Letter from the Academy Headteacher
Dear Parents/Carers and Students,
Thank you for your most diligent and successful efforts in supporting students through their home learning. I trust you and your child are now settling into the rhythm and routine of our new way of working in the same way that we are as staff. May I take this opportunity to reiterate that our approach to setting work on a daily basis in accordance with your child’s timetable is to provide an element of structure to the day for you and your child. Work is being set on SharePoint, our online learning platform, in each individual subject area, in a folder called ‘school closure’ and a summary of the work is being recorded on the homework app, so you as parents are aware of what is being set and can support accordingly. However, It goes without saying, that as Parents, you are fully supported by the Academy to make decisions on how the day is structured for your child and if at any point, you feel they are doing too much work or spending too much time on the home learning, then you can make the decision to reduce some of the work down to alleviate the pressure. The flexibility is there for you to include activities such as cooking, gardening, cleaning, family exercise/walk and other essential life skills to break up and vary the day. There will be no home learning set over the Easter holiday so your child may wish to use some of this time to catch up any tasks or learning which they have not completed.
Teachers are doing an absolutely fantastic job of setting meaningful, challenging and plentiful home learning. Many are emailing their students at their school email account to clarify work set, offer advice and words of encouragement and many students are interacting, responding and communicating with their teachers successfully. Please remind your child to check their school email account daily so that they do not miss out on what is often additional clarity of the work and an opportunity to touch base with their teacher and seek advice.
We are still waiting for specific guidance from Ofqual of how grades will be awarded for GCSE and BTEC qualifications. A range of evidence may be used including non-examination assessment and mock examination grades which would be submitted to the examination board who will also consider prior attainment alongside other factors before calculating a final grade. There is a link below to the most up to date information currently available.
I will, of course, communicate the definitive process when it is released but would like to reassure all of our Year 11 students that we know them well and have a wealth of evidence and knowledge on which to submit grades which are fair and reflective of their capabilities.
We are confident that they will move onto their next destinations and course choices at the end of this academic year and therefore we are working on a new post-16 preparation folder on SharePoint which will contain background reading and relevant resources for each subject. We are also linking with the Priory Academy LSST which is an 11-18 school with a wealth of expertise in delivering post-16 courses to enable us to provide the most up to date and relevant materials. The Post-16 Preparation folder will be available after the Easter break.
Free School meals
We have Increased the free school allowance from £2.35 to £3.00 and are currently providing Morrisons vouchers to all eligible families. This provision will continue through the Easter Holidays and vouchers will be posted out on Wednesday to cover the Easter Period. We will then be using the national voucher scheme for free school meals which is similar in nature but I will write to eligible families with more details in due course.
Pastoral and Safeguarding
The Pastoral team are using the ‘Pastoral and Safeguarding’ page on the website to provide parents/carers with guidance to help young people through this time. The links include a range of websites designed to provide advice to young people who may be anxious about the current situation as well as a link to CEOP who are providing parents with information on how to keep young people safe at a time when they might be spending more time online.
You can find the page under the ‘Parents’ tab or by clicking here.
Finally, we will continue to be open over the Easter holiday, with a very skeleton staffing provision for children of key worker parents, but reiterate the Government’s message that these children should only attend school if they cannot be safely cared for at home. This will enable us to support our staff in maintaining social distancing and reduce any unnecessary movement and travel which potentially puts them at risk.
I would like to say how proud I am of the whole Belvoir community but in particular our young people, in adhering to the social distancing and lockdown measures and for doing the right thing where those in other communities may not have been so diligent.
Mr L S Newton