National Lockdown update January 2021

6th January 2021

Dear Parent/Carers,

The Government’s announcement of a national lockdown on 4th January has meant that we have to change our plans for the beginning of term. This letter is intended as an update to the one sent on 4th January  and I will follow this up with weekly community emails in this first part of the Spring Term. 

In short, the Academy is now closed to all students until February half-term, apart from those who are deemed to be vulnerable or are the children of critical workers. From Monday 4th January, remote education will be provided for years 7-13 following the normal timetable. 

I understand the anxiety felt amongst our Year 11 and 13 students with the announcement that the exams won’t run as scheduled in the Summer. Following today’s briefing from Gavin Williamson, the  Secretary of State for Education it has been confirmed that teacher assessments will be used to award students’ final grades.  It is therefore  vital that the students continue to follow their normal lessons and timetable in their different subjects as the current work and future assessment will count towards and inform the final teacher assessed grades. We are keen for the Year 13 mock exams to run in some form or another and will let you know how this will operate shortly. 

Remote learning: Lessons will follow your child’s normal timetable and be available via the Google classroom. Students will have their form period at 9:55am each day with their tutor, in order to check in. We will follow up on any absences from this session and it is important that you liaise with the relevant Head of Year if your son/daughter is not able to access their sessions on any day.  

Children who receive Free School Meals: We are making arrangements for digital vouchers to be circulated for those students who receive free school meals, for the time whilst they are not in school. 

Safeguarding and other concerns: We maintain our responsibilities for safeguarding and will be proactive in monitoring students where there have been issues in the past. If any parent or student needs to make contact with the school because of a safeguarding concern, they should do so via Mrs Smith  (our designated safeguarding lead) 

Behavioural expectations: We continue to expect the highest standards of behaviour and conduct of the students during this period of enforced school closure. Can I ask that all parents re-enforce this, with particular reference to online activity via social media and other sources? If there are any issues, please contact your child’s Head of Year. 

Preparing for asymptomatic testing: We have spent much of the past week preparing for testing at the Academy. We will continue this preparation, in order to make sure that this facility is set up for when students return to school. We will communicate in due course with more information and requests for consent. 

National guidelines: Please continue to follow the national guidelines regarding Covid-19, in terms of recognising symptoms, testing and tracing, self-isolation, control measures and other information. Do continue to inform us of positive cases within the student body in line with our established procedures. 

Please liaise with the relevant Head of Year if there are issues related to online learning or if you have a pastoral concern. 

Thank you for your ongoing support in this challenging time. I will write again next week.                      

Yours sincerely 

Annabel Stoddart