Friday 20th March 2020: Coronavirus Daily Bulletin
School will open for one hour only tomorrow (Saturday 21st March 10am-11am). Students must sign in and out at Reception, must use antibacterial gel on entry and when leaving and must observe social distancing at all times. A small number of staff will be available to assist.
Our site staff are self-isolating therefore for Health and Safety reasons we cannot open for longer than this.
There was no bulletin yesterday as I did not have anything new to report. The Prime Minister’s briefing gave no new information for schools yesterday however at midnight last night, new DfE guidance was issued.
You may have seen on the news, there is now a clear definition of who Key Workers are. I have highlighted below the link to the DfE document:
If you fall into any of these categories, please complete the form sent to you earlier today and indicate if you need school to look after your child from Monday. Both parents should be key workers otherwise the parent who is NOT a key worker should be looking after children at home. This will help us timetable staffing and activities. The guidance emphasises that this school provision is only if absolutely necessary; children should be kept at home unless there is no alternative.
We have managed to secure a cover Caretaker starting from Monday in order to open the school for vulnerable children and children of key workers. Please keep checking the school website, etc for further information over the weekend in case something changes. If you hear nothing, we will be open. There is no requirement for parents/carers to take up the offer of a school place.
Provision in school from next week will take place in the 6th form block only. A skeleton staff presence will be in operation to supervise children. We are hoping to have a selection of art activities, games, DVDs, etc however I must stress, no formal curriculum will be followed and there will be no ‘teaching’. The school will be open to confirmed students from 8.30am-2.45pm and we are hoping that a light lunch and drinks will be provided. Children should bring their own snacks and drinks as they wish and also their own lunch if they have special dietary requirements. All students must sign in and out each day, must use antibacterial gel, wash hands regularly and observe social distancing protocols. Please let us know by telephone if your child will be absent. If a student is not on site by 9am we will assume they are not coming in. If no children are present at all by 9am we will close the school for the day.
As there are only a small number of students requiring this provision by school at time of writing, there will be no school buses running I’m afraid.
We have sent all families with children in receipt of Free School Meals vouchers to cover lunch expenses for the next two weeks. Furthermore, Tesco in Altrincham have also offered to send into school any vouchers they can to help families who may be struggling. We thank them for their kind offer and we will distribute any we receive immediately.
The DfE have just released information on what will happen with grades this year. Teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including mock exams, non-exam assessment, etc. Clear guidance on this will be provided to schools and colleges in time. There will also be an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year for students who wish to. Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible and will work with exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. Ofqual and exam boards will discuss with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach. More information will be sent soon, I have been assured.
Year 11 End of Year Celebrations
Some Year 11 students have understandably been both upset by the fact there will be no exams and the fact that they haven’t had the send-off afforded by previous Year 11s due to these unforeseen circumstances. So, Year 11….
I would like to reassure you that we will reorganise your Prom for a more suitable time in the Autumn Term, we will try to sort out the hoodies as soon as possible so that you also get these, and we will arrange a final assembly for you and the Year 13s at a time which suits as many people as possible, bearing in mind some Year 13s may have gone to college, university or employment by that time. We will try our best for you all!
We say goodbye this Easter to Mrs Amanda Catterall, Director of Maths for our Trust. Thank you for all you have done for our school and also Reddish Vale; we wish you every happiness and success in your new role and relocation!
I would also like to thank all the staff at Altrincham College for working so hard and for going above and beyond over the last few, difficult days. I am fully aware that their ‘wartime spirit’ in all school matters has put our students ahead of their own families at times. I am mindful that this cannot continue indefinitely and appreciate all they are doing for as long as they are able.
I wish you all a happy and healthy weekend. There will be no bulletins over the weekend. I will update Parents/Carers as and when necessary.
Ms Kim Earle