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Coronavirus Bulletin

Friday 24th April 2020.


Dear Parents/Carers,

The theme of my assemblies this academic year has been around boosting resilience in our young people. As our school vision, written by staff and students, states:

“Our vision is to nurture well-rounded citizens of the future who are knowledgeable, happy and resilient so that they make a valuable contribution to the world in which they live, and are empowered to make informed and positive life choices.”

To give an example of what resilience means, I used the nursery rhyme “Incy Wincy Spider” to hook the students in! I know they are mostly teenagers and young adults but many remembered this from their early years and some could even do the actions with me! I dotted several Incy images around school to remind the students to practise ways of trying to be more resilient when they saw them.

One tip was to spend time with friends, sharing thoughts, ideas and also worries. I am concerned that young people of Secondary age in particular, are missing this aspect of school life during lockdown.

It’s not the best time at the moment to expect young people to be more resilient. They need time to come to terms with what is happening in the world if at all possible, and to find time to discuss their anxieties and fears face-to-face with immediate family, or with friends in a virtual environment. Some of our students are experiencing loss and grief, not purely through the terrible loss of family members but “loss” of a way of life, familiarity of people and situations and a loss of the rituals and routines which make us who we are.

Advice for us all as parents, from experts at the mental health establishments the Anna Freud Centre and Education Support, has been quite simple:

  1. Talk about the pandemic if your child wants to, in age appropriate/developmentally appropriate ways which will help them to understand and clear up some of the confusion they may have
  2. Answer the questions you can but also acknowledge those you can’t; this is a new situation for all of us
  3. Encourage young people to complete school work collaboratively with friends and engage with their teachers in some form just to know we are all still there for each other
  4. Help your child to identify someone who energises them and who they can tap into if they’re feeling low; also think of someone they could reach out to and support. Reciprocity will go a long way in having long term impact on mental health and well-being
  5. If you can get your child into some sort of routine at home, this will really help when schools re-open and school rules and routines start again.

As parents/carers we mustn’t forget to look after ourselves too! We have to invest in ourselves so that we can care for others and sometimes we are so busy we forget we also need time out. As a school community, we are here to support each other as best we can. This carries on whether school is closed or not so please let us know if you need our help with anything.

Fraud alert!

Periods of instability, such as during the coronavirus pandemic, bring an increased risk of fraud. Fraudsters will actively exploit these difficult times and will target vulnerable areas for financial gain.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)have been informed that some students and parents/carers have received a letter from ESFA asking for personal student bank details in relation to the 16-19 Bursary Fund. The ESFA never ask for personal bank account details. This is a fraudulent letter – please do not respond.

Learning at Home

Please ensure you continue to check Class Charts as regularly as possible as staff are posting ‘announcements’ there which will be useful for you and your child. Thank you.

Results Days

Results days will remain the same as originally planned despite there not being any exams this year. A-Level and other Post-16 qualifications will come out on THURSDAY 13TH AUGUST and GCSE and other KS4 qualifications will come out on THURSDAY 20TH AUGUST. Further details will follow on the processes for dissemination nearer the time.

If your child believes their grade to be ‘unfair’ after these dates, they will be allowed to appeal, however an appeal would only look at the school’s process for deciding results, not the details of whether the specific work done is deserving of the grade.

Please do not contact school for grades/results before those dates as we cannot issue them.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Kind regards

Ms K Earle