Updates from Ray Lawrence, Headteacher

10th June 2019

Here is a copy of the letter sent to all parents/ carers following our academy’s recent Ofsted inspection:

Dear Parent/Carer,

As many of you know, Ofsted inspectors visited Olive AP Academy – Havering on 15th and 16th May 2019 and we are now able to share the final inspection report with you. The report has recognised that the academy is improving and states that “strong and determined leadership has led to significant improvement” over the last 3 years. Inspectors found that safeguarding is effective at the academy and “a high priority in the school”.

We would encourage you to read the full report which recognises the scope of the good work going on at the academy. The full report is published on Ofsted’s website: //reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/22/143130

If you would like a paper copy of the report or if you would like the report emailed to you, please contact the academy office. Here are some of the key findings from the report:

o Pupils feel safe in school.
o Pupils experience a broad and balanced curriculum… with high-quality facilities designed for the teaching of cooking, art and science…
o The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is good.
o Leaders model their high expectations of the care and attention that pupils receive. A parent commented that, ‘the headteacher cares about what goes on’.
o (Pupils) value their relationship with staff highly and feel supported, respected and listened to.
o Disadvantaged pupils make similar progress to, and sometimes better progress than, their peers. This is because of the precise approach to identifying and addressing individuals’ barriers to learning.

We feel that the report accurately reflects the positive work going on at the academy and which we are proud of – but it is also fair in its recognition that the quality of teaching is not yet strong enough to bring about consistently strong progress for all pupils in all subjects. We are ambitious for the academy and our pupils and have a robust improvement plan to make sure that we deliver the best possible education for all our pupils.

The Ofsted report concluded that the effectiveness of leadership and management was “Good’ but that overall effectiveness of the academy was judged to be “Requires improvement”. The grades that can be awarded by Ofsted are Outstanding (1), Good (2), Requires Improvement (3), Inadequate (4). You can access an Ofsted guide for parents about school inspections here : //www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspections-a-guide-for-parents

Our academy improvement plan aims to accelerate teaching improvements and further develop the curriculum which we offer our pupils. We have also appointed four highly experienced new teachers (Maths, Science, PE/Outdoor Learning and Humanities) who will be starting to work with our pupils from September. We are relentless in our determination to provide the high quality teaching and learning experiences our pupils so rightly deserve. Ofsted inspectors recognised in their report that “pupils make expected or better progress in subjects where teaching is strong” and that “Leaders work hard to ensure that all pupils are set challenging targets to achieve well by the end of Year 11.”

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and the positive feedback you gave inspectors during their visit to the academy. The inspectors commented in their report that parents and carers of young people attending the academy had told them that they “value the close relationship they have with the school” and “value the schools’ work to prepare pupils for life beyond school.”

One parent spoke to inspectors and “commended staff for rebuilding pupils’ confidence and restoring their sense of self-worth. As a result of the school’s work, a parent explained that their child now feels as if they ‘mean something again’.” Our staff were so moved to receive recognition like this of their caring approach to working with the young people in our academy community. Thank you.

Ofsted scrutinized every aspect of our work during their latest visit to the academy and their final report shows how the academy is going from strength to strength. At Olive Academies we recognise that when our staff and parents/ carers work closely together we can achieve the best for all our students. We will need your support with one of our priorities for the year ahead – to raise students’ attendance to ensure that every one of our young people has the best chance to achieve the qualifications they need to go on to further study or apprenticeships.
We will continue to keep you regularly updated about academy news. If you have any questions about the inspection report please do not hesitate to contact us. We always welcome visits from parents/ carers to the new academy and facilities, do contact the office if you would like to make an appointment.

Yours faithfully

Ray Lawrence, Headteacher E: Ray.Lawrence@oliveacademies.org.uk
Mark Vickers, Executive Headteacher and CEO
, Olive Academies E: Mark.Vickers@oliveacademies.org.uk

20th May 2019

Here is a copy of the letter being sent to all parents and carers today, regarding the start of next term and completion of the building works at the academy:

Monday 20th May 2019

Dear parent/carer,

As we begin the last week of term, I am delighted to let you know that the building works at the academy are now nearing completion. The contractors are completing final touches over the half term break and we will be ready to welcome students back on Wednesday 5th June 2019.

Please note this is a change to our published term dates. To allow our staff time to set up the newly refurbished classrooms, new canteen, multi-purpose hall, atrium and teaching kitchens after the contractors leave the site, we will need to close the academy to students for two special INSET days on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th June 2019.

Please note these INSET days do not affect our Year 11 students who have their English Language GCSE exam on Tuesday 4th June (09:30am).  They will sit this exam as normal at the academy. Our Year 11 students and their families have been contacted in regard to this.

Each parent/carer will receive a call from your child’s tutor to discuss the plan and timings for their first day of term on 5th June. Each student will be shown around the new building and shown the new facilities by their tutor. We want to ensure that all our students are given the chance to familiarise themselves with the new building layout before normal timetables resume.

All Olive AP Academy – Havering staff and our building contractors are working hard to make this final transition to the new part of our building as stress-free as possible for everyone. We are very excited about having such impressive new facilities ready for our students next term.

Please do not hesitate to contact me via the academy office if you have any queries – or if you would like to arrange a time to come and have a look around the new and improved academy building.

Yours faithfully

Ray Lawrence, Headteacher


13th May 2019

This term groups of our KS3 students have been having weekly training sessions at Fitness First’s state of the art boxing gym in Romford. Others have been involved in weekly mountain bike training sessions at the Olympic Park in Stratford. Fantastic, challenging, training opportunities for our students. We wanted to share a few photos of our students ‘in action’:


12th March 2019

Works are continuing on phase two of our academy building refurbishment programme. Exciting to see it start to take shape. We thought you might like to see some photos of the latest building works:


8th January 2019

It was great to welcome all our students back at the academy today for the first day of our Spring term. All students have been given a tour of their new classrooms and newly refurbished areas of the academy. Everyone is excited to be starting the term in such fantastic new classrooms. Now that phase one of the refurbishment is completed, the builders have moved on to begin phase two which means that some areas of the academy (including the main hall) will not be in use this term.

The substantial building work involved in phase two will be finished in June 2019 and once completed, will provide our students with a new media suite, an art room, a science classroom, a food technology classroom and a therapeutic room as well as brand new kitchens and a student refectory. I’ll keep you updated as building works progress and once again would like to thank all our students, their families and our staff for their patience whilst building works are completed at the academy.


13th December 2018

I am delighted to announce that one of our students has won this year’s Olive Academies’ christmas card competition. Lily Essien-Fowler’s festive design was selected by the judging panel to be the trust’s official christmas card for 2018. Lily’s design has now been printed and is being sent out by all Olive Academies across the country.  The runners-up award went to another of our students, Deanna Clarke. Congratulations Lily and Deanna!

Lily Essien-Fowler’s winning design

Lily and Deanna receiving their prizes for their winning designs

20th November 2018

We thought everyone would like to see some of the photos of the special visitors from ZooLab we had at the academy last week. It was great to see our KS3 students so engaged in their learning and handling some rare animals. For some of our students this was their first close encounter with a ‘zoo’ animal. A fantastic learning experience.

16th November 2018

Here is a copy of the letter sent out to all parents/ carers and students today regarding the personalised learning and activity plans which will launch next week:

Dear parent/carer,

As you will be aware significant refurbishment works have been taking place at our academy building since June. I am delighted to be able to announce that the first phase of the refurbishment of our building is nearing completion. This means that staff and students will soon be able to settle into their new classrooms and use the new facilities in the completed part of the building.

To allow our building contractors to complete the first phase of planned works needed at the academy and to minimize any disruption caused to students by building works, we have prepared personalised learning and activity plans for the remainder of this Autumn term.

Each student and their parent/carer will receive a new personalised learning plan shortly. You will also receive a call from your child’s tutor to discuss and explain their new timetable and the academy to answer any questions you may have. The new timetable in your child’s personalised plan will begin on Tuesday 20th November 2018.

The new activity and learning plans will allow students to continue to access focused small group learning (including core subjects such as Maths, English, PE and Art) with their teachers in part of our current academy building in Hornchurch, as well as timetabled sessions at other locations –

  • At our academy in Tilbury, Thurrock which has extensive state-of-the-art facilities (OA-Hv students will be accompanied by their current teachers and tutors). These will be ‘twilight sessions’ held 3pm – 6pm.
  • At the YMCA in Romford where students will receive specialist sports coaching including use of the gym and climbing wall and kickboxing training. Students will also be able to use the classroom at the YMCA for PSHE classes, delivered by your child’s current teachers.
  • At Grangewaters Education Centre where students to access outdoor learning activities including Mountain biking, Climbing and Team Building.

All transport to and from the off site venues will be by taxi provided by us. Our staff will accompany students at all times.

Hot food will be provided on our Havering and YMCA days. A packed lunch will be provided on Grangewater days. Snacks will be provided on Olive AP Academy – Thurrock days.

In order to allow academy staff to prepare the newly refurbished OA-Hv classrooms and facilities for students we will need to close the academy to students for three special INSET days at the end of term. This means that the last day for students this term will now be Friday 14th December 2018. We also have a staff training day (INSET) booked for Monday 7th January 2019. We will be ready and looking forward to welcoming back all our students on Tuesday 8th January 2018. I will be in touch soon to discuss plans for that first day of term.

All Olive AP Academy Havering staff and our building contractors are working hard to make this transition to the new part of our building as stress-free as possible for everyone. Thank you for your understanding and patience. Please do not hesitate to contact me via the academy office if you have any queries or concerns.

Yours faithfully

Ray Lawrence, Headteacher

12th November 2018

One of our former pupils, Nicole Townley White, returned to the academy last week to meet with current staff and students. Her story was truly inspiring. After leaving the academy she went on to study for a degree in Law and she now works for Apple. We are so proud of her achievements and admire her determination. Her ambition was infectious – her visit gave our students encouragement to continue with their studies and the courage to make their dreams a reality.

18th October 2018

Here are the latest photos showing how the major refurbishment work here at the academy is coming on. Phase one of the planned works, with a first set of much larger, lighter new classrooms completed and newly furnished, will be ready for staff and students to use in January 2018. I wanted to thank everyone – staff, students and our visitors –  for their patience and understanding during the building works. Once finished our academy’s new facilities will give our students a range of fantastic new learning opportunities and a learning environment we can all be proud of.

25th September 2018

New for this academic year, OA-Hv students have been enjoying their weekly outdoor learning sessions at Grangewaters education centre.

Our outdoor learning curriculum helps our students to increase their resilience, improve their confidence and develop their relationships with others.

Here are a couple of photos of outdoor learning in action from last week.

13th September 2018

Here are the plans from our architects for the academy refurbishment. Building works are going well and completion is set for Spring 2018.

Architect’s impression of the new entrance to the academy

Architect’s plans for refurbishment and new facilities at the academy

6th September 2018

We are proud of our Year 11 leavers at Olive AP Academy – Havering who achieved some excellent results in their GCSE (or equivalent) exams this year, outperforming last years cohort in all areas.

The percentage of students achieving a formal accreditation this year has improved, (2016/17-75%, 2017/18-83%) as has the percentage of students achieving at least a grade 1 (or equivalent) in English and Maths (2016/17 – 63%, 2017/18- 71%).

It was also pleasing to see more students achieving higher grades in English and Maths compared to last year. For example students achieving a grade 4 or higher in Maths rose from 0% in 2016/17 to 25% in 2017/18.

We wish all our Year 11 leavers the very best for the future as they move on to college and apprenticeships. We look forward to hearing all about what they go on to achieve. We will miss them.


2nd September 2018

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to the academy tomorrow, Wednesday 5th September, for the start of the new academic year. Refurbishment work has continued at the academy during the summer holidays. We are working with the contractors to ensure that our staff and students are not disrupted during the works and we look forward to the opening of the new facilities in the Spring.

18th July 2018

As we head towards the end of the academic year the current refurbishment work at our academy is progressing at quite a pace. The work on Phase 1 which includes the creation of 7 new classrooms, new reception area, administration offices and meeting rooms is on schedule to be completed by the end of October 2018. Phase 2 where the main central section of the site will be refurbished will then begin with a projected completion date of February 2019.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the students, staff and contractors for their patience through this process. Everyone is working together to ensure the academy is operating safely and effectively through a unique set of circumstances.

I will provide more updates on the work as it progresses.

Our Academy Newsletter

Academy Newsletter February 2018

Letters for parents/ carers

A letter to parents/ carers from our interim headteacher January 16 2018

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