Monday would have been the first day of the Summer term but instead sees the start of the third week of school closures nationwide. Our staff are keen to ensure that the support we provide for home-learning minimises the long-term academic impact on our students without causing further anxiety or concern at a very difficult time.
Student work expectations
The crisis is affecting different households in very different ways and we are aiming to provide opportunity for students to consolidate their academic levels as well as learning new content. The media is awash with many jokes about the difficulty of home schooling. Some students can learn independently with very little supervision required, whilst others need constant reassurance and encouragement – we all recognise this can be difficult on top of family work commitments and the general pressures of the current situation. The academy has worked hard to ensure that the direction we are providing is inclusive for all families. It should give opportunity for students to continue to make academic progress without creating a feeling of failure – all students should continue to aim for the 2.5 hours per day of work each day and follow the guidance document for their year group. This is a time for flexibility, so the guidance refers to what to do if you have different levels of internet access and, as an underlying principle, students should do what they can in-keeping with their own family circumstances.
With the length of closure still unknown the following should provide clarification of arrangements for the first few weeks of the Summer term:
- Tutors – please communicate with tutors regarding any safety, wellbeing or welfare matters. If there is any problem with this communication route then communicate with the relevant House Leader
- Subject teachers – for all student work related matters
- As mentioned above students who feel they are able to do more can:
- Use internet resources like Seneca, MyMaths etc to make progress (this is an easy way of making lots of progress – most account based resources like MyMaths allow parents to quickly check how much work is done)
- Attempt the challenge tasks that are available as part of the subject specific work packs
Year 11 / Post 16
- Year 11 and Post-16 students can rest assured that their predicted grades will not be decreased if they are not able to complete work set by their teachers
- If year 11 or Post-16 students believe their work prior to closure does not match with their current work and aspirations, you are encouraged to submit work to teachers who can still increase predicted grades
General expectations of work
For students who are able to commit then the general expectations are:
- Spend approximately 2 to 2.5 hours per day on schoolwork
- Try to follow the work set by your teachers online or the physical paper-based work packs that some students have been issued
- If the work set online is not accessible, the work pack is finished or lost etc:
- Use the closure work guidance on Sharepoint that has also been shared on Weduc, email and Facebook
- If possible, use logins so that your work is recorded on your account or simply make a note of what work you do as you go along (this could be used to revise from)
- If you find that you cannot keep up with two hours per day, do what you are able to
General guidance from the government
Help prevent the spread of coronavirus and stay at home:
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
- If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Do not meet others, even friends or family
- You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms
Public Health England’s advice on protecting yourself and your family from the virus can be found by visiting www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-for-households-with-possible-covid-19-infection
If you suspect a member of your family has contracted the virus, please follow guidance from the NHS here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
Free School Meals
We are aware that some families may be eligible for Pupil Premium Free School Meals but have not claimed or applied before. Some families may become eligible due to the unfortunate circumstances we are all in.
Please click here to apply for Pupil Premium Free School Meals. (use the search term ‘Holgate’)
If you need help with a new application, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail message by calling 0115 9632104. We can then arrange a call back and talk you through the process.
Hub for Key Workers
We continue to support our students whose parents are Key Workers – this provision is open from 9.15am to 3.15pm each day.
If you are a key worker and need to access this provision please contact us at email@example.com or leave a voicemail message by calling 0115 9632104. We can then arrange a call back and talk you through the process.
Advice for Year 11 following OFQUAL announcement
We are mindful of the OFQUAL guidance regarding continuing to complete work. Should you feel unable to complete anything further this will not disadvantage you.
However, if you feel you have completed work, or wish to continue to produce work, which may indicate you are now working at a higher level, your teachers will be happy to accept it and will consider it as part of overall assessment. Please be clear this would be done of your own choice and is not a requirement of the academy.
It is advisable to complete any controlled assessment work if possible. If it is not possible please submit what is completed so far.
It may also be advisable to continue with work in subjects you intend to study next year at HSFC, college, in further education or at University.
Safe use of internet
With the increased use of the internet for work and socialising, here are some handy hints, tips and reminders for students and parents:
- Avoid sharing personal details online
- Always tell parents and carers who you are communicating with online
- Never agree to meet anyone online
Should you have any concerns about your child’s activity online CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) are linked directly with the police and can investigate any concerns you have regarding the communication your child is receiving online.
For useful tips on keeping children safe online, visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents
Please report any concerns you have here: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Get-help/Reporting-an-incident/
If you do wish to discuss any concerns please feel free to contact us here at The Holgate Academy via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our values during this difficult time
Our core values of manners, determination and teamwork are constantly relevant – please can all parents and carers emphasise these to our students during these challenging times:
- Manners in being polite to families and everyone our students meet (maintaining the social distancing Government guidance)
- Determination in completing schoolwork
- Teamwork in supporting and helping your families and communities
Be responsible, be calm and stay safe.
We are Holgate!