Letter to Parents, Carers and Students (20/05/2020)
Dear parents, carers and students,
Thank you for all of your support and hard work during the current school closure and what I know has been a difficult time for families everywhere. I am sure that you have kept up to date with the latest guidance from the government as they continue to update the nation daily. With regards to the opening of schools, we are closely monitoring the guidance and making preparations for some face to face support for Year 10 and Year 12 students between the 1st June and the summer holidays, but only if the five tests set out by the government for safe opening have been met:
- 1. Making sure the NHS can cope
- 2. A sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate
- 3. Rate of infection decreasing to manageable levels
- 4. Ensuring supply of tests and PPE can meet future demand
- 5. Being confident any adjustments would not risk a second peak that would overwhelm the NHS.
We sent out a poll to parents and carers of Year 10 and 12 students to gauge how much interest there would be in some face to face support. At present, around half of our parents who responded to the poll have said that they would send students in for any sessions we put on, with around a quarter wanting to keep children at home for the time being, and a quarter being undecided. This is an incredibly difficult decision for all parents and carers and I would like to thank those who have responded for all of your feedback and comments.
We have a provisional plan in place for some face to face sessions for Year 10 and 12 students throughout June and July and we will share this with families after 1st June, if the five tests have been met and we are able to go ahead with some partial opening plans. We have a new risk assessment in place and will share our safety measures with parents in advance, including staggered arrival and departure times, small classes that do not mix with other groups, large teaching spaces with individual desks, suitable distanced, more regular cleaning of all spaces and surfaces, hand sanitiser on arrival and departure, regular hand washing, and no shared equipment. Uniform will also be relaxed for any face to face sessions before the summer holidays.
In the meantime, we continue to provide on site childcare for the children of key workers, as well as identified children who fall into the other categories identified by the government. This provision runs from 9am to 2.30pm and parents who identified themselves as key workers when requested to do so at the start of the closure period must book places in advance. Please discuss any requests with the member of staff making your weekly welfare call or email email@example.com . Please note that there is no catering on site so children must bring a packed lunch with them. Social distancing expectations are in place and any children who do not adhere to these will not be able to stay on site, with parents being contacted to collect them, in order to ensure the safety of everyone. Please be aware that children on site for childcare have supervised access to computers and a work space, but there are currently no taught sessions being delivered and children are expected to follow the same online lessons as their peers who are working at home.
The request for paper based work packs at the start of this time far exceeded our expectations, with parents and students feeding back to us that having access to paper based work as well as online learning was preferable in order to avoid too much screen fatigue. We will therefore be providing a Half Term 6 paper based learning pack for any families who would like one and these will be available for collection at the following times. Please do not visit the academy outside of these times, as we need to ensure we have sufficient measures in place for social distancing for the safety of students and staff onsite, as well as parents who are collecting packs:
Work Pack Collection Slots for Term 6:
- Tuesday 2nd June 2020 between 9am and 2.30pm
- Wednesday 3rd June 2020 between 9am and 2.30pm
- Thursday 4th June 2020 between 8.30am and 2.30pm
- Friday 5th June 2020 between 8.30am and 1.00pm
Our preferred way of delivering the curriculum for this final summer term is via online learning, with work being outlined on Show My Homework and often linking to other platforms such as Google Classroom or Oak National. However, we do appreciate that households have a limited number of devices and may not always be able to work online, so the paper work packs are being provided to support with this.
Our staff will continue to make weekly welfare calls during term time to check in with families to see if any further support is needed. Many of these calls may come from a withheld number, so please do answer if at all possible, to allow us to check in with you.
We have been very impressed with much of the work completed online and also shared with us via @HavelockAcademy Twitter and would like to thank students for all of the effort from home, as well as thanking parents for your support in home schooling. Many of our teachers are balancing home schooling their own children alongside the online and home learning support for our children at Havelock. We continue to share good news stories on our Twitter and Facebook pages so please do follow us to see some of these great success stories.
The academy will close for half term on Friday 22nd May at 2.30pm and we will reopen for booked in key worker children on Monday 1st June, after the half term break. The half term closure will allow us to ensure that the academy has undergone thorough cleaning in preparation for a potential wider opening next term. We will not be making welfare calls or setting online work over the half term break, in order to give our teachers and our students a well deserved break.
As government guidance can change very quickly, please do continue to keep up to date through the My Child At School (MCAS) app as this is the quickest way for us to update parents of any changes. We also publish all letters and communications on our website.
The following email addresses can be used for accessing support:
- Computing/IT Support from home – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Free School Meals vouchers enquires – email@example.com
- Key worker childcare booking enquiries – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Safeguarding concerns or worries – email@example.com
There are also several other links to support organisations on our website. Thank you for all of your ongoing support during this difficult time. Our staff team would like to wish you all a restful half term and we look forward to updating you further after the half term break.
Emma Marshall & the Senior Leadership Team