I wanted to write to you all to update you on what my senior team and I have been working on to support our students and you since I wrote my last letter. Clearly this a turbulent time for us all and, with everything that has happened in the last week in the UK, this is no different for us as a school.
As you are aware the College remains closed as we have very few staff available to come in therefore we have arranged wherever possible that they work from home. We have been able to make some arrangements for emergency childcare for some students this week and will try to continue to do so where possible.
I have asked all of my teaching staff to focus their efforts on producing resources to help our students to continue to learn from home in the coming weeks and months. Subject teams will be considering the most critical knowledge and skills that will be missed during what may be an extended period of school closure, potentially the remainder of this academic year. Staff will design tasks that students must complete to address these gaps in their learning. Tasks that are created will follow Term 5 and Term 6 schemes of learning, to ensure that, as far as possible students can follow the programmes of study that they would ordinarily follow. All tasks/resources will be available to be accessed via the College website. We suggest as a structure that students try to follow their school timetable where possible in terms of the learning that they are doing at home. This will ensure that they maintain the relevant proportion of time per subject. If your child does not have their timetable with them then you can view it on the SIMs Parent App (see our website for details. If you do not currently use the SIMs Parent App and would like to please email firstname.lastname@example.org for access.
Login support for online platforms
As you will be aware, we use a number of online platforms to complement our curriculum and to provide quality opportunities for students to learn independently at home. If any of our students are unable to login to these platforms or need support then please see the contact details below:
Staff contact: Miss C Pownall
Staff contact: Mr D Stockton
Staff contact: Mr J Gardiner
We are currently providing emergency childcare to key workers and to some of our most vulnerable students. Unfortunately we do not have enough staff available during the Easter break to offer childcare but we have developed a section of our website for parents/carers to express an interest in emergency childcare for next term. Please be aware that the school providing childcare should be a last resort and we will only consider emergency provision for key workers when there is no alternative option. Parents/carers should keep their children at home if at all possible.
Free School Meals
We have made arrangements with the Co-op to purchase vouchers to provide an alternative to free school meals for those students currently eligible to receive them. We will be arranging for these vouchers to be sent by post to the students who would normally claim a free school meal. We intend to send multiple vouchers out to save them needing to be collected from the College or an unnecessary number of items being sent out. If you think your child is eligible for free school meals but you do not claim them, or if your circumstances have changed then please see guidance on our website on how to apply.
We have a number of students who are considered to be vulnerable. This could be for a number of reasons. I have asked our Pastoral team of staff to make regular contact with these families as a duty of care. They will be making phone calls to those concerned during this week. If your child falls in to this category then please expect a phone call in due course. There are a number of services in the city and nationally that can provide a range of support for families or individuals in need. If you would like to enquire about available support then please visit the safeguarding section of our website.
We are supporting a community outreach team called Arterne Community Support. They provide communities with essential items and support for individuals or families where required. If this is something that you are interested in then please contact them directly. See our previous news item for their contact details.
The Government has released limited information on how the cancellation of exams will be resolved but please see the guidance that they have provided for the most up to date information;
We will make it a priority to update those students and parents affected by this decision as soon we receive more information from the Government.
We will be closed during the Easter break so unfortunately we will not be able to run Easter Masterclasses as we had intended.
Enrichment Week/Work Experience
We have had a number of enquiries about Enrichment Week and Work Experience. We do not know at this stage if these activities will continue to run but as soon as we do we will let you know. We do not expect you to make any additional payments for Enrichment week, or make additional arrangements for Work Experience in the meantime.
Please stay safe and continue to take care of yourselves and your families. I wish you all the best.
Mrs J Bevan