Dear Parents / Carers
Thank you as always to staff and families who have been able to find solutions to the exceptional challenges that we all face in this present situation. School will remain open for students of key workers over the Spring break holiday, including both bank holidays. I am sure you appreciate that this is only due to my colleagues volunteering to be available at these times. From 4th to 19th April inclusive we enter the official Spring break school holiday, therefore, although school remains open, as this is the scheduled Spring break, staff will not be setting work or be available online. In an emergency during this period, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as this email account will be monitored each day.
Below are some updates that will help bring you up to speed with a number of key points.
Key Worker Childcare
The school continues to provide emergency childcare during the school closure period, this childcare provision is only provided for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children who cannot be looked after at home and absolutely need to attend. To keep everyone safe, please do not send your child to school unless it is necessary, and your child complies with the specific criteria outlined in the government guidance document https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision#contents. Children should not attend if they have a temperature or a persistent cough.
Learning from Home
Currently, all students are accessing subject specific learning resources via remote access to their virtual school desktop along with accessing additional materials in MathsWatch, Doddle and Seneca Learning. After the Spring break there will be a phased roll out of access to assignments and curriculum resources through Microsoft Teams, as well as the facility for students to communicate with their class teachers directly. Teams is currently being populated with resources for students to access and we are confident that navigation to learning resources will be much easier going forward. In the meantime, could you ensure that your child has download the Teams App http://teams.microsoft.com/download. This will ensure that once live, students are able to use this exciting resource to instigate effective engagement in remote learning.
We understand that the ‘learning from home’ experience has been different for all students and families and more difficult for some, we are here to support you so please get in contact with either your child’s subject teacher or form tutor if you need help. We have also included below some links to websites aimed at teachers but also useful for parents to support home learning.
I would also direct you to the letter that we sent out last week ‘How to Support our Child to Learn at Home’ that made suggestions for flexibility of working and structuring our child’s day along with a Parent guide to Keeping your Child Safe Online.
Y11 & Y13 Ofqual (Exam Board)
For students in Y11 & Y13 we have yet to be given any clear guidance from Ofqual (the exam board) about how we as schools will formally address the situation regarding end of year outcomes. As advised, please ensure that any work that your child has at home is kept safe as this may be used as evidence to support judgements re grades. As soon as we receive clarification, we will be in touch with all Y11 and Y13 students and families to support and help with future arrangements. We understand that for our young people and their families this is creating some anxiety but please be reassured that as a school that values, commitment and hard work of all of our students we will ensure that together we will find a solution to a pathway that meets and recognises their time with us.
Year 11 Summer Work Tasks – Preparation for L3 Study
For those students who are likely to join Neston High School 6th Form next academic year, you will be aware that information has come out to you so that you may prepare as appropriate. As a reminder please go to resources/ remote learning/ Yr 11- Preparation for Yr 12 subjects.
Free School Meals – Supermarket Voucher Scheme
The Government has now set up a scheme to distribute supermarket vouchers to families whose children are entitled to Free School Meals in place of them receiving their meal at school. Vouchers will be distributed electronically, however if you do not have an email address, we will be able to post the vouchers to you on a fortnightly basis. If you think that you may be entitled to Free School Meals and have not registered, please contact Cheshire West and Chester council Free School Meals and complete the online form.
Message from Cheshire Police
Please see attached a letter from Cheshire Police. Sadly, despite the high-profile daily news the coronavirus generates Cheshire Police are getting reports of children congregating in groups within the community which they are having to disperse. Please remember that parents should keep children at home and not allow them to meet up with friends.
Talking to your child about Coronavirus
Please find attached a useful document provided by the Children’s Commissioner that provides information and guidance about the Coronavirus specifically written for young people.
We will continue to send out regular updates during the school closure by email. Letters are also available to view on our school website under News/Letters sent home.
Stay safe and kindest regards