COVID-19 Update 16-07-2020
Re-opening schools in September, supporting learning, End of Year reporting arrangements, Access to examination grades on Year 11 and 13 August results days, laptops for disadvantaged students, House fundraising, Staff leaving us this term
I hope this week’s letter finds you well and looking forward to the summer.
Re-opening schools in September
Our plans for September are really taking shape now. I am confident that we will be able to offer a pretty normal curriculum for all year groups based on our plans. This will be subject to finalisation of our ‘bubble arrangements’ and some small building changes around handwashing. I am meeting with the Full Governing Body next Monday and will publish the agreed risk assessment on the website by close on Tuesday next week. I will also publish a set of operating procedures that run to 30 pages but give a clear steer as to our ways of working from the beginning of the new academic year.
The two key pieces of information are that we will be returning to full academy uniform for all year groups and that we will not be able to stagger the beginning and end of the academy day. This is due to our close proximity to North Kesteven Academy and the complexities caused by school transport.
Lincolnshire County Council are responsible for dedicated home to school transport in Lincolnshire. They have been clear that transport services cannot be staggered or changed. As a result, joint key principles have been agreed with the Head Teacher at North Kesteven Academy as follows:
- We strongly encourage all students to wear a face covering to and from school, especially if social distancing is not possible. This includes on public transport.
- When catching buses, all students should do so from their own school site. Anyone who does not follow this request will be sent back to their own school and parents will be called.
- We encourage all students to carry a pocket sized hand sanitizer for use in school.
- Where possible, all students should go straight home at the end of the school day and should not use public transport unless there is no other option.
Any face covering used by pupils and/or staff should (if removed on site) be placed and sealed in a ziplock type bag and taken home for disposal/washing at the end of the day.
Tomorrow signals our final face to face days with Years 10 and 12 prior to the summer break. We will not be publishing a new curriculum plan for next week. Pupils in Years 7-10 and 12 will have access to their final R2L session on Monday remotely. Monday will also be the time we publish our video for the end of term virtual full school assembly on Frog. This is always a highlight of any academic year and allows us to celebrate student engagement and achievements.
We will round off the year with final appointments for pastoral and wellbeing support before embarking on building works in earnest and a thorough deep clean. Thanks must go to all of my R2L tutors and House teams for supporting our youngsters these past few months.
End of Year reporting arrangements
All end of year reports were published earlier this week. If you have not received your copy, please contact Mr Kirk at email@example.com.
Access to examination grades on Year 11 and 13 August results days
Letters should be posted out today with instructions for gaining access to examination results remotely so please look out for these in the coming days.
Laptops for disadvantaged students
We have contacted most eligible families now but await a final delivery from LCC of several more machines. As this is currently beyond our control, we continue to work on this with LCC and will be in touch with any further eligible families as soon as possible.
In the past week since I last wrote to you, our fundraising has gone wild! Mr Lloyd-Richards and his Tudor House team must have some magical properties as they have shot from fifth to first in seven days. We are now hoping to break £10,000 before we break up having now surpassed £9,000. The JustGiving links can be found on the website under the Our Curriculum tab, House fundraising challenge. They remain open until 9am on Monday 20 July for donations. Great work everyone!
Staff leaving us this term
At this time of year, there are often a small number of colleagues who are moving to pastures new.
This year, Mrs Oyston and Mrs Brace are retiring after many years of exceptional service to the profession and the Academy. Mrs Oyston has been with us for 17 years in two spells and will be sorely missed, having taught mathematics, IT and Food. Mrs Brace has ably supported A level Biology for some time and has improved outcomes for young people in doing so. We wish them both every happiness as they plan the next chapter of their adventures.
Mr Lane is moving to the UTC specialist engineering department in a similar role and Mrs Gertsen is moving on from the MFL department. We also wish them both well in their future endeavours.
As usual, I will keep you updated on developments via the Academy website and parent email. I will also ensure that our social media channels are updated accordingly. If you have any further questions with regard to whole school arrangements, please email the Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I sign off for what will be my final full parent letter of the academic year, I wish to thank you all for your support of the Academy, especially in the past few months of the pandemic. We have been eager to ensure an effective service in difficult times, keen to ensure our youngsters succeed in challenging circumstances and willing to serve our community to the best of our ability.
For me, this community is very important. Our youngsters deserve the very best and this will remain my overriding driver through the summer and over the next academic year. To conclude, as ever, I could not resist a parting quote. Mother Teresa said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
This pandemic is not over and, in the shorter term, the impact of it on our young people, on jobs, on mental health and on the future are all uncertain. However, be assured that, as we look to break for the summer, we are right in this with you.
Take care and stay safe.
Mr D Hardy