Here is the Principal's Weekly Newsletter video and information on the school closure. Please see below if you simply wish to read the information or access the links.
The government has announced that all schools in England will be closed from (3.25 pm) Monday 4th January as part of the national lockdown until at least February half term.
The government has also made some crucial announcements:
- Children of critical workers will be able to come to school as usual. The definition of a critical worker is listed here.
- Children with EHCPs will be able to attend school as usual.
- Children with other vulnerabilities will also be required to attend school as usual. It is at the discretion of the school through government guidance as to what defines a vulnerable child and we will contact you individually if this applies.
For the groups noted above, schools may well be open over February half term. Further details will be given in due course.
If you are a critical worker and are unable to work in the event of a school closure, you must contact firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on Wednesday 6th January specifying your role as a critical worker. This will allow us to plan our provision and ensure all students are safeguarded appropriately within school.
I need to make it clear that the Government have stated 'the scientific advice shows that these settings [schools] are safe for this small number of children to continue attending, but asking others to stay away will go towards helping us slow the spread of this virus.'
In order to minimise the number of people in school, including staff, and follow Government guidance, we are planning to have a skeleton staff presence. This will only allow students to be supervised. Students will not be taught as they normally would and will be expected to work independently and access the work provided on the remote learning platform.
Staff and students who are still attending school will initially be tested at the beginning of next week once our test centre is ready. Subsequent testing arrangements will follow in due course.
Preferably, students would remain at home as it will go towards helping slow the spread of this virus.
As you would expect, colleagues and I have spent considerable time ensuring that learning resources are available via Google classroom and our experience from the previous lockdown means we are already delivering an extensive curriculum to all year groups. We expect ALL students to engage with remote learning and attend tutor time for both wellbeing and safeguarding considerations. We will be monitoring online attendance and contacting anyone who may need support to engage with learning.
It was clear that students who engaged with online learning during the previous lockdown made better progress, with fewer gaps in their learning, than those who did not. Guidance is available here on how to access live lessons and work through the Google classroom.
We are in the process of identifying where there is a need for students to collect work or resources from school and we will be in touch later this week with a plan.
Year 11 Exam update:
With regards to the summer and autumn exams, it is important to note that the Prime Minister in his statement said, “we recognise that this will mean it's not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer, as normal." This is not a definitive cancellation of exams. Whatever form of assessment takes place, school-assessed grades, exams or a mixture of both, Year 11 students should continue to engage with their learning and produce work to the best of their ability, as the majority have done. This will put them in the best position to excel in any exams that take place or provide their teachers with sufficient evidence for centre assessed grades. Reports in the media suggest that the Secretary of State for Education will be holding a press conference on Wednesday when hopefully he will provide clarification regarding this matter. Mr Burchett will update students and parents on this issue as details emerge.
At this time of considerable turbulence and uncertainty, you can be assured that everyone at King’s Academy Ringmer will continue to work hard for the benefit not only of your child’s academic progress but for their well-being and good health too. Here is a link to some well-being resources (or see blue tab below) and we will also update our website with regards to supporting students both academically and from a well-being perspective during this current lockdown.
The school may be closed to the majority of children but this does not mean in any way that contact will be closed with you or your child/children. The safety and wellbeing of our community remains a top priority for everyone at King’s Academy Ringmer.
Please also see our @Home page on our website for more information, help and resources.
I should emphasise that we will respond to any queries and concerns as promptly as possible. If you have any immediate and serious worries, please contact your child’s tutor or reception.