New Year: fresh starts; new adventures; new chapters… excitement and anticipation.
What will 2018 bring?
For me, and our community, 2018 will bring a brand new school to Oldham. For those who have not met me yet, I am Sarah Livesey, the Principal of a brand new school opening in September: Oasis Academy Leesbrook. Our school will be housed in purpose-built, state-of the art building before we move to our very own, brand new home being built just off Lees Road, Oldham. This school will provide places for up to 1500 children across the local area and will be a Hub for the community to learn, meet and develop.
Now, where were we…yes, the New Year! Since returning to school after a lovely, family-filled Christmas break, I have heard about many new beginnings: Our Academy Trust and family, Oasis Community Learning, has gained two new little babies over the break. Politically we have a brand new Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, who will hopefully build on the work that has already been undertaken by his predecessor, Justine Greening, particularly across Oldham. Many of us have given ourselves new goals for 2018: to be healthier, to be kinder to ourselves and others, to achieve school or exam success or to simply meet a personal goal that will make life better.
Whilst we begin with the greatest of intentions, the odds don’t look great; statistically, over 66% of people admitted to breaking their New Year’s Resolution within a month. This got me thinking: how do I make sure 2018 is the best year and that I keep to my goals and resolutions?
Why does it matter? Well, 2018 is a particularly important year for me as it is the year that our school opens its doors to Year 7 and Year 8 students. From my appointment in October, up to now, I have been blessed to spend time in the community meeting fantastic children and staff in our local primary schools, as well as meeting some amazing local community members in groups such as the Alt Café, Chai Ladies, Fatima Women’s Association, St. Barnabas Church and the Big Local Project, just to name a few. Really getting to know the children who will be coming to our school has been wonderful. Most importantly it has given me the opportunity to ask them what they want from their new school. Likewise, attending community groups has really allowed me to learn about the needs locally and how the school can play such an important part in supporting initiatives and providing opportunities for the children and the local community to be successful.
For me, this school is all about the community and will be at the heart of many exciting developments. We will educate to the absolute highest level, ensuring our children are on the right path to become everything they dream of being. Some of our future students have already shared their hopes of becoming doctors, lawyers, vets, dentists, accountants, footballers, astronauts or bloggers with me! Oasis Academy Leesbrook’s job is to work with the students, parents and community to support our children in every way to make these dreams come true.
With this in mind, I have spent time really reflecting on the last half term and all that I have learnt from it. In December, I was lucky enough to watch the fantastic Extravaganza Talent Show from our Oasis Academy Oldham Middleton Road Campus Year 7 students, who will become the new Leesbrook Year 8 students in September 2018. I was inspired and in awe of what they had achieved in their ‘Cultural Enrichment’ time- over just one school term. They performed with musical instruments, danced, sang and spoke with great knowledge, and they did this with confidence and passion. It certainly inspired me; if this much can be achieved in just one half term, just think of what we can achieve in one year! After speaking to some of the children afterwards, I asked them how they had managed to achieve so much in such a relatively short space of time. They all had virtually identical responses: hard work, working together and keeping going when things got difficult.
I decided that this will become my mantra for the next year; this is what would help me to meet my goals and ensure success in 2018: work hard, team working and resilience- keeping going when things are getting tough. Through championing the Oasis ethos of hope, perseverance and healthy relationships, I intend to put my values and goals into action.
There is no better time for this than January. I reflected on the half term before; sometimes it was tricky, at times I was certainly out of my comfort zone and involved in tasks that I had never done before, but when I worked with the support of the fantastic team around me and tried my absolute hardest, whilst never giving up, we had real success.
So the words of our wonderful Year 7s at Middleton Road will stay with me as we enter such an exciting year. In 2018, the year that Oasis Leesbrook will open, I will continue to be inspired by the excellent performances that I saw during that evening in December. Those words will resonate with me and remind me, when things get tough, how to achieve success and I would recommend to you all, with your new year’s resolutions and goals, to take heed of the advice from our Year 7 students:
work hard, work together and never give up.
Happy New Year,