Parent Letter – New Term Changes for January 2021
Thursday 31st December 2020
I hope that you have enjoyed a break over the Christmas holiday despite the challenges national and local restrictions brought upon us all.
You may have seen in the media that things are changing fast in terms of government expectations of schools. Just before the Christmas break the government announced that Year 7-10 & 12 students would learn remotely for the first week of term. They have now changed that guidance. Please see below for important details about how we will start the new term in line with this new guidance (announced on 30th December). I am, as ever, sorry for the last-minute nature of this letter but we are responding as fast as we can to changing circumstances. I will again have to ask you to trust us to do the best possible job in ensuring the ongoing education of your child.
Start of term arrangements:
The school site will be open for vulnerable students and children of critical key workers from 4th January. On the 4th the provision will open at 10am and run until 3pm. From the 5th onwards it will open at 8:45 as normal. If your child is eligible for a place as a vulnerable student we will contact you directly. If you would like to request a place for your child as a key worker or are unsure if your child is eligible please contact your child’s Hub. Students for this provision should enter school through the main gate.
The Bridge – Mrs Hayer (email@example.com)
Year 8/9 – Mr Barrett (Barrett.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Year 10/11 – Miss Wright (email@example.com)
P16 Select – Mr Michael (Michael.A@barrshill.coventry.sch.uk)
Students in Year 12 studying Sport or Business will have ‘live lessons’ on the 4th January to help prepare them for their real exams on Wednesday 6th January. Their teachers will be directly in touch with them about when these lessons will be.
From the 5th January all pupils will learn remotely from home. A full programme in the Virtual School will start for all pupils. All pupils will receive a programme of ‘live lessons’ and assignments will also be set. All the information and links you need can be found at www.barrshill.coventry.sch.uk/virtual-school/ although this website will not go live until 2nd January. It will include your child’s personalised timetable for the ‘live lessons’. On 5th January all students must log in to ‘Microsoft Teams’ to their Tutor Group team at the normal time of 8:45. Tutors will explain the day and support students with knowing what to do and how to do it.
Week beginning 11th January, Year 11, Year 12 Vocational and Year 13 students will be in school for normal lessons. Students in Year 7-10 and Year 12 A-Level will continue to learn remotely.
All pupils will be back in school from the 18th January.
Year 11 Trial Exams:
Year 11 trial exams will still take place although we will delay them until the students return to school in the week commencing 11th January. They will therefore now start on Thursday 14th January. Students must ensure they make good use of their remote learning time for preparation. Live lessons and assignments set will focus on this. After the trial exams in early February come real exams for all Year 11 students that study Business or Health and Social Care.
Year 12 Vocational Exams
Students in Year 12 studying Sport and Business have real exams on Wednesday 6th January. We have been told by the government that these will go ahead as normal. Students must therefore come into school for these exams. They will have live lessons delivered remotely to help them prepare. On the morning of each exam we will arrange some face to face teaching prior to the exam starting. All students should visit their Microsoft Teams sites for full information.
Access to Virtual Learning
If your child is struggling to access remote learning please contact your child’s Hub Director. We have bought a small number of laptops that we are happy to loan out to families and we will of course be available to help with any technical issues if we can.
Free School Meals:
All pupils eligible for Free School Meals who are asked to learn remotely will be issued with voucher codes each week to replace the Free School Meal they would normally receive in school. If you are unsure or think your contact details are not correct then please contact your child’s Hub team as soon as possible. If any parents have had a change of circumstances and think that they may be eligible for Free School Meals then please let us know.
Covid Symptoms and Tests:
Every school in the country is being given the resources to set up a small ‘lateral flow’ testing centre. This is excellent news. It will enable regular testing of staff and students and will help us manage self-isolation and reduce risks further. For example, once we are fully set up, students and staff that are close contacts of a positive case can stay in school instead of being asked to self-isolate at home as long as they have a daily negative test for 7 days. Detailed planning is underway to ensure that our centre is safe, secure and carefully managed. We will be in contact with all parents/carers in Years 7-11 as soon as we are able regarding an important consent form which needs to be signed and will enable us to run the tests. Students in P16 Select will be able to give their own permission.
May I apologise again for the late nature of this letter, we really are responding as fast as we can, but we of course recognise that it is very challenging time for parents dealing with so much uncertainty. If there are any further changes announced by the government to dates or timings we will let you know as soon as we can. I’d also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the group of staff who have worked tirelessly over the Christmas break on everything from track and trace, remote education plans and planning the set-up of our testing centre. Thank you also to all parents for your continued support and for your clear communication.
A reminder that we will continue to do everything we possibly can to help anyone in our school community. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas please do contact us. If we can help, we will.
Mr C Jupp