March 19th 2020
As I am sure you aware, the Secretary of State for Education announced that all schools will close on Friday March 20th at the end of the school day. This closure applies to all pupils with the exception of those pupils who are considered vulnerable or whose parents/carers are key workers. The closure will be for the foreseeable future.
It was also announced that both GCSE and A’ Level examinations will not take place in the summer term. This will also affect assessments and practical tasks for vocational qualifications. It is understandable that this will cause much upset amongst pupils who have been working extremely hard towards their exams and who will miss the opportunity to demonstrate their full ability. They must not worry. Arrangements will be made for them to progress on to the next stage of their education or training. When we know how examination results will be managed we will inform you as soon as we are made aware of any government decisions.
I should like to take the opportunity to inform you of some of the arrangements that are in place following the decision.
As a school, we will endeavour to ensure that those pupils who have applied for the Sixth Form or for alternative courses and apprenticeships are supported in accessing their next career step. This is now a national issue and I am sure that special considerations will be made.
For Year 11 pupils all Saturday Schools and Easter School will no longer continue as planned and I would like to commend those pupils who have shown exceptional commitment to attend these additional sessions. All payments that have been received will be refunded.
Work will still continue to be set and it is important that pupils continue to complete the tasks to ensure readiness for their Post 16 career pathways and to fulfil any necessary examination board requirements. It is highly possible that coursework marks will be needed. With this in mind, pupils must complete all assessments and tasks that are set by their teachers.
We shall, of course, aim to mark the end of Key Stage 4 for Year 11 pupils if possible and shall keep you informed of any plans when the national situation allows. As yet, it is obviously not possible to confirm that the Prom will still take place.
We understand that these measures will raise many questions amongst pupils and parents. You will have concerns and we shall keep you fully informed of all developments as soon as is possible.
Pupils will all be able to access work via the school VLE, Lessonboard and EdLounge. In addition to this, the school website will provide additional information for access to learning resources, resources for staying healthy and online platforms. It is important that pupils access their learning when at home to ensure academic progress and the continuation of a healthy routine. We ask that parents and carers monitor their children to ensure that they take part in the provision that is made available. It is particularly important that pupils continue their learning as far as possible as they will need to demonstrate their knowledge when they start their courses next year.
Should you be unable to access work online you are asked to contact the Learning Coordinator for your child’s year so that hard copies of work can be provided. A list of contact details can be found on the school website.
For pupils of key workers who continue to attend school, we will aim to provide as full a curriculum as possible. Pupils are asked to ensure that they attend with their PE kits and books. For pupils who are eligible for free school meals, and not in school, we will be providing vouchers to homes that can be used at the Co-op. These will be posted.
To ensure the appropriate safeguarding of pupils we will continue to use our Truancy Call system to monitor and inform you of absences until such time that we know which pupils to expect in school. We will be asking parents/carers to inform us if you are key workers as identified by the government. Further details about how key workers and their children will be supported will be posted on the Academy website once the government has published its guidelines today. We would ask that you follow this guidance in order that we can plan effectively for next week.
These are exceptional times and it is important that we work together with patience and understanding. The staff who are available in school will continue working hard to ensure the welfare of all pupils.
I should like to thank you for your cooperation in the last few weeks and for the calm and consideration that both you and pupils have shown whilst they have been in school. We shall keep you informed of any updates as soon as we are able to confirm them and ask that you regularly check the school website: www.universityacademyholbeach.org
Everyone is in our thoughts and I should like to take the opportunity to wish you well in these difficult times and hope that you and your families stay safe.
Miss S Paige