Closure update 20.3.20

I am sure that you will be aware of the unprecedented impact that the COVID-19 epidemic is having on the nation. Unfortunately, following the strategy from the government, we will close the academy to virtually all students from Friday 20th March at 2:40pm.

I want to assure parents that there are a significant amount of resources available to you and your child to help support their education over the coming period.  The resources can be accessed via our website, teachers have provided work for every lesson that your child would normally attend. If the closure is longer than expected, teachers will continue to upload resources for students to access from home to try and minimise the impact of the closure.

Most students have been shown how to access their work for each lesson and have been told about the expectations of what they should be doing. This has been communicated through sessions this week. Year 10 may have found this more difficult due to the partial closure earlier in the week. However, many have been in touch and all year 10 students will receive a telephone call next week to discuss their progress with this. The academy has also provided an exercise book for those students who attended today in order to complete their work. For students that are not in and haven’t collected a book, they can complete work on paper or on a word processor if they have the facilities to do so.

Earlier in the week we set out expectations for Year 11 students. However, these priorities have clearly changed as we now know that exams are cancelled. Of course, government officials are working with exam boards to ensure that children “get the qualifications that they need”, a plan for how grades will be awarded is yet to be confirmed. Therefore, year 11 students need to remain contactable by checking their e-mails in case of any updates. For now, we strongly recommend that they continue to keep their minds active, utilising the resources provided online and considering the subjects they are intending to study next year. We know that for year 11 this has been abrupt end and not what anyone wanted and as soon as we are able we will be arranging a celebratory end of year event.

Should students be concerned about the work or unsure of how to progress, they are able to contact their teachers via email for support. How to do this has been explained to students and is covered by one of our ‘help’ videos.

The academy fully supports the government’s desire to keep schools open for the most vulnerable and the children of key workers. Thank you to those key workers who have been in touch, completing the online form, as per the earlier communications to ensure they have a place for their child in the coming weeks. We have now collated the numbers and staffed this accordingly.  Please do not send your child to school next week unless you have been in touch to confirm a place with us.  If you have, then school starts at 8.30am on Monday and runs until 2.40pm. If for some reason you are a key worker and you have been unable to inform us, please contact us urgently. As far as possible, lessons will continue as normal for students who are still attending.

The decision to close has not been taken lightly and is a government directive.  The health of staff, students and their families is of paramount importance and we hope that this step serves to keep our community safe and healthy.

Thank you for your continued support. I hope you and your families stay safe during these turbulent times.

Rob Marsh

Principal