Thank you for all the supportive emails and comments, you have no idea how they bolster us in such a time of uncertainty. We are entirely committed to delivering what is right for our school, our community. With this in mind, I share with you here the guidance from the Department for Education. This delayed opening was not unexpected, and I truly believe it is the right decision for maintaining student, staff and our families’ safety and well-being.
The next two weeks
Monday 4th – Friday 8th January: all students in Years 7-11 to be working remotely from home, except the students identified as especially vulnerable and those of critical key worker families who have requested a place.
Monday 11th – Friday 15th January: Year 11 students back into school for lessons, years 7-10 working remotely from home. Vulnerable and critical key worker children working in school.
Monday 18th January: all students back in school for lessons.
Many of you will have already had a very positive experience of remote learning during lockdown 1, but I am also acutely aware that some of our Year 7 families will be worried at something that may be different from their experience at primary schools. May I take this opportunity to reinforce that these lessons are not optional and attendance registers are taken for each lesson, as per normal school. Non-attendance may see further action being taken.
Students need to begin their studies again on Monday 4th January. They will be learning remotely, with a combination of ‘Live Lessons’ and ‘Pre-recorded’ lessons. Students should follow their usual timetable and complete the work at home for the subject they would be doing in that time at school in Week A. They should check Satchel/Show My Homework each morning which will have important communications about their work including invites to lessons. If you or your child has any concern related to work in a particular subject then please contact their teacher using the contact list on our website. If you are having trouble accessing Show My Homework or have any other general questions about remote learning then please contact Miss Lowing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All students in Year 7, 8, 9,10 and 11 will receive an email from Miss Lowing outlining the remote learning arrangements. Can you please remind your son/daughter to check their school email account?
Children of Key Workers and Vulnerable Students
Students working on-site will follow the same remote learning as their classmates at home, using a PC. They will therefore need to bring their own headphones and any books into school each day. The school canteen will be open at lunchtime for students to purchase food. Students working on site will need to wear normal school uniform. We will expect students in school to continue to observe and follow our Covid behaviour guidelines introduced in September, to keep other students and staff safe. Students will be required to stay within their year group bubbles, they will need to go to their designated areas when they arrive at school in the mornings (8.45 am). Students must remember to bring in their own face masks.
Lateral Flow Tests
The Secretary of State’s announcement on the 30th December 2020 and the associated guidance suggests that we should offer to test all students and staff. The guidance sets out the timescale for this with testing beginning during the week commencing the 11th January prioritising vulnerable students, students of key workers and students in examination years.
From the week beginning 4th January 2021, training and guidance will be provided, along with the tests themselves, such that we can start to make plans for testing to take place. Please look out for a letter and consent form over the next few days.
Please remember that these tests will identify quickly those that can and cannot be in school, ensuring that we all stay as safe as we can. The test will also be used to allow students to attend school when they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, rather than isolating at home, ensuring a continuity of education.
Free School Meals
Our Free School Meal families in Years 7 to 10, should have already received their vouchers for the first week of January, Year 11 vouchers will be issued as soon as possible.
During this period, we would also like to offer Pastoral support. Every student will have different needs; however, we want all students to know that they can contact someone in school if they have any worries outside of their lessons. As always, safeguarding is our main priority and the Designated Safeguarding Team will continue to provide ongoing support to families in need. Students can email their tutors during tutor time with any ongoing daily concerns and a pastoral phone call can be arranged. The Pastoral team will also be available for pastoral support and wellbeing.
In lockdown periods and time away from school we know that everyone’s mental health can be at risk. Please ensure that your child knows that it is there, no one should suffer, please reach out where you need to, we are a family that supports each other.
For specific enquiries please email the following:
Free school meal vouchers – ? email@example.com
Remote Learning – ?firstname.lastname@example.org
Safeguarding – ? email@example.com
ICT issues – firstname.lastname@example.org
With all that I have included in this letter, and with the recent Covid developments, it does seem a bit strange to be wishing you all a Happy New Year, so I’ll finish by saying that I hope the new year signals the beginning of an end to this virus. May 2021 be a better year for all of us.
M J Serridge