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  • School Open Mornings

    Larkmead Open Mornings 2024

    Published 12/06/24

    Larkmead Open Mornings 28 June and 5 July 9.00-10.30

    We look forward to welcoming children and families to our Summer Open Mornings to share our school with you.

    Our recent Ofsted visit was our third Good inspection in a row. The report highlights Larkmead’s high aspirations, expectations, ethos and culture, alongside our strengths in behaviour, careers education, curriculum, leadership, pastoral care, personal development, safeguarding, sixth form and teaching & learning. 

     

    • This school is a very happy and inclusive place because, as one parent said, pupils ‘are at the heart of what Larkmead does’.
    • Pupils are polite and respectful with staff and each other.
    • Pupils feel safe and ‘seen’ here.
    • Pupils are very clear that the school does not tolerate bullying or prejudicial behaviour.
    • The school’s caring ethos ensures it maintains its high expectations, both academically and personally, while also continuing to provide strong support to pupils.
    • The school is aspirational for all pupils academically.
    • Staff manage behaviour very effectively, through clear expectations and positive relationships with pupils.
    • Most pupils behave extremely well, both in lessons and during social time.
    • Sixth-form students are excellent role models.

     

    We are as every grateful for the support of parents, reflected in the Ofsted Parent Survey.

    To discover what makes Larkmead a happy, successful school and to meet our students and staff, please book a tour.

     

    For booking Open Mornings please use the link below: 

    BOOKING LINK - OPEN MORNINGS

     

    Best wishes

    Jonathan Dennett

    Headteacher

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  • UPDATE #8:

    Published 25/01/24

    Dear students, parents and carers

    The issues with our heating and hot water in main block have now been resolved with an initial temporary solution, so all students will return on Friday as planned.

    Our external caterers will continue to offer cold food only and only at lunchtime on Friday - Wednesday, with hot food returning on Thursday. We are sorry for this ongoing inconvenience which is out of our control.

    We’d like to thank students for the way in which they have managed the start of term in and out of school, and parents and carers for their adaptability and support. We are looking forward to having everyone back together at Larkmead.

    Best wishes

    Jonathan Dennett

    Headteacher

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  • UPDATE #7: REOPENING INFORMATION

    Published 19/01/24

    Dear students, parents and carers,

    I am writing to update you on the progress at Larkmead and plans for the week ahead.

    From Monday 22nd January we will be able to increase the number of year groups in school for face-to-face learning once again and will fully open to all students on Friday 26th January 2024.

    A timetable has been created for the week (see below), allocating classes to the limited number of classrooms that can be open to students. This timetable model will run for week commencing 22nd January. Remote learning will continue for those days that students are not able to attend school in person.

    Monday 22ndJan

    Tuesday 23rd Jan

    Wednesday 24th Jan

    Thursday 25th Jan

    Friday 26thJan

    Yr 10

    Yr 11 

    Yr 10

    Yr 11

    All students

    Yr 8

    Yr 9

    Yr 7

    Yr 9

    All students

    Yr 12

    Yr 12

    Yr 12

    Yr 8

    All students

    Yr 13

    Yr 13

    Yr 13

    Yr 12

    All students

    Yr 13

    All students

    Free school meals will be available for those children on the days when they are in school. We will continue to send food vouchers home in line with the government funding for those days when students are not attending. The canteen will be open each lunchtime serving cold food only.

    We would like to thank students, parents and carers for your adaptability and patience.

    We look forward to being together on Friday 26th January as one community.

    Jonathan Dennett

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  • UPDATE #6: REOPENING INFORMATION

    Published 19/01/24

    Dear students, parents and carers

    After a very productive meeting with the insurance team who are coordinating the significant schedule of works, we can confirm that Larkmead will reopen for all students on Friday 26 January. 

    Years 8, 10, 12 and 13 will be in on Monday 22 January. The rota for Tuesday - Thursday will be shared before the weekend. 

    The enforced closure has been frustrating for everyone, compounded by issues with the externally supplied generator that have disrupted progress and provision on site. We thank you for your patience and messages of support. 

    It has been great to have our students back in this week, and we look forward to being together as one community next week. 

    Best wishes

    Jonathan Dennett

    Headteacher 

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  • UPDATE #5:

    Published 17/01/24

    Dear parents and carers

    It has been great to have Year 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 in Larkmead over the course of Monday and Tuesday, with the rota plans continuing on Wednesday – Friday as previously shared.

    Year 12 will be on site for the remainder of this week. Year 13 will be directed to remote learning for Thursday and Friday. Details have been shared with the students directly.

    While the catering company will be able to offer cold food at lunchtime to those students in school, it has not yet been possible for them to introduce hot food. We will keep students and parents informed of any developments in this area.

    A great deal is going on to put in place an initial solution to the significant problem with our boiler house that continues to impact heating and hot water in the majority of the school.

    The generator installed on-site by the electricity board has been cutting out for periods of time over Tuesday and now into Wednesday. The electricity board are aware, have attended the site each time and are on site working on things at the time of writing this message. Loss of electricity impacts those teaching areas as well as our internet, IT systems and phones. Contingency plans are being developed. We apologise for any impact on communication to the school and on remote learning.

    We have a meeting with the insurance team on Thursday, after which we will be able to provide an update for the week beginning Monday 22 January.

    We do appreciate the positive messages from families, alongside the patience and adaptability of students, staff, parents and carers. We will keep you informed as things develop. If you have any questions then please do get in contact with the school.

    Best wishes

    Jonathan Dennett

    Headteacher

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  • UPDATE #4: MONDAY 15TH

    Published 12/01/24

    Dear students, parents and carers,

    I am writing to update you on the progress at Larkmead and plans for the week ahead.

    From Monday 15 January we will be able to increase the number of year groups in school for face-to-face learning.

    Year 11 has been prioritised as an exam year group, in 4 days a week. Year 10 days aim to balance their core and option lessons. We are looking forward to welcoming all students, checking in, getting back to in-person learning and setting up the week ahead.

    Monday 15

    Tuesday 16

    Wednesday 17

    Thursday 18

    Friday 19

    11

    10

    11

    11

    11

    7

    8

    10

    9

    7

    A timetable has been created for the week, allocating classes to the limited number of classrooms that can be open to students. This timetable model will run for next week. We will inform staff and parents of further developments in good time. Remote learning will continue for those days that students are not able to attend school in person.

    Our external catering company will be able to provide food for the different year groups who are in school each day. This will have to be cold food at the start of the week, but hot food will be in place that week. Free school meals will be available for those children on the days when they are in school. We will continue to send food vouchers home in line with the government funding for those days when students are not attending.  

    Year 13 are in school for their exams, with remote learning otherwise currently in place for Sixth Form classes. Plans are developing with Abingdon School and St Helens to relocate our Sixth Form teaching temporarily as soon as possible. With around 30 teaching rooms still out of action, relocation enables us to maintain the rota plans above.

    We have a large temporary generator on site to supply power to those blocks affected, but we are still without central heating in Main Block (maths, humanities, business studies, PE, science), D&T, kitchens, canteen, school hall, gym, changing rooms, prep rooms and associated offices.

    We are without hot water in most of those areas but have hot water in the staff, Key Stage 3 and Sixth Form toilets on the main corridor. While access to toilets is key, having no heating remains the barrier to getting more students back into school and for staff to be able to access their classrooms. The boiler house sustained significant damage, and we are working with the insurance team to understand and address the full impact of the situation, which we know to be very serious.

    Those who saw the BBC South news report will have seen the flood levels across the school. The video and photos have been shared with all staff and students and will be on Facebook to share the context.

    We would like to thank students, parents and carers for your adaptability and patience.  We will keep everyone updated as things develop. If you have any questions, then please do contact the school.

    Yours faithfully

    Jonathan Dennett

    Headteacher

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  • UPDATE #3: WEDNESDAY 10th (PARTIAL REOPENING)

    Published 09/01/24

    Dear students, parents and carers

    We are still without heating and hot water in the vast majority of areas in the school site as previously shared.  However, we now have electricity and the internet up and running in most areas.

    This means that Year 11 will return to Larkmead from Wednesday 10th January.

    They will be based in the Arts block for most of their lessons, with some specialist teaching spaces also available.

    Core PE lessons will take place as timetabled, Dance, Drama and Music lessons can continue as planned.  

    Year 13 will attend for their exams only from Thursday 11th January. These exams will take place in the Arts block as the gym remains out of action.

    We also intend to invite in those students recognised as ‘vulnerable’, and individual invitations will follow.

    Lessons will take place in CR1 and the LRC, with Learning Support also available.

    Students should please bring in their own plug in headphones to access online learning.

    The canteen will not be in action, so students should please bring in their own packed lunches.

    The trips planned for different year groups this week will all go ahead as intended. OCC school transport will be up and running so that students can attend as normal.

    All students should wear their normal uniform. Some areas of the school are without heating, and while students will be based in heated blocks their teachers may venture into other specialist spaces for some lessons if that is appropriate and effective. We suggest that students may wish to wear layers, and we will monitor how this goes.

    We have had to prioritise exam classes and vulnerable students in the first instance, and remote learning will continue at this time for other years.

    Lack of heating is the main barrier to having all students back in school. We now have a heavy duty generator on site to supply electricity, but the underground boiler house was under more than 4 feet of water and this is obviously having a significant impact on these areas of the school. There is a great deal of work taking place to move this forward and we will continue to review our plans as things develop and keep you updated.

    Thank you for your patience, adaptability and support. Please do get in contact with the school if you have any questions.

    Best wishes

    Jonathan Dennett

    Headteacher

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  • UPDATE #2: TUESDAY 9TH (FLOODING)

    Published 08/01/24

    Dear students, parents and carers

    Unfortunately, Larkmead will remain closed to all students on Tuesday as a result of the continued impact of the flooding. 

    Heating, hot water and power remain off in over 30 classrooms and in many other spaces as shared over the weekend. There remains no internet or IT access across the school, and we have very few classrooms/teaching spaces with electricity. 

    Remote learning will need to continue for Tuesday at least. Not having access to school resources as well as the impact of flooding and storm damage across Oxfordshire has meant that some teachers have been working from their local library today. This dedication is amazing but cannot be sustained, and we will need to manage the remote learning that can be set mindful of these wider restrictions for teachers and families. We also understand that remote learning creates challenges for families, and appreciate your patience as we work hard to resolve the power and IT issues.

    A second round of FSM vouchers should be distributed today, which is the best solution available without the facilities to prepare food in school. 

    We will keep parents informed as the situation develops. 

    Thank you   

    Jonathan Dennett
    Headteacher FCCT


     

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  • UPDATE: Larkmead closed to all students – Monday 8th JanuarY

    Published 06/01/24

    Dear students, parents and carers.

    I am writing to update you on the flooding at Larkmead. Flooding across the school site means that Larkmead will unfortunately have to be closed to students on Monday 8th January in the first instance, with further disruption expected. 


    As well as the known loss of heating and hot water, it is now clear that flooding in one of our boiler houses has wiped out electricity in that area, impacting around 30 classrooms as well as toilets, offices, learning support, common room, gym, hall and canteen. We have also lost some electricity supply to other areas of the school. 

    The site team are working hard to address the situation with the support of the Vale Academy Trust.

    We will aim to switch to remote learning on Monday, but this may be impacted by teachers’ access to technology and materials. Loss of electricity across much of the school will have an impact. 

    Flooding has prevented catering deliveries, but we have been able to send vouchers to families in receipt of free school meals on Monday. The company have asked us to advise parents of children not in receipt of FSM to please provide packed lunches while the situation with the canteen is addressed.

    We thank you for your patience and support as we assess what is becoming a more complicated situation and what will be possible for Tuesday onwards.

    Thank you
    Jonathan Dennett
    Headteacher
    Larkmead School

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  • Monday 8th January - Larkmead closed to all students

    Published 05/01/24

    Larkmead closed to all students – Monday 8th January

    Dear students, parents and carers.

    Flooding across the school site means that Larkmead will unfortunately have to be closed to students on Monday 8 January.


    Flooding in one of our boiler houses has wiped out heating and hot water in that area, impacting around 30 classrooms as well as toilets, offices, common room, gym, hall and canteen.

    The site team are working hard to address the situation with the support of the Vale Academy Trust, but we wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible.

    We will aim to switch to remote learning on Monday, but this may be impacted by teachers’ access to technology and materials.

    Flooding has prevented catering deliveries, so unfortunately the catering company will not be able to provide free school meals on Monday. The company have asked us to advise parents of children not in receipt of FSM to please provide packed lunches while the situation with the canteen is addressed.

    We thank you for your patience and support as we assess the situation and what will be possible for Tuesday onwards.

    Thank you
    Jonathan Dennett
    Headteacher
    Larkmead School

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  • Larkmead Christmas Celebration

    Published 24/11/23
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  • Sixth Form Open Evening – 16th November 6.00pm

    Published 06/11/23
    Dear parents and carers of Year 11 students, We are delighted to invite you to the Larkmead School Sixth Form Open Evening on Thursday 16th November. The evening will consist of a presentation covering points such as: · Why should you ch
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