In line with government advice, the vast majority of our pupils are being kept at home. Here we outline the main things that parents and carers need to be aware of about our provision over the coming weeks.
Temporary relocation of our provision to a neighbouring E-ACT Academy
If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
As we have already advised, we have temporarily relocated our provision for the children of key workers and our most vulnerable pupils to Mansfield Green E-ACT academy in Aston, Birmingham.
This means that our staff and the small number of pupils we currently have in attendance have been relocated to Mansfield Green E-ACT academy which is operating as our regional hub.
By temporarily relocating our provision we can provide our pupils with an even better quality of care in an equally safe, well-staffed academy environment in the local area. The move will also enable us to provide our families with the support they need over a longer, more sustainable period of time.
Our provision over the Easter holidays:
We will continue to support the children of key workers and our most vulnerable pupils over the Easter holidays, including on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Parents and carers can also collect their free school meals from the academy during this time.
Arrangements for all other pupils
For all other pupils, our staff will be working remotely and will be setting homework either online or through work packs. We want our pupils to understand that this is not a school holiday and that they are expected to continue to learn from home.
Please rest assured that the families of children who have any special arrangements in place with us will also be contacted directly with further information. This includes the families of children who receive free school meals.
Please be aware of fraudulent free school meal emails
We have been made aware of fraudulent emails claiming to be from the Department for Education being sent to the parents of children in receipt of free school meals. If you have received such an email, which will typically contain a request for bank details, please do not respond and delete it immediately.
For pupils attending our provision:
We are taking the following precautions:
- We are keeping class sizes and pupil gatherings as small as possible.
- All pupils are encouraged to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- We are carrying out deeper cleans throughout the academy day in line with the latest government guidance.
- If a pupil is unwell, they will be moved to a safe, isolated room until their parents can collect them.
Arrangements for pupils at home
Staff who are not currently based in academy are working remotely and setting classwork online and through work packs. We will be in regular contact with parents and carers to discuss your child’s progress.
SATs tests will not be taking place this year
I would like to reassure you that we will be doing everything in our power to ensure our pupils are awarded the qualifications they deserve and have worked so hard for. We are working closely with the Department for Education and the Standards and Testing Agency, and we will be in touch with parents and carers as soon as we have any more information on the process by which our pupils will receive their marks.
Jasmin Sanders and Neelam Ahmed are our safeguarding and family support leads. If you need to contact them for any support, for example if you are worried about lack of money to pay for food and fuel or are worried about your safety or your child’s safety, please contact the school office (via 07712 232950 or 07713 349836 during the current school closure) to speak to a member of the safeguarding team.
Alternatively you can email email@example.com
Please see the attached document for further sources of support: Sources of Support
Please see attached document from Birmingham Educational Psychology service: Parent Telephone Support Line
Please see attached document from Birmingham Local Authority with tips for keeping safe online: Online safety guidance COVID 19
Please see attached document from Birmingham Communication/Autism Team: Parents Leaflet – Covid-19
Supporting your child’s mental health during this period of uncertainty
In addition to the resources with have already shared with you to help support your child’s mental health during this time, we have highlighted four practical things you can do to support your child:
- Look out for any changes in behaviour: young people may respond to stress in different ways – have you noticed any changes in their emotional state or physical behaviours?
- Provide clear information about the situation: talk openly about what is happening and provide honest answers to any questions they have. Also explain what is being done to keep them and their loved ones safe.
- Acknowledge concerns: young people will be hearing things from friends and through social media. Talk to them about what is going on, listen to them and acknowledge their concerns.
- Create a new routine: routine provides reassurance and an increased feeling of safety, especially if they are not in academy. Make a plan for the day or week that includes time for learning, physical activity and relaxing. For more detailed guidance, visit gov.uk by clicking here.
- Keeping your child safe online
We understand that some parents and carers may be feeling anxious about the fact that your child is likely to be spending more time online over the coming weeks. The websites below contain expert support and practical tips on keeping your child safe online:
- Internet matters
- Parent info
You can find more information on gov.uk by clicking here.
Information for pupils entitled to free school meals:
We are committed to ensuring that pupils who are eligible for free school meals can still access them, even if they are not in academy. As such;
For week commencing 23 March 2020 only, there will be a packed lunch available for you to collect from the reception area of the academy. This can be collected between 12 noon and 2.00 pm.
Also, from week commencing 23 March 2020 you will need to email NEC.FSM@E-ACT.ORG.UK before midday EVERY Monday if you wish to order a hamper containing one week’s lunch ingredients. Your hamper can then be collected from the academy reception between 12 noon and 2.00 pm on the following Monday; you will need to bring a shopping bag with you to collect these supplies. If you do not have access to emails then please ensure that you call the main academy on 07712 232950 or 07713 349836 by 12 noon on Monday, every week, to order the following week’s supply.
If you or your child start to feel unwell over the coming weeks
If in the coming weeks someone in your household is advised to self-isolate by the NHS, please let us know as soon as possible using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. We will need your child’s name, year group and the academy they attend. The latest guidance from the NHS can be found here.
We will remain in close contact with you
We will be in touch with further information over the coming days. However, if you have any queries or concerns, please contact us in the usual way. In the meantime, we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of the academy.
We find ourselves in uncertain times, yet our pupils and families, our staff and our wider communities have pulled together despite the challenges we face. We are being reminded every day of just how fortunate we are to serve such a special community.
Thank you for your continued support of the academy.