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Hello from Jo Campbell

Friday 13 September 2019

Dear Parents & Carers

It has been great to meet so many of you already and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself properly to everyone at the school.

I’m Jo Campbell and since last Monday, 2nd September, I have been the Headteacher of Ore Village Primary Academy. I know that the sudden change in leadership has been quite a surprise to many, and I am very grateful to everyone for their understanding under the circumstances. Having had very little notice myself, I am appreciative of the warm welcome and support that I have received. It has been lovely to see all the wonderful developments that Mr Vallier and Mrs Maclaine have made and I already love the school! The children, especially, are just fabulous and they are supported by a great team of staff and Governors.

For the last 11 years I have worked at a school in Eastbourne where I was the Deputy Headteacher and more recently, the Co-Headteacher. Prior to that, I worked in schools within the Hastings and Battle area. I absolutely love my job and always feel extremely privileged to be able to influence the lives of children and adults in education. As well as developing young learners, I also really enjoy teaching adults and have worked closely with Sussex University to ensure that we continue to bring some great people in to the teaching profession. Outside of school, I love spending time with my husband and two children, who are 7 and 5 years old. I really enjoy walking our dog and running with Hastings Athletic Club.

When I joined TKAT, I took an open leadership post and was unsure what September 2019 would have in store for me. What has been so lovely about being brought to OVPA, is that I grew up in this community myself. I attended Sandown Primary followed by Hillcrest Secondary School, now Hastings Academy, so I have already recognised a few familiar faces from those days. I am delighted that I have the opportunity to give something back to the community now.

Over the last few days, I have spent most of my time listening to the views of pupils, staff and parents. There are so many positive aspects of the school that there is only a need to change those things identified by people as not working so well. During our inset day, the staff worked together to ensure that there was a consistent approach to managing behaviour ready for the start of term. The highest priority is keeping your children safe in school. The behaviour policy is being reviewed to reflect these changes and will be shared with you in the next few weeks. Positive praise, and rewards for great achievements, continue to be the biggest driver for an excellent school. The most frequently asked question, during my first 7 days at OVPA, has been whether Funky Friday Assembly will continue. Having watched Mr Vallier’s Funky Friday Assemblies at one of his previous schools, I know how uplifting and exciting they are but I have told the children that I cannot play a guitar! We will, of course, continue to hold a celebration assembly each week for you to attend. We have just moved it to Friday afternoon so that you can take your wonderful children straight home to celebrate with them.

Last Friday, we held an open parents’ forum to provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and share your views. Thank you to those who attended as it was so useful to hear your contributions towards school improvement. Drop-off and collection across the various playgrounds were issues highlighted, so we are looking to resolve that one very shortly. I really appreciate ideas, views and feedback so please don’t be shy in sharing these with me. We will be hosting regular parent forums so you have the opportunity to talk with us and I am often on the playground at the start and end of the day. Please come and say hello if you have time.

This letter has been sent as a paper copy whilst we try to streamline the communication systems and ensure they are reliable. It is important that everyone receives all the information about school and I apologise to those who did not receive notification of my arrival. There will be lots more to follow, but to get you started, we have published as many of the known dates, for the academic year, as possible. We hope this helps in giving you plenty of notice for events planned across the year and we will update the calendar regularly.

It has been a great start to the new school year so far and I am really excited to be working with you and your children at OVPA.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you on Monday.

Jo Campbell

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