January Lockdown School Update
I hope that you have enjoyed a break over the Christmas holiday despite the challenges national and local restrictions brought upon us all. I am sure you will have seen the national announcements about changes in education as we move into a further period of national lockdown, so I write to update you on our plans.
In line with the government announcement all pupils will now learn remotely until at least February half term as part of the national lockdown. Our virtual school is up and running on Teams for all year groups. All pupils follow their usual timetable and any assignments will also be set and need to be completed. Attendance to the virtual school is compulsory and you really must ensure that your child attends every lesson every day. Our attendance team must be contacted if your child is unwell and unable to attend. Please contact Miss Dillon on: 07984934478 firstname.lastname@example.org for years 7-11 and email Mrs Knight on: email@example.com for Sixth Form attendance.
It is critical that students continue to engage and learn throughout this lockdown period, I am sure you will agree that we cannot afford for pupils to miss another block of learning. If there are any barriers stopping your child from taking part, please talk to their Head of Year straight away and we will work with you to find solutions:
Mr Szczepanski Year 7 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Taylor Year 8 – email@example.com
Mr Rogers Year 9 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss Hamilton Year 10 – email@example.com
Miss Bassi Year 11 – SBassi@aatrust.co.uk
The school site remains open for vulnerable students and children of critical key workers only. If your child is eligible for a place as a vulnerable student, we will contact you directly and we would encourage them to take up the place so we can support their learning. If you would like to request a place for your child as a key worker or are unsure if your child is eligible please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All children attending will be able to access a limited lunch service.
Year 11 & 13 Exams
As part of Monday’s announcement the Prime Minister said:
“We recognise that this lockdown means it is not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal. The education secretary will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements”.
This announcement came as shock to us all. Schools have not been given any additional information beyond the Secretary of State Gavin Williamson’s address to Parliament on Wednesday. It is very challenging for Year 11 and 13 students and to you, as parents, who will be feeling very uncertain. As soon as we know anything we will let you know. It is crucial to note that we will still be teaching Year 11 & 13 students the remainder of their exam courses with all the same pace and expectations. Whatever the alternative arrangements are, students will need to have learned their subjects and be able to demonstrate their proficiency to secure their grades.
On top of this, the content and skills in GCSE courses are designed to prepare students for further study such as apprenticeships and A-levels, which further help and support pupils to get into university regardless of the assessment system used. Year 11 mock exams will take place when we return. Mrs. Robertson will publish information about these and how they will take place.
Year 11 and 12 and 13 Vocational Exams
Schools were given the option yesterday as to whether our students sit vocational exams in January and February. After discussions, we have decided that in the best interests of both students and staff that we will not continue with these exams. Not only did we have large numbers of students sitting the exams but we also required staff for access arrangements and invigilation. With the increasing number of positive cases of Covid within Wolverhampton, it did not feel safe to continue. I spoke to the students via Teams yesterday to explain the decision and they were supportive of it.
Access to Virtual Learning
If your child is struggling to access remote learning, please use our Student IT support contact form on the following page.
We have loaned hundreds of laptops to families that require them, in addition to 4G dongles for those without internet and we will of course be available to support with any technical issues you may have.
Free School Meals
All pupils eligible for Free School Meals will be issued with a food hamper, you will have been contacted about this by email if your child is already in receipt of Free School Meals. By the end of next week, we hope to have further information with regards to the Free School Meals Voucher Scheme. If any parents have had a change of circumstances and think that they may now be eligible for Free School Meals, then please let us know as we can help you apply. Please email Miss Armato: email@example.com
Lateral Flow Testing
We began testing our staff and students in our Mini –School today. We expect that this will continue for all students after February half term so please continue to fill in your consent forms electronically.
We pride ourselves on being a school at the heart of our community. Throughout this period of lockdown, I wish to reiterate that we will continue to do everything we possibly can to help anyone in our school community. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas please do contact us.
Thank you, as always for your continued support.
Mrs N Bayliss