The end of every school year is a great chance to think back about everything that has happened and reflect on what has been achieved. And what a school year 2020-21 has been!
Whether you’re a student at an Oasis academy, a parent, or a member of staff, you will have been impacted by COVID-19. I want to say a huge thank you to every member of the Oasis family for how we’ve come together facing this pandemic.
We know that this year has been tough from long stretches of online learning, to beginning school in a year group bubble, or even finishing school without exams. However, our students have responded to all these challenges in their stride.
A huge thank you too, to everyone who works or volunteers for Oasis. I know that there have been late nights, working in the holidays and generally above and beyond to ensure that school can be open, or online education provided, for the children. Teachers do the teaching, but we must not forget the army of others behind them who make sure buildings are clean and well maintained, IT equipment is online, food is prepared and served, and much more besides!
Covid-19 has shown what we knew before, that at an Oasis we are one amazing family.
Fortunately, the year hasn’t just been about the Covid-19. We have too many exciting projects happening now to mention in this short blog, but I would like to tell you about just three.
We have launched Oasis Horizons this year across our academies. This autumn, every Oasis student and teacher will have access to their own iPad so that the opportunity to learn and to read doesn’t need to stop when we leave the classroom. Our IT Team have moved mountains to make this possible, and unsurprisingly in many of our academies the students have already begun to show their teachers amazing things that they can do with their devices.
This spring also saw the first of an initial group of 14 academies in our family install solar panels on the roof of their buildings. We are committed to become a net zero educational organisation by 2030, showing our young people that we are serious about reducing our carbon footprint. It has been inspiring to see how much this vital issue means to our students.
Last but certainly not least, our students have had an exceptional year despite the challenges, not just in classroom but in their communities as well. Last week we had the OCL National Student Awards where we celebrated some truly inspirational young people, with students who have raised thousands of pounds for those less fortunate, those who have donated their time and energy each week for months to support younger children, and those who haven’t let serious medical conditions stop them from being a great member of their academy family. We are so proud of them all.
I wish you, and your family, a peaceful and relaxing summer holiday, and we look forward to another big year starting this September.