I hope this letter finds you all well and that you and your families are managing in these challenging times we find ourselves in. Hopefully you have been able to take advantage of the unexpected opportunity to spend time together. As promised, I wanted to write to you all to give you an update on a few things.
Obviously, you will all be keen to know when we will reopen. As I’m sure you understand, I cannot give you this information at this time, but we will continue to take advice from the Government. That said I think we will likely remain closed for some time to come.
In the meantime, I wanted to update you on several things.
Enrichment Week (Years 7, 8 and 9)
We have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Enrichment Week. While this is naturally disappointing, I feel that by making this decision early we can reduce uncertainty and try to reclaim costs before further payments are required. I have requested that all monies you have paid, including your cash deposits, irrespective as to whether the College can claim these back, should be reimbursed to you all in full. The College finance team are liaising directly with ParentPay to enable us to reimburse your accounts as quickly as possible. You will then be able to withdraw these funds from your ParentPay account into your bank accounts in due course. Further details, including exact time frames will be published on the Enrichment week section of the College website as soon as possible.
Work Experience (Year 10)
We have taken the decision to cancel our Work Experience Week for our Year 10 students this year. We will contact employers to inform them that students will not be able to undertake placements this year as planned. Once we return to College, we will look at how we can best support our students in developing their employability skills through alternative means.
Prom (Year 11)/Leaving Event (Year 13)
Sadly, we will not be able to hold our annual Year 11 Prom as planned. We would like to organise a leaving event for our Year 11 students as soon as we are able to but in the meantime we wanted to ensure that students and parents did not spend lots of money on their outfits and transport in case you were not able to get it refunded. Similarly, for Year 13 we will organise an event in due course to mark and celebrate your achievements as a year group as we do each year.
Year 8 Options
Due to our closure this process has been put on hold temporarily. I want to assure parents/carers of Year 8 students that we are now able to continue to this work and will be in touch with you as soon as possible. We may need a minority of students to make alternative option choices so we will be in touch with those individuals before we provide confirmation of the option subjects that all students will be allocated.
Year 11 Options
I want to assure parents/carers of Year 11 students that our sixth form team will be in contact in the coming weeks to discuss, check and confirm your Post-16 options and choices. Conditional offers will be sent to each student to confirm their choices and next steps. All students moving on to study A Level and BTEC subjects with us at SJH will be directed to transition materials and bridging tasks which will ensure students have all the content they need to be ready for the start of their courses. For students moving on to vocational or applied courses, we will also be working closely with our Training Providers across the city to make sure students are supported in their transition.
Staff have created a huge range of tasks for students in all subjects and across all year groups to enable them to access the programmes of study that they would ordinarily follow. Since the College will remain closed for the time being, I urge you all to ensure that the students do as much learning at home as they can to ensure they do not miss out. It will be a challenge to ensure our students catch up on missed learning on their return so the more they can complete the better. All tasks/resources are available to be accessed via the College website.
Home Learning Structure
As mentioned previously, we suggest as a structure that students try to follow their school timetable to 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 through the SIMs Parent App, please see our website for details of how to download it.
If you do not currently use the SIMs Parent App and would like to, then please email us for access: email@example.com.
Please continue to contact our teachers and key support staff directly. A number of parents and students have been able to get information from particular teachers and access support from the pastoral team where they have required it. Please see the contact details for our staff on our website.
Thank you to those of you who have already placed an order for the free packs of equipment. Will still have a large quantity of exercise books, pens, pencils, rulers and highlighters that are available for collection. In some cases, we can also arrange delivery. These packs can be ordered through ParentPay.
We continue to offer emergency childcare for our vulnerable students and children of key workers. If you wish to apply for this then please ensure you complete the survey on our website by 9.00am on each Wednesday. 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.
Free School Meals
We continue to provide parents of those eligible for free school meals with food vouchers. I am really pleased that so many of you have been able to easily access and use these vouchers. If you have not received the vouchers, or are having difficulty in accessing them then please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the duration of the College closure, it is imperative that you all receive our communications so that we can keep you up to date. Please ensure that you let us know if there are any changes to your contact details as soon as possible so that we can ensure that you receive all communications. Similarly, if you are aware of a parent who is not receiving our communications then please ask them to contact us or let us know so we can contact them. You can still update your own contact details through the SIMs Parent App, or by contacting us directly.
As we begin to make plans for next academic year, I will be in touch with you all about some changes that I wish to make to improve the quality of education of our students. I will be appreciative of your input and any feedback or queries that you may have in due course.
I have arranged for all of our Heads of Year (and Assistant Head of Sixth Form) to get in touch with you all very soon to support our students and to help you support your children while they learn at home.
I will continue to update you all periodically on arrangements in place to support you and our students, please continue to contact us if you have any queries or require support.
As always, I wish you all the best. Keep up the great work with supporting your children with their home learning and if you can encourage them to read for 20 minutes a day that would be really beneficial. I hope you are enjoying this time with your families.
Stay safe everyone.
Mrs J Bevan