity was limited to around 10 per room with respect to social distancing. Students were provided with personal pencil cases complete with stationery and exercise books so that no resources were shared, making the academy safer. The academy’s cleaning team were also on hand to complete additional cleaning throughout the day.

Year 10 student Rosie said “I was nervous at first, but after today I feel so more comfortable about coming to school. It’s been great to see my friends again."

Sean, Year 10 said “I’m very happy with what the school has done. I feel safe”. Sean added “The Microsoft Teams session today was excellent. I’ve learnt features I wasn’t aware of. This will really help me when I am doing my work at home.”

Tina Lee, Principal at Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey said; “Staff at the academy have worked incredibly hard throughout the lockdown to ensure attendance and well-being for our students, with hundreds of personal calls to students and families each week. There has been a considerable safeguarding perspective of which we are very proud and this is an excellent opportunity to thank them all publicly.”

“All students receive daily work to complete remotely and we have adapted our systems to encourage greater participation in the work set following feedback we have asked and received from parents and families. Teachers have received training and practiced lessons using Microsoft Teams and lessons are now pre-recorded for learners at home.”

“The return of Year 10 and 12 students has been a great success and it has been lovely to see and speak to students on their return. Students are happy to see one another and their teachers. They have observed all safety measures we have applied; a particular highlight for me has been the 20 second sing-along during the very many hand washing procedures we have set in the day.”

“We look forward now to more students attending as confidence grows and as lockdown eases so that we can continue to support students at the end of this year and prepare them for the next year where formal examinations will end current courses and qualifications”.

In partnership with other local charities, the academy has been exploring how it can best support students and their families during the difficulties caused by the pandemic and the lockdown.

Free school meals have been provided to those families that are eligible, and the school has been working with Fare Share Kent & Family Food Bank to provide and deliver 70 food hampers over the last few weeks.

The Academy is also partnering with the National Schools Breakfast Programme to provide 100 breakfast parcels to families across the island with a similar number planned later this week. There are already plans to continue with additional food parcels to supplement the government’s free school meal voucher system during the summer holidays. As a result of the close working relationship between Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey and the School Breakfast programme, the academy has been able to extend the relationship to other Oasis academies within the multi academy trust, enabling more families to be supported around the country.

The Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey has been highlighted by the National Schools Breakfast Programme for a case study on best practice.

Paul Murray, Head of Community Hub at Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, added; “We are extremely proud of the great lengths the academy has taken to ensure that our vulnerable families are looked after during these difficult times. These food parcels will really make a difference to people’s lives and we thank Fare Share and the National Schools Breakfast Programme for their overwhelming support as we overcome this pandemic.”

Daniel Marsh