Dear Parents and Carers
In the midst of national lockdown we are continuing to provide education to all of our community and we continue to rise to the increasing challenges we face through this time. I wanted to write to you all to thank you for your continued support and that of your children in our new ways of working. The vast majority of students on site are continuing with cheerful cooperation to follow all of our ‘Covid control’ measures and take every opportunity to learn from their teachers with a sense of purpose and productivity in every year group whilst they are on site with us. Students who are at home are also working hard and again tackling the challenges of online learning with resilience and dedication.
We do not underestimate these achievements nor the way that families have made themselves familiar with the complex rules on self-isolation to protect the academy and the health and education of other children and our amazing teachers, who are in the academy every day educating our young people despite a national lockdown being in place. We continue to rely on families following these rules, keeping the academy informed of health concerns and keeping their own children at home if there is any doubt.
- If anyone in your household develops any of the typical Covid-19 symptoms, the whole household needs to self-isolate immediately and until test results are received. Keep the academy informed. If they are all negative, members of the household can then, and only then, return to the academy.
- If positive, isolate that person at home for a minimum of 10 days from the first day of symptoms. Other members of the household should isolate for 14 days.
- Please remember if you are unable to obtain a test for the person with symptoms within the first 8 days, your household must self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days. (It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear).
- If a pupil in a class or bubble tests positive for coronavirus, anyone who is advised to self-isolate does not require a test unless they subsequently develop symptoms.
- If your child is generally unwell with an ordinary virus (headache, runny nose or a mild sore throat etc..) keep them at home in the usual way. If you are concerned that they may have Covid symptoms, do not attempt to diagnose, but keep them at home until tested. The symptoms of Covid are many and varied. The most common ones are: a new and continuous cough, and/or high temperature, a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell. Please err on the side of caution for the sake of the entire academy community. We will not take a negative view on these sensible parent precautions.
There is, of course, a possibility that the lockdown will be extended beyond 2nd December and we continue to plan for the possibility that learning may be moved online. In the meantime, we continue with the usual events as much as we can – having a Virtual Remembrance service, recognising black history month, participating in the national anti-bullying week, virtual presentations on Carers to Year 9, celebrating Diwali, with mock examinations planned for Year 13 later this month as well as Parent/Teacher appointments for Year 10 and 12 parents in December.
In September our aim was to fully reopen and continue to provide full education to all as safely as possible. This has been achieved through our staggered starts and exits, year group bubbles, new requirements in our behaviour policy, and Control measures including regularly hand washing, all wearing face coverings, in indoor communal areas and in transitions around the building. Some students and staff are also choosing to wear face coverings in lessons and this is supported.
This term the following additional measures are in place:
- The majority of staff team meetings have moved online.
- Year group assemblies have been replaced with smaller assemblies of each College within a year group.
- The marquee has had electricity and data cable added over the half term – allowing an indoor servery to be set up for students to eat undercover through the winter.
- Revised and updated risk assessments for PE, to allow a range of activities for the winter months.
- Additional hand sanitiser stations throughout the building.
- Increased staff training in the use of remote learning and Google Classrooms (Year 7 to 11 will also be receiving a year specific letter soon with further details).
- A Year 10 and Year 12 Virtual/Phone Call Parents Consultation Evening will be offered before the end of this Module.
- Virtual Senior awards event.
- Change of timings for Post-16 tutor group – as from Monday 30th November – Year 12 and Year 13 Tutor time sessions will start at 8:30am – this will facilitate increased pastoral support and support with the UCAS process for Year 13 students.
- After the academy day interventions for Year 11 and before the academy day interventions for identified students (by invitation).
- Year 6 Fair ability testing moved until after the national lockdown.
The Summer 2021 external examinations
We hope these examinations can take place with the sensible examination board adjustments already agreed with Ofqual and we continue to prepare our students for these examination and BTEC examinations in January We will continue to monitor the examination debate, and keep students and parents informed of any updates.
Thank you for your ongoing cooperation, support and understanding as we jointly face the challenges ahead with our shared mission to keep everyone as safe as we can and provide the best educational experience possible.
Julia Collins | Principal