Dear Parents

In ordinary times today is a date that we all look forward to - when the children leave school for their long break away. Little did we think, on 10 March, that this would be the date when the dislocation would begin and maintained. Instead of happy faces and cheerful goodbyes, we face a summer where closures are being relaxed, even if we are not relaxing as might normally be the case.

This week has seen Year 6 meeting their Year 7 Form Tutor and the general conclusion of work but in other ways, it also signals a cranking up of preparations for August with time tables being confirmed and teaching resources ordered and the school being prepared for the target re-opening of September 1. But not everyone is returning after the summer and we wish all of our families and students who are leaving the very best of luck and hope that they find the contentment and security that the current situation has created. Good luck to you all.

Thank you to all of our wonderful parents. We know that the summer holiday, even with the programme of easing restrictions is going to be challenging. Your children are amazing and so are you! Take time to reflect on how well you have all done in coping with the challenge. One day, we will all look back at it and smile - and hopefully, that day is soon.

With much gratitude,

Ken Haggarty

To the Year 7 students from your Form Tutors

Thank You from our Year 8 Students to their teachers

The Inclusion Team – SEND and EAL Support

That’s it – we’re all done for another year! And what a year it has been! I don’t think any of us could have imagined school life would be like this back in September 2019.

A huge 'Well done' to all of the students who have seamlessly transitioned across to online learning. We are incredibly proud of the strength and resilience of the Oryx students. Another 'Well done' to the parents who have juggled their jobs, looking after their children and supporting them with their studies – without you, the VLE system would not have been possible.

And finally, a giant thank you to all of the Inclusion Team who have managed to continue with their dedicated support for our SEND and EAL students, whilst learning the online learning procedures, changing their routines on a weekly basis and still managing to remain positive, calm and professional.

We say goodbye and good luck to Mr. Walsh who is leaving the school this year. We will miss him but wish him safe and happy travels for his next adventure teaching overseas.

EAL Parent Classes

We have finally come to the end of this academic year. Apart from all the classes at school, we have had about 6 classes on Zoom. I enjoyed teaching you, however, learning English is never over. The language is always developing and you have to keep up with it.

I sincerely hope I have been able to help you with your language acquisition. As your teacher, the best gift you can give me is that you continue learning at home. If at all you need help along the way, please feel free to write to me. Tomorrow is the last class with you, please do try and make it. I would love to say goodbye. I have created a short memento of our time together. Please do watch it.

Thank you for all the lovely ‘Appreciation letters’ you wrote to me, they make my heart happy whenever I read them.

Thank you all for being such wonderful students. In your success, lies my own!

Stay safe, Stay blessed, Stay healthy.

“Au revoir!’’……..until we meet again!

Arabic

We have reached the end of the academic year and our students have achieved excellent success and progress in their academic outcomes.

Our students have made excellent progress to reach their goals and we have assisted and supported their development to succeed throughout the year.

We wish them all the best and look forward to the 2020-2021 academic school year with the best students in the world! Oryx International School students!

Have a lovely and restful vacation and always remember to stay safe.

Art

Year 7 have developed their knowledge and understanding of Abstract shapes and how artists use them to create Artwork. They have also been able to create their own shapes in response to the artwork they have seen. Well done to you all and for all the work you produced.

Year 8 have explored the idea of self-portrait in abstract and traditional methods. They have developed their own methods of presenting themselves and have produced some great personal responses. I have received some crazy pieces of work and it has been fun reviewing your work.

Year 9 have been able to create experimental pieces of work using a variety of methods in preparation for IGCSE next year. They have produced a small body of work in the theme of architecture using their own observations and the work of other artists. I look forward to seeing some of you next year as you continue your journey in Art.

Year 10 have continued to develop their technical skills and their use of media. They have explored the idea of abstraction and enlargement in response to Georgia O'Keeffe. They will continue to develop their personal projects during the summer focusing on their own themes and topics.

Keep the momentum going, I will be excited to see your work next academic year. Well done all of you - it has not been easy continuing practical work outside of the classroom.

Year 11 have had a taste of A-Level with a mini-project. Well done for completing these small tasters, it will be an exciting time at the start of the next academic year and the integration of more media and materials for you to experiment with.

To all the Art students have a fantastic summer, take time to be creative - take photographs, write, draw, paint and stay safe.

Business Studies and Computer Science

What a great year it has been. I am extremely proud of everything you have all achieved. Well done to each and every one of you. You have been amazing through these testing times. I wish you all a great summer ready for next year. I can't wait to see what you will achieve next year.

Design and Technology

Year 7 have been making pop up cards and envelopes this week.

Year 8 have continued with 3D computer-based design.

Year 9 have designed some products for the 'Product in a Tin' project.

Over the past couple of weeks, different years groups and classes have been set different science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based challenges. They were designed by Dyson engineers and are intended to challenge curious minds and encourage hands-on experimentation. There are 44 Dyson Challenges in total and they can easily be completed at home. Some great projects for students over the summer. The link to the challenges is: https://www.dyson.co.uk/newsroom/overview/update/top-five-engineering-challenges-to-do-at-home.html

One of the challenges I set for students was to build a marble run, either using materials or objects around the house. The aim was that the marble must travel for exactly sixty seconds, no more and no less. The whole experience was a great manipulation in potential and kinetic, energy, and friction. Other challenges included paper towers and the egg drop safety test. I received many great attempts and ambitious devices were built or constructed. Well done to everyone that took part.

The Design and Technology department has been really impressed with the work that has been submitted over the year, especially in the past couple of months. There have been students that have gone above and beyond, worked extremely well to complete tasks set and we congratulate them. We wish everyone a safe and pleasant summer break.

Drama

Year 7 have completed creative tasks this year, they have many drama techniques in their toolkit, knowledge of Ancient Greek Theatre and Shakespeare. I look forward to seeing them after the summer.

Year 8 have completed a fantastic Theatre Project of work on Aladdin. I was so inspired by the set models that were made, costume designs, radio recordings and even some filmed performances that were sent in. They have developed their knowledge on analysing productions and design. I wish you all a wonderful break.

Year 9 have completed many research presentations on different theatre practitioners and styles of performance. Using an array of research methods to make their presentations interesting for an audience. I have been delighted with the amount of effort and detail in their work. I am excited to work with those joining me for GCSE Drama and I wish all the Year 9 students a restful break.

Year 11 You rock! I have thoroughly enjoyed working and creating with you all this year!

English

And so farewell for another (extraordinary) year to all our students from the English department. This term, we have studied and written poetry throughout KS3 covering themes such as conflict, transition and even a taste of IGCSE.

Meanwhile, Year 10 have maintained excellent progress online and committed themselves to the study of texts and revision of Literature for next year including Of Mice and Men and the English Anthology. Year11/12 have completed a thorough 4-week induction programme and introduction to A level study skills.

Finally, a huge thanks to all our students and the Oryx families who have maintained their support throughout this challenging period. Your patience and commitment (90% online engagement for many classes) has made this crisis a success.

A fond farewell to Mr. Walsh on behalf of the English department, who has worked diligently for 2 years as part of the English secondary team. His dire humour, teamwork and dulcet Scottish tones will be much missed…

Have a good Summer, relax and stay safe!

Humanities

All the teachers in the Humanities department have been so impressed with the level of engagement and effort from the students at Oryx during this unprecedented time. It has been challenging and all students should feel proud of showing the level of resilience and ability to adapt to these changes.

We have had a wonderful year studying world history from the Romans, to the Industrial Revolution to the civil rights movement in the USA. We have developed a deeper understanding of the world we live in by studying the mighty volcanoes and the restless earth, the geopolitics between countries and its impact on development and the ever-changing impacts globalisation has on the people and environment of the world.

During the summer holidays, we encourage all students to read. Read about the past, read about current issues and read about future inventions to allow us to live in a sustainable world.

We want to thank you for your commitments to your studies and all your hard work this year. Have a lovely and relaxed summer.

Maths

On behalf of the Maths Department, I would like to extend our thanks to all the students and parents at Oryx. You have been amazing. Thank you so much. We wish you a very relaxing summer break.

On a side note, we have created a summer course on behalf of the Maths department which consists of all the resources which can be used either to revise or prepare for the next year in the Summer holiday. Your child has been sent the invitation for it which is called "Oryx Mathematics Department Summer Course", please ask them to accept it as this is the most updated and renewed one on Canvas. This course will help them to keep the momentum going for Maths, if needed in the summer holidays. It has everything needed for the Maths course for all years.

Once Again, thank you so much and enjoy your well-deserved summer holiday!

Thank you On behalf of the Maths Department

MFL

We had our last set of taster lessons on French and Spanish culture in Year 12, with French students learning about the history of French and Algeria and traditional Algerian music.

Years 7 to 9 completed the last lessons with some fun quizzes to test what they have learned. We had a great time with those classes we got to see for Kahoot on Zoom!

Year 10 finished their last topic on social problems and the environment –certainly our most complex topic so far. They look forward to a well-deserved summer break.

Felices fiestas a todos and bonnes vacances tout le monde!

Music

“During our final week, KS3 voted in the Semi-Finals and the thrilling conclusion to the Music Madness competition to determine which song, according to their year group, was the greatest piece of music EVER. Excellent arguments were made, hopes were dashed, and one song emerged the winner. Congratulations to all on a fun, challenging, and entertaining project. Have a great summer, and keep listening!”

PE

We are now into our final week of the school year and it although it has been challenging, you have all adopted as best you could and we are so impressed with the efforts you have made to stay active in PE.

This week in PE we had students completing their final fitness workouts to see which medal they could achieve on the scoreboard. Some fantastic efforts and many students reaching Platinum level.

Our Year 10 GCSE PE students saw their class workout challenge come to completion with some excellent scores on the class leader board and our year 11 GCSE PE students are now fully ready for their transition to A level PE and we look to getting started on the course.

As we approach the summer holidays, we strongly encourage our students to stay active and on the move as much as possible and reduce your screen time. Walking, cycling, swimming, skipping, playing sport with friends, dancing or completing fitness workouts are all fantastic ways to stay active.

We want to thank you all for your hard work and resilience during this term and we hope you all have a wonderful and relaxed summer,

See you next year athletes!

Science

It has been an amazing and challenging time for us here at Oryx. The science department staff and students have risen to the challenge and ensured that we did not miss out on anything. We covered the whole syllabus for science in Years 7-9 and we are ahead in our IGCSE preparation for Year 10. Credit to our first cohort of Year 11 students who have maintained their enthusiasm throughout the cancelled exams. We look forward to receiving our students next year.