I hope that you are all well and adjusting to the new routines for living and working during this current national lockdown. At present we believe that this will be in place until at least February half term.
We have been delivering live learning this week for our students and whilst engagement has been good there are a number of students who have not been accessing the live learning that we are providing. These students will be contacted by Heads of Year, Form Tutors and subject teachers in the comings days to find out what we can do to help them access learning. It is vitally important that students engage with their learning during this lock down period in order to maintain their progress once we return.
If families are experiencing difficulties with accessing live learning, then please contact your child’s Head of Year or Form Tutor and we will see what we can do to support. The government have released a programme that will give increased data to some families to support connectivity and we are looking to get more information out to families as soon as possible.
Remote learning will be slightly different next week. We are moving to a combination of independent study and live lessons. We will be continuing to follow students’ normal timetable and students will be contacted by their teachers to let them know when their live lessons are scheduled and when they should be working independently on work that has been provided by staff. Around 50-60% of their learning will be live lessons and the remainder will be independent study. There will be no live lessons period 4 or 5 on Friday this week as staff prepare for next week. However, staff will provide links to some of our online resources for your child to complete.
This combination will suit both staff and students and will mean that students are not spending five hours in front of a camera or screen which is not good for their health and wellbeing.
We will be continuing to send out vouchers to families who receive Free School Meals, and these should arrive by email each week. If you believe that you are entitled to Free School Meals and have not received the vouchers, or we do not have your email address please contact reception and they will help you.
Students may be finding this a difficult time and families may require some support to help them. We have a Wellbeing Area on our Student Portal with many resources and contacts for agencies and charities that can help and support. Please ask your child to click on the Mental Health page on the Student Portal to show you what is available. One of the most important things that families can do is to maintain a routine and good sleeping habits. We have decided to stick to our timetable so that families can know what their child should be doing for each period of the day.
You will have also heard the government’s announcement regarding mass testing and I’m sure that you will have many questions about the process. We are still working through the guidance and the training. We will be sending out consent forms for testing shortly and I will make sure that all of the information you require on the process is included in that communication.
We continue to be open to support children of Critical Workers and vulnerable children. Please contact reception if you are a critical worker and would like to request a place for your child. Vulnerable children’s families will be contacted by staff.
These are very challenging times and I want to assure families that we will continue to do everything that we can to support families and students during this period of lock down. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Academy if you have any questions.
I will contact you with updates soon.