School Closure

School Closure

November 2020

Dear parent/carer/student,

Unfortunately, from Monday 23rd November we will have insufficient staff to be able to operate the school safely due to the notification of positive COVID cases resulting in large numbers of students and staff needing to self-isolate. After careful consultation with the Local Authority and Public Health, and with the safety of the Academy community being our absolute priority, we have decided to close the Academy and we will re-open on Wednesday 2nd December. However, please check the Academy website and email for updates as this may be subject change.

Thank you for your ongoing support which has allowed us to continue to operate for so long since our return in September. In the majority of cases, Live Lessons will be held for all students (see below) from Monday 23rd November; however, there may be occasions due to staff illness where this cannot take place and as such students should work from the self isolation work on the school website:

We appreciate that some students will find this period challenging and require more support than others particularly in terms of their wellbeing and pastoral care. Our staff are continuing to work from home, and care relentlessly about all of our students. Please share any concerns with your child’s Student Support Managers who will be happy to support.

Students should also be reminded of the Speak Out button on the website which they can use at any time to alert us to their safeguarding concerns and this is also available to you if you have any concerns.

We will review staffing capacity with the Local Authority and Public Health, and update you about future re-opening plans when possible. We anticipate that we will reopen to students on Wednesday 2nd December.

If your child does develop any of these symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain at home and arrangements should be made for them to be tested. At that time, all other household members must also stay at home, not go to work, school or public areas, even for exercise.

Testing can be arranged by calling 119 or via the NHS website:

When the result of the child’s test is known further advice will be available. If the result is positive please inform the school by emailing the following address as soon as possible with the following information:

  • Student name
  • Year group
  • When they developed symptoms
  • Date of the test
  • What symptoms they had
  • When they were last in school
  • How they travel to school

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Follow any local/ national lock down rules
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Wear a face mask as required
  • If you are over the age of 50, for your own safety, arrange a flu jab

Further information

Further information is available at

The School Day and Timings:

During this period, we will have the same school day for all students. It is important that students are punctual to their “live lessons” so that staff can make a quick and efficient start to the lesson.

  • 8.50-9.00am Virtual Registration and Form Period
  • 9.00-10.00am Period 1
  • 10.00-11.00am Period 2
  • 11.00-11.20am Break
  • 11.20-12.20am Period 3
  • 12.20-1.20pm Period 4
  • 1.20-1.40pm Lunch
  • 1.40-2.40pm Period 5

School Work – Online Live Lessons

  • Students must attend all live lessons including form time and they must be wearing their full school uniform
  • Lessons will follow the timings as on their timetable. Teachers will take registers and non-attendance will be followed up
  • Where a student has difficulty accessing teams and live lessons they should:
  • Contact and explain the details of their access problem.
    • Email the class teacher to explain the access issue.
    • Self-support using via Office 365 Video Demonstrations in the Student Teams Online Tutorials Streams Channel.
  • Students will need to monitor “posts” and “assignments” through Microsoft Teams and access “live lessons” through the Teams Calendar.
  • Students should not enter a lesson until the teacher has started the lesson and the option to “join” is displayed
  • Students must have cameras on when instructed to do so by their teachers
  • Teachers will decide when cameras can be switched off
  • Students must mute unless required to speak. Any disruptive behaviour will be dealt with on their return to school
  • Students must complete work through Teams Assignments by the set deadline
  • Students must only use the chat function when directed by their teacher to use this function to ask / answer questions
  • Students must blur their backgrounds whilst on a live lesson
  • Where students are told to work on a task by the teacher, they should use the chat function to ask the teacher if they need help
  • Outside of the lesson, if students require help, they should email their teachers
  • Homework will still be set via ClassCharts
  • “Posts” and “chats” are NOT a social area and should only be used to discuss work.
  • Any inappropriate use of this area will be dealt with via the Schools Behaviour Policy.

Ways to Help your Child with Schoolwork during times of Self Isolation and Enforced Academy Closure:

1. Find a suitable place where your child can work that is away from noise and distractions.

2. Get them up and make sure they are dressed in their uniform and ready to join the Form Tutor session at 8.50am.

3. Check your child knows where the work is being set. They need to check their team’s calendar for scheduled live lessons, and to use the self-isolation work on the website where a lesson has not been scheduled. Lessons will be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance of the lesson.

4. Check your child knows how to access a live lesson, how to open and complete an assignment through Microsoft teams, and how to email their teacher. If they can’t do this, they need to go to the help mentioned earlier in the letter. (School Work – Online Live Lessons)

5. Check your child is checking the posts section of Microsoft teams daily. Allowing notifications may help with this. Often teachers will send links and copies of resources for the live lesson.

6. Check Classcharts to find out the homework that has been set.

7. At the end of the day, check they have attended each online lesson by logging into Classcharts. If they are individually isolating, ask to see the work that they have completed during the day.

Please do not feel that you need to teach your child. What is important is that you check that your child is doing what they need to do so that they do not get behind, and then worry. If they are finding the work difficult, they need to talk to their teacher over email, or through posts on teams.

Just a reminder: It is against the School Behaviour Policy to take photographs of staff or students who are taking part in live lessons. Students found doing so will risk a Permanent Exclusion for Disobedience.