I hope this letter finds you well and that you and your families are healthy and happy. I also hope that you managed to have a good half-term break. As we embark into the last half-term of the year, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some key initiatives.
Firstly, rest assured that we have been working tirelessly since the announcement of school reopening to develop our ‘Safe Return to School’ plan for Year 10 and Year 12 students, with appropriate health and safety consultations and thorough risk assessments. These plans have been shared with Year 10 and 12 families today and as always, I would welcome your feedback.
Provision for Years 7 – 9
Years 7 – 9 will continue with a full programme of remote learning delivered via MS Teams, including the expectation that every student will have at least one live lesson per week in every subject – although not necessarily with their class teacher. We will continue to follow the POODLE timetable as well as making use of a range of online national platforms. Tutors will continue to make weekly contact with families, so if you have any concerns, please share them with your child’s tutor.
Beyond our remote learning plan, there are also a wealth of educational resources available for students, should they be of interest. Some such resources can be accessed below:
Although very much conditional on our capacity, particularly if we experience a localised COVID-19 outbreak, it is our intention to offer every student in Years 7-9 an online face-to face meeting via Microsoft Teams before the summer holiday. These appointments would provide an opportunity for a wellbeing check, review progress with remote learning and provide advice for learning opportunities over the summer. These meetings would begin no earlier than Monday 29th June. We will write to parents with an update regarding these plans in the coming weeks.
Year 11 and Year 13 Students Update
The updated guidance regarding GCSEs and A-Levels can be found here. Teachers are working diligently to submit the predicted grades required by Ofqual. As before, please bear in mind that we are not allowed to discuss predictions with you or the students.
Please note that Results Days will remain as previously scheduled:
- A-Level & Year 13: Thursday 13th August 2020
- GCSE & Year 11: Thursday 20th August 2020 (which will also be the same date as Sixth Form Enrolment)
We have sent a letter to students outlining the plan for them over the coming weeks and months. We have set them up with a range of activities and opportunities to allow them to prepare for their next step (be it A- Levels, college or university). This includes bridging work from GCSE to A-Level, signposting a range of free courses that they can access online and also enrolling on the BeReady programme. This is an online learning platform created by employers and education providers to ensure that all young people can access high quality skills and employability training from home to help prepare them for their next stage of learning and/or work. Please do continue to encourage students to engage with these various activities to prepare them for their next steps.
Further, a reminder that we are still here for these students too so if you or they need anything, please continue to reach out to Mrs McCavish (Year 11), Mr Alexander (Year 13) or of course, any other member of staff.
Free School Meals
As per government guidelines, we are continuing with our FSM provider called Edenred. If you are eligible, you should have received vouchers for four weeks. If you have any queries about your vouchers, please contact us here.
We have now received more IT equipment so if anyone does need any tools to enable remote learning to be successful from home, please do let us know here as soon as possible. We really want all of our students to be able to access the remote learning plan from home so please let us know if you need any equipment. Equally, if we have loaned you a computer and it does not work properly, please let us know and we can try to swap it for a new one.
Safeguarding and Online Safety
As before, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any safeguarding issues or concerns about your child or any other students that you know of. We will be regularly phoning parents of students that we have identified as vulnerable and will request to speak to the students themselves to ensure their wellbeing. Further, we have instructed all of our students to be safe online during this period of time and given them guidance as to how to do this. There is useful guidance for parents in terms of online safety here.
Health and Wellbeing
We understand that this is a very difficult time that we are all living in and tutors will continue to hold our weekly phone calls and check-in conversations.
We are mindful of the potential impact on our students’ mental health, particularly as a result of living more virtually, the restrictions on movement and socialising and of course, the possible loss of loved ones. Please see our Wellbeing Page here for tips on improving mental health, physical health, nutrition as well as recommendations of books, videos, music, meditation and more. There is also the Every Minds Matter platform from Public Health England, which can be accessed here. Please look through these links and encourage students to engage with as many of the resources and advice as possible. If you need anything further from us on this or think that something else would be useful to include for circulation, please let us know.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, queries or concerns. The best contact during this period of closure is still email@example.com. During this period of adversity, I have been struck by the individual strength, ingenuity and resilience shown by so many (especially our students) and hope that in this new term, we can continue to establish a platform from which we will emerge stronger. Once again, thank you all again for your messages of support and encouragement; it is heart-warming to work with such a wonderful community of families, students and staff.
We wish you, your families and our whole community all the very best during this difficult time.
Mr D Littlemore