COVID-19


Should I send my child to school?

posted 30 Sep 2020, 00:27 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 30 Sep 2020, 00:28 ]


Emergency Bubble Collapse Letter

posted 28 Sep 2020, 06:28 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 28 Sep 2020, 06:28 ]

25 September 2020
 
Dear Parent / Carer,

These are exceptionally challenging times for schools across the country and I want to make it very clear that my greatest concerns are:
 
   Keeping your children safe
   Ensuring they get access to a high-quality education
   Keeping the school open
  
Recent events have highlighted the need for us to act quickly but also safely and to this end I would like to seek your consent that should we be faced with the need to quickly send a Year Group Bubble home, we can do so in the knowledge that your child will be safe to get home.
 
Clearly, the younger the student, the harder this may be and we will always make provision for students to be kept on site until the end of the school day or until they can be collected.
 
We would always make parents aware before any such action was taken.
 
I would be grateful if you were to indicate on the form below what your preferred option would be in the event of a Year Group Bubble closure:
 
1 Allow your child to go home immediately in the event of an emergency closure
2 Your child to remain on site until they can be collected
3 Your child to remain on site until the end of the day
 
 
Should the need arise to collapse a bubble, we are seeking to minimise transmission and reduce the risks to the wider community, therefore option 3 should be used only if 1 or 2 simply is not possible.
 
A link to the form can be found  HERE.
 
I would be extremely grateful if you would complete your preference by Wednesday 30 September. Yours Faithfully,
 
Dan Mayhew 
Headteacher

Covid testing - 07/09/20 - DMA

posted 28 Sep 2020, 06:24 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 28 Sep 2020, 06:25 ]

7th September 2020
 
Dear Parent/Carer

Firstly, I would like to welcome you all back. This letter is to let you know what you need to do in the event that you, your child or an adult presents with COVID-19 symptoms.

If a child or adult in school becomes unwell with a new and persistent cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and advised to follow: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

As a parent/carer, over the coming weeks you will need to be ready:
 
book or order a test if you or your child are displaying symptoms. Adults and pupils must not enter the school premises if they have symptoms. They will be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in school
provide details of anyone you or your child have been in close contact with if you or your child were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
self-isolate if you or your child have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or if anyone in your household develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
 
You must inform us immediately of the results of any test and follow this guidance:
1. If someone tests negative and they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating. We need a copy of the text or email confirming the negative test result.
2. If someone tests positive, they must follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and must continue to self-isolate for at least
10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not
have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.

It is important that you inform the school immediately if you or your child, or someone that you have been in close contact with, has developed COVID-19 symptoms as we need to keep a record

for our local health protection team. If a pupil or member of staff tests positive for COVID-19, the health protection team will carry out a risk assessment to determine who has been in close contact with person whilst they were infectious. Based on the advice from the health protection team, the school must send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious.

 

If you have recently returned from abroad, you may need to self-isolate.

Household members of those contacts who are sent home do not need to self-isolate themselves unless the child who is self-isolating subsequently develops symptoms. If a child from a class or group that has been asked to self-isolate develops symptoms themselves within their 14-day isolation period they should follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

 

They should get a test, and:

if the test delivers a negative result, they must remain in isolation for the remainder of the 14- day isolation period. This is because they could still develop the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the remaining days.

if the test result is positive, you must inform us immediately, and your child should isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms (which could mean the self-isolation ends before or after the original 14-day isolation period). Your household should self-isolate for at least 14

days from when your child first had symptoms, following guidance for households with possible or

confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

 

If we need to send your child home, we will send you another letter containing additional information and advice.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this letter, please check the latest government guidance or contact the school.

 

The interactive links used in this letter are listed below:

 

https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

 

Yours faithfully


Mr D. Mayhew

Headteacher

DMA letter 29/05/20

posted 28 Sep 2020, 06:22 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 28 Sep 2020, 06:22 ]

29 May 2020
 
Dear Parent/Carer
 
I very much hope that this letter finds you and your families safe and well.
 
In my last letter of 10 May 2020, I explained that we were exploring ways in which we could supplement the Home Learning experience for students in Years 10, in response to the Governments announcement on Sunday 10 May 2020 which stated that: before the summer holidays, secondary schools should offer some face-to-face support”
 
I will be sending out a letter to all parents in the next two days outlining our draft plans and asking for feedback on whether they will be sending their son/daughter into school in these circumstances.
 
Since Monday 23 March 2020, we have offered two strands of provision to support your childs learning: Key Worker School and Home Learning. We will maintain both of those strands as we move into next half termHome Learning will remain our core provision and teaching staff will continue to set work for each of their classes throughout the week. From Monday 1 June 2020 Year 9 students will be working from a new timetable (attached) and we strongly encourage all students to continue to work as hard possible under the circumstances. Please follow the instructions on the timetable to work out when and what work will be set. Please also ensure that students accept any new invitation to Google classroom from their new teachers.
 
Our provision for the children of Key Workers and Vulnerable students will remain unchanged.  I would like to encourage you to access this facility if you have a vulnerable child or if any adult caring for your child is a Key Worker. If you would like your child to attend Key Worker School, please contact me directly on d.mayhew@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk or by telephone on 01728 830570.
 
It is with huge regret that I need to inform you that the Normandy Trip has been cancelled. I am please to tell you however that all parents will be fully reimbursed of any moneys that they have paid for the trip from the schools funds. We will continue to push for renumeration independently. The Finance Office will be contacting you shortly to give details about how your money will be returned.
 
As you can imagine, we are constantly seeking to respond to rapidly changing Government guidance an d to liaise regularly with our Trust Board. I very much appreciate your support and patience with us, as we endeavour to keep you updated of all developments.
 
If you have any questions about any aspect of our plans please do not hesitate to contact me on the email address given earlier in this letter.
 
Wishing you all the very best; stay safe and well. Yours sincerely
 
 
Dan Mayhew 
 Headteacher

DMA letter re Covid 19 - 20/04/20

posted 28 Sep 2020, 06:20 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 28 Sep 2020, 06:20 ]

20th April 2020
 
Dear Parents/Carers
 
I  hope  this  letter  finds  you  well  and  coping  as  well  as  could  be  expected  with  this  completely unprecedented period of our lives. We have one eye on the future and one eye on the present. Today, things are tough. Some of the impact of this situation is visible, much is invisible. We know there is more yet to face and each and every one of our 'challenges' are unique. It will take all of our courage and wit to navigate through this into 'better times', but our collective resilience makes this possible.
 
I would like to take the opportunity to update you on developments relating to education.
 
Home Learning
The systems which were established for Home Learning will now swing back into action. Prior to the Easter
holidays Alde Valley Academy staff were extremely proactive in setting, assessing and marking work in all areas. The timetable provided at this time is still to be used as a guide as to when the lessons are to be studied but is not meant to be any more than a guide’. Again, please feel free to use your own judgement about when your son/daughter completes work in a particular subject but I would stress the importance of
‘routine. It may be, as we move through this period of isolation, that a member of staff becomes unwell and therefore is not able to set any work for a period of time. The same applies if a student or family member becomes ill.
 
Please remember that we have a team of staff ready to help students with any problem that they may have. The primary method of communication is through the schools email system or directly through the online package.
 
Access to School site
It remains the case, at least for the next 3 weeks, that school is closed to all students with the exception of
those whose parents are critical workers or who are defined as vulnerable. The Government’s advice remains clear that all children are to be kept at home unless it is unsafe to do so and are in one of these categories.
 
If you believe that you are a keyworker or your child is vulnerable and needs to attend school next week
please contact me on the schools main phoneline or on the following email address:
 
d.mayhew@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk
 
Free School Meals
Over the Easter holidays we have activated the Government’s system to provide all of our families who are eligible for Free School Meals with vouchers which are redeemable at various supermarkets. This entitles these families to £15 per pupil, per week to cover meals that they would normally receive at school.
 
I would like to thank all affected parents for their patience as this system is established. There have been a few ‘teething problems’ that you may have seen in the press. My thanks also goes to Mrs Burrows (Finance Manager) who has worked tirelessly to ensure our families get the support that they deserve.
 
I would like to draw parents’ attention again to the conversation that I had with Leiston Citizens Advice who have reported an increased number of families who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct

result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are in this category and would like advice about what to do next or the availability of local Food Banks please contact them directly on 01728 832193.
 
GCSE Exam Results
Over the past 2 weeks we have received further information about how the GCSE and A Level exam results will be allocated this year. Details of the system can be found using the following link:
 
https://schoolsweek.co.uk/coronavirus-ofqual-launches-consultation-on-2020-calculated-grade-proposals/
 
 
The main points are summarised by Chief regulator Sally Collier, who said: All those students, parents, teachers and others affected by these unprecedented circumstances can be assured that we will continue to work urgently, with stakeholders and representative bodies across the sector and officials in the Department for Education, to put in place the best possible arrangements on their behalf.”
 
 
    Schools will have to award each student the grade they would most likely have received had the exams taken place. Plus they must also rank each pupil within each grade and for each subject.
    Ofqual is proposing to standardise grades by looking at the historical outcomes for each centre, the prior attainment (key stage 2 or GCSE) of this year’s pupils and those in previous years within each school, and the expected national grade distribution for the subject.
    Pupils who believe they would have got a better grade had they taken their exams can resit in the additional autumn exams. Details on arrangements for the latter are yet to be published.
 
The Senior Management Team have already spent time clarifying and ranking GCSE results in all subjects in order to provide the regulators with the information that they require. For this reason, there is no need for Year 11 students to complete any GCSE work as it will not be taken into consideration for their overall GCSE grade. However, I would urge students who are potentially looking to take the GCSE exams in the Autumn or to take Level 3 qualifications next year, to continue to study and revise in those subjects.
 
We are here to support you through these extraordinary times so please do not hesitate to contact your son/daughter’s subject teacher via their email address or contact me direct on the school’s main phoneline or on the email address given above.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Mr. D. Mayhew

Headteacher

DMA letter re Coronavirus - 26/03/20

posted 28 Sep 2020, 06:17 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 28 Sep 2020, 06:18 ]

26th March 2020
 
Dear Parents/Carers
 
As we are a few days into this completely unprecedented period of all of our lives I thought I would take the opportunity to update you on developments relating to education.
 
Home Learning
All of your children have been provided with, and are actively engaging with Home Learning which appears,
on the whole, to be going very well. Alde Valley Academy staff have been extremely proactive in setting, assessing and marking work in all areas. The timetable provided is a guide as to when the lessons are to be studied but is not meant to be any more than a ‘guide’. For this reason, please feel free to use your own judgement about when your son/daughter completes work in a particular subject. It may be, as we move through this period of isolation, that a member of staff becomes unwell and therefore is not able to set any work for a period of time. The same applies if a student or family member becomes ill.
 
We are aware that a number of the online packages have been unable to manage the volume of traffic through them over the beginning of the week and have ‘crashed’. We have been reassured that these issues have been resolved and that they are usable now.
 
School Closure
On Monday 23rd March Alde Valley Academy closed its doors to all students and only opening to provide for
those whose parent are critical workers or who are defined as vulnerable. It has been made clear to us that all children are to be kept at home unless it is unsafe to do so and are in one of these categories. On Monday we had a very small number of students in school but following the Governments instructions on Monday evening we did not have any students in school on Tuesday. In order to protect individuals and the wider community, I have decided to close the school completely for the rest of this week. This situation will be reviewed at the weekend based on information from parents for next week.
 
If you believe that you are a keyworker or your child is vulnerable and needs to attend school next week please contact me on the schools main phoneline or on the following email address:
 
d.mayhew@aldevalley.suffolk.sch.uk
 
Free School Meals
As a school we have a responsibility to provide students eligible for Free School Meals with a meal everyday during school term time. Due to the extremely short notice around the school closure, we have made these meals available from school every day for collection. We appreciate that if you are not local to the school this is not always suitable so have devised a voucher scheme for next week which we will be contacting parents about.
 
I have been in contact with Leiston Citizens Advice who are reporting an increased number of families who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are in this category and would like advice about what to do next or the availability of local Food Banks please contact them directly on 01728 832193.
Ade Valley Ac
GCSE Exam Results
Following the decision to close schools and not go ahead with this summers exams, the government has announced more details of how grades will be awarded this summer. I know how keen you are to have some clarity, so I wanted to share this information with you right away.

Here are the main points:
 
     Regulators will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and will work with exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students.
     Exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.
     To produce this, teachers will be asked to take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment. Clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly will be provided to schools and colleges soon.
          Exam  boards  will  then  combine  this  information  with  other  relevant  data,  including  prior
attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.
     Regulators and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising the approach, to ensure that its as fair as possible.
          The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July.
          These grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years.
          The distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s
students are not disadvantaged.
          Students  will be  able  to appeal  their grades  if they  dont  believe  the right process has  been
followed. In these cases, there will be an option to sit exams early in the next academic year for any students  who  wish  to.  For  this  reason,  it  is  imperative  that  all  year  11  students  continue  to complete the work set from school and continue with a small amount of revision in case they need to take the exams next academic year.
 
We are here to support you through these extraordinary times so please do not hesitate to contact your son/daughters subject teacher via their email address or contact me directly on the school’s main phoneline or on the email address given above.

Yours faithfully,
 
Mr D. Mayhew

Headteacher

DMA letter re partial closure

posted 28 Sep 2020, 06:15 by Mark Wilson   [ updated 28 Sep 2020, 06:39 ]

23rd March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers