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January 2019 Update


Pressured Times

We had our first Ofsted inspection of this academic year 2 weeks ago (at Stoke Lodge Primary School) but are unlikely to have an outcome or report to share for another 2 weeks. By this stage of the school year last year, we had had 2 Ofsted inspections and 3 external reviews by the Department for Education. It has nevertheless been a time of high pressure for staff this year. Sadly there is no sign of the financial challenge easing as education funding seems to have been buried beneath the ongoing Brexit headlines; we know that it is going to be tough planning our budgets and spending for 2019-20 and we are all having to do more with less.

Staff Training Days

In recognition of the increased pressure on staff, the Olympus Board of Trustees has supported a request for additional training days. Primary staff have started working on our Trust curriculum, The Olympus Way, which was launched at the start of the academic year. They are sharing practice and planning together to develop the Olympus curious curriculum which we are confident will lead to improved learning and outcomes in our primary schools.

Secondary staff are in the process of agreeing single GCSE specifications for all subjects across the Trust in order to be able to work together to raise levels of attainment and progress for students and to enhance their learning experience. In order to do this, they will need additional planning time so the following days will be for staff only, with no school for learners:

Friday 15th February 2019 secondary only (already notified)

Friday 5th April 2019 primary only (already notified)

Monday 1st July 2019 secondary only (new)

Tuesday 2nd July 2019 secondary only (new)

We know that advanced notice is important whenever possible so here are the staff training days for next academic year, 2019-20, which have just been agreed:

Monday 2nd September

Tuesday 3rd September

Friday 8th November

Monday 6th January

Friday 14th February (all schools except Callicroft, Charborough Road and Filton Hill)

Monday 24th February (Callicroft, Charborough Road and Filton Hill only)

Monday 20th April

Friday 5th June

Monday 20th July

As a number of these are at the beginning or end of term, this means the term dates for 2019-20 for Olympus learners are as follows:

Starts Ends

Term 1 Wednesday 3rd September 2019 Friday 25th October 2019

Term 2 Monday 4th November 2019 Friday 20th December 2019

Term 3 Tuesday 7th January 2020 *Thursday 13th or *Friday 14th February

Term 4 *Monday 24th or *Tuesday 25th February Friday 3rd April 2020

Term 5 Tuesday 21st April 2020 Friday 22nd May 2020

Term 6 Monday 1st June 2020 Friday 17th July 2020

*See staff training days above for details of which schools are closed to learners on which dates in February 2020.

Consultation about Changes to the Trust Admissions Policy

Click here to read an important document which outlines proposed changes to The Olympus Academy Trust admissions policy – please read and respond to the consultation if you wish to.

Thinking of Others

It was heartening to hear about lots of staff and learners involved in community-focused activity and fundraising in the weeks before Christmas. This included Christmas shoeboxes for families in need; collections and contributions for Foodbanks; sponsored events; and a Christmas lunch at Winterbourne Academy for senior citizens from across the Trust’s geographical area. Thanks if you were involved in supporting any of these or other activities – I am constantly amazed at the range of things that go on every week and which are publicised via school newsletters and social media.

It is with great sadness that I have to share news of the sudden death of the kitchen manager at Filton Hill Primary School on New Year’s Eve. She was also mum to 2 Abbeywood students and will be sorely missed by all who knew her. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to her family.

I would like to thank you for your continued support.

With best wishes,

Dave Baker

CEO, The Olympus Academy Trust

@MrDaveBaker @olympustrust