I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the Head of the Opossum Federation and explain my role within the Oakhill school community.
My name is Lisa McIntyre, I am a member of the leadership team of the Opossum Federation. For the past 7 years I have worked closely with Ms Barnes-Kemp initially as Deputy Head, then Head of Schools (Dawlish and Newport) and, as of the start of this academic year, Head of Federation.
As most families are aware, Oakhill Primary School works in partnership with Dawlish and Newport schools in an arrangement known as a soft Federation. This means that the schools work together; sharing practice, enriching learning and supporting leadership. This year, in my role as Head of Federation, I will work across the three schools, spending time in each every week supporting the further development of each school. Prue Barnes-Kemp remains the Executive Head Teacher and therefore holds overall strategic responsibility for all the schools in the Federation. Due to the demands of her role, which includes wide ranging consultancy and advisory work- both nationally and internationally on behalf of our Federation, Ms Barnes-Kemp is not able to spend as much time in the schools. Working closely with her, I assume this more operational role this year and report directly to Ms Barnes-Kemp. Our successful partnership has been noted across the years by Ofsted, most recently in the Dawlish Ofsted report.
Mrs Brandon has been appointed as the interim Head of School and as such, has operational responsibility for the daily management of the school. Mrs Brandon should be your point of contact (after the class teacher) if you wish to raise a concern or query.
I have visited the school several times and have been welcomed very warmly by the children and parents/carers I have already met. It was a pleasure to be introduced to many of you at the parent/carer meetings last week and I look forward to working with the children, parents and staff at Oakhill over the coming year.
During the year, as a leadership and staff team, we will be reviewing routines and expectations as necessary. We will do our very best to ensure that parents/carers and children receive clear communication about any changes and that, where possible, changes are planned with sufficient notice to enable parents/carers to make any necessary arrangements.
You will be aware from last week’s parent/carer information sessions that the expectations of the recently updated national curriculum have increased and that the government’s expectations are higher in terms of academic standards and progress than was previously the case. We recognise that there are challenges ahead and that, this year, our very clear focus must be centred on ensuring any gaps in learning are addressed and that all children further develop their learning behaviours and strategies to help them achieve the very best outcomes. There is a strong sense of partnership
within Oakhill School so we look forward to working together with you to promote the skills and knowledge the children need to build successful, happy lives.