A big thank you to MK Sport who have recognised and contributed to some of our sporting successes at Ousedale.
Beth Soman in Year 9, who has dedicated a lot of time to her slalom skiing, has been awarded a grant from MK Sport to contribute to the staggering costs involved in maintaining excellence in her sport. Unfortunately at a recent training camp Beth sustained an injury which has meant she had to pull out of her next event; we wish Beth a quick recovery and hope to see her back on her skis soon.
Year 8 students, Harry Warn and Hamish Bull, scooped the U18 Sports Achiever of the Month award for their outstanding performances in rugby which has seen them be selected for the East Midlands Squad.
Also I am delighted to share with you that Leah Williamson (Year 10), has gone on from captaining the England U15 Ladies' football side to being selected to make up part of the U17 squad. Her dedication and determination is a great inspiration.
We are fortunate to have a number of exceptionally talented athletes and dedicated parents! If you feel you are able to help sponsor any of them we would be grateful to hear from you. I wish all of our elite athlete group success in their upcoming events and we look forward to hearing about their progress.
Jo GreenPE Department
This year Ousedale has another three enthusiastic Young Enterprise teams, 'Oused Again', 'Mastercrafts' and 'Banana'. You may have seen some of their products on sale at the Newport Pagnell ‘Switch on the Lights’ or the Olney ‘Dickens of a Christmas’.
At the end of half term they all took part in the Milton Keynes Young Enterprise Trade Fair in Milton Keynes. This involved them in a lot of work preparing their products and their trade stand, not to mention giving up a Sunday to staff the stand. 'Oused Again' did very well and were awarded Highly Commended. We won’t know the outcome of the Milton Keynes judging until the competition final on March 28th but we have high hopes that all three groups will achieve some success. To find out more about these groups visit their websites.
We had an extremely busy and challenging time last week. I am sure that you heard about the IT difficulties we experienced at the end of half term. Our email system suffered a serious problem which meant for some time we were working on a temporary system. If this was not enough, at Olney over half term a power cut had a serious impact on our phone system. Therefore, we returned from half term to find we had no phones and no email. I am pleased to say the engineers came out to Olney last Tuesday and were able to fix the problem quite quickly. It will take a few weeks to restore all aspects of the email system so we ask you, and your children, to be patient. Some staff have said a day without email was heavenly and I am sure those of you who receive a considerable number of emails per day can understand where they are coming from - we had to talk to people - it was a very nice change.
Last week, I planted trees in aid of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We worked with the Rotary Club of the Brickhills and MK Council to plant 400 trees in Great Linford Park. It was a windy and wet morning, but the Year 11 students who accompanied myself and Dave Wilkes did an excellent job. We are grateful to Councillor Alan Richards, Mayor of Milton Keynes, for supporting the event. I am the dishevelled one on the left!
We have also been busy making staff appointments. I am pleased to announce that Jane Burton will be joining the Science Department at Easter as Director of Science. Jane is a very experienced leader of Science and has worked at a high level in a number of local schools and for the LA. She is also a trained Ofsted inspector and will therefore bring considerable insight into the process. Claire Penny has been acting Director of English this term and will take on the role permanently in June and Debbie Barker will continue leading Mathematics. We are very pleased to have in place three very strong leaders with an outstanding track record, both as a leader and teacher. They will all join the extended leadership team and work at both campuses.
The school is in a very good position at the moment, supported by outstanding, record beating, results in the 6th Form. A 6th Form of almost 400 students looks increasingly likely in September as we continue to receive a record number of applications from external students. This year we have found that they are not only applying for subjects not offered by their current school but they are increasingly asking to study subjects that their current school does offer. Clearly our reputation and outstanding track record in a number of academic subjects goes before us. We are never complacent and continue to explore further ways to raise achievement in the 6th form.
We shall be making some further appointments in the core subjects over the next few weeks. As I outlined in my consultation with parents and other stakeholders last year, the additional monies gained from academy status are being used to invest in additional leaders and teachers in the core areas and to support the planning for capital investment in the Newport Pagnell site.
Last week I also attended the Young Musician of the Year competition at the Chrysalis Theatre. It was a fantastic evening, organised by Rotary and the Music Service, with playing of a very high standard. I am pleased to report that an ex-student, Hannah Slavin, won the event; playing with incredible passion and skill Rhapsody no.2 in G minor by Brahms on the piano. We wish her all the best as she prepares for the next stage in her career. She plans to study music at the Conservatoire in Birmingham. A number of our students, including James Cosby and Sam Miller, played in the Advanced Jazz group - a great sound and something I would like to develop at Ousedale.
Therefore, I ended the week in a very upbeat mood and I look forward to meeting parents at the Year 10 Parents’ Evenings this week.
Students from Olney campus helped at Olney's annual pancake race on Tuesday, 22nd February. Some of our GCSE Food Technology students were able to put their skills to the test, helping to cook pancakes, or making and selling refreshments. Other students helped sell programmes, took photographs of the event and a couple were helping the radio network, MK FM. The weather was kind, providing a beautifully clear sky, without being bitterly cold.
The event was really well attended by local schools with twelve children's races; the Ousedale contingent from Year 7 ran in the final two races. Both races were closely run affairs, with Tara Lewis winning the girls' race and James Houghton, the boys. All the children who participated took away a souvenir from the event ranging from small frying pans to aprons and headscarves which had been donated by Dupont, one of the main sponsors of the event.
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